Best of Athens Logo 2018

Best Student Organization

Community Service Leadership Council

If there’s a well-deserving winner in the 2018 Best of Athens Readers’ Choice Awards, this is it. Placing first as the Best Student Organization, the Community Service Leadership Council at Ohio University does tons of good work in both the OU and campus communities.

Here’s the Council’s mission statement:

“We are an Ohio University Student Organization dedicated to creating weekly service opportunities for the participation of Ohio University students, to act as the governing body in the administration of SCORE Grants, and to act as a liaison between all student service organizations on campus in an effort to better coordinate and promote community service efforts.” They conduct community “Projects of the Week” and are also involved in the annual Athens Beautification Day (April 22 this year).

Second place goes to OU Student Senate, which does lots of things.

The OU chapter of the International Socialist Organization – frequent participants in uptown protests – takes third place.

Fourth and fifth place went to nobody.

Best Excuse for Missing Class

Weather (good or bad)

We’ve been holding onto this category perhaps a bit too long. The idea when we hatched it oh so many years ago was to trigger some fun and creative responses. But alas, the annual winner, year after year after year (that’s what “annual” means by the way) has been “weather.”

Yawn. We think we’re going to skip class and explain our absence by saying, “We fell asleep thinking about the boring ‘weather’ answer in the BEFSC category for Best of Athens.”

The other “winners” in this tired category are second, sleep; third, hangover; fourth, being sick; and fifth, “smoking weed.”

If that’s all the better you OU students can do, maybe you should just surrender and attend class.

Best Place for a Random Hookup

Alden Library

Let’s eliminate the namby-pamby euphemisms here. What this smutty category asks is where’s the best place to have spontaneous intercourse, presumably with another person. That place this year and nearly every other year is Ohio University’s Alden Library. And just like every other year, we have no idea whether our OU student survey respondents are BSing or serious. Do people really have sex at the library? We understand from fourth-hand reports that this does happen in some Japanese porn videos, but at Ohio University?

Shame, shame.

Second place goes to The Pub, which also has great hamburgers (second place), and what that has to do with random hookups, don’t ask.

Another North Court Street bar, The Crystal, takes third place.

Fourth place for this filthy business is “dorm room” (well, finally, some decorum), with “alley” (so much for decorum) taking fifth place.

Best Reason to Transfer Elsewhere


Like last year, our Ohio University student readers for 2018 BOA – most of them anyway – couldn’t think of any reason to transfer to another college. They answered “none.” This might be a repeat winner because people who have decided to transfer aren’t here and don’t know about Best of Athens. In that case, good riddance, jerk-wads.

On the other hand, maybe OU is perfect and there really isn’t any good reason to transfer. At some point, you’re going to graduate anyway – well, most of you anyhow – so what’s the hurry about leaving?

Second place goes to “too much drinking,” which is a brutally honest answer if you ask us. An excess of excess has been a common experience of OU students since they were wearing tri-corn hats and breeches.

Third- and fourth-place winners are cost and weather, respectively. 

Best OU Professor

Dan West (Forensics)

Winning this aggressively-sought-after prize (actually we’re kidding about that) this year is assistant professor Dan West, Ohio University’s John A. Cassese Director of Forensics since 2005 (thank you very much,

How cool is that? A crime-fighting professor of forensic science, like our heroes in all those NCIS shows, wins first place for Best Prof.

Ouch. Quit kicking me!

Oops, we have a correction. Dr. West, who teaches in OU’s Department of Communication Studies, teaches the other type of “forensics,” the art or study of formal debate. But that’s still cool, even if there aren’t many highly rated TV shows involving debate.

Whatever the case, Dr. West should well be honored. Past winners of Best OU Professor represent a who’s who of great OU faculty members over the years.

Second place goes to Andre Gribou, professor of piano, composition and general studies in OU’s School of Music. Gribou enjoys international fame as a composer, pianist and more.

Andrew Pueschel, a lecturer in the College of Business, wins third place. His specialties are “Well-being and Best Business Practices, Authentic Leadership, Soft Skill Development, Management Pedagogy, and Organizational Culture” – all things that many work places could use more of.

Fourth and fifth place, respectively, go to assistant business professor Christopher Crawford (last year’s 2nd-place winner) and Debra Rentz, like Dr. Gribou a distinguished faculty member in the School of  Music.

Best OU Administrator

Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones

Ohio University sure seems to have many beloved administrators, at least a few in each department. As the trend goes, however, one person tends to come back for the title of Best OU Administrator each year, and thus must be the most beloved by at least this present-day generation of students.

This year, that most beloved administrator is Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones, who’s won first place in this category since 2015. Though her win this year wasn’t as staggering as last year’s (when she was over 400 votes ahead), it’s still pretty clear who students most value and look up to (at least, those who read The NEWS).

In second place this year is new University President M. Duane Nellis, making the cut after less than one year in office. Just behind him in third place is Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina, who has also held the role of interim Chief Diversity Officer this year.

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