Altered payment method for alcohol and drug fines

By on October 3, 2014

This semester Quinnipiac has made a change in how drug and alcohol fines are administered.

Originally, a fine for violating the university’s no-tolerance policy would be added to a student’s tuition bill by the Dean of Students office, according to Seann Kalagher, associate dean of Student Affairs.

Now, students must take a paper that they receive at their conduct meeting to the bursar’s office to make their payment in person. They then receive a receipt, which must be brought back to the Dean of Students office to confirm that the fine was paid.

Students receive a $100 fine for their first policy violation, a $150 fine for any subsequent violations, and a $50 fine if they are complicit or found with alcohol paraphernalia (such as funnels or drinking games) on their personage. Students have two weeks after their conduct meeting to pay the fine.

If they fail to pay within the time limit, then they will be contacted by their conduct officer, who will make arrangements for a postponed due date.

“If the student still does not complete their sanction by the adjusted deadline, then the Dean of Students will place a hold on the student’s account,” said Kalagher. “[They’ll] notify the student that the hold will be released once the sanction is complete.”

Depending on the severity of the violation, students may receive additional discipline, including “loss of on-campus parking and driving privileges, lowest priority for the student housing lottery, termination of on-campus employment, restitution, parental notification, and/or temporary or permanent suspension or dismissal from University housing or the University, ” according to the Alcohol and Drug Policy in the Student Handbook.

The bursar office was unable to accommodate the original plan, so the university changed how students would pay the fines, according to Kalagher.

He hasn’t seen any negative effects of the new payment policy so far.

“Due to the amount of information that was put out there at the beginning of the year, including through student media, almost all the students we’ve met with have been aware of the fines as a sanction for alcohol and drug violations,” Kalagher said. “I haven’t heard of students reacting poorly to the changes from any conduct officers.”

Many students seem to have no problems with the payment policy.

“I think it’s a fair change,” sophomore Rebecca Taylor said. “With this system, students will clearly see and feel the effects of their decision, whereas if it was added to their tuition bill, they might not even notice. Perhaps [the new policy] will convince them to be more careful next time.”

Other students feel that the change will not deter students from violating the alcohol policy.

“What we should be focusing on is changing the [underage drinking] culture and focusing on health and safety rather than just fining people,” junior John Artenstein said. “I think that would create a better sense of respect between the students and administrators, and then students would be less inclined to go crazy with drugs and drinking.”

Kalagher said that the new payment method and alcohol policy may not be permanent if they begin to have adverse effects on the student body, such as if students continuously fail to pay their fines or begin to violate the alcohol and drug policy more often.

“After giving new policies time to fully take effect and make an impact, we will obviously review them and make further changes if that is in the best interests of the Quinnipiac community,” he said.

Comments

About Adelia Couser

Associate News Editor