University’s Standard Sanctions program decreases substance abuse violations
University’s Standard Sanctions program decreases substance abuse violationsAugust 21, 2001Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
A new report shows that substance abuse-related violations of the University’s Code of Student Conduct have declined since the interim implementation of the Standard Sanctions program. As a result, the program has won the endorsement of the University Senate to be fully implemented during the Fall 2001 semester.
The C.A.R.E. (Citizenship, Awareness, Responsibility, Ethics) Report was produced by the University’s Office of Judicial Affairs.
The Standard Sanctions program, implemented on an interim basis in August 1999, pairs specific violations, related to substance abuse, weapons possession, violence, and fire and safety issues with consistent University responses. A detailed description of the program can be found at http://students.syr.edu/depts/judicial/things_to_know.html.
“We believe there is a connection between the implementation of the Standard Sanctions program and the decline in substance abuse-related violations,” says Juanita Perez Williams, director of the Office of Judicial Affairs. “But we think a lot of the credit should go to the many different offices on campus that have informed students about the standard sanctions. We believe the decline in violations is related to the community actively discussing the sanctions.”
Since the Fall 1998 semester, there has been a 34.7 percent decrease in alcohol violations, from 918 cases to 599 cases. This follows an initial increase in alcohol-related cases during the 1999-2000 academic year, immediately following initial implementation of the Standard Sanctions program. The increase during the 1999-2000 academic year was expected as students became used to the new policies.
During the 2000-01 academic year, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education was used to introduce new educational strategies on campus to support the Standard Sanctions program, resulting in a decline of 27.8 percent in the rate of alcohol violations by first-year students and a decline of 23.5 percent in drug violations by first-year students.
A positive trend noted in the C.A.R.E. Report is the increasing number of self-referrals to the Options program in the Substance Abuse Prevention and Health Enhancement Office. Such self-referrals increased from 3 percent in 1998-99 to 11 percent in 1999-2000 and to 19 percent in 2000-01. Previously, students gained access to Options almost exclusively through mandated referrals. The mission of the Options program is to help students understand the physical, social, sexual, psychological and intellectual impact of alcohol and other drugs. More information on the Options program can be found at http://sumweb.syr.edu/health/OPTIONS.htm.
“We applaud individuals referring themselves before they end up in a situation where they have violated the Code of Student Conduct,” Williams says. “We think this is happening because more students know about the Options program. We have been disseminating information about the program in every way possible.”