Man creates disturbance in Fletcher over cash card
College vice president outlines appropriate responses to frustrations.
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 18:08
Campus police were called around 10 a.m. Tuesday to the business office in Fletcher Administration Center when a man created a disturbance by shouting because he had not received his Alamo Cash card.
Three officers responded to the call and talked to the student but took no further action.
The man, who would not reveal his name, said he dropped his classes two weeks ago and paid for them in cash. He told a Ranger reporter that he had not received his card, the district’s new method of providing refunds.
He told the reporter that he was upset because he believed the business office was giving him the “runaround” and he was tired of waiting.
Assistant bursar Michelle Gable said the man refused to step aside from the window after he was asked to because he was holding up the line.
Gable said the man refused to get in touch with Heartland Payment Systems, which powers the Alamo Cash card.
The man did not receive any immediate disciplinary action from the college.
Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of student affairs and interim vice president of academic affairs, said today that discipline can vary from a verbal warning to expulsion, a permanent ban from Alamo Colleges.
Vela said he does not respond to disturbances until he receives a report from campus police and then decides the appropriate disciplinary action.
He has not received this report yet, so he could not comment on possible sanctions.
He said when there are major disturbances, such as verbal assault, physical contact or use of weapons, he will be notified immediately.
“A lot of incidents happen, but they may not rise to a level that we are going to suspend somebody,” Vela said. “Normally it’s frustration and all we need is a written or verbal warning kind of thing.”
Vela said if students feel frustrated, they can fill out a SOBI-Strategies of Behavioral Intervention report online.
Students should learn how to act professionally when they have a complaint and raise the issue with a supervisor, he said.
If a supervisor is not able to address a student’s concerns, the student should then make an appointment with the director, appropriate dean or appropriate vice president, Vela said.
“If you’re demanding to see somebody right then and there, it’s just not going to happen,” Vela said.
He said students might get even more frustrated when they have to make an appointment, but it is necessary since August is a busy month.
Vela said it is understandable that students want to vent about their troubles since they have anxiety about the start of the semester, but they should learn how to contain themselves.
“People need to be very careful that they don’t cross that line,” Vela said.
He also said there are counselors in the counseling center on the first floor of Moody Learning Center available for students who feel frustrated.
When a student goes on probation because of an anger issue, Vela said he will mandate counseling for the student.
“If there is no productive intervention, they are going to do it again if they are faced with the same kind of situation,” Vela said. “The most important thing is for you not to put yourself in that situation where you’re going to continue to get in trouble.”
He said he is trying to prevent students getting in trouble.
Vela advises students to refer to the student code of conduct to see what they can and cannot do to avoid consequences.
When a student feels uncomfortable around another person, the student can fill out a SOBI report or tell an Alamo Colleges employee.
SOBI reports are available at alamo.edu/sac/StudentAffairs.
The student code of conduct is available at mysaccatalog.alamo.edu/content.php?catoid=79&navoid=2134.
If it is an emergency, students should call the district department of public safety at 210-222-0911.
Riley Stephens contributed to this story.