The Tulane Hullabaloo

Tulane administration’s hypocrisy on partying needs to stop

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Unfortunately, Tulane has recently suffered a great loss: we no longer hold our coveted title of top party school in the country. We have been relegated to third place, losing out to University of Delaware and West Virginia University. This tragedy must come as good news to the Tulane administration, which has put a great deal of effort into decreasing the availability of alcohol at Tulane and discouraging Tulane’s long-standing “work hard, play hard” tradition.

It is curious, though, that the Tulane administration is trying to curb our reputation as a party school given how often the administration capitalizes on benefits of our party-oriented culture. New Orleans was ranked the Top College City in the country, an achievement that Tulane has audaciously displayed on a pole outside McAlister Auditorium, but Tulane fails to acknowledge what exactly makes New Orleans so great for college students. Perhaps Mardi Gras, the week-long party marathon, where students desperately attempt to make it through to “Tequila Sunrise,” has something to do with that.

Tulane also proudly celebrates our rank as the university with the fourth happiest students, but will not acknowledge that we probably achieved that rank by partying harder than the rest of the country.

Moreover, the handful of steps taken by our administration to reduce underage drinking probably won’t have much of an impact. For the duration of freshman orientation this year, Tulane put dry-campus policies in place, hoping to curb binge drinking, as if people would take that policy more seriously than the state laws they are already breaking. Additionally, the new Splash Cards now indicate if a student is under 21, which probably helps parents feel safer about their kids going to school at Tulane, but likely won’t change much. It’s not like students were using their Splash Cards to get into bars in the first place.

I don’t blame the university for trying to dial back certain aspects of party culture, because the Tulane lifestyle can lead to some serious problems. In some ways, however, these changes seem less like justifiable “improvements” and more like confusing theatre.

Like when airport security makes travellers take their shoes off to inspect them under an x-ray, these policies seem like a façade more than anything. Making it harder for students to drink for a week and changing our university ID cards will just make it more likely that people stray further from campus when they decide to get blackout drunk at some bar.

These changes must come from a good place, but they feel disingenuous when Tulane is marketing the official Tulane Green Wave beer while they teach us about the dangers of alcohol. I’m not even against the Tulane beer. But it would be even greater if Tulane committed to a clear message about our campus culture, instead of straddling the line between blaming students and selling us their house brew.

 

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Tulane administration’s hypocrisy on partying needs to stop