Not all new experiences make for a good time

By Elsa Schmitz, Opinion Editor

A new year at college brings the opportunity to expand minds, take chances and experience new things.

Students can be certain that there will be a variety of experiences available to them whenever a new school year begins.

Perhaps a new club is created or someone takes a chance and signs up for that free mic session at the local coffee shop. In any case, there are many fun things bound to happen both on and off Eastern Washington University’s campus.

However, students who focus too much on the fun aspects of college may be riding a fine line between setting aside time for fun and being reckless.

Students who find themselves in sticky situations — like receiving a minor in possession citation, receiving a driving under the influence citation or even being charged with assault — may find themselves under sanctions by Eastern Washington University. These sanctions include loss of financial aid, probation and dismissal from the University.

It is important for students to understand that although college may seem like a completely separate world from the one they’ve known, it is still subject to rules and regulations set by the university, the state and the federal government.

There are a lot of resources available to students that outline what the university expects of the student body’s conduct, the importance of keeping oneself safe and what state laws and regulations may apply to students who find themselves in sticky situations.

Eastern Washington University has a comprehensive student conduct code, which outlines what standards the university will hold students to.

Within this document, the university sets standards including the policies on academic dishonesty, social misconduct, hazing and alcohol and substance abuse. The consequences of breaking these policies are outlined further on in the document.

Along with Eastern Washington University’s student conduct code, there are federal and state laws that impact students.

In the past year, Washington state saw the passing of Initiative 502. This initiative allows for those 21 years of age and older to have possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia and up to one ounce of usable marijuana.

However, it is important to note that those who are present on the Eastern Washington University campus are still subject to the federal laws over the new I-502. This means that those who choose to partake in the allowances made by this initiative had better do so off Eastern Washington University campus and under the explicit statutes lined out by the initiative.

It is important that students take the time to view these resources available to them, especially those who are going to be living on campus this year. Any violation of these codes of conduct and laws can result in consequences that can affect a student in the present as well as in the future.

If too much time is spent partying and getting in trouble, then a future employer might have second thoughts about hiring you. If you have dreams of getting into the perfect graduate school, then make sure time is set aside for studying and staying on top of your schoolwork.

One way to make sure to have fun without causing trouble for yourself is to join one of the many organizations on campus, begin your own or find an opportunity in the community to keep yourself busy.

Students shouldn’t feel like they aren’t allowed to have any fun while here at Eastern Washington University, but should rather see that there is a delicate balance between the fun aspect and the work aspect. As the saying goes, “Work hard, play hard.”