New numbers on last year’s student conduct violations were released at the University Senate meeting Wednesday. The total number of major violations committed was 199, up from 162 the previous year and the highest in five years.

The most notable increase from 2010-11 to 2011-12 was the number of violations involving alcohol, which jumped from 46 to 68.

“Early in September we saw a lot of the Major A [Alcohol] and Major B [Drug] violations,” Tim Cameron, student conduct officer, said at the Senate meeting.

Security does a sweep for drugs and alcohol in September, particularly in the areas behind residences, to set a tone at the beginning of the year.

‘Major’ violations include offences involving alcohol, drugs and weapons, among other offences like stealing, vandalism and physical violence.

One point raised at Senate was that stealing was second highest major offence committed (50) last year, behind incidents involving alcohol (68).

According to Cameron, there have been perplexing trends of theft each year for the past few years.

“Pretty much every incident last year was shoplifting from La Piazza,” he said, noting that the items stolen averaged about $1.50, with the most expensive being about $12.

Most students’ justification was along the lines of being late for class and wanting to pick something up on the way, said Cameron, some with “the underlying attitude that they’re paying too much to be here anyway.” But in some cases, mental health was a factor.

Engineering and Social Sciences had the most students committing violations last year, with 47 and 38 respectively. Business was close behind with 29 out of 2,297 students committing offences. Nursing, Arts & Science and Graduate students had only 1 violation each.

The number of students in violation last year breaks down to 140 males and 28 females, with some students committing more than one violation.

Cameron noted that the numbers from the Student Affairs report could be more so an indication of how many students get caught than how many are committing the offences.

The number of students who were caught violating the code of conduct is roughly 0.8 per cent of the student population. Notably, more serious offences would have been reported to and handled by the Hamilton Police.

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