The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse ranked first in the nation for 2012 alcohol arrests, according to report released this week.
It’s a list Joe Gow doesn’t want to see his university top, the UW-L Chancellor said Thursday, responding to the report from Rehabs.com. But the ranking also sends a message to students about the campus’ approach to alcohol abuse on campus, Gow said.
“If you’re going to come here and break the law, we are going to arrest you,” Gow said. “I think that’s a positive message.”
Rehabs.com, a resource for addicts, compiled 2012 data from the U.S. Office of Postsecondary Education for the report. Universities and colleges that receive Title IV funding submit arrest records to the federal government.
The report ranks schools based on on-campus alcohol arrests per 1,000 students. UW-L ranked 10th in 2011, but replaced UW-Oshkosh at first place the following year. Nine UW institutions made the top-50 rankings in 2012.
UW-Oshkosh fell to ninth place, followed by UW-Stout (18th), UW-Stevens Point (22nd), UW-Madison, UW-Eau Claire (31st), UW-River Falls, UW-Milwaukee (45th) and UW-Green Bay (46th).
Data gathered for the Rehabs.com report doesn’t differentiate between arrests of students and arrests of non-students. La Crosse’s annual Oktoberfest celebration might have played a role in vaunting UW-L up the rankings, Gow said.
“I really don’t think the alcohol situation here at UW-L is any worse or any better than it is at the other places I’ve been,” Gow said. “We are doing all we can to address this very complex problem. And it’s a societal problem.”
“I really don’t think the alcohol situation here at UW-L is any worse or any better than it is at the other places I’ve been.” Joe Gow,