The latest edition of the Princeton Review's top colleges tome, released this week, is an irony bonanza for CU-Boulder. The school, which topped Playboy's party school list last year, and finished third in Daily Beast party school rankings two weeks ago, is entirely absent from the Princeton Review top twenty. Yet it rules the "reefer madness" category despite the administration's unprecedented crackdown on the annual 4/20 celebration. Huh?
As we've reported, CU-Boulder's decision to ban campus visitors and close Norlin Quad in an effort to shrink the 4/20 event prompted an unsuccessful court challenge and plenty of controversy. But while a free Wyclef Jean concert was a disaster, failing to siphon off more than a handful of students, the crowd lighting up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 numbered in the hundreds, not the thousands.
Somehow, though, The Best 377 Colleges, just published by the Review, still puts CU atop the reefer madness list. Here's the top twenty, which also features an appearance by another Colorado school:
1. University of Colorado--Boulder
2. University of California--Santa Cruz
3. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FLA
4. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
5. Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT
6. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
7. Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
8. New York University, New York, NY
9. State University of New York--Purchase College
10. University of California--Santa Barbara
11. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
12. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
13. Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR
14. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
15. University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
16. Guilford College, Greensboro, NC
17. Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
18. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
19. Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA
20. Reed College, Portland, OR
Yet CU and other Colorado institutions are entirely absent from these party schools rankings:
1. West Virginia University, Morgantown
2. University of Iowa, Iowa City
3. Ohio University, Athens
4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
5. University of Georgia, Athens
6. University of Florida, Gainesville
7. University of California-Santa Barbara
8. Florida State University, Tallahassee
9. Miami University of Ohio, Oxford
10. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
11. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
12. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
13. University of Wisconsin-Madison
14. University of Mississippi
15. University of Texas-Austin
16. University of Maryland, College Park
17. University of South Carolina, Columbia
18. James Madison University, Harrisonburg Va.
19. University of Maine, Orono
20. University of Tennessee, Knoxville
No explanation for why CU places so high on one list and is absent from the other. However, the Princeton Review based its findings on surveys of 122,000 students over the past year. Presumably, the majority of these respondents somehow missed the publicity generated by CU's stop-4/20 efforts and offered opinions based on reputation rather than the current situation.
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If CU keeps harshing the vibe every April 20, this situation could change. But it's likely to take a long, long time. Here are photos by Westword's Britt Chester of this year's 4/20 event.
More of Britt Chester's photos from 4/20 at CU-Boulder below. More of Britt Chester's photos from 4/20 at CU-Boulder below.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Photos: Smoky scenes from 4/20 marijuana smoke-out in Civic Center Park."