Who doesn’t like to party?
Of course, the definition of “party” varies from person to person and could refer to a classy dinner party for foodies to try new and unique culinary combinations to all-out booze fests with blaring music, Red Solo Cups and endless supplies of a variety of alcoholic beverages to celebrate, well, you know, Saturday night.
And it is the latter, as opposed to the former, that Morgantown and West Virginia University are being known for these days, thanks to Playboy magazine and its ranking the top 10 party schools.
"The locals call Morgantown a drinking town with a football problem,'' the Playboy article said. "We call it a seven-year plan with the possibility of parole."
Wow. Just wow.
No mention of the fact that WVU offers almost 200 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs within its 14 colleges. No mention of the fact that the WVU School of Medicine in nationally recognized for its rural-health and primary-care fields of study.
According to information from WVU, "WVU has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, 36 Goldwater Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, five members of USA Today's All-USA College Academic first team, nine Boren Scholars, five Gilman Scholars, three Department of Homeland Security Scholars and 31 Fulbright Scholars (five in 2012 alone). WVU is among the top 15 public universities in the number of students earning Rhodes Scholarships."
The school has also been classified as a Research University by the Carnegie Foundation because of its high emphasis on research in areas that range from STEM education, health care in Appalachia, drilling for shale gas responsibly, investigating pulsars through radio astronomy and promoting stewardship of water resources, WVU reports.
And let's not forget that the FBI named WVU its national leader for biometric research and study.
We're not sure we could list the accolades WVU has earned since it was founded in 1867. But we can say that WVU has been an important part of this state practically since the state itself was formed.
So, it should be recognized for far, far more than beer and blazing couches.
Here in West Virginia, we all know that. But when a national magazine gives you a distinction like that, it's not just a black eye. It's something that perpetuates. It draws not only attention, but a student body who feel like they have to fulfill that designation, and worse, students who come to hit the party scene instead of hitting the books.
We wanted to know what our faithful readers who log on to www.timeswv.com each week to vote in our online poll question had to say on the issue. Last week, we asked “West Virginia University was recently named the No. 1 party school by Playboy magazine. What do you think about the designation?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• There’s not much to celebrate this year. We won’t even make the top 20 next year — 0 percent. (As an aside, I think this may have been the first time a response got absolutely no votes in the history of the poll question and its weekly analysis.)
• Cheers! It’s all part of the college-going experience and it isn’t a big deal — 15.74 percent.
• It’s an embarrassment for the state’s flagship university to be known for beer and riots instead of cutting-edge research and quality education — 84.26 percent.
Hopefully, WVU will fall off that list next year. It's one more "bad" statistic that we don't want associated with the Mountain State.
This week, let's talk about education even more, but this time on the primary level. A recent report found that 7 out of 10 third-grade students in West Virginia were not proficient in reading. What can we do to stop this trend?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Who doesn’t like to party?
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.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
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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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial