State University College at Oneonta students said Monday that they do not feel drugs and alcohol are serious problems at the college, despite a report that the university is No. 1 in the nation for on-campus drug and alcohol-related arrests.
Almost all students interviewed on campus Monday were aware of the online report, which is the result of a “Drugs on Campus” project conducted by Rehabs.com, a website that seeks to help addicts find the best treatment program. Online magazine Business Insider picked up the report on Friday, further investigating the study and talking to the project organizer.
SUNY Oneonta students said the news was spread “all over campus” via Facebook and Twitter over the weekend. Some students said it had been mentioned in classes. Although almost all said they knew about the report, many seemed hesitant to believe the ranking.
Sophie McCarthy, a cheerleader at SUNY Oneonta, said she heard about the report from a friend, who had seen it on Twitter. McCarthy said she found the ranking “shocking” and “strange.”
“It’s hard to believe,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never seen anyone arrested on campus.”
Two male SUNY Oneonta students who wished to remain anonymous said they had heard about the report through Facebook.
“It’s probably true … I live off campus now, but when I lived on campus I saw a few different people get arrested,” one of the students said.
Drugs on Campus project leader Jon Millward told Business Insider on Friday that the data used to create the study’s map was from the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, which tracks campus crime reports.
According to the Drugs on Campus website, the Office of Postsecondary Education maintains a Campus Safety and Security Statistics database. Crime statistics are submitted annually, with the most recent data from 2011, according to the website. Based on the database’s numbers, SUNY Oneonta was ranked No. 1, with 13.61 arrests per 1,000 students.