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Open to Interpretation?

Actually, no. Not open to interpretation. The below chart and commentary are an excellent example of people seeing what they want to see. gives the following explanation for why the College has a higher level of drug and alcohol arrests per capita (or is that per kappa?) than any other school in the Ivy League:

Dartmouth College sits comfortably in first position, with more than five times more alcohol arrests than Yale University. This result matches a known problem Dartmouth has with drinking on its campus, attributed mostly to the fact that fraternities dominate the social scene there. About two-thirds of undergraduates at Dartmouth join a fraternity or sorority, which is nearly double the rate of any other Ivy League school. And Greeks are known to be more likely to abuse alcohol.

Ivy Comparison.jpg

What a nonsensical hodgepodge of erroneous suppositions and shallow stereotypes. The numerator in the above fractions is arrests, not drug or alcohol use; therefore the table says far more about police enforcement than it does about consumption. If that it not obvious to you — and it clearly is not obvious to — then you have to believe that students at Brown, Columbia, Harvard and Penn do not use any drugs at all, and hardly ever drink.

Of course, that hypothesis is not true, but given the atrocious press that Dartmouth has received over the past few years, it is no wonder that people reviewing statistics go no further than the simplest explanation.

Addendum: The Town of Hanover must now be close to naming a new Chief of Police to replace retiring Chief Nick Giaccone. The outgoing chief was a good guy, but his alcohol enforcement policies made him an outlier in the Ivies, and made outlaws out of several thousand Dartmouth students over the years, kids who would never have been charged with any type of offence in other Ivy towns. The above figures show that to be true. Let’s hope that the new chief realizes that Chief Giaccone’s policies were ineffective and punitive.

Addendum: The Review’s Carl Marlborough IV responds to the same data in a comprehensive post.


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