A Questionable Reputation

University ranks 25th on GQ

The University is known for its rich history, distinct architecture and many traditions, all of which play a role in setting it apart from several other colleges and universities. Similarly, University students take pride in using colloquialisms such as "Grounds," "first-year students" and "the Lawn."

Leave it to GQ magazine and men.style.com, however, to interpret tradition differently.

The writers at GQ and men.style.com collaborated to compile a list of "America's 25 Douchiest Colleges," ranking the University No. 25 for reasons including male students' tendency to part their hair to the side and students' insistence on referring to the United States' third president as "Mr. Jefferson."

The "heavily researched, possibly stereotypey, but still accurate" guide seeks to steer America's youth to the right college, based on "what type of douche they aspire to become."

Whether an aspiring college student wants to "major in jet skiing" at Rollins College or become a "Giant-Sunglasses Douche" at the University of Southern California, GQ is ready with answers.

The University, dubbed the "Blue Blazer Douche" by GQ, was the last of 25 schools to make the list, falling just behind the University of Texas. The No. 1 douchiest school in the country, according to GQ, is Brown University.

GQ predicts that in 10 years University students will be philandering public officials, lobbyists for tobacco companies or members of exclusive country clubs - perhaps all three.

For the most part, the ranking did not surprise University students.

"It's not unexpected, and we're at the bottom of the list, which I guess is a good thing," second-year College student Ross Savage said.

Some students even expressed confusion about being "beaten" by schools they deemed less "douchey" than the University. Fourth-year College student David Galbraith said he expected the University to rank higher on the list.

"How was Randolph-Macon [College] higher than us?" second-year College student George Waldenmaier said. "I thought we were renowned for our douchery."

Second-year Nursing student Melanie Tucker, though, said she "definitely think[s] the boys were taken into higher consideration than the girls" when the list was put together.

Other students took into consideration the combined behaviors of both genders when evaluating University students' less-than-desirable qualities.

"Come on now, at football games - girls in pearls and guys in ties," second-year Architecture student Jamie Dean said. "Although, I admit I do it - and proudly."

Fancy dress might not explain all of the University's "douchery," however. Some students said they felt any sense of supposed superiority might be justified by the high standards to which University students are held.

"We know we're badass because we're smarter than everyone else," second-year College student Sarah Andrekovich explained.

First-year College student Virginia Olmstead, though, strongly disagreed with GQ's verdict.

"I haven't seen any evidence and I don't feel that it is true," Olmstead said. "Some of GQ's descriptions are accurate, but I don't think that makes us douches. Dressing up doesn't make you a douche."

The question, then, is what exactly constitutes "douchey" behavior.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, a "douche" or "douche bag" is "an individual with an over-inflated sense of self-worth compounded by a low level of intelligence."

Most students disagreed with Urban's definition, citing the University's tough admissions standards and high academic standings. They noted instead that they thought the ranking was mostly based on the University's fondness for tradition.

"Tradition is typically douchey," Dean said.

Waldenmaier agreed, noting that although some may view the University's attachment to its traditions negatively, he proudly takes part in them.

"The holding of tradition in such high regard is usually a douchetastic thing to do - to the outsider at least - but to us it doesn't seem like that," he said.

The idea of tradition as the root of the University's perceived douchiness seemed to be a prevailing opinion. In this regard, it seems the University's position as one of the country's Douchiest colleges is, for the moment, assured. Whether it is fair for inexperienced outsiders to judge Mr. Jefferson's University's time-honored colloquialisms and dress mannerisms, however, is another question.

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