396: #1 Party School
Dec 18, 2009
In 2009, The Princeton Review named Penn State the #1 Party School in America. It's a rotating crown—last year it was University of Florida, before that it was West Virginia University. So we wondered: what's it like to be at the country's top party school?
Note, Act Three was not in the broadcast version of the show. That's a web bonus.
- Host Ira Glass visits This American Life producer Sarah Koenig at her house in State College PA, a few blocks from Penn State's campus, on a weekend night near one in the morning. They witness all kinds of alcohol-induced mayhem. (8 minutes)
- Most of the This American Life production staff spent the weekend at Penn State, and found that drinking is the great unifier at the school. Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, Lisa Pollak and Jane Feltes report on tailgating parties, frat parties, an article of clothing known as a "fracket," and a surprising and common drunken crime. (15 minutes)
- Because of the University, State College is in the only county in Pennsylvania where GDP grew in 2008. Producer Nancy Updike visited with local businesses and learned several tips for thriving at the nation's top party school. (13 minutes)
- The same year Penn State was named #1 party school, State College was named the safest metropolitan area in the country. Producer Aaron Scott goes out with a State College police officer to see what it takes to keep it safe. (8 minutes)Song:
- "Drunk and Disorderly", The Shirkers
- Administrators have tried everything to curb drinking at Penn State, and nothing has worked. Producer Sarah Koenig reports on why this issue is so hard to tackle, and on how students react when a student dies from alcohol poisoning. (19 minutes)