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Increased Involvement; Increased Trouble

By Jacqueline Stoughton

This year’s freshman class is making a difference on campus not only by getting involved with the many activities the university has to offer,but also getting into more trouble by receiving an increased amount of drinking tickets.

“Proportionally, it’s semi-understandable why things are going up,” said Simms Sonet, SGA president.  This year CCSU experienced a 1.1 percent increase in enrollment.  According to Sonet, the university is also about 90 percent over capacity.

According to the NIAAA’s update to their 2007 report of college drinking, about 19 percent of college students ages 18 to 24 met the criteria for alcohol abuse but 5 percent seek out treatment for it.  First semester freshman are in particular prone to this.  Their first experience being away from home combined with all the freedom and pressures that college presents to them makes freshman especially vulnerable.

“People are actually staying on campus this year and getting involved,” said Sonet.  “I think what this is really indicating is a lot more people are staying on campus.  With more people at the university and more people staying on campus, you can see the correlation here.”

Although the rate of drinking tickets being issued to freshman has gone up considerably this semester, compared to other universities that are comparative in demographics and state schools, CCSU still has a significantly lower amount of reports, according to Sonnet.

Incoming freshman fresh out of high school tend to be more apprehensive about getting involved and finding their niche on campus, Sonet says this particular class has been exceptional.

“It seems like this freshman class is really open into going out and and trying things and asking questions and are actually seeking it out instead of being told that there’s something that exists on campus,” said Sonet.  “In having a successful student community in general, that’s so important.”

The over 100 clubs and organizations on campus are also making a major difference in stepping up and making more of a presence for themselves on campus, says Sonet; and not just during the weeks but also on weekends as well.

“During orientation there was a lot of hype about our events so I’d definitely say there has been an increase in the hype,” said Brianna Kirk, president of the Central Activities Network.  “Just being at events gives us that second home type of feel and gives you something to do here at CCSU.”

“A lot of this has to do with more and more generations wanting to get involved right from the start,” said Sonet.  “They’re a more ambitious and goal oriented generation.”