Congratulations, hardworking ASU students: Apparently, you are special snowflakes who’ve joined the imaginary ranks of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and the Great Pumpkin.
In a Sept. 27 editorial published online and in print, the Arizona Republic editorial board took ASU students to task for our so-called “party-mania” and for making yet another appearance on Playboy’s annual list of the nation’s top 10 party schools.
“Too bad ASU is so ineffective in letting students know that being off campus does not mean being exempt from rules of civilized behavior,” the Republic’s editors wrote. “These naughty children should be treated like naughty children.”
The writers were kind enough to note that a minority of ASU students were not subjects of their censure — “There are hardworking students who understand rules of decent behavior” — but apparently the existence of miscreants among the general ASU population is enough to absolve the editorial board of doing additional research, beyond reading Playboy and the Tempe police beat.
The claims that ASU students should not be considered adults because there have been incidents of arrests and other rowdy behavior are blithely trivializing and demeaning to the entire ASU community. There is simply no way to accurately lump together such a large population and come to any simplistic conclusions. To presume otherwise is faulty logic and not worthy of the Republic. We expect better.
If the Republic would truly like to castigate what apparently constitutes the majority of ASU students as “naughty children” partying on their parents’ dime, we’d like to see who these kids are. They’re certainly not our classmates.
We see an academically oriented ASU, where students are constantly working to better themselves and their environments. Just this week, The State Press reported on a student who created a program to detect cyberbullying on Facebook and a group of students who designed an energy-efficient home for an elderly couple. There are many similar stories that go beyond the surface of the trite “party school” reputation.
The Arizona Board of Regents released a study in February indicating that ASU, UA and NAU contributed nearly $1 million to the Arizona economy from their research activities during 2012. The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and Channel 12 employ student interns at many of their desks, including breaking news, community, sports, AZ Fact Check and copy editing.
It seems that ASU students may in fact contribute in myriad ways to the community, the state and even the Republic itself.
Tempe is not only composed of students. Professionals of all sorts, families with children, 20-somethings trying to avoid moving back into their parents’ homes — you will find them all in and around Tempe. There may be higher rates of arrests in Tempe than other parts of the Valley, which is surely not unheard of for a college town of equivalent size.
According to a 2010 ranking of most dangerous college campuses in the nation, Tufts University and Harvard University topped the list. UA was ranked No. 130 and NAU was ranked No. 194. ASU did not make the list.
Tarring each and every one of the more than 70,000 ASU students with the same brush is irresponsible journalism and indicative of a profound lack of respect for the very students who rely on The Arizona Republic for local news coverage.
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