ISU, NORMAL, and college kids

By:  Diane Benjamin

Is ISU a Police State for students?  I’ve heard stories of dorm rooms open in Watterson and a cop pops his head in to look for contraband.  Actions like that don’t encourage good relations between  students and the police.

I decided to do a Freedom of Information request for the fines assessed against students.  This is the response:

We maintain financial records on a fiscal year basis, therefore; we are providing you with the information for fiscal year 2014 ( July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014).  During this time the following Student Code of Conduct fines were assessed:

Alcohol fines – 683 fines totaling $86,175.00

Drug fines – 239 fines totaling $93,855.00

4th+ offense fines (given when more than 3 offenses are committed) – 72 fines totaling $3,700.00


Jay R. Groves

Chief of Staff

Open Records Officer

That is a total of $183,730 for one school year.

What about fines levied by the Town of Normal?  They publish that information.  The entire report can be seen here:  Normal Fines report

Below are the ones that most likely apply to college students:


That totals $455,950

No, the kids shouldn’t be drinking and smoking pot.  But then the police shouldn’t be funding a large part of the department on them either.

How likely are college kids to report crimes, like rape?  It would be easier if relations between the 2 groups were better.

Just something to think about.

7 thoughts on “ISU, NORMAL, and college kids

  1. I’m not sure I follow you again, Diane?

    “the kids shouldn’t be drinking and smoking pot. But then the police shouldn’t be funding a large part of the department on them either” — makes no sense. Is it okay if the fines were given to a charity? Would you rather those who are breaking the laws pay for more of the policing instead of the taxpayers who are not breaking the laws?

    I know you like to complain about stuff a lot, but I’m not sure what your beef is here?


  2. Yeah, you are right. College kids should be unsupervised and not be held to the laws of the town of Normal. I lived in Watterson, trust me, they are only catching a very small fraction of the shit going down in these dorms, don’t even get me started on off campus apartments and frat houses, etc. Your beef here is aimed at the wrong target.


  3. Normal has at large elections. I often wish all of the isu students would register to vote and than vote in all isu students on the city council. They couldn’t be any worse than the tax and spend control freaks that are on the council now


  4. Similar findings were found at Ferguson, MO. only there the city was targeting a minority group. It was unbelievable what revenue the city was generating on fines, court fees, etc. I don’t recall where I read this at, perhaps CNN or USA Today. It all came out of the Dept. of Justice investigation. I’m sure this isn’t the only place that this goes on at. Even the figures from Normal looks like this is being done in the best interest of the city to generate steady revenue. Oh, I’m sure they would argue otherwise. The city has a pretty good amount of leeway to do this seeing how they aren’t targeting a minority group or some protected class.

    A more better punishment would be to have student do community service work. Probably most just pay the fine and brush it off as no big deal. Which that appears to be the case because less court ordered fines are being imposed. They just pay the city and they are done. While society somewhat frowns on what the students are doing most people just consider it as some phase in their life.

    A better question to ISU and the town of Normal would be what are you doing with those fines being collected.


  5. Forget the fines and expel the lawbreakers. Oh…. I ….forgot, the only thing that can get you expelled from a State University today is exercising your free speech rights, off campus, on a private bus going to a private event–at least in the politically correct police state this country has become.


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