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 Security and Administration: Expulsion for Alcohol
 my experience
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7 Posts

Posted - 2006 April 11 :  23:02:36  Show Profile  Visit davidav87's Homepage  Send davidav87 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
From my experience, St. John's is incredibly liberal with alcohol/marijuana use. This is from the Santa Fe campus though. I never once had any trouble with it.

I gave that up a long time ago.


4 Posts

Posted - 2006 April 25 :  17:28:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
fyi: for some dank chronic, call matt davis
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The Great Pumpkin

8 Posts

Posted - 2006 October 10 :  02:02:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Times have changed in the short time since Mr. Vidaurre attended the Santa Fe campus of St. Johnís. The administration, perhaps worried about St. Johnís Collegeís reputation as a druggie school, has been taking progressively harsher steps to attempt to reduce drug and alcohol use on campus. The administration evidently believes that drugs and alcohol are incompatible with schoolwork, so every effort should be used to curb studentsí use of them. Sometimes the school acts directly, shutting down parties in apartments or suites for no particular reason, and the incident when security poured out a keg of beer at the senior prank party last semester is well known.

The administration claims that they are legally obligated to enforce the countryís drug laws, but it is a legitimate question as to what extent security should make busting students for drugs a priority. Securityís main purpose should be to protect the collegeís students, and I am concerned that the administration is encouraging security to spend a disproportionate amount of its energy attempting to stop studentsí drug and alcohol use. Security guards often act overzealously when they enter a dorm room, apartment, or suite for a non-drug related reason and use the opportunity to search studentsí living areas for drugs. This ultimately leads to a lack of trust in security and can make it more difficult for them to fulfill what should be their primary mission, to protect students. There was one such incident last semester in which security entered the suite of four senior girls. One of the four girls living there was being pursued by a stalker from California, and the ostensible purpose of securityís visit was to check to see if she was all right. They found a small amount of marijuana in the common room of the suite, and they reported this to the assistant dean, Ms. Adam. Ms. Adam questioned the residents of the suite to determine whose it was. No one confessed, and all four girls were in serious danger of not being allowed to graduate. One of the girls made the case that with drug use so common at St. Johnís and with so many visitors socializing in the common rooms of suites, it is not unusual for a student to leave a pipe with some pot in it in someone elseís common room. The administration, perhaps influenced by the negative publicity generated by the cocaine investigation in Annapolis the previous year, ultimately relented, and the girls were allowed to graduate. This incident demonstrates how misplaced the administrationís priorities are. The school used a serious problem (the stalker) as an excuse to check students for drugs. As a result of this incident, students may feel less comfortable seeking help from security in the future.

The administration has also sought to limit alcohol use at parties, and there are even rumors that the administrationís ultimate objective is to create a dry campus. In 2005, a week before reality, the big party at the end of the year, several students clung to the outside of an SUV while it was driven down the college driveway. One of the students, Ben Horton, fell off and seriously injured himself. Security called the police, who breathalyzed the driver of the car, another student, and subsequently arrested him for driving while over the legal limit. The administration opportunistically used Mr. Hortonís personal tragedy to decry the dangers of alcohol, claiming that Mr. Horton would never have engaged in such risky behavior if he hadnít been drinking. Of course, people decide to do risky but fun things all the time; the element of danger and excitement is one of the reasons that make such activities pleasurable. The school initially responded by banning alcohol at reality and wanted the sophomore class to donate the money raised for alcohol to help pay for Mr. Hortonís hospital bills. After students protested, the college backed off from this position, but there were many restrictions added to limit the use of alcohol at reality. For example, the number of kegs allowed would be limited. The kegs would be located in inconvenient places and would be open only at certain times. There would be no hard alcohol and no Saturday morning mimosas. No outside alcohol would be permitted, and seniors had to take turns observing other students to ensure that this rule was enforced. The administration told its students that they had no desire to permanently curtail the reality celebrations but that it would be inappropriate to throw an excessively debaucherous party so soon after a student had been seriously hurt. Students discovered in the fall that the administration had lied to them; the changes to the reality party were enshrined in the student handbook as permanent.

Sometimes the administration is not content to limit alcohol consumption at parties but decides to cancel parties altogether. At the last minute, Ms. Adam abruptly canceled last yearís Halloween party, originally scheduled the day after President Petersí Friday night inauguration party. She gave two reasons for this decision: because the first semester freshman essays were due the following Monday and because it would be too much of a distraction from schoolwork to hold two parties in one weekend. I am suspicious that Ms. Adam was motivated by more than lack of foresight in her last minute announcement of the Halloween partyís cancellation, as she knew for a long time the date the freshman essays were due and the date of the inauguration. Had she wanted to, she could have solved the supposed problem of having two parties in one weekend by announcing ahead of time that the Halloween party would be moved to the previous weekend. Alternatively, she could have moved the Halloween party to the weekend following the presidential inauguration. This would be less ideal as the party would then fall in November, but from studentsí perspective, this would be better than canceling the party outright. Itís pretty clear that the conflict with the inauguration was merely a pretext in order to do what the administration wanted to do anyway. By canceling the Halloween party, the administration killed two birds with one stone. The Halloween party is the sophomore classís first major reality fundraiser, so not only is one party canceled, but there is less money available for a bigger party at the end of the year.

These three incidents of administrative behavior that I have described all have something in common: the administration uses an external event as an excuse to combat drugs and alcohol. In all of these incidents, the administration allowed its obsession with drugs and alcohol to make studentsí lives more unpleasant. The four girls in the suite spent the end of their senior years worrying about whether they would be allowed to graduate instead of fully enjoying their farewell to the college. Students found their grief over their friendís injury cynically used as a tool to disturb their well-planned celebration. For no good reason, sophomores found that their preparations for the Halloween party had been wasted, and an opportunity for students to take a break from their studies and enjoy themselves at a college-sponsored event had been eliminated. College is a place for fun as well as work, and the administration shouldnít allow its worry about the possible abuse of drugs and alcohol to overpower its common sense.
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42 Posts

Posted - 2006 December 20 :  14:16:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are two recent incidents that support the claim that St. Johnís College is cracking down on parties and their concomitant drug and alcohol consumption. The Santa Fe campus allows cans of beer at private parties on campus but bans kegs of beer. Judith Adam, the assistant dean, extended this ban to the annual ark party in the mountains behind campus. Traditionally, students convey a beer keg in an ark to the mountains for an annual party in the mountains. She threatened students with expulsion if they brought a keg to the party this year. Students brought cans of beer instead, but unlike the plastic cups that accompany a keg, cans of beer cannot be so easily stacked together, and many students left empty beer cans on the mountain. Buildings and grounds employees had to climb up the mountains in order to clean up the mess afterward.

Every year, there are students who sell marijuana to others on campus and donate the profits to the reality party at the end of the year. Judith Adam called suspected drug dealing students into her office and threatened them with expulsion if they do so this year. Word of Judith Adamís threat has spread, and she has successfully dissuaded students from selling drugs to raise money for reality. However, it is unclear if this has successfully reduced drug use on campus, as students can now go elsewhere for their drug purchases.
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