In this new series, The Reporter will publish student testimonials about their interactions with Public Safety officers. Names have been left out in order to protect the students’ identities. To submit your own story, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and it could be featured in our next issue.
According to an article from our Sept. 26 issue, Public Safety claims it is not doing anything differently this year in regard to write-ups. However, several students disagreed with the article and took the time to submit their own stories to The Reporter. These are their stories.
“I was held for approximately 45 minutes after having one of the officers taking down my information. Five p-safe officers present for ten kids. Was told that my parents were going to be notified of the incident immediately and there would be a serious ‘discussion’ of my behavior. When asking what the process was after the incident one of the p-safe officers replied with ‘I don’t really know, just wait for the RAs or something.’ The p-safe officers said we were being written up for drinking, possession of liquor, fire hazard number, etc… completely unnecessary. Refused to write down that I was not drinking when I asked them to please take note of it. The officer’s response was, ‘Aw is this your first time being written up honey bunny?’ Also told that this was going on my permanent record and ‘I hope you aren’t planning on being a lawyer or doctor or anything important because McDonald’s management is what it’s going to be now.’ Threatened to arrest alumni for trespassing, but did not due to ‘good behavior.’” – A Stetson junior female
“After entering a room without knowing there was any alcohol in it and only being in there for a few minutes, I found out P Safe was about to enter the room. We tried to slip out only to be questioned and harassed for about an hour. Wasn’t allowed to know exactly what was happening or what the procedure looked like, and every time I asked what was going on the officer who was holding us answered that [anonymous]had no idea and it was up to another officer. I asked what the judicial aspect would be like, and the officer informed me that it wouldn’t say that I wasn’t drinking just that I was in the presence of alcohol. Refused to write down that I didn’t have any alcohol or that I only had been in there for a few minutes. Told me that if I wanted to be a lawyer or anything of the sort that I should probably ‘give up that hope,’ after being written up.” – A Stetson junior female
“When I arrived at the scene there were four p-safe officers and they had [anonymous]in the hallway one in tears. They had begun searching [anonymous]room because of alcohol in the room. I didn’t hear them say anything derogatory to… [them]but I was present when they refused to pour out the alcohol after being asked to do so and when they had already poured out a previous container in the bathroom.” -A Stetson junior male
“…basically P-safe was just being disrespectful, the only one who was actually doing his job right was Officer Stacy, the rest of them thought that they were dealing with some drug dealers and try to use their “power” to scare us. Now what I do know is that they came to the room and saw all the beer cans and of course we were going to get written down because there were some underage students, that I’m not afraid to say that they weren’t drinking because they weren’t perhaps because it was too early in the night but never the less that is not the case. We asked the officers that were going to happen that way the other people in the room could have a feeling of what was going to happen to them. It wasn’t Officer Stacy it was the tall guy that actually thought it was going to funny to mock the people inside the room by saying ‘well I guess community college is not bad at all’, ‘you can still be well paid being the manager of a McDonalds,’ now we wouldn’t care less of those jokes but we were getting mad because he was scaring the other students, students that never been written up and are getting a really bad image of Stetson. Now we understand our punishment I am not justifying our case, I am just saying that they need to be professionals. Moreover when they had a chat with Nate Burke they thought it was a good idea to close the door while we were out in the hallway, like if they didn’t wanted us to see what was going on. So much that even officer Rich (that was in the hallway with us) said that they shouldn’t do that and he personally open the door.
After they open they got the two handles they said oh we will just take this for evidence now 1) what are they going to do with that smell it to see if its actual alcohol, take pictures because if so then the RAs did take pictures so I don’t understand. So much that I ask politely to Officer Stacy “why are you taking that instead of pouring it in the drain like we ALWAYS do. He said “well we need to inspect it”. They do what they need to do BUT why whenever we get caught we pour it in the drain? Now respectfully I want to say that the handles were: a Captain Morgan, and a Ciroc. I was more than happy to pour it myself b/c we paid for it in fact my roommate demanded that [anonymous]wanted to pour it instead of them taking it.
We don’t want trouble with P-safe we understand that they are there to make us feel safe and what not. But next time they should be a little more professionals and don’t try to act like the good cop bad cop because that only works in Hollywood. Just write us up, clear [anonymous]the night and that is it. Because now it is going to take a while for me to convince those people that were in my room to come back [anonymous]and have a good time, why should they if a P-safe mocked them by saying that they will end up in community college just b/c they were caught/written up.” – A Stetson junior male
University policies, according to the 2013-2014 Guide to Residential Living packet and the Student Code of Community Standards
ROOM SEARCHES: Authorized personnel may conduct room searches if they have “reasonable belief” that a university, Housing and Residential Life, state law, local ordinance or federal law is being violated in that room, or if it is an emergency situation. If a resident of that room is present, he or she will be asked for their consent to enter the room. If consent is not given, then the university can grant requests to search the resident’s room. Public Safety is allowed to remove items that violate any of the rules or laws mentioned above.
ALCOHOL: Students 21 and over are allowed to have beer, wine, wine coolers and malt beverages as long as it is not in excessive amounts. However, the community standards do not outline how much alcohol is “excessive.” Hard liquor is prohibited. Even if you are 21 years old, you are prohibited from consuming alcohol if someone in the same room is under 21. Alcohol is prohibited from common areas. Kegs, party balls, beer bongs, punch bowls, boxes of wine and other “common sources” of alcohol are prohibited on campus. Empty alcohol containers can be confiscated as they are paraphernalia. Also, alcohol policy violations can result in the immediate disposal of the alcohol on the scene. Students seeking help for another intoxicated student will not have judicial charges brought against them, regardless of whether they are using or possessing drugs or alcohol. However, this Medical Amnesty Policy does not apply to students who are “experiencing an alcohol or drug-related medical emergency.” They can still be held accountable for their actions under the university’s judicial process.
BARS: Bars, or any structure that looks like it is intended to distribute alcohol, are prohibited. It is up to the discretion of university staff members.
PARENTAL CONTACT: The university reserves the right of any student’s parents, “especially those involving allegations of alcohol or illegal drug use by students under the age of 21.”