Last year, 504 students took a trip to the dean’s office for partying too hard. Some got kicked out of the dorms, others were sent to the hospital, but everyone paid for their mistakes.
Most of those students weren’t partying responsibly, according to their police reports. Here’s everything new students need to know before they celebrate their new freedom:
Location, location, location
The rooms are so close together, it’s easy to be caught doing something you shouldn’t.
Even if you crack open a window, Resident Assistants (RAs) and FAU Police undergo 10 days of training for drug and alcohol related incidents, according to Jill Eckardt, Housing Director.
RAs are required to do a walk-through down the hallways during certain times of the day and night. Some students figure out the times and smoke when RAs aren’t near, while others are less careful.
“When you smoke pot in your dorm, do you really think everyone isn’t going to smell it up and down the hallway?,” FAU Police Chief Charles Lowe said.
Not only can someone call police, but other times you can get yourself caught by setting off the smoke alarm, like former resident student William Martin did.
According to Martin, he used to smoke in his dorm in the University Village Apartments all the time. He would cover the smoke detector by placing a plastic bag and coat hanger over it.
Even with his contraption, he still set off the alarm at least every other time (according to Martin).
Martin, who now attends PBSC, was kicked out of the dorms. If he could go back in time, he wouldn’t smoke on campus.
Students who drink in the dorms are subject to the same restrictions as those who smoke.
“Just don’t get our attention!” Lowe said. “We don’t ever go searching for underage drinking. We aren’t running sting operations.”
But sometimes, students bring attention to themselves, like Justin Arrington, who drank too much one night.
According to his police report, Arrington was found passed out in a chair in the Glades Park Towers (GPT) dorms with vomit on his shoes. He was taken to Boca Raton Regional Hospital for medical attention. When he came back to campus, he was given a student referral and had to meet with a dean.
“She was very unhappy, but we came to terms on my probations. I was let go with community service and was on drinking probation,” Arrington said.
This was his first year in college, but this wouldn’t be his last offense. The second time around he was caught drinking again, given more community service hours and risked getting kicked out of housing.
“Wait till you’re 21,” he said. “It’s not fun being threatened to be kicked out of the dorm and having to pay an expensive bill.”
Arrington’s visit to the ER cost him $400.
“My advice is to keep it controlled. Keep it off campus, don’t do it so often, and don’t drink so much that you’re sitting outside passed out in a chair.”
Martin, who set off the fire alarms, thinks smoking in your car might be a better idea, but students don’t realize how obvious it is.
Alfred Lewers, a former FAU student, was caught smoking behind a dumpster. His advice to new students: “Don’t do it on campus, or just don’t do it at all.”
He and two friends parked their car behind a dumpster around 11 p.m. and started smoking. According to the police report, the officer noticed the parked car with three people in it. When he approached them, they rolled the window down and the officer could smell marijuana and see a glass pipe in plain sight.
Lewers admitted he smoked on campus a lot before he got caught, but says it was a dumb idea.
“We smoked at the Dumpster right behind the police station,” Lewers said.
After he and his friends were busted, he had to meet with the dean, do community service, pay $100 for an alcohol and drug course and meet with a counselor twice.
When you’re sitting in a parked car loaded with friends, it tends to raise eyebrows.
What to expect when you get caught:
Lets say you threw the party of the semester and a couple uninvited guests arrived: your RA and the FAU PD.
If you’re caught drinking underage, expect a police report, a trip to the dean’s office, a $100 drug and alcohol course, and a sentence to community service. You could be on academic probation and could get kicked out of the dorms.
“For a student found to be responsible for a violation of the alcohol policy, [consequences] would include university probation, community service hours, parental notification and some active sanctions. For smoking [pot] in the halls, the student will be removed from the residence halls for a minimum of one year,” Eckardt added.
Not everyone gets the same punishment. Each case is dealt with differently, but before you spend the semester celebrating your new independence, think about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
“Just because you’re at college doesn’t mean there’s no constraints on your behavior,” Lowe said. “You’ve still gotta show a little bit of personal responsibility.”
Eckardt wants students to think about what they are doing. “There are consequences,” she said. “Think about how your actions may affect other residents.”