Ohio University has forged new ground. The Princeton Review has announced that OU is the number one party school in the country this year.
While OU has gotten ranked as high as number two previously, in 2010 and 2005, this marks the first time that the school has gotten the number one ranking. We would use the verb "won" in that sentence except that some folks aren't crazy about the honor.
Following the announcement today, OU released a statement from Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi:
"We take seriously our responsibility to help our students succeed in all facets of their experience, including addressing high-risk behavior. We are disappointed in the party school ranking as it is not indicative of the overall experience of Ohio (University) students and does not match the data we have collected."
He said that in the past five years, OU has enacted programs and policy changes that have helped reduce instances of high-risk behavior at the school, including a 49 percent decrease in alcohol-related judicial violations and an 8 percent decrease in self-reported high-risk drinking by students.
In this latest edition, for 2011, the Princeton Review also ranked OU as number one in "lots of beer" and number two in "lots of hard liquor."
The school got number six in "best athletic facilities"; number 11 in "most beautiful campus"; number 11 in "major frat and sorority scene"; number 12 in "students study the least"; number 12 in "best college newspaper"; and number 12 in "most accessible profs."
In 2010, the school got number one in "lots of beer"; number two in "party schools"; number seven in "lots of hard liquor"; number 17 in "great financial aid"; number 19 in "students study the least"; and number 20 in "major frat and sorority scene."
In 2009, OU got number five party school, six in hard liquor and seven in great financial aid. In 2008, the school got number one in hard liquor, number five in lots of beer and number five in party school. In 2007, the only top-ten ranking was number nine in party school. But in 2006, OU go number four in lots of beer, number six in party schools and number seven in lots of hard liquor. In 2005, OU got number two party school for the first time, and number two for "students study the least."
The party school rankings go back to 1997, when the school first ranked number 12. Since then, it received number seven party school in 1998, number 14 party school in 1999, number 10 party school in 2000, and number 5 party school in 2004.
According to materials from the Princeton Review, these figures are generated by asking students who attend the universities to answer an 80-question survey in which they rate their own schools on various topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Some 122,000 students at 376 schools answer questions about everything from party atmosphere to financial aid to fire safety to quality of academics and administrators.
In the past, OU officials have not been thrilled when the school has ranked high in various party school rankings, including the oldest one, awarded most years by Playboy magazine. This year is no different.
"We clearly voice our expectations to students, make them aware of the consequences for failing to do so, and provide education to help them make good decisions while they are at Ohio University," Dean of Students Lombardi said. "We have teamed with colleges and universities across the country to tackle this issue (high-risk drinking), and while we have made progress, we will continue our efforts to further reduce high-risk behavior on our campus."
Lombardi said that OU students are among the best and brightest in the country, as evidenced by their campus engagement and success in the classroom.
The Princeton Review, which isn't related to Princeton University, every year publishes the guidebook, "The Best 376 Colleges" (Random House). The rankings also appear on www.PrincetonReview.com.
The Princeton Review is an education services company involved in test-prep courses, classes, tutoring, books and other student resources.