Oxford has witnessed a violent Freshers’ Week with a spate of attacks across the city.The reports of violent incidents include the allegation that a student was attacked on New College Lane on Thursday night, though New College has not confirmed whether the victim was a member of college.One New College student said, “It’s all a bit strange – we know something happened in New College Lane on Thursday night, but they won’t tell us what, or who was involved. It’s because they don’t want to scare the freshers, but I think it would be better to be open about it – at the moment there are just loads of rumours, which are making things a lot worse.”New College JCR President Tom Scott said, “New College JCR would of course like all of its members to stay safe on the streets and be mindful of the dangers that exist in most of the UK’s urban areas, particularly at night.” However, he does not believe students will have “anything much to fear” provided “they stick to sound practices such as keeping to the main roads and in groups.” He confirmed that freshers were escorted to and from clubs during Freshers’ Week and those who were not “knew the way and went home in groups.”In a separate incident there have been reports that two students were attacked in the Turl Street area on Wednesday of Freshers’ Week. Both victims sustained multiple injuries; one spent the night in hospital and had serious head injuries. The attack is being looked into by the police; there are reports that three suspects have been arrested.In a third violent incident, a nineteen-year-old male was attacked on Pullen’s Lane just after midnight on Thursday. Four men attempted to mug the student, hitting him and pushing himto the ground when he refused to hand over his possessions. The assailants then stole his wallet and passport. His attackers are described as being around 6ft, in their mid-twenties and of Eastern European appearance. A spokesperson for Oxford Brookes said that there has been “a few incidents involving the police at the start of term.” While most of these were to do with student anti-social behavior, the spokesperson admitted there had been a more serious incident during Freshers’ Week “near one of the halls,” though they were unable to give out any further details.University welfare services and the police are urging students, particularly freshers, to take extra measures to stay safe at one of the most vulnerable times in their University career.Dani Quinn, OUSU VP for Welfare said that although these events are a matter of serious concern, “it is likely that such a high number is confined to Freshers’ Week, in what is typically a safe city for students.” She acknowledged that freshers are more vulnerable when they first arrive in Oxford, “They tend not to know their way around, are more likely to be drunk and, typically, are wearing clothing that indicates this (e.g. Freshers’ Week t-shirts that say ‘drunk’ or ‘lost’). They are also likely to be carrying more money or valuables than usual. Although this in no way excuses or condones violent or criminal behaviour, it can explain a spike at this time of year.”OUSU advise students to travel in groups at night, carry attack alarms, avoid leaving clubs at closing time and to make sure they are not listening to music or talking on the phone when walking home at night. Distractions such as phones and mp3 players not only make students more vulnerable as they are unaware of their surroundings, students are also “displaying something worth stealing.”If students are victims of an attack, they should inform their College and the Police. Quinn also pointed out that it can be helpful to contact OUSU, “so that we can bring it to the attention of the Police and the Council when lobbying for better security measures around the city.”Thames Valley Police maintain that Oxford is a generally safe city but offer advice for students going out at night, urging them to eat before they go out, avoid rounds and to hold on to their drinks to avoid spiking. Despite reports of several attacks, a spokesman from Oxford University insisted, “Oxford is a very safe place to live, work and study and violent crimes against students are rare.”
SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) 12 December 2017Statement on NSDUH State Estimates 2015-2016New Federal Data Show Legalized States Marijuana Use At Alarming Rates; Colorado Now Top State in US for First-Time Marijuana UsersOther legal states also show alarming increases in useThe average rate of regular teen marijuana use in the legalized states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington is 30% higher than the U.S. rate as a whole, according to new data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Almost a third of all 18 to 25 year olds in legal states used marijuana in the past month, up from around one-fifth ten years ago.New data released last week show Colorado as the top state in the Nation for first time marijuana users, and its rate of first time users has more than doubled in the last decade. In that state, use among people 18 and over has also skyrocketed, as well as use among young adults.Use among 12-17 year olds is slightly higher than 10 years ago (though lower versus last year).Monthly use has also gone up in Washington by 10% since last year, and in virtually all legal marijuana states since before legalization, among household residents 12 and older.Young adult use skyrocketingOf particular concern was the fact that the use rate among 18 to 25 year olds has increased across the board. In Colorado, almost half of young adults used marijuana at least once in the past year, up from 37% in 2005. Washington DC’s number is 51%, up from 30% in 2005 – representing a more than 50% increase in users. In Oregon, use is up in this category more than 10% versus last year, and it is up 50% in the past ten years.Teen use still a concernIn Colorado, 7.6% of 12 to 17 year olds used marijuana in the past month in 2005-2006, compared to 9.1% currently. While that number is lower than in recent years, we do not know how many of these users are heavy users. National estimates have reported significant increases in the number of heavy marijuana users in the U.S. Medical marijuana became commercialized around 2009. In Oregon, youth monthly use is up since last year, and in Washington it is up since 2008-2009.Adult use is a major problemFor adults, many of whom drive regularly and are in the U.S. workplace, marijuana use can be a public health and safety hazard. Adult monthly use has increased in Colorado and Oregon almost 40% since legalization, and yearly use has also increased across all legal states since laws have changed.https://learnaboutsam.org/new-state-data-legalization-states-show-higher-marijuana-use-versus-u-s-whole/ Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.