SGA on residence hall vandalism issue
The Student Government Association (SGA) discussed residence hall vandalism, whether clubs should be able to use their funds to buy alcohol and student handbook distribution at its meeting on Oct. 23.
SGA has purposefully begun to refer to “dorm damage” as “residence hall vandalism” to highlight the nature of this problem on campus.
During his update on the Trustee Weekend that had just passed, SGA Co-President Justin Rouse ’12 described the Student Affairs Committee’s response to the vandalism and alcohol use on campus.
“Bill Alfond was very upset that the apartments that his parents donated had been destroyed so far this year,” Rouse said.
“It was an interesting conversation about student ownership of this campus,” Rouse said. “I think something that we need to look at more seriously this year is how we are encouraging students to step up in these situations, not just CAs [community advisors].”
The trustees also questioned why the CAs in each residence hall do not play a disciplinary role like the resident advisors of other colleges. Additionally, the trustees suggested a campus honor code as a possibility. Honor codes at other institutions will be researched to determine the feasibility of such a system at the College.
This is something that President William “Bro” Adams “said he would be very interested in hearing our thoughts on,” according to Rouse. AMS Dorm President Peter Landsman ’12 moved that “the Campus Life Office provide on its website a database of residence hall vandalism.”
Landsman said that this would “promote accountability and transparency” in that students could both double-check accounting errors and also view any vandalism for which they should be held responsible in other halls.
SGA tabled this motion, pending further discussion with Campus Life. SGA also discussed the issue of whether or not clubs would be able to use their funds to buy alcohol for registered events and parties.
“These are the right kinds of conversations to bring up and to wrestle with,” Associate Dean of Students and Director of Campus Life Jed Wartman said. “It’s nuanced, it’s hard, there’s history there, but this is the right kind of thing to wrestle with.”
SGA is working on making it easier for students and groups to hold registered parties and believes that allowing clubs to hold such functions would help to manage the College’s drinking culture.
Wartman stated that it has become Campus Life’s general policy to deny such requests after inconsistent enforcement of the policy in previous years. Wartman said that Campus Life would be willing to discuss this issue further with SGA.
Finally, SGA passed a motion to recommend to the Office of the Dean of Students that a flash drive copy of the College’s student handbook be distributed to every student.
The student handbook is currently accessible online, but SGA members agree that it is difficult for students to find. It has also been alleged that the handbook’s content is out of date. Still, SGA hopes to increase the handbook’s accessibility to the student body.