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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA to host open forum, raise awareness about red-tagging

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Amy Phelps
Amy Phelps / The Daily Wildcat

Mitza Molina, a junior studying special education, never thought she would get a red tag.

But in 2011, the house that Molina and her roommates shared at the time was red-tagged after a party there with more than 100 guests was broken up by Tucson Police Department officers.

“That was why we got in trouble,” she said. “People were letting the cops in.”

Texts with Molina’s address were forwarded to random people, which led to strangers flooding her house. After her neighbors called the cops, the fun was over and the house was red-tagged.

Molina said she did not appreciate the fine that came with the orange paper on her house. She and her roommates were required to pay $300 dollars and wait six months before their house was free of the tag.

“It took us a while. After the time was up, we still hadn’t paid [the fine],” Molina said, “so we had to keep [the tag] up until we paid.”

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona will be hosting an open forum about red-tagging today at 6 p.m. in order to raise awareness about situations like Molina’s.

The forum was organized by Justin Spodek, ASUA’s director of local affairs and a senior studying political science and law and public policy. The discussion will include law enforcement officials and a lawyer.

Getting a red tag, which means violating Tucson’s unruly gathering ordinance, comes with a minimum $100 fine for residents.

Wendy Adkisson, an officer with the Tucson Police Department, said police have to take into account various elements in a situation — such as the number of people in a house and whether they’re participating in underage drinking — before deciding if it is an unruly gathering. Once officers evaluate the situation, they determine whether or not the residents will receive a red tag.

Pat Shunney, a retail and consumer sciences junior, said the unruly gathering ordinance can be important for students to learn about.

“I think a lot of students aren’t really sure what happens with the red tag,” Shunney said.

Spodek said he wants the forum to help prevent red-tagging from happening around UA and that he hopes students will understand why this law is enforced.

“Not all that many students know about the red tag,” Spodek said. “There’s more to it than they think.”

If you go:

Red Tag Forum

Today, 6 p.m.

Student Union Memorial Center, Kiva Room

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