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    Daily Camera file photo

    Smoke rises above thousands of people who gathered Wednesday for the 4/20 smoke out festival on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder April 20, 2011.

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The University of Colorado was ranked sixth in bestcollegesonline.org‘s “Top Party Schools of the Past Decade” list, citing the annual 4/20 marijuana smokeout, Greek life and recognition from other college ranking systems.

The University of Florida, Penn State University and the University of Mississippi are the top three schools on the list, consecutively. CU is the only Colorado school on the list.

In an infographic describing why the schools were chosen, CU is listed fifth for “most potheads” on a campus. The graphic also states that half of the campus — which would be about 15,000 students — attends the annual smokeout. In the past, university officials and Boulder police have estimated that the 4/20 event has had as many as 10,000 participants, and that the majority are not CU students.

The ranking follows a crackdown on this year’s 4/20 gathering by the university; only about 700 protesters showed up on campus in 2012.

University spokesman Bronson Hilliard said rankings like this one have no impact on the school’s decisions regarding 4/20 or other events on the campus.

“A lot of rankings are just ridiculous,” Hilliard said. “They’re just based on popular perceptions of things … and they all feed off of each other.”

Last year, CU was ranked the top party school in the country by Playboy and was listed at No. 4 on the Princeton Review’s “Reefer Madness” list.

While Hilliard said officials disregard most rankings, he admitted he boasts about CU’s placement in Payscale.com’s top 25 schools for salary poetntial for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Hilliard said officials are more concerned with the safety of their students when it comes to drug and alcohol use than the reputation of the university, but prospective student Megan Sulistyo said reputation matters. Sulistyo, who will be a high school senior this fall in Minnesota, was on the Boulder campus for a tour Thursday.

“I’ve heard about 4/20, and it does have a reputation for being a party school,” Sulistyo said. “For me that’s a negative if a school doesn’t have the best reputation, but it’s not the deciding factor.”

Sulistyo and her mom, Tami Sulistyo, said academic reputations will be the biggest factor, followed by tuition costs and lifestyle elements.

CU Student Government released an official response Thursday stating: “We would like CU to have a reputation for being a school anchored in traditions of social and environmental justice, as well as world renowned for innovative and inspiring academics. We would encourage all students to have fun responsibly and always be mindful of their health and well being.”

CU was also recognized at number nine in the “biggest Greek system” list, which the site used as one of their factors for determining party schools. But CU was not mentioned in the site’s list for “most beer drinkers.”Top Party Schools
Source: Best Colleges Online

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