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One day after the College of Charleston in South Carolina placed 15th in the Princeton Review’s annual ranking of party schools, President Glenn McConnell announced that all fraternities and sororities would be suspended from alcohol-related extracurriculars.
McConnell casually omitted the party school ranking in his explanation for the ban.
From The Post and Courier:
He did not mention the college’s debut Monday on the controversial list of the nation’s top party schools, but he did refer instead to “a series of dangerous behaviors connected to some members of our fraternities and sororities, ranging from disruptive parties out in the community this month to recent medical transports related to extreme intoxication.”
“Enough is enough,” Mc-Connell’s message said. “This is not a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated incident.”
Though McConnell didn’t say it, the party ranking undoubtedly played a role in the college’s decision to implement the ban. Just too timely to be a coincidence. And it’s no surprise Greek life was singled out. If you look at how Princeton Review conducts the ranking, Greek life presence is one of the three major factors.
According to the Princeton Review, colleges that earned a spot on the party schools list are those where students’ answers “indicated a combination of low personal daily study hours (outside of class), high usages of alcohol and drugs on campus and high popularity on campus for frats/sororities.”
The huge, several thousand dollar drug bust from earlier in the year probably didn’t help matters. Even though the dealers were inactive members of Kappa Alpha Order, the Post and Courier reported that the chapter still played a major role in the illicit activities, with pledges acting as drug runners and house parties becoming a sort of drug supermarket.
But that happened months ago. Why are fraternities just now being punished? And why are all fraternities being punished? Kind of strange that a fucking online listicle was cause for a ban, but a high profile drug bust did nothing. I was baffled. Then I considered the fact that a hell of a lot more people read the Princeton Review rankings than they do the Post and Courier, and I realized that it wasn’t too strange after all. University officials care far more about their public image than the safety of their students..
P.S. — A little thing I like to call the “I’m Shmacked Effect” — where university officials hand down sanctions shortly after their school gets a party video — may have also played a role:
[via The Post and Courier]