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Drunken antics disturb late-night ASC

By Kaila Frisone
On April 15, 2014

Several students are taking advantage of the 24-hour availability of the Armstrong Student Center. Whether they use the building to study, grab a late-night meal at Pulley Diner or Emporium, warm up on a cold or rainy night, or spend time with friends, students are giving the center plenty of late-night traffic- at times, under the influence.

The building staff is well-aware students may enter the building intoxicated, but Director Katie Wilson said they are prepared to handle the situation.

A Miami University Police Department (MUPD) officer is on duty from midnight until 4 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

"The MUPD officer is there to help support the staff in monitoring the building and ensure student safety," Wilson said. "Students said that having an officer there would increase their sense that the Armstrong Student Center is a safe place to go late at night."

Despite safety precautions, junior Nathan Lutz witnessed a crime at the Armstrong Student Center late February 28. He was working in a study room that overlooks the circulation desk on the first floor when an intoxicated student pretended to be working the desk. A police officer came to his study room to ask if he noticed anything suspicious at the desk because somebody had unplugged the computer and attempted to steal it. Lutz provided the officer with characteristics of the suspect.

"The only thing that even attracted my attention (to the front desk) was his two friends on the other side of the desk, who were both clearly intoxicated and had their hands all over each other," Lutz said.

He later saw the student laughing while overlooking the desk from the second floor. Lutz contacted the police and told an employee standing nearby that this was the man they were looking for. Lutz was later told that the student was arrested for attempted theft, underage intoxication and possession of a fake ID.

Wilson said there have been instances of vomiting and vandalism but so far, the late nights at Armstrong have been more or less problem-free.

Sophomore Sam Sloane said she frequently studies in Armstrong late at night and notices many intoxicated students heading to Pulley Diner.

Executive Manager Tina Rotundo said Pulley Diner's sales are picking up as the semester progresses. Meanwhile, Emporium, which is now open 24 hours as well, is slower than they anticipated.

"We knew we wouldn't make any money having it open third shift, but it's more of a service to take care of our students," Rotundo said.

Wilson said the budget was designed with 24 hour operation in mind. They also prepared for occurrences by having custodial staff available to clean up.

Rotundo said they are not encountering many issues with intoxicated students. Wilson recalled a vomit situation near the seal, but the perpetrator was never identified. Wilson said security cameras are located in all of the major areas of the Armstrong Student Center, but she did not use them to attempt identifying the culprit.

She said in the case that a student is cited for vomiting, he or she would also be charged for the cleanup costs. She said the center is not experiencing too many cases of disturbances overall, and that the building is meeting a need that students have.

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