A medley of panic, confusion, and dejection rang across Western’s campus last week as Niche.com released its top Michigan party school rankings, putting WMU one place behind the ugly sibling further north, Central.
Students expected the biggest universities in the state (Michigan State and the University of Michigan) to be ranked first and second due to their size, but seeing CMU one place ahead of Western left the air around Kalamazoo feeling empty and uninspired.
“I mean, it kind of feels like all those nights making sure my BAC was at least .20 were for naught,” said WMU junior Eric Bayren. “I didn’t develop alcoholism for fourth place, dammit.”
When the rankings were announced, Bayren said he and his roommates skipped most of their classes so they could properly mourn Western’s collective illusion that they go harder than the Chippewas.
“We felt compelled to honor the memory of when we thought we were a better party school than Central, so we made a memorial out of all the empty bottles of fireball and captain we had on top of our kitchen cupboards,” said Bayren, wiping the single tear cascading down his cheek. “It was tragically beautiful.”
It wasn’t only the students that mourned, the university itself issued a statement in hopes of providing whatever comfort they could.
“As we lay rest to Wastern, we want the students, and the Kalamazoo community, to realize that even though our prestigious school was only awarded fourth place, the efforts we have witnessed over several decades would say otherwise,” the statement read. “Central Michigan, we applaud your drinking but just know that Broncos will forever keep their livers working overtime.”
Along with the statement, Western also said it will keep additional counselors on campus for several weeks in order to help any students seeking help and refuge during this difficult time.
In Mount Pleasant, the reception to seeing their rivals, who for years boasted a better party scene, fall below them in Niche’s rankings was one of equal shock to that of the Broncos.
“We thought they were a better party school than us too, honestly,” Central sophomore Kristie Thompson said. “The most fun we have at CMU is graduating because that means we can get the hell out of this shitty town.”
Some Kalamazoo establishments are rumored to be considering changes in some of their policies in order to boost Western ahead of Central once and for all.
Numerous bars, such as Shakespeare’s and the Old Goat, for example, are said to be discussing a requirement that each bar patron must consume a minimum of five drinks.
“We can neither deny or confirm that this conversation has taken place,” said the Old Goat’s manager. “But we can confirm that WMU students can look forward to some shady business practices fairly soon.”
Though the responses from local establishments has been one of perseverance and hope, the recovery is still far from over throughout the Kalamazoo community.
“These are tough times,” Bayren said. “Broncos can get through almost anything but somethings just break you entirely.”
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