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Catching up with the Ivies where it counts

Staff Editorial | Thursday, August 27, 2009

U.S. News & World Report announced its annual Best Colleges 2010 last week, and Notre Dame has fallen two spots in the rankings. After a tie with Emory and Vanderbilt for 18th among national universities in 2009, Notre Dame was passed by both southern schools and fell to 20th.

Though we are sure that this is cause for concern, and are prepping our transfer applications to top-19 schools as we write this, there’s a different set of rankings that we’d also like to bring to your attention.

GQ Magazine recently put out its inaugural list of America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges. The eclectic grouping of schools ranges from the obvious (Duke, No. 2) to the obscure (Deep Springs, No. 5). Notre Dame ranked No. 15, but we believe, just as in U.S. News & World Report, we again might be underrated.

As the home of the “moral douche,” GQ notes the favorite Notre Dame student pickup line: “You know, I thought about the seminary, but then I decided it wasn’t for me. If you know what I mean.”

It is this perception of Notre Dame as the home of the mere moral douche that left us at No. 15 in the rankings. We think we can do better. When it comes to douchiness, a unique convergence of athletics, legacy and Catholic guilt give Notre Dame a potential that no other university has.

When it comes to the U.S. News & World Report we’d like to point out an interesting correlation between academic excellence and perceived douchiness – the four douchiest schools (Brown, Duke, Princeton, Harvard, respectively) all are ahead of Notre Dame in the Best Colleges ranking. Clearly this is no coincidence. We believe that if Notre Dame could just be recognized for being the douchiest college, it would find itself near the top of the list of Best Colleges in 2011.

Then again, no rankings tell the whole story. U.S. News & World Report may believe that there are 19 better places to be getting an education. GQ might think that there are only 14 larger collections of douches among the nation’s universities. But we know that neither number really says anything about the quality of this university, or the students who attend. Though it can be entertaining to attach numbers and assign rankings, it is missing the point. We are all at Notre Dame, and not any other school with any other ranking, because we know that this is a special place, and that no number could ever encapsulate what Notre Dame means to each of us individually. At the dawn of the new school year, we say: Enjoy this place. Make the most of your time here.

And try not to be a douche while doing it.