New Times: What is the campus like during the summer?
Watton: Summer is pretty quiet for us as far as the numbers of people that we have here. Of course, we in the police department still work all year long but it does give us an opportunity to get things done that we put off through the year. In most municipal policing it’s the other way around; summer is the busy time.
New Times: Are you expecting any big events like another SLOtopia over the summer?
Watton: I have not heard of anything, no.
New Times: How long are the construction projects on campus going to last?
Watton: Well the University Union project is just now starting and that’s going to be at least a year long. Toward the end of that the Rec Center will begin and that’s a complete remodel. That will last about a year.
New Times: Of the total number of violations on campus, how many would you say are alcohol-related?
Watton: Percentage-wise, I couldn’t really say exactly. It is increasing somewhat but that trend is consistent with what’s going on in other CSUs and UCs. I think we are at roughly 85 drunk-driving arrests since the beginning of the school year and I think drunk in public is probably twice that.
New Times: Is it true that the university police have more authority than, say, the SLO PD?
Watton: Yes and no. We’re a police department like any municipal police agency. We do have certain laws on campus we can enforce that others cannot through the education code. If somebody is causing a problem on campus we can remove them from campus and cities and counties can’t do that. But basically it’s the same authority.
New Times: Do you have any words of advice for students who are sticking around over the summer but not taking courses?
Watton: I guess my first advice would be to get a summer job. One, it gives them some spending money and two, it keeps them busy so they don’t have time to do nothing and get themselves in trouble. And if they’re staying, why not go to summer school?