The University of Dayton issued 871 drinking-related citations in 2015, outpacing much larger colleges around the state.
The only university that issued more drinking citations than UD was Ohio State University, which has a student population 5.5 times larger than UD’s, according to spring enrollment reports.
OSU reported 1,746 total citations that year, the most recent available under the Jeanne Clery Act, which requires colleges to disclose campus crime statistics.
UD officials say Clery data doesn’t provide an accurate comparison of the amount of drinking that occurs on different campuses. Very few of UD’s students live off-campus, they said, so the campus crime numbers tend to be higher.
It’s “totally apples and oranges” comparison, said UD spokeswoman Cilla Shindell.
Miami University issued the third most citations with 613 in 2015 while the University of Cincinnati was fourth with 558 and Ohio University was fifth with 553. Wright State University reported 84 citations in 2015 while Wittenberg University reported 159.
Christine Schramm, associate vice president for student development and dean of students, said the student neighborhoods at UD “translate differently” in crime reporting than do student neighborhoods at other schools.
“It is not a fair comparison when 98 percent of our population lives on campus,” she said. “It’s a really high density so there are more numbers.”
Dayton is not considered a “robust college town” with multiple gathering places, she said, so the student neighborhood becomes the de-facto place for students to hang out.
Andrew Palisch, a senior from the St. Louis area, said hanging out and drinking is part of the culture at UD.
“It’s just part of the community aspect of Dayton,” Palisch said. “It’s kind of the college culture. We’re all secluded here on our own streets. If we weren’t all together it probably wouldn’t be like this.”
There’s no way of knowing if the condensed neighborhoods increase binge drinking and partying, UD officials said. What’s more likely is the perception that drinking is seen as a right of passage in college, they said.
In fact, some colleges may envy the school’s “contained area,” Schramm said.
“Does it exacerbate it? I don’t know,” she said.
UD officials say they try to cultivate a culture that encourages students to call for assistance if a student is ill or needs help at a party.
The university has had a volunteer student EMS program since 1992. Students who contact police will “not be held responsible for the alcohol policy violation,” if they have committed one, according to the university.
“We have an award-winning EMS program,” Schramm said. “Students see it’s OK to call their peers to say ‘will you look at them?’ They get transported more, period.”
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