Penn State may not be ranked No. 1 in the nation in football, but there is one category where it apparently outshines all others.
Inside Edge magazine, founded by a bunch of Harvard students in 1993 and geared to twentysomething males, has named Penn State the No. 1 drinking school in America.
“They seem to be some of the heartiest boozers of any students we talked to,” said editor Walter Rowland.
Inside Edge is a bimonthly with 150,000 circulation that’s intended to be a combination of GQ, Spy and Cosmo for men.
Penn State’s a big place, the school’s defenders pointed out, with a lot of activities, fraternities and sororities, and big-time sports.
They questioned the magazine’s methods and pooh-poohed its sources. They complained that the good things students do go unnoticed. And they emphasized the many programs that educate students about drinking and help those who do it to excess.
In the end, what could they do with such a survey? They lumped it.
“We take it all with a grain of salt,” university spokeswoman Vicki Fong said. “What else can you do when you get comments like that?”
The “comments” were contained in Inside Edge’s second Fun Colleges Survey, gleaned from interviews with students at 101 large colleges across the country.
Up to 20 students were interviewed at each school, a number Rowland conceded was hardly representative of anything. Penn State has 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students at its main campus in State College.
“We’re not trying to do some exhaustive scientific study,” Rowland said. “It’s just for fun. We just want a general impression.”
And what an impression he got from Penn State, which ranked No. 1 for drinking and No. 6 for fun.
In first place for fun, the survey says, is Georgetown University, followed by Florida State, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Southern Methodist (“one heck of a good time”), and the University of California at Los Angeles.