University Housing does not plan to change its policy of
reprimanding house fellows for underage drinking episodes on or off
campus after recent incidents brought the issue to light.

Under the current guidelines, University Housing demands some
sort of punitive action if a house fellow drinks with a minor.
These measures range from a letter in the offender’s personal
record to putting the individual on probation to termination.

“What we have said to house fellows [is] we’re most
concerned about what happens on campus,” Assistant Director
of Housing Kay Reuter-Krohn said. However, she added that
off-campus activity can interfere with house fellows’
responsibility.

Reuter-Krohn said house fellows act as role models, and when
something happens out of the residence halls and does not directly
affect residents, action could still be taken.

“It becomes a job issue when house fellows could lose
respect,” Reuter-Krohn said, adding that when rumors or
details of events spread, it makes it harder for house fellows to
do their job.

Earlier this semester, three house fellows from Witte Hall
resigned from their positions after an outing where alcohol was
served to someone under 21 at a bar. At least three house fellows
returned to the residence halls and drank alcohol in a
residence-hall room.

Four to seven house fellows were also put on probation as a
result of this incident.

Assistant Resident Life Director for Communities Larry Davis
could not comment on specifics of this particular case but said all
accusations must be investigated before any disciplinary action is
taken.

“We have the option of finding [an employee] not guilty or
guilty,” Davis said.

Davis also said the intention to force resignations after the
discovery of breaking rules is never stated in University Housing
policy.

“We would never put pressure on people to resign,”
Davis said. “I would never want to see someone
resign.”

However, Davis said in the past student employees have offered
to resign to better their situation, leading to their departure
from University Housing and clearing them of other actions UW would
take.

On average, three house fellows leave UW Housing over the course
of a 12-month period for a variety of personal or disciplinary
reasons. Very few of the 107 house fellows serving UW are under
probation. Probation could lead to a variety of restrictions, Davis
said.

House fellows are given notice of poor job performances and are
informed if their efforts must change.

Supervisors give student employees a face-to-face orientation
before hiring them and describe the effects disobeying housing
rules could have on their employment, Davis said.