The start of each new academic year comes with challenges. There are new classes to adjust to, new roommates to get along with and new lessons to be learned.
For students living in the Menlo Annex, a campus theme house where alcohol is prohibited by college policy, these challenges also include a court date.
Three weeks ago, five students were arrested in the campus theme house on Menlo Avenue on accounts of underage possession and maintaining a nuisance. Three of the students wished to express their opinons on the night. In addition to the arrests, 12 minor citations were that night.
“We were having a small gathering of the ultimate team and some close friends, and, basically, a student got too drunk and ended up throwing up outside in our back yard,” junior Dan Heuer said.
As one of the residents of the Menlo Annex who faced arrest, Heuer now finds himself dealing with the consequences.
“This is now what I’m known for,” Heuer said, “This is part of my legacy at Augie.”
Campus Safety initially responded to the student who was sick, but soon after, the Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD) arrived.
“All of a sudden there were two cops, and within 10 minutes there was a total of six squad cars and a canine unit,” Heuer said, “We were arrested on the spot. We spent the whole night in jail.”
Amidst all of the chaos surrounding the arrest, perceptions of safety were not consistent between students and the SFPD.
“[SFPD] let multiple girls walk home alone at 1 a.m. without even a question,” junior Michael Vos said.
Vos expressed no complaints against Campus Safety after his arrest, but he found the presence of the SFPD “excessive.”
“Did I break the law? Sure,” Vos said, “But did it warrant six patrol cars surrounding our house? No.”
The arrest has left the arrested students feeling targeted.
“We weren’t the only party to get busted, but we were the only ones to go to jail,” junior Nic Sveiven said, to which Heuer said, “I do not feel as at home at Augustana as I used to.”
For the rest of the school year, the students living in Menlo Annex will be “flying under the radar,” according to junior Ryan Schnabel, a housemate who was not present for the arrest. The other students in the house echoed his statements, and, additionally, they encouraged students to see their actions and know to be more careful.
“As for the rest of the year, I am definitely going to stay away from any situations that could potentially mean trouble for me,” Vos said.
“I would also suggest to other Augie students that they take the same precautions. It’s not worth it to get into trouble legally.”