by Heidi Anderson

Some of the rules found in the student handbook surprise even the students who have been attending the University of Northwestern – St. Paul for four years or more. Most students who were interviewed acknowledged that they have not read the student handbook. The student handbook contains some rules that are not very obvious, and students might not realize they are breaking them. One of the new resident directors, Charles Amoh of ROMO residence halls, said that some of the students do not realize they cannot put their bikes on the balconies of their rooms in Moyer or Pittman North. Amoh also has a word to all students who live in the residence halls not to lend their keys to anybody else, which can result in a 100 dollar fine.

Picture of old UNW handbooksWhen Sarah McCord, a super senior theater and vocal performance double major, took a look at the student handbook, two rules were surprising to her. “The ban on nonalcoholic beers and a one dollar fee for being locked out during the academic hours are quite surprising.” According to Amoh, a one dollar penalty for asking the residential staff to open the dorm rooms is a policy, yet most resident directors will not enforce it. The resident directors do have the right to charge students a one dollar fine when they forget their keys. Wherever they go, students are to make sure they have their room keys with them.

Why would Northwestern prohibit students’ consumption and possession of nonalcoholic beer? “Imagine a residence life staff member is confronting students because they smell like beer, all that students would have to say is that it was non-alcoholic beer…It’s better to just eliminate the question rather than splitting hairs,” explained Sarah Rima, a resident director of KnuHa.

Thankfully, current students at Northwestern can live a lifestyle more suitable to our current culture. According to older student handbooks (1948-49), shorts were prohibited, men and women were not allowed to leave the city together, marriage while in college was strongly discouraged and the movie theater was a questionable place to go. None of these rules are present in the current student handbook anymore. Anna Heruth, senior Interdisciplinary major states, “I appreciate and respect Northwestern’s ability to adapt to the culture.” She has also mentioned she understands the rules we have at Northwestern are “protecting the brothers and sisters in Christ” after receiving leadership training.

There are more rules students might not realize or might have even been breaking without knowing it. John Hyttsten, resident director of Knutson said, “The expectation from the university is that all students are familiar with what is written in the handbook…when it comes to national, state, or city laws…if you find yourself in violation of them ‘I didn’t know’ isn’t an excuse that law enforcement let slide.” Thus, a suggestion from the Student Life staff is to read the handbook and grasp the main ideas of what the university expects from its students. The handbook can be found at the bottom of The Rock by the Northwestern logo.


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