Office of Student Life Institutes New $150 Fine for Breaking Coed Shabbaton Rules
The Office of Student Life has instituted a new fine of $150 dollars for the violation of any of the coed shabbaton rules that male students sign in agreement to prior to the shabbaton. The rules include a requirement to attend all tefillot, meals, and “all scheduled programs” over the shabbaton.
Rabbi Josh Weisberg, the Senior Director of the Office of Student Life, conveyed over email that the fine was designed to “reimburse the university for monies spent” on the student that violated the rules of the shabbaton, and that fines would be dealt with on an “individual basis by the disciplinary committee.” The shabbatons are “highly subsidized by the Office of Student Life” said Weisberg. “The goal of these co-ed shabatonim is to enhance the Shabbat experience at the Beren campus and to provide healthy opportunities for social interaction.”
A student who wishes to remain anonymous who has been penalized for violating one of the rules stated he initially felt that the fine was a positive thing. “It seems like a good way to enforce the rules,” he said. After learning that the fine could be exercised because a student missed any part of the shabbaton, he expressed concern and said it would “majorly impact” his decision to participate in future shabbatons.
Another student who often participates in coed shabbatons, Yeshiva College Junior Yaacov Siev, expressed skepticism. “The [students] who break the rules and get away with it will continue to break the rules.” Siev was concerned that the Office of Student Life would not enforce the rules, stating, “if they want [more students to follow] the rules they should bump up the enforcement, not the consequences.”