3 resident assistants resign from Cutler
Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 1, 2013
Updated Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013: There was a factual error in the original article.” The article stated that, “Former Cutler RA Ruby Bynum and current RA Jenny Klecka did not respond to interview requests.” However, due to a last name mix-up, the wrong Jenny was contacted for the interview. The difference between the two lasts names was one letter. The error has been corrected.
Three resident assistants have resigned from the Cutler Apartments, leaving only one live-in RA working in Cutler during Starvation Gulch weekend, according to Laura McCollough, the Director of Residence Life.
Approximately 240 students live in Cutler. According to UAF Police Department Investigator Steve Goetz, illegal activity such as sexual assault, is more likely to take place during events like Starvation Gulch because of increased alcohol use.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, Cutler Apartment resident assistants and campus desk attendants hosted a party where alcohol was present with minors. After the incident, three Cutler RAs resigned.
Under Human Resources policy, university and student employees have the right to privacy and employers are limited in what specific information they can provide. However, McCollough would not confirm or deny the event in question and the reason for the employees’ resignations. She stated that parties where alcoholic beverages are served with minors present are a common occurrence on campus.
McCollough also could not confirm how many RAs were working in Cutler this past weekend, only providing an estimate of 5-10 RAs. When dorm halls are short staffed, RAs and DAs from other halls work on rotation to help with the shortage.
When asked if the Resident Director of Cutler Apartments, John Napolski could provide an exact number, McCollough said that she didn’t “think he would have time to go in to detail on that.”
Napolski declined to be interviewed and directed all questions to McCollough and his wife Jamie Abreu, the Associate Director of Residence Life.
Former Cutler RA Ruby Bynum did not respond to interview requests.
According to the “Common Questions of RA Position,” document for perspective RAs, resident assistants are allowed to drink in wet dorms if they are over 21. RAs over 21 are also allowed to drink alcohol with residents if they are of legal age, although this is highly discouraged.
The document, which goes on to discuss that such events could be seen as peer pressure, is available on the UAF Residence Life website.
“I’m really proud of the RA program. I think it’s very good educational program for student employees,” McCollough said. I’m really proud of our employees,” McCollough said.
A consequence for residents who drink underage or provide alcohol to minors is possible removal from the dorm, according to the Resident Student 2012-2013 Handbook. Drinking alcohol in the presence of a minor is strictly prohibited on campus and violates Residence Life policy.
“Being an RA is like living in a fishbowl—your actions are magnified and could easily become distorted,” said the “Common Questions” document.