Alcohol floods freshmen
Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Alcohol violations and underage drinking are college buzzwords that terrify parents, frustrate administrators and concern health officials alike.
Colleges across the U.S. have noticed this.
And, SMU is no exception.
SMU Police Department records all crime and fire reports, which includes alcohol violations, and puts those statistics on their website, making them visible to the public.
According to the 2009 police reports, there were 147 arrests and 298 referrals to the Conduct Officer relating to alcohol violations.
In 2010, there were 44 arrests and 247 referrals.
"We are very concerned with their safety on and off campus," Detective Linda Korbelic-Perez said. "We want them to have a successful and enjoyable experience at SMU."
SMU's Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention provides students with a "confidential source of help" in order to deal with substance abuse problems and concerns.
The Center also works to promote activities and programs in order educate the campus on the topic of alcohol and drug abuse.
The Center employs counselors who provide assessments, interventions, referrals and short-term counseling, as well as ongoing support for recovering students.
John Sanger, director for the Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention, feels the center is very important.
"Each year, we have students who make very risky and dangerous choices around alcohol resulting in serious negative consequences," he said. "[Our work] focuses on lowering risk and the resultant harm caused by the use of
alcohol and other drugs."
Korbelic-Perez believes seeking help and advice relating to alcohol abuse are the best bet.
"It does not mean you are weak," she said. "It shows you are using coping skills to try and solve a problem or perhaps prevent a problem before it starts. Nobody has all of the answers."
The center, which is located on the second floor of the Memorial Health Center, recently joined the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking.
This collaborative is part of the National College Health Improvement Project through the Dartmouth Institute.
The Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the University of Virginia provides SMU and other campuses with information about alcohol poisoning and prevention.
Many students are familiar with the green "Gordie check" stickers in the residential halls, the HAZE film during Greek Recruitment and various information pamphlets that can be found throughout campus.
According to their website the Gordie Center's goal is to "work to promote peer intervention and challenge attitudes that allow hazing and alcohol poisoning."
"[We want] to promote healthy campus environments in which hazing and alcohol poisoning do not occur," Holly Foster, Gordie Center's Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug education coordinator, said. "We used to be more just education; we're also focusing on prevention. Education and prevention combined."
On the SMU campus, the majority of alcohol violations took place outdoors on-campus, in parking lots and various locations off-campus.
McElvaney Hall generally receives more alcohol violations per year than any other resident hall.
And the numbers in 2011 seem to be heading the same way.
Of the 40 violations given out on campus in 2011, 17 of those have been given in or outside of McElvaney.
Fraternity Row was the second highest on campus location for alcohol violations, with eight given.
"It really shows how the fraternities have stepped up and made an honest attempt to educate their members about AVs," SMU junior Chris Wolf said.
Senior Phi Delta Theta member Stirling Parkerson agreed.
"Frats do their best to try not to provide alcohol to underage drinkers but it is nearly impossible to stop it completely," he said. "We are not facilitating underage drinking."
In the past two years, Hawk Hall is the only resident hall where someone did not receive an alcohol violation.
Last semester and this semester, Pi Beta Phi was the only sorority house where someone did receive an alcohol violation.
"No matter what a university does, underage drinking will still occur whether there are frats or not," Parkerson said."Education on the effects of drinking is the only way I believe college campuses can handle the problem of underage drinking on campus."
For a complete breakdown of all violations for this month, as well as previous years, visit SMU's crime log.