Party school image still intact
Current strategies not enough to alter perception
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2012 22:05
From the early ’90s until around 2005, the university was widely considered a party school. Recently, university officials have begun taking steps toward changing the perception of the university as a school synonymous with partying and binge drinking to one regarded as a “public Ivy.”
Conscious efforts by university officials to quell the party scene have been made over the years, at least as much as possible. For exmaple, many local bars now employ stricter I.D. policies to reduce underage drinking, unlike several years ago. Stricter noise violation policies passed in the early 2000s allow police officers more leeway when breaking up parties if they hear loud noises.
Changes made by officials and police have not quieted the party scene, despite some alumni’s opinions. At a university where many students live off campus, including those who are underage, homes in Newark popular and frequent destinations for partygoers.
Because it is much more difficult to contain parties at private housing than at public establishments, not much progress has been made to reduce the amount of partying.
A letter mailed to students’ parents last month about the correlation between warm weather and binge drinking shows how much university administrators value the school’s public image. The letter is symbolic of the attempts to dismiss the reputation that arises from being a state school and emphasizes university officials’ desire to become an “East Coast Classic” or a “Citizen University.” Concerns seem to lie more with the image of the university, rather than actual change.