DYSTOPIA–Dystopia College’s handling of a Native American student’s complaint about a housing issue has drawn a volley of criticism.
A complaint filed with Residence Life Director LaVita Loca N. Prentiss by freshman Paul O’Standingwater stated that three white students had invaded his room in Hale Hall and would not leave despite his repeated urgent pleas.
O’Standingwater said the situation began innocently enough when the three students, identified as James England, Patrick Mulligan, and Alistair McScott, dropped by one afternoon to play video games. He said they seem like friends at first and brought a bottle of rum, so he tried to be a good host, but around midnight he was ready for bed and they wouldn’t leave. They were still there the following day and still haven’t left, he said. He reported the problem after “about a week.”
Printess said that a Hale Hall resident assistant, accompanied by a Residence Life staff member investigated the complaint “within a couple of weeks of receiving it” and confirmed the situation that O’Standingwater reported.
Unfortunately, she said, her office “doesn’t really have any authority” to remove students from a room that they are occupying, providing that they aren’t breaking the rules set out in the housing agreement, which doesn’t seem to cover “unforeseen circumstances such as this.” Therefore, she said, she could not do much about the problem except reserve another room which happened to be available at the far west end of the building for O’Standingwater and provide him with “some help to get moved.”
O’Standingwater said he appreciates Prentiss’s efforts, but they just didn’t go far enough. “My old room was much better,” he said, adding that it had “a door, a window, and electrical outlets.” In his new accommodations, however, “I don’t have much privacy, and the constant flow of people climbing the stairs makes it hard to get much sleep.” He said that although it was described to him as a room, “it’s a lot like a stairwell, actually.”
O’Standingwater said that he is glad to at least have some shelter since he cannot afford to rent an apartment, but he really doesn’t think the three other students should have been allowed to take over his room.
His plight drew the attention of a local legal-aid organization, which has provided him with a lawyer, Rhett Kicking Ass. Kicking Ass said, while polishing a tomahawk, that he has every intention of living up to his name if the college does not more satisfactorily resolve this situation.
T. Allen Culpepper