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Colleges Punishing Drug and Alcohol Offenses More Aggressively

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Colleges are increasing the number of disciplinary actions against students for alcohol and drug offenses, according to The New York Times. The change reflects an increase in enforcement, not a rise in the number of offenses, experts say.

The U.S. Education and Justice Departments found in 2011, colleges started disciplinary proceedings for drug or alcohol offenses against 162 out of every 10,000 students, up from 132 per 10,000 students in 2001. This did not include students who were arrested, the article notes.

Terry W. Hartle of American Council on Education, a major organization of colleges and universities, told the newspaper, “College and university officials are paying more attention to alcohol and drugs.”

The rate of students who were arrested on campus for drug or alcohol crimes stayed at 35 per 10,000 students between 2001 and 2011. During the same period, there was a sharp decline in serious crimes on college campuses, but that drop was largely due to a change in how the Education Department defines burglary. Forcible sex offenses rose from 1.9 per 10,000 students in 2010, to 2.2 per 10,000 students in 2011.

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