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.