University sees drug, alcohol citations rise
Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm in News
On-campus and residential liquor and drug law referrals to Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards and drug law arrests have increased in the past three years, according to the Dept. of Public Safety Annual Security Report released Friday.
Though non-campus â all non-university owned property â drug and alcohol-related crimes have decreased overall since 2008, most of the reported drug and alcohol activity has occurred on campus. DPS Capt. David Carlisle attributes this increase to changes in reporting methods.
âWe were surprised at the numbers but we think itâs a change in reporting method, not a significant change in student behavior,â Carlisle said.
Prior to 2008, DPS policy was that only the host of a party with underage drinking would be reported to SJACS.
After 2008, procedures changed so all under-aged students attending such a dorm party would be cited and reported to SJACS.
DPS Annual Security Report is a public document that includes statistics for the past three calendar years regarding crimes on and off campus, as well as policies regarding alcohol and drug use and sexual assault.
USCâs policy for reporting campus security is in accordance with national guidelines set by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. âOn campus,â according to the Jeanne Clery Act, refers to all USC-owned property. It does not include Greek houses, which are considered off-campus housing by the Clery Act and still under DPS jurisdiction.
On-campus liquor law referrals increased substantially between 2008 and 2010, from 29 to 107 to 238. On-campus drug law referrals increased from 47 to 95 to 110. On-campus drug law arrests, although less frequent overall, have also seen an increase, from seven to 11 to 29.
On-campus residential facilities, part of the on-campus area, have seen large increases as well. On-campus residential facilities liquor law referrals went up from 25 in 2008 to 103 in 2009 and 204 in 2010. Drug law referrals nearly tripled between 2008 and 2010, from 42 to 84 to 104.
Though drug and alcohol arrests and referrals have increased on campus in the last three years, the pattern for non-campus arrests and referrals differs. Liquor law referrals decreased from 95 in 2008 to 42 in 2009, and increased to 67 in 2010. Drug law referrals consistently decreased each year between 2008 and 2010, from 63 to 11 to 9.
Carlisle said more arrests and referrals occur on campus than off campus because more people, such as residential advisers and residential coordinators monitor the area, compared to off-campus housing, such as sorority and fraternity houses. Carlisle also said it is more likely that people living off campus are of legal drinking age.
Students attributed the rise in drug and alcohol referrals and arrests to DPS getting stricter.
âI feel like students have always partied, but DPS is cracking down,â said Niko Bijili, a sophomore majoring in business administration.
Victoria Tam, a junior majoring in theater, agreed. She said she recently had a party to raise money for a theater show and seven DPS cars came to shut it down.
âIt was just really excessive,â Tam said.