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      USC students paying big fines for alcohol violations

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Christian Thorndike and Evan Campbell are nearing the end of their college days .

      During their time at the University of South Carolina they've noticed drinking becoming a major problem for the university.

      "It's more prevalent on our campus than it is other places. I've visited some of my friends at other colleges and it does seem to be a bigger part of the culture here at USC," said Campbell.

      "We're an SEC school and I think that kinda has our own classification. Everyone thinks an SEC school is a party school, really big in the south, lot's of beer that kind of thing," said Thorndike.

      The two USC upperclassmen have been working in the schools student conduct office for several years.

      When they first started working they saw a revolving door of the same students facing alcohol violations.

      They say a mere $50 fine didn't discourage students from over indulging.

      "A lot of repeat offenders who would have just multiple cases and it just seemed like nothing was getting through to them," said Campbell.

      "If they're seeing it at the residence halls, if they don't fee like the institution is taking a stand or the institution is concerned that's contributing to an environment that maintains and sustains that behavior," said Alisa Ligget.

      Ligget is the director of student conduct at USC.

      She says last fall students started seeing stiffer penalties for drinking to much or drinking under age.

      She says after working with students, faculty and seeing how similar schools impose penalties, USC raised their fines to $250 for each alcohol offense and notified parents.

      Ligget says the university wants students to know the decisions they make now have real world consequences

      "We want to teach them character, we want them to be good productive citizens, we want them to make sure that they're able to go out into the world and say you know what I might have made a mistake but the institution helped me through that and I'm a better person for it," concludes Ligget.

      The new policy also blocks students who are ejected from sporting events from getting tickets later in the season.