EDITORIAL: Questions linger from bizarre Internet snapshots

By defaultuser
March 18, 2004

After coming back from spring break, nine Cabrini freshmen were notified that they had been written up for drinking in a dry dorm and violating Standard 3: “Promoting the peace, health and safety of the communit.” The write-ups stemmed from pictures of the students drinking that were posted online. Residence Life was notified of the pictures and took disciplinary action, citing the students for various offenses and notifying their parents of what happened.

While many will be shocked at the bizarre nature of the event, what Residence Life did was legal and outlined in the Cabrini student handbook. Residence Life had every right to pursue action against the students, even two weeks after the incident happened, because there was evidence to prove that a violation occurred.

The policy about Cabrini’s Internet is in the student handbook. The question Loquitur asked to Residence Life was whether the students were written-up because they were drinking underage or for using Cabrini’s Internet to put up the pictures. Residence Life did not comment on the specific incident due to student’s confidentiality, which makes the situation more ambiguous. The handbook has vague references to the use of evidence, going as far as to allow the submission of hearsay in some cases.

What happened and what Residence Life did confused many of the Loquitur staff members. Incidents are judged on a case-by-case basis-the nine freshmen were all given the same punishment, whether it was their first offense or not. The students’ parents were also notified and the pictures were sent to the parents. However, there is an inconsistency in the policies-in other related cases, one staff member got fined $50 for alcohol paraphernalia, while another got a warning-neither student’s parents were contacted.

In the Loquitur editorial discussion, there were many different opinions about the incident-some were outraged, some sided with Residence Life. The discussion turned to the college and what it is going to do now that incidents like this one happened. How far will Cabrini go to take disciplinary action against students?

Posted to the web by: Cecelia Francisco

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