Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Students can face university sanctions

by RANDY WELLS rwells@indianagazette.net on October 10, 2013 10:59 AM

Robin Gorman, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s nonvoting representative to Indiana Borough council, listened Tuesday as council President Nancy Jones described borough efforts to contain rowdy homecoming celebrants and called on council to be proactive in placing more controls on future homecoming weekends.

“We are constantly trying to mitigate” such situations, Gorman told council, adding that university administrators “have a lot of discussions” with students about how they are expected to behave on- and off-campus.

“We have a message of safety and respect for the community … and we get that message out however we can” to university students, IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling said Wednesday.

And the university administrators also make sure students know they will be held accountable for their illegal or uncivil actions, she said.

Once they are charged or cited for a crime, IUP students are also subject to sanctions under the university’s adjudication process, Fryling said. For example, sanctions can include drug and alcohol education. And students can be suspended if deemed to be a danger to the community.

“Homecoming is a great draw for thousands of folks,” Fryling said, and — as acknowledged by others at Tuesday’s council meeting — some of the offenses during homecoming are committed by borough residents and by nonresidents who come to town to crash the party.

Fryling said IUP is also trying to change the culture of homecoming by hosting the nonalcohol, semi-formal Monte Carlo casino night as alternative entertainment.

Monte Carlo night, held at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on Saturday night, included dancing, casino games, prizes, catered food and a movie marathon and was attended by hundreds of students, she said.

Also, according to the university, volunteers from 13 IUP fraternities and 12 sororities Saturday picked up trash and cleaned the homecoming parade route as a community service.

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