In a response to student partying off-campus, university officials announced today changes to the Student Conduct Code and increased patrols during “peak party times,” along with more collaboration with city and state government.
In a release, President Theobald said the administration understands partying is a part of college life, but added students must be responsible and respectful of the communities around Main Campus.
“We cannot condone disrespectful and disruptive behavior by a relatively small number of students, nor can we ignore an increase in the number of students hospitalized and injured during events involving alcohol,” he said in a university release.
The release lists several changes that would be implemented immediately—including the increased patrols, which will consist of a “community support team” that will work with Campus Safety Services and patrol off-campus neighborhoods on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said most of these patrols will occur west of Main Campus, from 15th to 19th streets and Susquehanna Avenue to Jefferson Street. He added the department has been discussing the changes with university counsel, the Dean of Students’ Office, Temple Student Government, other administrators and landlords during the past few years.
“It’s not something that happened overnight,” Leone said. “We’ve tried it in various incremental steps. We tried extra enforcement, we tried working with landlords and student groups … and unfortunately, [in] one way it does end up coming to enforcement, looking at the Student Code and seeing if there’s anything we can do in that aspect to help as well.”
One change to the Student Conduct Code will be higher fines for students with multiple alcohol citations. According to the previous code, second and third offenses would result in a $500 fine and suspension or expulsion from the university, respectively.
Now, the fines have been increased to $750 and $1,000 for second and third offenses, according to the release. On the third offense, students could be suspended or expelled for additional charges like disorderly conduct or property damage. The Student Conduct Code will also be changed to include penalties for students who host parties off-campus—not just those who have been drinking.
“Any resident (i.e., anyone who lives at the residence, or whose name is on the lease) of a house where a party is being hosted may be charged with a violation of the Student Code regardless of whether they were at the party,” the release read.
Those found in violation of the code could be fined up to $1,500 for each resident of the “party house,” according to the release.
The state’s Liquor Control Board will also regularly monitor parties, predominantly on weekends, that serve alcohol, and issue fines for underage drinking and those who charge people to attend parties.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.