CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University is the No. 1 party school in the country, according to a ranking released Monday by Newsweek magazine. WVU officials say it's an unfair label.
The ranking is based on disciplinary actions and arrests for drug and alcohol use on campus. The number of disciplinary actions taken for alcohol use at WVU for the 2011-12 academic year was 1,501, with 104 citations for drug use, according to Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
In addition, 551 arrests were made on campus concerning alcohol use, and 205 drug arrests were made.
The Department of Education numbers used in the report include nonstudents and are therefore an inaccurate measure of campus life, according to WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts.
"These studies do not look at campus layout, state laws on alcohol control and bar entry or city statistics for underage violations. Nor do they consider the fact that a campus may take a more aggressive enforcement stance of the violations that would be a deterrent," Roberts said. "I simply do not give these rankings much credence."
Roberts said many of the violations are for underage possession, and the numbers in the report can be viewed as a positive reflection of the school instead of a negative one.
"It's interesting that because we enforce the laws, they've interpreted that as a negative. Those numbers mean we are working hard to keep people safe. I'm not sure that makes us a party school," he said. "I don't understand how they came to that conclusion."
WVU beat Penn State University for the top spot, with the University of Colorado-Boulder coming in third place and Ohio University landing fourth.