In 2002 Playboy magazine published a list of top party schools, WSU took 18th place on the list. In 2009, we rose up to 16th place on Playboy’s list.
So maybe that’s where it started, or perhaps the reputation goes back even further. But WSU’s reputation for being a party school still stands strong today. It’s something every Washingtonian has heard. But does this crazy party image affect current and potential students?
It’s easy to see why people give WSU this party school reputation. Walk on Greek row pretty much any weekend, and you will see your fair share of parties and drunk students making their way to Tin-Tan Tacos to sober up with some burritos.
Some people like to blame Greek life and the social events that come with it, others say that’s the territory that comes with being in a school in the middle of nowhere.
“I think that people just see that WSU is located in Pullman, in the middle of nowhere, with the Palouse, the wheat fields, so it’s just parties cause there is nothing to do,” said Isabela Wilder, a sophomore sports management major. “I definitely feel like it devalues the education that is happening here.”
It would be wrong to put all of the blame on Greek life, it is just easier for people who are not going to WSU to see the parties there. But Greeks are not the only group to party.
WSU has a lot of amazing programs and has lots to offer for all sorts of majors. However, it can feel like these are overshadowed by this monster image of parties and craziness. Students can feel like their work here is also overshadowed, because there is the pressure to keep up with this image.
“I think that a lot of students get a lot of flak from people who don’t understand or go here, that it’s just a party school and the majors don’t matter or that the professors aren’t as serious,” said Hannah Guillien, a junior pre-veterinary medicine major. “WSU kinda had a reputation in my high school; it was seen as, you know, the big party school, while [the University of Washington] was maybe more of the serious school, and here was more fun.”
It is totally fine to let loose during the weekends, but when partying and our sometimes decent football team is all we are known for, that is a serious problem.
To change this culture we must change the title we give WSU. By continuing this party school reputation, we are adding fuel to the fire and not helping our community change. There are so many other things WSU should be known for, such as our Cosmic Crisp apples.
The only way to change party culture is to change how we are talking about our school. Start focusing on the great education and student achievements that take place here. Students work hard at WSU, so why should they feel like the work they do here is devalued because of a reputation? Nothing will change if we do not change the conversation around our school.
The coronavirus closures might be a great way to step back and reconsider the party school atmosphere on campus. When most social events are cancelled and students will be staying home, campus is bound to look different. Take a break from slamming beers with your bros so you could possibly find a job back home or just relax.
Dayana Fairchild is a multimedia journalism major from Shoreline, Wash. She can be contacted at 335-1140 or at [email protected] The views expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the views of The Daily Evergreen, its editors or publishers.