Residence Life sees increase in incidents

After noticing an increase in resident incidents so far this semester in comparison to the fall semester last year, the Office of Residence Life is encouraging students to re-familiarize themselves with important conduct policies. It is necessary to highlight these policies not only to help increase awareness, but to limit misunderstandings students may have in order to live on campus safely.

Alcohol violations in the residence halls are one of the kinds of incidents that have shown a slight increase. (Photo by Morgan Mills)

A commonly reported incident involves the use of alcohol and underage drinking, according to resident director Patrick Murnane. In addition to alcohol violations, he added that noise and guest violations typically accompany this type of incident.

“A trap that students fall into is of-age students, 21 or 22 years old, drinking with underage students,” said Murnane. If a room includes only students who are 21 years old or older, alcohol is permitted throughout the entire room. However, if at least one person in the room is not 21 years old, then alcohol must be kept in the individual rooms of those who are of drinking age, according to the Residence Life Housing and Guidelines and Policies handbook.

Murnane said many students do not know what happens when they are involved in an alcohol incident or understand the process of determining the consequences. Following the initial report from the resident assistants, all students involved will meet with a resident director so they can share their perspective of what happened. “This helps to determine why they were there, what they were doing, and if they were aware of alcohol in the room,” said Murnane.

He added that every case is subjective as it depends upon specific details of the event. No decision regarding consequences is made without first meeting with each student directly. A full description of the alcohol policy and the list of standard alcohol violation sanctions can be found on page 15 of the Residence Life and Housing Guidelines and Policies handbook.

Resident director Patrick Murnane (left) works with the other three resident directors in charge of the the first-year students, upperclass students, and apartment areas on campus. (Photo from Amanda Strain)

In relation to the alcohol policy, Jeremy Munson, assistant vice president of student affairs and conduct and interim assistant vice president of residence life and housing, wants students to also be aware of the Good Samaritan policy and Title IX, as both are not as well known or understood as they should be.

According to the Student Policy Manual, the Good Samaritan policy allows students to call Security or Residence Life for medical attention, relating to the use of drugs or alcohol, for themselves or another student without receiving any conduct violations besides the possibility of being required to complete an alcohol and/or a drug education program.

Munson also wants students to be aware of the Title IX policy. The policy states that “all members of the Stevenson community and all visitors, regardless of sex gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression are advised that any sexual misconduct by any student, employee, or third party is prohibited.”

Munson said that this policy is important so that students understand how they can receive help and what resources Stevenson provides for all sexual misconduct cases.

For more information about living on campus and residence life policies, students can visit the Office of Residence Life located in the Ratcliffe Community Center and speak to anyone on the Residence Life staff. Students can also visit the Dean of Students section on the SU Portal to find a list of policies and a link to a full description of these policies.

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