Reported drug and alcohol incidents at Chapman explode, officials say substance abuse policy needs updating

Almost half of first-year students reported at least one episode of heavy drinking, according to the Alcohol & Drug Crisis Prevention section of the Chapman University website. Photo by Claire Treu.

Despite sharp rises of reported drug and alcohol abuse incidents at Chapman in the last two years, the committee responsible for recording drug and alcohol violations failed to meet half of the recommendations the group set for itself in 2016. The group did not meet once during the last two years, according to the report, which was emailed to the Chapman community in January.

The report also states that the university does not have a comprehensive strategy to support the success of students in recovery, despite a perceived increase of this population in the student body.

The report, known as the Biennial Review of Alcohol and Drug Programs, compared 2017-2018 incidents to those of the 2016-2017 academic year. “Illegal substances” incidents quadrupled, from four to 16 in the earlier report to the one covering 2017-2018. The number of students with two violations almost doubled, from 45 in 2016-2017 to 87 in 2017-2018.

“Deferred violations” showed a stunning increase as well: from 198 to 422 in the latest report. This means the violation is held in abeyance, or suspension, if no other violations of the conduct code occur, the report states.

Increased drug and alcohol incidents are often correlated with a higher incidence of sexual assaults and violence, may indicate growing addictions and can be detrimental to student health, according to a fact sheet from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

This review is conducted in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act, (DFSCA), which contributes to the university’s ability to receive federal funding. The review board addresses challenges – such as the 2018 legalization of marijuana – in addressing substance use on campus, and set goals for the next biennium.

Eleven university officials serve on the board, but the group did not meet for two years between the compilation of reviews.

“It’s a challenging group of people to find time when we are all free and available,” said Colleen Wood, chair of the Biennial Review Committee.

The committee plans to gather before the next biennial review but as of now no meeting has been scheduled, Wood said.

Eight goals from 2016 are listed in the report. Out of these eight, four were achieved.

“This goal was not met during the biennium” was the status listing for the following objectives set in 2016:


1) “Review University policies, including student organization risk management policies, surrounding student organization hosted ‘venue parties.’”

2) “Develop an enhanced communication procedure between Public Safety and the Dean of Students office for medical calls related to drug and alcohol use.”

3) “Create a resource webpage for students and employees where information about local resources is more readily available than the required annual Drug Free Schools and Communities notification.”

4) “Explore creating a taskforce between the University, Orange Police, and the local office of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control to discuss collaborative opportunities between the groups to enhance enforcement of existing laws.”


The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) conducts periodic program reviews to assess institutional compliance. A fine may be imposed if an institution has failed to certify that DAAPP is in place or if the program fails to address all required subject areas, according to a spokesman.

Will Chapman be fined? “The Department cannot speculate on a specific institution’s compliance without conducting its own review,” the DOE spokesman stated.

Reports must be completed every two years and the DOE periodically assesses compliance with federal regulations, the spokesman said.

“The maximum fine amount is currently $57,317 per violation. While fines are the most common sanction for DFSCA violations, serious violations of the law could result in a termination of an institution’s eligibility to participate in federal education funding programs,” the spokesman stated.

Despite marijuana becoming legal in California for those 21 and older, it is still against the student conduct code to consume the drug on Chapman’s campus, according to Wood. Graphic extracted from Chapman’s most recent Biennial Review.

A student’s first and second violations of the alcohol policy, and first drug violation if only involving marijuana – are generally deferred. This means that if a student has two alcohol incidents, more often than not, they actually have four, according to page four of the review.

These multiplying numbers are said to be a result of “increased training on the student conduct process and the emphasis on correctly entering information into the student conduct database,” according to the report.

Wood attributed the leap in violations to an increase of students living on campus and more robust enforcement by resident directors. The 2018 legalization of marijuana could also be a factor, she said, but these are only theories.

“I’m not positive that (student) substance use has actually increased,” Wood said.

Wood hypothesized that students who have multiple incidents tend to move off campus for their second year. Chapman now requires students to live on campus for two academic years, which could increase the number of citations in the next review.

Dave Sundby, Director of Residence Life and First Year Experience, attributed the dramatic growth of offenses to an increase in students living in university housing.

The university did not add any new residence buildings within the two school years. Chapman Grand was not opened until fall 2018, so it does not apply to the report.

“In my ideal world, I would like to see those numbers drop and go down, but we are bringing in another residence hall in the fall and we are moving to a two-year living requirement. So, I think those numbers are actually going to go up,” Wood said.

Despite rising numbers, the university did show effort in addressing substance use on campus, which can be shown in the four goals which were met. Most notably, the Student Engagement staff has coordinated with Information Systems and Technology to track a student’s campus involvement at the time of their violation. This means the university keeps track of what clubs, athletic teams or campus engagements the student is associated with. They have also collected data from fraternities and sororities concerning alcohol and drug education.

Wood hopes to conduct a campus-wide survey of Chapman student drug and alcohol use in the future.

“We hear a lot of rumors about what substances the students are using, but it would be nice to have some numbers,” Wood said.

Wood said the committee tried to get a comprehensive survey of student drug use approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), but it was rejected. The IRB is an authoritative board which oversees research of human subjects in accordance with federal regulations, according to the Chapman website. Wood said she hopes to try a different approach to get such a survey  approved within the next few years.

In addition to running the majority of drug and alcohol trainings on campus, Dani Smith, the director of Chapman PEER and Health Education, meets one-on-one with students who have multiple violations. She said that in the past few years, fewer students have been referred to her. The reason for this is unclear.

“Students would generally be referred to me if they had three or four violations,” Smith said. “So I don’t know where all those referrals are going.”

Jerry Price, Dean of Students, was unable to comment by deadline. Sundby said he was unaware that referrals to Smith had declined.

Smith and Wood said Chapman’s drug and alcohol policy needed to be updated. The policy should have more consequences for third and fourth violations, Smith said.

Above are the officials who served on the review committee. Graphic extracted from Chapman’s most recent Biennial Review.


Eight Random Holidays You Probably Didn’t Know Are Coming Up

There is a holiday for anything if you dream it. We found these random holidays on Holiday Insights and thought, there is always a reason to celebrate. Check out these eight upcoming holidays and come up with the ultimate excuse to treat yourself.

1: November 3rd – Sandwich Day

Photo courtesy of

Sandwiches are a staple in North America, from a PB&J to the Elvis Presley (peanut butter, bacon, and banana). Celebrate this day by branching out and making a unique sandwich you can call your own. Consider a mac & grilled cheese, B.L.T.A., or adding peanut butter on your burger.

2: November 12 – Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Photo courtesy of

This is a day to give back to yourself. It’s a celebration of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. We suggest doing things that make you feel like the best version of yourself, like taking a bubble bath, eating your favorite foods, or spending time alone.

3: November 13th – World Kindness Day

Photo courtesy of

Celebrate this day by donating your time to local charities. We sometimes forget how lucky we are to go to such an amazing school, so let’s put some gratitude in our attitudes and help others in need. Here are some volunteer ideas around Orange: 4Life Animal Rescue, Mary’s Kitchen, Surfrider Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House.

4: November 16th – Button Day

Photo courtesy of

Buttons can be underrated; they come in all different shapes, colors, textures, and styles. Celebrate this day by jazzing up an old sweater or jacket with some buttons for a fun new look.

5: November 17th – Take A Hike Day

Photo courtesy of

Celebrate this day by literally taking a hike. Go down to Laguna and do the Top Of The World hike or road trip to LA for the day and hike the Hollywood sign. Any way you celebrate, grab some friends and get outside for that perfect Instagram worthy picture.

6: November 23rd – National Espresso Day

Photo courtesy of

Because there’s no such thing as too much caffeine. Go to Starbucks to get your fix, or venture beyond Chapman and explore some of the coffee spots in the Orange Circle. Just make sure not to say “ex-presso.”

7: November 26th – Shopping Reminder Day

Photo courtesy of

You know it’s going to be a good day when someone wants you to shop. This day falls on Cyber Monday, so put this one in your calendar to snatch up all those online steals and deals.

8: November 28th – French Toast Day

Photo courtesy of

Best. Day. Ever. This day gives attention to an often forgotten breakfast food. Celebrate by adding fun ingredients to your french toast to spice it up – consider cocoa pebbles, peanut butter and jelly, Nutella, or sprinkles.


More Than a Phrase: The Stories I Am Chapman Hopes to Tell

Only three phrases describe each student displayed in the halls of Argyros Forum. While things like “not a stereotype” or “a statistical anomaly” might mean something to passers-by, the true stories behind each label is known only to the students who self-ascribes to them. Students from the I Am Chapman campaign reveal why they chose the phrases now serving as their ambassadors to the public.

Tyler Wimbish

Outside the Cross Cultural Center in Argyros Forum, senior business administration major, Tyler Wimbish, poses in front of her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.


“I am indeed Black, which is a rarity to find at Chapman so I had to be sure to put that as the first descriptor. I believe our population on campus consists of 1.4 percent of black students,” said Tyler Wimbish, senior business administration major.

Freshman enrollments of African Americans since Fall 2013 averages to 1.58 percent of the overall classes, according to information from the chapman website.

The Daughter of a Veteran

“I absolutely adore my parents and appreciate their past so I had to be sure to represent my father’s journey, as our parents’ decisions also shape their children’s lives. My dad was in the military and I wanted to showcase that,” Wimbish said

A Statistical Anomaly

After taking sociology… I learned that, on paper, I am a special case. I am a black female, in college, with a high IQ, two married parents, from the suburbs and I’m 20 years old with no children of my own, and according to statistics, which I don’t always believe, none of this is supposed to true for someone with my background. So, I am a statistical anomaly. My whole life, I have never played by the rules. I wanted to show that I am not a number or a negative statistic in a textbook that people like to classify. I am more than that. I don’t have any life trauma or a sob story. I am just me living my best life. My life is not perfect, but it surely isn’t horrible either and the experiences within it, have made me the person I am today, Wimbish said.


Brittni Gutierrez

Across from Cross Cultural Center, in Argyros Forum, senior political science major, Brittni Gutierrez, stands in front of her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.

A Domestic Violence Survivor

“I tell the story to those who are close to me but it always seemed like I was hiding it from others as if I was supposed to be ashamed of it. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore and I did not want to be a victim because i’m not. I survived and he cannot take my strength away from me anymore,” said Brittni Gutierrez, senior political science major.

Not a Stereotype

“The sentence that “I am not a stereotype,” refers to the fact that most Mexican/Hispanic women are mothers at this age. Which means giving up so many things such as education. I am graduating in a few weeks and that’s because I didn’t let myself get caught in that cycle that most Mexican women do. I am not a stereotype. I will be married before I begin to have children. Obviously, that’s not for everyone, but I didn’t want to be the typical latina that’s pregnant before I finish school or am married,” Gutierrez said.


“The last statement I am Powerful refers to the fact that I am strong despite everything I’ve gone through. Parents divorced since I was two. Abusive father. Custody battle. Then raped and abused by someone I thought who loved me at the time. I’ve grown so much so fast and sometimes it’s not always a good thing. But I’m stronger for it. Without going through all of that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am powerful despite these setbacks,” Gutierrez said.


Elliana Takano

In the Argyros Forum hall, opposite Qdoba, Elliana Takano, business administration major stoops next to her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.

A Pacific Islander

“My ethnicity is a huge part of who I am, I grew up in Hawaii for a few years when I was younger and have lived in Oregon for the rest. Even though we live in Oregon my parents still influence the Hawaiian and Japanese culture and I think this allowed me to be more open minded,” said Elliana Takano, business administration major

A Chemistry Minor

“I chose to put chem minor as one of them because I feel like not many people are chemistry minors, I like both business and science but there’s not enough time to major in both in 4 years, so I wanted to still be involved in science while majoring in business,” Takano said.

An Optimist

“For optimist, I really try to have a happy outlook on life, this sounds cliché but today there are so many bad things happening in the world, that I feel like it is important to have a happy outlook on life and enjoy being in the moment,” Takano said.

The I Am Chapman campaign means a lot to many people, providing an opportunity to share and gain mutual understanding.

“I am chapman means being part of a bigger community and this allows me to share a little about who I am with the rest of chapman… this brings us closer as a community and makes everyone feel welcome knowing that everyone is accepted for who they are,” Takano said.

Adderall-prescribed students face pressures to share

10 mg Adderall tablets. Photo by Greta Nagy

Adderall is a popular method of conquering attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder for a handful of Chapman students. Those who have a prescription hold the golden key to what many students believe enhances their ability to excel in school. Prescribed students are left with the pressure of deciding whether or not to share.

Twenty percent of unprescribed college students have used Adderall as an educational aid according to a study by the Center for Disease Control, referenced in an article by The New York Times. Students without ADHD find the effects of the amphetamine holy. With the ability to heighten attention levels and increase work ethic, unprescribed students worship the tiny pill.

Students from a psychology class taught by Dr. Sara LaBelle conducted a study about the misuse of Adderall among college students nationally. The study showed that the rate of stimulant medication misuse among college students was 17 percent. Adderall was found to be the most misused medication.

An anonymous sophomore business major has been selling Adderall as a way to make easy money since her junior year of high school. However, she is not comfortable letting people know that she has a prescription.

“I am extremely comfortable with telling people that I take Adderall,” the student said. “I don’t tell people that I’m prescribed because that way they won’t try to get the cheapest price out of me.”

The student found that when she would casually remark about having a prescription, people were more likely to argue in favor of paying less.

“I feel like I was being taken advantage of. There is a difference between being prescribed and selling, and if people know you are both, they won’t pay as much,” the student said.

A 30-day supply of Adderall. Photo by Greta Nagy

The student said she charges $10 for one 10 mg pill. The student sells them solely to get rid of extra pills.

Sophomore public relations and advertising major Anna Preblud is prescribed Adderall for a learning impediment. Preblud is hesitant to reveal that she has a prescription based off her past experiences with people taking advantage of her.

“My freshman year roommates knew that I was prescribed,” Preblud said. “When they would ask me for Adderall, I felt pressured because I knew that I would have the option to always get more.”

Preblud feels comfortable with her close friends knowing about her prescription. She draws the line there. Preblud does not give her prescription out to anyone.

“I definitely don’t tell everyone. I know that so many people would try to get close to me or ask me to have some all the time,” Preblud said.

An anonymous sophomore public relations and advertising major shares that although she is not prescribed Adderall, she has a dealer that gives her 20 mg tablets for $12 a pill.

“I found my dealer through a friend and he also goes to Chapman,” she said. “I just text him whenever I need Adderall and he gives me as much as I want as long as I pay him.”

According to another anonymous student, majoring in studio art, it is not a challenge to get Adderall from a student who is prescribed and willing to sell.

“As long as the student trusts you and you pay them, people are really casual in giving out their pills,” the student said. “I think this is personally not a smart idea, because if it really came down to it and I had to give up their name if it meant saving my education at Chapman, I would. It’s a risk were both taking.”

Freshman business major Tara Katims says having an Adderall prescription for her ADHD is immensely helpful but can also put her in unwanted situations.

“It can be a somewhat uncomfortable topic among friends. I feel pressured when they complain to me about the immense load of work they feel like they need medicine for,” Katims said.

A student’s Adderall prescription. Photo by Greta Nagy

Katims has been asked multiple times to share her medicine with fellow students, which can be awkward and stressful for her.

“I am not a pharmacist and I don’t know peoples’ medical history,” Katims said. “I don’t want to worry about the impact Adderall could have on them.”

According to Chapman professor and psychologist Dr. David Pincus, Adderall has the same effects on an individual with or without ADHD: increased focus. However, individuals without ADHD who take it put their health at risk and may experience heavy side effects.

“Stimulants allow people to have improved focus by allowing us to resist distractions that are more naturally rewarding,” Dr. Pincus said.

For people without ADHD, Adderall works as an enhancement, according to Pincus. Rather, for people without the disorder, Adderall provides a prosthetic-like device.

Pincus said, “People taking stimulants that are not prescribed are more likely to develop abuse or addiction, which can be associated with intolerance and withdrawal.”


Chapman Students Refuse to Consent by Phone

Photo by Pixabay, Woman on her phone.


Students object to signing contracts for sex.


The ongoing #MeToo movement and sexual assault allegations like those imposed on comedy actor Aziz Ansari, and the recent verdict on Bill Cosby are raising questions as to how consent should be obtained.


Soon-to-be-released smartphone consent apps, such as LegalFling, offer legally binding agreements between sexual partners at the press of a button. If the question of whether there was consent is posed in court or during a school’s investigation, these apps could be used as proof where verbal agreements can’t.


While they may serve a purpose for some, it’s doubtful that Chapman students will use these applications. They find them too formal, disruptive, and the last thing they are likely to think about when love – or lust – is in the air.


“I feel like I wouldn’t be taking the time to be on my phone and give consent rather than just saying it verbally,” said Clarissa Cordova, a sophomore health science major.  


Since 2014, California law has required that universities have an “affirmative consent” policy. It obligates students to have one another’s consent to proceed at every moment of any sexual experience. Even if no objections are made by participants during the act, their consent cannot be assumed.


To put affirmative consent into practice people have been asking each other whether something is okay every time it happens.


The new consent apps intend to head off baseless allegations by proving consent was obtained prior to intimate relations, and to prompt conversations around the rules of engagement.  


29 of the 92 students who reported nonconsensual sexual contact to Chapman’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey conducted last spring, reported that “a lack of proof that the incident happened” was a concern that crossed their mind when deciding whether to share or report the incident.  


A graphic from the Legalfling website describing their up and coming app.


There are indeed some scenarios where consent isn’t asked for verbally.


“I do actually pose the question, ‘do you want to engage in this activity?’ but when it’s somebody that I’ve been with many times it’s obviously kind of different,” said senior film production major Nolan Kresnak.


In established relationships with reoccurring sexual activity, consent is often assumed unless someone objects, according to Kresnak.


If consent isn’t already being established through short, two-sentence exchanges, how can students be expected to open an app, select their partner, choose what acts they are okay with and await confirmation?


Other negative aspects of the system are less inconvenient than they are off-putting.


“I don’t think that technology should have to be a part of consent and sexual intercourse. I don’t think you should have to whip out your phone in the middle of things,” said Kellyn Toole, a junior strategic and corporate communications major.


Regardless of their potential, consent apps don’t sit well with students.


“I don’t think I would ever get that app,” Toole said.

E-Cigarettes Worry the FDA but Not Students


Woman taking a vape. Photo By: Pixabay


The Food and Drug Administration says the risks associated with tobacco products don’t go up in smoke when vapor is involved. Vape-addicted youth, including some Chapman students, disagree.


For the past month, sting operations run by the FDA exposed 40 JUUL retailers as selling tobacco vape products to minors. As a result of their discoveries, the FDA will be investigating JUUL Labs’ marketing strategies and overall appeal to youth. In a statement made Tuesday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb regarded the popularity of e-cigarettes among youth as a “troubling reality.”


In 2016, e-cigs were used by 6.9% of college students, according to the Monitoring the Future National Survey. While use dropped from 2015 to 2016, only two percent fewer college students vape than smoke cigarettes, according to the survey.  


Most students in California believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes, a 2017 study finds.


The students that believe such have company on Chapman’s campus. They may find solace in the words of freshman screenwriting major Alie Watson, who dubs the health risks of e cigs “fairly minimal.”


She and others use their e-cigs in any setting, from group study sessions to the classroom. According to Watson, it’s easy to hide the aerosols and isn’t frowned upon by peers.


Dani Smith, director of health education at Chapman, says that though e-cigs do not have the tar and carcinogen elements cigarette smoking posesses, there are other dangerous chemicals produced through vaping.


Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is one byproduct of the vaping process. Glycerol and propylene glycol, two ingredients very common in the liquids vaporized by e-cigs, combine to form formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents when heated.   


As a result, the use of e-cigarettes could increase one’s risk of cancer by as much as 15 times when compared to standard cigarettes, according to one 2015 study.


A study published this year by the EHP revealed that e-cigarettes are a potential source of exposure to toxic metals. The lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and manganese leach from the heating coils of e-cigarettes into the vapor inhaled by smokers, the researchers explained.


JUULs use nichrome coils, according to their website, which researchers in the EPH study say create vapors containing chromium and nickel among other metals. The presence of these highly toxic metals is very concerning according to some physicians.


JUUL Labs responded to Prowl inquiry on the matter, though did not respond to the EPH’s findings.


These chemicals along with nicotine affect more than just the person inhaling them. The vapor from e-cigarettes can transfer nicotine from person-to-person thorough second-hand smoke, reports the CDC.


Formaldehyde is also present in the vaping aerosols, reports a study presented by the New England Journal of Medicine.


Vapes can go where cigarettes cannot, from libraries to lectures, effecting the air quality for all.


How to survive finals week

While some may argue that finals week is one of the most stressful at Chapman, don’t despair! Check out these five traditions that bring happiness and positivity to Chapman students in the midst of testing doom.


1. Midnight Breakfast

Set up by the University Program Board, Midnight Breakfast is the perfect excuse to take a study break and refuel. Located in the Student Union in Argyros Forum, Midnight Breakfast begins at 10 pm and lasts until midnight. University Program Board provides free food, and performances from student groups, like the dance team and the acapella groups to re-energize students.This year, the theme of Midnight Breakfast is The Final Frontier, so fly on in and have some fun. May the Force be with you.


2. Furry Friends for Finals

Who doesn’t love dogs? And who doesn’t want to roll around on the ground with their friends while petting dogs instead of studying??? Every semester, Active Minds and the Student Psychological Counseling Services at Chapman bring Furry Friends onto campus to relieve our minds from the stresses of finals, projects, and papers. These furry friends are therapy dogs that are trained to bring comfort and support to students all over campus. Keep an eye out for more information on which dates the pups will be on campus.



3. Undie Run

Although it is not specifically run by the university, Undie Run has been a long running tradition. On the Wednesday of Finals Week at midnight, students gather in their underwear or fun costumes and run through the circle of Orange. Since the event is well know, students from other schools and other residents of Orange also attend. It is important to stay safe and be respectful of the city of Orange. While this is a thrilling event, it is crucial to understand that you are not only representing yourself while participating, but also Chapman University.



4. Library Extended Hours

During Finals Week, the library slowly becomes our new homes. Throughout the whole week, the library is open 24 hours so we can officially move in. Study rooms and printing services are also available and there is a Cookie Service Table, where students can find cookies scattered throughout the floors of the library. There is also free coffee available to students from 7am to 7pm in the library as well. Make sure to give yourself plenty of breaks and get some sleep as well.




The Student Union in Argyros Forum is filled with fun activities, such as free massages, scantrons, and free fitness classes. The fitness classes are kickboxing, yoga, barre, and zuma. Exercising is really important in reducing stress during such a hectic time. Also in Argyros Forum, come relax with free movies and snacks. Finally, for those who want to stay closer to the dorms, the Randall Dining Commons provides free food for students who are up studying late.

Did someone say FREE?


For more helpful tips on how to survive Finals Week, check out this article on how to practice Self Care.