After Drop, Alcohol Violations Spike 30% in 2010
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:10
Reported crime on-campus began to decline in 2010, but alcohol violtions jumped 30 percent in the same period, according to the Department of Public Safety's 2010 Crime Awareness and Campus Security Report.
The report listed a total of 477 alcohol violations in the 2010 calendar year, a significant increase from the 334 incidents reported in 2009.
This jump comes after the number of alcohol violations had dropped 50 percent from 2007 to 2009. At the time, the university attributed the decline to a stricter alcohol policy implemented in 2007.
"This downward trend may be attributed to measures that the university has taken to curtail excessive drinking," Joseph Smith, associate director of DPS, wrote in an email to The Hoya last year.
The new policy included a requirement that students to undergo training before holding weekend parties and register them by Thursday night. Parties in townhouses and apartments were also limited to 25 and 35 people.
The policy was amended in fall 2008 in response to strong student protests and now includes a clarification of the Code of Student Conduct.
The reason for the increase in 2010 is unclear, as resident assistants did not increase patrols, Director of Residence Life Stephanie Lynch said last year.
Alcohol violations make up a large chunk of Category A infractions, detailed by the Student Code of Conduct, and were barely outnumbered by the 481 noise violations reported in 2010. These offenses can include the possession or consumption of alcohol in an alcohol-free location, possession of an unauthorized keg and possession or use of alcohol-related paraphernalia. Drug violations accounted for the remaining 41 infractions in this category. These violations can be punished by housing relocation, housing probation or suspension and disciplinary probation or a suspension of up to two years, according to the Code of Student Conduct.
In total, there were 220 on-campus crimes in 2010, including eight forcible sexual offences, 38 burglaries and one aggravated assault. The 2010 data marked a decrease from the 282 reported crimes in 2009.
Category B violations, which are more severe in nature, include harassment, theft and sexual misconduct. Of the 48 Category B violations reported last year, disorderly conduct was the most common, with a total of nine reported incidents.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security report, released in conjunction with the Fire and Safety Report and Fire Log, highlights the crime and safety policies of the university and lists crime statistics from the previous calendar year. These reports are issued annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, which requires universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to disclose information about crime and related campus policies.
Assistant Vice President for Communications Stacy Kerr said that the annual reports help to promote safety practices on the Hilltop.
"This report is one of the university's many efforts to communicate with our community about personal safety," she said.
DPS and the Office of Student Conduct could not be reached for comment.