By EVE CEDERBAUM
The University of Mary Washington is increasing its efforts to raise the visibility of campus police and improve campus-wide awareness about drinking responsibly, according to Campus Police Lieutenant Michael Hall.
This year, aside from the large quantities of “drink responsibly” signs and posters all over campus, there is also a new addition to the campus police department—a T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV) that is similar to a three-wheeled Segway.
The department believes the T3 will make their officers more accessible to students than they have been in previous years.
The University is trying to create an open dialogue between the students and campus police, in which underage and inappropriate drinking could be talked about openly rather than being hidden under the rug “like a dirty secret,” according to Hall.
According to Public Information Officer of the Fredericksburg Police Department Natatia Bledsoe, the University of Mary Washington is maintaining its usual trend regarding the number of alcohol-related arrests in the beginning of the school year.
From Aug. 1 to Sept. 23, nine students were arrested for public intoxication and/or underage drinking. One was arrested for shoplifting, and one was arrested for urinating in public.
This year, Hall says, the message is more important than ever, with a new freshman class on campus.
Junior Kathleen Nelson said that it’s “nice that they’re putting in the effort” and that she has “noticed the cops around more this year.”
Nelson said that she has seen the T3 around but hopes that this bigger security presence won’t be reflected in student tuition.
Senior Ye Eun Yun agrees, saying that while having a visible campus police presence makes students feel safer, the safety might be outweighed by the cost of new T3, a machine that doesn’t seem to be very useful.
On her blog “City Police Blotter”, Bledsoe said, “The overwhelming majority of public intoxication arrests occur because the police have received a call about someone creating some type of disturbance: fighting with other patrons in a bar, waking the neighbors by shouting in the street, staggering into traffic, etc.”
Bledsoe advises, “If you’re going to consume, don’t consume so much that it leads to you peeing on the sidewalk, picking a fight with a group of Marines, or singing your alma mater’s fight song at the top of your lungs in the middle of Caroline Street.”