BLAST, It’s The Cops, Where’s My RA?

There is a knock on the door, everyone goes silent, you look through the peephole, your heart skips a beat, it’s the police. This is a scene that is becoming entirely too familiar on UVM’s campus. Those of us forced to live in the dorms are constantly confronted with members of the UVM police force (who have all the powers of Vermont state troopers). Now, many of us, upon running into police in the dorms, might wonder what they are doing here. This is a valid question and one I have considered many times. The typical response seems to be, “For your safety.” Now I pose the question, isn’t it the job of the RA’s to patrol the dorms.

Now I’m not against UVM having its own police force, though I think the guns and state trooper authority may be a little over-the-top, there are plenty of things they are perfectly suited for. Responsibilities such as patrolling the campus, protecting the University’s property, and even responding to specific instances in the dorms, where their level of training and authority is required.

The problem I, and many other students have is their desire to linger about the dorms doing what is essentially an RA’s job. UVM’s Residential Life program is a good one, it deserves credit. The police force on campus, by taking over the disciplinary responsibilities of the RA’s are detracting from the authority and validity of the RA system. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make the dorms a haven of drugs and alcohol. I’m just trying to say that I don’t appreciate having a police officer size me up and question me when I try to walk down the hall to take a piss.

Authority on college campuses is a touchy subject, the RA system is a way of easing the transition between the authority of your parents house, and the authority of the real world, I implore you, UVM, let the current system work.