TCU makes new Top 10

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    TCU finds itself again in a Top 10 national ranking, but not everyone is rooting for it.This fall, The Princeton Review ranks TCU No. 10 out of 361 schools as a major fraternity and sorority scene, but it draws mixed reactions from administrators and students.

    Jim Atwood, assistant to the dean of admissions, said the ranking can affect the type of students coming to TCU.

    “Some students come because their parents came to TCU and were part of Greek life, but to others, Greek life is irrelevant,”Atwood said.

    Catherine Wehlburg, director of The William H. Koehler Center for Teaching Excellence, said some students may not come to TCU because of its Greek image.

    However, Wehlburg said The Princeton Review’s methodology for its book, “The Best 361 Colleges,” may be flawed.

    Sixty out of 62 rankings, which range from beer drinking to campus facilities, are based on student surveys that can be taken anytime throughout the year at survey.review.com, Suzanne Podhurst, editor of the book, said.

    In 2003, TCU ranked No. 15 for its Greek scene and in 2004 moved to No. 11.

    “A university must have a significant number of student survey responses to be on the ranking list, and we’re talking about hundreds of students,” Podhurst said.

    However, Podhurst was unable to provide the exact sample size of TCU students who took the survey.

    According to statistical handbooks, a random sample of 400 yields a margin of error of about 5 percentage points.

    Wehlburg said she believes that not only do editors pick and choose what to include in the book, but also said that only students who feel strongly about a situation will respond.

    Forty percent of TCU is Greek, said James Parker, assistant dean of campus life.

    “Last spring over 400 Greek students earned a 4.0 GPA,” said Parker.

    TCU students interviewed by the Skiff say Greek life provides great social connections, however others feel it creates isolation.

    George Cassin, a pledge for Lambda Chi Alpha, said the ranking is great.

    “The school is mainly Greek. If you’re not Greek, there’s not much to do,” said Cassin, a freshman business and marketing major.

    But Janna Pate, a non-Greek senior philosophy and English major, said the Greek ranking does not do much for TCU’s academic reputation. She also said non-Greeks can feel left out.

    “Walking into class you see Greek shirts talking to more Greek shirts, all pre-established cliques that you’re not a part of, so you sit there alone and disconnected,” Pate said.

    TCU alumna Melissa Vidal, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, said Greek organizations are more visible because they always engage in many campus activities.

    Others say they feel that Greek life provides social opportunities.

    Joey Wilkinson, a freshman computer science major, said that other than the camaraderie of Lambda Chi Alpha, the main reason he is pledging is because he gets to meet a lot of people.

    Parker said Campus Life is trying to diminish the perception that students are pressured to get involved in a Greek organization.

    “We tell every student that there are 180 (Greek and non-Greek) organizations on campus,” Parker said. “We want students to just get involved and find their niche.”