Annual report finds increase in underage drinkers at UNM dorms

The University of New Mexico is popping more and more students for drinking on campus, especially in the dorms. UNM officials say dorm room parties were more frequent last year leading to more alcohol busts.

It’s at parties, at games and in the dorms.

“It was just kind of expected because you see all the movies and it’s just all about partying in college,” said Franklin Cunningham, UNM student. “It just kind of came with the expectation.”

“It’s college and people want to get that college experience,” said Michael Romero, UNM student.

Alcohol is everywhere on college campuses. The 2017 Clery report shows UNM’s crime statistics, including how many underage drinkers got caught. Most of them were busted in the dorms. 

“We are trying to really educate the residence halls that we need to know everybody that was there,” said Rob Burford, UNM compliance director. “The Clery Act is about being transparent with what’s happening on campus and that’s what we want to do.”

In 2017, the university issued 311 liquor law referrals to students living on campus  — 84 more than the year before.

The UNM compliance director says that’s because they’ve seen an increase in dorm parties, and everyone there is now reported to the university.

“There were several larger parties that were close to 10 (people), even up to 20,” Burford said.

When the students get caught however, they aren’t being cited.

“I think our UNM police realized we have another mechanism in place to hold them accountable through our policy,” Burford explained.

If a student gets a liquor law referrals, they will have to meet with the Dean of Students. After they’re caught more than once, the punishment can range from community service to getting kicked out of the dorms.

“I don’t live on campus, but I have friends that do and they say they party a lot so it’s really common actually,” said David Landeros, UNM student.

Dorm advisors have been cracking down to change that.

“There are more room checks to find anything and they take it away right away,” said Alyssa Jaramillo, UNM student. 

Mostly dorm advisors are busting the students, but police did catch a handful of underage drinkers tailgating before football games. Those students got arrested.

There are a few exceptions to having alcohol on the UNM campus. Students living at Lobo Village can have booze. Certain spots on campus, such as the new UNM taproom and the PIT, also allow alcohol.

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