Texas State students should have fun during football and tailgate season, but ultimately, academics cannot take a back seat to partying.
The university’s four-year graduation rate pales in comparison to some of the other large universities statewide. According to the 2012 Texas Higher Public Education Almanac, Texas State had a 30 percent four-year graduation rate as of 2010. This is substantially lower than the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, which both have at least 50 percent four-year graduation rates. According to Institutional Research data from 2009, Texas State will fail to retain about 21 percent of its freshmen. Bobcats can improve grades and graduation rates by studying more and partying less.
There are many reasons students drop out of college, some of which are nearly unavoidable. Many Texas State students drop out because San Marcos’ social scene wholly consumes them. A new environment and lack of parental supervision greatly contribute to this issue. Since it is ridiculous to be taking shots on a Tuesday night when there are still two or three days left of classes for the week, social activities should not spill into the school week. There is no need for students to hit the bars and nightclubs at The Square when they have yet to hit the textbooks. Newfound freedoms are definitely an important part of the college experience. Therefore, students must keep partying at a minimum.
This early in the semester, the consequences of excessive partying at Texas State are already becoming apparent. According to University Police Department records from Aug. 27 through Sept. 7, there have been 31 student arrests or citations as a result of alcohol or drug use. Police records show during this same period, eight students were arrested for public intoxication and another eight received minor in possession charges.
On the Sept. 8 football game day alone, five students were arrested for public intoxication. With total disregard for the existing alcohol ban, some of these incidents were committed on campus.
Beyond ignoring the law and not following campus regulations, students help tarnish the image of fellow Bobcats when they get drunk or high. The university’s reputation suffers when there is yet another incident of illegal substance use or alcohol abuse that plays a part in mass arrests or deaths. For instance, people might be discouraged to attend a college where garages full of students get busted for underage drinking. It is unfortunate that a student fell to her death on campus two years ago because she was drunk. Clearly, none of this behavior is “pride in action.”
Many students rightly take pride in the university, especially since Texas State is now an emerging research institute. However, there will be little to be proud of in the future if students do not put academics above partying.