Students surprised by RMU’s drug and alcohol arrest rating


Photo credit: Paul Wintruba

John Blinn

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a list of schools with the highest number of drug and alcohol-related arrests. On that list sits Robert Morris University, holding the place of 23rd in the country.

Students across campus were told about this information and gave feedback as to how they felt.

Most students were surprised by the information, and how high Robert Morris ranked on the list, especially considering the other schools with in the country with a higher population and a bigger reputation for partying.

“Most people don’t really think of RMU as being a party school, they think of other institutions in Pennsylvania, but not RMU. So that really does surprise me,” said Rachel Basista.

Robert Morris student Zach Ackerman was taken aback by the news but did not feel worried about his experience on campus because of it.

“It doesn’t have any affect on me,” Ackerman said. “I don’t think it impacts our campus that greatly. We’re in college, it does surprise me, but I don’t think that it’s such a bad thing.”

Similar to Ackerman, some students were not very worried about this information because they felt that their safety was still being upheld.

“I feel that RMU is a pretty safe campus and I think that a lot of the incidents relating to drugs and alcohol are non-violent,” said Tanner Derrow. “It’s not like anybody gets into violent arrests for drug abuse or alcohol abuse, and in my opinion it doesn’t take away from the overall experience. Being 23rd in the country for drug and alcohol-related incidents, that’s kind of an alarming number, but overall I don’t feel unsafe on campus.”

Despite some students being laid back about the situation, there were also some students that opposed that idea and felt concerned.

“It definitely raises some concerns just because at this age there are a lot of kids coming here that are trying to impress the upperclassmen and what not, and they can easily be pressured into a lot of these things,” said Jake Shirley.

Although the information could most certainly be viewed negatively, several students think that it could be a good thing.

“Some could see it as a negative thing, but you could also see it as a positive thing because it shows that the police here do their jobs, want to keep the campus safe and free from underage drinking and drug abuse,” said Justin Ruth.

Students continued to look on this information with a positive attitude as they viewed it as an opportunity for the campus to bring awareness to these problems and fight against them. Two members of THRIVE, Sydney Holliday and Jessica Friss, are hopeful that they can use this information and their organization to benefit the campus.

“We definitely see this as an opportunity to work on educating RMU’s campus on how we can be better and not abuse drugs and alcohol on the level that we are currently,” said Friss.

To learn more about schools facing high drug and alcohol arrest numbers, click here.