Best of Athens 2017

Here are the results for the 2017 Best of Athens in the students only category.

Best Student Organization

Bobcats of the Shelter Dogs

In the battle of Ohio University student organizations, only one can win. The contest? Who can drink the most, sing the lustiest bar anthems, and hurl a huge boulder the farthest.

Until we have such a contest, though, we’ll have to settle on a survey of our readers, who said Bobcats of the Shelter Dogs, a student organization that raises money to support Friends of the Shelter Dogs, the local organization that won the Best of Athens’ Best Non-Profit to Volunteer For category this year.

The Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre at OU won second-place in this category, although since it’s an academic center in the College of Business, we’re not sure how this is considered a student organization.

Third place this year goes to the Feminist Equality Movement, a relatively new campus student organization that is “committed to furthering the intersectional feminist vision on and off campus.” Fourth place goes to the BobcaThon, a dance marathon fundraiser that raises money each year for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. Fifth place this year goes to the campus’ student-run radio station, ACRN.

Best Place for a Random Hookup

Alden Library

We’re pretty sure OU’s Alden Library wins this category every year, though we’ve walked through the library many times and never seen anyone randomly hooking up or even making out. We really try hard, too, since who wouldn’t want to see something like that? Just briefly, of course, without any sort of optical amplification or fortification.

Next year we might just ask “Best Place for a Planned Hook-Up.”

Second place goes to Pawpurr’s Bar on North Court Street in Athens, with two other uptown bars not far behind at third and fourth place, respectively. That would be Courtside and The Pub. Baker Center wins fifth place.

Best Excuse for Missing Class

Weather (both bad and good)

OU students skipping class? Why, that’s preposterous! Why would anyone want to do that when learning is such a rewarding endeavor?!

Apparently, the number one reason students who voted in our survey skip class is because of weather (both good and bad). Whether it’s a day of fun in the sun at Strouds Run or shredding down a frozen Jeff Hill on a cafeteria tray, students will always find something to do in Athens instead of going to class.

Second place this year is “drunk or drinking,” which is about as self-explanatory as anything in these award categories gets. Third place goes to being sick, while “sleeping/overslept” and “have a hangover” (not mutually exclusive) take home the fourth and fifth spots.

Best OU Administrator

Jenny Hall-Jones

For the third year running, Ohio University Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones takes top honors as the best OU Administrator.  She took this category running away (why all the running?), garnering 428 more votes than the second-place finisher College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman.

On a campus where administrators take a lot of guff from faculty and students, Dr. Hall-Jones is the Teflon Queen, and that’s no small compliment.

Third place goes to Interim OU President David Descutner, for whom a sizeable constituency at the university would prefer he become permanent prez.

Fourth and fifth place, respectively, go to outgoing (as in departing) President Roderick McDavis and Cary Frith, associate dean of the Honors Tutorial College.

Best Reason to Transfer Elsewhere


Once again, students have declared that when it comes to the Best Reason to Transfer Somewhere Else, there is None. So that’s this year’s first-place winner, as it was last year and has been for some time now.

When you’ve made it to Mecca, the OUtopia, the Harvard on the Hocking, with the Most Exciting Band in the Land, where the people are the prettiest, the drinks taste the best, the education is the wittiest, and everything beats all the rest, there really is no reason to leave. Perhaps this is why so many people stay around even after they graduate, or if they leave, they come back.

A handful of people seem to think there are some reasons to leave, however. In second place this year is “lower tuition and/or other costs elsewhere,” while in third place comes “you are drinking too much.”

We suppose those can be valid reasons, but where else would you get a “water fest” when classes are canceled due to a city water line break such as happened on Thursday?

Honorable mentions go to “too much of a party school,” in fourth place and “want a bigger or better school” in fifth.

Best OU Professor

Jennifer Chabot

When it comes to professing, nobody professes like OU associate professor Jenny Chabot, who works in the family studies program at OU and wins this year for Best OU Professor.

Chabot currently focuses her research on children and families in health-care settings, and has published work regarding children of divorce, lesbian parenting experiences, and service learning. She is a certified child-life specialist and is conducting research with families negotiating their lives from a child’s hospital room. In short, she’s great. She delivered the fall undergraduate commencement address on Dec. 10.

Second-place honors go to Christopher Crawford, an assistant professor of strategic management in the OU College of Business. Crawford has teaching interest focuses on entrepreneurial leadership and business strategy, and apparently he’s a wiz at it.

Third-place honors go to associate professor of environmental and plant biology Art Trese.

Honorable mentions go to College of Business lecturer Andrew Pueschel in fourth and distinguished professor of geological sciences R. Damian Nance in fifth.

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