Juniata College was featured in Princeton Review’s yearly survey of college students, coming in at number 13 in the category of “Lots of Hard Liquor.”
The rankings cover 62 categories, and there are 140,000 student participants in the survey across 385 colleges and universities.
“It’s a concern that the college takes seriously,” said Matthew Damschroder, vice president for student life and dean of students. “Part of educational process is developing qualities of character in our students. That involves looking at how they interact with each other, and we’re always working to help students make better choices and to reduce risks while still giving them opportunities to have fun,” he said.
For the review’s liquor list, the question asked was “How widely is hard liquor used at your school?”
Tim Visser, a senior at Juniata studying business management, says he’s not surprised the college is on the list.
“I think the reason it’s on the list is because there’s not really anything else to do on the weekends for the average student at Juniata. So, I think that’s what leads to more drinking and more liquor consumption. People are bored and want to have fun so they just drink more often.” he said.
Damschroder believes there are wider cultural issue at play.
“There’s a lot of complexity surrounding media today. I think we’re part of society where students are exposed to this type of drinking culture early on, and it’s glamorized,” he said.
Juniata does surveys of its own and uses that information to guide their approach to student well-being.
“We do regular surveys, particularly from the American College Health Association. We track student alcohol consumption on campus, and other peer institutions across the country. The numbers that we have match those of our peers. And we use that data to inform our programming to keep students, faculty and parents educated about how they can make positive choices,” said Damschroder.
The University of California at Santa Barbara took the dubious honor of being #1 on the Lots of Hard Liquor” list.
Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.