UT works to stay out of the 'top party school' rankings

8:55 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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The Princeton Review published its annual listing ranking of the nation's top party schools Tuesday and University of Iowa took the top billing.

It's been 12 years, but the University of Tennessee has also held the dubious distinction, though officials say they've done much in the years since to shed the title and keep it away.

The year after hitting number one, UT's party school ranking dropped to 16, where it hovered for the next several years.

In 2010 it fell out of the top 20, reemerging on the list in 2012 by narrowly making the cut in final place.

This year, they are once again off the list and therefore out of headlines, and they're trying to keep it that way.

"The university for a number of years has focused significantly on prevention efforts, also on communicating expectations," said Associate Dean of Students Jeff Cathey.

Then the infamous "butt-chugging" scandal hit. In November 2012, a student was brought to UT Medical Center in the early morning with a blood alcohol content of more than .40. He had allegedly used an enema containing wine.

A Greek Life task force was formed, incorporating alumnae, the police chief, and university employees. Several of their recommendations will be implemented for the first time this year.

For example, three fraternities will have a supervisor who is not a graduate student or student living in their house this year.

For the first time, the university also compiled and published data on each chapter's judicial history and grade point average and then made the information available to prospective pledges and their parents.

"It's a much more holistic profile of our chapters," said Cathey.

Cathey says he's aware alcohol abuse will continue amongst UT students.

"Some of the things that concern me the most about behavior of college students continue to be abuse of alcohol," said Cathey.

 But in general, he says he believes they're making strides.

"I think what we have now is a student body that's much more educated on the topic," said Cathey.


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