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U.Va.: Let's party
By Paul Akers
MY OWN lackluster academic record--the result of always picking "C" on multiple-choice tests--hardly allows me to drive by the place, but I confess interest in the University of Virginia's ranking by Playboy as the nation's No. 1 party school. However, let us bypass general interest and proceed directly to the prurient kind. Playboy rates U.Va. No. 2 in the subcategory of "sex."
Did the college attain this honor by quantitative or qualitative analysis? In other words, are 18-year-boys at freshmen orientation dragged into alcoves of the Student Union and set upon by concupiscent coeds? Or, conversely, are dorm rooms supplied with copies of the Kama Sutra in the same way the Gideons leave Bibles by hospital beds?
The former scenario suggests that someone is monkeying with campus water coolers. The latter leaves open the possibility that the majority of U.Va. students are relatively chaste and that the Playboy award can be credited to a subset of high performers, much as the AP football poll ranks only the 90 or so student-athletes who represent their school on the gridiron.
I cannot speak for females, but most males will nod in pensive agreement at the wisdom of Woody Allen regarding the quantity-vs.-quality argument: "It's not the quantity of your sexual relations that counts. It's the quality. On the other hand, if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it."
The U.Va. administration, with much throat clearing, is dismissing its skin-mag accolade and trying to change the subject to the excellence of its academics. I'm not certain this is a winning strategy--Kierkegaard and Buddhist art may finish distance seconds in the adolescent desiderata to green-eyed brunettes with come-hither smiles--but who can blame them? Few collegians pay their own freight through academe, and no parent would eagerly send his kid off to four years at Nymphs and Satyrs U.
This fact raises suspicions that rival institutions somehow jimmied the Playboy survey. My advice to U.Va.: Counterattack! Its press office should get to work on a disinformation campaign that would link the University of North Carolina with rampant moonshine consumption; allege the sighting of opium dens on the campus of William & Mary; and acknowledge that Virginia Tech is a fine school if you can overlook the STDs.