Friday, September 26, 2008

Sun Valley’s dorm rules keep it civil

Residents don’t always obey the rules

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Co. dormitory residents Yahya Guslar, left, and a man who identified himself only as “Sarano,” are among the 585 company workers who call the dorms home. Photo by David N. Seelig

There are rules for living in Sun Valley Co.'s worker dormitories. But apparently the rules aren't always obeyed.

Illegal drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden, but a man died at the dorms earlier this month of what police believe was an overdose of drugs and alcohol.

Assault and battery aren't specifically forbidden by dorm rules, but they are against the law. On Tuesday a dorm resident was arrested for allegedly battering his roommate.

But law enforcement officials say the dormitories are not a hotbed for illegal activity.

"For the concentration of people who live there, I would say our call rate isn't any greater than in any other part of the city," said Sun Valley Assistant Police Chief Mike Crawford. "We do get noise and loud music complaints, but we get those at the condos, too."

Sun Valley Co. declined to provide information for this story, other than to report that 585 people live at the dorms.

"There are some who like to party, but for the most part the people who live there work elsewhere, too, and they're really hard-working kids. That's the majority of them."

Dorm rules prohibit "parties or gatherings." Loud noise isn't allowed either.

Nor are dorm residents allowed to have overnight guests.

However, Sun Valley police reported last week that it was a dorm resident's girlfriend who called them at about 4:20 a.m. on Sept. 13 to report the resident's death. Police identified the man as 26-year-old Jacob Keating, formerly of Kenmore, Wash.

"It appears to be an alcohol, possibly a prescription-drugs-combination overdose, but we don't know that for sure until we get the toxicology report back," Sun Valley Police Chief Cameron Daggett said last week.

The toxicology report still wasn't available Thursday, but, Crawford said, "we have no reason to believe it would be anything else."

Police identified the man arrested Tuesday as 44-year-old Albert N. Wawock, formerly from Boise. He was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery.

"He got into a verbal argument with his roommate and ended up pushing his roommate against the wall," Crawford said.

There are lots of other rules for living in the dorms. Smoking is not allowed, nor are residents allowed to have pets.

"Unannounced dorm checks of each room will be conducted as needed," the rules state.

The drug and alcohol policy provides that "any prohibited substance found on the premises will be immediately confiscated. Open containers of alcohol found in dorm rooms may be dumped in the sink."

Firearms, knives or dangerous weapons aren't allowed.

"Men visiting women's dorms are not allowed to use women's restrooms," the rules state. Likewise, "women visiting men's dorms are not allowed to use men's restrooms."

The rooms may not be adorned with wall hangings that are "sexually explicit, including nudes."

"Electrical appliances must be approved by the dorm manager. You are not allowed to cook in your dorm room."

Rent for living in the dorms is deducted from worker's paychecks. Dorm rooms vary from one to four beds, and cost between $75 and $105 per month.

Residents can be evicted if terminated from employment or for breaking the rules.

Crawford described dorm living in Sun Valley as similar to dorm living in college.

"It's close quarters," he said. "We don't have anything different than you would have in a college dormitory.

"We're maybe one or two times a month over there. Compared to calls, it doesn't dominate over calls to other parts of the cities. It's about the same as we get in Elkhorn Village."

Crawford said Sun Valley police have a "great" working relationship with Sun Valley Co. security. He also praised the company for installing video cameras in the commons' areas "to help deter crimes or fighting."

Rules for dorm living are available on the company Web site.

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