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Keggers put Union on top of party school rankings

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Students at Union College say they have to work hard, so it’s only natural that they party hard. And that’s a view affirmed by the Princeton Review, which ranked the college as New York’s top party school of 2009. Overall, Union was ranked 13th among the 371 colleges reviewed in the annual guidebook, which was released Monday. Princeton Review also listed Union as college with the most to do on campus and second in having ...

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July 29, 2009
8:20 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

As a Union alum whose offspring refused to seriously consider Union because of Schenectady's condition, I hope Schenectady will look at what measures are needed to nudge its private sector into doing what needs to be done to make that city vibrant. It would be even better if Union's economics and poli sci faculty and students might start examining the incentives and privileges the current system provides.

Start with how Schenectady and other cities and towns tax themselves and the miserable incentives that structure creates. Schenectady would be far better off if it stopped taxing its buildings and simply taxed its land value. Update the assessments every other year, and share the costs of providing services in proportion to the land value involved.

Union's faculty needs to start thinking about this, and Schenectady's elected officials need to look closely at how they can shift things to nudge the private sector into making the city itself a good place to live and to do business. Union can make fine contributions to Schenectady. Look at how Skidmore and Saratoga feed each other.

Smart taxation could turn Schenectady's tide.

July 30, 2009
4:51 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

As a Union College senior, I have several issues with this article and comments that follow.

1. As a student who both studies diligently and drinks on the weekend, I see no problems with the schools social scene. Many students at Union juggle greek life, athletics, and clubs while maintaining high grade point averages. In my four years at Union, I have been surrounded by students who take their academics very seriously. Binge drinking by underage persons is a problem occurring on every college campus in the country . College officials do their best to reduce underage drinking and offer alcohol free social events.
2. It is unlikely that a group of students got together and "rigged" this ranking. Although I am quite surprised by it, it is unlikely that 5 or 6 people affected a survey intended for thousands.
3. Having visited a multitude of other schools, both small and large -including Trinity, Williams, Bentley, BC, BU, UVA, URichmond and other reputable schools- I would say their partying levels are pretty comparable to Unions.
4. The "around the world" party was an event hosted by the colleges "minerva system." It was monitored by college officials and policed by campus safety.
5. Having been in Schenectady for four years, I have found many things to do off campus. Options at Union are not limited to partying at frats on the weekends. Students attend plays at proctors, movies at the new theatre and alcohol free events throughout campus. Union professors and students are also currently working with Schenectady to revive the community. State Street has been undergoing reservations for years and is becoming a great place for students to hang out.
6. Based on Union's strong academic reputation, the high number of applications the school receives each year, and the amount of activities (both drinking and alcohol free) available to students each weekend, I would conclude that Union has found a healthy balance between academics and social life. Students study hard throughout the week and many do go to fraternities or bars on the weekend. I do no pretend that drinking is not a reality at Union, but I challenge you to find a school where it is not.