Drug law arrests are on the rise at Ferris, according to the results of the most recent Annual Security and Fire Report.
In 2013, there were 59 total arrests. This number went up to 79 in the year 2014, marking a 34 percent increase.
“The majority are marijuana arrests,” Director of Public Safety (DPS) at Ferris, Bruce Borkovich said. “It’s everywhere.”
The Flint native, who has been at Ferris for three years, believes that the reason for this is simple: Ferris is cracking down on campus crime.
“We have a lot of marijuana use in our residence halls, it’s almost out of control,” Borkovich said. “We have gone overboard on giving warnings and student conduct, and as a result, we have kind of decriminalized marijuana. We are definitely going to be increasing our enforcements, our arrests.”
Borkovich certainly has an impressive résumé when it comes to drug enforcement. He is a former Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET) member, undercover officer and a certified expert in illegal drug trafficking.
“I’m the universe’s biggest opponent to marijuana,” he said.
In comparison with Grand Valley’s 67 drug law arrests in 2014, Ferris still ranks higher with 79. This is especially surprising because of the population difference between the two schools. Grand Valley has 25,094 students while Ferris only has 14,533.
“When we decriminalized it, what happened? The use went up,” Borkovich said.
Ferris students have noticed the increase in drug use, especially marijuana, as well. Ferris construction management junior Max Schmidt has witnessed it first-hand.
“I’ve seen a ton of people on drugs. I think the problem is getting worse,” Schmidt said. “It seems like people’s perception of lighter drugs, like weed, is changing. A lot of people are seeing it as something that’s not serious at all and don’t think about the fact that it’s illegal.”
Viewing marijuana as a minor offense seems to be a common theme when it comes to students wanting to light up at Ferris. Jennifer Kretz, a Ferris construction management junior, believes that students are not as concerned about the consequences of getting busted with the illegal substance.
“I think that since Colorado legalized it, everyone thinks it’s normal now,” Kretz said. “It’s kind of like getting drunk. People want to get high every weekend.”
But what students don’t think about is that getting high can come at a price, especially when it comes to life after graduation.
“It’s a competitive market out there, and many times employers are going to ask about criminal convictions and drug use,” Borkovich said. “Stop and think about why you’re here. Put the kid stuff down.”