On Jan. 20, residents of the Mathias dorm received an email outlining an increase in punishment for marijuana related write-ups. While first semester incidents had been met with a range of repercussions, all second-semester disciplinary meetings involving marijuana will result in automatic probation.
Matt Edwards, RLC of Mathias, Jackson, and Arthur, adopted the new disciplinary standard shortly after it was implemented in Slocum, although neither the Inn nor Lennox house will be affected.
After talking to Zachary Kroger, the Slocum RLC, Edwards decided the same disciplinary measures would be beneficial in his dormitory as well.
The new standard of punishment for marijuana use seems to prioritize stopping smoking in dorms over stopping drinking. The RLC’s explain that this is due to the larger community impact.
“If you’re getting drunk and ripping bulletin boards down, there’s going to be a pretty severe outcome,” said Kroger. “But if you’re having a beer watching a football game, then nobody knows. The unfortunate thing with weed is you can be chilling in your room and not making problems, but it reeks everywhere.”
The community is often more annoyed by the smell of marijuana than is typically perceived by the smoker. In many cases, offended residents are unwilling to raise the issue directly with their neighbors. As a result, smokers often underestimate the affect of their actions.
Edwards also cites community impact as the reason for the change. “It’s the number one complaint that I get from students,” he said.
Although he is typically against harsh sanctions, Edwards found himself out of options, unable to reduce the number of smoking incidents through other means. Edwards believes the new measure will mostly affect repeat offenders who have refused to desist in the past, and is heartened by the positive response that he has received from the community.
“Most people who come to me have been overwhelmingly positive,” said Edwards. “Many think it’s better to be in the building now.”
In the week following the implementation, there have been no marijuana-related incidents.