Otterbein Police Department reports a 61.3% decrease in liquor law violations
OPD works with the Office of Residence Life to educate students on alcohol policies
In the third year since Otterbein began allowing alcohol in on-campus apartments, 2018, the number of liquor law violations dropped by 61.3%. According to the 2019 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report, this is the first annual decrease since the July 2016 alcohol policy changes.
The previous policy focused on how alcohol could likely distract students from the educational process. In turn, the possession and use of alcohol was prohibited.
In 2017, the number of liquor law violations referred for discipline was at 75. In, 2018 the number dropped to 29. With the help of resident assistants (RA’s), students are aware of on-campus housing policies.
Larry Banaszak, chief of the Otterbein Police Department (OPD), said, “Our students are getting the message that if we find alcohol or if the RA’s find alcohol in the resident halls, they are pretty much automatically going to get referred to [the university] judicial [system].”
Currently, alcohol is only allowed in the university apartments for students over 21 years of age in certain quantities: two six-packs of beer, one 1-liter bottle of wine, or one 750-milliliter bottle of 42-proof spirituous liquor. Each of what was listed is equal to one unit. These regulations have been put into place to protect those who are legally allowed to drink.
“What usually leads us to the alcohol is when someone files a noise complaint, then an RA or student calls and we go over and we find alcohol in the rooms,” said Banaszak. “I believe RA’s and ResLife [Office of Resident Life] are doing a much better job of educating their residents not to have alcohol in the rooms and to keep the noise down.”
OPD’s main priority on campus is to make sure that students are and feel safe. Throughout this semester and even before classes started, OPD got to work with RA’s during their training week.
Banaszak stated that OPD has had an improvement with connecting with the resident students, RA’s, and the Student Affairs Division.
Banaszak said, “Finding less alcohol and receiving less complaints come from RA leadership and them communicating with the residents.”
Banaszak said that relationship comes from automatic compliance and education.