West Virginia University has long been known for its impressive and well-renowned party culture, ranking at the top of countless lists for being one of the best party schools in the country.

While the students are extremely proud of this fact (and rightfully so), university administration has tried hard to turn a new page on this reputation, hoping to show the school in a more appropriate and scholarly light, even trying to curb outside-campus activities at some points.

While they fight the good fight, another problem stems from the outrageous parties thrown by students around Morgantown: the trash, debris and general aftermath left after one of these “social gatherings.” Morgantown “townies” have raised their anger and disgust with the way their city is treated by the temporary students and City Council has tried to make changes.

So, are WVU students and their parties hurting the place they love—the place they belong—even worse than the school’s reputation?

One of the saddest examples of massive amounts of discarded trash that you can see in Morgantown is the trash strewn along the Monongahela River and Rail-Trail which you can see depicted in a livestream our writers’ team did a few weeks ago.

As the weather is warming up and classes are coming to an end, students will also now have more free time to enjoy. With that, they’ll begin flocking to nearby waterholes (quite literally) with their groups of friends and six packs of white claws to beat the heat and celebrate another passed semester. Arden Falls, Blue Hole and Cheat Lake all become very popular places for the local college students to hang out—and leave their trash.

In our past articles on this blog, like WVU Strategic Communications Students Do Their Part for Climate Change or Trends That Are Saving The Earth, we’ve praised the efforts that West Virginia students have done to help the environment. However, there’s still so much more that we can do, starting here with our home.

There’s not much to say here except we need to be better. We, as students of a prestigious, brilliant, ground-breaking university that still knows how to have fun needs to be more mindful of the community that houses us. As our president said, “We work hard, (and) we play hard, but smart,” which is extremely true. Now it’s time to find a way to be smart about how we’re treating our environment, because while we may be doing amazing things for others, we also should be focusing on ourselves, too.

Instead of leaving this post on a negative note, there is still one more story of students with true Mountaineers spirit, because we can always find those who go first. After the spontaneous snow day which the university eventually condemned as shown above, students went out and cleaned up the mess left behind, saying, “We felt it was our responsibility to go out and clean up and help out our community.” Let’s go.

4 thoughts on “Is WVU’s Party Culture Hurting More Than Just Its Academic Reputation?

  1. I think it is definitively one of the most important issues at WVU that is seldom talked about. Yesterday as I was walking to High Street I saw everything from condoms to an empty Listerine bottle- and it seems like the student body is content in living that way. I think WVU should initiate a “green cleanup” day once every couple of months as a campus-wide initiative for cleaning up! Great job linking back to your group’s previous works as well!

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  2. I completely agree that the litter in Morgantown is really out of hand during certain points of the year. It seems that right when classes start and end is when you will see the most trash. The warm weather means people are spending far more time outside.
    I live right by the rail trail and regularly walk or run down there. The trash is everywhere. Its somewhat crazy to think that even with the heavy fines people could face, they will still have parties and allow people to to “dispose” of their trash anywhere.

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  3. I love that your post is bringing attention to a major issue here in Morgantown. Personally, I have no problem with parties and having a good time on the weekends but that doesn’t omit one’s responsibility to discard their containers/trash. I’m not expecting perfection but something as simple as once you’re finished with your drink discard of it properly (and grab another). I know the city tickets houses that are covered in trash but it shouldn’t have to come to that point. Really enjoyed your post and how you tied in reputation and pride for the university!

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  4. You did a great job with this topic, I had a post about something similar. Your pictures you used were really good, you really highlighted the issue well by showing specific parts of campus that are particularly bad.

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