Campus documents 130 complaints regarding student behavior this semester
STLCC-Meramec Campus Police responded to a call near Communications South after a student was struck by another student on campus between 10:30 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. The suspect was suspended, according to Campus President George Wasson.
“If we have to suspend somebody to serve the greater good at Meramec, that’s what we have to do,” Wasson said. “Anyone should be able to traverse the campus without intimidation – without fear of being accosted by anyone, any place.”
At press time, a police report was not immediately available and the case is still under investigation, Police Chief Paul Banta said. The victim positively identified the suspect with a photo, Banta said, and the suspect was detained and released by Kirkwood Police.
“We’re not going to stand for that kind of behavior,” Banta said.
According to Banta, 130 complaints have been documented regarding disruptive behavior this semester. He said the complaints include violations of the campus tobacco ban.
“We haven’t had that problem where we have repeat complaints,” Banta said. “And I’ve been here for four years.”
Banta said the students congregate under the shelter of the communications south building to smoke.
“I think smoking is secondary to disruptive behavior,” Banta said.
All campuses were designated as tobacco-free, effective January 2011. A fine of $15 for violation of the tobacco ban has been proposed and submitted to the Meramec campus councils for approval. The Board of Trustees could approve the fine as soon as January 2012, according to Wasson’s recent memorandum.
Banta said the fine could remedy some of the congregating and in effect the disruptive behavior.
On Oct. 21, a memorandum from Wasson, Vice President of Student Affairs Lin Crawford and Banta was sent to Meramec faculty and staff addressing disruptive behavior: “The Meramec campus leadership is aware of recent problems involving smoking violations, disruptive and disrespectful behavior, the use of offensive and profane language and possible sexual harassment by students congregating between communications south and the business administration building and between communications south and communications north.”
Furthermore, the memorandum disclosed that uniformed police personnel and plain-clothed personnel will be designated to the areas during the targeted days and times, and “disciplinary action will be taken by the vice president of student affairs.”
Banta said complaints are most frequent between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“It’s a sad state of affairs that people don’t do the right thing,” Banta said. “It’s the kind of thing you might see in a sophomore setting.”
Student Melina Lindscog said one of her professors was asked to escort another faculty member through the area outside communications south.
“I try to avoid that area,” Lindscog said. “It’s annoying because you’re a college student, and you’re paying to go to school here.”
Students, faculty and staff are urged to notify campus police of any disturbances throughout the campus.
“We’re all here together. We’re all here for the same purpose. We’re all here for the same end,” Wasson said. “Most students want to protect our campus [and] we need help.”