McAuley is “mayhem”

When John Montoya, a freshman and resident of McAuley Hall, came home from a party on Oct. 17, he never expected someone to fall out of his second-story window.A local high school student partying in his dorm on Trinity campus fell two stories while trying to escape  RA  confrontation, breaking his femur in the process.The police were already in the dorm for a different incident that night, McAuley resident Krista Pulie said.”It was really mayhem,” Montoya said.This incident reflects many of the problems that have been occurring at McAuley Hall since the beginning of the semester.”We have had a very high rate of documentations regarding alcohol and drugs, as well as basic community disrespect,” Brian Hooks, residence director of Jeanne Mance and Trinity, said.”On average, three to four students were detoxed every weekend,” he said.Additionally, UVM Police Services’ crime log for October 2009 cited seven fire alarms, two medical assists, four drug offenses and numerous other issues involving alcohol at the hall.However, some McAuley residents are proud of what has been going on.”I think President Fogel said that McAuley [floors] two and three are the worst floors in all of UVM and, since UVM is one of the best party schools in the country, that makes us one of the best party floors,” Montoya said.Although some residents are not concerned, to many, these incidents are still a problem.”Parents have called asking, ‘What’s going on at Trinity?’ When that’s happening, it is clear that something needs to be done,” said Stacey Miller, director of Residential Life.Hooks held a mandatory meeting for all McAuley residents the morning after the incident, where students were told they would be in lock down and receive no more warnings from RAs.According to several students, Hooks was amazed that the destructive behavior escalated to this point.”[Hooks] said it was a disgrace that he was called back here at two in the morning,” freshman and McAuley resident Ben Weigher said. “He said he wants us to have fun, but we had taken it way past that.”The cause of all these problems may be that McAuley is an all-freshman dorm — a situation the University tries to discourage, Miller said.”When first-year students come, they tend to test the boundaries more,” Miller said.According to UVM Police Services, 68 out of the 128 students detoxed in 2009 were freshmen and 74 out of the 128 detoxes that occurred happened in residence halls.Despite the attempt to avoid all-freshman halls, with such a large freshman class, it is inevitable, Miller said.Staffing is also an issue — this year McAuley Hall’s 167 freshman residents are overseen by only three RAs.Students are raising questions about what the University plans to do next year when they admit an even larger freshman class.