S&S checks routine for some

by Kathleen McDermott and Sabrina Peric | 7/9/01 5:00am

While many residents of Greek houses are contesting the new policy allowing Safety and Security officers to conduct unannounced checks of all undergraduate housing, students in a similar living environment -- affinity houses -- already face regular walk-throughs by College officials.

According to many affinity house residents, such security checks are carried out in a friendly, low-key manner, that does not interfere with students' privacy. College oficials do not specifically target students for alcohol violations.

Lily Lam '02, an Asian Studies Center resident, explained that Safety and Security officers walk through the Asian Studies Center about three times each night in a procedure that "takes about a minute tops."

"They don't ever come into the living room or go into anyone's room," she added.

For Lam, such checks do not seem to be an invasion of privacy. Neither do they result in citations for violations of alcohol policy.

"Whenever we've had alcohol out, they've never said anything," Lam said.

Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) house resident Luis Lopez '03 noted that he was not even aware that Safety and Security patrolled the affinity houses.

Steve Lowery '02, who lives in the Native American House, said that he rarely sees the Safety and Security officers.

Typically the officers merely walk through the public areas, usually later at night, according to Lowery.

"They don't usually go upstairs," Lowery said, noting that, as the Native American House is a substance free area, alcohol and possible violations do not represent an issue for residents.

"I don't think that S&S has an agenda when they come to the Native American House," Lowery added.

At the Foley House, another College affinity house, officers visit several times during the day and "check the alarm heating system downstairs and the alarm system by the front door," according to Foley House resident Adam Tapley '03.

"They don't check up on alcohol ... as long as things don't look out of hand," Tapley said.

"I don't feel like I curb my drinking because of S & S coming in," Tapley -- who is of legal drinking age -- noted.

Yuval Ortiz-Quiroga '02, house manager of the Foley House, concurred that Safety and Security's presence is generally respectful and non-intrusive.

"It really makes me feel safe to know that they are checking up on things," he said.

Ortiz-Quiroga further explained that at the Foley House "we've found a way to make [the Safety and Security checks] more respectful," adding that they talk to the officers and work on a relationship of mutual respect.