Tension rises over CAC desk

By Jana Fagotti
November 21, 2002

Harold William Halbert

Concerned residents of the Cabrini Apartment Complex voiced their opinions without hesitation on Tuesday, Nov. 19, when the Residence Hall Association hosted an open forum concerning the front desk in the CAC.

The Dixon House lounge was anything but a place to relax on Tuesday, as CAC residents gathered for the open forum. Kevin Quaglia, president of the RHA, as well as the executive vice president and secretary of RHA were also present.

Residence Coordinator, Angie Hodgeman, who is also the resident director of the apartment complex, attended the forum offering support and an open-mind for her residents, as well as Mike Quickel, residence director of Xavier, Student Government President Bern Hazel, and secretary Jesse Gluckman. Dr. Richard Neville, vice president of student activities, and Director of Residence Life, David Carpenter were not in attendance.

Security guards and RDs have been sitting at a desk, placed in the front of the CAC, every night for the past two weeks. Residents of the apartment complex, who were used to simply swiping their identification cards and entering freely, are now required to sign guests in and out. The desk has brought a lot of security to some residents and a lot of stress to others.

Hodgeman explained that the desk was put in place for a number of reasons: “One, by student request, and two, for vandalism.” In the apartments, there has been a substantial amount of vandalism, disruptive behavior, and reported physical and sexual assaults. This was all taken into consideration when the decision to place the desk in the apartments was made. Quickel said that the original concept of the front desk was to “promote safety and security.” However, the residents were not consulted in the decision to add the desk and the forum served as a place for annoyed residents to express their concerns and complaints.

“Where do we go so people will listen?” Mike Piccoli, a junior, said.

“We are here for you,” Quaglia said. Secretary Megan Hartman, a senior and resident of the CAC, sat at his side taking notes for a meeting being held today between Quaglia and Neville to discuss the policies that will take place concerning the desk.

“I want a desk. Things were stolen from my apartment,” senior Jamie Getka, CAC resident assistant, said. The apartment complex has been a place where doors are left open and unlocked without second thought. A resident responded to Getka by suggesting that she start locking her door. “We asked for more security than that,” Getka said.

“I do not want it,” Candice Linehan, a senior and CAC resident, said. Linehan said that she feels the minority of the building has won in the case of the desk. “A petition has been circulating throughout the apartments in which the majority of the students do not want the desk,” Linehan said.

Toya Bradley, another CAC resident, feels that much of the activites that take place in the Residence Halls are “childish.” Bradley said “I do not like the desk but leave it there. Maybe a higher level of maturity will be reached.”

The guest policy of the apartments was also briefly discussed. There is a campus-wide policy that each resident is only allowed two guests. However, Neville is open to the idea of unlimited guests but nothing is set in stone.

Residents have a hard time believing that their ideas and concerns will be heard and respected by the Residence Life staff. “Administration and RAs are the first ones to disrespect student concerns. When are they going to start listening and stop taking our rights?” Piccolli said.

“It is disrespectful that the people who need to hear this are not here,” Getka said. Many students agreed with Getka and Piccolli on the issue of disrespect campus-wide. “Students are not being listened to and that is a problem,” Hazel said. Further concerns arose with public safety and the abuse of power over the CAC residents. Kerri Houseman, a senior and CAC third-floor resident, told a story of how she had to convince an officer that she, in fact, lived in the complex after knocking on a neighbor’s door in her hallway. “I was not allowed to knock on a door,” Houseman said.

Pasqual Bocchicchio said “The desk itself does not have an effect, but fired up peers affect residents.”

The students were asked to make suggestions about the desk, which is permanent to the apartment complex. Senior and CAC resident Amanda Cappelli suggested that the desk only be in place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights when the complex has a higher population of visitors. Residents even expressed interest in the idea of student leaders running the desk as opposed to public safety. The idea of security cameras, visitor buzzers and additional phones was discussed and will be presented to Neville, as well as other student concerns expressed during the duration of the evening.

CAC residents are still confused as to why their privileges were revoked so abruptly. They have questions that will remain unanswered until the proper lines of communication are opened.

A campus-wide forum is currently being scheduled to discuss the decisions made about the desk in the CAC before Thanksgiving break.

Related Stories:

  • Officials respond to CAC desk
  • Editorial: Residents should make call on CAC desk
  • Perspective: CAC desk annoying
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    Jana Fagotti

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