University tightens off-campus party policy

By on November 7, 2013

UPDATE:

The university will dismiss students who host off-campus parties broken up by the Hamden Police Department, Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson said in a press release.

“This semester has been a difficult one for us and the university,” Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said.

The Hamden Police Department broke up 14 off-campus parties two weekends ago when the Hamden police charged 22 students, according to a press release from Captain Ronald Smith of the Hamden Police Department.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Monique Drucker emailed students Monday night, reminding them to act responsibly off campus.

“We are equally committed to providing our neighbors in the towns of Hamden, North Haven and New Haven a pleasurable experience with our students,” Drucker said in her email. “Whether you reside in the surrounding community or are a resident student visiting the nearby towns, it is our expectation that you share in this commitment.”

Drucker cautioned students they were “placing [their] student status in jeopardy” if they violated the Student Code of Conduct and the Good Neighbor Policy.

The Good Neighbor Policy states the university has the right to reprimand students who behave inappropriately off campus.

“Quinnipiac reserves the right to address, through the Student Code of Conduct process,

incidents which occur off campus that may endanger the health, safety and welfare of others and/or adversely affect the University and/or the pursuit of its objectives” the Good Neighbor Policy says.

Sophomore Marisa Raguso plans to live off campus next year and said the university should not be involved with off-campus parties.

“You’re living off campus, you’re paying for a house. You’re not on Quinnipiac’s campus anymore,” she said. “If you have a house party in high school they’re not going to kick you out of high school. You were at home.”

Senior Michael Levene, who lives off campus, thinks the parties are part of a larger problem.

“Right now we’re having an issue with the town even without parties going on,” Levene said. “I think a big issue is that the campus is running out of places to house the kids, so they’re moving off campus, but the town doesn’t really like the kids moving off campus, so here we are in a pickle.”

Senior Kerry Richardson, who lives off campus, believes the university’s policy does not affect her as much since she is 21.

“I understand why it has to be so strict, just because they want to hold a good reputation,” Richardson said. “But I think it’s also hard for students just because it’s really causing a negative effect on the social scene for students.”

The majority of students who live off campus are responsible, Wydra said, but some have caused problems in Hamden.

“There are some [students] who have caused major disturbances that have disrupted the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and jeopardized public safety overall,” Wydra said.

The many off-campus parties may be the result of the New Haven police’s effort to prevent minors from going to bars and restaurants, according to Wydra. The increasing violence in New Haven may also be a contributing factor in keeping students in Hamden.

“The Hamden Police Department will continue to work collaboratively with Quinnipiac University officials, and take swift action against those whose behavior adversely impacts the safety and security of the residents of Hamden,” Wydra said.

However, the Hamden police’s goal is not to arrest students, Wydra said.

“One of the last things we want to do when we respond to a house party is arrest people. That’s not our primary mission,” he said. “We want the quality of life in the neighborhood to be at a level that people expect, but we will be strict in enforcing laws, especially where there has been repeated violations.”

Although most people associate an arrest with being handcuffed and taken to the police station, people can be arrested and processed on the spot without going to the station, Wydra said.

“We don’t necessarily have the time to bring people in, photograph them, fingerprint them, go through that whole process,” Wydra said. “That ties officers up for an extended period of time and so it’s a quicker way, it’s a quicker process to issue somebody a summons at a scene. It frees the officers up so they can keep responding to service calls that keep coming in.”

Rather than having the university hire more Hamden police officers, the Hamden police will reposition its officers so more people are working on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, according to Wyrda.

“In conversations and communications that I’ve had over the last few days with the university, what we’ve done instead of hiring more is sort of shift some of our resources to more times where these events are happening,” Wydra said.

Other universities have different ways of dealing with off-campus parties. At Yale University, students who hold “social gatherings” with more than 50 people off campus must register the event with the Dean’s Office, according to Yale’s Undergraduate Regulations. The host is then held responsible for the behavior of the guests.

Wydra said he hopes students listen to the university’s warning to dismiss students who host parties broken up by the police.

However, Richardson does not believe the university’s new line will be effective.

“I think that that’s the atmosphere of college and I think unfortunately no matter how strict they are, people are still going to have parties,” she said. “I almost feel like maybe if they weren’t so strict it would be better because they make it such a negative thing, but at the same time they have to understand this is college.”

 

ORIGINAL:

Students who host off-campus parties broken up by the Hamden Police Department will face dismissal by the university, Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson said in a press release from Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan.

“The university works tirelessly to teach the importance of community to our students, and we fully expect them to act responsibly when they are living off campus,” Thompson said.

Last weekend, the Hamden Police Department broke up 14 off-campus parties where the Hamden police charged 22 students, according to a press release from Captain Ronald Smith of the Hamden police.

“The warning comes as a result of the Hamden Police Department and the university redoubling their efforts to reduce the number of off-campus parties and educate students about what it means to be responsible members of the Hamden community,” Morgan said in the press release.

This is a plan the university and the Hamden police will work together on.

“The Hamden Police Department will continue to work collaboratively with Quinnipiac University officials, and take swift action against those whose behavior adversely impacts the safety and security of the residents of Hamden,” Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said.

The majority of students who live off-campus are responsible, Wydra said.

“There are some [students] who have caused major disturbances that have disrupted the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and jeopardized public safety overall,” Wydra said.

Comments

About Julia Perkins

Editor-in-Chief
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @JuliaPerkinsHP
Year: 2016
Major: Print journalism