Appealing alcohol violations at TCU



Alcohol at a football game. (Heesoo Yang / Staff Photographer)

By Josh Willie, Staff Writer

Last year, 834 alcohol violations, or AVs, were given out across campus, and 15 alcohol-related arrests were made, according to TCU Police.

Students receive AVs when they have violated TCU’s alcohol policies or federal law. However, when a student receives an AV, they have the option to appeal it through the online portal on Substance Use and Recovery Services at TCU (SURS). 

“Students need to know our alcohol policy and the consequences,” said Craig Allen, the executive director of housing and fraternity & sorority life. “Perhaps, more importantly, students need to think about making good decisions when it comes to alcohol use.” 

The portal a student uses upon receiving an AV. (SURS/TCU)

According to the SURS website, “TCU students are expected to abide by both federal and state laws, as well as TCU policies when it comes to alcohol or other substances. Students who receive an alcohol or drug violation on campus are required to complete an individual alcohol and drug assessment in our office.”

Counselors trained in alcohol and drug education conduct the assessments, according to SURS.

There are three levels of alcohol violations at TCU, each with different consequences.  

The first time a student receives an AV, they are charged a $75 fine and required to complete an online course. They also engage in a meeting with a staff member who works at the counseling office.

The second violation results in a $100 fine, two appointments in the SURS office, a two-hour alcohol education workshop and a letter is sent to their parent or guardian. 

A student’s third violation results in a $150 fine, multiple appointments with the SURS office, a letter sent to their parent or guardian and the student is referred to Campus Life and placed on university disciplinary probation. They may also be removed from on-campus housing. 

When students receive an AV, they should receive an email containing information and steps about the appeal process.

SURS office at TCU located in Jarvis Hall. (Josh Willie/TCU 360 Staff)

Caroline Sahba, the assistant director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center, helps students in need through the substance abuse and recovery service unit. The office is located in Jarvis Hall, Suite 232.

“When students come to my office for an AV they received, they are hesitant at first because our office can get a bad reputation, but after the one-hour meeting the students tell us verbally that our office is very helpful,” she said. “Only 10% of students that come in after getting their first AV will come back a second time.”

The unique education system Sahba uses helps students feel comfortable discussing the situation and feel empowered when they leave the office.

“I help the students take steps to change behavior moving forward, and we also talk about their personal goals and life after college.”