Madison Friedman: Comparing The CMCSocialScene To The Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges

Madison Friedman: Comparing The CMCSocialScene To The Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges

August 14, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


How’s it going everybody? So I’m the class
of ’14, I majored in Economics and then I did the 3-2 program so I went to
Columbia and studied Chemical Engineering which is great so I’m gonna try and
provide a little bit of a data perspective on some of the current
policy that the administration was just passed recently. Okay, first I wanted to
start off with some quotes from former ASCMC President Aditya Pai class of 13.
So “social life distinguishes our college from other top-tier liberal arts colleges” and it also distinguishes our students from their
students. It’s what makes us the happiest college in America and it’s critical to
preparing ourselves for social careers in business, government, etc., and of course,
it’s a central part of the mission for our school. So let’s talk a little bit
about the policy that was recently passed at the beginning of this year. The
High-Risk Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention Program, this program has some
good components of it that I think are going to be effective. It does a lot to
enrich student experiences, it provides pathways for education and training and
of course, counseling, accountability and enforcement. But it also has some limits
that it’s placed for the first time in the school’s 70-year history on informal
gatherings of students. And it in places restrictions on time,
it places restrictions on place, so no more than 15 people can gather in an
informal setting where alcohol is present. You’re only allowed to do this
in residential areas so no North Quad, no Parents Field, etc,. You can’t have um they
establish drinking limits whether you’re a 225lb football linebacker you know or a
110lb freshmen. Also no drinking games allowed, except for the beer pong
rule, the beer pong exception which is allowed in select outdoor areas. So
let’s go ahead and look at what justified these policies. First of all,
this is all coming from the report, in 2010 13.9% of CMC
respondents reported having used drugs other than alcohol, tobacco, or
marijuana in a 30-day period. And in 2014, that number was 17.8% and the
Administration says that this is an increase of 28% and if you’re like me
you’re thinking, wow! By the end of the decade, everyone’s going to be an
alcoholic at school, you know, but if you delve a little bit deeper into the data,
you’ll see that things aren’t quite what they seem on the surface. So you can see
13.8% of national students kind of have done exhibited the same behavior but you
also see that 21% of men versus 9.5% of females right? And that’s
not a, 13.8% isn’t a perfect average because 36-37%
of NCHA respondents are male and 63% were female, so if you kind of
recalibrate these percentages you’ll see in 2010 CMC actually had a lower
percentage of people engaging in these behaviors than the national average. And
furthermore, in 2014 it was less than a percentage point above the national
average, now if you look at the sample size of what they need to achieve in
order to get super accurate comparisons on this, you’d see that for a 4% margin of error which is about the difference between the 2014 and 2010 numbers. At a 95% confidence level, which is what you’d see
in most national polling, you’d need 411 respondents. Now, I happened to see a copy
of this report this morning and there are only 193 respondents, so, basically
what I’m saying is that these numbers could be totally due to sampling error.
So, kind of discount that accordingly. The next statement which
was a little shocking was that CMC students are blacking out more often,
having hangovers, performing poorly on assignments, and
being taken advantage of sexually more than their peers. If you’re like me,
you’re looking at this and saying something’s wrong. You know this is not
okay but you got to go in delve in a little bit deeper right? So this is the
everFi sample that they’re getting this data from. This is USC’s for example and
you can see here that first of all, the sample is taken within the first month
of your freshman year of college so basically, you know, right after
we’re let off the leash. Your first time away from your parents, your first taste
of freedom, and of course freedom you you’re going at it hard obviously but
it’s not representative of, you know, the matured drinking behaviors of you know
the rest of the school, right? Also that says there’s a little note
down there that says percentages correspond to two through seven on the
Likert scale. Now this is an example of a Likert scale here. It’s not frequency but
it’s the same kind of idea, so anything two to seven they include in that
percentage, now what really matters here isn’t necessarily the two to seven
divide it’s more the distribution of Likert scale scores and so it’d be great
as if the administration could show us what CMC’s distribution looks like
compared to the national average because if most of them are twos in the national
average are all five, sixes, and sevens, then you can see that CMC’s
actually possibly doing a better job of controlling these behaviors than the
national average so it would be good to see that kind of data. Next you can see
that 100% of CMC students who disclose they’ve been sexually assaulted
were intoxicated, 80% for people who were assaulted, and of course
anything above zero people being sexually assaulted is not okay but to
blame their behavior on alcohol, I don’t think does the school any
favors right? We need to hold these people accountable, use education to
teach them how to behave in situations where they’re gonna be intoxicated,
otherwise you’re not going to attack the core issue of the problem right? Now the next piece of evidence is that there were $51,000 in dorm damages last
year, which is a lot, but it’s important to say and somehow it says
that these were linked to alcohol use which is tricky because I don’t think
when people break things they go around leaving little notes saying “Sorry, I was
drunk” but you know they also say that Stark had the the fewest amount of
damages with $247 but of course I bet you Auen and Fawcett also have
really low damage charges because they’re in South Quad. I mean no one goes
in there right? Now you can also look at this and see well maybe it’s not just
CMC students that the Administration cares about but its perception. So, for
example, the admin said that 1 out of 10 high school
students who were admitted didn’t enroll because of excessive alcohol and
partying, but if you look at the admission statistics it doesn’t look
like it’s hurting CMC any. They have the lowest acceptance rate and the highest
yield and no doubt it’s because students love the social scene and the social
policy at the school right? You can see Pomona by there, you know, next slot
down. Also you can also see that you know if you take 20% of the people that
were admitted, 50% yield so 5% of the people that were
surveyed said they didn’t like the alcohol policy, so half a percent of the
people that apply didn’t like the policy. Well, it’s not a good idea to change your
policy for the half percent of people that didn’t come here right? You want to
respect the 1300 or so students that you have here currently
and also if you look at the high school rankings in US News and World Report’s,
CMC again four point five just below Williams and Wellesley and Pomona four
point four, flex. So I’m gonna skip ahead a little bit because I want to get to
the data. Yeah, let’s do that. Okay, so now what I want to do is I want to look at
Clery Act data so basically the Clery Act was passed in order to give schools
a framework for reporting data on sexual assaults, drug violations, alcohol
violations, and this is some longitudinal data for CMC in the 5C’s from 1999 to
2013. And you can see somewhere in 2005-2006, something happened. We don’t
actually know I don’t actually know what that is, probably some kind of policy
enforcement change or something like that, but the numbers really took off and
ironically enough for the rest of the colleges, you’d expect to see when a
policy isn’t implemented an immediate spike and then a trail off right because
the policies taking effect, people are getting used to it and starting to obey
the rules. Ironically you see that at CMC but not for the rest of the 5Cs
right? Which have more strict alcohol policies, same thing for drug abuse right?
For drug abuse, judicial referrals CMC in the low single digits and the other
claremont colleges are you know seventy eight hundred, you can see a breakdown
here: seventy you know 80-90% of these
referrals in the last three years came from outside CMC with Pomona and Pitzer leading the charge, Scripps in third. And then you can see for drug law
referrals, again Pomona winning, Pitzer close second,
I think that’s surprising and then Scripps was in third place with eight
and CMC of course last. Forcible sexual offenses also you can see CMC accounts for about a third when you consider the fact that Harvey Mudd is
mostly male and Scripps is mostly female, it’s kind of a good break.
Now obviously anything above zero is not okay but it’s not as exaggerated as I
think a lot of the other schools would have you belief. Those are reported
correct. Now these are also forcible sexual offenses reported for 2011 to
2013 for the other top ten liberal arts colleges. Again you can see CMC
down at the other corners worth more in Amherst which have tougher alcohol
policies up at the top. Liquor law judicial referrals again
CMC down at the bottom here, you can see Bowdoin which outlawed hard liquor in 1995.
My alma mater Columbia, Pomona way up there, Amherst, etc,. You might think Swarthmore and Carleton were doing a good job but actually they just offload offloaded
the judicial referrals to the police department, so these are liquor liquor
law arrests in the past three years. You can see CMC again way low down there,
drug law referrals same story CMC just above BYU, I added that for context and
again Bowdoin, Middlebury, Pomona and all up there in the last three years. And drug
law arrests: Carlton, BYU that’s surprising but you can see CMC basically is you
know pretty far down on the totem pole there. So in conclusion, I want to
say that most of the students at CMC handle their freedom responsibly right?
There’s probably about a percent or something that that don’t follow the
rules and it’s this percent that needs to be more, you know, heavily kicked out of
school basically but don’t implement policies that are going to adversely
affect the 99% of students that are perfectly capable of
handling their their own lives and their own drinking
behaviors and that’s my talk. Thank you very much. Please ask me some questions!