Whoops! BYU mistakenly ranked healthiest; real No. 1 little surprise

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 11:45 a.m. MDT

The Huffington Post wrote about the rankings, too, and noticed the predominance of Christian schools with dry student bodies in the top 20. The anonymous author editorialized that "it only makes sense that cutting out the alcohol will make you a bit healthier."

The third BYU campus in the LDS Church Educational System, BYU-Hawaii, illustrated both of the things that happened with these rankings.

First, the Daily Beast also left BYU-Hawaii out of its top 20, even though BYU-Hawaii had the exact number of points — 25.22 — as Dallas Baptist, which ranked 17th. (BYU-Hawaii was seventh on CollegeProwler.com's drug-free campus list and 10th on the non-drinkers list.)

Second, BYU-Hawaii also is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and its students commit, as do those at BYU and BYU-Idaho, to an honor code that states they will "abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse."

Biola, an evangelical Christian university that trailed only BYU and BYU-Idaho in the rankings, has a code similar to BYU's, according to its website:

"The use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages, illicit drugs, or other controlled substances (including misuse of prescribed medications or use of any substance with the intent of becoming impaired/intoxicated) by students of Biola is prohibited and violates this policy as well as the university’s standard of conduct," because "The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs/substances could increase the risk for a number of health related and other medical, behavioral, and social problems."

"Students violating this policy," Biola's policy continues, "are subject to disciplinary sanctions including but not limited to: substance abuse education programs, research papers, restitution, community service, fines, removal from housing, ban from residential housing, or dismissal from the university in accordance with university policies and procedures."

However, as of last month Biola no longer requires graduate students to abstain from alcohol and tobacco.

Utah State University led the other Utah schools, scoring 24.74 points. Southern Utah University scored 24.02 points, Weber State University 23.82, the University of Utah 21.94 and Westminster College 21.06.

The biggest difference for the U. and Westminster was the lower scores their students gave them as "best schools for non-drinkers." The U. scored an average of 6.48 out of 10 for 780th place. Westminster scored 6.29.

Utah Valley University wasn't searchable on the CollegeProwler.com lists.

Southern Virginia University, a private liberal arts college that embraces LDS values with a code of honor through which students pledge not to drink or use drugs, scored 24.13 points based on the student perception surveys.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere