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Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 1998

KU OFFICIALS: NO. 8 RANKING NO CAUSE FOR PARTY

August 26, 1998

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In rankings released this week, Kansas University held its spot in the top 10 among the nation's most infamous party schools.

A year ago, Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway began his convocation speech by welcoming all the ``party animals'' to campus.

He was jokingly referring to the now-infamous list of the nation's top 10 party schools, released annually by the non-Ivy League-affiliated Princeton Review. The list last year ranked KU No. 8, where it remained in the 1998 list released this week.

This time around, the State University of New York in Albany supplanted West Virginia University at the top spot, followed by the universities of Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia and Colorado.

And although fodder for discussions around the water cooler or keg, the list is regarded by some as a dangerously subjective and inaccurate meter of indulgence that dismisses academics.

``That's not any sort of scientific poll,'' KU Provost David Shulenburger said. ``Anything these days that glorifies alcohol use on college campuses is a bad deal. I certainly don't think it's reflective of the University of Kansas.''

National heavyweights

Faculty, administrators, even students have been perplexed by the list, which also put Florida State University and Ohio University in front of KU.

``It would be unfortunate if people got the impression from this particular thing that this somehow summarizes everything here at the university,'' FSU spokesperson Browning Brooks said, adding that the school has five Nobel laureates on its faculty. ``It's hard not to come off sounding defensive, but we don't agree that we are any more of a party school than anywhere else.''

At FSU's cross-state rival, a spokesperson noted the list, although suspect, contains mostly national heavyweights.

``In some ways, if we weren't listed in there we'd be pretty perturbed,'' said Linda Gray, director of public information at the University of Florida. ``At the same time, when you're in the business of educating young people ... students who think they excel in partying may not be what you want the world to hear.''

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