Part of the role of Student Judicial Services is handling off-campus incidents that are brought to the University’s attention by Metropolitan Police, said David Pine, SJS manager.
We don’t go out looking for this, Pine said. If MPD breaks up a party, and we receive a report, than we deal with it.
That policy has angered several students, who say they moved off campus to avoid the University judicial process.
Junior Josh Field received a letter from SJS this month after a party at his house on New Hampshire Avenue was broken up by MPD.
Field said MPD officers came into his house and then contacted University Police, which wrote an incident report about the party.
I think if it’s an off-campus issue; it should be dealt with by Metro Police, Field said.
He said he thinks MPD has been handing incidents off to GW because they are not priority issues for the city.
The alcohol, the party issues are not huge issues for them to deal with, Field said. They’re using UPD as an extra force.
UPD Director Dolores Stafford said there is no formal process between MPD and UPD for forwarding incidents, but some MPD officers either come to UPD headquarters or call the office after an incident.
We have some responsibility for people who are GW students whether they are on campus or off, she said.
Because the community and the local media do not decipher between on- and off-campus incidents, the University has a stake in all incidents involving GW students, Stafford said.
If it ultimately affects the University and affects the students, then the University has the right to take judicial action where they deem appropriate, she said.
A junior who had a disciplinary conference earlier this semester said he was given community service by SJS for a party in his off-campus house that he did not attend.
I didn’t feel it really had anything to do with GW, said the junior, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. MPD didn’t want to deal with the paperwork.
Pine said students are subject to the University Code of Conduct for their behavior both on and off campus.
But Field said he left campus to escape the University’s arm.
If we were living in the dorms, under the rules of the University, then that’s fine, he said. When you’re living by yourself off campus, we shouldn’t be subject to University rules.
I don’t think it’s their responsibility to keep tabs on us, he said.