Altercation on campus results in student recieving stitches

Other problems arise on campus including drugs, aclohol and violence

Alexander Retzlaff, Staff Writer

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When a student in Berry Hall at Wayne State College retaliat­ed against another student who was acting aggressively, he nev­er thought the altercation would result in him “having to get five stiches in his arm.”

“The guy bothered me,” the stu­dent said. “He was hitting me. I asked him to stop a few times, I said to him, ‘You’re poking a bear.’ He did it again, so I slammed him on the floor. He then slapped me hard on the back. He ran, I chased him. I swung at him, missed, and broke the window. I had an inch of glass in my arm. I kept fighting until I had enough, and then I went downstairs and told someone. And that was when they called 911.”

Similar nefarious incidents have caused concerns among stu­dents and staff. Throughout the semester, WSC Campus Security and Resident Assistants have re­sponded to a series of incidents involving drug use, alcohol use and fights. Campus Security docu­mented a number of issues, with at least two of them involving drug violations. Out of WSC’s seven dorm halls, many of these situa­tions occurred only in Bowen Hall and Berry Hall.

Several students in these dorm halls, such as Bowen resident Ma­son Wright, felt frustrated at the situation, and believed the perpe­trators were the ones at fault.

“I do believe there is somewhat of a problem,” Wright said. “I mean, you hear about things and sometimes, you occasionally see some of these things happen on campus. A lot of people just ex­periment and be immature, espe­cially freshmen, because they’re finally out on their own and they want to try new things.”

“There’s drugs everywhere you go,” a Berry Hall resident said. “I once knew someone who got a full-ride scholarship taken away because he did drugs.”

It wasn’t just drug use or fights the RA’s handled, however. Al­cohol use—particularly underage drinking—also proved to be a problem on campus this year, ac­cording to another student in Ber­ry Hall.

“Like most colleges in general, I don’t think we are a dry campus,” the student said. “I know many in­stances where people could easily get alcohol to their rooms by just putting in their backpacks, putting it in their coat zippers, and all that stuff.”

Though Residence Life re­sponded to most of these issues this semester, they did not seem too concerned about the situation overall. Attempts to reach many employees in Residence Life proved unsuccessful.

“I think there are issues with individuals who aren’t in compli­ance with some of our policies and expectations, but I don’t know that I would call it a problem,” David McMahan, the assistant dean of students, said. “I think anytime you bring 3,000 people together in a small area, you’re going to have some challenges in making sure everybody’s fully informed, and understands what we expect out of them and why.”

“I don’t feel like we have a lot of issues with [misconduct],” Ben Filkins, assistant director of Resi­dence Life, said. “I don’t think it’s nearly the issue it was, particular­ly regarding vaping, that is was last year. I think we’ve seen quite a decrease in issues with it. I think it’s just awareness of the policies, just noting that it’s not something that you’re able to do in the halls.”

According to the WSC Student Policy Handbook, alcohol and drugs–like marijuana–are not al­lowed on campus grounds. Pos­session or sale of marijuana can also be considered a felony, as defined by Nebraska State Law. The state law also prohibits med­ical marijuana. In the meantime, college staff like Campus Securi­ty and Wildcat Wheels are doing their best to prevent future prob­lems from arising. In addition, stu­dents and staff have come up with solutions of their own.

“As we do with any of our pol­icies, our objective is education,” McMahan said. “Primarily, we’re trying to make sure people under­stand both what the policies are, and then many times, to make sure they understand why we have the policies we have. It’s easier to get people to comply with expec­tations when they understand that there is a reason and it’s not just arbitrary.”

The student in Berry Hall which got into the fight, however, did not feel as optimistic.

“[In terms of enforcement] there’s not a whole lot that can be done,” the student said. “Search warrants take about two or three days to process, which gives of­fenders plenty of time to get rid of the evidence.

One student in Berry Hall also wanted to share his own unique solution to prevent future inci­dents.

“I feel like if it really needs to be addressed, we could have a quick class about it,” the student said. “It doesn’t have to be any­thing super strenuous on the stu­dents, a quick lecture. Something like a very involved activity or lecture where everyone can speak their mind or, ‘There’s no wrong answers.’ Or even RA’s can hold a meeting like twice a month. If the problem has really become made known, or if there are just big problems on the surface, or in the hall itself, they could hold a meeting, and just kind of address it with the students.”

Campus Security is also avail­able to assist with any issues. Students can stop by the Alumni House with questions or concerns, or can call 402-375-7216. Wild­cat Wheels is also willing to pro­vide safe rides to students and are available by phone at 402-375- 759

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