Alcohol arrests down on campus

Photo by McClatchy Tribune

In the past few years Fresno State’s alcohol policy has reduced the number of liquor law violations on and around campus.

The University Police department (UPD) released the crime statistics in the 2009 annual security report.

According to UPD statistics, alcohol-related infractions on campus have dropped dramatically since 2006. In 2008 there were three arrests made due to liquor law violations on campus, compared to 21 in 2006. On-campus liquor law violations that resulted in disciplinary citations dropped from 207 in 2006 to 88 in 2008.

Alcoholic beverages have not been sold at Fresno State athletic events held at university-owned or operated venues since 2006, when an executive order from the office of the chancellor banned them from all 23 California State Universities.

Deborah Adishian-Astone, vice president of auxiliary operations, said the Save Mart Center is the only place on campus you can purchase alcohol while attending a Fresno State athletic event. The Save Mart Center, Adishian-Astone said, is a community facility that has contracts with beverage suppliers.

Adishian-Astone said that research shows the Save Mart Center does not have any alcohol problems, with less than five alcohol-related incidents at games.

“We have very good crowd behavior,” Adishian-Astone said.

In addition, she said that alcohol sales at games are usually shut down at the end of the third quarter and precautions are in place to ensure no underage drinking occurs.

The campus bar, the Bucket Grill and Pub, closely monitors its alcohol sales.

“When someone orders alcohol at the pub we make sure that we ID everyone who gets a glass,” Adishian-Astone said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Paul Oliaro said that club and organization event organizers must notify the administration two weeks in advance if they plan on serving alcohol. The policy’s main purpose is to ensure that all laws are obeyed when alcohol is involved.

The organizers must go through a very specific process in order to serve alcohol at campus gatherings.

“The basic elements are to follow the rules that the [California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control] set,” Oliaro said. “We want to ensure that whenever alcohol is being served it is done so properly.” Oliaro said that the university’s main concern is to prevent underage drinking.

“We make sure that all the arrangements are made to ensure that no underage drinking takes place,” Oliaro said. “There is a very specific process to make sure that anyone who drinks alcohol is of the legal drinking age.”

Fresno State’s Alcohol Safety Council (ASC) is comprised of community leaders, prevention specialists, law enforcement agents and administrators. According to the ASC Web site, the goals are to provide students with alcohol-related education, and also develop prevention and intervention techniques.

“Over the past few years the council has expanded to include more students and community members,” Oliaro said.

“This group and its subcommittees have done a great deal to promote alcohol education activities, to include posters, educational programs and campuswide events each fall and spring to promote wellness and responsible use of alcohol.”

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