By Carmen Perry
A recent study conducted by the news reporting and opinion website The Daily Beast has given the College a new standing in the world of drug culture: Kenyon has been named the fifth “druggiest college” in America, coming behind Bryant University, Dartmouth College, Denison University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, which earned places fourth through first, respectively.
An increasing number of Kenyon students, and terse Internet commenters, however, are questioning the accuracy of the analysis, based on the methods by which the website computed its rankings.
“We are disappointed by this piece of news, especially since Kenyon was not even listed in the top 50 schools the previous year,” Substance Abuse Educator and Counselor Mike Durham said. “But when we look at the metrics used to develop this survey, we begin to question its value.”
The Daily Beast based 40 percent of its ranking on “drug safety” grades from College Prowler, a website that solicits information on colleges from the students who attend them. The number of on-campus, drug-related arrests per year relative to the size of the school and the prevalence of drug use by 18-25 year olds in each college’s state accounted for 40 and 20 percent of the scores, respectively. As a result, Ohio’s 13th place spot on the list of states with the most arrests for methamphetamines factored into Kenyon’s rating.
“The difference maker from last year’s survey to this one is probably ‘the number of arrests,’ which may suggest that law enforcement is active in this particular geographic area,” Durham said. “The number one drug of choice on our campus is alcohol, with marijuana a distant second. When it comes to alcohol and drug use, most students tell us that we’re probably very similar to other colleges of our size and caliber, but if even one student is struggling with problems associated with drug use, then we have a problem,and our campus is eager and ready to respond with treatment and support.”
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