Alcohol arrests plummet on campus, spike on public property, police say
By Alexis Carel, Managing News Editor
October 6, 2019
Though alcohol-related arrests on campus have nearly been halved over the last three years, they almost doubled on public property between 2017 and 2018, the university police department (UDPD) said.
Due to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which states that institutions like the university with on-campus housing must publish its annual fire safety report, it was confirmed that three fires took place during the entirety of 2018: two in James Smith Hall in June and October due to fan coil unit motor failures — costing $1,200 per failure, and one “malicious burning” at the Gilbert Hall entrance, with no property damage done.
UDPD also outlined their plans for improvements in fire safety, which inadvertently provided a brief rundown of ongoing construction on campus.
Since there happens to be a new residence hall forthcoming, set to include 600 beds in the building’s five stories, their fire safety efforts have manifested into “state of the art emergency voice fire alarm detection alarm system[s] and automatic fire sprinklers,” the six-story Biopharma Laboratory to be finished in January 2020, which will include stair pressurization and smoke control, upgraded systems in McDowell Hall and the continuation of the stadium’s renovation which will be completed in July 2020.
UDPD supplied crime statistics on the Newark campus ranging from years 2016-2018. Below is a brief write-up of violent crime and how the statistics have changed over the past three years.
While there were no murders, manslaughters by negligence, instances of incest or statutory rape, the numbers of rape have stayed fairly steady over the years, ranging from four to six incidents per year between 2016 and 2018.
The highest numbers were found in offenses of stalking on-campus — with a decline in 2018’s numbers — 16 in 2016, 10 in 2017 and three in 2018. As for on-campus residential stalking offenses, there was a sharp decline over the years: 12 in 2016, five in 2017 and two in 2018.
There were quite a few arrests in recent years, most centered around liquor law and drug violations, although arrests have been on a slow decline, with on-campus alcohol-related arrests going down from 53 to 27 in the past three years. However, drug-related arrests on campus have increased slightly, ranging between 13 to 17 between 2016 and 2018.
For “on-campus residential” arrests, or offenses that occurred in a residence hall, there was a brief spike in alcohol-related arrests in 2017, at 21, but has since decreased down to 13. Alcohol-related arrests made on public property spiked as well between 2017 and 2018, increasing to 32. However, drug-related arrests on public property have been on the decline since 2016.
There were nearly no crimes on the Wilmington satellite campus apart from one unfounded motor vehicle theft and one drug-related arrest on public property in 2018. There was one count of aggravated assault in 2018 on the Lewes campus, and one non-campus rape in an unspecified location.
The report also offered a reminder of what the university considers to be sexual misconduct, “a term used to encompass unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is committed without consent.” The policy dictates that the misconduct in question could be committed by anyone, and that anyone could plausibly be a victim as well.
It also specifies that speech “appropriately” related to curricula or content related to lectures is not considered sexual misconduct, rather that it includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence and stalking.
Sexual assault is defined in the policy as “physical sexual acts committed when consent is not received,” including situations wherein an alleged victim is “forced, intimidated or coerced into a sexual act,” or if said person is unable to give consent either mentally or physically.
The packet ended with a reminder of the 2017 UD Drug Free Schools Notification, wherein under The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act amendments of 1989 require that the university certifies that it “adopted and implemented a program” to deter illegal “possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol” by university members.
Alcohol is linked to negatively impacting the “academic goal[s]” of the university, stating that frequent consumption of alcohol was associated with missing classes and slacking academically. The policy also reiterates the general consensus on the usage of marijuana, stating that although it may address a variety of medical conditions, “marijuana actually has the potential of inflicting…[a] negative impact on [the] developing brain.”
The packet offers information on counseling and treatment options like the university’s counseling center, as well as options students can turn to if they feel like they’re going through their recovery alone. BASICS and the Collegiate Recovery Community are two mentioned sources, a two-session training program and a support group for those looking for support during their recovery, respectively.
There were brief reminders of campus resources, including the university police department’s escort program, a free service wherein student cadets in training at the department can escort students home during “hours of darkness seven days a week.” There was also a mention of the prospective provisions of “engraving tools” so students have the option to engrave their personal property, and highlighted their Rape Aggression Defense Systems to help women on campus obtain self-defense skills.
They also included reminders to register valuable property with the university police department in order to enter them into their nationwide database, ensuring that when valuable items go missing, there is a higher chance that when the property is recovered, it will be returned to the student more easily.
If interested, the packet also supplies an exhaustive list of the most illegal drugs on the market, partnered with street or trade names, their possible medical uses, dependants, methods of usage, possible effects, effects of overdose and possible withdrawal symptoms. This resource is intended for those on campus who are possibly being exposed to recreational drugs for the first time, simply to be able to recognize possible overdose symptoms.