If disorder goes unchecked, a vicious cycle begins. First, it kindles a fear of crime among residents, who respond by staying behind locked doors. Their involvement in the neighborhood declines; people begin to ignore rowdy and threatening behavior in public. They cease to exercise social regulation over little things like litter on the street, loitering strangers, or truant schoolchildren. When law-abiding eyes stop watching the streets, the social order breaks down and criminals move in. Stable neighborhoods can change in a few months to jungles.
We all make mistakes. College-age students are expected to make a number of mistakes and to test a few boundaries during their transition to full and responsible adulthood. The adjudication process is in place at Fordham University to assure that you learn from mistakes, subject your decisions to critical thinking and moral reasoning and to assure that our community's rights are not infringed upon during this time of learning.
One of the more common violations of our community's standards are those involving alcohol. Underage drinking, while illegal, is sometimes assumed to be a harmless crime. Even a brief examination of statistics associated with sexual assault, vandalism, fights, car accidents and other less innocent-seeming tragedies among college age students shows this to be a serious misunderstanding. Fordham has not only a responsibility to enforce the legal drinking age on its campus, but a moral responsibility to directly and forcefully address underage use and abuse of alcohol because it is a root cause of serious harm to students.