A study released Friday by addiction resource group ProjectKnow says that Coastal Carolina University had the highest combined reported per-capita rate of referral for disciplinary actions and liquor law violations in the country in 2015.
The study looked at all four-year, nonprofit colleges and universities with more than 10,000 students and used publicly reported 2015 crime data to measure the number of liquor and drug law violations per 10,000 students at each school.
2015 is the most recent year for which data is available.
By the numbers
Coastal Carolina had the highest total number of reported per-capita liquor law violations in the United States at 1,070, according to the study.
The school was second in referrals for disciplinary action at 922 and fifth in liquor law violation arrests at 148, the study said.
According to Dean of Students Travis Overton, not every referral results in a punishment.
“A referral is any documented incident that is handled through the student conduct process,” Dean of Students Travis Overton said in an email. “Staff members review all reported violations and take appropriate action. We educate our students and campus community to be proactive in reporting alcohol and drug offenses and other high-risk behavior.”
According to The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, referrals should only be included if they are violations of law, and should not be included if they’re only violations of campus policy.
Marquette University in Wisconsin ranked first in the study in per-capita disciplinary referrals at 930 and Minnesota State University, Mankato ranked first in arrests at 190.
Coastal Carolina also ranked second in the nation in the study in per-capita drug law violations, with 330 arrests and disciplinary referrals per 10,000 students.
According to campus crime data, the number of liquor law violation referrals at Coastal increased 53 percent between 2010 and 2015 and liquor law arrests increased 24 percent.
Drug arrests increased 95 percent and drug referrals increased 105 percent in that span.
During that time period, the student population increased 21 percent.
Lee Carter, associate director for alcohol and other drugs prevention services said in an email that CCU requires all incoming students to participate in an online classes and watch presentation on the consequences of drug and alcohol use.
“Additionally, CCU has an active social norming [Sic] campaign which addresses the misperceptions that many students have about how much college students drink,” Carter said in an email. “This campaign is run by students for students and highlights the fact that the vast majority of CCU students do not use alcohol in a high-risk way. CCU also participates in the countywide CAST (Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow) program, which focuses on underage drinking and drug prevention.”
South Carolina schools
Here’s how other schools in the state stack up:
Liquor law violation referrals and arrests per 10,000 students
Coastal Carolina University: 1,070
Clemson University: 245
College of Charleston: 236
University of South Carolina, Columbia: 117
Drug law violation referrals and arrests per 10,000 students:
Coastal Carolina University: 330
Clemson University: 103
College of Charleston: 78
University of South Carolina, Columbia: 75
About the study
The study was conducted by ProjectKnow, it says, in order to help identify the culture of college campuses.
According to ProjectKnow, “it’s important that students and parents understand the possible risks alcohol and substance abuse can cause as well as equip them with information on how to seek help if they need it.”
The study says it uses data reported in compliance with the Clery Act, which requires schools receiving federal funding to publish on-campus and near-campus crime data.