Behind Jinqiao’s Lockout Laws

For those living in the Jinqiao residence hall, there’s a rule you should be aware of.

For those living in the Jinqiao residence hall, there’s a rule you should be aware of. Otherwise, when you are having an animated discussion with your beloved guests and become unaware of the time, a call from the security guard is surely going to ruin your day.

If you want to bring guests to your dorm, according to NYU Shanghai policy, they cannot stay after 11pm. However, according to a security guard, who had dealt with dozens of cases like this, visitors reluctant to leave before 11pm are mostly young friends of similar age, or students’ partners,  as parents would theoretically be more cooperative and would have the means at finding alternative accommodation. In cases when guests do not leaving on time, the RA on duty negotiates with the students and visitors.  

Students’ response to this policy is mixed. Freshman Melody Chiang said, “I think the school should trust the students and their guests, so there is no need to regulate the visiting time.” She and her friends put forward an idea that the university could provide some form of housing or room for guests to stay overnight.

But another freshman, Russell Li, held a different opinion: “I accept this policy because it shows respect to other students in the hall.”

Other students also agreed out of concern for safety, including Robert Zhu, who said, “Since we cannot make sure that every student knows their guests well, say, a new friend, we cannot deny that late visitors could be a potential threat to public security.”

Xue Yunchen and Zou Simin said that they were willing to leave the residence hall with their guests by 11pm if they wanted to spend more time with them.  

In fact, many universities in Shanghai observe policies similar to this. The residence halls in ECNU close and lock at 11pm, thus guests are not allowed to remain in the halls and students who wanted to go in after then should fill out a form to get permission. As for Shanghai Jiaotong University and Fudan University, the “visiting time”(when guests are allowed in the residence hall) is from 8am to 10pm. Similarly, Tongji University’s residence halls lock at 12:30 and all guests should leave before that time.

Eli Berk-Rauch, the Residential Life team leader, observed there was a time when students settled in ECNU complied with the university’s policies, including this rule. After moving to Jinqiao, the Office of Student Life decided to keep it. “There was indeed a discussion and we keep discussing issues like this,” he said, adding multiple factors influenced the decision.

Firstly, there is the need to follow Chinese law and relevant municipal regulations. “We have to be consistent with Chinese laws,” said Berk-Rauch.

Secondly, another factor regarding equity is that our school has limited rooms and therefore cannot ensure visitors are settled equally, thus the school does not currently provide guest rooms.

For a violation of this policy, Berk-Rauch also said that no serious punishment is imposed. Students involved might be invited to a meeting with a team member of Residential Life and go through a self-reflecting process as the only “sanction”. “The goal of any policy we have in NYU Shanghai is never to punish or restrict any individual,” he explained.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Government document Detailed Instructions on Shanghai Residence Permit Management”, one whose household registration is in another city and currently lives in Shanghai, shall go to the local police station and register for a Shanghai temporary residence permit (Article 2).

These laws also apply to hotels, where the hotel is required to also go through a registration procedure. According to “Measures for the control of security in the hotel industry published by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, “A hotel shall register guests to whom accommodation is provided. When registering, the guest’s identification card shall be examined and an accurate registration of all stipulated items shall be made.” (Article 6).  More specifically, in 2011, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government issued a document entitled, “Detailed regulations for control of security in the hotel industry in Shanghai” which stated, “A hotel shall establish a registration system for visitors. For visitors entering the room, permission is required by the guest to whom accommodation is being provided. The visitor’s identification card shall be examined and the visitor shall not stay in the room after 11 o’clock at night.”

As shown, NYU Shanghai’s rule is consistent with relevant municipal regulations. Overall Berk-Rauch said that NYU Shanghai’s policy was implemented for safety reasons,“We are more concerned about the impact. We want to ensure there is minimum negative impact on our community as a whole. ”

This article was written by Simone Ye. Please send an email to to get in touch.

Photo Credit: Zeyu Lu

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