In an early morning drug bust on the Texas Christian University campus, 17 students were arrested — a record number for the school — for allegedly dealing drugs including marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, acid and prescription drugs such as Xanax and hydrocodone.
The arrests were the result of a six-month investigation conducted by the Fort Worth Police Department in conjunction with TCU campus police into drug selling in an around the TCU campus. According to university officials, 17 of the students have been "separated" from the TCU campus and face expulsion if found guilty.
TCU Police Chief Steven McGee said in a press conference this morning that there was "no doubt" that the students arrested were drug dealers.
The group is made up entirely of undergraduate students. Some are members of fraternities, and four of the 17 are on the TCU football team. Officials said that is not clear at this point the extent to which the individuals and their activities are connected. They said that the investigation is ongoing and more arrests could be made.
"I think this is a very clear message to everyone in this community that we’re not going to tolerate it," said TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini at the press conference. "If you want to do this kind of thing, you can’t go to TCU."
Boschini notified the TCU community of the developments in a campus-wide email early this morning. In it, he indicated that the school will begin looking into new drug prevention programs.
"There is no doubt that it will hurt to see our name associated with this type of behavior," Boschini wrote. "But we must not allow this moment to define us."
Here is Boschini's memo:
Dear Campus Community,
Early today the Fort Worth Police Department and TCU Campus Police concluded an investigation into drug selling on and around campus that unfortunately led to the arrest of many current TCU students.
While this news is certainly shocking and disappointing, it is important to remember that TCU has clear expectations for its students: that they behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law. These students are charged with acting in a manner that is incompatible with TCU values and against the law. That is simply unacceptable and such reported behavior is not tolerated at this University.
We have a responsibility to ensure that our campus environment is free of such behavior. Today's actions highlight that responsibility. The students involved were immediately separated from TCU and criminally trespassed from campus. Further, according to University policy, students arrested and found in violation of distributing drugs are subject to immediate expulsion from TCU.
TCU has never before experienced a magnitude of student arrests such as this. In fact, Campus Police records show only five student arrests related to drug law violations in recent years. I have asked our vice chancellor for student affairs, Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, to examine whether any new programs or procedures need to be implemented to curtail this type of behavior in the future. The Fort Worth Police Department also has offered to help in these efforts.
Today's events have forever changed the lives of the involved students, and we hope they will find a healthy way to move forward. Also, the next couple of weeks will be tough for the TCU family. There is no doubt that it will hurt to see our name associated with this type of behavior. But we must not allow this moment to define us. We must remember that we are overwhelmingly a community of dedicated students, faculty and staff and focused on changing the world through our collective work and commitment to leadership.
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr.
Editor's note: This story has been changed to clarify that no graduate students were arrested.