UGa Looks to Beat That Party-School Rating Slump; the School Falls to No. 7; the Question Is How to Climb in the Princeton Review Rankings

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Byline: BETH JONES

ATHENS - Bulldogs everywhere hung their heads a little lower last week.

In a dramatic slip, the University of Georgia dropped from the No. 5 Top Party School in last year's Princeton Review to the No. 7 spot this year.

Even tiny Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., outranked UGa as a party school. And R-MC has little more than a thousand students, many of whom wear pleated pants with braided belts and Sperry Top-Siders on a regular basis.

Rebecca Lessem, an editor of The Princeton Review, tried to soften the blow by pointing out that UGa performed well in other categories on the list, including the No. 5 best college newspaper and the No. 6 school with students known for packing the stadiums.

"It shows the University of Georgia is a well-rounded place," she said.

Whatever.

Get out the togas and the paper lanterns, people! Whether thou reside in a dorm room, apartment, frat house or even, gulp, with the parents, it's your school duty to save UGa's reputation by throwing many, many parties this semester.

Especially considering the folks at Princeton named the University of Florida as the nation's Top Party School - quite the achievement considering the school took the No. 4 spot last year.

University of Florida school spokesman Steve Orlando pointed out that it probably didn't hurt UF's ranking that the school celebrated two national basketball championships and one national football title in recent years.

"It's because there were so many things to celebrate," he said.

The Athens Banner-Herald tried to gather tips on how local students might rock the party a little harder from schools that outranked UGa on the Top Party Schools list. But attempts to contact spokesmen at The University of Mississippi, West Virginia University and Randolph-Macon College were not successful. (It's not uncommon for school administrators to frown on being labeled as top party schools for fear of cultivating an image of a student body more concerned with beer than books.)

NOT EVERYONE IS CONCERNED

UGa spokesman Tom Jackson altogether pooh-poohed the annual list of rankings.

"The Princeton Review's goal is to get newspapers to write about their magazine, and they have succeeded once again," he told the Athens newspaper.

Amy Ross, a geography professor at UGa, felt confident her department would host a number of opportunities for mingling this year; although, she wasn't sure they would count with the ranking officials. …