Sixteen percent of teens visiting college campuses admit to drinking alcohol during their stay. A recent study conducted by the Center for Adolescent Research and Education at Susquehanna U. and Students Against Destructive Decisions sought to examine the safety of student hosts and visitors during overnight college visits.
Although Duke U. employs strict policies to prevent such inappropriate conduct during visits, conduct violations result in students getting their admissions rescinded once every two or three years, said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. The study, based on the responses of 270 college visitors aged 16 to 19, found that, aside from the 16 percent who drank alcohol, 17 percent engaged in sexual activities and 5 percent used drugs other than alcohol.
Teens need to understand the choices they might be faced with and their consequences, said CARE Director Stephen Wallace. What is their response going to be, and how are they going to make the decision they want to make?
More than half of the surveyed students who either consumed alcohol or had sex were doing so for the first time in their lives. The survey was a follow-up to a study also conducted by CARE in 2003, which found that 26 percent of visitors were drinking alcohol, 28 percent were engaging in sexual behavior and 22 percent were using drugs.
The earlier study encompassed all visits, including those to see siblings and friends, but the recent survey focused specifically on students visiting for the admissions process, which in part explains the lower numbers, Wallace noted.