I spent many long nights at Temple University's Beasley School of Law. I went to Temple Law at night so it was only natural that I would leave campus at night. On my way home, I would shake my head at Temple University undergraduate schools walking to and from off-campus parties. I would not shake my head at the partying, because I was once an undergraduate myself; but rather, at the young students walking around at night drunk on the (sometimes mean) streets of Philadelphia.
Temple University has long shared such a concern, not just for its student body, but also for its North Philadelphia neighborhood. Neighbors have long complained about students' poor behavior and how it affects their North Philadelphia community. As a result, Temple is cracking down on underage drinking and partying in off-campus housing. Temple's president, Neil D. Theobald, stated, "This can't go on any longer." A new campaign introduced by Temple University is intended to curb the problems associated with its students' off-campus behavior. For example, students who host nuisance parties, provide the alcohol, or have their name on the lease of a house where a nuisance party takes places will be fined up to $1,500. Such students could also face suspension or expulsion as disciplinary sanctions. In an effort to decrease nuisance parties and poor off-campus behavior, teams, largely made up of graduate students, will begin patrolling the neighborhood from Thursday to Saturday evenings, peak party times.
Even without these new measures, Temple University had been more aggressive in recent years in enforcing its policies regarding alcohol violations both on and off campus. 450 students were charged with alcohol violations in 2013-2014; 469 were charged in 2014-2015; and as of March 2016, 470 students have been charged, with nearly two months of the academic year remaining. Temple's motivation in cracking down on poor off-campus behavior is due to the fact that alcohol-related assaults, fights, injuries, and vandalism have increased in off-campus housing as Temple becomes less of a commuter school, and more students live on or near campus. Temple's Dean of Students, Stephanie Ives, stated, "The issues that we're seeing off campus are these very complex alcohol-driven negative behaviors." Dean Ives added that such behaviors "are causing extreme quality-of-life issues for the community," and Temple deemed it necessary that action needed to be taken.
Another example of Temple University's more aggressive stance are the increased fines for violations of its alcohol policy. Although fines for first-time offenders will remain at $250, the fine for a second offense will rise from $500 to $750, and a new $1,000 fine will be imposed for a third offense in addition to possible suspension or expulsion. It will not take repeat alcohol offenses to invoke the possibility of suspension or expulsion, however. Disciplinary cases involving property damage or disorderly conduct will also subject students to suspension or expulsion as sanctions.
There are arguments for and against fining students for alcohol violations, but Temple University is not alone in doing so. For example, West Chester University of Pennsylvania also imposes fines for off-campus alcohol violations. Penn State, although it does not subject students to fines per se for off-campus alcohol violations, does subject students to educational programs that carry a fee. Temple University also imposes alcohol educational programs to teach students to know and respect their personal limits, and hopefully, be good neighbors to the local community.