A rumor that the South Orange Police Department is using breathalyzer tests this year to discourage student drinking is not true, a police sergeant said.
“We only use breathalyzers in cases where there is suspicion of intoxication while driving,” Sgt. Al Diesso said.
Students said that even if that were the case, it would not deter them from drinking off campus.
“That wouldn’t stop me from going out and drinking,” junior Kathryn Maglione said, “Going to parties is our main form of a social life. So I would still want to go.”
Education major Katie Corbett said she would be more cautious but would still go out. “There isn’t much to do off campus,” she said. “So going to parties is more out of convenience.”
Sophomore Samantha Nizich agreed. “It wouldn’t deter me from going to off campus events,” she said. “If they were doing it for the safety of students, they should by all means.”
The South Orange police would like to remind students of the consequences of underage drinking.
“If a student is caught underage drinking or documented for noise complaints, there are direct ramifications with Seton Hall,” Diesso said. “We can report it to the university and in some cases, students are thrown out of school for it.”
He added: “Ultimately, students are going to do what they are going to do. There is nothing we can do about the decisions students make. We can only strongly advise to be cautious and make good decisions.”
Director of Public Safety Patrick Linfante emphasized the importance of planning ahead before going off campus, “It is always safer to travel in groups both on and off campus,” he said.
Public Safety urges students to use Seton Hall’s shuttle bus system.
“The University’s transportation services, Safe Ride and the SHUFLY shuttle, are both convenient and free,” Linfante said. “Together they provide community members with a safe means of transportation to and from the village as well as to locations in the immediate vicinity of campus.”
This semester, the university introduced a new Safe Ride bus. According to Linfante, the new Safe Ride is part of the university’s efforts to create a safer experience for students traveling off campus at night.
“The addition of this new vehicle, along with the continued use of our Safe Ride van, allows us to accommodate more riders,” he said. “As a result we already have seen a significant increase in the number of Safe Ride transports.”
If in a dangerous situation, students are encouraged to call 911. The South Orange police can be contacted directly at 973-763- 3000. SHU Public Safety can be reached at 973-761-9300.
Rachel Hassett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.