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Nearly 40 percent of UI students do not party

BY CHRIS HIGGINS | OCTOBER 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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More than a third of University of Iowa students do not party at the No. 2 party school.

According to data released this week by the office of the associate provost for undergraduate education, slightly more than 39 percent of UI undergraduates spent no time partying a week.

Roughly 3,000 students answered the question.

One-third of college students do not drink or party nationwide, said Jeanna Mastrodicasa, the University of Florida assistant vice president of student affairs.

Nearly 40 percent of UI students party one to five hours a week.

The result arises from the 2014 Student Experience in the Research University survey, which is conducted by UI and a consortium of 15 other universities. It includes more than 150 questions and asks undergraduate students about their study habits, peer interactions, among other items.

Student reaction to the result was mixed.

“I think they’re lying,” UI freshman Rachel Boothroyd said. “It’s just the atmosphere, and I feel like it’s just too much to avoid. I feel like it has to be fewer than 40 percent of people. That’s a big percentage.”

However, another student was not so sure.

“I am surprised,” junior AnnaRose Einarsen said. “There had to be a high demographic of people who don’t party, but I didn’t know it would be that high. It’s surprising but not that surprising.”

UI sophomore Savannah Brooke Narmolanya said she believes the numbers prove more students are “accepting the challenge to focus on their studies more and focus on having fun in ways that are not as dangerous.”

In recent years, officials have expressed their desire to curb alcohol use and heavy partying at UI, which was designated the top party school in the nation last school year by the Princeton Review and No. 2 this year. They said they were pleased with this particular result.

“This matches other data sources that show more and more UI students are not engaging in drinking at all,” said Sarah Hansen, the assistant vice president for assessment and strategic initiatives at UI Student Life.

However, Student Life and health officials also said they believe work needs to continue.

“While this is a great number and one we like to see drop from year to year, there is still work to be done in this area,” said Christina Sowers, a UI Student Health and Wellness substance-abuse counselor. “We’ve committed lots of man-hours and effort to this issue, and we would like to see even bigger improvements in this next year.”

Mastrodicasa said the percentage of students who don’t party at the University of Florida is 32 percent, matching national numbers.

UI officials plan on administering the survey every two years.


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