OSCR report shows increase in alcohol-related misconduct violations

By Allana Akhtar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 24, 2015

According an April 23 press release from the University, while the total amount of reported violations of the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities decreased slightly from the 2012-2013 academic year to the 2013-2014 academic year, the number of alcohol- and drug-related violations increased significantly.

Overall, the press release says, the number of violations dropped by 4 percent, decreasing from 621 in the 2012-2013 academic year to 600 in the 2013-2014 academic year. However, the number of alcohol- and drug-related violations increased by 29 percent — rising from 404 to 515.

The Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities outlines students’ responsibilities and conduct expectations, and serves as a standard to which the University holds students responsible. Conduct violations include hazing, alcohol or drug possession, vandalism and falsifying University records or documents.

“As members of the University community, students are expected to uphold its previously stated values by maintaining a high standard of conduct,” the policy states.

Stacy Vander Velde, associate director of OSCR, wrote in the press release that though the overall numbers saw an increase, the number of repeat violations remained low. Velde said her office tries to promote responsible drinking throughout the year.

"Together with campus and community partners, such as University Housing, law enforcement agencies, University Health Service, and Counseling and Psychological Services, OSCR addressed the increased alcohol and other drug violations through an educational model of holistic wellness and community impact," Vander Velde said.

The press release attributes the rise in alcohol- and drug-related violations to the high enrollment in 2013, second-largest after this year’s record-high enrollment.

University President Mark Schlissel named reducing alcohol consumption on campus as a top concern. In an effort to help curb alcohol-related injuries and misconduct, the University shortened Welcome Week by two days and increased University Police presence during that time.

“I think it’s impractical to have as a goal that students won’t drink on campus,” Schlissel said in a November interview with The Michigan Daily. “Even though most of students are drinking illegally, I don’t think that’s an enforceable law, but looking at it from the safety perspective is what I want to do.”

Data from November regarding the data from shortening Welcome Week, which was compiled by the Division of Public Safety and Security, showed that ambulance requests, noise complaints, incapacitation calls and visits to the University Emergency Department all dropped this year.

The press release attributes the decline in misconduct violations to the new process for reporting sexual misconduct violations. Sexual misconduct violations used to be reported in by OSCR, but as of this year, they are detailed in the Student Sexual Misconduct Annual Report by the Title IX coordinator.

Administrators have discussed more potential changes to the ways the University reports sexual misconduct, including moving reports for domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in a non-sexual manner from the OSCR report to the Student Sexual Misconduct report.

The University is in the process of reviewing and revising the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities for the next academic calendar year.