Beer and bud: substance abuse on campus
College is a time of experimentation. While many students are looking to celebrate their new sense of freedom, some find themselves caught up in costly situations involving drugs and alcohol that may cause them to end up without a diploma.
Most young adults find comfort in alcohol use, which in turn, may result in the use and abuse of more dangerous and illegal drugs.
Though NIC has never really had a huge problem with drug use on campus and in the Residents Hall, the campus has seen its fair share of alcohol consumption, according to Vice President of Students, Graydon Stanley and Director of Student Development, Alex Harris.
“We hear students talking about drinking around campus more than we hear about them using drugs,” said Stanley.
More than 93 disciplinary acts have been recorded in the past four years for alcohol-related offenses on campus, beating the total amount of offenses for drug use, with less than 10 offenses recorded in the past four years.
Though drug use isn’t recorded as an offense on campus as much as alcohol, it very well affects the students due the choices they make outside of campus within the surrounding community.
“We are a community within a community,” says Harris. “Sometimes those things find their way into student’s lives.”
When students were anonymously asked about their own experiences with drug and alcohol use on campus, a majority said they had experimented with alcohol and some drugs, while many dorm residents said they have never touched anything other than alcohol.
According to Higher Ed Center, an online drug and alcohol prevention center, most disturbances such as study distraction, date rape, fights and property damages are caused by the misuse of alcohol on campus.
Many students find themselves in the party scene, experimenting with different kinds of substances that they couldn’t access back home in mommy’s nest. Most of these actions take place outside of campus, but they still have harsh consequences on a student’s academic career.
“Most students who make drugs or alcohol their main focus over school usually have a harder time reaching their goals,” said Stanley.
The two say that campus officials do the best they can to monitor substance abuse on campus, but rarely see anything alarming.
“We never have to do anything unless the person is being very suspicious,” said Stanley. “If a person walks into the dorms on a 95 degree day wearing an oversized coat we may stop that person and ask questions.”
Alcohol use as of this year has been at a lower rate according to the NIC security crime log. Only a few incidents have been recorded and have resulted in some on campus disciplinary actions, but not arrests.