Tuesday, November 16 marked a devastating time for the residents of Ranger Hall, as third floor resident advisor Phil Berce was forced to resign.
After a long night of studying, sophomore resident advisor Phil Berce briefly celebrated his birthday on Friday, November 12. Four days later, Phil found himself in Ranger Hall director Eric Edwards’s office, where he was told he had 48 hours to leave Ranger Hall.
On what grounds was this well respected student forced to step down?
Based on the here say and gossip of an unknown individual, speculations about Phil’s actions on his birthday surfaced and reached the ears of Eric Edwards. This ultimately caused Berce’s resignation.
“I came clean, and I was perfectly honest,” said Berce. “Within five minutes, I was told I had 48 hours.”
Phil Berce is a sophomore at Parkside. Berce is an outstanding student and piano player, with hopes of going to Pharmacy school. In addition to his academic excellence, Berce is well liked and reputable among the student body at Parkside.
His popularity as a student and residence advisor was evident as many concerned residents in Ranger Hall constructed a petition to keep Berce in the dorms. The group went door to door on Tuesday night, explaining Berce’s circumstances and asking for signatures. The effect of the document and the weight it will hold on Phil’s final sentence is unknown, but the students thought it was well worth the effort.
“It doesn’t hurt to try,” said resident Jessica Ivy.
Many of Berce’s residents and supporters went to the third floor lounge, where Berce ordered pizzas and held a gathering for his friends.
“I ordered 15 pizzas and said ‘Let’s go out with a bang!’” said Berce.
At the pizza gathering, residents expressed extreme frustration in regards to the incident, and they pinpointed who they believed were the leading suspects responsible for the accusations against Berce.
“I thought we were all family here, and we clearly have some distant jealous cousins who are not feeling the love. I guess we cannot trust the Parkside community anymore,” said resident Summer Zwicke.
Other residents felt that the consequences that Berce faced were unjust, and they articulated their concerns.
“I think it is pathetic that other RA’s break the rules regularly and get away with it,” said resident Jessica Ivy.
“He is not 16…he is 20. It was his birthday and it was after hours. He wasn’t on duty,” said resident Melissa Taylor.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from the RA’s, who have been known to listen through doors and profile their residents,” said an anonymous resident.
Residents who were less enthralled in anger shared their fond memories of Berce and expressed their sadness.
“Phil is a great guy. He used to help me with my math homework and with my lady problems,” said resident Jordan Theiler.
“I am going to miss our gaming tournaments,” said resident Angelo Fiore.
“It is a sad case,” said fellow Resident Advisor Cedric Ray. “By looking at all of the people who are here with him tonight, you can tell that he is a great guy,”
“Yeah, there are more people here than there have ever been at the RHA meetings!” added resident Mark Fleming.
“Phil is an all around good guy. He does not deserve to be kicked out; he deserves a second chance,” said resident Stephanie Delaurentis.
In the midst of his saddened residents, Berce admitted that regardless of the perpetrator, the consequences were the effects of his own defiance.
“I am not mad at all…I am disappointed,” said Berce. “I broke the rules, I was caught, and it was my fault. I am very sorry,”
Berce has taken the incident with a great deal of grace and he holds no other regrets. As for Berce’s future, it is still very bright. Berce is still planning on going to Pharmacy school, and he intends on being a resident advisor next year. Although he has high hopes for the future, he admitted that one thing will sadden him a great deal.
“I will miss my residents most of all,” said Berce.