Photo of The Pit
By Anthony Cubellis
In the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) student commons area there is a hangout spot which over-time has acquired the nickname, ‘The Pit’. The Pit is home to a close-knit group of students who gather there each day in order to hang out, play board games, watch TV and talk about what’s been going on in the world.
On Thursday, April 11 at around 10 AM, 4Cs Chief of Police Maria Padilla was called to check up on The Pit due to complaints about trash being left in the area as well as some foul language that was heard by staff in the area.
“According to the code of conduct, you can’t say certain kinds of language in public on school grounds,” said Padilla. “It can hurt other students or staff feelings and it’s just not fair.”
While there, Padilla took some pictures of the trash on the ground to keep on file in the hopes that it would encourage the students who use this area to take better care of it.
“Some of the students that were there when she was taking pictures didn’t like the fact that she was doing it out of nowhere because they didn’t want to be in them, and they didn’t think it was fair,” said 4Cs student Josh Pikulski.
Because of this, Padilla made the decision to sit down with a group of students that frequent The Pit in order to talk about the complaints and how they could come up with a solution for the future that both sides could agree on.
“I went there to resolve a problem,” Padilla said. “I just want other students to feel welcome, comfortable and safe when they walk through the commons and past The Pit.”
Padilla reminded the students that the entire 4Cs community, both students and staff alike, are required to follow the rules stated in the school’s code of conduct.
While it doesn’t outwardly name ‘foul language’ on the list of disciplinary offenses, the code of conduct prohibits any “breach of peace; including disorderly, lewd, or indecent conduct, or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in, by the college.”
Padilla feels that other students or members of the 4Cs community shouldn’t be subjected to language that might offend their beliefs or lifestyles and that if students wish to talk about things that might come off as offensive or crude, they should do so in a less public setting, or simply keep it off campus all together.
Tommy Russ was one of the student advocates that came to the defense of The Pit during this time.
“The Pit can be a mess and loud at times, but I think we’re all responsible to pick up after each other and to know when we’re loud to keep it down,” said Russ.
Since the complaints were brought to the students’ attention, active efforts have been made to keep the noise levels down as well as to keep the area cleaner. Despite these steps, Chief Padilla still believes that there is some communication that can be done to further resolve these issues.
“I just want every student to leave with a good education and to have respect for one another,” said Padilla. “Those are two important things I strive for with my job.”