Typically school dances are not exactly the type of place that is suitible for an old fashion bare knuckle brawl. Which is precisely what took place last semester here at TJC in late Oct.
“Campus Safety provides safety and security to those on TJC property. I want everybody to just have a good time,” Randy Melton, Director of Campus Safety, said.
A large fight broke out near Rogers Student Center at the Homecoming Dance on Oct. 11, 2008. Campus Safety said the people involved were not apart of the dance. They were dressed casually even though it was a formal dance. They were also believed to be non-students. During that time, security equipment in the area of the fight was not functioning properly. Therefore, it was not caught on video.
Once again, another scirmish broke out the night of the Halloween Dance on October 29, 2009. Melton said that campus officers were at the dance and that the trouble started from the inside. The officers broke up the fight. However, it maneuvered outside into the parking lot.
“Girls were involved too,” Melton said.
On the same night, two different groups seemed to be associated with the fights. The problem did not end there. It continued onto Palmer and Baxter Street where a vehicle was scratched and dented in result.
Maria Cazares, a resident of Hudnall, walked outside and saw a large group running across the parking lot.
“One fight broke out between two males on Baxter Street and everyone ran from the surrounding dorms to see what was happening and to try to break it up,” Cazares said.
Students who were involved on the night of the Halloween dance had to report to Student Affairs for their behavior.
All students are to abide by the TJC Student Code of Conduct. If a student breaks a rule, they go through what is called a “process to deal with our students through our Student Code of Conduct,” Dr. Austin Lane, Vice President of Student Affairs, said.
“Students on campus can be disciplined for a number of things: drinking, smoking, fighting, hazing, theft, disruptive behavior in the Penalties for violating the Code of Conduct can range from disciplinary probation or suspension, to deferred suspension with a sanction, and finally to expulsion.
If expelled, a student will have holds on their account which do not allow them to ever return to the campus to take any classes.
TJC has zero tolerance for any type of behavior that violates the rules.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve had problems as in fights at a dance,” Melton said. “For the upcoming dance, we are going to double-up on duty.”
On Jan. 23, during Welcome Week, a “Mardi Gras Dance & Date Auction” benefitting Kidds Kids was held in the Apache Rooms.
The dance “ended around midnight and went pretty smooth,” Vincent Nguyen, Interim Director of Student Life and Involvement, said.
The security equipment including most of the cameras are up and running now.
The videos being recorded are useful in providing leads to investigations being performed if there are conflicts.
To report suspicious activity, contact Campus Safety at (903)-510-2222.
. It’s all listed in the Code of Conduct,” Lane said.