The Shepherd University Police Department plans to educate students in drug and alcohol safety in an attempt to ensure a protected and secure learning environment for incoming freshman.
Chief Ed Boober is confident that Shepherd University helps to give knowledge to young students to allow them to be successful in their scholarly pursuits.
"Our number one goal is to allow students to be successful in their academic lives," Boober said.
While Shepherd University has a zero tolerance policy for drugs, the Shepherd Police Department hopes that through education, there will be fewer violations by students. Boober and his staff believe that if someone is charged with a citation, "there's an opportunity to educate" so that the students will not make the same mistake in the future.
Boober wants students to be able to succeed at Shepherd University, and understands that charges can prevent a student from getting a job in the future.
"Underage drinking or drugs can lead to a person being unable to apply for a top secret clearance," he said.
Students who violate the code of conduct, which every new student at Shepherd University is required to sign, are put at risk of losing their housing, receiving a citation or even losing the privilege to go to school.
Boober says that the school has zero tolerance for illicit drugs, and hopes that problems with marijuana and prescription drugs, the most common on campus, will slowly subside.
Prior to the beginning of each semester the police department provides help for residence workers by creating programs that hopefully increase the awareness of drugs and alcohol by showing students what to look for and what to do in certain situations.
Sergeant Dave Kelvington says that with the help of vigilant students, such as the resident assistants in each dormitory, drug and alcohol risk can be lessened.
Kelvington also believes that the help of the student Resident Assistants is an indispensible and a valuable tool for the university.
"I tell them how proud I am that they want to make a difference. They're policing their peers and they're also students themselves which is difficult, but they have been fantastic," Kelvington said.
The attitude remains positive among officers who examine each year in order to configure new strategies to combat drug and underage alcohol use.
"We examine the statistics from the previous year because in reality the experience changes from year to year and we modify our approach to combat the negative experiences that were in the previous year," Boober said.
The key against drugs and alcohol still remains to be education for the students. Sgt. Kelvington is confident that by preparing the students the students for various situations, students have a better chance of being successful in their academic and professional career.