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WVU Much More Than ‘Party School’

August 13, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Once again West Virginia University is being referred to as the nation's "No. 1 party school." Here we go again.

This time, Newsweek magazine is responsible for the ranking. It and a publication called the Daily Beast analyzed disciplinary actions and arrests for drug and alcohol uses on college and university campuses to come up with the rankings (Ohio University was fourth on the list, by the way.)

Flaws in the method of determining the level of alcohol and drug abuse by students already have been pointed out. For example, arrest numbers do not differentiate between students and non-students.

Still, WVU once again has received unwelcome - and misleading - notoriety.

Fine. For years, university officials have used special programs to lessen drug and alcohol abuse among students. There is evidence the initiatives have had some success.

Obviously, more needs to be done.

At the same time, those who understand WVU is a truly great educational, research and service university should not be discouraged. Rankings such as those published by Newsweek are not taken seriously by those who understand the process and the reason for such unscientific surveys.

WVU is West Virginia's state university, an institution of which most Mountain State residents are enormously proud - with good reason. One more predictable "party school" claim can't change that.

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