CUA off-campus houses face reprimand

Catholic University of America student tenants at three Brookland houses will be alerted this week of their school's groundbreaking decision to designate their homes as "disciplined properties" where no party can occur pending university sanctions.

The policy dictates that any party or gathering at a "disciplined property" which, in the university's judgement, involves underage or abusive drinking and results in a disturbance warrants strict disciplinary action, CUA General Counsel Craig Parker said.

"Frankly, our students are not yet aware that this policy is in consideration by the university," Parker said. The policy is patterned after a similar system implemented in San Diego, Calif., where police can show up and immediately start writing tickets for "whopping big fines." In San Diego, the "capping" of certain houses was a city ordinance, but CUA-a private institution-can bypass city approval.

The policy will apply to current and future tenants at CUA homes. In the Brookland neighborhood, less than a dozen houses have been pinpointed in the past two years as "bad party houses," Parker said.

Most of the targeted residences have absentee landlords and have traditionally been inhabited by students and been disruptive, he said.

"This allows us to break that cycle," Parker said. "We hope to be able to work on preventing unjust implementation of this policy... it won't be enforced willy-nilly."

Throughout the summer, administrators from seven D.C. universities, including AU, have been working in a consortium nicknamed CARE (Campus Alcohol Reduction Effort). Catholic is the first of the seven to implement such a policy.

Parker said he is unsure of whether other schools will follow CUA's lead.

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