While you were smoking pot in your hometown, the New York Post reported that NYU topped Columbia in drug related disciplinary incidents by a ratio of 5:1. The article implied numerous times that this statistic means NYU students use more drugs than students at Columbia. However, there are a few important issues that the Post seems to have glazed over in their coverage of this story.
The first consideration is a no-brainer – NYU has three times as many students as Columbia, so when the statistic is per-capita, the ratio of drug incidents at NYU versus Columbia is really 5:3. And when you factor into the equation the fact that Gallatin is a part of NYU, it’s shocking that there aren’t 20 times as many incidents at NYU.
The Post also failed to recognize the possibility that NYU’s Public Safety and RAs are just more capable than their uptown counterparts. This fall, we learned that the NYPD spent three years building a case against a Columbia drug ring. The campus authorities either never realized what was going on under their noses or just did nothing about it, but either way, it’s very possible that NYU’s Public Safety is just more on top of their game.
Finally, if the Post‘s allegation is actually true, we really have to consider the implications of NYU’s drug-use. Maybe NYU students use more drugs, but a lot of them go on to do really interesting things as well. Just consider NYU dropout Avey Tarey; sure, back in college he might have occasionally smoked a doobie or rolled a J, but he went on to become part of the hugely successful group Animal Collective. Even back in the 1980’s, Rick Rubin, who produced everyone from the Beastie Boys to Johnny Cash, was likely hitting the bong in his NYU dorm. It might just be possible that NYU students use more drugs than Columbia kids because beyond studying and planning careers, they actually know how to have a good time.