For many on-campus residents, it often feels as though Big Brother is watching.

As reported in The Hoya today, a number of residents are voicing complaints regarding overzealous resident assistants and disproportionate sanctions for minor infractions relating to alcohol and noise. To make matters worse, the student-run Residential Judicial Council has suspended operations this semester, eliminating a necessary peer voice in the conduct review process.

Without an effective peer review process and with limited transparency, the Office of Residence Life has left many students disillusioned by its operating procedure. These concerns lead to an unhealthy and closed living environment for residents, where the threat of excessive punishments for minor infractions looms overhead.

With reports of over-intrusiveness, we worry the most important function of RAs could be lost in the mix. Residence Life staff ought to be fostering a responsible living environment for a diverse community of students on campus. Veteran RA Mollie Schmitz (COL ’10) told The Hoya that she always sought to strike a balance in her role as a guide to students: “I felt my job as an RA was to make my residents’ first year at Georgetown as good as possible, never to make it worse.”

Her ethos ought to be emulated by all. RAs need to set a safe, realistic standard and their residents need to be told when they’ve crossed the line: Hunting for the sake of the hunt does nothing to better the habitat.

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