It’s not unusual to ask a UTD student about drug and alcohol use on campus and receive an “I don’t know” answer. Drugs are not visible at all on campus, and students can live a perfectly normal college life without sipping a drop of alcohol. Now and then, there are stories about “a guy I know” who uses marijuana or about a good party that gets everyone hungover, but it usually stops there. There’s no real incentive or pressure to drink or use drugs, and very few serious drug-related incidents are reported. Many students take a hard stance against underage drinking and drug use. Even those who drink understand the risks and limit their consumption. “Messed-up” alcoholics and drug addicts are indeed a rare species.
Students often attribute drug rarity to the large population of international students and nerds on campus. This is true for the most part, but the University’s authority also plays a significant role in ensuring drug safety. From the first day of Welcome Week, freshmen learn that drug use and underage drinking are not tolerated, and strict penalties await violators. Peer advisers (equivalent of resident advisers) keep a watchful eye over the dormitory drug scene. They are required to report any incidents to a higher authority. If word reaches the police department or the Office of Dean of Students, some sort of penalties will most definitely ensue.