DU policy proves harsher than City's
Issue date: 11/6/09 Section: News
"It's based on my experiences working as a police officer. Getting caught smoking marijuana or possessing a $5 bag, you will be issued a summary. It's like being issued a traffic ticket," Lis said.
Regardless of substance type or quantity of illegal drugs or narcotics, students will face suspension for use of possession, according to Stephen Rupprecht, assistant dean of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.
According to Lis, compared to what has been seen with the Philadelphia Police, the Drexel policy is much harsher.
The reason for this discrepancy is the difference in what the Police and Drexel have to deal with on a regular basis.
"Both the Philadelphia Police Department and Drexel University have to focus their resources on what issues have the greatest negative effect on their communities. The city has more urgent matters on which to focus including homicides and gun violence," Rupprecht said.
According to the 2009 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released by the Department of Public Safety, 33 disciplinary actions or judicial reviews have occurred for drug law violations on campus during 2008.
According to the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System, the Philadelphia area has had 9,013 actual offenses during 2008.
"If the city were to prosecute everyone with a small quantity, they will have a judicial backlog lasting three or four years," Lis said.
According to the University of Pennsylvania, the legal sanctions under local, state and federal law for first-time violators are 30 days imprisonment, $500 fine or both for the possession or distribution of a small amount of marijuana or hashish.
If Lis' observations are taken into account, most violators receive a fine due to the large amount of people partaking in drug-related activities.
Yet this sanction is tiny compared to the sanctions imposed by Drexel.
"Students risk losing a full term of tuition and all payments associated with on-campus housing. This means a five minute activity that costs $5 could have significant financial consequences," Rupprecht said.
Furthermore, these sanctions could have future repercussions.