Attorney’s advice: be smart, nice, quiet

Not all weekends feature Macklemore, Tour de Fat and The Rocky Mountain Showdown.

While there are plenty of opportunities for fun, the university has rules and guidelines for student behavior. The Student Conduct Code applies to all students, on and off the CSU campus.


According to Rob Lowrey, a staff attorney at CSU’s Student Legal Services office, there are three rules to having fun and not getting into too much trouble at school — be smart, be nice and be quiet.

“In the residence halls, the most prevalent charges are MIP and marijuana possession. The best way to avoid them of course, is to not drink or possess marijuana,” Lowrey wrote in an email to the Collegian. “The next best way to avoid these charges in the residence halls is to leave your door closed.”

As a dry university, alcohol is prohibited on CSU’s campus, regardless of age. Possessing alcohol or showing obvious signs of intoxication can lead to trouble with the school, in addition to possible police charges.

Marijuana is still illegal on the CSU campus, despite Colorado laws permitting its use.

“RAs and police officers listen through doors and smell door jams looking and listening for violations,” Lowrey said. “Smoking in the alley across the street is not really a secret either.”

In the event that a resident assistant or police officer knocks on the door, students have every right to refuse to open the door.

The Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, extends to students living in dorm rooms. The room cannot be searched without a court ordered warrant. Some argue, however, that compliance is a better route when police are involved.

Asia Upchurch, a junior agricultural sciences major, is an RA. Her advice is to get to know the officer who patrols your dorm’s halls and ask questions about what is allowed.

“If you are drinking in your room, admit it. If you are smoking marijuana, they know and lying isn’t going to help,” Upchurch wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Upchurch said that she has heard officers report student honesty, in the hopes that it might lessen the consequences.


“Don’t bulls**t them, they aren’t stupid and all they want to do is help you,” Upchurch wrote.

For students who take their fun off campus, there is usually a fair amount of leniency.

Leighanna Voyles was a sophomore when the cops arrived at an overcrowded off-campus Halloween party.

“(The cops) walked in, made a few jokes and then told us all to leave. Those who left on first request were left alone,” Voyles said.

Although there may have been consequences for the hosts of the party, most of the guests walked out unscathed.

“The people who ignored (the cops), tried to hide, or argued, were breathalyzed and ticketed,” Voyles said. “I just think it’s better to be compliant, otherwise things get out of hand.”

Collegian Senior Reporter Mariah Wenzel can be reached at