It's been 28 long seasons since the Chuck Long led Hawkeyes topped the rankings. But after years of effort, and despite an intense counter-effort by UI administrators and the Iowa City Police Department, the Princeton Review has finally named the University of Iowa the nation's Number One Party School.
The ranking is a cold hard slap in the face to the University administration, in about Year Six of its long range plan: 1) get Big Brother Bluto arrested, so he goes home to Schaumburg and tells Little Brother Flounder not to go to Iowa 2) Replace Flounder from Schaumburg with international students who aren't seen anywhere but the library and the dorm.
University officials and Students were quick to react:
It's also a slap in the face of the ICPD and the now-unanimously pro-21 (disappointed, Throg) City Council, and it comes at an interesting time. They're scheduled to take the final vote tomorrow night to put the 21 Bar question on the ballot for the third time in six years.
And if you think the UI administration pulled out all the stops, and sometimes crossed a few lines of use of public resources on a political campaign, in 2010 when this was last on? Imagine how heavy handed they'll be THIS year with Iowa at Number One.
They may win and keep 21, of course, if only because the team pushing the 19 side this time is spectacularly inept.
But the continued rise of UI up the party school list, despite all efforts by the civic fathers and mothers, illustrates the futility. 18 year olds are adults, and young adults want adult fun. Each time this question has come up, the administration and the council, and even the legislators, have dodged the question at the core: the unfair and unworkable 21 year old drinking age itself. Once again, Iowa City has the opportunity to have this discussion in the context of an election. The anti-jail folks made the justice center elections a forum for debate on bigger picture issues. Fine. Let's do that here, too.