Dry campus enables responsible drinking

Boise State is a dry campus. Our campus security and the Boise Police Department enforce this policy.

A lesser-known fact about campus security is their willingness to ensure student safety by providing an escort service.

By providing such a service, the university actually promotes responsible drinking, despite having a policy that, for student safety reasons, strictly forbids on-campus drinking.

This service is (in theory) to be used for students who would like a ride from one end of campus to the other for safety reasons.

One possible reason for students to use the service is to get home when they are drunk and might otherwise drive themselves.

Though Jo Ann Gilpin, our security operations manager, says it is a very rare occurrence, what procedures are in place to stop students from taking advantage of this service—and thus drinking on campus?

Many students attempt to do everything in their power to avoid the fuzz when drunk, let alone call them up to use them as a personal taxi service.

But provided a student did find the courage to utilize the campus escort service after having too much to drink, by not driving his or her drunk self home, he or she would potentially have made a life-saving decision—or at least a decision which could help avoid a DUI, whether or not the University is aware of how hazardous this could be to its dry-campus mentality.

Last week I called this service. They asked for my name and location, and about five minutes later, a security truck pulled up. After the vehicle’s arrival, the driver checked my student ID and took me to my desired destination.

During this process, there was no interrogation.

My dialogue with the driver consisted of the typical, “Where are you from?” small talk type questions, and the conversation was easy going.

There was no breathalyzer test and no assessment of sobriety. And why would there be?

According to Article four, Section two in the Student Code of Conduct, “Members of the University community will adhere to all state and federal laws with regard to alcohol.”

But what’s the incentive for a security driver to go out of his or her way to attempt to bust one kid for drinking if that kid isn’t belligerently drunk?

And if it really is this easy for drunk kids to get rides around campus, the university would be  effectively providing a sort of taxi service for rule-breaking hooligans who might otherwise
drive drunk.

Say a student gets drunk at Towers and is also parked temporarily on the west side of campus. This hypothetical student lives in the Lincoln Townhomes and doesn’t want to drive all the way back to the Lincoln Garage.

So he or she calls the escort service to avoid getting a DUI or an MIC. The student, though he or she has violated university policy and potentially state law depending on his or her age, has been responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of others.

So our campus, despite having gone to great lengths to encourage its dry-campus policy, is potentially a product of a mindset it is trying to
dismantle.

While it is not promoting drinking, there is so little being done to maintain the sobriety of student passengers.

And though it has not yet become an issue, what’s to stop students from taking advantage of it?

 

About the author  ⁄ Matt Shelar

Matt Shelar

I'm Matt from Delaware who came to Boise for change. But so far I've gotten more than change out of Boise. I've gotten a few dollar bills.