BYU celebrates 15th year as stone-cold sober campus champion

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 13 2015 12:13 p.m. MDT

Brigham Young University's Y in view of the campus in Provo  Wednesday, April 25, 2012.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Brigham Young University's Y in view of the campus in Provo Wednesday, April 25, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO — Social media didn't exist when BYU first made No. 1 on the stone-cold sober list in the 1990s.



Students on the Provo campus started using that hashtag on Twitter Monday after the Princeton Review announced BYU was the most stone-cold sober school in the country yet again — the 15th straight year.

The last time the school, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wasn't the No. 1 stone-cold sober was in 1998, making it the longest reigning champion of any of the Review's lists.

University spokesman Todd Hollingshead said he hopes the reign continues for several years.

"In the Olympic spirit, with 15 in the row, we're really happy about it, but we still have some work to do to catch up to Michael Phelps," Hollingshead said.

He said students probably will celebrate by stocking up on root beer and chocolate milk.

As BYU's antithesis, West Virginia University claimed the titled of top party school for the second time in six years. In fact, West Virginia was the No. 1 party school in 1997, 2007 and now again in the 2013 rankings. It’s been among the top 20 party schools 12 times in the 21 years the rankings have been published, according to the Associated Press.

The annual rankings, released Monday, are based on a survey given by the Princeton Review to 122,000 college students at 377 of the nation's top universities. Survey answers determine the fates of the schools on the 62 lists created by the Review.

The stone-cold sober and party school lists were determined based on student responses to questions about the level of alcohol and drug use on campus, the amount of time spent outside of class and the popularity of sororities and fraternities.

As BYU bans sororities and fraternities and the school's honor code bans the use of alcohol and drugs, the school is nearly guaranteed to rank high on the stone-cold sober lists.

The label has even become a source of pride for many students, alumni and donors.

Shortly after the rankings were released, BYU's student newspaper The Universe tweeted, "Let's raise of glass of apple juice and toast winning the award as the most stone cold sober school in the United States!"

Other BYU students joined the celebration. Rachel K, @hobocita, responded, tweeting, "Splurge a little! #martinellis."

Wheaton College, a small evangelical school in Illinois, was only a few drops wetter than BYU, finishing second in the stone-cold sober rankings. Three military academies — including the U.S. Military Acedemy at West Point, N.Y., the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. — also made the list.

BYU was No. 1 on several other lists including most religious students, "Got Milk?" (beer usage reported low) and "Scotch & Soda, Hold the Scotch" (hard liquor usage reported low).

BYU made the following lists, but wasn't No. 1: "Don't Inhale" (reported usage of marijuana low), "Best College Library," "Most Conservative Students," "Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution," "LGBT-Unfriendly," "Best-Run Colleges" (administration gets high marks) and "Town-Gown Relations are Great."

Salt Lake City's University of Utah and Westminister College both were included among the top 377 schools profiled in the handbook, but neither made any of the top 20 lists.

All of 2013 rankings can be viewed on the Princeton Review's website.


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