Syracuse named top party school

PHOTO: dimemag.com

PHOTO: dimemag.com

(CNN) — The Orange love their red cups, according to the Princeton Review, which on Monday named Syracuse University the top party school in the nation.

“I’m excited about it,” said Matt McGee, a junior information technology and philosophy major from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “I was definitely a little surprised, but it’s a cool title to have.”

The university administration does not share his joy.

“Syracuse University has a long-established reputation for academic excellence with programs that are nationally and internationally the best in their fields,” the school said in a statement on its website.

“We do not aspire to be a party school.”

Rounding out the top five schools were last year’s winner, the University of Iowa; University of California-Santa Barbara; West Virginia University; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

And apparently, the title means something.

PJ Grund, who is set to begin his final semester at the University of Iowa this fall, told CNN that he and his fellow Hawkeyes were quite aware of being the “No. 1 party school” and frequently bragged about it.

University of Iowa has ranked among the top five schools for four years straight.

“We took pride in it,” he said. “It’s always nice to know that your school has a good atmosphere and you want a fun campus to be on.”

“Win or lose, Hawks still booze,” he said, quoting a popular saying.

However, Grund and other University of Iowa students stressed the title also had a negative connotation for parents, administration and people from other schools. And they said it frequently distracted from the first-class education they received in Iowa City.

Liz Lindeman graduated this spring from the university with a degree in social work.

“It was the best four years of my life,” she said. “But when you have a reputation as a party school, you also want your school to have a good reputation for education as well.”

“I’m also going to be a professional.”

McGee said he understood those concerns, as well as school officials’ disappointment, and said he worried that “partying would overshadow Syracuse’s academic success.”

However, this hasn’t stopped some current students from being overjoyed. McGee said the only worry is that school administration will overcompensate with disciplinary action to limit student enjoyment.

“The second the news broke, everyone was pretty pumped,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything chaotic and don’t really think the school needs to do more to limit partying. … It’s pretty controlled.”

The title now rests in the East, but Lindeman doesn’t expect Syracuse to hold onto it long. Frankly, she sees Midwestern schools as the collegiate party capital of America.

“There’s something about the Midwest,” she said. “I guess we have nothing else to do.”

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