Book Ranks Penn State Among Douchiest Colleges

Truth hurts, but as an alum I have to agree

I went to Penn State and—chances are—I’m a bit of a douche. So, it’s pretty easy for me to agree with GQ’s recent excerpt from The Rogers & Littleton Guide to America’s Douchiest Colleges, which labels Penn State as America’s second douchiest college.

When I say that I’m a bit of a douche, it doesn’t mean that it’s an all-the-time thing. More aptly, there’s something about Happy Valley that brings the douches out and brings out the douche in me. Maybe it’s the $2.75 pitchers of Lager or the sheer number of young adults—term “adults” used loosely—in close proximity to one another. The point is that this ranking is spot-on with its analysis of Penn State’s douchedom.

One word often associated with the Pennsylvania State University is “family.” That “family” is still there—it’s just that it’s now worthy of its own reality show starring Dr. Drew. It’s not just about grilled stickies, football Saturdays and Creamery ice cream. Now it’s all of what people used to associate with Penn State, plus beer pong, Four Loko and public urination.

Like I said, I’m not absolved of guilt in this instance. I spent the last five years in State College and I—on occasion—imbibed a tad too much alcohol in public, had to make a run to Home Depot for supplies for home repairs the morning after a party and partaken in and/or been a party to events and actions that definitely infringed upon the good times of others. But, there’s also a hierarchy of douchiness within the Valley of Douche.

There are certain bars I can’t take. You walk in the door and can’t ignore that the “bros” are out in full force—guys donning their high-school lacrosse practice pinnies and gals rocking Uggs … and their boyfriend’s high-school lacrosse practice pinnies.

There are certainly specific instances—like the time my buddy walked into a men’s room to find a guy perched on the trough gargoyle-style—that are particularly exemplary of Penn State’s true nature. But, for the most part, the douchiness isn’t caused by a specific set of actions—it’s more of a lifestyle. There’s no checklist of requirements. It’s intangible, yet palpable. It’s like what former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography—I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

And at Penn State, I see it all the time. Whether you’re looking to drink yourself sick, vomit in the bathroom and continue to rip shots at the bar, or you’re looking to get maced for lighting stuff on fire and throwing it at mounted police, Penn State is the place for you.

Penn State is a place where the student body has a voice, and that voice is a few decibel levels higher than normal and its speech is slurred. It’s a place where kids pass out in public on Friday night, are doing beer bongs in the fields at eight on Saturday morning and are in Beaver Stadium singing, “may no act of ours bring shame” four hours later.

While I was at Penn State, the school was named the best party school, best student section and the safest town in America in addition to its usual academic accolades. It’s only fitting that someone call us out on being among the douchiest, too.