Work hard, work hard

The University should not emphasize its party-school image

The University of Virginia is the number-one party school in the country, according to a ranking that Playboy Magazine published in September 2012. But regardless of who published it, Playboy was just confirming what we already knew, right? I am not so sure.

I will be the first to admit that the University has an active social life – and who knows, maybe we are the party capital of the nation. But even if that is the case, I would rather that fact remain a well-kept secret among the students than become part of our public image.

Before we start bragging to all our friends and family members about our newfound “prestige” we must ask ourselves, “How is this ranking going to affect us and our school?”
The University of Virginia’ academic achievements have been confirmed time and time again. Most recently, we placed 24th on the 2013 U.S. News & World Report college ranking – not too shabby, if I say so myself. But was it all for nothing? Does the fact that we are now labeled a “party school” overshadow the many achievements which all those associated with the University have worked so hard to accomplish? It is definitely a possibility. It is common knowledge that back in the ‘80s we were seen as a drinking school, and it seems that with this new rating this reputation is once again coming to life.

Because the University is such a prestigious and competitive school, there are many differing opinions surrounding it and its students.In my experience, most Virginians I know either see U.Va. students as nerd-genius hybrids or alcohol-crazed partiers.

I can live with being a nerd. Nerds get good grades, find good jobs and make lots of money. If I wanted to be thought of as a sauced-up party animal I would have attended a school slightly west of Charlottesville (which we have beaten twice in basketball this year). But as students, we need to maintain its academic prestige above its social image. It is better for us, in the long run, and it is better for our University.

I am sure Mr. Jefferson had his share of fun back in his college days. But he wanted something more, which is one of the reasons he founded this school. Our lives cannot revolve around work: that doesn’t make for a good college experience. So let’s enjoy our weekends however we want to, but not fool ourselves into thinking we are the number-one party school in the nation. We are first and foremost Mr. Jefferson’s University. We are the best and brightest. Let’s not be something that we’re not.

Adam Beirne is a Viewpoint writer for The Cavalier Daily.

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