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College Officials Take Exception To Drug Ranking

OSWEGO, NY – “Drugs On Campus,” a report by Project Know, a website that provides information about getting help for drug addictions, analyzed drug and alcohol arrests and disciplinary actions on campuses in 2013, the most recent data available. It shows that several SUNY campuses have some of the nation’s highest rates of on-campus drug arrests.

To learn more about Project Know, visit: http://www.projectknow.com/

The analysis was limited to colleges with at least 5,000 students.

Eight of the top 50 schools with the highest rate of drug arrests per capita are part of the 64-campus SUNY system; SUNY New Paltz was rated No. 1 — 13.9 per 1,000 students.

In second place is SUNY Oswego.

“The Project Know ranking looks only at drug arrests. Unlike Oswego, many colleges, especially private ones, deal with such incidents as marijuana violations not with arrests but through their internal disciplinary procedures,” said Julie Harrison Blissert, Director of Public Affairs. “SUNY Oswego’s rate of drug arrests would fall from about 12.5 to 1.5 per 1,000 if we did the same. And, we would not appear in the ranking at all. In my opinion, a fairer ranking would combine the numbers of arrests and disciplinary actions, both of which all colleges are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education.”

Part of the reason that there are so many on-campus arrests may be that each SUNY campus has an actual police force.

“The health and safety of our students is a top priority for SUNY and I am concerned that the SUNY numbers are not a true reflection of the amount of drug use happening on our campuses in comparison to others nationwide,” SUNY’s University Police Commissioner Bruce McBride told Oswego County Today. “On each of these campuses, for example, we are fortunate to have University Police forces exclusively patrolling the campus, while many other public and private institutions rely solely on local law enforcement agencies. Having a dedicated, community-oriented police department located right on campus likely results in our officers discovering or being called to incidents of recreational drug use more frequently.”

Background:

Of the 100 arrests on campus in 2013, 88 were for unlawful possession of marijuana at the violation level.

All of the students arrested faced disciplinary charges on campus in addition to going to court.

At all colleges, cases that go through law enforcement are adjudicated publicly through the local courts; cases that go through student conduct code enforcement are adjudicated confidentially through the campus disciplinary system.

“As you can see from the college’s annual report on security and safety (p. 23), 2013 drug arrests at SUNY Oswego declined a bit from 2012 and have been roughly stable over the three years covered by the report,” Blissert added. “The Project Know report numbers are based on the Clery Reports that every college in the country files with the U.S. Education Department annually. The 2013 statistics were filed in October 2014. You can find any other college’s report on its website by searching it for “Clery.”

The college’s annual report can be found here:
http://www.oswego.edu/Documents/police/asfr_2014_final.pdf

2 Comments

  1. Spin the numbers what ever way you choose … that’s what stats are all about.
    What do you want your number to say… spin it that way.
    Once it’s in print, it becomes true. After reading the story it does not sound like the college has an issue. But I read it so it must be true.
    The college tries to defend their position… They have to be wrong. The are talking about drugs. Someone studied this… who’s right and what do the numbers really say. Try to fight a unfair label, you can not win.
    It sounds like some funded study…. that will likely find more funding for more studies. That will throw labels around. This is not good for our community.
    Once info lives in print, electronically online… it never goes away. sorry Oswego. Have the guts to defend yourselves and change the system.

  2. Keep your heads in the sand SUNY Oswego administrators….thats how you fix things!
    If we ignore it….it might go away………
    i want my pension!

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