Three house fellows from Witte Hall resigned under threat of termination earlier this semester as a result of an outing where alcohol was served to an underage house fellow, according to sources close to those involved and confirmed by Witte residents knowledgeable of the incident.
Under housing guidelines, if a house fellow knowingly consumes alcohol with a minor, he or she is subject to immediate dismissal.
Over the winter recess, a group of house fellows went to local bars before the Witte residents returned for the spring semester. Upon returning to Witte, at least three house fellows continued to drink in a room, with at least one of them younger than 21, the sources said.
Additionally, another four to seven house fellows from the residence hall were put on probation as a result of the incident.
Witte house fellow Brad Dolezel said all three vacancies have been filled since the resignations.
Chrissy Wild, Kevin Otten and Ashley Irvine were said to have been the house fellows who resigned from their positions.
Otten, who could not be reached for comment, reportedly told his superiors about the incident without warning the other people involved; he turned in himself and his colleagues.
The house fellow under 21 went to a bar with her coworkers, using a fake I.D. to get in and obtain alcohol, according to one of Wild’s former Witte Hall residents, sophomore Aaron Wiegel.
“[Wild] was 21 at the time,” Wiegel said, adding that his former house fellow told him she did not know there was an underage person in their midst. Wiegel added he did not feel her forced resignation was justifiable.
“She didn’t want to resign,” Wiegel said. “But there’s nothing she could do about it.”
Both Wild and Irvine refused to comment on the issue, though Wild said she “was not fired” and that the topic is emotional for her. Irvine said she did not want to talk about it in “any way, shape or form.”
Wiegel, who said he liked his former house fellow, said Wild was forced to leave her room in Witte and moved into some friends’ apartments.
“If she was drinking on the floor and making a disruption and being a bad role model [I could see dismissing Wild], but students weren’t even here,” Wiegel said about Wild’s departure.
Wiegel’s roommate, Steve Ruona, agreed, saying Wild was a good house fellow. He does not agree with the university’s actions in the case.
“I didn’t think [forcing a resignation] was really necessary,” Ruona said.
Kristen Gurney, a house fellow at Kronshage Hall, said drinking with a minor leads to automatic dismissal, adding it is a house fellow’s responsibility to know with whom he or she may party.
Gurney, who said she only heard rumors of the Witte Hall incident, said she does not know any house fellows who would knowingly drink with minors.
“We have respect for our jobs,” Gurney said.
The house fellows’ superiors, Witte Residence Life Coordinators and University Housing employees Jenni Adams and Laura Guthrie, could not be reached for comment before press time.