The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Staff ed: A productive response came out of the recent Cleveland Hall smoking and security issue

After receiving numerous complaints from students and staff regarding the prevalence of cigarette smoke in Cleveland lounge, Security began patrolling the halls of the dorm in an attempt to curb offending residents.

But officers returned to their regular duties this week as Cleveland Hall residents resolved to honor the smoking ban in an effort to reclaim their dorm. Following a particularly tumultuous week that included a visit from the Grinnell Police Department and daily monitoring from Campus Security, a handful of self-governing students expressed their concerns about the apparent breakdown in communication between the students of Cleveland and Student Affairs. Now, after a series of all-dorm meetings, letters to the editor in the S&B, and meetings with administrators, lines of communication have been reestablished. Check-ins from Campus Security have stopped, and Cleveland is effectively smoke-free. While we’re delighted that the situation has been resolved, we remain troubled by the fact that self governance, at least at the onset, broke down.

Rather than write off administrators as impervious and generally unreceptive of students’ voice, Cleveland residents filed their grievances in a manner that was prompt, well-articulated, and respectful of the positions of all parties involved in the conversation. Often people highlight instances in which self-governance has failed but this is a case in which self-governance has prevailed.

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