September 1, 2011

Newsweek Ranks Cornell 13th Best Party School

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This week, Newsweek magazine ranked Cornell University as the 13th best party school, taking into account the University’s drug and alcohol use, nightlife and Greek life.

Cornell received grades of A for Greek life, A- for nightlife and C+ for drug safety. A lower grade indicates greater prevalence and access to drugs and alcohol. Of the 25 schools on the list, Cornell had the highest drug safety grade and the third highest Greek life grade.

Some students disagreed with the rankings, saying that they did not accurately reflect Cornell’s late-night atmosphere.

“If you party at Cornell, you talk about your orgo homework when you’re drunk; At Syracuse you talk about naked people,” said Marissa Angell ’12, who transfered to Cornell from Syracuse University, which was ranked at number five.  “Syracuse is definitely more of a party school … You don’t have to flash someone to get into parties [at Cornell].”

The rankings are composed mostly of large, state schools such as The Ohio State University and the University of Alabama. However, they also include private schools like Rollins College and Pace University.

Newsweek relied on U.S. Department of Education data for drug and liquor law violations and used College Prowler surveys to measure drug safety, nightlife and Greek life. It weighed all five data points equally to determine its rankings.

“[At Cornell,] all the parties seem to be put on by frats,” said Chuck McKeever, a senior at Ohio State who frequently visits his girlfriend at Cornell. According to McKeever, Ohio State Greek life is very small in comparison.

“Parties at Ohio State are nowhere near as organized,” he said. People at Ohio State are partying on front lawns and porches and spilling out of houses, he said.

The biggest difference between the schools is that parties at Ohio State are much more informal, according to McKeever.

“I think the better thing about Cornell is that it’s easier to have a party with all of your friends,” Angell ’12 said. Cornell is landing at the top of rankings which it doesn’t usually frequent. In addition to its ranking as 13th best party school, Cornell was the number one douchiest college in America, according to GQ.

To find the schools that party the most Newsweek crunched the numbers for the following five data points: Drug law violations for 2009 as a percentage of institution size, with data from the U.S. Department of Education; Liquor law violations for 2009 as a percentage of institution size, with data from the U.S. Department of Education; drug safety grades from College Prowler; nightlife grades from College Prowler; and Greek Life grades, from College Prowler. Each data point was weighted equally using z-scores, a measure of how close or distant each school is to the average within each category.

Original Author: Manuel Davila-Molina