Housing and Dining Services informed him that his letter had been forwarded to CU's Office of Judicial Affairs, which usually handles drug infractions. But since Hartman hadn't received a penalty, just probation, he was told that he couldn't appeal.

Representatives of both departments declined to talk about the story, referring all calls to Hilliard, who said he can't discuss specifics. In general, however, "with a student employee, if we suspect them of conduct that goes against the rules and responsibilities we outline to them in crystal clarity, we can let them go in the same way you're let go from any other job," he says.

The employee can also be sanctioned. The standards for judicial sanctions at CU are much lower than in a regular court, Hilliard says — something that's explained to all students, and especially RAs. In a case where the stench of marijuana is wafting from someone's room, he says, "you don't need a CSI investigation...to have a culprit."

Hartman insists he's not looking for a CSI investigation — just a chance to prove that he wasn't smoking that night. "I pay a lot of money to go to this school, and they're treating me like I'm a bum. The university just thinks they're God, and they don't care."

Hartman, who grew up in Lakewood, applied for the RA job for the free room and board. Since he's paying for college himself, he was looking for ways to cut down on expenses. Plus, his freshman-year RA impressed him, and he wanted to follow in his footsteps. "He was relaxed," Hartman says. "He didn't get anyone in trouble."

One time, Hartman recalls, he and some friends were smoking a joint in a tree near their dorm when the RA walked by. Instead of reporting them, he says, the RA took a hit off the joint and kept walking. "I wanted to give people an opportunity to have a fun year," Hartman says of his motivation to be an RA, "not be a Nazi on their tail."

In the meantime, Hartman is still working at Papa Romano's and he's resumed smoking pot. In fact, he's applied to the state for a medical marijuana card because he says he has lingering pain from ACL surgery he had in 2007 after hitting a tree while snowboarding.

"It's a drug. It's fun. It's like you get high, and I enjoy getting high," he explains. "I get really motivated. I can't sleep (when I'm high); I have to do stuff, like write essays or clean or play pool or skateboard or snowboard. It makes me really active."

Contact the author at melanie.asmar@westword.com.

"It's like a kangaroo court. They just railroad people. They're asking for confessions. That's pretty wild."

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