CHENEY, Wash. - According to their website, enrollment at Eastern Washington University has averaged just over 11,000 students over the past three years. That's roughly a third of WSU's enrollment and about 3,000-4,000 more than Gonzaga.

According to the annual Security and Fire Safety report, in 2016 and 2017, there was an average of 86 on campus liquor law arrests and 43 on campus drug law arrests.

However, in 2018, those numbers drastically went down compared to the previous 2 years. 

In 2018, on campus liquor law arrests fell from 89 in 2017 to 28, essentially a 75 percent drop.

Drug law arrests fell from 49 in 2017, to 27 in 2018, a decrease of about 45 percent.

I asked Eastern Washington University Police Deputy Chief Jay Day  if his department was doing something different to bring about such drastic change and he said nothing specifically, just that his officers are focused on engaging and educating students. 

Each officer is assigned a residential hall to walk through every day and get to know the students. Deputy Chief Day also said incoming freshman are given a presentation during orientation outlining the hazards of alcohol and the resources that are available to them. 

There are counseling and psychological services at Eastern Washington University for students experiencing a variety of problems, and that includes alcohol and substance abuse. 

The school encourages other students to be proactive in recognizing when one of their friends might have a problem. The school lists the following as helpful and less helpful responses to someone who might have a problem with alcohol or drugs: 

Helpful Responses:

  • Be on the alert for signs of drug abuse: preoccupation with drugs; inability to participate in class activities; deteriorating performance in class; periods of memory loss.
  • Share your honest concern for the person.
  • Encourage him/her to seek help.
  • Get necessary help in instances of intoxication.

Less Helpful Responses:

  • Ignoring the problem.
  • Chastising the person; lecturing.
  • Subtlely encouraging the behavior.

Students who might need help also have a variety of ways to reach out, including emailing at capsinfo@ewu.edu, calling Counseling and Psychological Services in Martin Hall at 509.359.2366, or by calling a 24/7 regional crisis help line at 1-877-266-1818.