West Virginia University’s reputation as a party school lives on.
WVU tops Playboy’s list of Top Party Schools of 2013, the magazine said Wednesday. Playboy has published the list for eight years, and it’s the first time WVU has been No. 1.
Playboy cited two big annual parties at West Virginia — FallFest and St. Patrick’s Day.
The gatherings are when “thousands of strapping Mountaineers take to the streets to major in booze-fueled debauchery and minor in public disturbance,” the magazine said.
Another factor was the reaction in Morgantown after WVU’s 48-45 win at Texas last October that gave the Mountaineer football team a 5-0 record.
There were fires, mobs, property destruction, and interference with emergency responders and law-enforcement officials. Crews arriving on scene were met with aggressive crowds of up to 1,000 people who threw debris, rocks and even lit firecrackers. Five were arrested, including four WVU students.
“The locals call Morgantown a drinking town with a football problem,’’ Playboy said. “We call it a seven-year plan with the possibility of parole.”
Well-known schools make up the Playboy top 10. The rest of Playboy’s list behind WVU includes University of Wisconsin, University of Colorado, University of Southern California, Florida State University, University of Texas, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, Arizona State University and University of Maryland.
The Playboy top ranking is not WVU’s first when it comes to being thought of as a party school.
Last year, WVU was back on top for the first time in five years, bumping off Ohio University to reclaim its title as the nation’s No. 1 party school on the list announced by The Princeton Review. WVU was also No. 1 in 2007 and 1997, and it’s been among the top 20 party schools 12 times in the 21 years the rankings have been published.
WVU also ranked No. 1 in the “Lots of Beer” category.
We know the rankings are compiled in fun. Visit virtually any university and its thousands of young people in their late teens and 20s, and you’ll find no shortage of some craziness to go along with stories of students working hard to make their lives better.
WVU officials have responded that schools on party-school lists are “mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs.”
At the same time, they are serious about WVU’s national reputation.
Following the incidents after last year’s Texas game, WVU President Jim Clements said that “we cannot and will not tolerate it. These actions are dangerous. And they diminish the successes of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
WVU, with its 2012 move to the Big 12, has made a major push to make the sports venues more friendly for fans of the Mountaineers and their opponents.
West Virginia University, in its mission statement, declares that its focus “is to provide high-quality programs of instruction at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels; to stimulate and foster both basic and applied research and scholarship; to engage in and encourage other creative and artistic work; and to bring the resources of the university to all segments of society through continuing education, extension and public service activities.”
An image as a party school — deserved or undeserved — does nothing to help attain those worthy objectives.
Last year’s Playboy winner, the University of Virginia, completely fell out of the top 10 this year.
We won’t complain if WVU follows suit in 2014.
West Virginia University’s reputation as a party school lives on.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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