College Student rights

I was curious if anyone knew about this. I did searching on the internet, but didn’t find anything. Anyways, every now and then, RA’s at the front desk at our residence will ask people to open there backpacks to look for alcohol. Anyways, one time I told them technically they can’t do that without a warrent or being an officer, but said I would show them anyways. They said they did have the right, or they could choose not to let me/us in, even if my card turned the card slide “green”.

Does anyone know the technicalities on those type of things? I guess they could call a cop on me to check my bag, but if my card turned the machine green, could they stop me from getting into my room? Any thoughts or ideas on this subject? Thanks for any information.

Edit: On a side note though, I did ask my hall RA about this. She told me they can’t if you choose to, but can call the cops to search it. But, does that still give them the right to stop you from going to your room?

Here in Aust, they cant open your bag, but they can ask you to open, they can lift the bag to check weight (like tapping it). This is in work places, particually if going in checking for drugs n alochol as many Mines are zero drug n alochol places. And as you are leaving to make sure you are not stealing anything. They cannot open it themself’s, if you refuse to open your bag and they suspect you , like said, they call simple have you seat in the office whilst they call the cops, then the cops can check. Its not worth the hassel. The dont always do bag checks, its pretty random, so if you notice Bag checks are happening, i guess you have to ditch the alocholl till another time? If you dont have anything, you dont have anything to worry about and it sure aint worth the effort going through the hassel.
If they are going through the effort of bag checks, there must be a good reason why. Some duffess before you stuffed it up for you.

I don’t drink alcohol myself, I just don’t go letting people do what they want without them actually having a right to do it.

As far as that entrance, though. I am not working for them, I paid my money to live at that dorm. I slide my card through, the like gives me the “green”. I’m sure they can ask me to open it. But lets just say I refuse. I don’t see them being able to stop me from going to my dorm. I’m sure they can call a cop to search me and whatnot, and that is there call. But can they actually stop me for refusing to show whats in my bag? Remember, I’m not an employee for these people, and I’m paying to live here.

Also, if I do open my bag, can they actually stick there hands in there and rummage through my stuff? They didn’t when they checked, just out of curiousity.

It’s not really a big issue for me. Again, I don’t drink alcohol anyways. I just like to know exactly what my rights are.

I am not a lawyer, but it depends a lot if you signed away those rights in your housing contract. This is a fairly tricky issue. The actual police need a warrent unless you do something obviously illegal (e.g. acting very drunk), but RA’s are kind of in a middle ground.

Regardless,I would go to the RA coordinator and complain about it. RA’s can be a liability for a university, so if you are patient and have a spotless record you might be able to convince them to be less draconian. (Especially if other people complain). If that doesn’t work, i would talk to someone who is supposed to be the student advocate. However, considering how some places (especially if the place is known as a “party school”) are trying to crack down on alcohol, you might have vary degrees of luck.

Remember that your rights on paper are useless if you don’t exercise them.