Drug and liquor related infractions and arrests on campus were greater last year than in previous years, according to the annual fire and safety report released last week.
There were 43 accounts of liquor law violations in 2010, 11 more than the previous year’s 32 accounts, and there were 10 drug law arrests, twice the amount of drug arrests in 2009.
Burglary and sex crimes were down from previous years.
But Chris Hoover, chief of ESU police, said that these numbers do no indicate an actual rise in drug and alcohol problems on campus.
“Statistics sometimes don’t really tell the whole story…it’s kind of an ebb and flow with drugs and alcohol,” Hoover said.
Hoover said the comparison of the 2010 figures with the 2009 figures could be skewed due to the fact that there were officers injured last year, resulting in fewer traffic stops and “self-initiated activities,” which would lead to fewer arrests being made during that year.
Hoover also discussed the procedure that the Emporia State police follow when dealing with a drug related call in the residence halls.
“(The call) sometimes will come from a roommate who’s concerned,” Hoover said. “It may also come from a residence life staff individual. However it comes, we will go over and attempt to contact the person who reported it, gather the information (and) based on our training and experience, we’ll determine, do they have a valid point,” Hoover said.
Nathaniel Terrell, chair of sociology, anthropology and crime and delinquency studies, agreed with Hoover in that the statistics in the report do not necessarily indicate a problem at ESU.
“(The report) shows that we actually improved,” Terrell said. “We’re a safer campus than we were in 2009.”
After examining the statistic which showed that drug related arrests had risen, Terrell said that while the numbers had increased, it was still a very small number when compared to the total population of the university.
“We got ten out of 4,500 students on campus – that’s not really a large number,” Terrell said.
Some students also do not seem to feel that drug and alcohol are major problems on campus.
“I don’t believe there is a problem,” said Todd Hauser, junior business administration major. “I feel like people have it under control.”
The statistics in the report indicate that while arrests for drug related offenses were higher in 2010, total arrests for alcohol related offenses actually dropped from the previous year.
“On campus, I feel like we have (drugs and alcohol) pretty regularly controlled, most incidents happen off campus,” said Jaffar Agha, senior sociology major and dispatcher for ESU police. “We rarely get people under the influence on campus.”
To view the whole the report online, go to Emporia.edu/right2know, or contact the Student Life office, 205 Plumb Hall, 341-5267, to receive a hard copy.