Appalachian ranks high for drug-related, alcohol arrests among peer institutions

Anne Buie

The university ranks high compared to peer institutions for drug violation arrests and alcohol violations arrests but low in arson accounts, according to the 2011 University Police crime statistics.

Comparing the results with four of Appalachian’s peer institutions, Rowan University of N.J., California State University-Chico, Bowling Green State University of Ohio, and Sam Houston University of Texas, Appalachian State had the highest accounts reported in drug violations arrests with 142 on-campus arrests and the second highest alcohol violation arrests with 233 arrests in 2011.

Appalachian was behind Rowan University, which had 477 alcohol violation arrests.

BGSU had the highest accounts of arson with 13 accounts, while Appalachian had zero accounts of arson.

Capt. Mike Campbell from the BGSU police department said they changed the definition of arson in 2011, which is what “spiked that crime statistic.”

“If someone set a piece of paper on fire with a lighter, we used to count that as a criminal misconduct, but we changed it to arson,” Campbell said.

Matthew Robinson, professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies and coordinator of the criminal justice program, has lived and taught in Boone for 15 years.

“Appalachian has a very safe campus, with very little serious violent crime,” Robinson said.

There may be more drug use here, but without a self-report survey, there is no way to know for sure, Robinson said.

“Sexual assault is vastly under-reported, so there is unfortunately more of it than is shown in police crime data, but even that is fairly rare,” Robinson said.

Story: KASI MITCHELL, News Reporter