Students question their rights
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 23:10
Dealing with a noise violation or roommate dispute were only two of the many topics covered at the Student Rights and Responsibilities Fair Oct. 2.
The Inter-Residence Association (IRA) set up a panel of representatives in Living/Learning aiming for a mellow and approachable environment for students.
The director of student advocacy, Felicia Mensah, had high hopes for the event.
“We have had low attendance in the past so this year we are trying to form a better relationship with students,” Mensah said. “We just want to get the words out to students about what they can and cannot do.”
The IRA said it wanted students to get involved and offered free food and giveaways, even the raffling of an iPod. In order for the students to be eligible, they had to talk to all of the representatives at the event.
The departments represented at the event were the Center for Student Ethics, Police Services, the Office of Student Community Relations and Residential Life.
Police Sgt. Brandon King said he was happy to answer all the students’ questions.
“I think this event is important,” King said. “A lot of students see all the bad that we [Police Services] do, but we want to help them understand that living on your own comes with responsibility.”
Many students on and off campus have to deal with the police for various reasons, and this event gave them the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a police officer.
Gail Shampnois, director of student and community relations, said she felt that the students’ rights fair was a positive event.
“I wanted to support the IRA.” Shampnois said. “I work with the off-campus population in Burlington and I want to make sure students’ questions are answered today.”
The event stressed the importance of the legal departments and students working together as a team.
The turnout increased from last year, according to the IRA, and students seemed very curious about what the event would entail.
“I came to see what was going on and what departments were being represented,” graduate student Courtney Doyle said. “This is a cool opportunity to understand what exactly my rights are.”
For more information on the IRA and their events on campus, visit www.uvm.edu/~irauvmn.