Drug and liquor incidents reported in 2016, campus procedure for violations

February 07, 2017

Anne Stewart

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     A few violations that occurred on campus in January were five liquor and five drug violations reported in the residence halls, according to the 2017 crime and fire log.

     According to the 2016 UCCS Crime and Fire Log, approximately 89 reports that related to liquor and drug violations occurred more in the fall than in the spring.

     Marc Pino, interim chief of police, said that students ages 18-22 might be prone to experimenting with drugs and alcohol in college. He said the biggest concern with students is over-consumption.

     The actual number of violations for 2016 would be hard to base off of the reports in the crime log alone, because there could be multiple violations within one report and only one in another, said Pino.

     The final number of 2016 liquor and drug violations could change, according to Pino. He said the numbers that end up on the final report will become public on Oct. 1.

     “Typically during the next nine and a half months, we are going over every single case, looking to confirm, making sure all numbers match up,” said Pino.

     Pino said that the numbers for 2016 would be about the same as those in 2015, as he did not perceive a drastic increase in violations over the last year.

     Reports in spring 2016 could have been lower than in the fall due to a number of factors.

     Ralph Giese, director of Residence Life and Housing, and Pino said that with new campus housing facilities and a growing student population, there could be some change.

     Giese added that there is a larger number of students in the fall and with that a possibility of more violations.

     Pino said that in the fall, new groups of students may be testing new freedoms. The goal is to educate students who violate drug or liquor policies and to make them aware of the choices they should be making, said Giese.

     “Oftentimes, those kinds of things aren’t taught at homes and high schools. But it comes to us to really have that good educational conversation to say, ‘Why are you making these choices?’” said Giese.

     “The one-on-one conversation is probably the most effective.” Students who are first-time violators of drug or liquor policies receive a warning and are referred to a class called Choices to educate them on dangers, but also to make sure that there is not a second violation, said Pino.

     Students with a second violation, or those who are not UCCS students, are given a citation.

     Molly Kinne, associate director for Residence Life and Housing, said that a student’s history and behavior during the incident are considered.

     “(The student has) a meeting with a professional staff member, and we follow the same processes as the dean of students,” said Kinne.

     “From there it is determined whether or not there was a violation, and the students has rights and responsibilities…outlined in the code of conduct.”

     Outside of over-consumption, Pino said that other issues associated with alcohol on campus are not seen.

     Giese explained that resident assistants are trained before the start of each semester to understand how to handle occurrences pertaining to liquor and drug violations.

     “When (RA’s) become aware that a crime potentially is being committed or has been committed, or they’re not sure if it’s been committed, they report that. So they call in the police for all of these events,” said Giese.

     Kinne said that when there is a reported drug or liquor violation, the professional staff at Residence Life and Housing will review the case to decide whether or not there is a violation.

     Giese said that campus policy regarding liquor and drugs follow Colorado Statutes.

     Kinne and Giese said that it is hard to connect crimes like vandalism or property damage with alcohol use.

     “If something is identified to a particular incident, it’s handled through the adjudication of that student with the underage drinking violation as well, but that doesn’t happen terribly often,” said Giese.