Campus ranked second in UC for alcohol violations

    UCSD trails only UC Santa Cruz in the number of judicial referrals for alcohol violations issued to students on UC campuses, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2002, the last year reported, UCSD recorded 1,051 alcohol infractions, while UC Santa Cruz reported 1,234.

    By comparison, UC Riverside reported the fewest violations, with 98, just below the 101 disciplinary actions at UC Davis.

    However, while the records indicate that the campus has a considerable violation rate, this does not mean that UCSD really experiences a much higher frequency of illegal drinking, according to Director of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs Nicholas S. Aguilar.

    “It’s not that we have more activity, but our method of tracking and compiling incidents is much more detailed than other schools,” Aguilar said. “[The statistics] make us look like we are experiencing a higher number of incidents, when in fact it’s not true. UCSD reports all incidents in residence halls and elsewhere through the campus police department … Other campuses separate their statistics into nonstudent, … criminal [and further] categories.”

    Even after accounting for variations in population size, UCSD still posted a higher number of infractions per each 1,000 students than San Diego State University, UC Santa Barbara and Chico State — known among students for their social scenes — according to the department filings.

    At UCSD, 43.6 students out of every 1,000 received referrals, compared to 13.2 at San Diego State, 37.8 at UC Santa Barbara and 43.1 at Chico State. The campus ratio is also nearly twice that of the State University of New York at Albany — recently named by the Princeton Review as the “Top Party School of 2004.”

    Excluding UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara, UCSD’s rate is also greater than the total number of violations at all the other UC campuses combined.

    The number of violations at UCSD fell by 25 in 2003, to a total of 1,026 recorded infractions, according to UCSD police department records.

    Like Aguilar, Revelle College Resident Dean Kevin Jones said the numbers overstate the relative number of campus violations as compared to other schools.

    “I believe we have fewer overall incidents than other campuses but are better able to identify and document the ones we do have because we see what is occurring on campus better than other schools,” he said.

    Jones also said that the majority of students who have been cited generally do not commit another transgression.

    “At Revelle Residential Life, we have many first-time offenses, few second-time offenses, and very rarely does a student reach the third violation,” he said.

    If university officials catch underage students drinking on campus, regulations require them to attend a mandatory alcohol prevention and education workshop, Aguilar said.

    John Muir College Resident Dean Pat Danylyshyn-Adams said UCSD may monitor for potential violators more actively than other campuses.

    “It is my understanding that, on some campuses, there is a definition of ‘private space’ which determines where the policy is enforced, even if students are under 21 years [of age],” Danylyshyn-Adams said. “At UCSD, not only do we have resident advisors who enforce policy, [but] housing [officials] hire residential security officers who are there to provide service and protection [and] are also present to enforce policy.”

    According to Jones, students found to be in violation of alcohol policy are referred to a university official.

    The official either meets with the student informally to resolve the case or sends them to a formal hearing before a student board that determines if the student is guilty. The board also decides on appropriate punitive measures for guilty students.

    “UCSD has strong alcohol- abuse … prevention programs and strategies effective in educating students on the effects of alcohol and substance abuse,” Aguilar said. “We want students to know there are many alternatives to the use of alcohol — we are assertive in providing activities on campus that can be fun and don’t focus on or promote alcohol.”

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