Four Bowdoin students received citations early Sunday morning at an off-campus residence for providing a space for minors to consume alcohol. Two of the students are members of the football team, and the other two are former players.
Eleven other students who admitted to consuming alcohol received warnings from Brunswick Police Department (BPD) officers. BPD Commander Mark Waltz explained that students are “warned” if they are cooperative with the police.
The four students cited face charges punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Waltz said BPD officers responding to a noise complaint from a neighbor encountered intoxicated students on the street outside the residence at 310 Maine Street.
Students on the street admitted to having consumed alcohol in the house. When the officers entered the home they cited the four residents.
One of the students warned said they were in the house when the BPD entered, and the officers collected attendees’ OneCards before calling students in one-by-one to ask them for their name, date of birth and whether they had drank. The student described their interaction with the officers as “respectful.” Another student who received a warning agreed.
“[The officers] were super respectful,” the second student said. “Since everyone else was being respectful to them, they didn’t seem harsh at all. I didn’t feel bad about myself afterwards.”
Waltz noted that BPD’s system of warnings based on officer discretion has been successful, and students are rarely cited for repeated violations. If a student previously warned is caught again, they will receive a citation for being a minor in possession of alcohol, which includes consumption. If students are uncooperative in the eyes of the responding officer, they will also be cited for possession.
In September, eight students were cited for furnishing alcohol to minors at Red Brick House. The Sunday morning incident brings the total number of alcohol-related citations to 12 this school year.
Waltz said that typically there are around four incidents where police issue citations to off-campus residents during a given school year.
BPD’s actions were consistent with what officers told students living off-campus during a meeting in August, said Waltz.
Waltz summarized that message in September, following the issuance of citations: “You don’t want to be the one providing the alcohol or the place to drink the alcohol because that’s a criminal thing. We really can’t look the other way on that, so you’re likely to get charged.”
Of the four students cited, one declined a request to be interviewed, and the other three did not respond to interview requests.
The students are scheduled to appear in court in mid-December.
Editor’s Note: It is the policy of the Orient not to publish the names of students accused of a crime until they have been formally charged.
Editor’s Note: 11/1/2019 at 4:16 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Waltz estimated that four Bowdoin students are cited for alcohol-related offenses annually. Waltz rather estimated that four separate groups of Bowdoin students living off campus are cited each school year.