Group reviews inconsistent dorm policies
Carolyn Hutyra | Monday, September 17, 2012
Members of Campus Life Council (CLC) discussed inconsistencies in dorm policy, particularly between male and female residence halls, at their meeting Friday.
The conversation focused on differences between the men and women’s residence halls regarding weekend activities. Some students expressed they felt there is a lack of consistency in the rules enforced by rectors.
Both students and faculty supported an effort to push toward a consistent alcohol policy and in-house punishments.
“The baseline is Indiana state law. As far as policy, it’s in DuLac. We are not exempt from the civil law, no one is exempt,” Morrissey Manor rector Fr. Ron Vierling said.
Vierling said responses from rectors sometimes appear inconsistent because other students are not aware of the full details of a specific situation.
“When we talk about a pastoral approach (to these situations), we talk about the primacy of the individual,” Vierling said. “My response to an individual situation may seem inconsistent because not everyone in the dorm knows the entire story.”
Members of the council also voiced complaints that men frequently receive lighter punishments than women for underage drinking. Alcohol policy in DuLac is written with the same guidelines regardless of gender, Vierling said.
Vierling said the first alcohol offense can be treated in-house, but others are required to be sent to the Office of Residence Life. Annie Selak, rector of Walsh Hall, said this is the case “provided it is not severe intoxication.”
Other members of the council expressed discontent with dorm rules for using side doors after parietals.
In women’s dorms, usually only the front door is open after parietals, but in some men’s residence halls such as Morrissey, residents can enter through either of two doors after parietals.
“Keenan [Hall] has all three doors available to access at all hours,” Keenan senator John Vernon said. “But after midnight in some girls dorms, you can only go through the main door.”
Consistency in policy was also addressed regarding instituting modular furniture in dorms.
“All of the contraptions you see in the different dorms are not up to code,” student body president Brett Rocheleau said. “It’s mainly dealing with fire safety and the safety of our students.”
Rocheleau said all dorms will likely switch over to modular furniture within the next five years.
The council lastly discussed hall taxes and how they vary from dorm to dorm.
“The hall receives no money from the University, so the only operating budget of residence halls are hall tax and concession stand,” Selak said.
Students often wonder where this money goes, Vierling said.
“Our hall tax is set by the Manor, by the council,” he said. “We publish a financial statement to the dorm every month. It’s your money. You should know how it’s spent.”