Rodgers on Alcohol Statistics: ‘We’re Going to Lose Someone’

By Connor Ryan

During the 2012-13 academic year, 130 Rose Hill students were transported to local hospitals for alcohol or drug-related treatment, Chris Rodgers, dean of students at Rose Hill, said Wednesday. The number is a slender dip from the 146 students transported during the 2011-12 year.

But only a few weeks into the fall semester, it’s this month’s number that seems to have Rodgers most concerned about the start of a potentially dangerous trend.

So far this month, 29 students have been evaluated by on-campus emergency personnel and transported to local hospitals for alcohol or drug-related treatment. Another 13 students were evaluated by medical personnel, but did not require additional medical assistance.

“We’re playing a statistics game now,” Rodgers said, his tone unwavering. “We’re going to lose someone at some point.”

He delivered the data as part of this month’s Student Life Council meeting, beside a small group of student leaders and administrators. He emphasized the direct link between the crimes reported on campus and in the surrounding area — fights, theft, sexual assault — and alcohol consumption.

The number of security alert emails sent to Rose Hill students since January has increased greatly compared to the same period last year. Security officials attribute that spike largely to iPhone theft.

“There is a connection between all of these other [crime] concerns and the way in which Fordham University students socialize around alcohol,” Rodgers said.

He called on the student leaders present at the meeting — representatives from Rose Hill’s United Student Government,  Campus Activities Board, Residence Hall Association and Commuting Students’ Association — to join his staff in finding “ways to communicate better with students” about the dangers of alcohol.

“I understand that for you in the culture where you’re at it can be somewhat uncomfortable and awkward for you to talk about these things with your fellow students,” Rodgers said. “But you may be helping them by making yourselves a little bit uncomfortable in that moment because you may prevent something from happening on Tuesday night, Thursday night, Friday night or Saturday night that can never be taken back.”

In the last few minutes of the two-hour long meeting, Rodgers again looked toward the students and made his final plea.

“We need you, from the positions you’ve been elected to, to help us with this problem,” he said. “It is a serious problem.”

There is one comment

  1. Nate Schiller

    Why is it that, aside from the crazy amount of security alerts sent out, the only other communication that alumni have received from the university is this statement from Dean Rodgers dumping the blame for the increase in muggings on students? As far as I can tell there has been no reassurance that actions are being taken by the administration to promote and ensure the safety of members of the Fordham community off-campus. How can the blame rest solely with students when these incidents are not only more frequent, but earlier in the evening and closer to campus than ever before?


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