Five Lose Dorm Jobs After Holding Parties With Alcohol

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Several UC Berkeley resident assistants were fired the night before move-in day last month for holding parties with alcohol in their dorm rooms.

Five resident assistants-two from Bowles Hall, one from Unit 1 and two from Clark Kerr Campus-were fired for hosting parties during which alcohol was served to minors. Most of the three separate incidents took place before residents moved into the dormitories.

The circumstances of each incident differed, according to accounts from several of the resident assistants fired.

At the Unit 1 incident, a drug dealer had repeatedly attempted to enter the dorm room, said a source who was present and requested anonymity. Attendees called UC police, who came to the gathering, the source added.

The morning after the party at Bowles Hall, Director of Football Operations Paul Shea threatened to have the resident assistants fired, citing that football players staying at the residence hall the night before had difficulty sleeping because of the party's noise level, said the resident assistant fired from Bowles Hall, who also requested anonymity.

But Shea's role in the actual firing of the resident assistants from Bowles Hall remains unknown.

The incident at Clark Kerr Campus involved minimal alcohol and a majority of attendees were over the legal drinking age, said the fired Clark Kerr resident assistants, who wished to be anonymous.

All five resident assistants appealed their termination, but only the two from Clark Kerr were reinstated.

Among the regulations outlined in Residential and Family Living's Resident Assistant Manual, resident assistants are prohibited from serving alcohol to minors in the dorms and planning on-campus events where alcohol will be illegally consumed.

Vic Culatta, director of Residential and Family Living, said he supported the firings because "(Residential Family Living) expects our RAs to be a positive role model in their community."

But Bryant Yang, the Student Advocate Office Chief of Staff, disagreed with Culatta's justification to fire the resident assistants.

"The role modeling issue is ridiculous," he said. "The whole concept of being role models for other residents is unfounded because the incidents occurred before the residents moved in."

One of the fired resident assistants, who also wished to remain anonymous, said the code of conduct for resident assistants is unclear.

"We thought such things (as parties) were tolerated before the beginning of the (academic) year, but apparently they weren't," he said. "There was almost a miscommunication gap before because we didn't realize how much we were on the job."

Resident assistants are not subject to the same conduct process as dormitory residents.

Culatta maintained that expectations for residence hall staff are clearly outlined.

"The RAs receive many hours of training, and the expectations and roles of RA's are clearly listed in the job description."

Misha Leybovich, the resident assistant from Unit 1 who was fired, said he understands the grounds for his removal by the university.

"The fact is that a policy was violated," he said.

The resident assistants who were not rehired said finding housing on such short notice was difficult, though they did receive assistance in finding housing elsewhere from their former employers.

Last week, Leybovich, who is an ASUC senator, authored a bill which stated that "RAs are lacking rights of due process, appeal and equal protection." The bill was postponed for further revisions.


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