University nationally ranked for alcohol violations on campus, stronger enforcement could be at fault

The Rocket
February 6, 2014

According to a report recently released in Business Insider, Slippery Rock University ranked number seven out of all the schools in the United States for on campus alcohol arrests per 1,000 students.

The numbers for this article were compiled from the U.S. Department of Education using their statistics from 2011.

But Slippery Rock wasn’t the only PASSHE school to be featured in the ‘top ten’ of the list. Shippensburg, Bloomsburg and West Chester also top the list.

But why would a little school like Slippery Rock University be so high on a nationally-ranked listing of unversities? Are we really a bunch of alcoholics?

We don’t think so. We think that being a dry campus, our enforcement style is different from other, larger schools. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Between highly trained Community Assistants on the watch for alcohol violations on every floor of every residence hall and Campus Police on the prowl throughout high traffic areas on campus, students have very little room to abuse alcohol.

We think that our heightened enforcement tactics are definitely playing into our higher arrest rate, but there are other factors to be considered as well.

Putting the notion that SRU may or may not be a ‘party school’ aside, let us consider the options students have for drinking in town.

The number of bars in the Borough can be counted on one hand. Only one of these establishments are actually frequented by the majority of college students. Another avenue for drinking is at parties – whether at a house or large apartment complex. And then there is, of course, more private drinking that takes place, well, at home. And for many students ‘home’ is in a dorm.

But when actually taking into consideration the number of places there are to drink in the vicinity of campus, they are few in number and all very close to the boundaries of campus.

Essentially, the point here is that there is nowhere to go to drink to be out of sight of law enforcement officers.

You can run, but you can’t hide.

So, between our heightened enforcement and our lack of a ‘bar district’ in our small college town, that is why we think our alcohol violation rates are high. Not because Slippery Rock University has a reputation as a big ‘party school’ and not because we are harboring a slew of alcoholics.

And now, a brief interruption from your regularly scheduled staff editorial to bring you this important message:

Drawstring bags do not conceal anything. Not beer cans, liquor bottles, water bottles filled with “water”. When you’re walking around late at night carrying a bulgy bag on your back, everyone knows what you’re doing. And they know what is in the bag. So quit thinking you’re so sneaky or you’ll wind up with an underage or open container citation.

And now to continue with the regularly schedule staff ed:

What do you think? The  most recent numbers suggest SRU is currently ranked 16th. Tweet the @SRURocket with #opinion for a chance to be featured in The Rocket’s opinion pages. 

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