You booze you lose

Rachel Dvareckas, Features Editor

Alcohol, a word not foreign to many college students, even those under the legal drinking age. College is usually perceived in the media as a time of partying, with alcohol playing a major role in that. RWU may not be one of the biggest “party schools” in America, but it still has its fair share of parties and incidences involving alcohol. 

Alcohol violations on campus have increased by 30% in 2018, as stated by the crime report released this past September. These violations include possessing alcohol when underage, selling alcohol, exceeding the stated quantity limits and having alcohol in areas where it is not allowed, as found in the student handbook. Students are also not allowed to have alcoholic drinks that are combined with stimulants, as this could become a health risk for those who consume it. Alcohol is only allowed on North Campus, where upperclassmen usually live. It is prohibited from South Campus.

Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution deals with cases of misconduct on campus. So far this year, the number of alcohol-related misconduct cases makes up the majority of the total cases they have had. 

 This is not atypical. Currently, about 65% of our student conduct cases are related to alcohol in some fashion,” Diana Proto, director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, said.

Proto and her colleagues try to ensure the safety of all the students on campus and work to prevent harmful incidences from happening. Freshmen are required to take an AlcoholEdu online course before beginning classes and must attend a presentation put on by the Health and Wellness Educators to educate students on safe ways to engage with alcohol. 

“We try not to admonish or dissuade, but rather educate students about the risks associated with high-risk drinking behaviors. We encourage responsible decision-making and reinforce skills around how to drink responsibly if you choose to drink,” Proto said.

Students who are found to be in violation of student conduct policy must go through a process in order to learn how to prevent it from happening again.  Students will first go through the student conduct review process where they engage with either their CORE or someone involved with Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. The student can give their side of the story and talk about their own experiences with alcohol, while being provided with suggestions on safer ways to consume alcohol. 

Proto suggested students not to give in to peer pressure surrounding alcohol and that they make their own responsible choices. More than half of the students who had taken the AlcoholEdu survey for the 2018-2019 academic year report they choose not to drink. It is okay to make your own decisions regarding alcohol consumption while enjoying your college years at RWU.