This archived article was written by: Seth Richards
Officer James Prettyman of campus police and residential life warns, “enough is enough with this alcohol consumption by minors and adult minors. Someone is going to become seriously injured if not killed because of this activity.”
In elementary school teachers said, “just say no.” An actor smashed an egg on television and said that was the difference between your mind in a healthy state and your mind on drugs. In high school, friends and classmates offered drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. On Sept. 25 and Oct. 14, students on the USU Eastern Campus proved that the surgeon general, elementary school teacher, and any number of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officers had been ignored.
One of the six students involved in the Sept. 25 incident were caught again the following week in possession of illicit substance, and have since been evicted.
Excuses will be made that alcohol becomes a necessity to get through tough economic times, or when something particularly stressful occurs, it is necessary to get boiled. If times are hard on your wallet, how can you afford alcohol? How in any way is getting drunk going to resolve stress or increase your cognitive capacity to work through the times?
A substance abuse mark is a dirty spot on your record. It may affect your ability to work in even the most menial of positions, it can count as a strike against you in judicial proceedings, and it can foster general distrust against you. There is no reason for a person who is not physically addicted to a substance, particularly alcohol, to dirty their record with a mark of possession, consumption, or public drunkenness.
There is also no reason to sully your good standing with a mark born of providing alcohol to minors or adult minors (those between the ages of 18 and 21). Aiding in the corruption of a minor is illegal and a liability in any situation.
“Most of this activity takes place off campus, and then the students return. You may not have in your possession or in your system, any alcohol, regardless of age. Campus police want to send a message to students that this type of behavior is going to result in someone’s death,” said Prettyman. “Please stop before someone gets hurt,” added Prettyman.
Field sobriety tests given on intoxicated students have given readings between .20 and .35. The legal limit in Utah is .08 for anyone over 21; anything over .16 is getting dangerously close to making vegetables and cadavers out of supposedly reasonable students.
For those old enough, without judicial restrictions, and choosing to take part in the consumption of alcohol, there are enough places off of campus to dry out. It may not be safe to sleep where you drink, particularly with winter fast approaching, but a friend’s place off of campus is a lot nicer place to spend the night than the Carbon County Sheriff’s Complex or the ICU; Although a trip to the emergency room is often unavoidable either way.
On the night of the Halloween Howl alone, there were 18 drug and alcohol related arrests on the Logan Campus. There is more binge drinking going on this year at the Logan Campus than in previous years, according to Captain Steven Milne of the USU Police. Captain Milne believes that this problem comes from people experimenting with alcohol before attending college, some probably for years prior.
This binge drinking is likely the cause of the poisoning of a 17-year-old female at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in September, for which three people have been arrested. The fraternity is presently under suspension while the Logan City Police investigate the circumstances around the poisoning. It was also binge drinking that killed Michael Starks at the Sigma Nu initiation in 2008.
“Think twice before you drink. There’s other ways to relieve stress, if they don’t know what those are they can check in with the counseling center, they can help them with that,” says Dr. Alex Herzog, associate vice chancellor for student services.“It takes a person the ability to say, ‘I’m going to have that drink now.’ It’s a choice you make and everyone needs to be held accountable for their choices and actions.”
Dr. Herzog warns that there is no double jeopardy. The college has laws independent of the state, and is as capable of prosecuting the possession and consumption of alcohol on campus.
Prettyman added, “If you come back to campus or are engaged in this type of activity on campus in possession of, or under the influence of any alcohol[ic] beverage, you will be taken to jail. That is not our mission, but we are left with no choice. Students are at risk, and we want to prevent students from getting hurt.”
The college experience does not include getting drunk and falling in the fire, getting kicked out of your academic program, or losing residents. Don’t be stupid, don’t get dead, don’t go to jail, and don’t risk losing control of your mental faculties while you still have them.
If you know of anyone who is currently using or at risk of using drugs or alcohol on campus, you can call the silent witness number at (435)613-5635. You could be saving lives, property, and friends who risk hurting themselves.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) program ran through the counseling office, helps around 30 students per semester to overcome problems with regards to the abuse of illicit substances.
The program is free to any student who feels they could benefit from counseling to kick the habit and $50 for anyone who is referred by either the courts or the student conduct office. Either way it is an entirely confidential way to get much needed help.