BREAKING NEWS: Students evicted from residence hall

Twelve students must move off the Fifth West floor of Ashton Hall following a disciplinary decision by Seattle Pacific University Residence Life on Oct. 27.

Additionally, university administration relieved the 5W Resident Adviser of his leadership position. The President of Ashton Hall Council is one of the twelve students involved, and he has also been relieved of his leadership position.

“As a floor, more than angry I think we all feel hurt and disrespected,” one student on 5W said in an interview Wednesday.

Three students spoke on the condition of anonymity out to fear that revealing their identities would inhibit their appeal to the disciplinary decision.

The 11 sophomores and the floor’s RA will not be permitted to live in any university housing until spring quarter when they are invited to re-apply, the students said.

According to the students, the university found members of 5W participating in a tradition that allegedly violated lifestyle expectations.

Specifically, students said the university cited lifestyle expectation No. 8, which forbids “[a]ctivities that cause or threaten emotional, mental, or physical harm or suffering; that demean the dignity of any individual; or that interfere with any individual’s academic process.”

According to students on 5W, the floor returners met and voted unanimously to hold the tradition despite the cancellation and modification of traditions in other dorms this year.

As with most hall traditions, non-returners of 5W were unaware of the specific activities planned beforehand but given the opportunity to decline participation.

The three students interviewed chose not to comment on the specific details of the tradition. It is unclear at this point precisely what happened at the 5W floor tradition.

The students said returners felt confident that continuing a long-standing tradition would not result in any penalties.

“None of us thought [the tradition] was breaking lifestyle expectations at all,” a second student said.

According to the students, the 12 5W residents involved had individual hearings following the incident and received a verdict of the hearing in an email.

“I think they gave us time but I don’t think they listened to us,” a third student said.

Chuck Strawn, dean of students for community life, said in an interview that while he values campus-wide traditions, he acknowledges their tendency to escalate.

“Hazing activities are still hazing regardless of participation,” Strawn said. “That makes it challenging… people may look like they are having fun but there also may be peer pressure involved.”

According to Strawn, SPU’s lifestyle expectations provide clarity and a good starting point for dialogue surrounding hazing.

On behalf of 5W Ashton, the three students say Residence Life’s decision has created more animosity among the student body.

“This has the potential to ruin our housing experience, college experience, affect our finances and thereby the rest of our lives,” one student said.

This story is developing and will be updated further as details become available.

This article was posted in the section News.

5 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Students evicted from residence hall

  1. So… what actually happened to get the 12 students forced out of the dorms (but not the school)? What was the proposed tradition? Did they physically force the freshmen to take part or was it technically voluntary? What will become of the leadership positions are soon to be vacant?

    To the person who said “This has the potential ruin our housing experience, college experience, affect our finances and thereby the rest of our lives”, Duh. Of course Hazing has the ability to affect a person’s college experience, why should the consequence be any less? You’ll be fine though, other universities treat the dorms simply as places to live, no systemic culture, no “traditions”, simply a place to live that is close to class. Now you’ll have to do what you would have had to anyway, just a year in advance: go out and rent a room. They’re making you move, it’s not anything cruel or unusual. Be glad they aren’t kicking you out entirely (hopefully).

    Craigslist or the SPU housing facebook page would be good places to start looking. You’ll need first and last month’s rent, and they’re going to do a background check on you to see if they want you living on their property, that’ll take at least a couple days so find someone with a couch to crash on, and rent a storage space for your stuff. Your actions have consiquences.

    Welcome to College, the first step to the rest of your life, rule #1: Don’t be a dick.

  2. Residence Life’s decision is a drastic response to the “offending” behavior. If even the RA and the dorm’s Council President voted in favor of the tradition, it could not have been that offensive. The University entrusts residents to these leaders… And should hold them accountable for breaking the University’s rule. Perhaps by removing their leadership status? But evicting them AND their charges? At the end of a month, without rental prospects or the financial capability to secure another living space? Forcing a distraction from studies in order to go through an appeals process and adding financial stress to families who pay this school’s rates?

    This definitely has far-flung ramifications that I discourage my daughter’s school from imposing for a first-time violation. As a parent of a commuter student who has struggled to feel supported and involved… And as a mom who encouraged her daughter to attend a Christian school because the people within its walls likely exercised grace and patience and guidance and compassion and forgiveness… I am disappointed.

  3. Wow, honestly I can’t believe something like this happened at SPU. Traditions are supposed to be fun and they’re a part of the SPU community. While it’s still not entirely clear what happened I don’t think they should have been kicked out of housing or removed from their leadership roles so quickly. Was anyone hurt in this act of “hazing?” Did the people that were allegedly hazed file a complaint with the university or is this just res life making a rash decision after they heard about the incident? This is crazy. I’ll be looking for a followup story. Good reporting Falcon.

  4. As a former student of SPU I am appalled, though not particularly surprised that the Administration overreacted. Throughout my time at the school it became more apparent as the years went on how little regard the administration actually has for the students they claim to care about. It’s true that I don’t the full details of THIS story. But this isn’t the only story, and I know enough of them to make an educated guess.

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