|The Grove at Orono, Maine|
Campus Crest Communities in September opened one of its newest locations of The Grove, at the University of Maine. Less than three months after its opening, the student-housing complex is being described in unflattering terms.
In an op-ed piece for The Maine Campus newspaper, UM student Dodge Tucker used words such as "mayhem," "chaos," and "debauchery" to describe his experience as a resident at The Grove.
We have shown in a series of posts that Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins has a history of abusive actions in several arenas, including the legal, personal, and corporate. Quite a bit of the ugliness is centered here in Alabama, where Campus Crest has four locations of The Grove. On the personal and legal front, Rollins played a central role in an Alabama divorce case we've called the worst courtroom cheat job in our experience. For good measure, Rollins even has been convicted or implicated in at least two cases of child abuse in North Carolina.
The nastiness seems to have infected the environment at The Grove complexes. Homicides, shootings, and car jackings seem to be among the "fully loaded" activities that Campus Crest touts in its advertising. And let's not forget a balcony collapse that severely injured three young people in Denton, Texas.
Such incidents has been limited mostly to Campus Crest facilities in the South. But now they are creeping into New England, and Dodge Tucker reports that "fully loaded" living at The Grove in Orono, Maine, is more than he bargained for. From Tucker's op-ed piece:
Imagine walking out of your apartment to see someone lying on the ground, bleeding profusely, his eyes rolling back in his head with people surrounding him, frantically calling 911. That was the scene I witnessed Friday night at The Grove, and that was only a part of what went down.
When you look outside and see a fire truck, ambulance, three police cruisers and security vehicles, you know something is up, and whatever it is, it’s probably not good. I threw on some shoes and decided to take a closer look. After passing the kid who was being tended to by EMTs at this point, I continued to see why all the police officers were there. Out of nowhere, two kids sprinted by me as if their lives depended on it and in not-so-hot pursuit were at least three cops who appeared very winded. This was absolute mayhem.
I continued on when all of a sudden a door whipped open and a fight spilled out onto the sidewalk. By now more cops had arrived and quickly responded to the fight by breaking it up and trying to cool things down.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it? And that's not all. Here's more from Tucker:
I eventually headed back inside, as it was getting late and I figured all of the action was over — but no. Hearing yelling, I looked outside my bedroom window to a huge mob of cops sprinting after someone in-between buildings.
Uncontrolled chaos was The Grove in a nutshell this past weekend. Security has been becoming more lax and the gates haven’t been used in what seems like over a month, allowing anyone and everyone who wants to come in and out the complete freedom to do so.
Ever since that first move-in weekend, security has had less and less of a presence in The Grove. I am not saying that I support being questioned everywhere I go, but for the overall safety and peace of mind of everyone living here, some sort of order needs to be maintained.
Are Dodge Tucker and other UMaine students waiting on Ted Rollins to take actions that will bring a sense of stability and well-being to The Grove in Orono? If so, our research indicates they are in for quite a wait.