Friday, October 12, 2012
Growing freshman class may have contributed to increased alcohol and drug violations at TCU
Says the chancellor, "we have some work to do.”
FORT WORTH Liquor law and drug abuse violations on the TCU campus and in student housing rose again last year, according to the latest Annual Security and Fire Safety report.
On-campus liquor law violations rose 45 percent between 2009 and 2011, according to the report. Last year, TCU police filed 539 reports about liquor law violations, compared to 371 in 2009. The report, which police are required to release under federal law, also showed a 41 percent increase in alcohol violations that took place in student housing facilities.
In 2009, there were a total of 39 drug abuse violations on-campus. In 2011, that number rose to 68, a 74 percent increase. Drug violations in student housing facilities increased by 56 percent.
Craig Allen, director of Housing and Residence Life, said he thinks there are two reasons why the statistics continue to rise: the number of students on campus and the change in collecting data.
“When you increase your freshmen on campus by a couple hundred, you’re going to see a little spike in violations,” said Allen. “A lot of these violations are freshmen.”
Allen also said the change in collecting data has led to more violations being documented, resulting in the report's increased numbers.
Resident assistants, hall directors, chapter RAs, and other staff members have become more active in documenting some of the violations.
“We started leasing beds in great number in the Grand Marc,” said Allen. “So that property is now folding into anything that would be considered a campus violation, because we are collecting it.”
He added that policy enforcement, grants toward educating students on alcohol and drug abuse, as well as counseling have also boosted the numbers.
“Because we have been proactive, that’s another reason you see an increase in numbers,” said Allen. “What we focus on is student well-being and assessing problematic student behavior. Our goal and our RAs' goal is to help students make good choices and help them learn from mistakes.”
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, wrote in an email that the university wants to address these violations and help change students' behavior without affecting their records.
“We are pretty assertive about addressing alcohol violations on our campus,” wrote Cavins-Tull. “Instead of students getting arrested and going through the courts to respond to incidents of under-aged drinking, we try to use our process to educate them about their choices.”
Cavins-Tull also wrote that the university’s approach is better for students in the long run.
“We have a very well-staffed Alcohol and Drug Education Center that meets with the students, evaluates their needs and attempts to help them understand their decisions,” Cavins-Tull said. “We want every student to be happy and healthy and to be members of a healthy community, so we have some work to do.”
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