Underage Titans drink booze despite prohibition

In Features
Winnie Huang / For the Daily Titan
Winnie Huang / For the Daily Titan

University Police storm down the hall of a dorm building, driven by the loud sounds of music and shouting.

As they find the origin of the noise, they bang on the door. The music stops.

Behind the door, police hear hushed voices and a rushed scuttling. The door opens to reveal a baby-faced 18-year-old freshman.

At Cal State Fullerton, dorm parties are increasingly becoming the trend, and at the center are several instances of underage drinking.

The university, along with University Police, is dedicated to making sure students are reminded of the rules surrounding alcohol consumption on campus.

In total, there were nine alcohol related arrests and reports for 2012 in Housing. Officers arrested 186 people in 2012 for DUIs mostly around campus, which University Police say is a more prevalent issue.

Rules about the possession of alcohol differ for students living in the residence halls and students living in the apartments.

“There is no alcohol permitted in our first-year facilities,” said Aaron Harbaugh, a complex coordinator for housing and residence life. “That includes empty containers, bottles, decorations, things like that, it’s a complete no go on alcohol in any of our residence halls.”

On the other hand, the rules get a bit more flexible when it comes to those who stay in the campus’ double and single apartments.

In these apartments students who are over 21 are able to consume alcohol in their apartments when no underage students are present.

Alesha Gilliam, 20, a resident advisor, said students have gotten much wiser when it comes to the usage of alcohol inside campus housing.

“I feel like they’ve gotten smarter with it, they’re not acting out as much,” said Gilliam.

If a 21-year-old student is housed with someone underage, alcohol must be kept in a space where only they can get to it, and can only be drank in the presence of those who are of age.

Dillon Siero, 20, a business major and resident in the campus apartments, admitted to having his fair share of experiences with the resident advisors.

Although Siero has never been in any trouble for drinking alcohol under age, he said he was written up in the past.

“In one of my most recent write-ups, I had three friends over with me and we were watching TV. The RAs showed up and knocked on the door. When we answered the door we hadn’t realized that one of my roommates had left a beer can out on the kitchen counter. So the RAs saw the empty can of beer, accused us of drinking and wrote us up,” he said.

Siero explained that after this incident he received a call slip in his mailbox to meet with his complex coordinator, to whom he was able to explain the situation.

He said the meeting went well and after explaining the situation, it was determined that there was no policy violation.

While cases of underage drinking on campus have occurred, Harbaugh said the numbers concerning underage drinking incidents are in no way disproportionate to anything he has experienced in his five years of being a professional complex coordinator.

When it comes to incidents during the spring semester, Harbaugh said there have been eight occurrences where people have been sighted in housing or documented by staff for situations involving alcohol.

“I wouldn’t call nine arrests in housing a big issue, but we’d rather see zero,” Willey said.

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