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Group considers arrests, dorm issues

Maddie Daly | Thursday, September 27, 2012

Student body president Brett Rocheleau began this week’s Student Senate meeting with some alarming news concerning the past home football weekend.

“In case you haven’t heard by now, there were 72 arrests over the weekend by the Excise Police,” Rocheleau said. “A quick thing to note though is that the word ‘arrest’ means ticketed in most cases, not necessarily literal arrests.”

While student government looks for ways to prevent more arrests in the future, Senate turned their meeting’s conversation to dorm business. Members of student government, including chief of staff Katie Baker, have visited hall council meetings this week. Baker thanked senators from Breen-Phillips Hall, Badin Hall and Morrissey Manor for welcoming her.

“I was so impressed with what I saw in your hall councils, so thanks a lot,” she said. “We will continue going to hall councils in the next couple of weeks.”

Rocheleau said student government can be a voice to the Board of Trustees about the quality of residence life in campus.

“Most people on the Board of Trustees haven’t been in the dorms recently, so they don’t have the cultural sense of everything going on in dorms,” Rocheleau said. “We have two meetings with the Board of Trustees, one in October and one in May. This coming meeting will focus on quality of residence life across the board, not on specifics per dorm.”  

Breen-Phillips Hall senator Hope Feist  and Zahm House senator Joe Corsaro both raised the issue of air conditioning.

“Since it would be expensive to get air conditioning in the whole dorm, at the very least we would like to see more rooms like study lounges that do have air conditioning,” Corsaro said.

Coming from a dorm with one of the smallest-sized rooms, Morrissey Senator Billy McMahon voiced a concern about inconsistent costs.

“Is there any way to have room and board payments be made per square foot?” McMahon said.

Farley Hall senator Monica Daegele said privacy is an important factor for students planning to move off campus.

“Since most dorms only have one 24-hour space, it is really hard to get group work done past parietals if other people are watching TV or socializing,” Daegele said.

McGlinn Hall senator Ali Wellman, as well as several other senators, saw food as a big issue.

“I think one problem is access to kitchens,” Wellman said. “A lot of students like to cook for themselves, and a lot of dorm kitchens aren’t kept up well or don’t have all the equipment.”

Keenan hall senator John Vernon said he blames the cost of living for students moving off campus.

“Guys in my dorm said finances were a big reason,” Vernon said. “Off-campus they will get bigger houses with more space and pay less money. Also, if they aren’t using all their meals they can get off the meal plan. More freedom, more independence.”

Daegele shared a striking reason one student in her dorm decided to move off campus.

“One girl told me she moved off campus because she felt like she lived in a prison cell,” Daegele said. “With the RAs jingling keys every hour at night and door alarms after parietals … she just felt like she was in a prison cell or a summer camp or something.”

Senator Marissa Martin said girls from Howard Hall move off campus to get ready for life after college.

“When you graduate, that’s how you’ll be living – on your own, not in a big community like a dorm,” Martin said. “We don’t have any apartment-style dorms, so people move off campus.”

Off-campus senator Marina Seminatore told the Senate why she herself moved off campus.

“There were quite a few reasons,” Seminatore said.  “It wasn’t a decision I made automatically. I don’t think there’s a mass exodus of students moving off campus. There are a lot of things I miss about living on campus.”

While the decision was a difficult one, Seminatore said she was looking for the freedom of an off-campus residence.
“However, what I don’t miss are not just the big rules like parietals and alcohol possession, but the really naggy things from rectors,” she said. “I used to get emails about not leaving things in the hallway, leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen – I felt like I was being babied by my mom or something.”