Time to embrace ‘party school’ reputation

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In the past few years we’ve seen a lot of debate about Dixie State University’s identity, but for incoming freshmen, one thing about DSU’s reputation has remained a constant: Dixie likes to party.

Before I started school at DSU I was told by everyone I knew that I wouldn’t get any work done because I would be too busy partying. On the contrary, I did just fine in my classes; however, I saw how if you went looking for it, there definitely was partying to be found. When the town shuts down for the night and available options for entertainment decrease, the party animals come out to play.

DSU administration has tried for years to change the age-old reputation that the university is a “party school.” DSU doesn’t allow sororities or fraternities, or even clubs with Greek letters in the title, to try and stay unassociated with the party image. The FAQ for parents on the DSU website specifically states that DSU is not a “party school” and has a “zero tolerance policy for alcohol” on campus.

Despite any measures taken by the university, the reputation lives on. This is apparent when DSU Ambassadors give presentations about the university to high school seniors.

Mikey Stumph, a junior communication major from Delta and member of the student Ambassador presidency, said, “Some students still think we have a party atmosphere, some really aren’t familiar, but I’d say there is a good portion who still feels like we do have that reputation.”

This reputation isn’t just restricted to high schools in Utah. High school students in Las Vegas are becoming aware of DSU’s party image as well.

“Recruiting [in Las Vegas] is still fairly new, so some kids know about the school and some don’t,” said Elizabeth Wallace, a regional recruiter for DSU who recruits in the Las Vegas area. “I find that the kids who already know about Dixie are aware of the reputation because they have a friend or family member at school there. They think that since it’s such a small town, partying is pretty much the only thing to do.”

At this point it’s clear DSU has done nothing to effectively clear the university’s name, so maybe it’s time to stop fighting a losing battle. It’s time to embrace our reputation and put it to use. 

If students party because they think there is nothing to do, let’s work harder on making them aware of events going on and planning events students want to attend. Let’s become known for having the wildest school-sponsored dances and parties. Let’s provide activities that last past 9:30 p.m. Let’s re-define what “party school” means.

The pursuit of fun has drawn students to DSU. Our reputation is here to stay. If DSU is going to be known as a “party school” then the school should take charge of the party instead of trying to make it disappear.