The Poughkeepsie Journal, one of America’s longest-running and most highly-regarded local newspapers, recently listed Clemson among their top-25 college campuses for outdoorsiness. This marks the school’s first year appearing on the 80-year-old University Outdoorsiness Index. Clemson, proud of this new ranking, plans to initiate a thorough marketing campaign in Dutchess County, New York, where the daily is still read by retired geriatrics.
Clemson made it onto the list at number 14, the Journal saying, “Clemson, with its many opportunities to be outdoors, has a certain ‘outdoorsy’ quality that makes it very attractive to students who wish to be outdoors.” The article went on to state that what separates Clemson from the colleges that miss the list is “They can be inside, but they can also be outside.”
The article graded each campus on many criteria such as Fresh Air Levels, Strength of the Cool Summer Breezes, and the Long-Walk-to–Sweatiness–Ratio. Clemson scored a 7, 8 or 9 on all of these rankings. But it was the specific activity categories that sealed Clemson’s ranking. While the article did mention the occasional pet feces minefield, Bowman Field managed to score high marks in the Frisbee Playing Conditions category for its “beautiful weather with minimal interfering winds.” Bowman was also mentioned highly in the Football, Soccer, and Shirtless-Volleyball-for-No-Other-Reason-Than-to-Show-Off-Your-Rockin’ Bod categories, the article praising both students’ ability to play the sports and their rockin’ bods.
Clemson also snagged the top title for its impressive disc golf conditions. The author noted that, “although it is a makeshift course, with goals like hitting lampposts and ‘do not enter’ signs, the fact that such a course is so popular and easy to learn shows how much these students love disc golf.” Allegedly, the author had a lot of trouble with Hole 9, the dumpster near Vickery Hall where one has to throw between two buildings and then dogleg right up the service road. It’s a par 5 and he reportedly needed 9 just to hit the dumpster.
Horseshoes, scoring an 8, Kick the Can, a 7, and Double-Dutch a strong 9, are just a few of the other categories in which Clemson scored well. The ranking blurb explained that Clemson had great grass for horseshoes—the writer was especially happy with the college’s choice to stick with natural grass, which is harder to maintain but provides better bounce, as well as the great long sidewalks like those alongside Bowman Field and Library Bridge, perfect for kicking cans across. The writer even commented on catching by chance, “Some of the greatest double-dutch I’ve ever seen beneath the Library Bridge.”
Clemson, sadly, scored average on Parkour, the article stating that “while Clemson had lots of great buildings near each other at varying heights with good fixtures to jump on and then off of again, the campus was too hilly as a whole, making the terrain less dynamic for true parkour—5.”
Sadly, another area in which Clemson suffered was the Hopscotch Terrain category, which was described in the article as “clearly lacking.” The writer went on to claim that, “there really wasn’t much in the way of hopscotch being played on campus, which must be due to the poor hopping conditions.” The article suggests widening the sidewalks in certain areas and leaving chalk for the players to use.
Clemson’s only response to the negative feedback in the article was a promise to continue to work towards making it into the top ten, adding that, “every ranking is equally important to us.” The Clemson representative, Arthur Shouldbehigher, then proceeded to list all the rankings the college had received, promptly putting this writer to sleep.