Xavier Hall, 7:58 p.m.
I approach two students standing outside the entrance to the dorm, abruptly interrupting their conversation.
“Can you guys help me out with something?” I said. They hesitate, exchange a shifty glimpse, mumble a bit and nod. Although I couldn’t help but juxtapose the rather primitive communication between the two with that of cavemen, I proceed into the building alongside my narcotic escort. When we arrive, the student introduces me to one of the many connections in the hall.
“What do you need?” the freshman said.
This freshman acknowledges the demand for marijuana on campus. “It’s very easy to sell. If I see someone hanging out and having a good time, I’ll just ask them if they need anything,” the freshman said.
This experiment has come in light of the recent arrest of a student for possessing Xanax, a drug prescribed for patients that suffer from anxiety. Many students are unaware of these happenings, but it has not deterred students from participating in the business.
Woodcrest, 8:12 p.m.
Moving along, I proceed to the first open door I can find, seeking assistance once again. In a stunning repeat performance, the two students prehistorically converse and conclude. “Hold on a second,” one of the students said.
“I don’t have anything to sell, but I can make a phone call,” the freshman said. “Nobody in Woodcrest sells drugs, they all buy it from other people on campus.” This student reports that the use of illicit drugs on campus is frequent yet not excessive. “I know people who smoke weed everyday, who do coke everyday,” the freshman said. “I don’t think it’s a big problem, but it can interfere with their studies.”
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Marijuana is readily available in varying quantities in Pennsylvania such that it is easily obtained and used by individuals from a variety of ethnic populations and socioeconomic sectors.” New Residence Hall, 8:23 p.m.
I stroll through the doors and flag down the first person to pass me by. “Hey, do you know where…?” Realizing that there is an on-duty Residence Assistant within 10 feet of me, I try to be as inconspicuous as possible; I hesitate, and with a dubious squint, raise, and then wrinkle my brow.
“Try that hallway,” the student said.
I’m good…real good.
Overconfident about my newfound means of communication, I enter the first open room I come across.
“So…uh…(simultaneously wrinkling and nodding) would you guys be able to help me out with something?” I said. Rejection was pouring from their blank stares, yet for some unknown reason I remained optimistic. “You know…some drugs?” I said.
“We don’t do drugs,” one said, most likely concerned about my facial epilepsy.
Not so good. I think I went overboard with the wrinkle/nod duo.
I continue down the hall to the next open room and proceed with my request. “Yes, definitely,” the sophomore said.
She shoots, she scores.
This sophomore thinks that although marijuana is considered the most prevalent drug on campus, there are other drugs being used. “A lot of people hide coke, but they’re more open with pot because it’s more acceptable,” the sophomore said. The student says that even a less popular drug may only be two or three phones calls away.
House 1, 8:34 p.m.
Coming up empty handed with the first room I visit, the students point me in the direction of a potential seller.
Although unable to help me, the second room of students direct me down the hall to a room where I “may hit something.” I approach the door, wait momentarily, and proceed to ask for assistance.
“What kind of drugs?” the sophomore said.
Who’s your daddy?
This student explains that, at the most, it would take two phone calls to fulfill my request; however, it will require a short walk because “no one in House 1 sells anything, not that I know of,” the sophomore said.
House 2, 8:40
As I walk through the doors, I spot my first potential informants. “Hey, can either of you point me in the direction of some drugs?” I said. The rather indignant response reminded me of blatant stupidity.
“I’m an RA,” one of the students said.
After I remove the foot from my mouth, I cut down a hallway and slowly walk along the succession of doors, listening for signs of life. I find a student who is able to help me, but their source was off campus, so I ventured on. Stopping the next student I see, I ask if he would be able to add to my hypothetical stash.
“Yeah, what do you want?” the sophomore said.
This is almost too easy.
The student explains that in House 2 alone, there are at least 20 people to go to when in need. “It’s a small campus and everyone knows everybody,” the student said.
House 3, 8:49 p.m.
I come across an open door and make my move. “Would you be able to help me find any drugs?” I said. The student laughs.
“What kind of drugs?” the junior said.
Shake what your mamma gave ya.
As I express astonishment in my successes as of yet, the student is not the least bit surprised. “For the most part, it takes about 5 minutes to get drugs on campus. Just make a phone call and take a walk to one of the houses.” The junior does not think that this accessibility is a concern. “I don’t think our campus is any different than any other college campus. There’s not much to do around here so it’s kind of like ‘Okay…let’s get stoned,'” the student said.
House 4, 8:55 p.m.
I walk down a hall to find two students that are unable to provide for me. “I don’t do drugs, but try two doors down and you’ll probably find something,” the student said. On my way, I stop another student.
I advance toward the suggested abode and propose my inquiry. The student opens a drawer and tosses a small bag of marijuana onto the desk.
This student feels that drug use on campus is far from being a problem. “A lot of people smoke on occasion. It’s not that big of a deal,” the student said. This junior says that if a student has a drug problem, it’s obvious to those around them. “If your friends aren’t noticing then it’s not that bad,” the student said.
House 5, 9:04 p.m.
I mosey along the walkway, eyeing up two students on the front steps of the house. “So, I’m looking for something, would either of you be able to help me out?” I said.
“What kind of drugs?” one said.
They estimate that more than half of the students living in House 5 habitually use illegal drugs, but “don’t think that it’s out of control.” One of the students points out that even though no one in the house sells drugs, it doesn’t hinder their ability to obtain anything that they want. “If it’s not a phone call away, it’s a house away,” one of the students said.
House 6, 9:09 p.m.
I enter a room in close, extremely close, proximity to the RA’s room. I deliver my spiel concentrating on the RA logo displayed on the door.
“It’d take about ten minutes, but it’d be there,” the student said.
House 7, 9:14 p.m.
The door of the house shuts behind me, followed by desperate pounding. I turn around to see three students eagerly awaiting my generosity. I acknowledge that if they belonged in the house, they wouldn’t need my assistance; after all, how many Loquitur stories have been written about propping doors. Nonetheless, the release bar of the door collides into my hand.
“Yo, do you have a blunt?” one of the students asked, directing the question towards me.
“Do you have any drugs?” I said.
“I will in a minute,” the student said. The trio continues on their way as I stake out a transaction of my own-this student is more than willing to help me out.
The senior confesses that she is not impressed with the drug scene at Cabrini. “Compared to other schools, it’s not bad at all. I actually expected it to be worse,” the student said.
CAC, 9:25 p.m.
I enter an apartment and speak my piece to the four students before me. The answer is unanimous; yes.
The students estimate that at least 75 percent of the residents in the CAC use some sort of illegal drug. “At anytime of the day they’ll be stoned out of their mind. It doesn’t faze them,” one of the students said. The roommates agree that alcohol is a much larger problem than drug use on campus. “There hasn’t been any hospital visits due to drugs. There has been for alcohol though,” another student said.
While returning to the newsroom from my Cabrini cartel expedition, I figured I’d give it one last shot.
Founder’s Hall, 9:39 p.m.
I walked into a classroom of students and with noticeable volume addressed my needs.
“I can get you drugs,” one student said.
“What do you need?” another said.
12 for 12.