O-Week Sees Rise in AOD Violations: Granger Says Revised Policy Not Driving Parties Off Campus
This year’s O-Week saw a rise in the number of AODs given out to freshmen and upperclassmen, according to last week’s Community Safety Activity Report. CSOs handed out a total of 25 AODs during O-Week this year, compared to 16 last year. Alcohol-related violations increased the most this year, with freshmen accounting for most of the infractions. The number of marijuana and other drug-related violations remained the same.
Though the number of alcohol-related violations has increased, CSO Tall Pawl says that he has been pleased with the incoming freshman class thus far. “I feel like I’ve met more freshman now than I did at this point last year. I’m going up and meeting them or they’re approaching me,” he says.
Tall Pawl, who worked shifts at Noize Parade this year and in years past, says about this year’s parade, “Noize Parade felt more laid-back. We didn’t take anyone to the hospital. [It] was a success. It seems like there was a good turnout and nobody got hurt.” Director of Community Safety Gary Granger agrees that this year’s O-Week weekend festivities went smoothly. “It was really calm Friday and Saturday night on campus,” he says.
But while O-Week celebrations on campus were calm compared to previous years, off-campus parties tell a different story. A police officer visited a party hosted in a house on 39th Avenue, less than a block off campus, after receiving noise complaints from neighbors.
Asked if the revised AOD policy is driving parties off campus, Granger says, “I think that asserting that a reasonable engagement strategy…will somehow drive people to engage in risky behavior off campus is a Straw Man…Moreover, the two student deaths in the past few years associated with drug use took place at a time when AOD engagement was much less consistent—and off campus. A less restrictive campus environment did not have a preventive effect on those tragic deaths and I don’t believe that a more consistent strategy can be blamed for students’ choices around substance use—on or off campus.”
Granger adds, “[T]he data over the past two years does not show any increase (rather a decrease) in AOD-related medical calls and issues. If the engagement strategy was actually increasing risk, I would expect to see the opposite trend.”
Tall Pawl says, “There are going to be pros and cons to ‘partying’ on campus, and some people will feel the cons outweigh the pros and will feel inclined to take that sort of behavior off campus,” But, he adds, off campus parties have their own risks. Students partying in surrounding neighborhoods could find themselves fined or arrested if they’re found drinking underage or in possession of illegal substances. “That’s out of our jurisdiction,” he says. “The PPB [Portland Police Bureau] doesn’t operate under the Honor Principle.”