On-Campus Drug and Alcohol Violations on the Rise
BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER
Student interactions with the police decreased while disciplinary actions on campus increased last calendar year, according to the 2014 Clery report, Westminster’s annual release of crime and safety statistics and efforts to improve them.
Dean of Student Life Stephanie Krauth said the increase in campus violations came from a busy spring 2014 semester and the implementation of an updated alcohol policy in the fall of 2014.
Drug abuse violations on campus in student housing facilities increased 50 percent, from eight in 2013 to 12 in 2014, and liquor law violations, which do not include drunkenness or driving under the influence, increased 74 percent, from 19 to 33.
While the number of students referred for disciplinary action on campus increased over the last year, arrests on campus decreased 45 percent, from 11 to six.
“I was surprised to see more on-campus incidents than off campus, considering a big concern students had about the alcohol policy was that more students would go off campus to consume alcohol,” Rachel Bade, ’17, said.
However, arrests due to liquor law violations on public property did not have a significant decrease, and there were 18 arrests in 2014 compared to 19 in 2013.
Overall, the number of minor-in-possession offenses decreased, according to Krauth.
When asked about the Clery report as a whole, Krauth said she hopes it makes students feel a little safer and recognize that work goes on behind the scenes to make them feel safe.
“We’re feeling really good about it,” she said about the results. “But we know we need to keep working. We need to stay vigilant.”
This year’s Clery report also included statistics on Violence Against Women Act offenses.
According to Krauth, previous years have different reports because some of the definitions changed this year. VAWA offenses include domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
One dating violence offense was reported to have occurred on campus in 2014.
A campus climate survey will be sent out soon to collect more data on safety with regard to sexual misconduct.