Drug abuse at Big D leads to higher security at next event

Big D’s headline act Lethal Bizzle. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Security services are set to dramatically increase student searches and personnel at next week’s ‘Beach D’ Derwent event, after substantial drug use was discovered at last week’s notorious campus blow-out, ‘Big D’.

The measures will see more members of campus security attend the event, who will regularly search students for substances – previously only students with bags were searched, and only sporadically. Nouse understands that the possibility of a police presence was discussed at length, although the idea has reportedly been shelved.

Several students have spoken to Nouse about the drug use that permeated the event. One third year Derwent attendee commented: “We saw people taking drugs several times during the event, and we saw loads of people inside who were evidently on something. It wasn’t hard to work out.”

Another third year Derwent student told Nouse: “I think drugs are fairly accepted at big, post-exams blowout events like Big D. I saw loads of people evidently on drugs, I’m just not sure why people are surprised.” One student even admitted to having taken cocaine themselves, at the event.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Derwent Assistant Head of College has assured Nouse that no drugs were found at the event.

It is not the first time that campus drug use has found itself in the spotlight in recent years. Last year a Nouse poll found that more than a third of students said that they had been offered drugs on campus, while a Nouse investigation in 2008 found traces of cocaine in various locations around campus, sparking a police probe.

YUSU President Millie Beach commented: “Concerns about drug abuse have come to our attention and we are working with Derwent College and the JCRC to ensure measures are taken for any future events on campus.

“The University and the Union has a zero tolerance approach towards drug abuse and we urge any students concerned about drug use or dependency to contact support services.

“I would be negligant to turn a blind eye to such an important issue, which is why YUSU is being proactive.”

A University spokesperson commented: “The University has a zero tolerance policy to drug use. Substance misuse contributes to unacceptable behaviour and may result in disciplinary action and police involvement.

“We are not aware of any security reports logged with the University security team alleging drug use at Big D. However, if information is brought to our attention we will act in accordance with University policy. YUSU, the College and JCRC will continue to work together while planning future events to ensure our zero tolerance approach is understood.

“If anyone has information about drug use on campus they should contact Security or their Assistant Head of College.”

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