You can call unscientific rankings like those in the Princeton Review guidebook, The Best 331 Colleges many things – but if you are a GW student, you would probably call many of them on the money.
According to 88 student surveys compiled in the 1998-’99 academic year, GW ranked 12th nationally for “most politically active,” 16th for its location in a “great college town,” and 17th for “long lines and red tape (administration gets low marks).”
For the second consecutive year the University failed to make the party school rankings, after a second-place ranking in 1996. The Princeton Review was also on the mark by citing poor relations between GW and the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
Although the party school rankings are consistently the most hyped aspect of the guidebook, GW did not making the top 20 party schools seems appropriate. As far as political activity and red tape are concerned, GW could have been ranked higher.
In a disturbing remark, President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said that GW should be ranked higher in bureaucratic red tape. Whether he meant the comment as a joke isn’t important. What is particularly offensive about the statement is the sheer nonchalance with which it was said. Trachtenberg can be assured that the vast majority of the GW community is not laughing with him.
The Princeton Review’s rankings should be taken at face value. At best, they are a general indicator of the attitudes on college campuses across America. In GW’s case, the rankings are eerily accurate.