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College Rankings Released--And Some Don't Like Them

Quote of the Week:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter

Fact of the Week:

In 1518, the city of Strasbourg was struck by plague. It was not, however, the bubonic plague, or any of the other usual illnesses that ran rampant during those times. It was the dancing plague.

One summer day, a woman named Frau Troffea began to dance down the streets of Strasbourg (then part of the Holy Roman Empire). The problem was, she couldn’t stop. On she went for over a week, by which point another forty or so people were suffering from the same affliction. By the time a month had passed, nearly four-hundred people were stuck dancing uncontrollably. While it may have seemed funny at the start, people began to collapse from exhaustion and some died from strokes and heart attacks.

The town set up a stage and brought in professional dancers, hoping this would cure the residents. Whether or not it did is up to debate, but finally, the dancing did come to an end.

Though there is much mystery shrouding this outbreak, it actually did happen. It was well-documented and historians concur it was a real event. As for what caused it, some say the people were part of a cult, while others believe the people may have accidentally ingested ergot, a mold that could have been on their food and induces hallucinations and spasms. The most accepted theory, however, is that the people were afraid of a saint who was said to be able to curse people. That, combined with high stress levels from the pervasive famine and disease, triggered a stress-induced hysteria. contributed to this article.

News Update: U.S. News Releases College Rankings

Via U.S. News

The U.S. News College rankings are out—and that’s only half the story. The other half is the public’s increasing distrust of the rankings, especially after Columbia University dropped from No. 2 to No. 18 following suggestions that the school had altered its self-reported numbers.

A few weeks ago, we wrote in our blog about how Columbia University had gotten in trouble for allegedly fudging its statistics. The issue actually began when one of the school’s own professors said in a blog that the statistics Columbia was submitting were “inaccurate, dubious, or highly misleading.”

In response, U.S. News said they were going to remove Columbia from the rankings. However, when the rankings were released, Columbia was in them, only sixteen spots lower. This drop now has people questioning the whole process. The numbers U.S. News uses to make the rankings come from the schools themselves, meaning most colleges probably adjust their numbers for a more favorable look. So did the new data from Columbia really look that much worse? Did it really warrant a drop of sixteen places? It seems unlikely and casts doubt upon the long-accepted system.

Still, many people take the rankings into consideration. It can be a meticulous task to comb through a school’s programs, cost, acceptance rate, graduation rate, and so on, so parents use the rankings as a place to start when looking for schools for their children. Colleges understand this, and though they may not like the system, most tend to play by the rules.

That being said, here are the top twenty schools in the new 2022/23 rankings:

1) Princeton

2) MIT

3) Harvard, Stanford, Yale (tie)

6) University of Chicago

7) UPenn, John Hopkins (tie)

9) California Institute of Technology

10) Duke, Northwestern (tie)

12) Dartmouth

13) Brown, Vanderbilt (tie)

15) Rice, Washington University in Saint Louis (tie)

17) Cornell

18) Columbia, Notre Dame (tie)

20) UC Berkeley, UCLA (tie)

The New York Times and U.S. News contributed to this article.

Sports Update:


Clemson Men’s Soccer is continuing its excellent form from last season’s championship, riding at number one in the polls with a perfect 5-0 record. Yesterday, the Tigers topped UAB 2-0 while registering 16 shots and 12 on goal. They next play on Saturday at home against Syracuse. A fixture to look forward to later this month is when they host #2 Wake Forest in a conference game.

Elsewhere in the rankings, UCLA fell from #4 all the way to #25 after two losses, including a shock 3-2 defeat to Grand Canyon. Stanford is tied with Wake Forest for the #2 spot, while last year’s finalists Washington are fourth and Duke in fifth. Kentucky, the #6 team in the nation, received one first place vote, the only team other than Clemson to earn one.

On the women’s side, UCLA climbed to #1 two weeks ago after a 2-1 victory over then #2 Duke, and a 2-1 win just three days later over then #1 UNC. UNC and Duke are now #2 and #3, respectively, as each has maintained strong form despite the losses to UCLA. Rutgers and South Carolina round out the top five, while Arkansas went from unranked all the way to #14.

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What goes up but never comes back down?

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