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?
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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