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ASU By Any Other Label

Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 17:08

Tiki Luau

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

Students get down at the annual Tiki Luau.

Reputations are easy to get and hard to shake off. Whether it’s true or not, Arizona State University is considered a prime party school.

Part of it has to do with ASU and its massive student body population – the biggest in the United States with 58,404 undergrads and 13,850 graduate students.

ASU isn’t pictured as a research university and with much prestige. Instead, ASU is pictured as a big sloppy mess surrounded by a slew of Solo cups half-full of stale beer and sticky jungle juice. 

It doesn’t help that ASU keeps being recognized and decorated as a party school. The Princeton Review ranked ASU 17 on last year’s party school list, but we’ll have to see whether we make the cut again this year. 

A couple weeks ago, Newsweek and “The Daily Beast” ranked ASU 24 out of 25 on their party school countdowns. The list was organized by taking the undergraduate enrollment number and comparing it to on-campus disciplinary actions and on-campus arrests.

The results seemed pretty tame and showed zero disciplinary actions for drugs, 989 disciplinary actions for alcohol, 214 arrests for drugs, and 553 arrests for alcohol. Considering our total campus population, I think we did pretty well.

I think of party schools as teen comedy settings with endless kegs and poor decisions.

I saw plenty of kegs in my college days, but I also saw the same people surrounding them. I don’t think ASU is that much of a party school as people would hope.

We don’t have that many bars around campus, especially with Barney’s Boathouse gone, and it’s a dry campus. Frankly, if you want to drink in or around campus it’s the individual’s choice. ASU is not creating an environment for partying, so the students are trying to make it happen themselves.

I lived on campus my entire college career. In my experience, those who are coming to party aren’t coming to stay. So why can’t we focus our attention to what ASU should be known for?

Maybe our size? More than 12,500 students moved in to residence halls last week. Tempe’s main campus is overflowing with people to the point where it is always under construction to deal with the capacity.

However, I refuse to see this as something negative. I loved the large-scale learning environment ASU provided me. I never had to see the same group of people more than a couple times and it was kind of nice to get lost in the crowd. There was always someone new to meet, talk to and get to know.

ASU also has a kickass School of Sustainability, great weather and beautiful people according to “The Daily Beast’s” rankings in 2011, but it seemed none of that mattered this year.

Labeling ASU as a party school demeans the education students are capable of receiving. Can we stop revering chaos and booze fueled fun just a bit? There really is so much more to ASU.

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