The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter: Cleveland police interrogations

Picture this: you come back from spring break and spend a lovely Sunday reconnecting with friends. You go to bed to get a good night’s sleep for your first class back on Monday at 9 a.m. You are dreaming of the future Grinnell Water Park, when suddenly you are awoken by loud bangs on your door. You open the door to see a police officer and Steven Briscoe on the other side as they begin to interrogate you.

This story refers to the incident that took place in Cleveland Hall at two in the morning this past Sunday night. In response to finding an illegal substance in Cleveland Lounge (a common space), Grinnell security and Grinnell Town Police began to search the first and second floors of our dorm. Anyone caught in the hallway of the first or second floor was interrogated and residents were awoken and kept awake by security and police forces. They were looking for names of people who spend time in the lounge to incriminate in association with substances and personal belongings found there. We understand the legitimacy of the complaints and accusations against the lounge, especially in light of the substances found. However, the manner in which the search was conducted showed a lack of personal respect for the students in the dorm and a violation of our sense of security. Shining flashlights in students’ faces as they sleep and random interrogations were not welcome at two a.m. the night before classes began.

There is a huge gap in communication between the administration and the residents of our dormitory. There was a noticeable, uncomfortable and unexpected change in the presence of security in our home starting with the beginning of spring break. Security started coming in at least four times a day and have continued their rounds regularly. It is unfortunate that Cleveland has been targeted because residents have begun to feel less safe and less at home. If the administration had chosen other paths to communicate and educate the residents of the dorm about the Clean Air Act, such as through our RLC and SAs, we would not feel so accosted. We hope that we all can facilitate better communication in the future, in order to prevent such drastic changes in security measures. Cleveland has always demonstrated responsible self-governance and we will continue to do so, if only we are allowed.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *