When young men and women go off to college, so many forget to write home and let their parents know what’s going on in their lives. As part of a new discipline program, UCSB administrators are picking up the slack.
Every time a student is arrested or cited by the police for breaking an alcohol or drug related law, the Office of Student Life sends a letter to mom and dad.
During the first four weekends of the school year, 57 out of 86 citations and arrests in Isla Vista involved men, the UCSB Parental Notification Report states. The report also shows that of the students who had a letter sent home, 47 were freshmen, 16 were sophomores, 19 were juniors and 4 were seniors. The 288 arrests and citations made by the I.V. Foot Patrol in the first two weekends generated only 60 notification letters to UCSB students and their parents.
Figures also show arrests and citations are down during the first four weekends with 288 this year compared to 454 last year.
“The year is off to a good start,” said Brandon Brod, Office of Student Life student conduct, hate incidence response coordinator.
The parental notification policy, which went into effect July this year, states that all parents of UCSB students cited or arrested for drug or alcohol related reasons must be notified of the infraction. The goal of the policy is to reduce the number of arrests and citations and involve parents in the university to help reduce the problem.
Though results for only the first four weekends have been released, campus administrators are learning a great deal about the breakdown of who is actually getting arrested, Associate Dean of Students Debbie Fleming said.
“Up until now there has been no way of detecting patterns in [academic] class levels or knowing how many of the total arrests and citations actually involve UCSB students,” she said.
When the parental notification policy was proposed last May, OSL received letters and calls of complaint from students who said the policy was an infringement on their rights and a fear tactic. However, few people have complained about the policy so far this year.
“Very few complaints from students or parents who actually received notifications have been received so far this year,” Brod said.
Fleming attributed some of the arrests and citations to students getting used to Isla Vista and feeling out college life.
“The parental notification practice is not an effort to stop students from drinking, rather it is an effort to make students think twice before doing so,” she said.
The information about academic class level and gender helps in targeting at-risk students and educating people about how to reduce illegal substance and alcohol problems in I.V., Fleming said.
The results are not in for Halloween weekend, however the number of arrests and citations are usually higher than in typical weekends. UCSB students are not the only culprits when it comes to weekend misbehavior, IVFP Sergeant Tom Walton said. A large number of arrests and citations from this past weekend are expected to be attributed to out-of-town guests and other visitors, he said.