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