University of Intoxication: An Inside Perspective on the #1 Party School

uofiRecently, the Princeton Review named the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign the top party school in the country.

As an alum, I thought I would provide an inside perspective on how exactly the university received this prestigious honor. Regardless of your major, you’ll be getting an automatic minor in drinking. Aside from the fact that the university has to clean up the booze-soaked bodies of the students who ‘couldn’t hang’ scattered across the grass of the quad every Monday, here’s some other things you may not have known.

There is a two drink minimum at the new student orientation.

As an initiation into the university, there is a mandatory two-drink minimum required for all new students on their first day. Moreover, the Dean of Students walks up and down the aisles of the Lincoln Hall lecture room screaming “ILL” and pointing at new students signaling them to finish the chant (INI). He overhand hurls a full can of PBR at them. Those who refuse to drink are banished to the Undergraduate Library where they serve out their remaining school years.

There is an interactive drinking play all students must watch

All incoming freshman students are required to sit through a play that highlights all of the unavoidable events you’re likely to face as a college student.  These include conversation topics after waking up next to someone you don’t know after a night full of drinking as well as how to ignore people who attend a party and hold an empty red solo cup. I’d know. I was in the play.

There are 15,000 bars on campus and they’re all owned by the same guy.

There are literally lines of bars and pubs on every block and street corner. Taking a tour of the campus town, you’ll see a line down the street for every drinking establishment with each bar having a different theme every night of the week. Students dressed like zombies, power rangers, and cowboys/cowgirls can be found at all times yelling “where’s Brian?” in the streets. In addition, you’ll quickly learn through whispers that there is one Van Wilder-like man, known as Cochrane, who created every single bar on campus. This real estate tycoon also invented the idea of day drinking and has been given the official title of King of the Campus by the student body.

There is an unofficial St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

There’s an institution-mandated weekend drinking festival called Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, which encourages all students to dress in green like leprechauns and begin drinking at 6am until the point of blacking out. The city sees the festival as a great source of revenue generation and has worked closely with the university to make it unofficial holiday. The Champaign Police department was able to dish out 271 drinking citations for public intoxication and pissing while walking in 2013.

There is a newspaper specifically dedicated to drunk coverage.

Buzz Magazine has a whole section focused on capturing the previous weeks hilarious blackout moments. These include pictures of people lying face down in the street, passed out half naked on the lawns, and being carried home by friends. Whoever “did it best” the week before gets the honor of being on the front page for all of the student body to see.

There is a Greek Life filled with polos, couches, and keg-stands.

The university has a well-established Greek life and is known for its plethora of fraternity and sorority options. At the start of each semester, the houses hold a ‘Rush Week’ in which new students interested in joining the chapter must shotgun an entire 24 pack of natty ice. Those who do not die are admitted into the house.  Those who do not make it are discarded on the sidewalk in front of the houses, which have fully landscaped lawns as well as an overabundance of couches.

There is a Beer Olympics.

The university is home to the annual Beer Olympics, which is sanctioned by NCAA. A daytime event full of drinking games with teams made up of athletes who you have never seen in class. Award winners are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze edition keg while standing atop a mountain of keystone light.




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