By Kelly Senter:

We love being nationally renowned here at University of Wisconsin–Stout, and now we get to add a new title to our already scrolling list. Drumroll please…  UW–Stout has the second highest alcohol-related arrests in the nation!

Not exactly the moral booster you were hoping for, right? And to make matters worse, when a student gets caught, they not only get an underage drinking ticket (if applicable), but they have to go through the housing conduct system as well. When the offense is more serious, that lucky person gets to visit the Dean of Students office. When I said ‘luck,’ I definitely meant the bad kind. That little vacation would be no fun at all.

If there are other poor behaviors (see the Smooth Criminal section of the paper for examples) coupled with being tipsy, the ticket can be worse.

Our bad rank is not because we have a ‘bad’ school. It’s quite the opposite in a way.

Dean of Students Joan Thomas reminds us that “On March 30, 2010, UW–Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen issued a challenge to students, faculty and staff to step up the campus’ efforts to address high-risk alcohol use in the wake of six alcohol-related students deaths in the preceding two years.”

They cracked down pretty hard. In 2011 and 2012 the number of students placed on probation for alcohol-related offenses peaked at 140.

Once people got the idea into their heads that the illegal use of alcohol was unacceptable and extremely costly, offenses declined. According to the Dean of Students, the number of our classmates on probation is currently down to 31 for 2013-14.

The Dean of Students also reminds us that the average number of weekly alcohol beverages reported by drinkers decreased from a high of 10.7 in 2007 to 8.9 in 2013.  The percentage of students who said they abstained from alcohol use during the previous 30 days increased from 17 percent in 2005 to 29.1 percent in 2013. The percentage of students who said they were aware of drug and alcohol regulations increased from 59 percent in 2007 to nearly 79 percent in 2013.

It seems that the majority of reasons UW–Stout’s arrest rates are higher than most schools is because our school doesn’t tolerate it. UW–Stout doesn’t care what your reason is for breaking the law.

We are officially the college with the second highest rate of drunken arrests. Fortunately, we can use this to continue making our students aware of the severity of alcohol and take better steps to correct this issue.


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