“What can/can’t Pub Safe do when searching rooms? What rights do we as students have?”
Director of Public Safety, Fred C. Behr suggests that: The College respects the privacy of students and their rooms. College policy states, student rooms can be searched only with the authorization (written or verbal) of the Dean of Students (or his/her designee). The reasons for the search must be clearly stated and 2 or more people are present during the search. Any items found in violation of College policy shall be removed and a written report submitted to the Dean of Students.Generally, when activities occur in a student room that disrupt others living on the floor or the community in general, the College may be forced to address the situation. Typically, these activities center around noise complaints and hall staff will address the complaint with the residents. Hall staff would not search a room in these cases but if while talking to the residents they see violations of college policy, they would address those.
There are other times when Public Safety is called into a residence hall by hall staff who are reporting a marijuana smell coming from a room. Public Safety will talk with the residents and determine if in their mind, there has been a violation of college policy. Sometimes the responding officers will simply ask for all marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the room and the occupants comply with this request. If not, and the officer feels there has been a violation of college policy but the students are not being cooperative, the officer may contact the Dean of Student on call, explain the situation to the Dean and let the Dean decide if a search is warranted or not and proceed from there. Sometimes a search is authorized and other times it is not. If a search is authorized, Public Safety (with assistance from an Area Coordinator at times) will conduct the search. The results of the search will be documented and submitted to the Dean of Students.
In other cases, the Dean of Students Office themselves will contact Public Safety and ask them to search a room suspected of dealing drugs. In these cases, the written/verbal authorization is obtained and Public Safety would conduct the search. Public Safety officers would proceed to the room along with an Area Coordinator (if possible), explain the search authorization to the residents and conduct the search. The results of the search will be documented and submitted to the Dean of Students.