Josh Meribole- Staff Writer
Police officers cut short a Halloween dance at the Terrace View Event Center on Saturday night, arresting at least three college students, including two from Dordt, for public intoxication and possession under legal age.
According to city arrest records obtained by the Diamond, Sioux Center Police arrested juniors Alex Werkhoven from Monroe, Washington and Spencer Schrock from Wellman, Iowa. Police also cited but did not arrest two additional Dordt students for possession under legal age.
Beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, more than 400 people, including students from Dordt and Northwestern, headed to Terrace View to enjoy the Halloween celebration. After paying a $10 entry fee, Dordt student Rachel Struiksma approached the dance floor. When she walked in the room, waves of light nearly drove her blind. Many dancers knitted themselves tighter in circles and clusters, bodies moving in time with the blaring music that suppressed attendees’ voices. The faint smell of alcohol filled the room.
Music remixes and the flashing of disco lights stopped around midnight, however, when police officers and ambulances arrived.
Sioux Center Police Chief Paul Adkins reported that alcohol-related abuse, like that which occurred at the Halloween dance, is one of the most frequent violations committed by college students in the community.
Schrock, a junior at Dordt, told the Diamond that the police arrested him, directed him into the back of a squad car and an officer questioned him. The officer then determined that Schrock needed medical attention. Authorities called an ambulance.
After giving Schrock an IV injection and running blood tests, hospital employees gave the student a simple prescription: hydrate. Schrock said he then traveled across town to the Sioux County Jail, where he spent the night in a jail cell after authorities questioned him further. He said officials released him at 9:00 on Sunday morning.
Concerning the events of Saturday night, Adkins said that although the organizers of the event checked for IDs to verify the attendees’ legal age, 21-year-olds could easily pass their purchased alcoholic beverages to minors. Adkins added that although many people were not happy about his decision, he had to shut down the event when public safety became an issue.
Struiksma danced at Terrace View for about an hour. Although she described the event as fun, she said that she noticed that some people were drunk. When police arrived and brought the party to a halt, many college students, Struiksma included, left disappointed at not getting their money’s worth of celebration.
Sioux Center is a community of less than 8,000 residents, and being a college town that number grows to more than 9,000 when Dordt’s school year begins. The crime rate does increase during the college’s school year, but not by any significant amount, and crimes committed by Dordt students are different than those committed by fulltime community residents. While college students are often cited for
alcohol and substance abuse, the local population gets in trouble with the law for traffic violations, theft and operating a motor vehicle under the influence.
Adkins said he understands that college is a time when people “find their niche in life.” It’s also one of the first environments where young adults live free from the shackles of parental authority. But although college students may enjoy their newfound freedom, Adkins said students must remember that their actions have consequences.
The Diamond also contacted Werkhoven who declined to comment on record.