College Rules

SAINT MARKS, Townsville Campus

SAINT MARKS, Townsville Campus

By Jazmin Malcolm


As students all over Australia slowly become accustomed to their new college environment and learn the rules, older college residents are starting to find the new rules increasingly restrictive.

After last year’s controversy surrounding two Saint Mark’s students in Townsville who were expelled for performing a musical skit with “homosexual undertones”, many have wondered if the college rules are wrapping students in cotton wool.

A third year student at the college has raised concerns over the guidelines as social activities have been affected with the 160 residents effectively becoming strangers living together.

“It is understandable that the rules needed to change in order to prevent the assumed hazing and such.  The principals have taken very extreme one off situations of hazing and created blanket rules to cover all bonding activities,” the Saint Marks student says.

The new rules across colleges include: registering a party if more than three people will attend, rooms kept “up to standard” for a weekly room inspection, banning chants and reducing alcohol consumption time to one hour on college party nights.

Ex Saints Catholic College student Tyrone says the rules have affected the overall appeal of college.

“When I first moved on to college in 2007, it was without a doubt the best year I ever had on college (and I was there for 5 years). This was because I, and all my fresher-brethren, were able to engage in the classic fresher-activities and initiations that you hear about (and expect) when you move onto college,” Tyrone says.

“A few individuals had issues with events and activities and as a result, the majority lost out… intra- and -intercollege socialising has also suffered by banning use of the common rooms, and having people in your rooms,” he says.

College has always been recognised for its social aspect however, the new stricter rules have many questioning whether these will have an adverse effect on the college students themselves.

“It seems ridiculous to me that 17-20 something-year-olds can be treated like little children. Part of the reason we move away from home is so we can gain our independence and the rigidity of these new regimes really steal that independence away,” another Saint Marks student says.

“I think in the long run this will actually negatively affect many people in terms of their ability to work, study and network because when you treat people like babies, they will act like babies.”

Saint Marks prides itself on, ‘students finding their time at St Mark’s a secure, happy and valuable experience in community living’.

However, residents of Saint Marks are saying that their treasured college is no longer a place that feels like home.

“Several students of high standing in the Saint Marks community were targeted and systematically removed from the college such as the Dean of Students, the President of the Student Association and many of the Residential Assistants. The end of the 2013 year saw the largest outflow of students as the college was no longer a desirable place to live,” a fourth year Saint Marks student said.

Whilst the students understand the reasoning behind some rules being implemented, many have agreed that the colleges have taken the rules too far, resulting in adverse social effects on its students.

Editors note: The Principles of Saint Marks and Saints Catholic College were contacted for the story but declined to comment.