Chapman does not have a specific policy for student arrestees

The women were arrested and taken to the Orange County Police department. Photo was taken on July 1, 2010 by Connor Tarter

There is no specific policy concerning how Chapman should respond to a students’ arrest.

The issue of how the university deals with students who have had a run-in with the law arose after the April 12 arrest of two Chapman student on drug charges at the Pralle-Sodaro dorms.

“Every semester we have students arrested for multiple incidents, including alcohol violations, minor in possession, drunk in public, and narcotics,” said Colleen Wood, director of student conduct. “What we do is (we) go back to the conduct code and look at what the arrest was for,” Wood added. 

Public Safety was called about a possible drug violation on campus on April 12 and turned the investigation over to the Orange Police Department according to Chief of Public Safety, Randy Burba. The women were then transported to the Orange County Police department where they were released on a citation at 9 p.m.

The two women, Carolyn Chang and Hallie Hostetter were charged with misdemeanors for H&S 11350, or an illegal possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription, according to Police Sergeant Phillip McMullin. Chang was also charged with H&S 11364(a) which is an illegal possession of drug paraphernalia; the law prevents the ownership of  “an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance,” according to California Law Group. Hostetter was also charged with H&S 1137; the possession of a restricted dangerous drug without a prescription.

What will happen to the students is unclear. “We have a provision in our conduct code that is labeled “under the violation of law” that we look to for certain cases,” said Wood. “What we are really looking at in this scenario is what law was broken.”

Wood declined to elaborate on what consequences the students might face, citing the need to preserve student confidentiality. Sometimes though, students are treated more leniently by police, she suggested.

“Students can be arrested and then released, depending on the violation. Generally, the OPD does not want to put students away,” Wood said.

“There is no protocol when dealing with students, everyone is treated equally, however, officers are allowed to use their own discretion,” said Sergeant McMullin.

The student conduct committee looks at each student and their violation individually, a student’s cumulative conduct history and at the severity of the violation in determining academic repercussions, Wood said.

“As a general rule, we do not expel for conduct issues that frequently. It’s not probable. We have other tools,” said Wood. “Whether that be time away from the university, that being in semester blocks, so students will be taken off of their class schedules for the remaining time in the semester.”

According to Rebecca Moss of the Public Affairs Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the two women have not been charged. The office has not received reports from the police department for review, Moss said. 

“What likely happened is they were cited by OPD on suspicion of the above offenses,” said Moss via email, “OPD will send the police reports to our office and the prosecutor later makes a filing decision. For these types of offenses, if a defendant is charged, they will often receive a letter in the mail telling them when to appear in court. Since the case review has not yet taken place and neither of these individuals are in custody, there is no arraignment scheduled and no bail amount yet set.”

Dean of Students Jerry Price confirmed that two students were arrested and released for a drug-related violation.

“The allegations are concerning for both policy and student health reasons, and my office is currently conducting our own investigation as well,” said Price via email.

Contacted for comment by email, Hostetter wrote back, “unfortunately, I am unable to answer any questions.” Chang did not respond to an email request for comment. 

The chief of Public Safety, Randy Burba said because there is an ongoing investigation, he is unable to comment beyond what was provided in the crime log.  

 

Lauren Thomas & Jackie Samuelsen

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