In keeping with a long-standing pattern, ASU found itself left off the list of Playboy magazine’s list of the Top 10 biggest party schools for 2014.
For the past few years, ASU has generally hovered near the bottom of the list or has been left off altogether. The Sun Devils barely made the list in 2013 as the ninth-biggest party school. In 2012, ASU also did not merit a rank, following a third-place finish in 2011.
This is a stark contrast from 2002, when ASU was dubbed the No. 1 party school in the nation.
The overall party atmosphere of the school, as well as availability of surrounding nightlife and musical events in the area are the criteria that the magazine uses to create the list.
ASU spokesperson Julie Newberg said the school does not take the ranking seriously, no matter if the school is on the list or not, but some students said being left off the list shows improvement in the University’s reputation.
Newberg said ASU as an organization does not behave any differently to try to remain off the list, but instead cares about creating an environment for students to thrive academically.
“ASU does not consider Playboy’s evaluation of our nation’s universities to be of significant merit,” Newberg said in an email. “We have always placed our focus on providing an academic and social environment of excellence with numerous opportunities to help our students grow intellectually.”
Criminal justice senior Andrew Gonzalez said he heard ASU used to be known for being a party school, but said he had always heard that the image was improving.
“I think that it’s a good thing,” he said. “You come here to have fun, but also to get a really high quality education.”
However, most students agreed ASU’s reputation as a party school sometimes overpowers its other benefits and missions, leaving some to believe that Playboy made a mistake leaving the Sun Devils off the list.
Students often said while they can enjoy the party atmosphere occasionally, they were glad the school’s image to the public was more serious than in years past.
Nonprofit leadership management freshman Jennifer Low said the only thing she had ever heard about ASU before arriving was that it was a huge party school. However, she said her experience in college has been very different from her expectations.
“It has definitely been a different vibe than I expected,” Low said. “But I think that’s a good change.”
Many students agreed and said they have noticed the focus at ASU put on academics more and more in the years they have been in college. They also said students on the Tempe campus seem to have the most fun.
“I think that there is a different vibe depending which campus you are on,” Low, who takes classes downtown, said. “Downtown has a different, more studious culture than Tempe seems to have.”
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