NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two Trevecca Nazarene University students say they are embarrassed and their characters have been called into question after being forced to take a drug test when no drugs were found in their dorm room.
The students’ room was checked after two resident assistants said they smelled marijuana, but they found nothing.
The students told News 2 their room was the only one on the entire floor to be searched, so to prove their innocence, they took the drug test.
Trevecca University freshman Psychology major Diamond Bell said it was during a nightly bed check on Oct. 29 when the RAs reportedly smelled the weed.
The students said one of them returned with a resident director, and their room was then turned upside down.
“They looked everywhere, refrigerator, every possible place they thought it would be and didn’t find nothing and just said good night and walked out,” Bell told News 2.
She and her mother requested a meeting with the Dean of Student Development, which they finally got a week later.
They were taken by surprise when they got there.
“The meeting was not to investigate or anything. It was to tell us we had to take a drug test,” Bell said.
Both tests came back negative.
“They didn’t have no drugs in my system, there were no drugs in my room, you did not find anything, so why should I even have to take a drug test anyway?” Bell said. “To prove myself after you questioned my character; she still did not give an apology period.”
Bell’s mother, Tiffany Williamson, said her daughter wasn’t given a choice to take the test. They were told if she refused, it would be considered as a positive.
“That really bothered me because I feel like it was calling her character into question, her morals in to question, and that’s just not how we raised her,” Williamson said.
The university has launched an investigation. A statement from Mandy Crow with Trevecca Media Relations said:
Administration officials are doing a full investigation of this matter and we will be reviewing all policies and procedures. The search and test are standard University policy in situations where there is reasonable cause, and there is no indication of targeting in this incident. We take any reports of this type seriously with an expectation that all people on our campus will be treated with love and respect. We are fundamentally committed to ensuring that Trevecca is a safe place for all students and desire that no student feels targeted for any reason. Administration officials are doing a full investigation of this matter and will take steps to ensure that all students are treated with respect and sensitivity.
Bell said the only thing about drugs covered in the student handbook is they are prohibited.
The handbook states, “Drugs: Trevecca Nazarene University forbids the use, possession, and/or distribution of marijuana, narcotics, or any illegal drug.”
“I had nothing to hide so I went on and took it,” Bell said.
News 2 asked if the policy is part of the resident assistants and resident director’s handbook, how would students know what to adhere to?
“The Student Handbook outlines policies regarding drug use and other issues in general terms. Specific guidelines and investigatory procedures are outlined in detail in the Resident Assistant and Resident Director Handbooks and communicated verbally to students,” Crow said in an email. “These procedures are applied uniformly to all students.”
Crow later clarified the statement, “Students are supposed to adhere to the policies and procedures in the Student Handbook. If there are any issues beyond the Student Handbook, there will be a conversation with their Resident Assistant or Resident Director. This is uniform for all students on Trevecca’s campus.”
Bell said she and her roommate met with a Trevecca staff person with student diversity, and they feel their voice was finally heard.
They are still awaiting an apology from the Dean or the University.