Police battle drinking on campus

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

Dave King, Irish-American lead singer for the punk band Flogging Molly, said last year that Utahns’ ability to get drunk on the state’s beer deeply impressed him, since it’s set at 2 to 12 percent lower than most other states. But U administrators don’t share his admiration8212;they fear for students’ safety.

“We’re concerned with how much alcohol students are consuming, no matter their age,” said Lindy Neilson, associate director for Housing and Residential Education.
Friday, U police arrested a drunken juvenile student at Crimson Nights for allegedly grabbing a woman’s butt, which caused a fight between him and a male friend of the woman. Officers tore them off each other and apprehended him, but he ran. The drunken student, who the U Police Department would not identify, didn’t get far before he was Tased to the ground.

“He was warned he was going to be Tased,” said U Police Chief Scott Folsom. “A sober person probably would’ve made some different choices.”

Several other drunken students were escorted out of the Union party that night, according to the Union Planning Council.

Young people are at the highest risk of doing something stupid under the influence of alcohol, Folsom said. The more people drink, the more

immune they are to its effects8212;so for young college students in their early drinking days, a few beers and they could be getting themselves into a world of trouble, he said.
For instance, no one wants to collapse in a pool of their own vomit and risk never waking up, but that’s the kind of poor decision a student made in the Residence Halls on Aug. 21, Folsom said. Housing and Residential Education employees found a student, who they would not identify, passed out in a Sage Point hallway. The student was rushed to the U Hospital for detoxification. The student could have been in mortal danger had he not received medical attention, Neilson said.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Students disciplined for getting caught drinking on this dry campus make up the single highest crime at the U every year. Since 2005, U Police have apprehended about 200 people on campus8212;mostly in the Residence Halls and at football games8212;for liquor law violations and referred them for disciplinary actions. Most of them are underage, Folsom said.

“We want students to have a good experience at the U and live to see their graduation day,” he said.

photo courtesy Sarah Cutler

A drunken student was Tased to the ground and arrested Friday at Crimson Nights. After getting in a fight and being apprehended by U police, he ran, forcing officers to first warn, then Tase, the student.