Violations aplenty in first weekend back on campus

September 6th, 2012

Since returning to campus two weeks ago, many rumors have been circulating about crime during the first weekend and policy violations that took place in the residence halls, particularly Murphy Hall. While Murphy is notoriously the “party dorm,” there seem to be more rumors about the first weekend than usual.

Senior Emmett Morton, a resident assistant in Murphy Hall, estimates that at least 30-40 warnings and write-ups were issued on the freshman class’s first night in the residence halls.

“[However], judging by the first weekend, the amount of policy violations is much lower than last year,” said Morton.

He also stated that most of the warnings and write-ups involved violations of the alcohol, marijuana and vandalism policies.

One freshman (who preferred to remain anonymous) hopes that nothing will be as crazy as the first weekend. She and her roommate witnessed another freshman resident running away from his resident assistant and Campus Safety Service officers.

The female resident said that she saw the student yell at the officers to “stop shining their flashlight on him,” as he kept running in the opposite direction.

After that, the officers asked her and her roommate to go back inside the building.

Both she and her roommate felt that seeing the student running from the authorities scared them, but they have not had any problems since the first night.

They also noted that they realize consuming alcohol in the residence halls is not a good idea because of the harsh consequences many other freshmen have faced.

“I would never drink in the dorms because it’s too much of a liability,” she said.

The resident assistants feel that when students violate the res. life policies, they not only undermine their sense of dormitory community, but also potentially risk the safety of other residents.

Senior Dan Imfeld is currently the Senior Resident Assistant in Pacelli Hall, and has been a resident assistant in freshman halls for the past three years.

According to Imfeld, the Office of Residence Life has not made any major policy changes this year, but safety is still their top priority.

“There’s definitely a host of things that are high priorities, [including] the safety of everyone [and] building a strong community that’s not only inclusive, but respectful of everyone,” said Imfeld.

The list of problems range from endangering the health of their neighbors to risking their individual safety.

Brian Hurd, the assistant director of CSS, said, “A big part of lowering crime this semester was [creating] more visibility in the resident buildings.”

He also credited Residence Life for training the Resident Assistants to be more proactive. Hurd feels this is an important part of keeping crime in dorms under control.

Imfeld agreed, saying that one of the most important aspects of being an RA is being available and accessible to the residents, whether by keeping their door open or even texting.

“Get to know your RA,” said Imfeld. “That’s probably the best way to help build a strong community on your floor […] The best way to stay out of the judicial system is to understand what the policy violations are and what will get you in trouble.”

So, although the first night on campus was full of violations and write-ups, the RAs are still optimistic about the year ahead.

Sophomore Dave Schillero, an RA in Murphy Hall, said he still loves his job, because “[I have] the opportunity to send a message to residents that we [the resident assistants] care about their education and safety, and that makes the job all worthwhile.”