NowUC is running a story claiming a survey shows all uni students use drugs.
A group of 10 students from the University of Canberra were surveyed and results found all had taken drugs and most had used them frequently.
Of the 10 students interviewed, drug use had started between the ages of 13 and 19 years, 70 per cent falling in the 17-19 years category.
Half had taken drugs before to coming to university and 60 per cent said their drug use had either started or increased as a result of the universityâ€™s â€œparty environmentâ€.
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These are strong claims to make and I’m sure the story would have been applauded for its “big issue” factor and that it’s not just another boring campus story (something NowUC is always trying to get away from).
I strongly suspect the story comes from the journalist, Sophie Moon, talking to her friends or classmates. I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with that method, but to then draw the conclusions from it that are laid out in the story seems bizarre — or even deceitful. Ten people out of a cohort of 10,000 is so small as to be insignificant. In fact, unlikely though it is, those ten could actually be a statistical anomaly.
Possibly I’m the statistical anomaly, but there must surely be some students other than me who have never used illicit drugs. My presence at least would indicate that not 100 per cent of students use drugs (but it’s ok because all will go back to normal next year).
In related news, police arrested seven people aged 20 to 25 years old for drug offences on Saturday night. Maybe Ms Moon’s analysis is accurate after all. Or maybe 70 per cent of her survey participants are soon to face a magistrate.