Post Classifieds

Campus police consider options, when doling out punishment

By Victoria Staples
On November 16, 2010

  • Chief Patricia Norris

Winston-Salem State students were reported by Campus Police for smoking marijuana in the Gleason-Hairston Terrace courtyard Oct. 18. Those students were not issued campus appearance tickets.

In another instance Oct. 22, a male was caught  exposing himself in Brown Hall parking lot.

Campus Police issued a campus appearance ticket to him.

"They are going to Judicial Affairs," said Deputy Chief Marcus Sutton in regard to the drug-related incident.   

"We do not want them to have a criminal record. Everyone does not need to go to jail."

"In the real world, they get arrested, go to jail and have an automatic record," said Police Chief Patricia Norris.

"We have the option to arrest or send you [suspects] to Judicial Affairs, and it also punishes the individual without being so punitive," Sutton said.

"It can be more damaging to go through judicial affairs than a criminal process in some instances."

Sutton and Norris explained that Judicial Affairs has the power to send a case to court, revoke housing, or suspend or expel any student in violation of University rules and the law.

Sutton said he does not want students to think that they will not be charged.

"On the first offense, they [WSSU students] may receive a deferred prosecution if they comply with conditions of the courts," Sutton said.

"On the other hand, first or second offense could resort in suspension. It all depends on different scenarios. It could be surrounding issues," Sutton said.

"It could be a group of guys, and we may deal with attitude problems. The have to realize their life is in my hands."

Sutton said each decision is up to the officer handling the incident, and students are charged accordingly.

"We are trying to help young people become young adults, making better decisions," Norris said.

"I think you put yourself in a lot of danger when you associate yourself with drugs. You do not know where they could get it from, what it is mixed with, and you take a chance," Sutton said.

Sutton said that the case of the drug trade Oct. 7 caught on camera outside of Gleason-Hairston Terrace is still under investigation.

That case will be "wrapping up soon" and will be sent to the district attorney office.

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