Undergraduate says police didn’t need to be called to her dorm

When it comes to safety, RAs are taught to ere on the side of caution, but one student says that they overreacted when they called the police to her dorm recently.A freshman physical therapy student said that she came back to her dorm one night and vomited after consuming alcohol, but that it was not necessary for the RA to call the police.She threw up once in the bathroom and a couple RAs came in and asked if she was okay, she said. “My boyfriend [told them] that I was fine. Then a different RA came back in a few minutes and asked, if I was okay,” she said.The student said she again explained that she was fine, but that the RA said that the police had already been called.”The RA was like, ‘I wish you had told me that 10 seconds ago, because I already called the police,'” she said.She said that she was frustrated that the RAs called the police before checking on her and realizing that she was alright.However, others said they believe that the RAs acted appropriately.  “The RAs role is calling UVM rescue for someone who is actively vomiting, can’t walk, slurring their speech,” Assistant Director for Athletic Campus and Peer Judicial Board Adviser Christina Olstad said.The RA shouldn’t make the decision of whether or not the student is okay if that student consumed alcohol and has been vomiting, Olstad said.”I am just frustrated that they never said anything [to me] about calling the police, and that nobody could back it up and say, ‘she is fine, she is breathing, she is talking and she is coherent,'” the first year student said.Peer Judicial Board members can’t say that an RA has gone too far, because everyone has a different level of feeling safe, Olstad said.”I can’t determine what safety feels like for you. We say if you do not feel safe, or if these types of behaviors are occurring, call [UVM Rescue],” she said.We don’t want to put RAs in that position where they might put themselves in some liability, Assistant Residence Director Tomás Sanchez said.”RAs aren’t trained as well as medical professionals are. Therefore it’s not up to [RAs] to determine who needs to be taken to the emergency room; it’s really the UVM rescue folks,” Sanchez said.Very rarely can RAs handle a situation on their own. The most that they can do is get names, make sure to record the time, the circumstance, and what was said, RA Gina Cocchiaro said.”I personally would try and ask a few questions to gauge whether or not I felt the person was intoxicated,” Cocchiaro said. “It would also depend on my level of knowledge of the actual resident. If I felt that I knew them on a pretty personal level, I would try and probe a little bit and maybe try and go by their word more so than somebody I did not know.”However, RAs are not qualified to handle situations where residents need medical attention or could potentially get violent, she said.”The school is not about to pay for us to all get first aid certified.” Cocchiaro said. “They are not about to train us all as EMTs, they are not going to teach us martial arts or how to defend ourselves and they are not going to give us a weapons.”