Freshmen address the “party school” culture at OU

Last week, Playboy magazine ranked Ohio University as the No.1 party school of 2015, adding further justification to the claims of students and residents that the Ohio fests are the best fests.

Playboy noted Athens’ infamous HallOUween block party, numerous fests and the 18 bars along Court Street as factors. In addition to our nationally ranked party school, we are home to one of the top journalism schools in the nation. However, when a freshman announces their acceptance, the family’s first response is almost always, “Oh, isn’t that the party school?” Bobcats are always on the defense of our wonderful hOUme.

Freshman Emma Kramer, an information design publication student, said that the party school reputation did not affect her decision in any way in her choice to come to OU.

“The campus is beyond beautiful, which is probably why everyone came here, but the Scripps school really was the main part,” Kramer said. “Scripps is one of the top ten journalism schools in the country. I knew that it was going to be the perfect program for me. Plus no other schools in this area offered my major.”

Ohio University administration has frequently defended the school’s academics in response to the party rankings. After Princeton Review rated OU as the top party school in 2012, President McDavis responded in a letter to students and faculty.

“This ranking is not indicative of the overall experience of OHIO students and does not match the data we have collected,” McDavis said. “We take seriously our responsibility to help our students succeed in all facets of their experience, including addressing high-risk behavior.”

While students and faculty view the school for much more than the reputation as a major rager school, there are still preconceived notions from outsiders about how much OU parties.

“When I first decided to come to school here some of my friends were a little surprised because I was a good student in high school,” said freshman engineering student Maggie Riley. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve met some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. It’s not OU’s fault, and it’s definitely not the only school who has to deal with party-savvy students.”

Ohio University has historically been ranked in several publications as a top party school. However, the school has not been ranked in Playboy since 2008, when it was rated as the eighth best party school in the nation.

Many freshmen primarily considered the academic programs when choosing to come to Ohio University, and have only fallen in love more now that they have attended for a month, even with the party culture.

“Students party here, but what college campus doesn’t? Coming to this school was the best decision I ever made,” Kramer said. “I have completely fallen in love with the people and the environment. I never thought I could love one place so much.”

While students may be looking past the parties and more into the culture and academics, students still pride themselves on beating Miami’s status. Playboy acknowledged the rivalry in their article, saying “Sorry, Miami University, but OU’s year-round antics are hard to trump.”

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