The Waterville Police Department shut down a party reportedly held on Winter Street in Waterville last weekend where officers counted 111 students (The Colby Echo has yet to confirm with the police department that all of these were Colby students).
34 students were given citations for possessing alcohol as a minor, and the apartment’s renter received a citation for the misdemeanor charge of furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol.
“The police department received a complaint of a very large group of students drinking and ma ing loud and unreasonable noises,” Waterville Police Department Chief of Police Joseph Massey wrote in an email to The Colby Echo. “It was a routine response by patrol and when they arrived on scene, they observed a large crowd of students, and many of them were drinking alcohol.”
Massey said that officers at the scene reported seeing many of the students not wearing face masks but did not issue any citations for this.
He has “been in communication” with Colby Director of Security Bob Williams, with whom he has “discussed the incident in-depth.”
The College often emphasizes the importance of student civic engagement, Massey noted. “Students should consider this when planning these large parties that disturb their neighbors,” he said.
Massey also shared that the Waterville Police Department has not responded to as many student parties as in past years, which he guessed was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Dean of Students Steve Moran wrote to The Colby Echo that “the off-campus gathering this
past weekend was unfortunate and it is being taken very seriously. We are currently investigating the situation. Please understand that we are unable to disclose specific disciplinary information and individual sanctions will remain private as mandated by FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).”
Director of Campus Life Jess Manno described the College’s approach to off-campus housing in an email to The Colby Echo.
“We believe the residential college experience is integral to a liberal arts education,” she wrote. “To support this, we require students to live in Colby housing with some very limited exceptions. Applications for those with documented exceptions are reviewed by the Off-Campus Housing Committee.”
She said that the number of students living off-campus fluctuates by year depending on the number of students who submit “eligible applications.”
Manno said that this incident, on its own, will not affect the off-campus housing approval process.
The College is not able to disclose if the renter of the house was approved to live off-campus or not.
When asked what Colby does to ensure that non-approved students do not live off campus, Manno said that “the College utilizes a range of disciplinary ac- tions and sanctions for stu- dents who do not adhere to this requirement, as it does when students violate other elements of the Student Handbook.”
Manno shared that the College is coordinating with the Waterville Police Department to investigate the off-campus gathering and will take disciplinary action based on various factors “not the least of which is putting at risk the health and safety or our community.”
The off-campus housing section of the Colby Student Handbook says that “if granted permission to live in off-campus housing, students are expected to comply with the applicable provisions of this Handbook. Likewise, students in need of off-campus housing as part of an accommodation must apply for such housing through the Associate Director for Student Access and Disability Services. Final approval to live off campus must be granted by the Dean of Students.”
This article will be updated online as more in- formation becomes available. You can find our articles online at colbyecho.news.
~ Sonia Lachter ‘22 and Molly George ‘23