Local universities in the top 50 for on-campus alcohol arrests - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local universities rank in the top 50 for on-campus alcohol arrests

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(WQOW) - Two local universities find themselves on a list they'd rather avoid. Rehabs.com recently released a study ranking UW-Stout and Eau Claire in the top 50 for on-campus alcohol arrests.

"Alcohol abuse is probably the number one issue all of us face," said Dr. Beth Hellwig, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

Taking steps to curb alcohol use and abuse by students is nothing new on college campuses. At UW-Stout, students were warned in 2010.

"Chancellor Sorensen issued a challenge to campus to get serious about addressing high-risk alcohol use," said Doug Mell, UW-Stout Executive Director of Communications.

In the two years leading up to that challenge, six students died as a direct result of alcohol use. The school then stepped up its enforcement of alcohol laws. So when a report by rehab.com ranked the school 4th highest in the number of alcohol arrests on campus, officials say they had an idea why.

"These statistics are from 2011, the next year. These numbers show that the campus responded positively to the Chancellor's challenge," added Mell.

Stout says this is another positive sign. A recent survey showed more students are choosing not to drink.  Both Stout and UW-Eau Claire, which made the list at #39 say they've been educating students ahead of time.

"Prior to even arriving on campus, all of our incoming freshman take an online class on alcohol," Hellwig said.

And they also want students to be a part of the solution.

"We would love students to think about their own behavior, and not pressuring other students. 'Hey come on, drink some more,' Instead, being really understanding. if someone says 'no that's not for me'," said Hellwig.

UW-Stout and UW-Eau Claire were not the only UW schools to make the list. Click here for the full report.

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