Our good friend David Azerrad of ACTA provides a few reasons in an editorial for the NY Daily News today:
people don't realize is that rampant binge drinking is not a self-contained problem. Only because our colleges and universities are increasingly abandoning their educational mission is the party culture thriving.
you might spend more hours partying every week than doing homework or sitting in class.
so what if the kids are partying? As the lead character, himself in the seventh year of college, says in the "Van Wilder" college flick: "You shouldn't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive."...tell that to the parents of the 1,700 college students who die every year from alcohol-related injuries. Or to the nearly 100,000 college students who are victim of alcohol-related sexual assault or rape. Or to 150,000 students who develop alcohol-related health problems while in college.
Think also of all the lost academic potential. A quarter of our college students say that drinking has had negative effects on their studies: Missing classes, doing poorly on assignments and lower overall grades. If the kids themselves are admitting to the damage, you know it must be serious.
The well-documented grade inflation epidemic tells us all we need to know about the back room deal students and professors have made with one another. Grading has become a form of mutual pandering - a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" compact in which professors hand out good grades for very little work, and in return, students don't complain that they aren't actually learning anything.
To fill this academic void, of course, administrators woo students by building lavish resident halls, fitness centers and other amenities that contribute more to a "country club" mentality than an intellectual one.