Gannon University’s annual security report showed an increase in disciplinary reports relating to both drug possession and alcohol violations on campus in 2018 when compared with previous years.
Comparing the numbers on the report, the number of disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations for on-campus student housing facilities has almost doubled between 2016 to 2018, rising from 93 referrals to 155 referrals in 2018.
Disciplinary referrals for drug abuse violations for on-campus student housing facilities saw a similar rise. Between the years 2017 and 2018, referrals rose from eight to 42. In 2016, the total referrals for on-campus student housing facilities was at 27.
On-campus property referrals for both drug abuse violations and liquor law violations have seen similar increases from 2016 to 2018. The biggest difference between the two locations is that for the 2017 disciplinary referrals relating to drug abuse violations, 27 were seen on campus property opposed to the eight seen in on-campus housing facilities. Still, from 2017 to 2018, on-campus drug abuse violations disciplinary referrals saw a large rise.
Les Fetterman, Gannon University’s director of Police and Safety, said the rise can be attributed to two main causes: changes in software tracking of the violations and a couple of parties held on campus.
Looking at the software used to track the referrals issued to students, Fetterman said that it “could be due to a much-improved software system for tracking violations (Mazient) that is providing more accurate counts.”
The other reason, Fetterman said, could be attributed to a couple of incidences that happened, specifically a couple of large, loud parties that had been complained about.
“After they were shut down multiple students’ names were sent in for referrals,” Fetterman said. “This does not happen a lot; so when it does there will be a significant jump.”
Usually, Fetterman said, there are nights without any calls. But there are other weeks, when there are holidays or big events, that Police and Safety might receive four to five calls a night.
Though these reasons were given, Fetterman also said that a lot of these referrals are made by resident assistants and resident directors and handled by Residence Life and Student Conduct. These numbers reflect what Police and Safety has done as well as what the campus housing offices have done.
“If it can be handled without police involvement, I am all for it,” Fetterman said.
The idea that the increase of referrals seen on the report being attributed primarily to better tracking of these numbers and to only a few events matches with the ideas many students have of Gannon.
Nicole Borro, a senior English major said she mostly agrees with Fetterman.
“As for the amount of drinking, I’m not sure that it’s increased, but I think Gannon has become far stricter over my four years as a student,” she said.
“Obviously with stricter rules, more students are going to get caught. I just think campus as a whole is more aware now. We have had larger freshman classes the past two years, so it is possible that drinking has increased, but I honestly don’t think it has.
“If anything, I feel as though Gannon’s ‘party scene’ is much calmer than it was when I was a freshman.”