Cougars deny importance of being voted ‘sober campus’


Francis Emelogu/The Cougar

When prospective students are deciding where to further their education, some may prioritize their list in accordance to proximity to home, student population, the surrounding area or the availability and success of their chosen major.

However, it seems that some individuals may chose their university on the basis of the campus’ sobriety.

According to recent rankings released by the Princeton Review, UH is one of the top 20 most sober schools in the nation. To some students that may be disappointing news, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Cougars.

UH came in at 18th, according to students surveyed from schools around the country, and was one of two Texas schools on the list. Aside from UH, the list mostly comprises private and religious schools from around the nation, such as Brigham Young University, which placed 1st for the 17th consecutive year.

Although UH now has more on-campus housing than ever, the results aren’t necessarily surprising for students. In fact, they may not bother some at all.

UH has long been considered a commuter school. That isn’t as true as it used to be, but there may still be a perception and quality about the University that attracts the kind of people who aren’t as interested in partying on campus.

Being a sober school can either be a plus or negative for many potential students. There are plenty of reasons to attend UH, but it seems stereotypical college parties are not the priority for those who choose to attend.

Biology senior Shiv Divanji said he did not take UH’s party life into account when choosing a college.

“No, I didn’t think about that,” Divanji said. “I simply chose it because it was close to home, but after being here for three years, and starting my fourth, I love it. I don’t think I would’ve made the same type of friends I have if I went anywhere else.”

UH has a reputation for being a commuter school, but it also has a reputation for being a diverse university. Aside from ranking the University as sober, the Princeton Review has also named UH a “great value school” three years in a row, something that only five other schools in Texas have been recognized for.

Additionally, the diversity of the campus is well-known and acknowledged by the U.S. News & World Report as second in the nation.

Houston is a large, diverse and industrious city. For those who want to party, there are plenty of great places to do that at, and there are plenty of places for drinking as well. Students often come early for classes before either going home or going to work.

The University’s location makes it easy for working adults to receive a valuable education while working and living the non-traditional student life.

A party atmosphere isn’t necessary because there are plenty of places throughout Houston to enjoy oneself. Perhaps partying is becoming less of a focus for students around the nation as tuition rates soar and jobs become scarce.

According to a CNN report, the class of 2013 graduated with an average of $35,200 in total debt. Many students owe much more, and it’s no secret that prices have been rising quickly over the years.

Today’s students cannot afford to choose their college based on partying. That isn’t to say UH doesn’t have plenty to offer in terms of entertainment and fun; generally speaking, though, students are less concerned with recreation than they are with the quality of their education. Too many students need to see a potential return in their investment before they concern themselves with the party atmosphere of campus.

Campus might not have as lively a party or drinking scene on campus, but its students seem to be fine with that. We might not drink as much as the rest of the nation’s colleges, but that just means we take our studying that much more seriously.

This university offers a quality, affordable education. Located in the heart of one of the largest American cities with one of the most diverse student bodies and a tier one status, there are plenty of reasons to love this University.

Opinion columnist Shane Brandt is a petroleum engineering junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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