Monday, October 13, 2008

Alcohol-related arrests up at IU Southeast

The Indiana University Southeast Campus Police Department is now dealing with a problem many campuses have had for years — alcohol offenses.

For the first time, IUS offers on-campus housing for students this year. With residents comes more students trying to test the limits.

Less than two months since the residence halls opened, campus police have already made nine alcohol-related arrests. Several others have been cited or given referrals. By comparison, IUS reported only two on-campus alcohol violations and six referrals from 2004 until 2006. The 2007 crime reports will be released next month.

“This is something we’ve never really had to deal with before,” said Dennis Simon, campus chief of police. “We’ve had very few arrests in the past.”

In fact, the police department is in the process of changing its crime reporting system so that an arrest log will be available in the campus police office. In the past, there were so few arrests they never had to worry about that.

So far, two arrests were made and three citation issued for minor consumption. There have been four operating while intoxicated arrests, two disorderly conduct arrests and one possession of marijuana arrest.

Simon believes the number of alcohol violations will continue to drop as students realize campus police and school administrators will not tolerate alcohol on campus.

“Problems have decreased significantly after the first two weeks,” he said. “We indicated to people that you can’t get away with breaking the rules.”

Most of the problems have involved non-students visiting students on campus, Simon said. Six out of nine people arrested were not students.

The university prohibits alcohol, tobacco and weapons on campus. The only exception is when alcohol is allowed at certain events approved by the chancellor.

Simon met with Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson earlier this year, and both agreed to let the school handle minor offenses like alcohol consumption. In those situations, campus police will issue referrals and Student Affairs decides the discipline. The range of penalties include probation and suspension or even removal from campus housing for repeat offenders.

“We want students to have a good college experience,” Simon said.

Simon also thanked the Community Advisors, students who are selected to monitor residence halls, saying they had been “vigilant.”
source: News and Tribune

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