University hypocritical when it comes to party reputation
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 06:09
"So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We’re just having fun, we don’t care who sees," sings Wiz Khalifa on the hit 2012 track "Young, Wild, & Free" alongside Bruno Mars and Snoop Dogg.
On, Nov. 27, there’s no doubt Wiz will belt those lines in front of what is sure to be thousands of West Virginia University students at the WVU Coliseum. When Wiz Khalifa came to campus in 2011 with Snoop Dogg, the concert sold out.
Another line Wiz will probably utter, from his album "Rolling Papers," says "I take ‘em out, pourin’ shots of liquor / Drinkin’ out the bottle, smiling in all my pictures / The marijuana loud so them hoes follow like Twitter."
When The Princeton Review named WVU the No. 1 party school in America in August, responses from the University and administration combatted the unwelcome heralding of Mountaineers as the elite band of merrymakers in the nation.
In response to the title, WVU spokesman Becky Lofstead said, "If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs, but in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility."
What is clear is that the University wasn’t and isn’t proud of this award bequeathed upon WVU. A little foggy – and perhaps failing – is the way WVU and its administration are fighting the party.
One of the ways WVU provides a sober, nontraditional "party" for its pupils is the student lot, which provides an alternative to the traditional drunken tailgate before football games.
Another is "Up All Night," which is held in the Mountainlair on weekends and touts itself as a safe place for students to hang out and engage in games and other entertainment, rather than drugs and alcohol.
WELLWVU: The Students’ Center of Health also has its "drinkWELL" program, which educates students about alcohol and maintains a "Regret" blog, in which students can share stories about mistakes they made when under the influence of alcohol.
All of these programs and activities WVU provides for students are great and helpful events. In addition, the work done by University Police to crack down on crimes related to alcohol and drug use is well-needed in keeping campus and the streets safe.
However, bringing in Wiz Khalifa for the second year in a row makes it necessary to question the University’s thoughts and actions.
The preventative, restorative and legal steps WVU takes to cut down on the partying are well intentioned, but bringing someone like Khalifa for a University-endorsed concert encourages the cultures of drug and alcohol use at a much higher level.
To be blunt (pun intended), it seems hypocritical that the university would speak out against the party label and put so many resources toward battling the party culture on campus, and then bring Khalifa, a man who sings consistently about popping pills, smoking marijuana and getting drunk off of champagne.
I get it. Students like Wiz Khalifa. He’s from Pittsburgh. He has cool hair. The University knows his show here will sell out, thus raking in tons of cash. I’ll even admit that his tunes are catchy.
But by having Wiz Khalifa come to the Coliseum and rap about weed and sleeping with many women, WVU is not only endorsing, but enabling students to participate in the very party culture the University wants to nip in the bud.
I’m not trying to be a square. I know hip-hop music is popular in our culture and especially with fellow students at WVU. However, the University needs to be aware of the different levels at which the party philosophy they are embarrassed of operates, and the ways in which the university promotes it.
Obviously Kidz Bop wouldn’t be an appropriate concert act at the Coliseum, but we can do better than a guy who brags about how blazed he gets.