Lehigh as party school: True or not?

Went for an on campus tour recently and both the admin and tour guide seemed to minimize the importance of Greek life and the party culture. Is this true or are they trying to project an image of wholesome fun when the school is still full of very heavy drinkers and partiers?

My S just graduated, wasn’t a part of Greek life and had a great social life through clubs and his friends group. The administration has been cracking down on fraternities and sororities and encouraging activities outside Greek life but there’s a definitely a Greek presence and there will be kids partying. No different than most colleges.


My son is there now, an athlete and not a drinker, not involved in Greek life. He has great friends, and his social life revolves mostly around his sport. I’d agree with everything that @vpa2019 said. He’s had an excellent experience so far, and is a rising junior.


Happy to hear that it isn’t different from other colleges.Thank you.

I think Lehigh is trying hard, and succeeding, to both crack down on, and play down, this reputation. If hard-partying Greek life is what you are after, you will much prefer Lehigh to a whole host of other schools. If you attend a school that has this “scene” - and many excellent schools do - you will also be able to navigate it and have a good experience and friends without participating.

With that said, I think students should take a hard look at what kind of experience they think they want. The kid who has been social/popular in high school or wishes he were more so, who is imagining a “re-do” in college with a “better” outcome than high school might care more about fitting into the dominant culture than the kid who confidently charts his own social course with the friends and interests of his choosing.

I am guessing, though, that all of the “party” schools got a very welcome re-set on their social scene from the pandemic. While there are no doubt kids who are lamenting what the pandemic took from their party life, there are probably many who are relieved to have been able to have fun with friends more sanely, and my hunch is that some of this will become the new normal.