Skeptical of the party scene
The social scene on campus has an illustrious history of weekend mayhem, including police-busted day drinks and promiscuous tirades on rooftops.
While many students recognize heavy drinking and partying as a crucial part of the college experience, others feel negatively affected by it.
Freshman Harry Lewis is disinterested in what he perceives as an overwhelming emphasis on party culture from fellow students.
“There’s definitely a sense that, if you’re not out drinking every weekend, you’re somehow less of a Blue Hen than everyone who does,” Lewis says. “It honestly can take a toll on your self-esteem when people around you keep pushing this point that, by not participating, you’re not a member of the community.”
While partying is not something in which he chooses to participate, Lewis recognizes that a certain amount of experimentation is inevitable when 18-year-olds begin taking care of themselves for the first time. In many cases, though, he believes that students should act more maturely when it comes to partying.
“It’s easy to say ‘kids will be kids,’ but it’s important to take some responsibility,” Lewis says. “If people put more effort into school than hiding from the police, things would be different. There’s no focus on school.”
Lewis observes that a lack of participation in drinking and partying often leaves students open to criticism on many levels.
Sophomore Nathan Phillips echoes Lewis’s sentiments regarding social pressures on campus: While there are alternatives, not participating in the party scene often means being labeled an outcast. He asserts that the culture of excessive drinking and partying degrades the school’s reputation.
“Walking around at night here, I see drunk people everywhere,” Phillips says. “I’ve been to other colleges where that doesn’t happen.”
However, Phillips believes that such a culture is unavoidable here at the university.
“I’m not sure that anything could be done to stop it,” Phillips says. “I think it’s part of upper-middle-class culture.”
On the other hand, senior Danielle Imhoff believes that the university provides ample opportunities to avoid this party culture, even though they may get “overshadowed.”
She cites movies at Trabant, concerts like the recent Nico and Vinz performance and various other school-affiliated activities as some of the options available to students.
Imhoff says she believes the university’s reputation has improved since she applied.
“I think there’s always going to be peer pressure, but the university helps students respond to it in a positive way,” she says.
While Freshman Meaghan Young does not personally participate in the typical party scene, she says she doesn’t have a problem with those who do, as long as they’re safe.
As a student in the pre-vet program, Young says she has very little time to go out. When she is free, however, she prefers going to movies or hanging out in friends’ rooms.
Young does not believe that the school’s reputation is significantly degraded by the party culture.
“In an ideal world, a strong party culture would weaken the school’s reputation, but every school is party school,” Young says. “It’s just a matter of balancing academic life with partying.”
Other students favor a calmer social environment in which to interact with friends.
“I grew up in Nashville, so I’m used to low-key places with a music scene,” junior Colby Ball says. “I’m not into the loud party thing because I never grew up with it. I do go out with friends that go to Temple, but we go to house shows.”
Ball suggests that every college places a different emphasis on the party scene.
“It doesn’t necessarily degrade the reputation of the school, but the partying is part of UD’s personality,” Ball says. “Big state schools are usually known for it, while smaller liberal arts schools aren’t.”