OU President Addresses Palmer Fest, Seems Confused About What School He Runs

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A charitable soul needs to put some real talk into Ohio University President Roderick McDavis’ ear.

Last night, the campus bossman spoke at a public forum addressing the issues surrounding Palmer Fest, the annual Athens block party that collapsed this year under the weight of it’s own rowdy excess. Since reports detailing arson, small skirmishes with police, and bad dancing hit the internet after the April event, McDavis and other campus leaders are now waving an admonitory finger in the air. From the Dispatch:

“We are better than this,” McDavis said at a public forum held to air concerns about Palmer Fest and other annual student parties that take place spring quarter.

“We know that it is not all of our students who are making bad decisions,” he said.

University and city officials are “appalled by the window that was opened on our community” by the April 28 party, McDavis said. He urged those who care about Athens and OU’s reputation to pull together to improve it.

We’re gonna slam the breaks on this right here and wonder whether McDavis knows anything about the school he’s running.

In these parts, “OU” is shorthand for just about every species of campus debauchery on the block. Palmer Fest is a yearly, campus-wide shitface, not some anomaly. And we haven’t even started talking about Halloween. This is a school, keep in mind, that’s held down a spot on the Princeton Review’s Top Party School Survey 12 times since 1997. In fact, last year, OU was named the #1 top party school in the country.

That isn’t meant as any dig toward the academic excellence of the school — it’s a good school. But the administration can’t act like Palmer Fest was a one-time behavioral fumble on the part of students that’s now given the entire school a black eye.

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