The crackdown on student drinking by Temple police that resulted in 270 arrests or citations during the first four weeks of this semester took a different direction these past two weekends, with 27 reported alcohol-related incidents, as compared to the average of 67 incidents in the first four weekends.
Charlie Leone, the acting executive director of Campus Safety Services, said police only pursued a “handful” of citations during the past two weekends.
During the first month of the fall semester, Temple Police joined forces with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to suppress underage and excessive drinking, as well as the crimes they said follow such behavior, by increasing weekend patrols. The increase in patrols resulted in more than 270 alcohol offense ciations in campus residence halls and in the blocks around campus.
“Our goal is to go out and send out a message and then sit back and see if students notice and have it take effect,” Leone said.
Leone said CSS has kept a visual presence in the blocks around campus in the most recent weeks, though it has been less active in handing down punishment.
“I do believe that the students are getting the message,” he said. “I’ve seen and heard through social media, students referencing alcohol and our enforcement effort. We want [our enforcement] to stay in their heads, hoping they will become more responsible with drinking.”
For students living on and around Main Campus, the reactions to police crackdowns on student drinking have been mixed.
“From what I have been hearing, they have been handling out more citations recently,” Naveed Ahsan, a senior journalism major, said. “I believe they have been using strong measures.”
Anton Zee, a senior computer science major, strongly urged students to consider the consequences of being drunk and breaking the law.
“Sometimes, by being in the car with someone who is drunk, can affect you permanently,” he said. “As college students, we have to understand that these stupid decision can carry along when we enter the workforce, affecting our chances for a good future.”
At the start of the semester, Temple cancelled Spring Fling, the anticipated yearly tradition in which the campus hosts dozens of tents and craft booths advertising student activities, accompanied by food and live music. Administrators cited a different aspect of Spring Fling, the parties and underage drinking in housing west of campus that coincides with the school-sponsored event, with their decision to cancel the event.
Last year, a West Chester University student died after falling three stories from a rooftop house party several blocks west of campus the evening following Spring Fling
“People are going to drink anyway,” Yana Kozhukhar, a senior Tourism and Hospitality Management major, said. “There are a lot of parties, and they don’t check IDs or anything. You can just go inside and start drinking.”
The change in enforcement practices this year has come under the direction of the Office of Student Affairs.
“I think we want to truly balance enforcement with education and intervention,” Leone said. “We work collaboratively with the Dean of Student’s Office where awareness and preventive programming is paramount.”
Eddie Barrenechea an be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EddieB_TU.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article that appeared in print on Oct. 1 incorrectly reported the number of alcohol violations in the previous two weeks. The number was 27, not 11.