Most students have at one point seen two people kissing in their car or noticed two shadows moving around through the tinted windows of a car’s backseat. Some students might consider this situation awkward or annoying; some might just ignore it.
But most students who have ever been one of the two shadows in a car’s backseat realize this is risky behavior.
Students who choose to make out or more, in their backseat dread the moment when the Pierce College security officer’s vehicle pulls up next to their car, and the officer knocks on their window with a flashlight.
When this happens, the two students will hurriedly pull clothing items back on, and look at each other frightfully before opening the car door to face the security guard.
“I need your student IDs,” he says.
The students reluctantly hand over their student IDs and wait nervously in their car, wondering what will happen to them.
“Will we get a ticket?” One person might ask.
“Will they tell my parents?” The other might ask if he or she is in running start.
The students get their IDs back, and the security guard tells them to take it off campus. The students leave, wondering if they must face some later punishment.
For students who find themselves in that situation, a couple things could happen.
The officer might just tell the students to leave and the students won’t hear about it again. Or security might report it to Mari Kruger, director of student support services and student life, who will then call a conference with the students.
After Mari meets with the students a few actions could be taken, depending on circumstances.
“The code of conduct allows a range of options from a verbal warning to expulsion,” Kruger says.
She says she takes into account a student’s past behavior and the particular circumstances of the incident.
In the past, Kruger has issued consequences from verbal warnings to probations. And she says suspensions may have occurred in certain situations.
Couples who like to hangout in their car may wonder where the line is when security is looking for situations like that.
According to Maureen Rickertsen, head of campus safety at the Puyallup campus, there isn’t really a line.
“If we see something going on, we check it out,” she says.
It’s usually easy for security to tell what’s going on too.
“It’s real obvious if there is one car parked far out in the parking lot where there are no other cars,” Rickertsen says.
There is a reason security tries to keep track of all these issues though. Rickertsen says they have to keep track of any incident, in case one of them turns out to be a sex offense.
So when security stops a couple from having PDA in their car, instead of getting upset, the students should realize this means security has got their backs. If a student were ever the victim of sexual offense, they wouldn’t want security to pass on by assuming it was just a couple messing around.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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