President Dougherty got it wrong about off-campus living

By Duke Staff

 

UPDATE    2:49     10/23/15

President Dougherty emailed a letter of apology to Student Government Association President John Foster Friday morning. In the letter, Dougherty apologizes to those who were offended, but also defends his position, saying:

“….I made the point that life off campus allows for greater access to alcohol, sometimes in violation of state law. It also allows for sexual behaviors that we cannot accept on the campus of a Catholic university.”

The full text of the letter can be found here: President Dougherty’s Letter

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE BEGINS HERE:

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “libertine” means “a person … who leads an immoral life and is mainly interested in sexual pleasure.”

It is an ugly, unflattering word to use to describe someone. And yet it is exactly the word Duquesne University President Charles Dougherty used to describe non-resident Duquesne students during his Town Hall address to faculty Tuesday afternoon.

“We know why they move off-campus,” Dougherty said, referring to juniors and seniors who decide not to stay in dorms. “They flaunt [sic] the state liquor laws and they live a libertine lifestyle that is not allowed on campus.

“We are aware of the mardis gras that goes on [off-campus] every weekend.”

Dougherty made these comments as part of his address to campus faculty about the university’s financial situation. According to Dougherty and Vice President for Management and Business David Beaupre, there are 304 empty beds in campus dorms this semester. This means that only 92 percent of campus beds are occupied, compared to 98 percent in the spring.

As Dougherty pointed out, when juniors and seniors move off-campus, the university loses room and board money. As more and more juniors and seniors move to neighborhoods such as the South Side, the Hill District and Oakland, university officials are trying to determine why.

More than half of The Duke’s staff lives off-campus. Perhaps we can provide some insight into why students move away; other than flaunting liquor laws and leading libertine lives, of course.

The primary reason to move off campus is price. Price, price, price. Room and board rates start at $5,000 and can reach $7,000. This means students are spending at least $1,250 each month, which is roughly double what a student renting a house on the South Side spends on rent, utilities and groceries.

On top of that, Duquesne only offers one apartment-style dorm: Brottier Hall. Although there are 304 empty beds on campus this year, Brottier is completely full. Students want kitchens, areas to entertain guests, and some freedom to decorate, rearrange and furnish — and they can get that off-campus.

The staff of The Duke are not libertines, along with the many students who choose to live off campus — and we have the work ethic and GPAs to prove it. Saying that students only move off-campus to drink and party is offensive and inaccurate. That might be the motivation for some students, but certainly not all. In addition, students who wish to live “mardis gras” lives do so regardless of the locale. A five-second perusal of the Duquesne Police’s weekly crime log shows that students regularly drink, party and abuse drugs on campus. The Duke staff would like to encourage the university’s administration to dig a little deeper if they really want to determine the reasons upperclassmen are abandoning campus.

66 Responses to "President Dougherty got it wrong about off-campus living"

  1. John  October 27, 2015 at 11:55 am

    As a parent with students in other colleges I am disappointed in the room and board offered by Duquesne. My daughter won’t eat the food because it is so un-appealing. Yet if she wants to give a meal that we paid for to another student that isn’t allowed. If she gets up and wants a late breakfast then lunch that isn’t allowed because of the minimum wait time between swipes. It is really just another profit center for the university and doesn’t allow the student any option for using the money that we have to pay even though we know she won’t take care of it.

    The dorms are under equipped. At most other colleges they have one room that serves as a shared kitchen amongst one or more floors. Don’t feel like eating cafeteria food, make a quick grilled cheese. Want to make a quick snack to share with friends, bake cookies. Not at Duquesne though. The rooms are old and tired. Instead of that performing arts center that few students will ever take advantage of, the money would be better spent on rooms that almost all Freshmen and Sophomores are required to use.

    Reply
  2. BAD  October 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    As I read all these comments about President Dougherty it reminds me of a Quote by Abe Lincoln that goes like this ” it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt “. That speaks volumes for the DU president. It’s not about the cost of room and board, or about the fact our students are easily offended or coddled in our society today it’s about a Catholic school president making such a judgmental non Christian comment about the very students that he should be supporting and caring for. It seems as though he made such an unfair, highly opinionated remark that he has no facts or basis to support. I am sure that the Pope would be very saddened by his remarks. I am hoping that all would see this as a means to an end. We really need a positive, encouraging, supportive President that wants to listen to the very students that make DU what it is. I am a very sad parent of a junior who lives off campus for the very first time and learning important life values of taking care of himself, making decisions on his own, budgeting his money and growing into a fine young man. That’s what’s really important and I am offended that you said these things about my son.

    Reply
  3. Duquesne Student  October 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What I do not understand is why the sign in rules are so strict, with the exception of Brottier. Duquesne does not allow opposite sex overnight guests, but allows for same sex over night guests a few nights per week. Why do those who have a same sex significant other get to have them sleep over while those with opposite sex SO’s cannot? It seems a bit unfair when not EVERYONE “partake in a libertine lifestyle,” but all Duquesne students with opposite sex significant others are not allowed to have them sleepover.

    Reply
  4. Steve Schilling  October 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Who instituted the South Side Shuttle?

    Reply
  5. Nina Krietemeyer  October 24, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I live and run a mobile commerce company on the South Side. While I agree the word “libertine” was a poor choice, parents, faculty and administration need to come spend a little time with us on Friday and Saturday night.

    Last night was no different… The behavior is not a few immature students. The continued destruction of residents property and quite frankly, the making of our homes into outdoor lavatories is unacceptable.

    The level of intoxication is scary along with the high risk behaviors of young women walking alone at 3 AM on Sarah Street. The weekend before classes started was absolutely unbearable. Underage drinking, loud and obnoxious behavior, and a whole lot of Duquesne t-shirts around.

    We don’t know that they’re all Duquesne students but some have been drunk enough to tell me – especially the ones who tried to urinate into my half open front door about a month ago. (Yes, I do mean my front door and I was reading on my tablet about 3 feet from it.)

    Now isn’t a time to make excuses or hide behind someone’s poor word choice. There is a problem and the university community needs to face up to it. I sadly have a front row seat to the consequences.

    Reply
  6. mckerpa  October 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

    The ultimate in liberal elitist thinking has been displayed by this man. If it weren’t for the music therapy department’s ability to educate my daughter, I would not spend a DIME on this university. It’s Catholic in name only for the most part. It is a private elitist college with no regard for middle class people who are stuck in this mire of gouging because of all the money poured into education by governments and endowments. We don’t qualify for financial aid because we aren’t poor, but paying $40,000 per year when you make $150,000 per year means college education makes it hard to stay above water. My daughter was shoved into a double at Des Places with 3 girls last (sophomore) year BECAUSE JUNIORS AND SENIORS STAYED ON CAMPUS. She is a vegetarian and could eat very little from her expensive meal plan that offers mostly junk food. So on top of the meal plan, we had to pay for healthy food. Hello, Mr. Dougherty–it is the COST of living on campus that forces them to move. Stop whining about empty beds when you created a monster last year. Why do you think they all moved off campus? Pathetic.

    Reply
  7. Proud Alumni  October 24, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I lived on campus for the required two years and we had cockroaches in the dorm! They would run up the garbage chute in towers and then get into the bathroom. When you turned the bathroom light on, they would scatter. There was a dining hall on the bottom floor of the dorm! When we called the campus exterminator, we were told they only sprayed one day per week so we would have to wait 5 days. For the amount of money you are paying to live in a tiny room and a shared bathroom, the least we ask is that it be free of bugs! But I guess students only move off campus to drink and have sex…

    Reply
  8. Outside Observer  October 24, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Perhaps the commenters should read: “The Coddling of the American Mind” from a recent issue of Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/ Don’t forget to look up the definition of “coddling” first.

    Reply
  9. Towers 14C  October 24, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I would like to add how absurd it is that you cannot change the temperature of your room. We have rock solid mattresses, what feels like two electrical outlets, windows that do not open (towers) and some rooms are a constant 800 degrees. I pay too much to be uncomfortable. Finally, I would like to add that the overnight sign in for same sex is ridiculous. The policy is that those who wish to stay overnight must be signed in before 12 and if they are not then they must find somewhere else to sleep or sleep in the towers mpr. My comment on this is that flights are not always on time, traffic in Pittsburgh is always bad, people have things happen in life where they cannot always make it to where they need to be on time. What is the difference between signing someone (of the same sex) in at 12:00 or at 12:45? I am ranting and I have a lot more that I could say but my point is that there are other things , things that my money is going toward that make me want to move off campus – none of which include alcohol or fornication.

    Reply
  10. Gina  October 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I’m really enjoying this situation Charlie has gotten himself into at Duquesne. My husband must be a “libertine.” He lived off campus after his freshman year. He has a history/economics degree from Duquesne, a Masters of Science from Carnegie Mellon University and is President of an Economic Development agency in Ohio. He is a poor example, according to Charlie, of someone who lived off campus.

    Reply
  11. Kim  October 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    As an alumni, I am saddened by Dougherty’s statements. My son went to Point Park because they gave him more financial aid. While I would have liked for him to go to Duquesne, he got one helluva education at Point Park. And not as expensive for this single mom. Oh, wait, am I libertine because I am divorced? How sad

    Reply
  12. Camille Gryszka Miller  October 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I’m astounded to think a university president could be this out of touch with the reasoning behind students living off campus. College costs are outrageous and the number one reason students live off campus is less expensive housing and not being locked in to a meal plan.

    Reply
  13. Disgruntled Alumna  October 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    An open letter to President Dougherty:

    You made a serious accusation by claiming that students move off campus strictly to “…flaunt the state liquor laws and they live a libertine lifestyle that is not allowed on campus.” Libertine is described by The Duke Staff above, but for clarification, it means “a person, especially a man, who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, especially in sexual matters; a person who rejects accepted opinions in matters of religion; a freethinker characterized by a disregard of morality.”

    Let’s ignore the sexual component of this accusation for a minute, you are criticizing and undermining freethinkers. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t a president of a university like Duquesne be encouraging freethinking in his students? I, for one, am unbelievably upset that you would criticize the personalities, moral compasses, and belief systems of your students. You generalized that those who live off campus “reject accepted opinions in matters of religion”…what kind of person in the public eye AND administrator of a university would do such a thing and not expect any backlash? Are you truly that naive?

    How dare you talk about the “budget problems on campus” and turn the blame on 304 empty beds? What about all the renovations and unnecessary additions that the University has been doing for the last 5 years? Do we think the new theater attached to the music school was simply a “gift”? No, we don’t. And think about how much money that cost that could have been reallocated to a cause a little more worthwhile…let’s say, perhaps exterminating the cockroaches in Towers?

    Before enrolling in Duquesne University, students are fully aware of the Catholic policies and tendencies; that is not the issue here. The issue at hand is that you and many (not all) other school officials live in a totally different la-la land where you do not acknowledge the problems that are already happening ON campus. Are you aware of the “mardi gras” that happens on the Bluff? Students drink, have sex, do drugs, and participate in the so-called “libertine lifestyle” under your very own nose and if they get caught their punishment is spending an afternoon or Saturday morning with Dan Gittins (lovely, lovely man) and taking a crash course on exactly why “DU CARES.”

    Shouldn’t we be making proactive decisions instead of reactive decisions as an administration? Educating students on safe sex and drinking practices, because…let’s be frank; freshmen and sophomore students are going to be trying Natty Light no matter how many times you tell them they’re not allowed. Students are going to be students, just like kids are going to be kids…there’s no avoidance of this. Forcing upperclassmen to live in dorms suited for freshmen and sophomores is not the answer. The answer is opening your eyes to the changes that are happening all around you. There are many reasons students want to live off campus, and that’s not exactly for you to judge. Money is the first and foremost motivator; off campus housing saved my family THOUSANDS of dollars.

    Lastly, how I choose to live my life is my own concern and absolutely none of your business. I will not be ashamed of how I choose to live my life, libertine or not.

    So please kindly take a step back, give your apology, and let’s put this behind us.

    Thank you,

    Duquesne University past, present and future students

    Reply
  14. Duquesne Senior  October 23, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I guess somebody needs to mention the asbestos in Fisher also.

    Looks like Duquesne is having some troubles this year.

    Troughout my 4 years of school here it has been proven to me that Duquesne is a money crazed bureaucracy that does not care enough to take care of its student body.

    I believe these comments fall right in line with my experience with Duquesne faculty/administration

    Reply
  15. Karen Sipe  October 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    This guy must be living in the DARK ages, I’m a Grandmother of a Junior at another University in Pennsylvania and the rental she has off campus, has me re.thinking my investment strategy!!!! AND has he ever heard the phrase Judge lest YE NOT BE JUDGED! RIDICULOUS, Shame on you!

    Reply
  16. A quick interjection...  October 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Taking a break from President Dougherty’s absurd remarks about off campus students I’d like to try and change some people’s views on the new ring statue on campus. Did the ring cost a lot of money? Yes. Are students not happy about this? Yes. Is the ring actually awesome though? YES. In the past two to three decades this school has made no progress as a whole. Upon entering college Duquesne was ranked just below 100 in the top colleges in the country. A new list this year ranks us below 200. While we’ve remained stagnant in the past couple decades every other school in the Pittsburgh area has been able to make progress. Even POINT PARK has grown in both size and respect as an institution. Duquesne has not only not made progress as an institution, it whole-heartedly lacks any comradery or traditions. We have no sports teams to rally behind and are so oppressed by rules and regulations (what is the point in blocking Netflix?) that it’s undeniable now more than ever that things need a change around here. While the ring did cost a lot of money, it is a celebration of the ONLY tradition that this school has. The Duquesne class ring is the most recognizable ring in the world and that’s a matter of fact. If we as a student body wants to change how this abysmal administration treats us then we have to rally behind these traditions. With a new athletic director already making positive progress and President Dougherty’s replacement happening before the next school year, I’m looking up at the direction that this school is heading. And if I’ve been a little all over the place allow me to summarize; at its current state, this school is no where near where it needs to be. But hey, I say we throw one big LIBERTINE PARTY in celebration of Dougherty’s resignation and to getting where we need to be.

    Reply
    • Nice Try SGA  October 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Nice try, SGA.

      Reply
    • sga is lame  October 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      is the ring actually awesome?? uhhh no. no one cares about the ring. who do you see under the age of 30
      wearing a class ring? you know who wears class rings? our parents and grandparents. you’re surely out of touch with what’s popular amongst your peers.

      if the only thing you can think of to celebrate from our university is a ring that says something.

      Reply
    • #Libertine  October 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Is that your SGA president writing about our most accomplished ring? Not that its stupid but it is not the most important tradition DU has,,,,,the most important is our Spriti
      an Foundation which is completely gone.

      Reply
      • I'd like to interject something too  October 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

        Can we also address the fact that they literally moved a cross with Jesus on it to put in a statue praising this “tradition”? I think the original tradition celebrated things like reverence and humility. When certain administrators, who are also priests, are members of places like the Duquesne Club in downtown and give out bobble heads with their faces on it, they only show how far the people in the upper ranks of the university have truly deviated from the Catholic mission that this university was founded on. It’s not about you, it’s about Christ and serving others. You don’t serve others by building statues to yourselves and naming buildings on campus after yourselves. I’m honestly not surprised that lack of respect for students comes along with this.

        Reply
  17. Mike  October 23, 2015 at 10:19 am

    As a pharmacy grad that lived off-campus since year 3, I am appalled by the President’s comments. My roommates and I moved off campus to a cheap dilapidated house in South Side purely because it got too expensive to live on campus. Yeah, we partied on the weekends, but we did that on our wing in Towers too, and isn’t that part of the college experience? I paid $290 a month for rent, as opposed to the ridiculous on-campus rates some of my colleagues paid in Brottier. As someone who now lives with close to $200k in college debt from coming from a not-so-well-off-but-too-well-off-for-a-Pell-Grant family to receive an education at Duquesne, I can assure you that people move off of campus purely for financial reasons. Maybe do some research before condemning the students and alumni that pay your salary.

    Reply
  18. Emily Gorham  October 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Can we talk about the fact that calling the students ‘libertine’ and obviously meaning it in a bad way is also some serious slut shaming? Duquesne’s dorm policies about opposite sex guests are absurd and archaic. I understand that this is a Christian university, but Christ taught acceptance, certainly not slut shaming. The demeaning tone of all this just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Reply
  19. Duquesne Student  October 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Does President Dougherty live on Campus?

    Reply
  20. Justin Zweig  October 23, 2015 at 12:53 am

    This guy sounds like a very level headed human being. Yeah what a joke, guy sounds like a complete asshole. Funny thing is, I moved off of campus because the internet on campus is the slowest, most unreliable wifi I’ve ever come across. Leave it to some judgmental traditionalist to make the comment of the year. May you live on in infamy Daugherty.

    Reply
  21. CK  October 23, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Half of a Brottier room: Approximately $800/month.

    Private room in a house within walking distance from Brottier: $320/month.

    This is the only argument necessary.

    Reply
  22. Joe Bell  October 22, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    My first reaction upon hearing Dougherty’s remarks was: How dare you! We can parse all the housing issues ad nauseum. The simple fact is that is is none of the president’s damn business, nor the damn business of any other university administrator, what students do in their personal lives, on or off-campus. As an alumnus, the husband of an alumnus and the father of an alumnus, I am sickened by the direction our alma mater has taken. Time to wake up, alumni. Stop supporting this corrupt institution until it starts adhering to American values.

    Reply
  23. How Dareyou  October 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    As a mom of a senior student who has made the Dean’s List every semester since Freshman year I am sickened and appalled by your comments. My daughter lived on campus Freshman year so she could get the “college experience”. The nice way of saying living with a stranger in a noisy room, half the size of her own for an exorbitant amount of money. Let’s not even talk about the expensive meal plan that lacks flavor or diversity. We moved her home Sophomore year due to her roommate having a breakdown and to save money when her Dad was laid off. Despite the hardship and her 4.0 she was not eligible for aid. Instead what we saved in dorms was charged to a parking pass. Slippery Rock students pay $60 a year. Duquesne pays $800. I get Duquesne is in the city as apposed to other colleges but surely you can see where this can bd viewed as price gouging. So yes, when Junior year rolled around we as her parents reluctantly agreed a South Side residency was best. Not only can she share an entire house with 2 friends she chose at a FRACTION of the price but she has free parking and access to a shuttle. The house comes with a clean, more up to date kitchen than your “best” dormitory overs and the girls are learning to cook for each other and themselves and save money. Are there ever boys over? You bet your ass there are because when you forced our hand to move my daughter into an “unsavory” neighborhood I insist her guy FRIENDS escort the ladies home. As do the boys moms as well. We have had the privilege of getting to know her roommates, friends and even their parents that we wouldn’t if she stayed in the dorms. And yes I have met them out after work for a cocktail. Does that make me a “Libertine”? Be careful of your answer Mr. Dougherty as I sign the tuition checks that help make up YOUR hefty salary. I will be asking for your resignation and will be a very vocal voice as my high school Junior and her class starts looking at colleges. How dare you pass judgement. I thought you were a Christian.

    Reply
  24. Steve Schilling  October 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Check the rusty plumbing in the dorms and don’t bean counters ruin Duquesne! Share this story and comments with the Trib!

    Reply
  25. George  October 22, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Sad to see my alma mater so filled with greed, especially when it is intended to be driven by ethical standards being catholic. Whenever I read about the inevitable student loan bubble the first place I think of is Duquesne driving kids deeper into debt every year.

    Now to the living off campus issue. Does anyone find it ironic that Duquesne maintains the DU Cares program for students caught using alcohol in the dorms? Take a quick trip down Forbes Ave to Pitt and students caught drinking in the dorms under 21 will receive an underage charge 10 out of 10 times. They use DU Cares to hide that college students are doing things that college students do because it keeps the public from seeing this. As mentioned earlier in these comments the wings in Towers are an absolute zoo, and I had the time of my life living there.

    I really try and be proud when I tell people I have a degree from Duquesne, but between crap like this and seeing the school advertised like the University of Phoenix online because of their greed it is becoming more difficult every year.

    Reply
  26. Lori  October 22, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I feel as if the Jesus statue that used to be outside of Trinity Hall being pushed to the side to make place for an obscene token of opulence is an uncanny metaphor for the current trajectory of Duquesne’s scope of value. Squeeze as much money out of the students as they can without taking into consideration THEIR preferences and accusing them of incubating a Sodom and Gomorra of sorts- hiding behind their inability to fill residence halls. Is a hotdog a sandwich? I can’t say for myself, but I ask you Charles Dougherty- is a hotdog in fact a sandwich?

    Reply
  27. Mary  October 22, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I live on campus, and you can bet your Bible all I do is study in my room. Members of the opposite gender are forbidden from entering this fortress where I rest my head. I do not associate with the low-lifes who choose to live off campus, because they commit sins of the devil. I’m surprised Duquesne allows them to attend the university still with their habits preceding them.

    Seriously, Dougherty?! Your salary is one of the largest in the profession. Best not bite the hand that feeds.

    Reply
  28. Wake up President D  October 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    As the parent of an off campus student, I think Mr. Dougherty has missed the mark on the benefit that paying your own bills, managing your schedule, preparing your own food, working within a budget, etc. has on a maturing college student. At a certain point, the RA won’t be there, but the off campus student learns to control the heat to save money and how to stretch a grocery dollar.

    Reply
  29. Sharon patalsky  October 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    As a parent your lucky I wasn’t there when you said that. My kid lives at home so I can afford an the education she wants. She is s full time student with 2 jobs in the monroeville area. She pays enough for a parking pass that she got screwed over on the price of. I suggest your law students that commute check into theaft of services on that issue.

    Reply
  30. Netflixuser  October 22, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    If “libertine” was also another way to describe watching Netflix then yeah you could say I lead that kind of life off campus

    Reply
  31. #Libertine  October 22, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    President D. I really hope that you are seeing these comments! Myself a senior I am absolutely offended by what you said not only about me, but my friends, classmates, and coworkers residing off campus in Southside. If I am a libertine in your eyes — GOOD! However holding a job, Dean’s List, nearly a 4.0 I do not understand how my mardi gras life is so unbearable. What my definition of Libertine is would be as follows: Your money LUST, your judgmental character and your unavailability to students. Maybe if you actually got to know us as people and students then you would not be so quick to cast judgment, as you play the role of Pilot.

    The LUST that Duquesne has for money and shafting students is getting worse every semester. You make almost $700,000 what more do you want. You moved the Cross and statue Jesus Christ as a visible sign in the center of campus and placed your golden idol to the Duquesne Ring your ‘Golden Calf’ – even having priests on hand to bless it. You can’t judge our morals when you do not even know us!

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  32. SAW  October 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I am a parent of a senior off campus student. She has lived in Des Places It is very nice but way over priced for such a small room with no Kitchen. She moved to Brottier This is a fire hazard waiting to happen! Old stoves and kitchen area that is gross! The price is way to high for the poor living conditions! Being a catholic university does not mean that the students living on campus are so well behaved. I have seen the police reports and have heard all about the large amount of STD’s on campus, To me catholic university is just another way to say a money hungry organization! I am just glad that the education students get in the classroom is very good no matter where you live. Mr. Dougherty you owe every student an apology! Your way of thinking and talking are way out of line! You need to be removed from your position ASAP!

    Reply
  33. JY  October 22, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Let’s not forget how much they charge to eat on campus too. God forbid Duquesne loses its ability to charge students’ exorbitant rates.

    Reply
  34. Kathy Barnes  October 22, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    As a Duquesne Alumni, who married a Duquesne grad, who is the mother of a current Duquesne senior, I am very disappointed as I read these comments. President Dougherty has no right to make such generalizations! Our daughter carries 19 credits as she completes a dual degree in Secondary Education and English while maintaining a Dean’s List GPA. She holds a part time job and participates in an internship requiring an additional 12-15 hours of her time each week! AND, I almost forgot, she lives on the South Side! President Dougherty best rethink his ridiculous comments. I know our daughter is not the only successful student living off campus.

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  35. M  October 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    When I walked into my closet of a corner room in St. Martin’s my freshman year, I could not believe I was paying an astronomical amount of money for such a small room that I had to share with another person. The lack of healthy food options coupled with the size and outdated state of the dorms are what drove me to live off campus. I want to be proud of Duquesne, but when the president of the school is spewing this crap, the school moves a Jesus statue to replace it with a giant ring, and the school spends millions of dollars on a new theater, quad, etc. when students don’t even have half decent dorms or a decent library to study, it makes it so hard for me to be proud of this school. He doesn’t deserve to be president for another second. Don’t shit on the hand that feeds you, President Dougherty.

    Reply
  36. Pissed Off.  October 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    This is just ridiculous. I currently live off campus and am taking 18 credits and maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. I am outraged by this statement, and an administrator blaming alcohol and sex for students moving off campus, when they are trying to save money from the insane amount this school already costs.

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  37. K  October 22, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    If you want to spend an arm and a leg to live in subpar housing, can’t have friends stay over the dorms past 2 nights, can’t sign liquor in(21), then maybe Duquesne housing is right for you…. I mean come on Dougherty, if you want people to live on campus and rip them off, at least change your childish rules. If you treat the students like children, they’re going to act like children- Simple.

    Reply
  38. Parent of a student, paying out the kazoo  October 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    As a parent of a student living in Brottier, I am beyond offended by these remarks. The cost of living in this housing is extremely high for the condition of the apartments. Thank god our daughter can cook her own meals, albeit on a ramshackle stove and cooktop. I am not in favor of her living off campus but I know it can be done cheaper with more up to date accommodations. How dare a leader of this university make such unfair generalizations. And let’s not get started on the inflated cost of tuition…..

    Reply
  39. Jeff  October 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    What a shallow person he is. I had issues and concerns 3 years ago and the man and his assistant had no interest in helping. His assistant said ” it was my sons problem not theirs “. All we were looking for support.

    Completely out of touch!!!

    Very Sad!

    Reply
  40. Randy ruth  October 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Maybe if the dorms had some room in them. Our daughter about freaked out her sophomore year when she opened the door to her room in towers and saw all the more space there was for 2 girls. At least ST Ann’s was a little better , but freshmen have no idea what to expect anyway.

    They tried to get into Des Plac, but either did not get a room or could not afford it.

    Meals are are another issue. Very little of what was served on a meal plan sat well with our daughter, and buying a la Cart cost a fortune as well. Not to mention buying from the store in Towers

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  41. TF Founding Father 1  October 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    The rest of the TFers and I faced a lawsuit, legal fees and even after that we were able to live off campus CHEAPER than the dorms would have cost us (disclosure: this figure does not include cost of beer).

    Reply
  42. MBS  October 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I cannot believe that an administrator would make such derogatory generalizations about his students who, by the way, pay his salary no matter where they live. As a parent of an off campus honor student who also works two jobs, I am offended. We are struggling to make ends meet so, while I would prefer that she live on campus, I appreciate the cost savings of her off campus house in the South Side! President Dougherty, you owe your students and their parents, an apology!

    Reply
  43. Zach  October 22, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Maybe if the dorms were renovated and actually appealing then there might be an incentive. Before calling out the entire commuter body, get your facts straight. The university is 89% tuition driven so shut up, we pay your inflated salary.

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  44. SM2  October 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Hey, remember when my Catholic alma mater moved the GIANT statue of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross from right in the middle of campus, and replaced it with a giant statue of a Duquesne Ring, sponsored by Herff Jones? Good times.

    They literally replaced god with an advertisement to give them more money. Seems like a solid position from which to lecutre others on their morals.

    Reply
  45. Taco Fortress  October 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Mr. Doigherty’s ignorance and oblivion is astounding. Our libertine lifestyle in Southside was no different than our on campus years. We just wanted to pay less for it and have more room for activities.

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  46. -Discouraged alumni  October 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    So is he ignorant to the students drinking in the freshman and sophomore dorms? This guy is a joke, get him the hell out of there

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  47. Gabby  October 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    How about the ridiculous visitation rules? A female friend of mine (I’m also female!) wanted to come visit me over her fall break (that was a Thursday night to Sunday morning). She had never seen Pittsburgh and it didn’t make sense to drive as far as she did for only a night or two, yet I could only sign her in for two nights. Friends of the opposite sex don’t even have the right to stay for a night. Students who want to have sex are going to have sex, and the rules don’t keep them from that. I want to live off campus next year because I have dietary restrictions that just aren’t met in our dining facilties, topped off with ridiculous prices and visitation policies. No thanks.

    Reply
  48. Elaine Parsons  October 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    As a faculty member who has had the great opportunity to work with Duquesne students for many years, I want to chime in here as well. Obviously, we have all sorts of students, and I don’t consider their personal lives my business. Having gotten to know many of them, however, I have been struck by their maturity and seriousness, as a group. We attract students who invest themselves in leading good lives, and we encourage them to be self reflective and responsible. I don’t really know what it would mean to be a “libertine” in the 21st century, but if it implies that our students are somehow disappointing, I have to disagree.

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  49. Ty  October 22, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I agree with the opinions located within this article, and President Dougherty should probably issue an apology or at the very least offer a correction to his poor choice of words. With that being said, this article would speak a lot louder if someone had the guts to actually attach their name to it rather than hide behind “Duke Staff”..

    Reply
  50. Jenna  October 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Being a catholic university, a majority of the students understand visitors of the opposite sex have limitations. As a sophomore I will not be living on campus next year, because I cannot afford to another year not because of the freedoms I will be granted. I would like to live on campus next year, it is a lot safer and saves me the hassle of finding an apartment. However it just isn’t feasible. I love Duquesne but I am quite embarrassed about how our own president speaks about students. This is not the first time I heard him talk about students in a negative way.

    Reply
  51. Dr. Eric Fritz  October 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    It says a lot about a University president that thinks so little of the students he serves. It also says a lot about how much he cares about the money.

    Reply
    • Tyler  October 22, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Dr. Fritz, I agree. I’m a Duquesne Grad student, and I went to a small Catholic university for my undergrad, and it was the same thing. I lived off campus from second semester freshman year, I can’t imagine how many $$$$$s I saved.

      This university is also greedy in terms of parking. Just this Tuesday I came to campus for one, one hour class. I was in the parking garage for 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving at 6:06, almost an hour before the start of the Penguins game, yet parking in the Forbes Garage cost me $20, to be on campus for 1 hour. Something is completely wrong with that. WHAT ARE STUDENTS SUPPOSED TO DO FOR PARKING, WHEN HEY HAVE CLASS? I was contemplating sending an email to higher-ups, but I don’t know who. It’s absurd. This place is all about money, money, money. Must be funny, in a rich man’s world.

      Reply
  52. Jim  October 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Honestly from a business perspective he should be terminated for saying such horrendous things. The board needs to do something.

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  53. Mandy  October 22, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    So excited to see this guy leave. Horrible disrespectful to the students who literally pay your salary. The student body deserves an apology.

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  54. Ty  October 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Yeah, doubt it Dougherty

    Reply
  55. Stephen Weiss  October 22, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I would really love to have heard the entire town meeting, because I would definitely love to be sure that this quote wasn’t taken entirely out of context. That being said, he should never have said this.

    Reply
  56. Tom  October 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    You owe every student who lived off-campus a personal apology. My daughter lived off-campus because she was able to save a suitcase of money, rather than pay the high prices charged by the university. Your administration does a poor job of planning, and prices accommodations out of the range of your students, so you choose to hide your failure by slandering your students.
    Duquesne is well rid of Pharisees such as you and your self-righteous attitude.

    Reply
  57. Patrice Wright  October 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Dear Duke Staff – your point of view on the reasons students live off campus is well written and 100% in line with my point of view as a parent.

    If the facts reported are accurate representations of Duquesne University’s Administration’s position and are actual quotes, it confirms a point of view that I recently communicated to Dr. Frizzell — Duquesne University does not support the needs of non-suitcase students who need a home away from home. From my experience, it feels like the University no longer needs students from eastern PA!

    If the University is interested in taking a business approach to problem solving, I would be happy to participate with a parent perspective from the eastern part of the state!

    Reply
  58. Tom  October 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    How can the president of Duquesne be so unaware of what happens on campus? The wing I lived on in Towers caused 10K in damages and someone was charged with sexual assault. We literally threw a 3 day mardi gras party in towers. Bad apples are bad apples, on or off campus.

    Reply
  59. Fawkes  October 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Is anyone really surprised about this? Of course the real reason is money. Things have been changing recently to combat the low student housing population. For example, the changes in parking policies (no commuter students allowed to park in Locust overnight, changes to the on campus surface parking enforcement hours, which are now more restrictive) are but one indication. The reason for this? Could it be that the university is threatened by more viable off campus options, such as the new apartments that will soon be opening on Fifth Avenue near the Blue Line Grille? The university does not want commuters to leave their cars on campus and live nearby off campus. The catch is they want you to live on campus to get the full parking benefits, which commuters nonetheless pay the same rate for. Another problem is Des Places. No upperclassman wants to live in a dorm that is not as big or nice as some buildings available to freshmen and sophomores (like remodeled Towers and Vickroy), or that lack the basic amenities of civilized living (AKA real kitchens, non-communal bathrooms, etc.). And let’s not forget the ridiculous dining policies. But that is for another time.

    Reply
  60. virginia gray zalakar alumnus 1984 BS ED Duquesne University  October 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    His remarks were entirely out of line and I in fact think he owes the off campus students an apology. We moved our son off campus to a house he stayed in with 4 other students for purely financial reasons. They were all 21 or older at the time and of legal age to do what they wanted. However, they were such respectful and great tenants that their landlord sent them giftcards to a local restaurant for 3 years in a row upon renewing the lease. You cannot judge all students by the few immature and immoral spoiled ones that attend DU.

    Reply
  61. Mary Madick Morrow  October 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    As a parent of an off campus student who moved for exactly the reasons you describe (price!) I am personally offended at the inaccurate and slanderous stereotype perpetuated by Mr Dougherty.

    Reply

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