Combination of alcohol and minors poses security issues at The Lodges

Nov. 3, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
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The Lodges off-campus student housing has seen its share of incidents this fall, and many groups have noticed.

“The Lodges are a new facility based on a successful business model from other universities,” Brian McPike, director of Public Safety and chief of the UCCS Police Department, said. “It’s a concept that appealed to a lot of kids, and they don’t have the same parameters to abide by that we have on campus.”

On-campus residents must follow rules such as not being able to possess alcohol in the dorms, whether their age legally allows them or not. Residents of The Lodges, however, are allowed to drink alcohol if they are 21 or older. The close location, combined with the college atmosphere has lured underage drinkers.

The Colorado Springs Police Department has received numerous calls since the beginning of the semester.

Dana Shellhorn, a sophomore biology major who lives at The Lodges, witnessed a few incidents.

“It was definitely a lot crazier earlier in the semester,” Shellhorn said. “There were a couple times where I saw cop cars outside.”

“I know in the beginning of the semester they were having a problem with high school students and freshmen wandering into The Lodges without knowing anyone who lived there, so they increased security. You also have people who are 21 or older, so you have easier access to alcohol.”

The CSPD communicated with the UCCS Police Department to inform them of some of the incidents.

While campus police and CSPD have a working relationship through an intergovernmental agreement, the boundaries established in the agreement do not extend to The Lodges or surrounding areas. Because of this, the campus police are not allowed to patrol, operate, or work within that area.

“Our job is to ensure the safety of the students on campus or on university controlled properties,” McPike said.

Should a CSPD officer request assistance however, an officer with the campus police can respond to the call and help at The Lodges.

“Alcohol is something that we always want to educate our students on,” McPike said. “The Lodges are a mix of various ages; this presents a lot of access to illegal use of alcohol. We want them to understand the risks associated with that.”

Shellhorn said that while the property had a great deal of security problems at the beginning of the semester, the rowdiness has died down in the past few weeks.

“It’s actually decreased since the beginning of the semester I think,” she said. “Especially now that people have kind of gotten into the rhythm of going to class and taking tests, especially around midterms.”

McPike said that while alcohol is certainly a factor, it’s one that they hope to alleviate with proper training and lectures.