Drunk students on campus alarming

The National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) has expressed concern at the increasing number of intoxicated students on campus and found to be in possession of alcohol.

The concerns were expressed by the N.U.S. Student Services Manager, Tupa'i Lipine Peresetene, during the university’s live talanoa session.

"The university has a Statute on Student Conduct 2014, and under the statute, there are three university rules in relation to alcohol," he emphasised. 

"Bringing alcohol into campus is strictly prohibited. Coming to campus while being drunk or intoxicated is also strictly prohibited, even if the student claims that he drank off-campus and drinking on campus is also prohibited."

According to Tupa'i, the N.U.S. administration continues to emphasise this part of the university’s statute every year as the practice is on the rise.

"We’ve seen over the years how students have stealthily brought alcohol onto campus grounds," Tupa'i added. 

"And we’re appreciative of the work that our securities are doing to avoid these behaviours by our students." 

Tupa'i says that alcohol consumption and possession by students increased this year compared to last year. Students found to be in possession of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine and are referred to the police station, he added.

"There have been cases of this in the past years and so these cases are handed over to the Police as they are quite crucial.”

The annual NUS ball last year, which is held at the end of every year, was postponed to earlier this year due to the state of emergency [S.O.E.].

Tupai said that the committee had prohibited alcohol being made available at the ball if it was going to be held on campus, which is why the venue was changed and the ball was held at the Samoa College Hall. 

Senior Police Inspector Tologata Misieliota Tamaleaoa clarified that there isn't a law that states that a person should have a certain number of beers or a certain amount of alcohol that they can drink. 

"However, under the law, it is strictly prohibited to sell alcohol to those under 21 years old," said Tologata.

He also reminded the students that in any case of possession of drugs such as cocaine or marijuana, the consequence is 14 years imprisonment.

National University of Samoa Students Association President, Junior Ofisa, said the issue is serious and some association members are aware of students who were under the influence of alcohol whilst being on campus. 

When asked if the association has programs to address alcohol and drugs, Junior said that there aren't any programs run by the association to address it. 

"It’s a bit challenging for us because we are also students and there might be difficulties or disagreements if we try to address it to the students," he added. "But what we can do to help is that if we’re aware of students who are under the influence or are involved with alcohol on campus then we’ll notify the security guards."

However, Junior believes that the academic activities that the association puts out can become a guide for students.  

"We have academic activities that can help students with these issues," he emphasised. "We have debates where we give out certain topics. For instance topics like ‘should alcohol be allowed in the university and should there be a limit’.”

"We believe it’s a great pathway for advice so that students can share thoughts on certain issues and debate over it."

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