No college wants to make The Princeton Review's lists for worst college food, least happy students, or most boring professors. But when Macalester College ranked No. 1 among colleges where "students ignore God on a regular basis," president Michael McPherson took action. "I'll bet this is driven by some question on [The Princeton Review's] Web survey about how often you pray," he said in an e-mail message to the assistant dean of admissions. "If that's right it would be easy enough to get ten students or something to log in and say they pray a lot or something. This is going to be a pain with religious alumni." After students complained that McPherson was trying to skew results, he relented. "This is all just nonsense, and I would have been smart to ignore it," he told the student newspaper. (Meanwhile, Wheaton College ranked No. 1 for most prayerful, but lost the top spot on the "stone-cold sober" list to Brigham Young University.)
The story was originally reported in the college's Mac Weekly.
In addition to being number one in the "students ignore God on a regular basis" rankings, Macalester also made the top twenty in "class discussions encouraged," "best quality of life," "most nostalgic for Bill Clinton," and "Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking vegetarians."1
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