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UI gets good ‘fun’ grade

BY CHRIS CURTLAND | JULY 28, 2009 7:07 AM

John Beyer, a 21-year-old UI senior studying biology, said he was shocked the UI made the “Lots of Hard Liquor” list at No. 17 instead of “Lots of Beer.”

The university also took 10th place for “Major Frat & Sorority Scene” and 12th for “Party Schools.”

The Princeton Review released its annual college ratings Monday, ranking the nation’s top 371 colleges on 62 topics ranging from “Least Religious Schools” to “Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools.”

The top 20 colleges for each category are listed.

Each of the colleges listed offers stellar schooling, but once a year, the stuffy reviewers let loose, focusing more on alcohol and less on academia. They look at campus experiences so their readers — prospective students — can find the right fit.

Not to be distinguished solely for its rowdy reputation, the website also listed the UI as one of 158 Best Midwestern Colleges.

The company surveyed 122,000 students, distributing approximately 325 surveys at each campus asking the students to rank the schools. Its 80-item questionnaire asked students about academics, administration, campus life, and each other.

All of the rankings can be found in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review’s annual college guide.

Beyer pointed to UI students’ reputation for partying hard around football season.

“For tailgating, you always see people carrying beer — not a fifth,” he said. “Maybe it’s because we party so hard though.”

Likewise, he was surprised about the UI’s fraternity and sorority ranking, and he said he knows hardly anyone who is a greek.

Sarah Foley, a 21-year-old UI senior in communications, is familiar with the greek scene, though. She rushed in 2006 with some 600 women, then de-pledged her sophomore year. Her reaction was far from surprise.

“The fraternity/sorority thing kind of upsets me,” she said.

Unlike Beyer, Foley was unfazed by the UI’s reported affinity for liquor.

“That’s probably why our police blotter is always a half-page long,” she said.

Despite the abundance of underage drinking tickets, Matt Walkenhorst, a recent UI graduate with degrees in English and political science, seemed satisfied with the UI’s placement this year.

He’s only disappointed the “party school” ranking wasn’t higher, blaming a few deterrents — namely the city’s attempt at a 21-ordinance and the school’s addition of more Friday morning classes.

“They’re [city officials] dragging us down in the party-scene rankings,” he said.


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