by Erica Price
Simon Astler of Dixie College has earned infamy as the first entry-level housing professional to have his membership revoked by the National Association of Residence Halls International (NARH-I) following a high profile disciplinary case on campus.
Astler was featured in a photograph, unshaven and bleary-eyed, on the front page of the student newspaper, The Whistlin’ Dixie, after a story broke of a boisterous party involving residence life staff following the closing of the residence halls in early May.
Dixie College administration has not publically condemned the staff for the gathering, given the event was held in a staff member’s apartment and every attendee was of legal drinking age. However, NARH-I has condemned Astler’s behavior for a different reason.
“Astler’s picture prominently featured a tattoo of the word ‘dorm’ on his bicep. Our profession removed this word from our glossary a long time ago and we cannot allow someone who promotes this type of language as one of our members,” stated Madeline Fisher, Chairperson of NARH-I.
Shirley Astler, mother of Simon Astler, said, “Simon has always been a good boy. One crazy night of partying with his Residence Hall Association e-board when he was a sophomore, and he ends up with a tattoo of ‘Dorm Sweet Dorm.’ He is being penalized for it this many years later? It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Richard Nagle, professor of rhetoric at nearby Allentown University offered analysis.
“It seems that the use of the word ‘dorm’ has ruffled a few feathers in the professional community. Astler’s choice of the word for his tattoo shows some poor rhetorical accumen. He will have to work hard rebuild his reputation if he ever wants to work in residence life again,” said Nagle.
When students of the Residence Hall Association at Dixie College were interviewed, the only person available was the National Communications Coordinator, Holly Carlin, who offered this public statement: “The staff members in the residence life office tell us all the time not to say that word so I have no idea why Simon would have gotten the tattoo. “
When asked why the word was so terrible, Carlin stated, “It just is.”