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Citing Faulty Software, BC Adjusts Previous Alcohol Statistics

After Boston College changed its disciplinary software accounting system, it discovered last month that the previous software had not properly accounted for liquor law violations that BC must report under the Clery Act, prompting some adjustments to numbers previously published in the University’s annual disclosure of crime statistics.

Reported on-campus liquor law violations for 2014 were adjusted from 889 to 1,113, and from 908 to 1,506 for 2015. BC reported 1,573 on-campus liquor law violations for 2016.

According to Monica St. Louis, assistant dean of students, the Office of the Dean of Students noticed that the new software system, called Maxient, was reporting very different numbers for liquor law violations, leading to a full review of prior statistics. The old system, Star Rez, was not pulling data on students who were referred to the disciplinary process but instead found not responsible of any policy violations.

“The Clery Act asks for all referrals to the conduct process, not ones where the student was only found responsible,” she wrote in an email.

St. Louis attributes the significant rise in liquor law violations between 2014 and 2015 to the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which resulted in a decrease in spring referrals for 2014, especially over Patriot’s Day Weekend.

“Obviously that was an anomaly that really affected student behavior,” she said.

According to past reporting in The Heights, in 2011, there were 1,458 disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations on campus, and 1,082 in 2013. The 2011 numbers represent 98.82 violations per 1,000 students, a 257 percent increase at the time. In 2012, that rate dropped to 62.58, and rose slightly to 75.62 in 2013.

One potential reason for the increasing rate of alcohol violations, St. Louis said in 2014, is that over several years, more resident assistants (RAs) were added to residence halls around campus in order to increase the staff-to-student ratio.

According to The Daily Orange, Syracuse University had 1,073 disciplinary referrals for alcohol in 2016, while the University of Notre Dame had 902. Harvard University reported 48 liquor law violations for its Cambridge campus in 2016, Georgetown University reported 289 alcohol referrals for on-campus violations, and Fordham University reported 611 referrals for on-campus violations. These numbers have not been adjusted for student body size and on-campus population and are therefore not necessarily directly comparable to BC.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

October 12, 2017