Top-100 party school list should not be priority

On Feb. 4, 2013, released their annual list of the top-100 party schools in the United States.

UW-Whitewater was ranked at No. 74 on this list, five spots below its ranking the previous year.

Many students on Facebook seemed to view being placed on this list as an accomplishment, and the link to the website spread among students like wildfire.

Instead of embracing this culture, students should work to alter our university’s party school reputation.

Among current and prospective students, UW-Whitewater is commonly known as a suitcase college and a party school.

Many students leave town on the weekends, and for those that stay, one of the main forms of entertainment and means of venting stress from the school week is partying.

Over the weekends, Whitewater’s bars are often busy, and many students throw house parties for all of their friends.

Simply by skimming the posts on the UW-Whitewater Confessions Facebook page, it is easy to see that partying at our school causes problems, both ethical and criminal.

Anonymous users post confessions to the page about people stealing things from houses during parties, escaping parties just as the police arrive, underage drinking citations and drug use.

While attending a college known for its parties might seem fun and exciting, the reputation this behavior earns the campus and its students isn’t so great.

Employers pay attention to where applicants graduate from, and schools with good reputations gain respect.

Students pay thousands of dollars a year to attend this school, presumably because we each want to earn a degree that will help us land a dream job after graduation.

After we take off the cap and gown and step out into the real world, none of us want to be turned down for a great opportunity because of a stupid mistake we made during what we thought of as a normal, fun night.

Instead of taking pride in our university’s party scene, we should be proud of the programs it offers and the academic and extracurricular success of its students.

All of the individual colleges that make up our university are constantly growing, improving and helping students achieve great things.

Our athletic teams are frequently winning national championships, and our individual athletes boast a number of honors.

UW-Whitewater students are constantly winning awards for academic performances and extracurricular talents.

Students should strive to find a balance between academic success and having fun.

For those who want to go out and drink, heading to the bars or a small gathering of friends is a lot less likely to end in trouble than attending large house parties.

Students under 21 should keep in mind that, as lame as it may seem, it is illegal for them to consume alcohol. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do.

Many groups across campus offer events over the weekends as alternatives to drinking. SEAL frequently brings performers to campus on Thursday nights and offers $1 movie showings over the weekends.

Cinemas of Whitewater also offers a discount for students with a UW-Whitewater ID card.

As a student body, we should take a step back and re-evaluate our collective priorities.

Instead of trying to crack the top-50 party schools in the country, why don’t we try to earn a ranking among the top-50 universities in the country?

By balancing having fun and focusing on school, we might just be able to do it.

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