Clinton Apartments adopt 24-hour quiet hours policy

by Brittany Robb, copy editor

Simpson College students looking for the best party spot better not hit up Clinton Apartments the rest of spring semester.

Clinton is now under a 24-hour quiet hours policy following a difficult fall semester and rocky start to the spring semester. Along with an uptick in noise complaints over the 2014-2015 academic year, numerous accounts of excessive partying and even vandalism led to the policy changes in Simpson’s largest apartment complex.

Luke Behaunek, dean of students and director of Residence Life, worked with Residence Life professional and student staff, as well as the Student Government Association (SGA) Student Conduct Board, to come up with the new policy.

 “We had several avenues we could have approached in regards to policy changes,” Behaunek said. “First off, we could have done nothing. Another option was making the building alcohol-free for the remainder of this year.”

The most extreme measure briefly proposed during deliberations was restricting visitor access to the building from anyone who doesn’t live in the building. As the policy options were discussed, that option quickly died, he said.

According to a Nov. 10 Simpsonian article, this is not the first set of changes implemented in Clinton.

From shortly after fall break until after Thanksgiving break, Clinton was alcohol free for all residents and visitors.

“Due to the size of the vandalism, the Residence Life staff felt like it needed to change its policy in order for the vandalism to stop and change the culture of the building as a whole,” said Bryant McWilliams, a Residence Life staff member in Clinton. “You have to start somewhere and this is about the best place you could really start for it.”

This policy change was only one of multiple attempts by Residence Life last semester to stave off the party culture in Clinton.

While last semester’s policy was only a few week trial, the quiet hours policy newly enacted appears to be a longer-term solution.

The question for Simpson students now revolves around a decision coming soon: the room selection process for fall 2015.

Behaunek did not see the policy carrying into summer housing or next year’s housing policies.

“Each year is a little bit different. Last year, room selection filled differently than it ever has,” he said. “We had some groups of some sophomores in Station Square, which is very unusual. Clinton was very desirable by some but was also one of the buildings to fill last, partly due to its size.”

While the culture of Clinton Apartments is a concern for residents and staff members of Residence Life, the new fall housing arrangements present an opportunity to affect change in the building that, according to Behaunek, has had its party stigma since at least 2010.

“I hope that there’s a middle ground,” Behaunek said. “Where we have people in that building that want to live in Clinton and aren’t dissuaded from living there because of the current culture of the building.”