Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Jennifer Wendel, Staff Writer
Over the last few weeks Residential (Res) Life has stirred controversy on campus by firing Resident Assistant Darrin Camilleri (K‘14) from his position in Severn for breeching alcohol policy. Though there has been a lot of miscommunication and confusion over the event, Res Life has remained characteristically quiet on the matter.
Current RA Rachel Cohan (K’12) is not sure that Res Life handled the matter correctly. “We’re representing the college,” she said, but “there have been underage RAs who drink probably every year, but obviously people don’t get fired every year.”
When asked via email about Res Life alcohol policies, Associate Dean of Students Dana Jansma replied that students must abide by all college policies and state, federal and local laws. She also provided an RA job description, but it made no mention of alcohol policies.
The RA job description states: “RAs serve students in the residence halls by building strong communities, making connections, programming, serving as role models, taking responsibility for administrative tasks, educating and holding students accountable for their behavior, serving as resources and being team players.” The question for some is where RAs stop being able to complete these duties.
Res Life does have its own rules it must follow too. “Res Life can’t really say it’s cool if you [underage drink] because it’s against state law,” said Cohan.
Camilleri believes that Res Life’s current policies do more harm than good. “At a school of this size, RAs should not have their every move monitored by the community when they are not on duty or in the dorm,” said Camilleri in an open letter on Facebook. “It’s unhealthy for the community to know that one’s actions are constantly being monitored and could be reported to administrators,” he wrote.
“Res Life does not like watching RAs,” counters Cohan. “ They don’t want us to get in trouble, but that’s part of the job,” she said.