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?
Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech
By nature, and by profession, we do not like lies. As journalists, we’re truth tellers. Or at least we attempt to get at the truth through research, attribution, documents and comments from people on either side of an issue.
Sometimes it ends up with “telling lies from both sides,” as a crusty reporter once mused a handful of years ago.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
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- Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech