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Q & A with Rob Lowrey

My three rules for staying out of trouble are: be smart, be nice, and be quiet.

Collegian: What is the most common problem students need legal service for?
Lowrey: Most common problems are minors possessing alcohol, marijuana possession, disorderly conduct, fake ID charges and, unfortunately, DUI.


C: Does a student have to open his door when an RA knocks?
L: No. A student does not have to answer their door for an RA, a police officer or anyone else. No American citizen is required to answer their door for anyone, ever. Often it is a good idea, especially off-campus, but  it is NEVER required.

C: What are the consequences if they don’t? What trouble will they face?
L: Not answering the door in the residence halls means that, in a low-level situation, the RAs and/or the police will go away and the issue will likely be dealt only through student discipline rather than both student discipline and the courts. In a serious case or medical emergency, the police will get a search warrant or just key into the room.

C: Does Student Legal Services look at marijuana possession differently now that Amendment 64 has passed?
L: Marijuana possession is still illegal for students under 21. RA’s and the police WILL smell it through your door in the residence hall.

C: What happens if a student gets “caught” (drinking, using illicit drugs) off campus? Out of town? Is this handled differently on term breaks?
L: The Student Conduct Code applies equally to on and off-campus conduct. The farther off campus it is, the less likely the university will find out.

C: What is the difference between how CSUPD handles disciplinary action towards students and Fort Collins police?
L: Sometimes, CSUPD will issue a CSU violation (“Yellow”) ticket for a first offense alcohol or low-level drug offense. Otherwise, the police are generally the police.

C: Are students automatically represented by Student Legal Services when they come into legal trouble?
L: No, students must come to Student Legal Services in room 182 LSC to ask for our help. As a general rule, SLS does not represent students (there are 26,000 of you and only 3 of us). We provide advice, guidance, support and referrals where needed.

C: Does a student’s permanent record affect their life at CSU?|
L: A student’s permanent record affects them forever. That is why it is a good idea to talk to an attorney before  making any decisions in a criminal case.

C: What action does CSU take when a student is caught using a fake I.D.?
L: Fake ID’s are NEVER worth the risk. If you get caught, the I.D. will be confiscated and you will be charged with  “Unlawful Possession of a Driver’s License” and “Attempting to Obtain Alcohol By Misrepresentation of Age” which could lead to fines, jail and a permanent criminal record. Then student discipline could impose  sanctions up to and including suspension from the university.

C: What are the consequences of a noise violation for off-campus students?
L: A fine of $350-$1000, attend a Party Partners class, $25 court costs, community service, “reflection paper”


C: Is it better for a student to admit they’re at fault, or deny accusations until proven guilty, when it comes to alcohol or drug possession?
L: It is always better to remain silent and talk to an attorney before admitting anything. Remember “Smart, Nice, and Quiet.” Albert Einstein once said: “if A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z.   X is work. Y  is play. Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

C: What happens if a student doesn’t follow through about a warning given from Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services?
L: A hold will be placed on a student’s account until they comply with requirements handed down through student discipline.

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