Contract consequences deal with drugs
Proposition 64 brings threat of increased substance usage on campus. | Job Ang/ THE CHIMES [file]
Smoking marijuana and drug dealing would not usually define Biola student’s idea of a good time. However, these things prove more prevalent on campus than some may think.
We’re in this bubble
“A lot of people just assume, because we’re Biola, nothing bad ever happens. Drugs and alcohol don’t exist. We’re in this bubble, but it totally does [happen],” said Sydney Swanson, sophomore psychology major and resident advisor.
Though drugs on campus have not been a critical problem in the past, Campus Safety and Residence Life fear that California Proposition 64, legalizing marijuana, may increase the amount of drug circulation between students.
“If it’s legal, then naturally the amount of drugs being used, being sold, being bought will just naturally go up,” said Angela Gudeman, junior sociology and criminology major, residence advisor and Campus Safety Cadet. “It probably will be more of a problem.”
Currently, Biola deals with occasional cases of mild drugs, ranging from a student having a small amount of marijuana to the more severe cases of students dealing drugs. If someone finds a student with drugs, they would ideally report them to Campus Safety as well as their residence director, who would then decide the appropriate consequences. Usually, depending on the situation, students will not be expelled on the first incident, said John Ojeisekhoba, chief of Campus Safety.
Once students who have been found with drugs get reported to Residence Life, they receive counseling in order to determine the deeper issue behind the use of drugs. Both Campus Safety and Residence Life want to focus on finding the root of the problem with each student and walking with them through the healing process instead of simply inflicting punishment, according to Ojeisekhoba.
show grace and compassion
“At the end of the day, that’s one of our students and we care about that student,” Ojeisekhoba said.
If RAs find out one of their residents has drugs, they must immediately fill out an online form and report the student’s behavior to the RD. They also talk to the student themselves to try to get at the deeper issues behind the drug problem.
“It would be really really hard for me, I want to be honest, like, I wouldn’t enjoy writing a report. I wouldn’t enjoy turning them in,” Gudeman said. “So it would be hard for me, but ultimately, I want what’s best for them, and I think it would be possible that that would be what’s best.”
Campus safety takes care to show grace and compassion to these students, while still disciplining, and they deal with each student on a case-by-case basis to make sure they treat everyone fairly.
“Everyone has made mistakes,” Ojeisekhoba said. “I have five children, so I think of how I want people to treat my children one day and try to look at students through that lens.”