U ranks 4th in campus alcohol arrests

The number of college students being busted for drinking offenses is increasing across the nation, and University students are no exception; in fact, statistically, they are leaders.
The University is ranked fourth in the nation for alcohol-related arrests from 1995 to 1996 with 383, according to a report to be released Monday by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The report also said alcohol-related arrests increased 10 percent nationwide during 1996.
On the University front, police say the numbers could reflect increased drinking as well as a more proactive approach from officers to enforce underage drinking laws.
The Chronicle looked at crime reports that colleges and universities are required to provide by law.
Michigan State University showed the most arrests in the study followed by California-Berkeley and Wisconsin-Madison universities, respectively.
The numbers may be a little misleading considering enrollment. Although Minnesota ranked fourth, the school has the highest enrollment of the top five schools.
However, University Police statistics show the number of drinking incidents has increased even more drastically over the past year.
University Police cited about 600 people on campus for drinking violations during 1997. The Chronicle did not research past 1996.
Capt. Bruce Troupe said the higher numbers might be caused by an increased number of students drinking and more cracking down from police.
“We’ve always been proactive in alcohol-related incidents,” Troupe said.
But he added that the University’s location in a major city might be another factor.
“Don’t lose sight of where we’re located,” Troupe said. “We come in contact with people who may just be passing through on Washington Avenue or University Avenue.”
McKinley Boston, vice president for student development and athletics, echoed Troupe and said there are a lot of opportunities for students to drink in the metropolitan area. He complimented police for their work.
“(The report) says our police are enforcing the law and reporting accurate statistics,” Boston said.
A 1996 Boynton Health Service survey found one-third of all undergraduates do not drink in an average week.
Boston said though he would like to see this statistic increase, these numbers suggest the University is doing something right.
Residence halls are often a source of underage drinking problems.
University criminology junior and Frontier Hall resident Andrew Libert said residence halls with many freshmen may be part of the problem.
“Freshmen, when they get here, go nuts and they are a little irresponsible,” Libert said. He added that there are many people in the dorms who are repeat offenders and could push the number up.
Boston, who is putting together a task force to study drinking in residence halls, said the University might be better served by keeping upperclassmen in the halls to act as role models for underclassmen.