College Public Safety’s 2010 Security and Fire Safety Report, which appeared in the Oct. 10 issue of The Linfield Review, revealed an increase in alcohol and drug violations and sexual assault offenses from 2008.
The majority of alcohol and drug violations happen in residence halls.
However, sexual assaults are harder to pinpoint because they are anonymously reported. Even so, “the highest reportable rates have been at the fraternities,” Robert Cepeda, chief of CPS, said in an email.
There are several factors that have led to increases in alcohol and drug violations and sexual assaults on campus.
The first is that this is the largest number of first year students Linfield has had since the last Security and Fire Safety Report, and first-year students typically have more alcohol violations.
As for drugs, marijuana use has increased on college campuses nation- wide, Cepeda said.
The increase in sexual assaults can be attributed to “better awareness of anonymous report forms and better education of students from CATS and CATS Booster Sessions,” Cepeda said.
To lower these numbers, the school will “continue education, prevention efforts around alcohol, drug use and sexual misconduct,” Cepeda said.
Although these issues have become more prominent on Linfield’s campus, they are problems that affect colleges and universities across the nation.
“According to a study conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, [it] found 17.4 million Americans were using marijuana in 2010, up from 14.4 million users in 2007,” Cepeda said. “Marijuana use among young adults aged 18 to 25 was found most responsible for the rise. Drug use among college-aged students has jumped from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.5 percent in 2010.”
Cepeda said that when a policy violation occurs, the report is “sent through the College Conduct Process found in the Student Code of Conduct.”
“While any increase in policy violations are concerning, given the factors that lead to the increases, they are understandable.
“The college will continue to work with students to provide education, alternative programming and enforcement to help reduce these violations,” Cepeda said.
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.