As of this time last year, Temple University’s campus police and Philadelphia police officers had written six tickets for drinking-related offenses.
This year: 270.
The joint operation between the two departments and Pennsylvania Liquor Control officers stems from a rise in drinking-related disturbances in the Temple area that began last year. Temple students were once primarily commuters, but more and more students are living near campus, drinking near campus and inviting friends to drink near campus.
“We had something on YouTube where we had one of our shuttle buses that goes into the neighborhood at night to drop students off at night surrounded by a few hundred people out there and they started to rock the bus,” recalled Charlie Leone, director of campus security.
Leone said the incidents raised concerns about students’ safety.
It’s likely also about the neighbors. Stephanie Ives, dean of students, said the university already had a “good neighbor initiative” in place.
“We’ve been interested in our students’ behavior in the community for several years as that population has ground and become more dense,” Ives said.
The effort includes educating students on everything from responsible drinking to what day to put out trash to what constitutes a noise violation.
Temple officials said about 50 percent of the people cited were not their students, but friends or students at other universities.
“With students living off campus, now it may be more inviting to have parties,” suggested Leone.
A West Chester student died in a fall at an off-campus party in April. Shortly after, the university canceled its annual “Spring Fling” over concerns about drinking.
These days, Leone said, if officers see a big party with people handing over money at the door, the next knock could come from liquor control, ready to shut down the party as an unlicensed bar.