The independent news organization of Duke University

Off-campus students do not pose security threats

Hello, my name is Paul Rugani, and I am a security risk. 

I have no violent history, no past record, no predisposition toward crime, but I am nonetheless guilty of a serious offense?my ZIP code is not 27708. 

That's right, I am the face of the new enemy to the Duke community--the off-campus student.

Despite my address, my life at Duke still revolves around West Campus. I'm there every day for classes, sporting events, social activities, etc. I even like to think that during my time on West, I am contributing to the Duke community. 

But according to Fidelia Thomason, by living off campus, I "chose to not be a part of the residential community." 

I take offense to the fact that the administration thinks it can dictate to the students who can and cannot be a part of their campus community. 

The administration wonders on one hand why the students perceive them as enemies while alienating a significant portion of the undergraduate community with adversarial statements and policies.  

The policy practiced in the past was sensible--let the students in each residential house decide to which part of the Duke student body they want to grant access.  A Duke student does not undergo a fundamental character change when he or she moves off campus. He or she does not become any more likely to rob or assault a fellow student by living in Durham than they were while living in the dorms. 

So to be declared a persona non grata and told that I am no longer a welcomed part of the campus community by the administration simply because I changed my address seems absurd. 

Let my fellow students decide how dangerous I am -- and let them exercise their adult right to choose who can enter their place of residence.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Off-campus students do not pose security threats” on social media.