Marquette University trying to crack down on underage drinking
Keller Russell reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- A popular college campus is cracking down on underage drinking.
It comes during the first week of school for students at Marquette University.
The university says the policy itself isn't new, but the sanctions for violators are more serious.
Students busted for underage drinking will now charged for their first offense. The fines range from $50 to $500 on first-time offenses, depending on the nature of the violation.
The heftiest fine goes to students who provide those underage, with alcohol.
"One of the things we're really trying to do and we've heard this from a lot of our students, is that they want us to be more serious in our response to alcohol," explained Stephanie Quade, dean of students at Marquette University.
As the university analyzed the number of violations it had, it researched its peers around the country.
"We realized that we had always had the ability to ask for fines, to charge fines if we find a student responsible but we hadn't been putting that out there in a consistent manner," said Quade.
Reaction to the new sanctions has been mixed from students on campus.
Brian McNally, a fifth-year senior calls the fines "tough."
"Before it was an educational approach...Now if you're doing fines, I'd say you're taking away from the educational approach," said McNally. "It's more of a disciplinary action now and that's kind of unfortunate as a student."
Brianne Price is a sophomore at Marquette. She sees the crackdown as a wise move by the college.
"I think they probably have been too lenient in the past. My friends personally have had some scary moments so I just think it's the school trying to look out for us."
TODAY'S TMJ4 compared Marquette's alcohol policy to UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison.
UW-Madison also fines its students for alcohol violations.
UW-Milwaukee students pay a citation fee to whomever tickets them, but the school does not impose fines itself.
All three schools emphasize their educational programs in place to help curb alcohol abuse.
At Marquette, the money collected from fines goes toward alcohol prevention and drug programming.