Friday, October 19, 2012

Playboy's Top Ten Party Schools

Each year, the administrators at major universities look for one particular axe to fall.  No, it's not necessarily further cuts from the legislature, or impaired fortunes of football teams (except perhaps in Alabama).  No, it's worse: Each year Playboy magazine publishes its list of the Top Ten Party Schools.  This year, the University of Virginia topped the list.  Wouldn't Mr. Jefferson be proud?

As a further bit of information, the USAToday article contained this excerpt:

"Methodology? Playboy is succinct. "We took America's top 100 colleges and ranked them across 900 data points in three categories: Sex Life, Sporting LIfe, Nightlife.'"

In a breakdown by category, in what was surely a rigorous, peer-reviewed statistical undertaking, the University of North Carolina ranks No. 1 in Sex Life (Tar Heel women, Playboy says, are "plentiful," "beautiful" and "progressive." ( Worst: Colorado School of Mines.)

[Okay, there are a lot of us; and I'm willing to be described as "beautiful," as are most Tarheel women.  But progressive?  Is that Playboyese for easy?]

In the Sporting LIfe category, Ohio State tops the list. "In Columbus, top-notch tailgating is rivaled only by the games themselves." (Worst: Yeshiva University)

And in Night LIfe, Southern Methodist University is No. 1. "At SMU, Dallas is your never-ending house party." (Worst: Brigham Young.)

For the record, in recent times the University of Colorado and the University of Miami received this dubious honor.  Among the criteria that Playboy used in 2009 was a "bikini index," not otherwise identified.

How do institutions react when this honor is bestowed?  Typically, the faculty there will tut-tut, and grouse about the nonseriousness of the student body.  The local newspapers will carry the story; and if it's a slow news cycle (like now) they will interview a few students who will embellish their stories.  Some institutions might protest, or at least take some steps to clamp down on the ardent spirits (ethanol and youthful, both).  Many schools might say or do nothing officially, figuring that if nothing is said, it will fast go the way of old news.  (That is probably the most effective strategy, at the recent debacle at the University of Tennessee regarding butt-chugging illustrates.  All of the participants managed to extend the news life of that story much longer than normal.)

But there is a still another way:  Embrace the mantle of party school.  After all, it could serve as a recruiting tool!  I can see some relatively little-known university vaulting into prominence by being named a party school.  And it's cheaper and more fun than having an outstanding faculty doing significant research or a powerhouse football team!

Florida Panhandle University, here's your chance!


Jon Frum said...

I don't think that being ranked high as a "party school" makes any difference one way or another. Vanderbilt, USC, Wisconsin, and Virginia have reputations in other areas.

Meredith said...

I'm sure that designation does not help a university at all. But what the heck, I went to Ole Miss!

Bilbo said...

My alma mater, Penn State University, did not even make the list. Times have changed: when I was there (1969-73), there was quite a bit of partying going on (it was the tail end of the swinging 60's, after all). Sadly, I frittered away my college years by studying rather than partying. Had I but known ...

Dianne said...

progressive = easy
that killed me :)

Grenouille Fille said...

The reputation of party schools seems to be an honor aspired to be the fraternity and sorority crowd. It's too often overinflated.

Did Texas A & M ever make the list?

Mike said...

I don't think University of Missouri at Rolla ever made any list.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Jon and Meredith -- I'm of that opinion too.

Grenouille -- A& M? No, I don't think so.

Mike -- Probably not.

Bilbo -- All state universities have a segment that seriously parties. Even LSU. :-)

Dianne -- Well, since they included it in the Sex category, I figured they had their own meaning of progressive. Or is this a side to the 1920's Progressives that we were not told about in history classes?

Big Sky Heidi said...

Middle Tennessee and Montana failed to make the list. Darn!

Grand Crapaud said...

The SEC is well-represented in the Top Party Schools lists every year.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Heidi -- Maybe Montana can qualify in the future.

Crapaud -- Yes, including an appearance by Vanderbilt.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

always nice to know all the money everyone spends on education goes to good use!