Monday, August 2, 2010

Princeton Review Crowns UGA Party Champions. Don't Be Fooled; They Likely Have More Street Cred Than Playboy

So UGA finally broke through to become the #1 party school in America, a ranking almost as subjective as the BCS. Surely the difference between the #1 party school in America and the #30 party school in America is pretty damn small; hell any of the top 50 or 100 could likely be re-arranged in any manner by a random number generator and no-one could really argue with it. These rankings seem kind of like the special olympics ribbon or the "My child is student of the month at Kennedy Elementary" bumper stickers- everybody gets one eventually if you are a regular participator who does fairly well.

Party school rankings: kind of like this

But forget all that, because the whole thing is rather boring and meaningless. What did interest me is that this is the Princeton Review Party School ranking, which got me thinking:

1. "Wait, someone else ranks this besides Playboy magazine?"

2. "WTF is THE PRINCETON REVIEW doing ranking epic partying? Isn't that like PETA ranking the best dog tracks in America?"

3. "I bet Princeton Review and Playboy use different methodologies to determine their top party schools..."

#3 initially made me think that UGA had just won the equivalent of the NIT basketball championship or the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, but then I had a realization:

I bet the Princeton Review on-site reviewers are much more hardcore than the Playboy ones. Follow me...

The entire ethos of Playboy is party all the time & inhibition, so for the Playboy on-site reviewers this is all day, every day. Fun but more of the same: drunkenness, nakedness, hijinks, etc. Yawn. Pass the butter.

However, if you work at the Princeton Review, then there is only one chance in the entire span of your employment there to escape the stuffy boredom of academia, and that is if you are selected to be an annual party school ranking on-site reviewer. Give these people an expense account and a 'what happens after dark stays a secret' mentality, then send them into the bellies of the largest collegiate bacchanalia beasts in the country, and something tells me that they binge on sex, drugs, and rock & roll like it's their last week on Earth, and in such a manner that would put even the Playboy reviewers to shame. Think of the "one time, at band camp..." girl but on a much larger scale.

So if you are disappointed that UGA has only achieved the party school championship as determined by boring nerds, turn that frown upside down: this ranking may well hold more weight & insane party cred than the one by vanilla Playboy. Boast to your friends or cringe as necessary.

Also, if someone wanted to make a poll that was actually interesting, they should make one that is 50% party (party school ranking) and 50% academic quality (average SAT score, Rhodes, etc) and do a combination. Neither the academic rankings nor the party rankings are very interesting, but the hybrid one showing which schools party the most yet are still academically legitimate would be a very interesting one, and a poll that would generate much more respect from people. It would be much better to boast about partying down while also taking care of business in the classroom than just partying down or being academically superior.

This could actually be done by anyone with enough free time (read: not me), and I suspect that UGA would fare pretty well, top 20 or maybe even top 10, but the winner might be a school like Michigan.


moinllieon said...

Winner of said hybrid ranking is probably UW-Madison. UM rarely ranks up high in terms of wild parties.

Anyways, back at Clemson, I participated in the Princeton Review survey of partying and I can tell you for a fact that it is highly subjective, random, and dependent on when that particular university takes the survey. The reason is that all of the questions on the survey were along the lines of:

"In the past 2 weeks, how many times have you gotten drunk/thrown up drunk/drank beer/hard liquor/smoked marajuana/etc."

Well, we at Clemson took our survey the week we got back from Spring Break. All of us knew, right after taking the survey, that our results were going to be skewed way out of whack. Low and behold, Clemson was ranked #1 in alcohol, marajuana, and hard liquor school that year.

Kanu said...

Yes, I think some of the Big 10 schools would be tops- UW, UM, IU, Minny, etc. My interest is piqued to the point that I may run some numbers myself in a few weeks when I should have some free time.