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Survey Describes Best Campuses - For Fun With PM-College Fun-List

October 25, 1993

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ In this survey of the ″Best Colleges Ever,″ Yale, Johns Hopkins and Chicago didn’t make the top 10 - they barely made the top 300.

That’s because, as the young editors of an irreverent publication for college-age men put it, those schools may excel in academics, but they ″rot″ when it comes to having fun.

The pollsters emphasize that the best party schools aren’t necessarily scholastic zeroes; their survey simply focuses on ″the fun factor.″

The unscientific poll appears in Inside Edge, a national magazine produced by students from Boston-area colleges, including Harvard, which was No. 122 on the list.

Using reports from 50 student correspondents nationwide, Inside Edge graded America’s 300 largest coed universities on nine criteria ranging from the bar and club scene to sports. The magazine’s November issue lists the top 20 and worst 10.

″The things we rate are things that make the schools fun to go to,″ said publisher Aaron Shapiro, 21, a Harvard senior.

While researchers considered ″ease of classes″ and ″ease of graduation,″ Shapiro insisted they don’t view the top schools as filled with brain-dead party animals.

The top 10, in order, were: Florida State, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Vermont, Rice, Georgetown, Syracuse, Alabama, Penn State, Connecticut and Tulane.

Glen Torbert, 21, a Florida State senior, agreed with his school’s No. 1 ranking and touted frat parties that attract as many as 700 students. But Florida State’s respected academic programs as evidence that scholarship and social life aren’t mutually exclusive, he said.

″We can party on Friday and Saturday nights and still do well in our classes the rest of the week,″ Torbert said.

The University of Chicago was No. 300.

Faye Steiner, vice president of student government at Chicago, wasn’t sure she agreed with the bottom-rung ranking but couldn’t argue with the reasoning.

″It’s certainly not a party school by any stretch of the imagination,″ said Steiner, a junior.

Others in the bottom 10, in descending order, were: Yale, Tufts, Oral Roberts, California Institute of Technology, Brigham Young University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Johns Hopkins, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Military Academy.

Of the Military Academy, Inside Edge wrote: ″West Point features curfews, discipline, hard work, no drinking, no socializing and cold weather.″

Shapiro and Editor in Chief Jonathan Hsu, also a 21-year-old Harvard economics major, conceived the idea for Inside Edge last year while lamenting the lack of a magazine targeting 20-something men. Students write and edit all articles, focusing on dating, sex, drinking, cars, clothes, sports and music.

The current issue is the first since Inside Edge’s debut in April. Shapiro, who intends to remain publisher after he graduates, says the magazine will go monthly in January.

Warner Publishing Services, a Time Warner company, distributes about 300,000 copies of Inside Edge nationally.

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