Dry Campus Raises DUI Rate



The goal of this proposal is to recommend that the school makes east campus while including Rappahannock hall to no longer be dry residence hall for those twenty one in age and older to try and decrease the high DUI rate here at CNU.

CNU student currently must go off campus to consume alcohol, no matter the age, leaving them to find a ride or most of the time, drive. This leaves the students at a high risk of drinking too much and then driving home from said off campus location. As a twenty one year old individual the law gives you the right to drink and as college students no matter your affiliation or social openness students will drink. Some students may end up drinking more than others, but in the end a student will drink in his/her college career and CNU forces students to do this off campus making things less safe for the individual. At CNU they have such a strict dry residence hall regulation that it is possible that one time you get in trouble you are kicked out of school. Due to the regulations, students go off campus to a bar or a friend’s house to consume alcohol. Most survey recipients say they often drive to said location to drink and then because it is most convenient drive themselves home. Most students reported that when they received their DUI that they were blowing between .09-.11 slightly above the legal limit, but still a DUI. The students when surveyed most said they would have rather just drank in their room so they did not have to go anywhere else. This high DUI rate at CNU is not only dangerous for the students, but also the community as they are driving from off campus locations some as far as a few miles away. Thus by allowing the twenty one and older students drink in their rooms in the school would be making not just the students but the environment safer surrounding CNU.

In October 2015 I conducted a study on whether or not student twenty-one and older would still have driven off campus to consume alcohol if they were allowed to drink in their dorm instead. Current students are forced to go off campus to consume alcohol and then find a ride back or even drive. However most of these students decide to drive putting themselves at risk of getting a DUI when they return. Furthermore allowing the students twenty-one and older to stay in their dorms to drink would be safer for the individual leaving them no risk of getting a DUI. I proceeded to research the DUI rate for college students and the statistics show that one and five college students admit to have driven drunk at one time or another. At CNU when I did a survey, it was two out of every three said they have driven drunk since being at CNU. After seeing this data I did another survey asking students, twenty-one and older who have gotten a DUI if they could have would they have stayed in their room and drink? Also I asked a free response question asking where/why they go off campus to drink (they have to, bar, or just friends house). Based on the findings and the responses I got students, mostly go off campus to consume alcohol because they cannot in their dorm and would rather just drink with their friends in their rooms. Therefore, I recommend that CNU allows these residence halls that twenty one and older students live in to be able to consume alcohol as it will be safer to their well being as well as the community at large.

CNU is seen to most as a safe haven of Newport News its own little bubble in the middle of the city where students feel very safe and at home. Every building has several Resident Advisors, the staff of the Christopher Newport police department patrols the campus, and there are numerous emergency call buttons around campus you can use if in distress. All of these things are used to make sure students feel safe on campus from those outside the CNU “Bubble”. Thanks to CNU’s Strict alcohol regulations the students are put at risk and not protected by these safety precautions put in the act by the school because they are forcing the student to go off campus. This is not right the students of legal age would be much safer consuming alcohol in their dorms having all these administrative figures and safety precautions to protect them. Instead the school puts students at risk by making them drive to various off campus locations and then risking DUI’s when they return. Not only is this a problem at night, but also in the early morning when students wake up still intoxicated and drive home the day after when they think they are being safe and now sober.

Other universities the size of CNU that requires on campus residency allows students of legal age to consume alcohol in their dorms and the DUI rates at these schools are much lower because of it. After speaking with a CNU PD officer, I was told that on a Thursday through Saturday night they average around 3-5 DUI’s on campus. That’s over sixteen students a month, whom now lives could be potentially ruined because they drove somewhere to drink off campus.

Allowing of age, students to drink in their rooms would not only be beneficial to their well being but also their health as most are unlikely to binge drink when in their own home and make it to bed safe and sound. In addition to making these residence halls no longer dry, you would boost student satisfaction and have less people wanting to move off campus, which is a known goal of the university. Though ultimately the DUI rate would decrease, leaving the CNU area a safer environment for the students and the community.

The theories I used in this study was both narrative and case study to understand CNU students’ thoughts, allowing those of age to drink in their east campus/Rappahannock residence. Narrative research considers a group of approaches that in turn rely on the written or spoken words of individuals. These approaches typically focus on the lives of individuals as told through their own stories. The emphasis in such approaches is on the story. Thus to find out about CNU students and past DUIs you must leave space for the individual to tell you the story of their personal situation. It is important to know of the individual’s situation to see how it relates to the issue at hand. Case study, research focuses on gaining a comprehensive understanding of a specific entity or event at a specific time. Therefore case studies are not characterized by the methods used to collect and analyze data, but rather its focus on a specific case. In this case we are looking at the prevention of DUIs by allowing of age, students to drink in their residence hall. For a case study when you survey the individuals you use their response to validate your theory or hypothesis. The hypothesis in this case is that the DUI rate would decrease if of age student could drink in their residence hall. After reviewing the results and analyzing the date we can see that the hypothesis is correct.

1. I created a five-question survey for those 21 and older living on campus and posted it in Facebook groups. I received fifty-three responses to my survey.
2. I also created a three question free response survey for those 21 and older who have gotten DUIs and living on campus and sent some directly to known individuals and then posted in Facebook groups. I received nine responses to this survey.
3. The first survey I did was for the case study theory just to back up my hypothesis while I used the second for the narrative side where students could tell their stories about personal situations.

In this part of the research I will present the data I received backing up my hypothesis that DUI rates would decrease if the residence hall would allow for of age students to consume alcohol in them.

First Survey

• First survey I did was asking students twenty one and older living on campus if they were allowed to drink in their residence hall would they still drive off campus to drink. To this question I also asked if they still would why? The responses I got Eighty four percent of students would stay in their room and drink rather than driving off campus. The ones who said they wouldn’t say this because they would rather go to bars or other friend’s houses.

• Then I asked if the students have ever drunk driven while at CNU. The response to this as it is not pretty 64% answered that they have drunk driven while in attendance at CNU
• Another question I asked was when going off campus does the individual usually drive, take Uber/taxi, call a friend, or other. The response was that 52% of the people drive, 22% take an Uber/Taxi, 17% call a friend, 9% get their other ways like walking or riding a bike.

Second Survey

• For the second survey I asked why they individuals decided to drive home drunk thus resulting in a DUI. Most responded that they wanted to sleep in their own beds or had an early class and needed to be home in order to make it on time. The most common was that the individual did not want to leave their car somewhere because it would be hard for them to get it back the next day.

• I also asked these individuals if they could have stayed in their rooms and drank instead of driving somewhere off campus would they have. Most all replied yes as looking back it is the safer option and also more convenient and most all aspects.

Based on the results and date that I have collected it is easy to see that most students those whom have and haven’t received DUIs agree that they would stay in their dorms and be safe when consuming alcohol rather than driving. Thus CNU for the safety of the students and the community you should allow alcohol to be consumed in dorms lived in by individuals twenty-one years or older to help lower the high DUI rate here at CNU.

• Creswell, Pm, and 53. Five Qualitative Approaches to Inquiry (n.d.): n. pag. Sagepub.com. Web.
• “Make Better Decisions with the World’s #1 Survey Platform.” SurveyMonkey: Free Online Survey Software & Questionnaire Tool. N.p., n.d. Web. Oct.-Nov. 2015.


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