WVU tops party school rankings
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 17, 2012 04:08
West Virginia University has recently landed the number one spot on The Daily Beast’s "Top Party Schools" list despite protest from University officials who believe the rank is misleading.
The ranking is based on the number of on-campus alcohol and drug related citations and arrests.
According to The Daily Beast, during the 2011-12 school year there were 1,501 instances of disciplinary actions taken for the use of alcohol on campus and 104 for instances involving drug use.
Additionally, The Daily Beast reported 551 on campus alcohol-related arrests, and 205 arrests related to drug use.
University Police Chief Bob Roberts said he sees flaws in the ranking system and therefore deems it an inaccurate interpretation of WVU’s student body.
"Using the number of arrests seems counter-intuitive to me," he said. "They didn’t take into account the layout of our campus, they didn’t take into account the work of our City Police or the bar laws and regulations that vary in each state."
He believes these facts could have warped the study.
"If someone wants to go to a party school, why would they go to the one that makes the most arrests?" he said.
Roberts said the numbers used to determine WVU’s ranking also include nonstudent infractions, which do not accurately reflect the entire student body.
"We have a great student body here at WVU; most students don’t even interact with the police in anything other than a friendly situation," Roberts said.
Several students turned to social media to express either their pride or concerns about the ranking.
Tweets in WVU student’s time lines included:
"I heard on the radio this morning that #WVU is back to being the number 1 party school. #proudmountaineer."
"I think it makes us look trashy. However, I let my portfolio speak for itself – that’s how I got into grad school."
"It devalues the degree we work hard to earn. The students should work harder to eradicate this reputation. #wvuparty."
"Proud to have contributed to the 1,500 alcohol violations which helped WVU reach it’s rightful position as the best party school in America."
While some students have glorified the University’s "party school" image, WVU faculty and student leaders said they are not proud of the ranking and deem it misleading.
"Some of the best universities in the country typically find themselves on these types of lists because they, like WVU, enjoy a campus life rich with both academic and social opportunities," University officials said in a statement released in response to the ranking.
"As always, our first priority is and will remain the academic achievements and success of our students."
WVU spokeswoman Becky Lofstead said she believes the extraordinary educational experience students receive at WVU outshines the University’s "misleading party school image."
"Students come here from all over the world to have an extraordinary academic experience. We are a University with big-time athletics, big-time academics, big-time research and big-time outreach. We’re going to continue going about our business: advancing and changing lives," she said. "Most people view WVU as a positive place and truly don’t appreciate this misleading image. "
WVU Student Government Association Board of Governors member Ryan Campione said he believes the ranking proves a point opposite of what was intended.
"I believe the article, if anything, is showing that the University is making an initiative to improve that ‘party school’ image’’,, he said. "The students who are proud of this image need to realize that, regardless of how they view it, the law is in place for a reason. Also, this is not every student. There are tons of good projects going on at WVU, and it’s really unfair to give the entire student body this label."
Roberts and Campione agreed it is acceptable for students to occasionally "blow off some steam" as being a student is a 24-hour job; however, they said
it’s crucial to do so in a manner that yields a great level of personal responsibility.
Roberts said he also encourages students to take advantage of the University’s free Emergency Alert System to help maintain its commitment to providing a safe campus for all students.
For more information on campus safety and University drug and alcohol polices, visit http://police.wvu.edu.