Letter to the Editor: Off-Campus Discipline Policy Is Unjust

The Setonian featured an article last issue that explained Seton Hall University’s office of Com­munity Development’s policy on penalties for noise ordinance violations or any other police re­ports that take place at off-cam­pus residences here in South Or­ange. The policy places students who live in non-school funded residences liable to fines and other punishments for being involved in reports from the South Orange Po­lice Department. These students are subjected to appearing before the Community Standard Review Board upon request. The policy was implemented by the Univer­sity under the pretense that Seton Hall University students represent the school and its principles even when they are not on campus. However, the reality is that this policy unjustly holds off campus students in a state of “double jeop­ardy,” having to pay the school after paying the South Orange Po­lice Department for the very same offense.

Typically the offense is a noise violation, which carries a$180 penalty for first time offenders. Couple this fine with a two hun­dred dollar fine from the Commu­nity Standard Review Board and you have minimal offense adding up to over $400. The off campus discipline policy is a utterly disap­pointing example of exploitation of Seton Hall University students and the number of under gradu­ates falling prey to this policy is growing.

What is even more disappoint­ing is the school’s abandoning of the students living in the Village of South Orange and its refusal to classify Seton Hall and its stu­dents as an active and vibrant part of the South Orange commu­nity. Winston Roberts’ comments that “South Orange is not a col­lege town,” and that “the culture of a college town is not infused in South Orange” are not only off base but they are also a pure example of the administrations’ abandonment of the off campus resident population. Seton Hall students contribute to our sur­rounding community in every way possible. Businesses in South Orange benefit greatly from our business while classes are in ses­sion. We volunteer our time to lo­cal charities and intern at various business establishments. I invite Mr. Roberts to ask the owners of “Pirate’s Pizza” on South Orange Avenue if they consider us an in­tegral part of this community. The underlying question is why does the University feel as though it has to apologize to the community for the fact that its students make some noise on Friday nights?

Ken McPherson, junior

Author: Staff Writer

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