U. Ranks 5th in U.S. for Drug Arrests!

U. Ranks 5th in U.S. for Drug Arrests!
Posted by FoM on July 05, 1999 at 10:21:30 PT
But statistics may not indicate a trend
Source: Deseret News
The University of Utah ranks fifth highest among the nation's campuses for drug-related arrests, while the percentage of such arrests connected to it and other Utah colleges rose more dramatically than was the case at schools nationwide in 1997.
The U. led a statewide rise of 17 percent in campus drug arrests. The numbers at the university itself increased nearly 30 percent in 1997 to 126. Nationally, the number of drug arrests rose 7.2 percent, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education and an expanded analysis of Utah college crime data by the Deseret News.    The U. ranked fifth among four-year schools with high drug-arrest rates. The University of California at Berkeley tops the list with 179 arrests, followed by San Jose State University, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.   Sgt. Lynn Mitchell of the University of Utah police department said the statistics may not indicate any significant trend.   "The numbers go up and down," Mitchell said.   Mitchell cautioned that the reported figures may include arrests by university police officers elsewhere in Salt Lake County. A single bust at a party can often skew statistics.   Along with the U., the other single largest drug-arrest increase was at Dixie College in St. George, where arrests rose from three in 1996 to 23 in 1997.   Some Utah colleges also followed the national trend with increases in liquor-related arrests in the study period, including rises at Utah State University in Logan, Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Weber State University in Ogden and Utah Valley State College in Orem. The overall numbers dropped 15.3 percent, with decreases at the University of Utah and the College of East- ern Utah.   In total, there were 482 liquor-related and 366 drug-related arrests during the two-year reporting period.   The numbers, the most current available for all schools, also show that Utah campuses aren't free from violent crime, including forcible sexual assault.   In all, 46 assaults  most of them involving rape  were reported by Utah universities and colleges during 1996 and 1997. Utah State University had the highest number of reported sexual assaults  12, with most of them attributed to one suspect. There were no murders reported during that period. The U. reported seven forcible sexual assaults and Brigham Young University five.   While safety experts said low reported crime figures are no reason to become complacent, Utah's smaller schools appear to have the best safety records. Westminster College, on Salt Lake City's east side, reported only one crime  a single burglary  over the two-year reporting period. Snow College's relatively clean record in 1997 was tarnished by one non-forcible sexual assault, five burglaries and six drug- or alcohol-related arrests.   Carolyn Perkins, Westminster's dean of students, said that despite the low numbers, administrators at her school go to great lengths to make sure the campus is secure, including lighting every corner of campus, offering night-escort services and sponsoring speakers to talk about how to avoid sexual assault.   "You can't create a false sense of security. . . . We may not be safe anywhere," Perkins said, pointing to the recent shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School and the LDS Church Family History Library in Salt Lake City.   BYU was also an anomaly in state and national surveys, reporting among the lowest crime and arrest figures for schools its size. University officials vouched for the numbers' accuracy, saying that when a crime is committed or an arrest made, they are reported in the federally mandated figures.   Teetotaling BYU only reported one alcohol-related arrest and four drug-related arrests. Even then, officials said most violations are attributed to outsiders not affiliated with the school. Other violations of university policy that are not criminal are not reported in the figures.   BYU Police Chief Robert W. Kelshaw credits a three-year decrease in most major crimes to an additional 100 part-time security officers on campus. He also said the school's mandatory ecclesiastical endorsement of students has led to a reduction in crime. Students pledge to honor LDS Church standards, including abstinence from alcohol and drugs.   Experts on campus safety warn against using the data to make comparisons among campuses or concluding that a campus with a relatively low number of crimes is safe while one with a high number is dangerous. In addition, they say, reporting has been improving. And the fact that such statistics are required to be reported at all is significant, said Daniel Carter, vice president of Security on Campus, a national campus crime victims' rights group.   "It is important that students have a right to know what crimes happen on their campuses so they can make an informed decision about what precautions they need to take," Carter said. "It is also important for campus administrators to have crime reported so they can allocate resources to confront the problem."   Carter's group lobbied for passage of the federal Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 and a 1992 amendment to the act. Under the law, colleges and universities are required to report crimes in 10 categories. That number will expand next year, along with more reporting on students referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor-, drug- and weapons-law violations.   Utah schools usually report crime statistics to incoming students and some post the yearly statistics on the school's Web site. The U. and UVSC post police reports online as well.   In some cases, higher numbers in reports might indicate better reporting or stricter enforcement. For example, the College of Eastern Utah may have higher arrest numbers than some larger schools, but the school has a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, said CEU Police Chief Phyl Johnson.   "It's like comparing apples and elephants," Perkins said of some of the problems with the crime data.Sunday, July 04, 1999By Joel CampbellDeseret News staff writer
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 05, 1999 at 10:24:55 PT:
U. Ranks 5th in U.S. for Drug Arrests
Here is the direct link to the above article.
U. Ranks 5th in U.S. for Drug Arrests
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