Reports of spiked drinks at off campus parties continue to shake the community of Stevens Point.
On the weekend of Sept. 23, two separate groups of students who attended off-campus parties reported that they believed their drinks were drugged. One student reported they were assaulted after consuming this drink.
The students reported feelings of extreme intoxication, dizziness, dream-like and sedated feelings and the inability to respond or move.
In response to this report, Troy Seppelt, Assistant Vice Chancellor for student affairs, sent out a safety alert to raise awareness for all members of the campus community. The alert contained a list of protective measures for students to follow should they choose to drink.
The official investigation was later taken over by Seargent Tony Babl of the Stevens Point Police Department.
“We know that victims of crime are not responsible for being victims,” Seppelt said. However, since the investigation is undergoing, Seppelt emphasized ways students can protect themselves until the situation is resolved.
Both Seppelt and Babl expressed concern that underage students may not be coming forward with information. Both expressed that first priority in a situation like this is to investigate the larger crime.
“We know underage drinking is going to happen,” Babl said. “That’s the least of our problems when it comes to assaults and druggings.”
Earlier this year, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point implemented Safe Point, a grant-funded program responsible for increased visibility of police officers both downtown and near student housing.
The goal of the program is to reduce dangerous alcohol use and minimize community concerns in Stevens Point.
Safe Point was initiated by Seppelt and developed in partnership with Police Chief Marty Skibba and is funded by an $8,000 grant from the Portage County Coalition for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
While the grant helps, the best way for students to stay safe is to stick together. For the time being, Babl urged students to stay safe by staying, “with people you trust. Don’t go off on your own with people you don’t trust. Take care of each other.”
Please contact the Stevens Point Police Department at 815-346-1500, or Sergeant Tony Babl at 715-346-1515, with any information related to these crimes.
Olivia De Valk