Our country is not as bad off as I thought. Yesterday, the Princeton Review released its annual ranking of the top 20 party schools in the nation and Randolph-Macon College was number 6. R-MC is the tiny little Methodist College that Elliott and I stroll through each morning.
Standing outside our house, we are within shouting distance of any party on the campus that might rock on the wild side. We’ve never heard a peep. I know of one bar in town that was actually in business until late last year. The windows are now covered on the inside with dark brown paper. A for-sale sign begs for a new owner just outside the front door, a door I am sure was once mobbed with wild college students. I think there is another smaller establishment in a strip mall next to dominoes pizza, but it hardly seems fitting to serve as hub for the 6th biggest party school in the country.
Bare in mind, the college has an enrollment of 1100 students. The college expects to be inundated this fall with 300 freshmen, each arriving with $30,000 tuition checks and Yellow Jacket can coolers, fully prepared to help the school party its way to the top spot. Only Ohio University, Penn State, Mississippi, West Virginia and Florida stand in their way.
Many of the schools ahead of R-MC are celebrating their lofty status among the partying elite today. The officials at Randolph Macon released a statement today saying the “list is flawed and irresponsible.” They claim the data is based on surveys taken in 2005, surveys they had unsuccessfully requested be re-administered. They spent the day wondering how a school can make such a rapid climb to national partying prominence on 3 year old data and begging forgiveness for such an embarrassing recognition (The college is the only school in the top 10 with a religious affiliation).
I know this for sure. If Randolph-Macon is the party barometer of universities across the country, studying is a much bigger part of college life than I ever remember.