Residential Colleges at Northwestern are designed to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social lives of their students by extending the learning environment from the classroom to extracurricular life. Essentially, a res college is a dorm filled with like-minded nerds and future friends you’ll spend the next couple of years drinking, arguing, and (for the truly venturous souls) hooking upwith.
Yet not all res colleges are created equal. The following pre-season Residential College Power Rankings are based on each res college’s performance last year, and are the product of extensive statistical analysis of each RC’s output in a wide range of fields, including intramural sports, academic excellence, number of masters named Gary Saul Morson, facilities, biddies, social life, engineers to art history majors ratio, on base percentage, tradition, Sporcle speed, urine deposited on Northwestern architecture, alumni, and numerous intangible qualities.
1. Willard Residential College
The unanimous choice for “greatest res college ever” 39 years running, Willard has the distinction as the only dorm to ever have its rooftop kegger forcibly terminated by the administration. The moral, cultural, intellectual, and sexual center of campus, Willard towers over undergraduate life at Northwestern as its members work with feverish diligence to undo the heritage of namesake Frances Willard. Willardites have dominated everything from bar trivia to Shepard Residential College, while alumni have gone on to star in SNL, portray the third least obnoxious character on their respective sitcoms, be Stephen Colbert, and found the most heinous blog in human history. Also: this. And touchscreens.
2. Slivka Residential College
Isaac Newton was purportedly proud to die a virgin, as he believed that the beast with two backs sapped him of the intellectual brilliance that came in handy while he was inventing physics and a good deal of mathematics. Now I don’t want to make any inferences here about a dorm full of engineers, but let’s just say that the Slivkans are not ones to be trifled with. With off-the-charts retention rates, alumni donations, and kinematics knowledge, Slivka is a tight-knit, well-financed danger to all who stand in its way on the path to RC glory.
3. Chapin Humanities Residential College
With dorm rooms bigger than most New York apartments andcustomized cardigans, Chapinos can be a force to be reckoned with. Whenever, that is, they are able to surmount their existential ennui that arises from reading Camus and drinking herbal tea in a coffeeshop as they loudly discuss Wes Anderson films, which is presumably how most residents in a humanities res college spend their time. Steer clear of any conversations that might touch on Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Andrew Bird, and you should be fine.
4. (three-way tie) CRC, CCI, and CCS
Having trouble remembering what the fuck is the difference between these three? Then that makes two of us. I mean seriously, who do they think they are, goddamn New Deal programs? As far as I can tell, CRC is for both bloodthirsty Medilldos who will not hesitate to cut you for an internship and film students who want to talk to you about Rear Window, CCI is for kids who use the phrase “i-banking,” and nobody in CCS has declared a major yet. But who the hell knows.
7. Hobart Women’s Residential College
Here be biddies. Not many biddies, mind you, but biddies nonetheless. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to refer to Hobartians as “biddies.”
Although weakened by its members’ affinity for PDA, studying, and smoking outside of the library, ISRC is this year’s sleeper within the residential college system. Look for ISRC to try and shake things up with something like a last-minute trade to the Yankees or maybe unleashing Godzilla on the library as a metaphor for the destructive influence of human hubris and brutalist architecture.
Described alternatively as “The armpit of Allison” by our very own Gwyneth Effingmouth or “Not that far from more interesting places,” PARC is currently in the transitional stage of its career. Think of it like being on a professional Kansas City sports team: Constantly rebuilding and always disappointing compared to others in the region.
10. Jones Fine and Performing Arts College
Jones is easily the place for musical theater, which is great if you love musical theater, but a living hell if Fame drinking games aren’t your idea of a good time.
11. Shepard Residential College
They know what they’ve done.