What are the effects of party culture on HBCUs

Precious J. Tankard

As students further their education and dedicate their time, talents, and finances to college, one thing that must be understood is the impact a school’s party culture can have on school performance. Some party schools are in the category of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

According to the Princeton Review, schools known to embrace high party cultures are those in which students have “low daily personal study hours (outside of class), high usages of alcohol and drugs on-campus, and high popularity of fraternities and sororities.”

Colleges that are identified as party schools tend to be larger institutions. It’s assumed that the higher the student population the more socially prevalent its culture will be. College is the place where young adults are given the freedom to find themselves, enjoy without parental supervision, and are gifted an experience of a lifetime at the expense of financial obligation.

Florida A&M University for example, has over 100 active student clubs and organizations. The student union and activities staff has expressed that socially engaged students are successful, but have those students’ grade point average reflected that insight?

While being an involved student has its pros it also has the cons of becoming a distraction especially to first year students. Going to college for the first time requires a lot of adjustments in study habits, time management and financial planning. If students aren’t careful at any moment these areas can suffer and cause a negative impact.

FAMU is placed as no. 6 in HBCUbuzz’s HBCU 2018 rankings based on US News rankings. This factor alone can categorize FAMU as a party school. Overly active students can be affected if they lose the slightest focus on what’s important.

Throughout the 101 HBCUs in the United States one image that has been portrayed consistently throughout media is how much fun this experience can be, yet the hard work it takes to be successful academically is not mentioned.

Movies and TV shows such as Stomp the Yard, Drumline, School Daze, and The Quad provide an amazing portrayal of students who are socially involved yet focused more on maintaining social order and status rather than high academic achievement. Being studious doesn’t negate the fun that should be had during one’s college experience, but does put emphasis on the balance that should be maintained.

A student’s college experience as an undergraduate is filled with excitement especially once students get involved, though it is important that as they journey through that they understand that all play and no work can hurt their GPA.