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Should Kansas University officials be allowed to enter rooms in student housing uninvited if authorities believe illegal drinking or drug use is happening inside?

Response Percent Votes
Yes
 
50% 813
No
 
46% 756
Not sure
 
3% 50
Total 1619

Comments

KS 5 years, 11 months ago

If unlawful activities are happening on state property, you betcha! The Universities have an obligation to the taxpayer.

Maracas 5 years, 11 months ago

If officials have probable cause to believe illegal activities are occurring at a certain location at a state institution, of course they should be allowed to enter. Who, besides students who might be engaged in illegal activities in their dorm rooms, could reasonably believe otherwise? Remember, the key word phrase here is "probable cause".

Andrew Boyd 5 years, 11 months ago

they are allowed to do it at many of the other schools in the state. i know for a fact that they are allowed to do it at Pittsburgh state university having lived in the dorms and seeing them enter rooms with probable cause. and 9 times out of 10 finding what they expected to be going on

Scott Overfield 5 years, 11 months ago

Only if they are on double secret probation.

grammaddy 5 years, 11 months ago

Of course!! As long as the student that belongs to the room is present.

labmonkey 5 years, 11 months ago

The students pay rent for these rooms, forcibly if they are freshmen. These rooms are their home and should be treated as such, which means that authorities should be made to obtain a warrant first.

BigPrune 5 years, 11 months ago

We are living during the times of the Obama Regime, where we slowly lose our freedoms. Get used to it.

pusscanthropus 5 years, 11 months ago

Students drinking deadly quantities of alcohol is a lot harder to detect than if they were smoking a relatively harmless joint. Use of the least harmful intoxicant has the stiffest penalties in Kansas. When is that going to end?

CLARKKENT 5 years, 11 months ago

big prune--

i guess we could have bush and chaney back.

times were really good then.

rgh 5 years, 11 months ago

I have the kid going there right now. They are paying rent and like other renters, and the landlord reserves the right to inspect THEIR property and they should as long as there are unbiased observers (even the student) if they have a well written agreement. They have a tremendouse investment to protect. If there is something wrong, then they call in the police as landlords would do. They do own the house (the police do not own it, thus the reason for search warrants as stated in a previous post).

If the students are not doing anything illegal (or against University policy) then why worry. It's like having your car searched if you're pulled over for a simple speeding ticket. If they are doing some illegal then it's wrong no matter how you say it or spell it out and should pay the consequences. If my kid were at home they would have consequences for illegal (or going against my "house" rules) activities!

As for another previous post, Freshman have to live on campus for socialization purposes. Too many young, shy kids would rent an apartment and never do anything to get involved. Despite that being said they are still renting a room and not owning the room or the dorm.

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 11 months ago

I believe that as long as they have probable cause (i.e. hear bottles clinking or smell smoke) that they already can. I thought I remembered signing a form to this effect in my own dorm year.....ah good memories.

Could be wrong though.

imastinker 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree with liberty and lab monkey. Get a search warrant if you are going to just go in. It's a rented room and that persons home. People have a reasonable right to unreasonable search and seizure - which this would be. Notice that the questions does not even say that police are involved - just university officials.

Landlords do have the right to enter the room - but not uninvited or unannounced. I believe a 24 hour notice is required unless they are invited or requested.

Music_Girl 5 years, 11 months ago

The university that I was at relied on the RA's (residential assistants) to report any suspicion of illegal activities. Part of the RA's job was to keep an eye out for illegal acitivities (under aged drinking, drugs, etc). Is that not enough?

Satirical 5 years, 11 months ago

I will go ahead and address the 500 pound gorilla in the room. Students are not people and don't have rights. There, I said what everyone was thinking.

RonBurgandy 5 years, 11 months ago

Big Prune - all I can say is...

"what?"

Dayle Hodges 5 years, 11 months ago

I know what I would say if I was an 18 yr. old freshman living in a dorm. But that was a LONG time ago....and I am much older and hopefully wiser now. On with the search!

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

ls,

According to the article, they would need "probable cause", not merely "suspicion".

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

If there is a written rule that says that alcohol is not permitted in a dorm room, then the university has a right to enforce that. I do disagree with making all freshmen live in a dorm as to socialize them. Some of us are just not comfortable doing that so why try to force people to be around others when they don't want to. There is an option for such a person to have a room of their own in the dorm.

ClaroAtaxia 5 years, 11 months ago

Jafs,

You just described the most controversial aspect of search warrants. Most searches are performed on suspicion usually based on stereotypes or prejudices.

Students pay rent for those dorms, it is their home. Nobody but authorities with a search warrant should be allowed to step foot inside. Even if KU passes this, it won't make the practice legal, and you can bet they will be taken to court over it numerous times. Are the legal fees worth preventing someone from doing something they WANT to do? Laws should protect you from others, NOT yourself!

NDNJAYHAWKER 5 years, 11 months ago

Hell Yeah, isn't that why the dorm monitors are being paid to watch over and make sure everyone is safe and out of harms way. Well that's the way it should be but some people don't follow the rules! At Haskell they just walk in if they think something is UP, so I believe it should be the same every where else.

labmonkey 5 years, 11 months ago

If they thing something is going on, get a warrant and have a law officer come in. Who are University officials anyway?

Music_girl, there are many, many RA's I knew who I would not trust in that position.

penguin 5 years, 11 months ago

This will only serve to drive the move of younger students to the new mega-apartment complexes. (The freshman requirement to live in the dorms was done away with years ago). I know that this will not empty the dorms, but it will change behavior...or the location of that behavior. Students will just move the activites outside the dorms into their cars or other locations.

If I were a freshman, I bet the Reserve, the Grove, the Legends, and whatever other big complex out there would look like a better option. New rules like this will just lead to new ways to get around them.

gsxr600 5 years, 11 months ago

cthulhu_4_president: The RA's don't have any right to enter the student's dorm as of now. I lived there last year and the RA's typically patrol the halls after 11. One time my roommates and I were hanging out having a discussion about alcohol. One of the RA's on duty believed we were drinking when they heard the word "whiskey" and DEMANDED to enter our rooms. We had nothing in there but still told them to politely F-off anyway because they had no proof of anything. Needless to say, we were all written up and had to meet with the complex director for a meeting. Everyone's treated like children there.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 11 months ago

"rgh (Anonymous) says…If the students are not doing anything illegal (or against University policy) then why worry. It's like having your car searched if you're pulled over for a simple speeding ticket."

This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with modern privacy law. Your papers, sir?

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks gsxr. It's been awhile, so I wasn't aware of the exact rules as they stand now.

The only form I explicitly remember signing back then is the one that I agreed to surrender all rights and be quaranteened in the event of an epidemic on campus.
Alas, a topic for another day!! Wonder when the next swine flu article comes out?

ohjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

"Laws should protect you from others, NOT yourself!"

Of course, one could argue that by keeping drinking and drug use in the dorms under control, they are protecting themselves from others. What about a situation when someone drinks or gets high in a dorm and then does something stupid to hurt themselves. You don't think that there wouldn't be a potential for a lawsuit or two from such a scenario?

Matt Toplikar 5 years, 11 months ago

I guess I think of sneaking drinks into the dorm as just part of the dorm experience. Everyone I knew in the dorms was always playing drinking games in their rooms and puking in the bathroom the next day. I remember I was lucky enough to make friends with the security guards-- they helped us sneak a pony keg up to my buddy's room a few times. Face it people-- a good deal of college involves underage drinking, and that's not the worst thing in the world.

Whether this warrantless search and seizure is legal or not, isn't really the question. It's just stupid. Students will still drink-- you'll just be forcing them to drink outside the dorm and most likely drive home afterwards. The way some of these posts are written, you'd guess no one on this forum had ever lived in a dorm.

Jock Navels 5 years, 11 months ago

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Tab 5 years, 11 months ago

I would much rather have my "child"/college student son or daughter have his/her room inspected versus having to bury my child because he/she drank too much alcohol.
Most college students think they are invinsible and that they are above death. That is a completely moronic way of thinking. You can and will die if you drink to the extent of alcohol poisoning.
Yes, yes, yes....please inspect my child's room if you think he/she is drinking in excess.

timetospeakup 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry Tab, once your child turns 18 and moves out of your house, they aren't your property and they can drink to excess if they feel like it.

gsxr600 5 years, 11 months ago

College students will always drink. College freshmen will always drink. It's a fact of life and no rule can change it. That being said, I would much rather these people be drinking in the same place they sleep at. It doesn't cause nearly as much harm as booze cruisin' or going to a party off campus to drink and either drive home drunk (causing accident/death) or walk home (getting hit by a car/death).

tylerfreedom 5 years, 11 months ago

really think this would cut down on underage drinking?? think again....

Ernest Barteldes 5 years, 11 months ago

That is unconstitutional. You need to investigate, get a warrant. Otherwise, stay out.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

"autie (Anonymous) says… Only under the guidelines spelled out in the Landlord/tenant Act."

Student housing doesn't apply so while that may be how you wish it should be it isn't so.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

"ErnestBarteldes (Ernest Barteldes) says… That is unconstitutional. You need to investigate, get a warrant. Otherwise, stay out."

How do you know if it is unconstitutional? In most jurisdictions it is legal for universities to enter student housing and do a visual scan for violations of student housing regulations. In fact, regulations just like this one are common at universities nationwide. I don't know the specific laws governing this topic in this jurisdiction but more likely than not it is legal and it is definitely NOT a violation of the 4th amendment if done correctly.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

"ClaroAtaxia (Anonymous) says… Jafs,

You just described the most controversial aspect of search warrants. Most searches are performed on suspicion usually based on stereotypes or prejudices.

Students pay rent for those dorms, it is their home. Nobody but authorities with a search warrant should be allowed to step foot inside. Even if KU passes this, it won't make the practice legal, and you can bet they will be taken to court over it numerous times. Are the legal fees worth preventing someone from doing something they WANT to do? Laws should protect you from others, NOT yourself!"


Again, while you may believe it should be that way it isn't. You are just plain wrong! Student housing is completely different then say renting an apartment! The administration has a right to actively prevent violations of their housing regulations and in most jurisdictions this exact type of regulation has been found to be legal (and as I have stated prior, it is used by universities nationwide!). They don't need a search warrant and in fact using police would probably make it a 4th amendment issue.

There is nothing more asinine then a bunch of people who know absolutely NOTHING regarding the topic at hand declaring that they know better then lawyers who have practiced in this area of the law for years.

labmonkey 5 years, 11 months ago

Eride-

You throw out insults which makes me think you are not a lawyer. These students pay rent and the administration is the landlord... how can that not be? You sound like a former narc, or a helicopter parent.

To those who say "if they are doing nothing wrong, then they have nothing to hide," let me turn that around and say that if the administration believes there is something illeagal happening in the dorms, why are they afraid to get a warrant and bring in law enforcement? Why go into this gray area legally?

BaneMaler 5 years, 11 months ago

State and Federal laws never supersede a persons basic rights. Until the people of Lawrence and the rest of the country figures this out, we will continue to see these illegal proposals brought up for consideration. Your rights are not granted to you by some local bureaucrats so why are they able to take them away? They can't! Wake up Lawrence, I can't believe the numbers on this pole. I'd like to see the statistic if this were the banks who owned the mortgage to your homes walking into peoples private property on the same pretenses. Students aren't second class citizens or subhuman. They have the same rights as you do.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

"logicsound09 (Anonymous) says… “Student housing is completely different then say renting an apartment!”

––––—

I'm curious which part of the 4th Amendment says that unreasonable search and seizures are okay as long as it's student housing."


My response: 1) You are stating a factual situation where the search is an unreasonable search and seizure which is a violation of the 4th Amendment.

That is the rub my friend. Not every single search done without a warrant, not by the state, without probable cause, , etc is found to be unreasonable. That is the question itself! IS the search unreasonable?

2) You are also failing to distinguish the actions of the state and the actions of someone other then the state. Administrators of institutions are not usually held to the same 4th Amendment restraints (as the state) since they are not actions of the state.

The general view taken by the majority of jurisdictions on this issue is that... if the search is done by housing administrators (not police officers, aka, agents of the state), that it gives notice of the search, and that the search is done for educational and/or safety reasons (not criminal) pursuant to a contract or regulation with the intent of student disciplinary action(not criminal action) it is a reasonable search.

Without actually researching the case law for this jurisdiction (which I would love to do if I didn't have so much other research to do) or reading word for word the new regulation I can't say with certainty that within our jurisdiction it will be found to be legal but the probability of that is high considering the number of universities all across the nation who have this type of regulation, from the description of it given in the paper it seems to be within the bounds of what is considered a reasonable search under the circumstances and the fact that lawyers practicing in this area of the law have spent a lot of time drafting it.

In any case it is silly that so many people who lack any legal education think they know better than lawyers who specialize in this area of the law (the people who drafted this regulation). I actually am a little frightened by how under educated a lot of the people who have posted on this issue seem to be. At least judging from this thread and the one attached to the article on this topic it seems that people don't even have a decent understanding of their basic rights which is really unfortunate...

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

"labmonkey (Anonymous) says… Eride- To those who say “if they are doing nothing wrong, then they have nothing to hide,” let me turn that around and say that if the administration believes there is something illeagal happening in the dorms, why are they afraid to get a warrant and bring in law enforcement? Why go into this gray area legally?"


My response: 1) Getting a warrant is hard and is completely unnecessary for what they are trying to accomplish... I will get to that in a bit.

2) Bringing in law enforcement is unnecessary and in fact out of anything would possibly be a violation of the students 4th Amendment rights, for more on this, see my post right above this one.

3) The point of the regulation is to enforce the rules and regulations that these students signed onto when they agreed to live in student housing. KU Housing has a duty to keep the living environment safe. It cannot do that if it is prevented from taking reasonable action against people violating said rules and regulations. Bringing in the police makes it a criminal matter when the intent is to keep the students safe by the use of disciplinary measures against students breaking said rules and regulations.

4) You might not agree with it, but most likely it is legal. Deal with it.

5) Read my post above this one if you want a little more information about why most likely this new regulation will be perfectly legal in this jurisdiction and why most likely it is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 11 months ago

this will be abused.......

what if your in the dorms having a special moment with your significant other and the university official enters your room. .....

Where is your privacy ?

If they want to do this they need to charge less for the room because part of that price is privacy

trishlovesdolphins 5 years, 11 months ago

I was an RA, I'll tell you exactly what will happen,. They'll add another day to the summer training, and possibly an evening training session once classes start. RAs are NOT law enforcement. If you think something illegal is going on, they should just call the cops and let the cops sort it out.

You'll have RAs who will bend the rules and ignore the drinking as long as the students involved aren't causing a problem, and you'll have the hard asses who will bust in for no reason, usually because they'll just assume something is going on. These are the same RAs who will search a room for contraband when the dorms close down for breaks. You're not supposed to do this, but it happens.

You'll also have RAs who will drink WITH the students, though housing doesn't usually know that goes on. Anymore than they know that some RAs go and pick up drunk students to come back home because a lot of them rather drive home a drunk student than have a drunk driver on the road.

The whole idea is a bunch of crap. All that will happen is the resident will hide the contraband. Hell, buy a small safe and store your contraband in it! "Woah, the RA knocked, so we have 10-30 minutes until they come back with their supervisor! Hide everything!"

So what are they going to do next? Allow searches? The first time they bust in on someone having sex, or even sleeping so sound they don't hear the door, they'll be opened up for complaints. Especially if we're talking female resident and male RA/RA supervisor.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

They are minors, and it is state property.

Ernest Barteldes 5 years, 11 months ago

Eride writes:

I don't know the specific laws governing this topic in this jurisdiction but more likely than not it is legal and it is definitely NOT a violation of the 4th amendment if done correctly.

Eride, that is the problem. You see, if you give officials the power to act any way they wish, rest assured that abuses will happen. From where I stand, no warrant, no deal.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

" ErnestBarteldes (Ernest Barteldes) says… Eride writes: I don't know the specific laws governing this topic in this jurisdiction but more likely than not it is legal and it is definitely NOT a violation of the 4th amendment if done correctly.

Eride, that is the problem. You see, if you give officials the power to act any way they wish, rest assured that abuses will happen. From where I stand, no warrant, no deal."


My response: Maybe you aren't reading all of my posts. The "officials" aren't being given any power to act, the KU Housing administration is being given more of an ability to effectively enforce the rules and regulations.

And I respect your opinion that a warrant should be required to search the rooms but I respectfully disagree. KU Housing has a duty to the students that live with them to keep the living environment safe and they have to be able to effectively enforce the rules and regulations to achieve this. Why should they be liable for the actions of these students and at the same time denied the ability to effectively enforce rules designed to limit the dangerous activities?

Also, KU Housing administrators can't get a warrant, they would have to call the police and at that point what they want to be a student disciplinary action becomes a possibly criminal one.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Eride,

Since underage drinking is, in fact, against the law, why not simply have the police enforce it?

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