Ryan Hendrikson, Staff Writer
On January 31, Rehabs.com released a study showing which colleges across the United States had the most on campus arrests for drugs and alcohol. Citing the Office of Postsecondary Education, the study concluded that SUNY Oneonta was at the very top of the list for on campus drug arrests. Once Rehabs.com launched the story, it was then picked up by the well known website, Businessinsider.com. From there, word spread quickly throughout Oneonta of our placement at the top of the not so prestigious list.
Since then, both the SUNY Oneonta administration and the student body have been able to respond to the study. Some see the statistics as a point of pride, other students view it as proof that the college is far too strict with its enforcement, while others still question the validity of the report.
The monicker “Stoneonta” is well-known by many college-aged students across New York. However, some students were surprised with Rehabs.com’s statistics. When asked about the new study, the student body had mixed reactions. With the study reporting that 13.6 out of every 1,000 Oneonta students are arrested for drug charges, many are likely to have a strong opinion on the subject. One anonymous student, when asked what they thought of the new study stated, “Who cares? Let people smoke.” Another sarcastically retorted, “Good job, Oneonta police.” However, other students had a different view of being the number one school in the country for drug arrests, with one saying that they believed that “The study looks good for the school. It means that the police are doing their job.”
While the student body may have very mixed views on the subject, the administration has come forward with their own response to the Rehabs.com report. When questioned by local reporters, SUNY Oneonta stated that the findings demonstrate the school’s effectiveness in enforcing the law. The school spokesman then went on to say that other factors could have affected the study, such as the fact that laws vary from state to state and as a result the level of enforcement may vary.
A good example of the level of enforcement present at SUNY Oneonta can be taken from the testimony of one college student who was willing to share his story of an encounter with the University Police Department. According to the student, he had gone off campus to smoke marijuana. Upon returning to his dorm, he walked by the front desk where the night host was present. Within an hour, UPD was knocking on his door.
As pointed out by SUNY Oneonta, while Rehabs.com’s findings have become the talk of the campus, other factors must be taken into consideration. On Rehabs.com’s website, it states that the study applied to schools with a student body of at least 5,000 students. On top of this, very few, if any, of the colleges on the list were private schools. Either the students who attend private schools never use drugs, are too smart to get caught with drugs or the schools do not report their crimes. Either way, all of these issues undoubtedly skewed the results.