The lingering scent of alcohol and
a smattering of broken glass on the pavement can often be seen in one of SJSU’s three parking garages at night .
For senior aviation major Alom Hossain, the thought of
people drinking in the parking garages at night makes him uncomfortable.
“I’d feel a little unsafe,” Hossain said. “They could be taking drugs too and I don’t know if they’re going to be volatile or not.”
Sgt. John Laws of the University Police Department said the issue of alcohol consumption in the parking garages on campus has been ongoing since the beginning of his career at SJSU 20 years ago.
“The drinking that occurs in the parking garages is usually done by non-students,” Laws said.
In the Seventh Street garage structure, most of the drinking occurs with concertgoers who decide to have a bit of alcohol before a show, Laws said.
Empty bottles of beer scattered across the parking garage floor are a common sight after a concert at the SJSU Event Center, which is located near the Seventh Street garage.
According to Laws, the most recent incident of people drinking in the Seventh Street garage
was when Megadeth and Motorhead played at the Event Center last month.
“About 20 people were detained for alcohol consumption, but there were two arrested for inhaling nitrous oxide in the garage,” Laws said.
Laws added that the Drake concert did have a few incidents of alcohol consumption prior to the event, but marijuana usage was more prevalent.
In addition, Laws said the Fourth Street garage has incidents of alcohol consumption on the roof by younger people while the 10th Street garage has drinking
by the homeless.
According to SJSU Parking Services statistics, there were five police reports regarding alcohol consumption filed from the Fourth Street garage with two reports in 2009, two reports in 2010 and one in 2012.
The most reports
of alcohol consumption come from the Seventh Street garage with 10 citations to date from 2009 to 2010, which stem from the concerts held at the Event Center.
In a 2012 report by the Santa Clara Superior Court, a minor in possession of alcohol in a public area, including SJSU grounds, can be cited for $1000.
However, alcohol consumption can be allowed on the campus through an event with an alcoholic beverage control license.
The licenses are obtained through the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control by an in-person application and includes different licenses ranging from temporary to off-sale, according to the website.
Erik de Austria, a sophomore electrical engineering major, said he has concerns about seeing broken glass from alcoholic beverages in the parking garages at night.
“They could have the potential of damaging the car tires,” de Austria said.
However, de Austria doesn’t feel like the presence of homeless people, underage drinkers, or rowdy attendees is a significant issue.
“As long as they don’t talk to me and mind their business, I’m fine,” de Austria said.
In a March press conference, SJSU president
Mohammad Qayoumi addressed the issue of campus safety, saying even though the campus is a safe place as is, it could be safer.
“If anybody has any concerns about safety, we should always have that line of communication,"
Qayoumi said. “We do have a good line of communication with our public safety and I encourage those whether it’s in a group to meet with public safety and see how that fear can be alleviated.”