Appalachian State University recently received national rankings in two different categories-drugs and value.
The Daily Beast, a two-year-old online publication, ranked Appalachian as one of the 50 "Druggiest Colleges" in the United States while Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranked Appalachian in the top 100 for Best Values in Public Colleges.
The Daily Beast said the percentage of illicit drugs used in the past month at Appalachian is 19.49 percent. The report also said that 6.07 percent of 18-25 year olds use cocaine in the past year and 27.17 percent of 18-25 year olds used marijuana in the past year.
The Beast gave Appalachian an overall grade of "C."
Chief of ASU Police, Gunther E. Doerr said he does not agree that Appalachian is one of the "druggiest colleges.""They are basing this on one year's statistics in which we had a very high number of drug arrests," Doerr said. "I can tell you that we made a 117 drug arrests in 2010 as compared to 151 in 2009. That's a decline of almost 30 percent."
Doerr also stated that at Appalachian Marijuana is the drug of choice for students.
The Daily Beast rankings combined "available statistics to figure out which campus have both environments that may be permissive of use as well as a student body that partakes in illegal drug use," according to The Daily Beast.
In addition, the article reported that The Daily Beast used a combination of College Prowler data and information from the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services National Survey on Drug Abuse.
Nate Cook, Student Government Association Vice President, said he was skeptical of where The Daily Beast produced their information.
"It's always hard to gage something that is considered illegal," Cook said. "It seems a little bit targeting in the way that they are doing this. Schools may have that reputation, but no one can validate the 'happy Appy.'"
Cook added that he thinks that the Kiplinger's report had more truth to it.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance placed Appalachian on its recently released top 100 Best Values for Public Colleges, ranking the university 35th for in-state students and 29th for out-of-state students.
Student Government Association President P.A. Rowe thinks The Daily Beast rankings were invalid.
"The Kiplinger ranking is a much more valid ranking in comparison to The Daily Beast rankings," Rowe said. "The Kiplinger ranking is well known and respected, whereas The Daily Beast ranking can lack credibility."
Officials continue to question the validity of The Daily Beast article.
"I don't think drugs at Appalachian are any more or less of a problem than they are at other colleges," Doerr said. "Maybe we are doing a better job of enforcement and reporting. Does that mean we have a biggest drug problem on our campus?"
Story: BECKY BUSH, Intern News Reporter
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