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Forty students on average get arrested for alcohol charges at Radford University in a given weekend according to local police officer, Capt. Bruce Bradbury. From DUIs to underage possession of alcohol, students keep racking up the charges. With only six Radford City police officers patrolling the streets, how are so many arrests being made?
As the assault rate in Radford rises, RU students are beginning to travel in packs. Whether with fraternities, sororities or just groups of friends, young adults are sticking together these days. By congregating in clusters, and causing trouble, students are making it easier for police to make group arrests as opposed to individual arrests.
Students say their alcohol charges are not only affecting their schooling and leisure time, but also affecting their bank accounts. When RU students are issued any type of criminal charge, they are required to receive punishment from the city, as well as from the university.
Sean Laxton, a senior, says his drunk in public charge put a huge dent in his bank account.
“Not only am I paying off my charge and court fines, but I’m also doing community service on campus, which is taking away from my hours at work,” he said.
The City of Radford requires the guilty party to complete a certain amount of VASAP (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program) classes, which are accompanied by very expensive fines. Other requirements may be issued by the city depending on the charge.
As an additional punishment, RU requires a certain amount of community service hours to be completed along with an online substance abuse class that must be completed in a timely manner to avoid termination from the school.
The employees working in the Admissions Office on campus express that termination may be necessary immediately after the charge is issued, depending on the severity of that charge. RU’s Standards of Student Conduct, which are required to be reviewed and signed before admission, include all the rules and regulations against substance abuse. The Code of Conduct can be found by visiting the Office of the Dean of Students webpage.
More and more students seem to be struggling with living the independent life on their own and away from home due to these financial burdens.
Alexis Rodrick, a junior, believes that the RU Standards are unfair.
“The university shouldn’t be able to punish us for something we do off campus. We are already getting punished by law enforcement. I don’t see why it’s necessary to give us double consequences,” she said.
After conducting a poll around campus, 92 students out of 100 agree with Rodrick’s opinion on the Standards of Student Conduct.
RU students receive more alcohol-related charges than Virginia Tech students, even though 15 police officers patrol Blacksburg on the weekends and only six officers patrol Radford. RU campus police explain that this is because the university is cracking down on alcohol and substance abuse.
RU campus police explain that this is because the university According to the Daily Crime and Fire Log, students have become aware of the increase in number of arrests each weekend, and so more are staying indoors. Just in the last two weeks, the number of alcohol arrests have significantly gone down, but conduct referrals are still being dispersed. Therefore, although the alcohol arrest rate is reducing, the alcohol crime rate is consistent.
RU hopes that their requirements for criminal punishment will act as a learning lesson and potentially reduce the crime rate in Radford. Their Code of Conduct exists in order to allow young adults to learn to improve their behavior, and confidently send them out into this world knowing that they will act appropriately.
The university doesn’t plan on changing the Code of Conduct any time soon, as they believe it serves its purpose and maintains a safe environment for students.