SJU’s Office of Residence Life Issues Plea for Guests to Behave in the Residence Halls

After an uptick in student and guest conduct violations, the office issued a notice to resident students in October.

Torch Photo / Brenden Willsch

Due to an increase in student and guest conduct violations in September, the St. John’s University Office of Residence Life issued a message to students reminding them of their student conduct expectations. The University permitted outside guests to enter the on-campus residence halls during the Fall 2022 semester for the first time since 2020. 

The Office of Residence Life issued a “message to [the] community” on Sept. 29 following student conduct violations in the residence halls. 

“Recently, we have observed an increase in the number of incidents involving guests of residents, including what has been described as pranks, vandalism, and other conduct concerns,” the email stated. “Mischief, pranks, vandalism and other misconduct by students and their guests are a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.”

That email was sent to all resident students, but a more specific email was sent to residents of Century Hall’s sixth floor, and was obtained by The Torch. “On Sept. 3, 2022, an incident of vandalism was discovered on the sixth floor of Century Hall,” the email said. “The vandalism occurred when handwritten messages ‘SMD’ and ‘that’s not nice’ and ‘if you were workin’ for me you’d be fired immediately’ were found written on the sixth-floor bulletin board.”

The Office of Residence Life directed students who may have been impacted by the incident to Danielle Haynes, the University’s director of equal employment opportunity, compliance and Title IX.

Additional incidents within the residence halls have been reported and referred to the Office of Student Conduct. “Residence Life has been made aware of different types of inappropriate behavior,” said University spokesperson Brian Browne in a statement. “Including individuals banging on suite doors and running away, people writing unwanted messages on student’s whiteboards and, on two occasions, filming student reactions to unusual behavior for the purpose of creating social media content.”

There have also been reports of resident students complaining about unwanted messages written by unknown people on whiteboards hanging on their suite door, according to Browne. These messages usually included profanity.

“There were two reported incidents where resident students reported non-students knocking on their door, entering the suite, and filming them without their consent,” Browne said. “This has been ostensibly for the purposes of creating social media/YouTube content.”

When a violation is observed or reported, it is documented through the University’s Office of Student Conduct. There have been several incidents that have been documented, according to Browne, but violators have not been identified. There were two incidents where individuals were charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct. 

If a non-student is identified in an incident that violates the code of conduct within the residence halls, they are trespassed by the University by the Department of Public Safety, said Browne. 

The Torch asked whether these figures represented an uptick in residence hall conduct violations when compared to pre-pandemic numbers. “No,” Browne said, “This is only unique in the sense that is happening in a more concentrated timeframe.” 

If more incidents occur this semester in a more concentrated timeframe, that would suggest that the rate of these incidents is higher than in previous years. In the weeks since the message from the Office of Residence Life was sent, there have been no updates directly sent to resident students.

The University reminds resident students that they are not only responsible for their own behavior within the residence halls, but also the behavior for their guests. Students can be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for the actions of their guests. 

For more information, visit the University’s Student Code of Conduct.