LSU is back among the nation’s top “Party Schools” after a three-year hiatus from the infamous Princeton Review list.
LSU checked in at 13th on the list in “The Best 376 Colleges” publication for 2012 that was released Monday by the Princeton Review.
Ohio University in Athens ranked as the new No. 1 party school, taking the honor from the University of Georgia, which had the top spot last year.
Georgia came in second this year, with Ole Miss, the University of Iowa and the University of California at Santa Barbara rounding out the top five.
LSU also ranked eighth in “Students study least” and 17th in “Lots of hard liquor.”
Tulane University finished fourth in the liquor category.
LSU officials were upset in 2000, when the university took the No. 1 spot in the “Party Schools” list, especially because there had been some binge-drinking-related deaths of students.
But LSU had dipped to 13th on the list by 2007 and had been off of it entirely for three years.
“I have no idea what criteria or methodology is applied to arrive at these rankings, but we are in the company of some fine academic institutions so perhaps smart, hard-working students also find ways to enjoy their time at great universities,” LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said in an email response.
Penn State University, the University of Florida and the University of Texas also are among the colleges that rank ahead of LSU on the party list.
LSU Student Government President Cody Wells said underage binge drinking and drinking and driving count among the problems at LSU.
“The culture in southern Louisiana definitely does lend our student population to have a good time, but I don’t think that affects our studies drastically,” Wells said.
LSU has freshman-level classes that teach about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, Wells said, and student fees also pay for some night buses that transport students near nightspots close to campus.
Wells also said a “sober ridership” program is in discussions on campus to help prevent drunken driving.
The Princeton Review surveys 122,000 students by email at 376 colleges to develop the rankings. Critics have often deemed the surveys unscientific.
The American Medical Association also has criticized the rankings, claiming they glorify heavy drinking as a critical part of college life.
LSU’s return to the party schools list comes at a time when the university is preparing to release its own beer.
LSU and its food science training program partnered with local Tin Roof Brewing Co. to develop the microbrew.
The name of the beer has not yet been announced, but the plan is to launch the beer on the retail market during the football season this fall.
While LSU is ranked in some unsavory categories, the university did move out of the “Dorms like dungeons” and “Class discussions rare” lists where LSU was rated in previous years.