As students, we’re expected to read, comprehend and memorize a considerable amount of information pertaining to many subjects. With on-campus housing specifically, there are a handful rules that regularly catch students off-guard – typically failing an otherwise stellar health and safety inspection. To help steer students away from confusion and/or frustration, Student Housing & Residential Life manager Andrea Trinklein was consulted as to what the most common violations were and why the rules were set in the first place.
It’s not illegal for students of legal age to consume alcohol on either main or east campus. However, there are still some interesting rules as to how they’re allowed to store and consume it. Alcohol is allowed in the room of students 21 years or older, however, it’s not allowed to be stored or consumed in common areas (such as the communal fridge, or in the living room) if there are roommates who are minors.
It’s expected that empty cans or bottles will be recycled – even ones that once contained alcohol. It’s against conduct to have an excessive amount of alcohol on display – even if the containers are empty. Trinklein said, “Excessive collections often occur for fun which can become real health and safety risks such as bugs, glass towers, smell, egress, et cetera.” Bugs can infest and glass towers can fall and break, posing a possible threat to students. The excessive smell can attract a slew of other pests, as well as be bothersome to other roommates.
Alcohol on display, such as handles of hard liquor or a wine rack with unopened bottles on a counter isn’t permitted either. Even if all roommates are legal, it’s still prohibited.
Despite it being legal for recreational use in California, our campus has a zero tolerance policy for marijuana – both recreationally and medically. There have been countless housing and safety inspections failed by students after items used to ingest marijuana (such as bongs or pipes), or the substance itself is laid bare to those leading the inspection.
As explained by the FAQ regarding marijuana on our campus’ website, the reason our campus has this in place is due to the university’s obligation to adhere to two federal laws: the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act. When Proposition 64 was passed in California, it became legal for residents 21 or older, but not for either students or employees on college campuses who are federally funded. Since California State University, Monterey Bay is a public school that receives federal funding and marijuana is still federally illegal, the use, sale, and possession of marijuana (even medically) on campus is a punishable crime. Depending on the severity of the crime and how many offenses are on a student’s record, the most severe of consequences could be either a termination of a student’s residential license or a suspension or dismissal from the institution.
Unlike main campus, dogs don’t need to be service or emotional support animals to be permitted as long as they’re registered with the housing office. Though, two rules in regards to dogs that are most times unintentionally broken are students owning and keeping an unregistered animal due to being under the impression there isn’t a need to register their animal, or having a dog in an upstairs unit.
Trinklein said, “It’s common sense to not leave a dog out on a balcony, or use the balcony as a place for the dog to pee or poop. Also, it keeps the dogs out of the elevators for those who may be allergic.”
Additionally, it’s harder for elderly dogs or puppies in training to get downstairs and relieve themselves in time, making a mess for students and staff. These messes, if left by the owner, then become a health risk to the community.
Despite toasters or toaster ovens being handy appliances to make breakfast, lunch or dinner a quick and easy start to a school day, they’re not allowed in east campus apartments due to the fire hazard they pose.
“[A] perfect example was a fire in the student center last week which was extinguished by a fire extinguisher,” said Trinklein. “It is so easy for items in the toaster to become stuck and catch on fire.”
It should be noted, too, if someone weren’t around and able to extinguish the flames, the small flame could have developed into a dangerous situation very quickly.