Resident assistants respond to dorm partying

Ceci Taylor

As Colorado State University enters its fourth week on campus amid a pandemic, some students living in residence halls on campus have decided to socialize, and even party, with each other.

According to various resident assistants, the responsibility to mitigate the risk of large gatherings has taken a toll and introduced worry for the security of their jobs and housing.


Audrey Lawrence, a CSU sophomore and RA at Newsom Hall, commented on the gatherings she has had to break up while on duty.

“At the beginning, it seemed too much,” Lawrence said. “But over the past week, it hasn’t been as bad as it has in previous years. We’ve encountered some gatherings where they try to party, but we break those down pretty fast.”

Connor McHugh, a CSU junior and RA at Newsom Hall, said he has also noticed gatherings while on duty, though not necessarily in his own hall.

“A few times I’ve been on duty, and I’ve knocked on doors after people have called for a noise complaint,” McHugh said. “The person who was in the room opens the door, and I look in, and there are eight or nine other people in the room. That’s not super great for social distancing.”

McHugh said the gatherings have sometimes included students drinking alcohol and partying, but sometimes it’s simply a group hanging out and watching a movie.

“Not only is our safety jeopardized but so is our housing security and our job.”-Audrey Lawrence, Newsom Hall resident assistant

Lawrence said there’s not typically much resistance from the students once they’ve been asked to break it up.

“There’s a lot of ‘Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know,’ when y’all did know,” Lawrence said. “So not too much resistance, but they don’t really care too much, so it’s like, ‘OK, write my ID down. I’ll be doing it tomorrow.’”

Lawrence said the partying makes her feel frustrated with the residents and their lack of awareness for others. 

“If it was any other year, I would feel pretty okay,” Lawrence said. “I know it’s policy; that’s why I have to do something, but it wouldn’t affect me personally. But this year it makes me frustrated, especially since we’ve learned that RAs essentially don’t have housing security if we get put online.”

McHugh also commented on the new policy regarding RA job security. 


“We also just learned that our contracts were changed without us even knowing,” McHugh said. “We could have to be forced out, even though our contracts should be for the full school year. So even if campus were to close, we should be able to stay in our room, but they’ve been changed, so now if campus closed, we’ll also be forced out of our room. So it’s extra frustrating because there are more impactful consequences.” 

Lawrence said the new policy has made her even more disheartened when she sees students not follow social distancing guidelines. 

“Not only is our safety jeopardized but so is our housing security and our job,” Lawrence said. “More so than any other year, it’s a lot more frustrating this year because they’re not being considerate at all.”

Lawrence said she hasn’t seen many consequences when students get caught, but she knows they exist.

McHugh said that when students are caught, they must write down their IDs for an incident report, which can then be taken to the Student Resolution Center, but he said he hasn’t personally seen any students get more than a conversation with the dorm supervisor. 

“I think a three-strikes-you’re-out rule would be pretty effective,” Lawrence said. “If you get caught hosting a gathering of people in your dorm or you get caught at one of those gatherings more than three times, I feel you should be deemed unsafe to be in the living spaces.”

Lawrence also said she thought there should be a fine because it would make the consequence more meaningful and said that the same should go for those who choose to bring outside guests into the dorms. 

According to CSU’s Housing & Dining Services website, “Non-resident guests are prohibited until the pandemic is over, including residents of other buildings and family members, except in the lobby areas.”

McHugh said he has seen incidents where students who weren’t from Newsom had been gathering in Newsom dorms.

“There’s been one instance … where there were nine people in the room, and a couple of them didn’t even go to CSU,” McHugh said. “They were visiting their friends from Denver, and some were from other buildings.”

Lawrence said that students know they’re not supposed to be bringing in outside guests, so there should also be a punishment for students who choose to break those rules. 

“I think there should be more of a visual consequence because you’re putting every single person in the dorm in danger,” Lawrence said. “Especially when you’re bringing someone who is not from here.” 

Ceci Taylor can be reached at or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.