By Sarah Del Giallo
Student Housing Services (SHS) is cracking down on residence parties after sixth-floor residents in Pitman Hall left over $4,000 in damages on the night of Feb. 2.
As a repercussion, SHS is considering implementing community billing, a process that charges the entire floor for damage costs. This system hasn’t been used in years. The loss of guest privileges is also being discussed.
“The behaviour that has been exhibited over the past couple of weeks is absolutely against community standards,” said SHS manager Chad Nuttall.
“We need to find out who’s responsible for those damages. We know that people know who’s responsible, and we need to know who those people are so we can hold them accountable for their actions.”
Nuttall said a major part of the bill was cleaning, which totalled over $1,000. SHS had to hire external cleaning services to help the employed staff. Many of the light fixtures were broken, garbage bins were pushed over, and there was vomit in the carpets, which required deep cleaning.
Despite rumours that parties have been banned, Nuttall said residents are being reminded of policies they agreed to when signing their contracts.
“It’s an understanding of policy. Parties in the sense that we saw two weeks ago, where all of this damage happened; where a hundred people are in a suite, and when they left, they wrecked the building, have never been allowed in the history of Pitman Hall or Student Housing Services,” said Nuttall.
The issue isn’t parties, but “out of control” parties, which are outlined in the residence community standards as a gathering that cannot reasonably be controlled by the host.
Also outlined are issues against unacceptable noise, excessive noise, and underage drinking, all of which cost a resident demerit points if caught. If students reach nine demerits, they are evicted from the building.
Although the sixth floor of Pitman accumulated the most damage, floors three, five and 14 were also an issue.
Floor 14 president Trevor Coll said the idea of community billing is unfair, and a more reasonable solution would be to have security cameras installed.
“I think what they’re doing is trying to control an environment which is naturally uncontrollable,” he said.
Even though all of the problem floors on Feb. 2 were in Pitman, The International Living and Learning Centre (ILLC) and O’Keefe House are also facing stricter rules.
“I don’t think it is fair,” said Daniel Finlan, an O’Keefe House resident. “It’s part of the residence lifestyle. Students are more safe in residence then they would be partying out in the city.”
John Pilla is a first-year graphic communications management student who lives on ILLC floor eight.
On Feb. 5, he drank too much and passed out.
When his friends couldn’t wake him up, they called the residence advisors who called security. When security couldn’t wake him, he was sent to the hospital where he woke up, still drunk and in a diaper.
“I was still hammered when I woke up,” he said.
“I barely remember the walk back to rez.”
Pilla’s hospital trip could have had him evicted from residence because the demerits from excessive drinking and underage drinking would have passed the nine-demerit limit.
He was able to work out a contract at a meeting that restricts him from drinking for two weeks.
“If I drink, I’m out. The fact that I could be evicted scares the shit out of me.”
Despite the fact that Pilla recently woke up in the hospital after a rez party, he doesn’t think the crack down on policies are fair or realistic.
“Parties are going to happen anyways, whether there are rules or not,” he said.
“I think as soon as reading week’s over, there’s going to be some mayhem that no one will be able to control.”
Photo by: Lindsay Boeckl