A Glassboro police vehicle sits in Town Square. When Rowan students are involved with off-campus high-level incidents, the Glassboro Police Department enlists the assistance of Dean of Students Dr. Kevin Koett. - Photo via Glassboro Police Department website

Just after 1 a.m. this past Friday, Glassboro police responded to a drug overdose at a large off-campus gathering on New Street, according to the Department of Public Safety’s Daily Crime Log.

The case was originally handled by the Glassboro Police Department, but was referred to Dean of Students Dr. Kevin Koett, according to the log.

Due to privacy laws involving student rights, Koett cannot disclose any details concerning specific cases, but he informed us on how Rowan approaches concerns and situations that impact the Rowan community both on and off campus.

Koett regularly responds to code of conduct concerns from students, Glassboro police and other members of the Rowan community. Most reports reach him via email, but Glassboro police typically call him for issues that need his immediate attention and presence.

There aren’t strict guidelines for when Koett’s physical presence is needed for a case, but some circumstances that necessitate it are life-threatening situations, large fights, transportation to the hospital and students who are being uncooperative, the latter of which is the most common.

“As a hypothetical, maybe there’s a house the police have responded to several times and they’re having to respond again, and they’re just getting an overall sense of lack of cooperation,” Koett said. “That’s something the police might call me up for.”

When Koett is on the scene, his main goal is to advocate for students and “help them understand that this is not who we want to be as students,” he said, as well as to show the Glassboro community that we want to be good neighbors and citizens.

To further help address Glassboro community concerns, Koett and his team meet with town representatives every Tuesday. This gives them the chance to have a dialogue about incidents that may not have needed Koett’s immediate attention.

Above all, Koett emphasized how important it is for students to keep themselves and the community around them safe, be it other students or Glassboro residents.

“Part of being reasonable community members is, one, not putting ourselves in the positions where we’re having social functions that do put people in danger, be it [excessive] alcohol, be it drugs, be it other things; we don’t want to put people in danger,” Koett said. “But also to be cooperative… be respectful and to help address the situation.”

In light of the ongoing pandemic, Koett also highlighted that we cannot become complacent about the risks of the coronavirus, as COVID-19 safety concerns are intertwined with every case that he’s responded to.

“There’s not been something that I’ve responded to in person where there has been COVID compliance,” he said.

“I know students are just so tired, they’re fatigued, they want to get their lives back, they want to just have a little fun, but we’ve got to keep pressing through for the next couple of months to get rid of this terrible virus,” Koett said. “I really need students to continue to maintain social distancing, to continue to maintain mask-wearing and to host social functions in a way that is not going to contribute to the spread of COVID or put people in danger.”

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