Safety concerns cause CAC visitation rules reinforcement

By Lauren Reilly
September 9, 2004

Angelina Wagner

Students residing in the Cabrini Apartment Complex (CAC) must now comply with limitations placed on guest visitation hours. Due to past incidents and student requests, Residence Life has begun to reinforce rules that, in past years, had been otherwise overlooked.

The decision to enforce the pre-existing policies is a result of student’s concerns for safety. Last year, there were multiple incidents in the apartments involving theft and vandalism, ultimately creating an apprehensive atmosphere on campus. It was determined that the majority of these occurrences were at the hands of those visiting the campus; consequently, Residence Life and Public Safety determined that implementing the rules more thoroughly would, in due course, reestablish a sense of security for residents.

“When we looked into the complaints, we found that guests of Cabrini College students were often the people causing the disturbances. So in an effort to create a safer, more controlled environment, we decided that the already existing policies should be enforced throughout campus,” George Stroud, the director of Residence Life, said.

According to the Cabrini College Student Handbook, from Sunday to Thursday students are permitted to have guests between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 a.m. and on Friday and Saturday, students may have guests from 12 p.m. until 4 a.m. In Xavier, Woodcrest and New Residence halls, guest must sign in and out beginning at 8 p.m. and those visiting the CAC must also sign in and out starting at 10 p.m.

In addition to this, guests are expected to provide some sort of photo ID to those on duty as well as the contact information of the resident that they are visiting. In order for guests to stay longer than the permissible times, students must have the approval from the Residence Life Area Coordinator in their building. These requests should be made at least twenty-four hours in advance of the projected on-campus arrival of the guest to ensure authorization.

Senior psychology major Rich DeMatteo deems the generalization of student misconduct unjust for residents. “The school needs to reprimand those who deserve it. If there are problems with people coming in and breaking windows or starting fights, punish them, don’t punish everyone,” DeMatteo said.

Although these rules are not new to the visitation and guest policies designed by Residence Life, some students on campus are short of satisfied with the decision to implement visitation hours. Kevin Moore, a sophomore business major and current resident of the New Residence hall, disagrees with the curfew. “They should be treated like upperclassmen, not like they live in a freshmen dorm,” Moore said. Moore believes that unlike students living in dorms such as Xavier, Woodcrest and the New Residence hall, those housed in the apartments on campus should be permitted the freedoms and privileges that accompany the more independent environment provided by the college.

Kristen Getka, a third year resident assistant, feels it will help out the RA staff. “I think it will cut down on the irresponsible behavior going on in the complex,” Getka said.

DeMatteo thinks that the enforcement will lead to other, more unforeseen problems. “Being that I was unable to get housing, a good bit of my friends live there now. Everyone knows that students go to the apartments to drink and now I wonder what will happen to the commuters that have friends there that will go and drink until 2 a.m. on a Thursday night. Where do I go? If I get kicked out of the apartments am I supposed to sleep in my car or am I supposed to ponder driving home, something I, myself, would never do, but that’s what the school is almost leaving as an option,” DeMatteo said.

DeMatteo also believes that residents that live elsewhere on campus are at risk as well. “Come 2:00 am on a Thursday night, the school may have up to 300 pissed-off drunk people walking back to their rooms, which may start up some vandalism or violence,” DeMatteo said.

Charlie Schaffner, the director of Public Safety, states that there is the possibility of exceptions in cases where a visitor is too intoxicated to drive. “We will usually try to make some sort of arrangement with Residence Life so they have somewhere to stay. We certainly don’t want someone to kill themself because they must leave the campus,” Schaffner said.

Stroud substantiates Schaffner’s statement, but also emphasizes that it is important that students exercise accountability for the behaviors and actions of their guests. “We would not intentionally ask someone to get behind the wheel of a vehicle who was unable to safely operate it. It is true that most of the CAC residents are 21 or older and therefore are permitted to consume alcohol in their apartments. But no one, regardless of their age, should be consuming alcohol to the point of intoxication. To drink with the purpose of becoming drunk is irresponsible. If a resident has a guest, it is their responsibility to make sure that the guest does not over consume alcohol,” Stroud said.

Bearing in mind that students may not be keen to this alteration, Stroud asks that students understand these rules are for their benefit and Residence Life is open to suggestions. “I am always wiling to listen to the concerns of the residents. If students presente a clear plan that we felt would adequately address the issues that we are facing in the CAC, I would have no problem reconsidering these policies,” Stroud said.

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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Lauren Reilly

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