Morgan Hall has had a high share of underage drinking since its opening, with a total of nine incidents since the beginning of the semester – the most out of any of the residence halls.
Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the increased activity may only seem high because of the sheer number of students living inside.
“Morgan, in particular, added over 1,200 more students,” Leone said. “So, there will be a natural increase in the number of reported incidents.”
Johnson Hall has had four incidents, Hardwick Hall had two. White Hall and 1300 have each had six and 1940 has had one. Temple Towers reported none.
Leone said Temple police have a strong partnership with University Housing and Residential Life. When resident assistants examine complaints of students seen carrying alcohol, or if students are throwing loud parties, they will recommend a referral through the Student Code of Conduct.
“If the resident assistants need support, the Temple Police will respond,” Leone said. “This initiative gives the resident assistant and resident director the opportunity to enforce alcohol violations in their buildings.”
When students enter the main lobby intoxicated, they run the risk of being stopped by security. Procedure then calls for security officers to turn over the incident to Temple Police to handle. Leone cited this process as another reason why Morgan Hall received so much attention in the crime logs.
“Unfortunately, whenever we stop someone at the desk, the location of the residence hall is used for reporting the offense,” he said.
Despite aggressive policing by Temple police and front desk security officers, some students said security at Morgan Hall and other residential housing are not properly checking bags for alcohol.
“They kind of just felt my bag to make sure there weren’t any bottles of alcohol,” Miriah Silvestri, a freshman biology major, said. “I think they can do better, because I know people have brought alcohol in before.”
Alexander Kinter, a freshman film and education major, said security measures are only enforced during peak times of the week, leaving other days vulnerable for alcohol to breach past the walls of Morgan Hall.
“Usually security checks from Thursday to Sunday,” he said. “If anyone wanted to bring alcohol inside of a dorm, it would be pretty easy to do it during the beginning of the week.”
Amber Rainear, a freshman psychology major, had similar thoughts on the ability of students to break the rules.
“I know people who have snuck in 40-ounce bottles of liquor in Morgan Hall,” she said. ‘So, I guess security does not check as hard as they should be.”
However, Rainear also said security would check thoroughly when they feel suspicious that alcohol is hidden from view.
Leone said securing the dorms will have a lasting effect to every student at Temple.
“Stopping someone at the security desk who is intoxicated will not only reduce the possibility of an alcoholic-related incident,” Leone said, “but, more importantly, it keeps student safe from harm.”
In the beginning of the semester, CSS cited the need for student safety and better community relations when it announced a new policy cracking down on student drinking that has led to almost 300 arrests or citations so far this semester.
Edward Barrenechea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EddieB_TU.