On-campus liquor law offenses: a thing of the past?

By Liam O’Connor

Since 2008, liquor-related offenses on campus have decreased by huge margins, according to the University of Massachusetts Police Department. Annual security report data for the past eight years show a 75 percent decrease in liquor law arrests and an 88 percent decrease in liquor law referrals on campus.

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As a publicly funded university, UMass is required to publish its crime records annually under the Clery Act. The most recent security report, published this past September, summarizes crimes committed on campus in 2016.

The language of the act defines “referrals” as instances in which a student is referred to “a campus official who initiates a disciplinary action of which a record is kept and which may result in the imposition of a sanction.”

As surprising as the massive decrease in liquor law violations may be, there is no clear explanation for it, according to Mary Dettloff, deputy director of the Office of News and Media Relations.

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What I learned while reporting on education

When I was brainstorming for this project, it was hard to think of stories that fell into the ideal middle ground between a tedious report on some mundane aspect of campus life and an in-depth investigative report on some mysterious aspect of the administration. I think I was leaning more towards the latter option when I pursued my story idea, and I also think there were some parts of this story that warranted deeper investigating than I was prepared to do.

Continue reading “What I learned while reporting on education”