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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Parties are nice, but research matters more

Sarah Ash
Sarah Ash

Monday mornings on a college campus have a distinct feel. Classrooms are filled with snap-backs shielding eyes from fluorescent lights, cardigans crafted into makeshift pillows and chatter about the weekend.

It’s no surprise that most of the chatter includes the retelling of bar shenanigans and house party wins and failures. College does the job of piling on stress, so naturally, Rams like to let loose on the weekends and oftentimes that means getting totally plastered.

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Congratulations Rams, our reputation for letting loose landed us a spot on Playboy’s top party schools list, which was released last week. Let it also be known that the other college down the road did not land a spot on the list this year, despite having been on it before.

Playboy refers to our town of “Fort Fun” as an ultimate house party destination. However they also make sure to mention that some of the Ram’s parties last year brought SWAT teams to control the crowds. Many of us remember what it felt like to see the word “riot” replacing “party” in media coverage. Maybe it felt exciting, in a rebellious kind of way.

But what happens when seniors in high school this year take to their computers and start finding answers to the real questions they have about the schools they’re looking into? They have parents and counselors to search for the information about major programs and dorm costs, but they will want to know things about the riots, they will want to know things about the party scene here, and then they will want know how they can be a part of it.

I am not saying that college shouldn’t be about going out and having fun, because one of the most liberating feelings of coming into adulthood is having the ability to make those decisions. But I do think that as students, rankings like this cause us to lose touch with some parts of our identity as Rams.

This school and what it stands for is so much bigger than a ranking on a party list. Everyday, there are students and faculty doing amazing research, so much so that we were placed in the top 10 percent of universities by the National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey. We are continually tackling complicated questions about our society and how to better it, and searching for ways to send ourselves out into the world with new perspectives, and the skills to thrive.

We need to stay in touch with a different type of school pride then is shown in how hard we can go on the weekends, and it is one that has radiated through our campus many times before. It is felt vividly when we welcome a new freshmen class, when we win the Rocky Mountain Showdown, and when we walk across the stage at graduation.

Many of us are here, because we want to walk across that stage someday. Lets not forget this, and when we land a spot on the next college party scene countdown, let us make sure we know who we are Monday through Thursday, too.

Collegian Columnist Sarah Ash can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sarah_eyoo

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