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Housing tightens alcohol, smoking policies

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Christina Collins Burton
Editorial Director

With the start of the new school year, the housing office has updated its policies to make them easier to understand and implement.

Housing has increased enforcement of anti-drug and alcohol policies and expanded its no-smoking policy to extend outside the dorms.

“We went through and rewrote our policies because we thought they weren’t the easiest to read and we wanted residents to know what they were responsible for,” said Housing Director Juan Regalado.

In the past, housing staff were more passive in dealing with such policy, but now that they have revised and clarified rules for residents, housing will be more up front with residents.

In order to make the policy run more smoothly resident advisers were trained in the new policy as quickly as possible.

“We read up on the policy and played Policy Jeopardy,” Rebekah Reza, resident adviser to Brandt Hall, said. “We learned to incorporate them and it made it much easier to memorize.”

“The R.A.’s are very quick to get back to you,”freshmen Oaks B top resident Elaine Huynh said. “If you have a problem don’t let it go, the housing staff are very understanding of your situation.”

Another change in policy includes making sure courtesy hours are respected like all other policies.

While courtesy hours have always been present in the housing policy, they were always assumed to be an obvious rule.

Now resident advisers can document students who are reported to be violating policy.

One change that has many students talking is the restriction of hookahs in housing.

“I think the hookah rule this year is a little ridiculous but I can understand why they had to crack down because of some of the problems that had happened last year,” Jessica Gerard, Oaks F bottom resident said.

With restricted smoking areas dotted around campus, housing is doing their part to further enforce the smoking policy.

Other changes include harsher punishment for violation of the alcohol and drug policy.

Last year the housing department battled with attempts by student to pass off medical marijuana cards as reason to possess marijuana on campus.

Medical marijuana cards are prohibited on the University’s grounds, as laid out in housing policies.

Students who violate this policy are subject to judicial review.

The housing process includes the review by a housing or university judicial officer.

Students can present information regarding the alleged violation both in person and through written documents.

However, depending on the situation, first time offenders in possession of drugs or being present where drugs are being used may be subject for automatic housing contract cancellation.

“I agree with the policies; if you do anything wrong don’t bring your mess back to the dorms,” Huynh said. “People think we have more freedom to go out and do what we want, but we do have to take care of ourselves in the dorms.”

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