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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JULY 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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Not so much a party school

I couldn’t agree more with Jon Overton (DI, July 17). Our drinking reputation does hurt, and it does need fixing.

Reputations change more slowly than reality. The reality at the University of Iowa has changed a lot in the last five years, so I guess it isn’t surprising that some people think we are a “party school.” I suppose people are entitled to their opinions, but to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, people are not entitled to their own facts.

I have some facts that just might surprise you:

A third of our students report zero hours of partying in a typical week, and nearly 30 percent of our students report zero drinks in the previous 30 days.

Binge drinking has dropped 23 percent since 2009.

The number of drinks per occasion has dropped 26 percent since 2009.

Very frequent drinking (more than 10 days out of 30) is down 31 percent since 2009.

We’re just not the same school we were five years ago.

What happened?

Beginning in 2009, the university invested in a comprehensive, evidence-based alcohol-harm-reduction plan. Developed and monitored with the help of students, faculty, and staff members serving on the Alcohol Harm Reduction Advisory Committee, the plan is working.

Are we satisfied? Not yet. We have ambitious plans to continue to reduce the harm our students experience from alcohol use, and we know we can improve.

While we do that, though, let’s all help the university’s reputation catch up to the reality. Serious students come to the University of Iowa, and they have fun and thrive here. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your hometown newspaper. We’re not the party school they might think we are.

We’re a great university offering a great student experience.

Tom Rocklin
Iowa vice president for Student Life


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