Public urination impacts campus one month into semester


Since the beginning of the semester, Rowan Public Safety has been dealing with cases of public urination. Of the 18 cases recorded since the semester began, four were either in October or August, the bulk of citations were in September.

While the crime log doesn’t give the exact location of each incident, it gives an approximate location for each citation. Most of the incidents occurred in the vicinity of the Whitney Center, 220 On the Boulevard, and the Rowan Boulevard apartment complex.

The approximate location of public urination is detailed in a screenshot of a data map. The darker the circle, the more incidences of public urination. (Data map by Matt Kass)
The approximate location of public urination is detailed in a screenshot of a data map. The darker the circle, the more incidences of public urination. (Data map by Matt Kass)

One of the most active spots was North Main Street, otherwise known as Route 553. It was written down as a location in 10 of the 19 citations. Carpenter Street was the second most active location and was named in six incidents, some of which overlapped with North Main Street.

There where also several isolated incidents around town. One of those incidents occurred on University Boulevard just off campus, one happened in the Chestnut Hall parking lot and another happened near the corner of Mick Drive and High Street West.

When asked about the reason there were eighteen citations handed out, Assistant Vice President of Public Safety and Emergency Management Michael Kantner responded via email, “I can only assume that the areas on the maps are the high volume pedestrian traffic routes of individuals leaving off-campus gatherings whether in a private or public establishment where alcohol is consumed.”

According to Kantner, there is also a procedure for handing out public urination citations. A citation is written for the offending student or citizen.

At that point, the case is turned over to a local judge. The judge has the power to impose any fine within a certain set of parameters they deem fit, depending on the severity of the incident.

Students on campus had mostly the same reaction when asked about the topic.

Erin Hernandez, a senior psychology major from Marlboro, New Jersey thinks public urination is ridiculous.

“Well first of all,” said Hernandez, “you’re not supposed to urinate in public. Regardless of who the person is, if you’re violating a law, and it’s not like a surprise law, then tickets are reasonable.”

Candice Reed, a junior psychology major from Willingboro, New Jersey agreed with Hernandez, but went one step further.

“I think public urination is disgusting. I think people should find a bathroom. It really just grosses me out,” Reed said.

Reed also noted that people looking to go to the bathroom have plenty of other options on campus.

“I understand that people have to go to the bathroom regardless, but it’s just like you can find somewhere inside, go back to your dorm, or Landmark, go inside and use the bathroom,” she said.

Erik Zapfe, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Cherry Hill, said he finds public urination disgusting as well.

“I think it’s pretty disgusting,” he said. “If you really think about it though, you’re on a college campus; people [are] going out and getting drunk, and their wits are not with them at the moment.”

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