College may be a time for students to be free from their parents and make their own rules, but that doesnâ€™t mean they can ignore those of Colorado State University, where special regulations are set on campus and in residence halls to ensure safety and security.
But, with all of the rules students have to follow, they also have rights of their own, according to Corporal Ramsey Crochet of the Support and Events Unit on campus.
â€œStudents in the residence halls have all of the same rights under the Fourth Amendment,â€ Crochet said.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. And while many students believe resident assistants are able to walk into a room without their permission, this is not always the case.
Resident assistants, or RAs, monitor dorm halls and enforce CSU rules and regulations, including those against keeping alcohol, drugs, weapons or candles in studentsâ€™ rooms.
â€œIf an RA feels as though a rule is being broken, they have to knock on the door. The student then has the right to refuse opening the door,â€ said Laura Giles, the director of Residence Life.
â€œStudents have the right to answer the door or not,â€ Giles said, adding that the only time an RA can come into a room without being let in is when they have a health or safety concern for a student.
â€œWhen medical attention is needed, the resident assistant is accompanied by a police officer to understand the situation and to offer support for the staff,â€ Giles said.
Students may have alcohol or drugs in their room, but if the door is not answered no one can enter, Giles said.
With that, if the student is suspected of possessing those items, not answering the door can be held as evidence that the student could have drugs or alcohol. Other evidence could include hearing bottles clinging or smelling marijuana.
Once an RA has reasonable evidence, they can then get into contact with the CSU police department for a warrant. The resident assistants will then want to hold a meeting with the student to talk about their actions and the regulations, Giles said.
For some freshmen, including business major and Durward Hall resident Will Robinson, these policies makes sense.
â€œI feel like itâ€™s a really good policy because the authorities have never been able to enter a room without a warrant, and I think it is good that the RAs canâ€™t come in automatically,â€ Robinson said.
Collegian writer Jordan Jacoby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org