Drug law violations on campus more than double in 2011 from year before
The number of students receiving judicial referrals for drug law violations more than doubled from 2010 to 2011, according to the most recent Department of Public Safety statistics emailed to students on Friday.
In 2010, there were 82 instances of students receiving judicial referrals regarding drug law violations. This number rose to 181 referrals in 2011, according to the report.
Of the 181 cases regarding illegal drug use, 173 of them took place in a residential facility, according to the report.
Most of the drug law violations are students using marijuana, said DPS Chief Tony Callisto. These cases typically take place in the dorms and DPS is usually alerted to them by students, resident advisers and Office of Residence Life staff who have seen smoke coming from the dorms, he said.
Students can be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs, he said. They could also be given court tickets when marijuana usage is reported to DPS, Callisto said.
“Typically, if the amount of marijuana is an actual testable amount of marijuana, then that student is likely to go both to Judicial Affairs and to get a ticket for court,” he said.
If there is not a testable amount of marijuana, or any other kind of drug, but there is evidence of drug usage from smoke or smell, students are typically only sent to Judicial Affairs, he said.
For drug and liquor law violations, Callisto said, DPS tries to combat the issue with education through various avenues, including floor meetings, the Counseling Center and programs such as AlcoholEdu.
The report also showed liquor law violations resulting in disciplinary actions decreased slightly, from 1,084 in 2010 to 1,057 in 2011.
You think about the fact that we have 12,000 undergraduate students and the number of violations each year are around 1,000, it’s a pretty consistent challenge.
Tony Callisto, DPS Chief
Callisto said this decrease was “negligible,” and that approximately 1,000 cases a year is a consistent trend.
“You think about the fact that we have 12,000 undergraduate students and the number of violations each year are around 1,000, it’s a pretty consistent challenge,” he said.
Many of the referrals are related to underage drinking, as most students who live on campus are under the age of 21, Callisto said.
There were 14 arrests for drug law violations on campus and five arrests for liquor law violations on campus in 2011, according to the report.
Burglaries on campus have also gone down slightly, with 10 fewer burglaries taking place on campus in 2011 than in 2010.
Though it’s still early in the year, Callisto said, there has not been any trend of increased crime on campus in the form of violent robberies, assaults or burglaries.
“There’s no reason for us to believe that we’re going to see increases in any of these areas,” he said.
This year’s major concern comes from teenagers from the area coming to campus looking for parties to start trouble and committing crimes of opportunity, Callisto said.
Crimes that DPS tracks include murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, car theft, arson, possession of illegal weapons, and drug and liquor law violations, according to the report.
In 2011, there were no cases of murder, car theft or nonforcible sex offenses, according to the report.
The statistics are based off information reported to DPS, local law enforcement agencies and university officials, according to the report.
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