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Report Lists Colleges With the Most Drug and Alcohol Arrests

While these top-ranking schools may seem like institutions to avoid, the schools say there's a good reason why so many of their students get busted for alcohol and drugs.

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By Bryan Le

03/31/14

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Is your alma mater a top ranking school? Drawing data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, a new list ranks colleges by who has the most alcohol arrests, drug arrests, and various other crimes for 2012.

University of Washington at La Crosse tops the list of schools with the most on-campus alcohol arrests per 1,000 students, toppling its sister school, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, which earned the distinction the previous year. But according to the new rankings, having the most alcohol arrests doesn't necessarily mean that the school had the highest amount of arrest-worthy incidents. Scott Rhode, police chief at UW-La Crosse, has said that it's actually effective policing that makes his school's alcohol arrest rate so high.

"Most University of Wisconsin campuses have fully commissioned police departments, so citations are issued when underage drinking is identified," Rhode said. "Nationally, private and public colleges may have security departments that may choose to issue a warning in lieu of a citation. Licensed police will ticket on the first offense."

After a citation, a student at UW-La Crosse can either complete a two hour educational program, write a 750 word essay, or meet with the dean of students. The result is that 90 percent of students who receive one drinking citation never receive another.

As for the most drug arrests per 1,000 students, the State of New York University at Oneonta earned the top spot. Of course, they made the same argument as UW-La Crosse - it's not that there's more drug use on their campus, but better anti-drug policing.

"Our position, plain and clear, is that illegal drugs have no place at SUNY Oneonta," said SUNY Oneonta spokesman Hal Legg. "The information...demonstrates our commitment to that position, our effectiveness in policing, and the decisiveness of our response when we find illegal drugs here."

Other winners include Southern University and A&M topping the list with the most burglaries, Grambling State University with the most assaults, and Princeton University with the most forcible sex offenses.

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