Princeton Review 2011 Party School Lists SEC Schools

Georgia Tops Party School List

The 2011 Edition of Princeton Review names Georgia the number 1 party school in the country and also names 3 other SEC schools in the top 15. They are Ole Miss at 5, Florida at 7, and Alabama at 13.

Here is the rest of the list:

1) University of Georgia
2) Ohio University — Athens
3) Pennsylvania State University — University Park
4) West Virginia University
5) University of Mississippi
6) The University of Texas at Austin
7) University of Florida
8) University of California — Santa Barbara
9) University of Iowa
10) DePauw University
11) Florida State University
12) University of Wisconsin-Madison
13) University of Alabama — Tuscaloosa
14) Sewanee — The University of the South
15) Indiana University — Bloomington

In higher education, it’s often all about the rankings. The Princeton Review has just released the Top Party Schools for 2011. The University of Georgia took the lead at #1 Party School this year. The university located in downtown Athens is surrounded by nearly 100 bars — and parties seem to permeate college life from August to May and Thursdays to Sundays. Tailgating before football games is a large tradition.

To compile The Best 373 Colleges guide, the Princeton Review surveyed over 122,000 students and collected tons of information to help parents and students find the best colleges — including 62 ranking lists.

The University of Georgia has climbed from a fourth place finish last year. The university has made the top 20 for 10 of the past 13 years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, an honor administrators are not excited to claim.

“UGA has been on the party school list for a while, but it’s one we prefer not to lead,” university spokesman Tom Jackson said in a statement to the AJC.

Here is a section from yesterday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution (Link to Full Article):

Students at the University of Georgia just might celebrate this title with a game of beer pong.

UGA was named the No. 1 party school in the nation Monday, adding to the beer-soaked reputation college leaders can’t seem to shed.

The college has landed on the top 20 party list compiled by the Princeton Review for 10 of the past 13 years, but this is the first time it finished in the top spot. Students, channeling their inner “Bluto” Blutarsky from “Animal House,” posted “We’re No. 1!” on Facebook and Twitter. A few wondered how this national title would fit in the trophy case.

University leaders took the Dean Wormer approach, viewing the list as sobering news. After all, this isn’t the top-ranking leaders were hoping for. Especially as administrators have worked for years to cut down on underage drinking by throwing offenders in jail or calling their parents following a first offense.

“UGA has been on the party school list for a while, but it’s one we prefer not to lead,” spokesman Tom Jackson said in a statement. “We’d rather focus on the Green Honor Roll listing as a top environmentally conscious campus or the top 50 ‘Best Values’ listing.” (Both those rankings also came from the Princeton Review.)

It’s hard to shake the party image in Athens, where nearly 100 bars are located. Beyond the bars, there are countless house parties where drinking games reign. For example, beer pong enthusiasts throw pingpong balls across a table, trying to land them in cups of beer at the other end. The loser drinks the remaining beer in the winner’s cups.

“UGA does have a party atmosphere, there’s always a party going on,” said Catherine Hobbs, a senior with a double major in finance and sports management. “This list is funny. It sounds crazy, almost like a cool factor. But people need to understand the parties go on at night. We do actually go to class and study.”

College leaders have pooh-poohed the unscientific rankings.

The list was developed using e-mail surveys of 122,000 students at more than 370 colleges. Students answered questions about alcohol and drug use on campus, the number of hours spent studying, and the popularity of fraternities and sororities.

Showing that there’s no link between parties and bliss, the Princeton Review also ranked the schools with the happiest students. The Ivy League’s Brown University, which was nowhere to be found on the party list, landed in first for good cheer.

Other rankings include: most beautiful campus (Sewanee — The University of the South), reefer madness (University of California — Santa Cruz) and even Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking vegetarians (Bard College).

The lists aren’t exactly recruiting tools.

“It’s not like anyone is saying come here and party,” said Joshua Delaney, UGA’s student body president. “If students want to do that, that’s their decision. It’s just important for people to do it responsibly.”

The university has instituted tougher sanctions against students caught drinking, and it has tightened rules for game-day tailgating.

“The University of Georgia takes student alcohol education programs very seriously and will continue to do so,” Jackson said.

But consider this past year.

Former athletic director Damon Evans resigned last month, shortly after his drunken driving arrest. Prior to that, Evans had appeared in university public service announcements urging people not to drink and drive.

Following a football game in September, tailgaters trashed the historic North Campus, dumping about 70 tons of garbage. Some people urinated and defecated on buildings.

Students who don’t like the party atmosphere at UGA could attend the polar opposite. Brigham Young University in Utah has been No. 1 on the “stone cold sober” list for 12 consecutive years.

As SEC football fans, what are your thoughts?