Using the annual security and fire safety report published by the SRU police department, The Rocket calculated the number of crimes on campus relating to drugs and alcohol.
In 2020, the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health reported that 37% of college students have used illicit drugs and abused alcohol. However, what percentage of those students get caught and receive punishment?
The annual security and fire safety report, published in September 2022, details how many calls were received and how many citations were given for various crimes such as liquor-law offenses, theft and disorderly conduct in 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Crime data for 2022 has not yet been published.
For crimes like liquor-law offenses, the report specifies how many calls were received and how many people were charged.
The report then separates them by how many were reported in residence halls and how many were reported on campus. It includes the Harrisville building as part of the main campus.
The report includes incidents reported at non-campus buildings and on public property, but no crimes were reported at those locations.
It also specifies calls that resulted in arrests made and citations given by the Slippery Rock University Police Department (SRUPD) and how many resulted in referrals for disciplinary action.
Referrals can be submitted by anyone. Often, they are submitted by community assistants (CAs) which are similar to the standard residence assistant in campus residence halls. The referrals are then investigated for accuracy by the SRUPD and logged separately from arrests.
Arrests result in a citation or fine from the district magistrate office, and referrals are handled by the university. Referrals usually result in a fine and a mandatory alcohol class for the student.
In 2021, there were 28 calls regarding liquor-law offenses, and two regarding drug-law offenses.
Those 28 calls regarding liquor offenses, which were often underaged drinking, resulted in 35 arrests being made in residence halls, and 47 arrests being made on SRU’s campus.
Adding the arrests in residence halls and on campus mean there were 82 arrests made in 2021 regarding liquor offenses.
Regarding referrals for disciplinary action in 2021, there were 58 incidents in residence halls and 59 on SRU’s campus. There were 117 referrals total.
For arrests regarding drug laws, there were six in residence halls and eight on campus totaling to 14 arrests in 2021. This is down from 2019 when the SRUPD recorded 20 arrests in residence halls and 45 on campus totaling to 65 arrests.
Regarding referrals for disciplinary action in 2021, there were 16 in residence halls and 20 on SRU’s campus totaling to 36 referrals. This is down from 31 referrals in residence halls and 31 referrals on campus in 2019.
The report also includes numbers for 2020, but they are being left out since there were fewer students on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SRU saw fewer crimes in 2021 across the board compared to 2019. In that time, SRU’s total population went down 409 people. This includes students, faculty and staff.
In 2021, the SRUPD responded to 68 total calls. Twenty-eight of those calls related to liquor laws, 13 related to disorderly conduct and seven related to theft.
There were 68 total calls made to the SRUPD in 2021 down from 167 in 2019. Liquor-law offenses alone were reduced by about 51%.
Dividing the total number of crimes by SRU’s total population demonstrates a 2019 crime rate of about 5.2% and a 2021 crime rate of about 0.07%.
A decline in student population could be one explanation for the drop in crime, but further research would be needed to tell.