Removed handles on fire doors, defecation on the bathroom floor and students “getting busy” in the common area are just some of the things advisors and Resident Assistants (RAs) in McFarland Hall have to be prepared for on a regular weekend.
McFarland Hall has grown notorious for bad behavior according to Tim Staples, coordinator of residence life, who supervises nine residence halls, including McFarland.
However, due to efforts by the residence hall’s First Year Adviser and RAs, these destructive incidents have decreased from years past, Staples said.
The behavior of this year’s group of students has students across campus talking about alleged Miami University Police Department (MUPD) presence on weekends after 1 a.m. in order to keep drunken students under control.
Lt. Benjamin Spilman of the MUPD dispelled these rumors, saying they have not been asked to regularly patrol McFarland or any other residence hall for any special purposes.
“It’s not uncommon for hall staff to request extra patrol and police patrol on their own at any given time,” Spilman said. “Seeing officers in the building is not an uncommon thing.”
Staples said calls were not made to have police patrol McFarland and emphasized the importance of a non fear-based relationship between students and the on campus police.
“We enjoy the relationship students have with the MUPD which is better than at some other schools,” Staples said. “Especially the fact that our students see the campus police as other than someone who would arrest them but rather a helpful resource.”
More than likely, any police officers seen in the hall were there to address documentation of incidents, not to patrol the building, according to Staples.
“One time I was there with the police because the students took knobs off the fire doors, that was an emergency situation for us,” Staples said. “MUPD was a quick call because it was destruction to property.”
While residents of McFarland show less destructive behavior than in past years, Staples said these students are attending parties at nearby fraternities at a seemingly higher rate than usual.
Staples said overall he feels the building staff is doing an excellent job reducing the dangerous and destructive behavior of the residents compared to past years.
Staples said he and his colleagues discuss the behavior in the dorms regularly and to his knowledge other dorms do not have the continuous bad behavior seen in McFarland.
The other eight dorms Staples supervises display normal weekend behavior with the occasional alcohol-related incident but nothing seriously destructive, Staples said.