UPD mulls increased patrols in dorms following announcement of change in residence hall staff duties

University Police will decide this summer if officers will patrol the dorms more often next year because of the change in the role of resident housing advisers.

Community Living and Learning Center staff announced last month that next year the community facilitator position will be eliminated in residence halls and replaced by class-specific house staff. These new advisers will not be responsible for documenting policy violations or making rounds in the buildings next year, as CFs have done this year and in the past.

UPD Chief Dolores Stafford said the department has not decided whether officers will patrol dorms more frequently because of the changes in the resident advisers’ role. The advisers will be called house proctors, house scholars or house mentors depending on the hall.

“We haven’t made an official decision yet,” Stafford said. “We are looking at how officers patrol residence halls and that decision should be made over the summer.”

CLLC officials said the new house staff positions will focus on fostering a better relationship among students and not on reporting students for disciplinary action, such as liquor, drug and noise violations.

Tara Woolfson, director of Student Judicial Services, said in an e-mail last week that UPD will be responsible for documenting policy violations within dormitories next year with little help from house staff.

“The University Police Department will be the primary policy enforcers and will be responsible for documenting incidents on campus, including the residence halls,” Woolfson wrote. “House proctors, house scholars and house mentors will not typically be involved in responding to or documenting policy violations.”

The move marks a shift from current policy, in which CFs roam residence halls and document policy violations.

Stafford said that while house staff will not report policy violations, they can still help UPD when needed. The current frequency with which UPD officers patrol dorm hallways depends on what classes live in the building; freshman halls are typically patrolled the most often.

“One of the differences will be that the proctors, scholars and mentors will be on call as opposed to conducting rounds in the houses and will not be ‘enforcers,'” she wrote in an e-mail last week. “They will, when called upon, assist UPD.”

Stafford said that UPD will continue to actively patrol residence halls and will be the primary point of contact in safety, security and behavioral matters next year. She said she is not concerned about an increase in behavioral problems in dorms next year when the house staff largely do not participate in documenting or reporting policy violations.

Woolfson said that SJS is also not concerned about an increase in behavioral incidents next year because UPD is already the primary policy enforcer in residence halls.

“As community facilitators are not disciplinarians in the residence halls currently,” she wrote, “we are not concerned about changes in student behavior when they are no longer present.”

-Michael Barnett contributed to this report.

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