South Carolina

Study: Coastal Carolina reports the highest rate of alcohol crime in the country

Students walk between classes at Coastal Carolina University.
Students walk between classes at Coastal Carolina University. jlee@thesunnews

A study released Friday by addiction resource group ProjectKnow says that Coastal Carolina University had the highest reported per-capita rate of alcohol-related crime in the country in 2015.

The study looked at all four-year, nonprofit colleges and universities with more than 10,000 students and used publicly reported 2015 crime data to measure the number of liquor and drug law violations per 10,000 students at each school.

2015 is the most recent year for which data is available.

By the numbers

Coastal Carolina had the highest total number of reported per-capita liquor law violations in the United States at 1,070, according to the study.

The school was second in referrals for disciplinary action at 922 and fifth in liquor law violation arrests at 148, the study said.

A referral is a school punishment for crimes witnessed by university officials or resident assistants.

Marquette University in Wisconsin ranked first in the study in per-capita disciplinary referrals at 930 and Minnesota State University, Mankato ranked first in arrests at 190.

Coastal Carolina also ranked second in the nation in the study in per-capita drug law violations, with 330 arrests and disciplinary referrals per 10,000 students.

According to campus crime data, the number of liquor law violation referrals at Coastal increased 53 percent between 2010 and 2015 and liquor law arrests increased 24 percent.

Drug arrests increased 95 percent and drug referrals increased 105 percent in that span.

During that time period, the student population increased 21 percent.

South Carolina schools

Here’s how other schools in the state stack up:

Liquor law violation referrals and arrests per 10,000 students

Coastal Carolina University: 1,070

Clemson University: 245

College of Charleston: 236

University of South Carolina, Columbia: 117

Drug law violation referrals and arrests per 10,000 students:

Coastal Carolina University: 330

Clemson University: 103

College of Charleston: 78

University of South Carolina, Columbia: 75

About the study

The study was conducted by ProjectKnow it says in order to help identify the culture of college campuses.

According to ProjectKnow, “it’s important that students and parents understand the possible risks alcohol and substance abuse can cause as well as equip them with information on how to seek help if they need it.”

The study says it uses data reported in compliance with the Clery Act, which requires schools receiving federal funding to publish on-campus and near-campus crime data.

The Sun News has requested comment from Coastal Carolina University.

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian