CWU police educate minors on drinking

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Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

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CWU has many methods to combat underage drinking.

“We try to catch people early,” said Doug Fulp, a health educator at CWU’s Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center present at Orientation and Wildcat Welcome Weekend to educate students before the school year starts.

Associate Dean of Student Living Richard DeShields said that there is an effort between CWU Housing and the Wellness Center with students returning from breaks.

DeShields also said that they try to inform students on ways they can stay safe when they see an increasing trend of drinking.

“Almost all of our processes at the university are to help students avoid any of the legal consequences,” DeShields said.

He also said that legal problems could affect a student’s career.

“The idea of us being proactive and helping students understand that their actions have consequences, later on, is important,” he said.

While DeShields and Fulp try to inform students about the dangers of underage drinking, so that enforcement is unnecessary, they don’t always succeed.

Mike Luvera, the CWU Police Chief, said they also educate young students as. He cited some statistics from CWU’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report, with Statistics for 2014.

“In 2014, we had 42 liquor law arrests. A majority of those are going to be Minor in Possession [but] there is going to be some that are over age, but they’ve done something in addition,” Luvera said.

They typically hand out around 20 to 50 citations per year because of their efforts towards students from the start.

According to the National Institute Of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a study shows nearly 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 drank alcohol in the past month. CWU’s survey indicated more than 30 percent of CWU students do not drink.

Luvera said that students do not have to worry about punishment if they are helping their friend who needs urgent attention “due to alcohol overdose” if they are also drinking, according to the Good Samaritan Law.

Luvera said he would like to remind students they do not have to drink just because they are in college.

“If you choose to drink and you are underage,” Luvera said, “you are increasing your risk of having law enforcement involved, getting arrested, going through the court system and going through Central’s Student Code of Conduct process as well.”

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The student news site of Central Washington University
CWU police educate minors on drinking