Drinking and public intoxication makes imprint on campus


    One student says her first encounter with a publicly intoxicated friend was scary and overwhelming.

    “My friends and I took her home and tried to nurse her to the best of our abilities because we were underage and we did not want to get in trouble,” junior fashion merchandising major Destinee Jackson said.

    Jackson’s friend suffered from a major headache and cold sweats the next day. Jackson said this experience has altered the way that she and her friends party.

    Public intoxication and college drinking is a nationwide issue, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    About four out of five college students drink alcohol and about half of all college students who drink also consume alcohol through binge drinking, according to the institute.

    Despite TCU’s efforts to combat abusive drinking, statistics show that over the last four years public intoxication cases have increased.

    “Wow 45 cases this semester, it’s shocking to hear an actual number…but you hear all the time how alcohol is a problem on many college campuses, but putting a number to it makes it more real,” said Jewyl Lewis, junior fashion merchandising major.

    “Being intoxicated is a violation of the code of student conduct. Any student whose behavior evidences drunkeness on campus will be in violation of the TCU Alcohol Policy and is subject to the sanctions of the TCU policy,” according to TCU’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse website.

    To gauge improper alcohol consumption, TCU’s alcohol policy is divided into three stages.

    First offense consequences are a $150 fine, an alcohol assessment and a required educational workshop.

    In the case of a second offense, a $225 fine, an alcohol assessment, an eight hour educational workshop and 45 hours of community service.

    The third and final offense has a $300 fine, an alcohol assessment, disciplinary probation, possible expulsion from TCU housing and 60 hours of community service.

    Just a little over two weeks ago, two TCU men were in a fatal car accident that left one woman dead.

    Both the driver and passenger were found severely intoxicated, which as a result, impaired both students’ judgement the night of the accident, according to police records.

    Each student is now in an ongoing case to make sure that they are legally held responsible for their actions.

    While some students say they are saddened about this incident, the high rates of public intoxication and drunk driving come as no surprise.

    “TCU students drink before almost everything they do: football games, parties, clubs and more,” Jackson said. “It’s sadly not surprising at all.”

    Samantha Koehler, a junior sociology major, also said she does not find it the least bit startling.

    In fact, students have come up with their own ideas to help lower the continuous increase of public intoxication on and off campus.

    “People need to get more educated about the severity of alcohol. A lot of college students believe they know their limits but they do not. It makes it even worse when people are in public belligerently drunk,” Lewis said.

    TCU’s Alcohol Policy has held those accountable, but has not decreased intoxication prevalence.

    “I think that since we are college students, we want to go out and socialize. Drinking is sometimes a part of that, but we just need to be able to be aware of the effects alcohol can have on us and the amount we can consume for different shapes and sizes,” Koehler said.

    As each semester goes by, this is a problem that TCU will have to face.