By Maegan Rocio
Instead of celebrating their acceptance into Baylor during Welcome Week with a refreshing Dr Pepper float, 10 students decided to celebrate becoming Baylor students with a few drinks, leading to their arrests.
A grand total of ten students were arrested for alcohol-related offenses during the first week of school.
“There were 10 in the first week, and so over here during Welcome Week and people moving in, we’ve got folks already learning what the interior of the McLennan County Jail looks like for being publically intoxicated,” Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak said.
Doak said his greatest concern is the presence of alcohol on campus and the effect of students’ decision-making.
“That’s by far the greatest concern we have on the second day of class is the number of our students that are getting intoxicated,” Doak said. “It’s way too high a rate. It’s bad at anytime, but to start school and to see this many students have alcohol related problems? That’s really disturbing.”
In response to the sudden rise of alcohol-related offenses, officers from the Baylor Police Department spoke during the first week at every residence hall and Baylor-owned apartment complex about the consequences of alcohol consumption and intoxication while on campus.
“We’re telling everyone in these resident hall meetings about alcohol issues and things we’re really concerned about because we’ve had way too many students arrested already,” Doak said. “We’re making a big deal about that.”
Kandy Knowles, the crime prevention coordinator of the Baylor Police Department, was one of the officers who spoke to Baylor residents about alcohol consumption on campus and other safety concerns.
Alcohol-related offenses are common every year at Baylor, Knowles said.
“The offenses in this first week doubled from five of last year to ten already of this year,” she said. “We are seeing an increase in that, but although it is prevalent all throughout the year, it’s just that we’re taking a stand right now.”
Knowles emphasized different areas of concern for male and female students. Female students were urged to be accountable – to themselves and each other.
Knowles said male students need to be accountable as well and should be aware of the difference between actual and implied consent in situations of sexual conduct.
“You cannot give consent if you are intoxicated and they are just not even aware of that, and they think that ‘she said yes’,” Knowles said. “If at this point they are not aware, then they’re not educated and they’re not protecting themselves either.”
Knowles said such conversations with the student body are important because it could prevent the most personal offense that can occur when alcohol is involved.
“We know that in an investigation that alcohol’s going to be the biggest offense in university settings and that leads to sexual assault,” she said. “It just isn’t going to affect that one person, it’s going to affect children further down the line for that one night. It can be a devastating thing, so I know so much time and effort should be warranted.”
Officially, Baylor University does not endorse sex between two non-married individuals and assents to the Biblical definition of marriage.
Knowles said she believes any time spent educating the student body is worth the effort.
“What we can do, if we have one person that sits there in all of these thousands of students that we’re talking to, it’s totally worth it; anything that we do just to try and help that one student.”