Marquette Wire

Drug use rises slightly at MU

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Over the past week, there have been five drug offenses on or around Marquette’s campus. This differs from years past, however, Marquette’s drug use is usually not very high in proportion to its size.

Although Marquette’s numbers for alcohol write-ups spiked at the beginning of this year, Department of Public Safety says the number of violations has remained consistent. While the number of alcohol write-ups increased between 2010 and 2011 from 854 to 996, the drug abuse violations only increased from 50 in 2010 to 52 in 2011, according to the Office of Postsecondary Education.

DPS remains firm that they have made no changes to how they approach illegal drug and alcohol use.

“We have always worked collaboratively with Residence Life to address the issue in the form of training for Resident Assistants and education on the negative impacts of drug use,” Lt. Paul Mascari said.

While Mascari said a majority of the students on campus do not use illegal substances, he noted the difficulty of knowing whether Marquette has more of a drug culture than other schools.

“It is very difficult to compare drug use on Marquette’s campus with other universities,” Mascari said. “You would have to look at the relative size of the university and how many people they have living in the residence halls.”

Caroline Comstock, a freshman in the College of Business, says drug abuse at Marquette should not be too much of a problem for people who do not use.

“I do not think it is too prevalent,” Comstock said. “It is not very much of a distraction for those who not wish to participate.”

University of Denver, which has a similar enrollment rate to Marquette, had far fewer alcohol violations but more drug abuse violations in the year 2011. According to the Office of Postsecondary Education, Denver had 399 liquor law violations and 152 drug abuse violations, giving Marquette 100 fewer drug violations but 597 more alcohol violations.

Mascari said drug abuse is very dangerous for health reasons and can also affect the DPS office.

“Drug use also ties up valuable Public Safety resources,” Mascari said. “When illegal drug use is reported to us, we must immediately report it to the Milwaukee Police Department. This means that at least two public safety officers must remain at the scene until MPD arrives and takes over. The time of those officers would be better spent proactively patrolling the Marquette area.”

 

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