Drug Violations Up, Liquor Down, 2018 Clery Report Shows

On Oct. 1, the Department of Public Safety published the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, also known as the Clery Report. Two trends stand out. The first was a sharp decrease in the number of disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations, and the second was a near-doubling of referrals for drug law violations.

The report only includes data from the previous year.

2016 saw 247 referrals for liquor, while there were only 84 in 2017. The number of drug law violations, on the other hand, rose from 49 in 2016 to 86 the following year.

Public Safety noted that the most commonly used substance in these violations was marijuana.

Daniel Lawson, head of the Department of Public Safety, said in an email that marijuana accounted for the majority of drug violations because it is “easier to detect because of [the smoke].”

Lawson also said that the sharp increase in drug violations was due to student misunderstanding of the University policy about the rule that does not allow any marijuana on campus — in any form.

Ryan Garcia, director of the Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities (OSCRR), attributed the reversal of these substance policy violations to different standards in reporting over the past couple years. Current interpretation of the Clery Act mandates that universities report only violations of federal law, meaning that if a student were to break University policy regarding alcohol, but did not break federal alcohol statues, this violation would not be reported.

“Educational efforts have impacted the trends, but we can’t be 100 percent certain,” Garcia said. “We do know that our statistics over the past several years have been going down. Most importantly, our numbers for repeat offenders have continually gone down as well, which we do attribute to our educational efforts and developmental conduct process.”

Most violators are freshmen, Garcia said. “[First years] are more likely to be experiencing new freedoms and responsibilities compared to second years, third years, etc.”

The report is published annually in compliance with the Clery Act, the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

Violators of University policy are always referred to OSCRR, where students will go through a standard conduct process which includes a meeting that informs students of their rights and possible resolutions for their specific case.

When substances are confiscated from students in the dorms, Garcia said that Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE) staff members are instructed to pour confiscated alcohol down sinks in bathrooms and turn drug-related evidence into Public Safety for storage in a locker that is given to SFPD on an annual basis.

To view the 2018 Clery Report, click here.

For more information on the Clery Report, click here for the Foghorn’s November 2017 story.


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