Off-campus living is the next step in independence for many sophomores, but what many students donâ€™t realize is their off-campus actions could still have repercussions for them at Colorado State University.
Police in Fort Collins, Loveland, the rest of Colorado, or even police out of state, often refer citations written to students or criminal offenses committed by students to CSUâ€™s Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, CRSCS, located in Aylesworth Hall.
â€œWe have a responsibility in the Fort Collins community to address the behavior of our students,â€ said Craig Chesson, CRSCS Director.
CRSCS considers a student to be anyone who is admitted to the university, studies at CSU or has any ongoing relationship with CSU. This includes off-campus students who often do not consider their activities part of university business.
If CRSCS receives a referral, staff decides if the offense warrants their involvement, and the student meets with a hearing officer and is given a chance to talk about their offense. They are often assigned an educational program to participate in, if CRSCS thinks that they need the help.
â€œWhen youâ€™re a student, your behavior impacts the reputation of the university,â€ Chesson said
Jenni McDermott, a sophomore human development and family studies major, was ticketed for a noise violation after she threw a party in her apartment over the summer.
â€œWe were very cooperative. Everybody left the party,â€ McDermott said.
McDermottâ€™s cooperation with Fort Collins Police Services got the $1,000 ticket reduced to $125 and she did not have to take classes through the city.
Nonetheless, she was required to go through a university program.
McDermott met with a conduct officer and was assigned to the Party Partners Program, a two-hour seminar led by an off-duty police officer and a CRSC employee who instruct students on how to party safely.
â€œIâ€™m just more aware of what I should have done differently,â€ McDermott said.
To help keep students out of CRSCS, Off-Campus Life is a resource located in the Lory Student Center that works with students who live or are seeking to live in their own places.
The office also has party registration. Students can submit their names, two phone numbers and an address to Off-Campus Life, who then provides police dispatchers with the information.
Information stays in the hands of the dispatchers, and when a noise complaint is made to an address on the list, the dispatcher places a warning call.
Only 1 percent of 540 students who have used the service have received citations, according to Jean Ortega, director of Off-Campus Life.
In addition, the Community Liason program allows Off-Campus Life to work with students and neighbors to promote positive relationships by holding things like neighborhood meetings and involving students in clean-up programs to improve neighborhood relations.
Ortega and Chesson agree that the best way to prevent trouble and neighborhood disagreements is simply to get neighbors to meet with each other.
â€œThey are parents of someone too, they are families of someone too,â€ Ortega said.
Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at email@example.com.