Alcohol-related crimes lead in campus arrests

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

The majority of crimes on campus are liquor law violations and arrests in student housing, according to a campus safety report released last week.

In 2005, about 92 percent of the total crimes on campus were in student housing, which includes the Residence Halls and student apartments. In 2006, these crimes accounted for 95 percent of the total crimes, and they represented 96 percent in 2007.

According to the safety report, last year’s 233 liquor law violations and arrests accounted for 78 percent of all crimes on campus. The rate of liquor violations was similarly high in 2005 and 2006, according to the report.

Students in the Residence Halls are the ones getting cited or arrested for most of the booze. From 2005 to 2007, about 97 percent of all on-campus liquor law violations or arrests were committed in the campus Residence Halls, apartments and Medical Towers.

“That definitely does not surprise me,” said Ken Melrose, a sophomore in biology and Resident Adviser in the dorms who responds, with campus police, to alcohol crimes.

Sgt. Dennis North, operations sergeant for campus security, said it’s not surprising that crime occurs in the dormitory areas since the east campus area isn’t watched as closely, especially at night when fewer staff members are available.

Every year since 2003, the number of alcohol violations has gone up. The only drop-off was last year, which saw marginally fewer alcohol violations than in 2006. Regardless, there were still 100 more alcohol crimes than in 2003.

However, despite the strong endurance and growth in alcohol crimes, crime on campus is still lower overall than it was three years ago. According to the crime statistic report, there were 48 fewer crimes committed in 2007 than in 2005.

Sgt. Mike McPharlin compiled this annual report. Crime remains fairly consistent on campus, McPharlin said, pointing out that a growing student population is likely to have its problems.

Campus police declined to comment on report specifics.

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