Most students want to start a new school year on a positive note, but that wasn’t the case for some students who attended parties during the Week of Welcome, Cal Poly’s orientation program.
UPD Chief Bill Watton said almost all of the arrests and citations were for alcohol-related incidences.
Watton also said that UPD increased patrols for the Week of Welcome and the first few weeks of school.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department also issued more than 80 citations from Sept. 10 to Sept. 21, including 49 citations for open containers, 16 for noise violations and 12 for urinating in public. The San Luis Obispo Police Department also arrested more than 25 people for a variety of offenses, including public intoxication, driving under the influence, one case of driving under the influence that resulted in an injury, battery and resisting arrest.
There were also two Cal Poly students arrested for trespassing early Sunday and Monday mornings, according to a press release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department. Both students did not know where they were; the disorientation was the result of alcohol intoxication.
San Luis Obispo police Capt. Ian Parkenson said, despite the tone of the university that the amount of patrolling was about the same as in previous years. He added that while this year’s activity was about the same as in past years it began earlier.
“We noticed problems starting on Saturday this year after the end of the football game,” he said.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department and UPD did not have the total number of arrests and citations for the Week of Welcome last year.
Area hospitals saw an increase in traffic during Week of Welcome festivities. Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center spokesperson Ron Yukelson said that the hospital had seen a “sharp spike” in alcohol-related incidents since Week of Welcome began. It treated one individual who had a blood alcohol content of .38, extremely close to the .39 to .45 percent of recently deceased Cal Poly student Carson Starkey.
Yukelson said the hospital wants to combat the fear and anxiety some students might feel about seeking medical help for friends or loved ones. “It’s very important to bring in friends and loved ones who are severely intoxicated—don’t let them sleep or put them to bed—bring them in,” he said.
Furthermore, Yukelson stressed the hospital’s ‘safe zone’ policy, which protects underage drinkers from police intervention.
“We’re a safe zone, so you don’t need to worry about us calling your parents or the police,” he said.
The office of university president Warren Baker sent a campus-wide e-mail Wednesday informing students of acceptable partying practices, encouraging them to keep gatherings under control by calling campus police if they see illegal behavior.
The e-mail urged students to make “wise and responsible choices” including checking IDs at the door of parties to ensure no underage individuals are drinking alcohol.
Student Affairs also sent out an e-mail on Friday about a student who was kicked out of his dorm just a few hours after moving in when he was caught smoking marijuana.
The total number of residents evicted from the dorms was not provided by the time of publication.