Princeton Review names UD #3 party school in the country for 2019-2020
Senior News Reporter
The university fell two spots to No. 3 on the Princeton Review’s Top Party School list. The university hit its peak at No. 1 last year, rising from No. 6 in 2018. The school did not make the top 10 in previous years.
Philip Montanez, a senior communication major and resident of a fraternity house on campus, was disappointed with the news, but is motivated to earn back the No. 1 spot.
“Our plans are definitely to make our parties more memorable, more legendary if you will,” Montanez said. “We’re trying to plan our parties at houses that are not in residential areas so that the likelihood of a noise complaint is null. That’s the number one precaution we’re taking.”
Montanez notes ordinance 19-05, a bill passed in March to prevent “super parties,” has made it difficult to throw “bangers.”
“I really do think the ordinance is to blame for our decrease in rank because people definitely partied less and felt like this town wasn’t a very safe, party-friendly environment after that,” Montanez said.
The ordinance allows police to intervene if more than four people are seen where “unruly behavior” occurs such as playing music, drinking alcohol, excessive littering or sitting on rooftops.
While UD’s reputation as a party school excited some, others did not take the ranking as a good thing. Andrea Boyle Tippett, Director of External Relations at the Office of Communications and Marketing at the university, says her office received multiple calls of concern when the news broke.
“People were upset by [the ranking] or they felt that it devalued their degree in some way and were asking what is the university doing about this because this is something that is embarrassing,” said Tippett.
Adam Cantley, dean of students, said the university is just like every other college town.
“There is definitely alcohol on our campus, like any other college town in America,” Cantley said. “Students will engage in partying like every other college town in America.”
Cantley said the university does its best to offer alternative programs to help students make “healthier choices” on campus that are alcohol-free, but it’s not always enough to steer students away from the party scene. According to the College Risk Behaviors Survey administered every year by the university, the number of calls for amnesty has only increased in the last three years. There were 137 calls made in the 2018-2019 school year, up from 63 in 2016-2017.
However, data have shown that behaviors associated with partying has declined, despite ranking in the top 10 party schools and an increase in calls for amnesty.
The College Risk Behaviors Survey said binge drinking is the lowest it has ever been in the university’s history of involvement with the survey. Students who reported binge drinking behaviors have dropped to 49 percent in 2019. This is a 61 percent reduction compared to five years ago. The survey also said that 27-28 percent of students choose not to drink at all.
The Princeton Review bases its rankings off of surveys of approximately 140,000 students from all 385 colleges listed in their book of top colleges. Every year students are asked to rate their school’s “academics/administration, life at their college, their fellow students, and themselves.” The results are tallied and added on a metric system, providing a numerical base to compare student opinions from college to college. The survey is available online every year and will only allow one submission per student.
The survey is susceptible to response bias, meaning students who have strong feelings about their college are more likely to respond. Furthermore, the study lacks blindness, meaning students know why they are being asked the questions on the survey and know what the data collected is used for. Therefore, it is possible for students to swing their answers one way or another in order to place their school at the top or bottom of a particular list, rather than telling the truth about the party culture and their drinking habits.
Gracie Dixon, a sophomore education major, says she doesn’t think the university should have been named number one last year, or even number three this year.
“I wouldn’t rely on [the survey] to actually rate schools,” she said.
Dixon considers herself a frequent partier but doesn’t believe that the university’s party culture compares to other universities she’s visited.
“It’s very much an expectation at a lot of other schools, but I feel like here you don’t have to be in party culture and it’s not a huge deal,” Dixon said. “I am [into party culture] but that’s because I wanted to, not because I felt pressured.”
Syracuse took the No. 1 spot this year, up from No. 4 in 2019 and 2018. The University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa is in the No. 2 spot, although the university was not in the top 10 in the previous two years.