Let’s keep RA charges a rarity

Former Hemlock Hall resident assistant Carlos Chavez was charged Nov. 9 with providing alcohol and drugs to students.

Chavez, who originally denied the allegations against him, allegedly admitted to campus police that he was involved—only after being advised that several students had spoken with police about his alleged actions.

Resident assistants have an elevated position on campus. They should be held to higher standards when carrying out their responsibilities, without breaking any laws or supplying illegal substances to underage students. We expect them to be held to those standards.

In this case the criminal activity was discovered relatively quickly—a few months after it allegedly began. Chavez had allegedly been providing students with alcohol since he turned 21 in August. He was charged roughly three months later.

This is shocking and, thankfully, rare.

Those applying to be resident assistants must pass a background check, and, clearly, their applications are reviewed thoroughly. The staff that selects resident assistants have apparently made good decisions for the most part. Only one of the 46 resident assistants hired at the beginning of the year was an anomaly.

Providing the information necessary to file these charges against Chavez speaks positively of the integrity of the students who told the police they had purchased alcohol or drugs from him.

It is encouraging and commendable to see housing staff make good selections for resident assistants. Campus police should be applauded for charging those who take advantage of their positions. The students of Pitt-Johnstown also deserve recognition for speaking up and providing information to the police.

The system works. Let’s keep it that way.