DPS Capt. Joe Piersante said there could be many reasons for the increase, but pointed specifically to the larger freshman class and an increase in pledging activity among the fraternities and sororities.
,Those are the only two definitive things I can point to.The rest is just speculation,, Piersante
officers have noticed more students out at night because of fall Rush for the Greek system this year.
,Whether that contributes to the overall increase, I don,t know, but there has been an overall increase in pledging activity at night where alcohol is involved,, Piersante
has noticed a problem with binge drinking among all students this year, but it,s hard to tell if there has been an increase, because like assaults, hospitalizations due to binge drinking don,t all get reported to DPS
,One of the things we are concerned with about underage drinking is binge drinking.We,ve had to transport a number of kids to the hospital this year.My sense of it is that we,re getting several of those every weekend,, Piersante
said problems with binge drinking may also be related to the larger freshman class.
,You have a large group of kids coming on campus from the younger age group of 18 and 19.I,m guessing a lot of them have not had a lot of experience with drinking , especially hard liquor and binge drinking.They,re not able to judge what their body can tolerate and their body becomes incapacitated,, he
Despite the increase, Piersante
has not changed its stance with regard to alcohol violations and has not increased patrols.
Under current alcohol laws, first-time offenders receiving an MIP are given a deferred sentence.If an offender successfully completes probation, the MIP will be completely taken off the person,s permanent record.This is especially helpful when applying for jobs, Piersante said. ,It,s taking into consideration that there are a lot of people under 21 , especially on a college campus , that are going to drink.It,s pretty harsh to have that on your permanent record,, he
attributed the decline in alcohol violations to the University,s home football schedule this year.Although the same number of football games were played between Aug. 25 and Oct. 9 in 2003 and 2004, the Notre Dame game was played at home last year.Piersante
said the Notre Dame
and Ohio State games always generate high numbers of alcohol violations.In fact, these two games alone can almost double the statistics for alcohol violations in a given year.The game against Michigan State causes a slight increase, but it,s not as bad, he
said the high number of alochol violations are probably a result of the intense rivalry and the teams, short distance from one another.Columbus, Ohio and South Bend, Ind., are fairly close to Ann Arbor, so a lot of fans come from those schools.Because they,re a few hours away, however, people tend to stay overnight and go to parties, he
encourages students to be safe while drinking. ,Our biggest concern for public safety concerning underage drinking is don,t put yourself in harm,s way , whether it be in a vehicle or a potential assault situation,, he