A recent report has ranked the University of New Hampshire (UNH) number two in the nation for most on campus drug and alcohol related arrests, second only to Shippensburg University by a margin of .4 arrests per 1,000 students.
The report, titled “College Campus Crimes,” is derived from a survey conducted by Project Know, an organization that focuses on drug and alcohol addiction. According to the report, UNH averages 29 arrests per 1,000 students, a statistic that puts the college at almost five times above the average for New Hampshire campuses which averages at just six arrests per 1,000 students. The national average reported for 2016 was 3.4 arrests per 1,000 students.
Project Know points out in the report that the states with the highest reported numbers of average arrests are primarily rural states. The rural nature of New Hampshire makes it understandable that UNH would find itself topping the arrest charts, as there seems to be a strong correlation between rural isolation and alcohol consumption. The smallest state in the nation by population is Wyoming, and on average 17 students per 1,000 were arrested on campuses there; the highest average rate for any state.
“Alcohol-related offenses were the most common by a large margin,” Senior Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students John T. Kirkpatrick said, who also noted the 1,181 arrests in 2016. In the year the report references, 65 percent of campus arrests were students at UNH with the remainder being outsiders.
“The university identifies alcohol consumption patterns and trends as serious, ongoing concerns given lasting damage to students and the ways it can affect student academic performance and career prospects,” Kirkpatrick said when asked where UNH stands on the matter. He also explained the actions UNH has undertaken to address the issue.
“Accordingly, UNH devotes considerable energy and resources in preventative public health education about alcohol consumption and co-occurring problems,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick added that nearly one-third of students at UNH do not drink alcohol, a finding reported by a survey from Living Well Services, a part of UNH Health & Wellness Services.
One possible indication of a success for the university is the low rate of recidivism seen for those arrested on campus. Evidently lessons are learned by these individuals as they are unlikely to reoffend on campus again.