By Marika Garland
Christina Mastrangelo, director of Student Activities and Greek Life, has been conducting searches in the Peirce Hall offices of several student groups without many of those groups’ knowledge or consent. The Collegian, Greek Council, Student Council, Social Board, the Black Student Union, The Observer and HIKA all have offices in Peirce.
Mastrangelo visits these offices to ensure students do not drink in their offices. “They’re aware they’re not supposed to have alcohol there, so whether or not they know I check is besides the point because if they have alcohol in there, it’s violating College policy,” she said. “… I think it’s valid to check that the space is being respected.”
Mastrangelo has issued sanctions for alcohol in student offices every semester she has worked at Kenyon, including one for the Collegian office in spring 2011. None of the offices have had any violations yet this year, however, according to Mastrangelo.
“Those spaces are prime student office space, so if those groups aren’t using them or are using them inappropriately, that’s unfair to all those groups that want that space and would respect that space,” she said.
Leaders from many of the groups said they were unaware of Mastrangelo’s visits. “I understand why she does it, but I think it would be in the best interests of everyone involved if we’re aware of it,” Student Council President Ryan Motevalli-Oliner ’12 said. “… The knowledge that it could happen would be nice so we can keep sensitive information off the desks.”
Virginia Falzon ’14, Greek Council’s publicity coordinator, had not heard anything about the searches. “I have no idea if it’s true, and if it is true, it’s a little strange,” she said.
“I feel like since she’s doing it without our knowledge, it’s a breach of privacy,” HIKA Co-Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth McLees ’12 said.
“Her searching makes it seem like we’re doing illicit things, which we’re not.”
In addition to Mastrangelo, Campus Safety, Associate Dean of Students Tacci Smith, Maintenance and the Peirce Manager all have access to student offices in Peirce. When custodial staff members find alcohol in garbage cans in Peirce, they must report it to Mastrangelo, she said.
“If I happen to be on the third floor … sometimes then I’ll go through. I don’t search through stuff, I just poke my head in,” Mastrangelo said. “I just make sure there is nothing sitting out in open spaces that appears as if they’ve been drinking in the office.”
Additional reporting by Erin Mershon.