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Resident advisers fired for partying, underage drinking

20+resident+advisers+were+fired+from+Whitney%2C+Shasta+and+Lassen+Halls+and+University+Village+March+2.+Photo+credit%3A+Jenny+Salazar
20 resident advisers were fired from Whitney, Shasta and Lassen Halls and University Village March 2. Photo credit: Jenny Salazar

20 resident advisers were fired from Whitney, Shasta and Lassen Halls and University Village March 2. Photo credit: Jenny Salazar

20 resident advisers were fired from Whitney, Shasta and Lassen Halls and University Village March 2. Photo credit: Jenny Salazar

Jafet Serrato

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University Housing fired nearly a third of its resident adviser staff for attending an off campus party where minors were drinking, according to a University Village resident adviser.

“In their letters of termination, it would outline their violations,” University Village resident adviser and sophomore international communication major CJ Knoble said. “The most basic ones were ‘underage drinking’ or ‘being present when underage drinking was occurring.’ I haven’t seen every letter so I suppose it’s an assumption to a certain extent but (University Housing) called in everyone from the party to ask details about it.”

University Housing declined to comment on the reason for termination.

The 21st birthday party of a resident adviser was attended by more than 60 people many of whom were resident advisers, according to Mary Valencia, a junior health science major who attended the party.

“It’s rare to see (resident advisers) at parties and to have them at parties, to have at least one night to celebrate, it shouldn’t have escalated to that,” Valencia said.

After the party, it circulated on social media that the majority of the guests were resident advisers, Valencia said.

Currently under Title V of the resident adviser code of conduct, a resident adviser can be fired for possessing drugs and alcohol on campus or outside the campus in the presence of residents or underage drinkers.

“Refrain from being present when underage drinking is occurring,” the University Housing document states.

The resident advisers terminated on March 2 were asked to move out of the residence halls by March 5. University Housing then extended the deadline to March 10.

“Moving out by Sunday would have been unfair,” sophomore sociology major and former resident adviser Jazmin Lopez said. “Trying to find a place to live within the week while you’re doing midterms is unfair. And a lot of us have to drop out because they don’t have housing. So that’s what’s unfair about it.”

Jazmin Lopez is a former resident adviser for Whitney Hall. Photo credit: Molly Sullivan

Jazmin Lopez is a former resident adviser for Whitney Hall. Photo credit: Molly Sullivan

Resident advisers receive compensated housing in a residence hall, a meal plan and a $1,000 stipend that is distributed throughout the semester.

“But we didn’t know the consequences,” Lopez said. “Honestly we all thought at worst we’d get probation. We did not think at all that we were all going to be fired. I think if we knew that termination was the absolute consequence for our actions, I’m sure we wouldn’t have done it.”

On March 5, a meeting at Whitney Hall was held for residents concerned about the terminations. Universtiy Housing Executive Director Abeer Mustafa and Associate Director for Residential Life Connie Huyck led the meeting.

whitstudents_web.jpg

Whitney Hall residents study in the common space. Photo credit: Jordyn Smith

The specifics of the case could not be discussed because the investigation is still ongoing, Huyck said. She said to residents that University Housing is providing the former employees with access to resources.

Those resources include assistance from the financial aid and scholarship office as well as access to the Wildcat Food Pantry. Those fired are still allowed to live on campus according to Huyck, but they cannot continue to live at the residence hall they worked for.

“We have three different group chats going, helping each other find housing, helping with groceries, helping each other with rides to go look for housing, seeing if anyone needs emotional support,” Lopez said.

University Housing is moving resident advisers from other dormitories to accommodate the lack of advisers in Whitney, Shasta and Lassen Halls and University Village, Mustafa said.

Without resident adviser supervision, “people are walking down the halls holding beers, they’re taking shots in the halls,” Whitney Hall resident and first-year communication sciences and disorders major Karter Kaliher said. “They’re like ‘no one is here, no one is going to watch us.'”

Karter Kaliher is a resident of Whitney Hall. Photo credit: Molly Sullivan

Mustafa said University Housing will hire new resident advisers after spring break.

Jafet Serrato can be reached at [email protected] or @jafetserrato on Twitter.

 

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27 Comments

27 Responses to “Resident advisers fired for partying, underage drinking”

  1. Ed on March 7th, 2017 11:24 am

    Chico State has the most insane prohibition rule in place for a college campus. Prohibition leads to extreme drinking where no one learns moderation. My wife went to a big ten school and they embraced “beer” culture and provided strict and specific guidelines to keep people safe. It’s not perfect but it manages risk. Prohibition is a denial mindset where out of sight becomes out of mind until someone dies of alcohol poisoning. Chico was the party school because of the prohibition. There is no sanctioned outlet therefore every thing becomes “deviant” behavior. I love my University and believe we can do better.

    [Reply]

  2. Mum on March 7th, 2017 1:01 pm

    As a Mum of one of the RA’s that was fired, I am dissappointed on how the Campus Housing determined to fire students. Basically if more than one person said they saw you there you were terminated regardless why you were there and for how long. My child , who is a committed Christian, was only there for 10 minutes and only to help a young man who was so drunk she felt his life depended on her and another to watch him until he was in the hands of his friend. My child was doing her job even while off campus but it did not matter to housing. Although I am not happy with my child being fired, I am happy she has time to focus on homework, which as an RA does not really allow time for a student to do , nor do they have much personal time as even when off duty it os frown upon to be away from your dorm. Which is not healthy for students. For any future RAs , this job is very very demanding physically and emotionally. The time required for this position is not worth the benefits you recieve unless you plan on not having very social college life. I heard they may be hiring Freshmen to fill the open positions which in my opinion is ridiculous.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sounds like some quick decisions were made without knowing the FACTS. Unfortunate as this is just one more DISAPPOINTMENT I have with CHICO STATE. Here’s one for you. FUNGAS growing on the carpet in my daughters room due to a leak in the wall (leaky pipe). Took several phone calls before they responded…sorry over the weekend leaks due occur and should be responded to. They did NOTHING to clean up the mold and fungus in the carpet. This is UNACCEPTABLE. UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT that I’m paying to have my daughter live in.

    [Reply]

    lol Reply:

    lol I’m so glad you raised your daughter as a committed Christian! Way to go!

    [Reply]

  3. Madeline on March 7th, 2017 4:26 pm

    “Without resident adviser supervision, “people are walking down the halls holding beers, they’re taking shots in the halls,” Whitney Hall resident and first-year communication sciences and disorders major Karter Kaliher said. “They’re like ‘no one is here, no one is going to watch us.’”

    Sounds like Chico State shot themesleves in the foot on this one.

    [Reply]

  4. Jav on March 7th, 2017 8:43 pm

    Good… I feel no pity for this RAs, and they should be fired and kicked out as fast as the school would a student. University Housing is relentless against students who pay THOUSANDS to stay there, and any student kicked out is still viable to pay the costs of living in the run down halls. These RA’s should honestly be expelled from the school.

    [Reply]

    Dana Reply:

    But the policy has been changed in regards to residents this year. There is no longer a “strike” system. There are residents having been found responsible for alcohol in the residence halls upwards of five times in a semester, without being removed from housing. So the department is being much more strict in regards to this incident than they have been in regards to residents this year.

    [Reply]

    Fred Reply:

    Very harsh, totally disagree. I do not know your background but sounds you are the one needs to be kicked out. Such a closed mined person.

    [Reply]

    Alan Reply:

    The housing department has been very lax this year. Many students are repeatedly written up for alcohol/drug use but the housing department had hardly kicked any out. But they hear about an RA drinking from more than one people they are then fired with out any more evidence.

    [Reply]

    April Reply:

    Housing is no longer a 3 strikes your out rule for residents in regards to drugs and alcohol. Beginning of 2016 school year that was changed to a case by case process so that students no longer feel as though they had no voice when faced with such extremes as getting kicked out of housing. Yet, RA’s (20 to be exact) where not given that. RA’s aren’t asking for pity they are asking for fair treatment and acknowledgement that they too are students who ,are mistakes.

    [Reply]

    April Reply:

    *make mistakes

    [Reply]

  5. john doe on March 8th, 2017 9:21 am

    It sucks that so many people lost their job, but at the same time this is what happens when students don’t read their contact like they’re suppose to. Also on that note don’t be stupid and associate yourself with people that post every little detail on social media.

    [Reply]

  6. Rich on March 8th, 2017 9:40 am

    I don’t recall a big Saturday Night Massacre like this when Zing was the President of the College – and he was notorious for being anti-binge drinking. Is this new College President, President Hutchinson – a “Nanny” President… Today I am announcing there will be.no more burning hooters by students – even though they are now legal, no drinking either, no shots, no beer pong, no trips to Riley’s. And while I am at it., no sex either. Now that I’m running the show students will go to the library on Friday and Saturday nights, you will study, return to your dorms after the library closes, and lights will be about by 11, and you will be in church on Sunday. Got it!……. President Hutchinson needs to confirm, or deny, she is not a Nanny President, I think. This mass firing of dorm RA’s seems to indicate that.

    [Reply]

    lol Reply:

    You don’t even go here.

    [Reply]

    Student that actually goes here Reply:

    This has nothing to do with Gayle. This has everything to do with the Campus Housing department, their new Director and the 20 RAs that didn’t think they would get in trouble.

    They signed a contract and knew the rules.

    Stop trying to find someone else to blame! Leave Hutchinson out of this.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Technically, RAs never signed a contract. At the beginning of the year they were told the contracts they signed back in August had components in it that were illegal for them to implement and offer, so it was voided. The Housing Department created a new job description but were never asked and were told they were not going to sign a new (legal) contract.

    [Reply]

  7. Ana on March 8th, 2017 12:09 pm

    This seems like an extreme punishment for the RA’s. Especially forcing them to move out on such short notice. I’m sure most of them do not have the financial resources to find new housing and meal options, which is probably why most of them are RA’s!
    I understand the purpose of their role within the Residence Halls and that they are held to a higher standard. But RA’s, just like students, make mistakes. It seems that a dialogue with them and a less sever punishment would be more appropriate.
    What about the void they are now leaving in their Residence Hall’s? By this time in the year they have developed relationships and trust with the first year students living in the RH’s . Who will take their place now?

    [Reply]

    Fred Reply:

    Nicely put.

    [Reply]

  8. Ben on March 8th, 2017 6:47 pm

    Honestly a shame on Chico state. Are you kidding me? it was for a 21st birthday im sorry but did you not party on your 21st? They are losing their whole career path because the school thinks they need to fire them. Shame Shame Shame CSU Chico. Way to ruin peoples lives

    [Reply]

  9. Laura on March 8th, 2017 9:52 pm

    Sounds like some quick decisions were made without knowing the FACTS. Unfortunate as this is just one more DISAPPOINTMENT I have with CHICO STATE. Here’s one for you. FUNGAS growing on the carpet in my daughters room due to a leak in the wall (leaky pipe). Took several phone calls before they responded…sorry over the weekend leaks due occur and should be responded to. They did NOTHING to clean up the mold and fungus in the carpet. This is UNACCEPTABLE. UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT that I’m paying to have my daughter live in.

    [Reply]

  10. Anon on March 12th, 2017 1:58 pm

    ABEER MADE THE RAs INITIALLY SIGN AN ILLEGAL CONTRACT, WHICH WAS TAKEN BACK BY HOUSING.

    THEY NEVER SIGNED A SECOND CONTRACT.

    MAKING 20 KIDS **HOMELESS** FOR VIOLATING A CONTRACT THAT WAS NEVER SIGNED!

    SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAVE TO **DROP OUT** OF CHICO STATE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD THEIR EDUCATION WITHOUT THIS JOB.

    PRIVILEGED ABEER HAS NO COMPASSION.

    1. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE RAs SHE CANNED
    2. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS THAT HAVE TO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL,
    3. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE REMAINING RAs WHO NOW HAVE TO BE RELOCATED AND DO TWICE THE WORK FOR NO EXTRA PAY.
    4. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE RCCs WHO’s JOBS JUST GOT 2x AS HARD.
    5. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE EXTRA MONEY THE RESIDENTS PAY FOR FLOOR PROGRAMMING THAT ABEER HAS NOW CANCELED INDEFINITELY.

    RESIDENTS, YOU ARE NOW GETTING NO RETURN FOR THE MONEY YOU PAID. BLAME ABEER AND HER POOR MANAGEMENT SKILLS. SHE IS UNQUALIFIED.
    #FIREABEER

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Perfectly put! I completely agree!

    [Reply]

  11. Anonymous on March 12th, 2017 1:59 pm

    ABEER MADE THE RAs INITIALLY SIGN AN ILLEGAL CONTRACT, WHICH WAS TAKEN BACK BY HOUSING.

    THEY NEVER SIGNED A SECOND CONTRACT.

    MAKING 20 KIDS **HOMELESS** FOR VIOLATING A CONTRACT THAT WAS NEVER SIGNED!

    SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAVE TO **DROP OUT** OF CHICO STATE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD THEIR EDUCATION WITHOUT THIS JOB.

    PRIVILEGED ABEER HAS NO COMPASSION.

    1. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE RAs SHE CANNED
    2. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS THAT HAVE TO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL,
    3. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE REMAINING RAs WHO NOW HAVE TO BE RELOCATED AND DO TWICE THE WORK FOR NO EXTRA PAY.
    4. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE RCCs WHO’s JOBS JUST GOT 2x AS HARD.
    5. SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE EXTRA MONEY THE RESIDENTS PAY FOR FLOOR PROGRAMMING THAT ABEER HAS NOW CANCELED INDEFINITELY.

    RESIDENTS, YOU ARE NOW GETTING NO RETURN FOR THE MONEY YOU PAID. BLAME ABEER AND HER POOR MANAGEMENT SKILLS. SHE IS UNQUALIFIED.
    #FIREABEER

    [Reply]

    Joyce Reply:

    Exactly! Poor Management! She is the main reason why people aren’t coming back next year. Everyone blames the studnets but no one thinks of the main problem and its’s her. This is her first year at this job and look at the mess. Seriously, something needs to be done. She isn’t qualify for this job at all. Please someone do something about this unqualified, uncaring woman.

    [Reply]

  12. Anonymous on March 14th, 2017 5:13 pm

    Perfectly put! I definitely agree!

    [Reply]

  13. Anonymous on March 23rd, 2017 12:05 pm

    UPDATE: RAs WILL NOT BE PAID NEXT YEAR.

    I REPEAT. RAs WILL NOT BE PAID NEXT YEAR.

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF ABEER’S POOR MANAGEMENT SKILLS.

    SHE IS DRIVING QUALITY EMPLOYEES AWAY WITH HER CUTS, SAVING MONEY FOR THE CORRUPT EDUCATION BUREAUCRACY WHILE TAKING IT AWAY FROM THE STUDENTS WHO ACTUALLY NEED THE MONEY.

    [Reply]

  14. anonymous on May 6th, 2017 6:35 pm

    They knew it was wrong.

    Grow up people. take responsibility for your actions.

    For the one or two who were helping a friend leave, it’s unfortunate. But this is real life. They were in a position to watch over other students. Signed contract or not, they knew the rules of the job and attended the party anyway.

    Hard lesson to learn, but it won’t be any easier for you when you graduate and get a job.

    [Reply]

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