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Towson University’s Best

27 January 2011 By Towerlight Staff One Comment

Best Reason to Go to Towson
Female to Male Ratio

Female:Male - file by Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

Female:Male - file by Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

At an institution of higher learning with prized programs in the music, education, communication and liberal arts, you’re going to wind up with a lot of chicks. Somewhere in the 60/40 mark, the amount of female to male students at Towson University is pretty unfairly balanced. While it’s good to know that most ladies won’t be leaving school with just their “Mrs. Degree,” if you’re a dude and you haven’t left Towson with a diploma and a weighty little black book, you might want to apply for a graduate program. You may not find another co-ed college with as many women per square foot.

Best Place to Smoke and Get Away With It
Sneak with Staffers

Towson University decided to class it up (pun intended) and take away our right to light up at our leisure. Now you have to drag yourself to the outskirts of campus between classes just to get a fix.  This does present a bit of a dilemma for pack-a-day smokers, but don’t overlook the opportunity presented to rebel all over again.  If you want to smoke on campus and get away with it, try making friends with the dining hall employees and assimilate into their ranks during smoke breaks.  If you’re socially awkward, there’s always the Union parking garage.

Best Green Initiative
RecycleALL

Towson has made it so easy for students to recycle. You will hardly ever see a trashcan without its loyal bosom buddy, a RecycleALL can or small blue recycle bin (especially in the hallways of Linthicum). Placed next to each other, the cans challenge you to make the extra effort to drop last week’s homework or empty plastic water bottle into the recycling bin instead of the garbage. The RecycleALL program also allows you to drop paper, plastic and glass in one container. This initiative has helped reduce the amount of waste Towson produces.

Best Team
Women’s Swimming and Diving

No swimming and diving program has been as dominant in the Colonial Athletic Association in recent years as Towson has been. These women have won three straight CAA titles and are in a good position to win a fourth. Led by one of the hardest working men in Towson Athletics, head coach Pat Mead, this program has witnessed the maturation of two of the finest athletes in Towson’s history: seniors Brooke Golden and Meredith Budner, who are both qualified to participate in 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The Towson women are ranked 10th best mid-major swimming program by collegeswimming.com

Best Coach
Pat Mead

Any great college coach sets monstrous goals for their program to reach. When Mead was hired to replace hall of fame coach Ray Riordon, he told his team that Towson would soon be a nationally ranked swimming program. With Meredith Budner going to NCAA’s last year, the Tigers accomplished that. Although Mead and his swimmers have put in a lot of hours at Burdick’s pool, he knows there is more work to be done to accomplish his next set of goals: winning a national championship by the year 2020.

Best Alum
Gary Neal

Gary Neal courtesy of The Associated Press

Gary Neal courtesy of The Associated Press

Though he’s considered a rookie in the NBA this season, former Towson Tiger Gary Neal had plenty of pro experience before finally signing on with the four-time World Champion Spurs this summer. He played the last three seasons in Europe, gaining valuable experience before his breakout performance in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which earned him a three-year contract. And he’s proven worthy of every penny the Spurs are paying him this season, as he’s making roughly 40 percent of his three-point shots for a team that has the most wins in the league.

Best Sports Venue
Johnny Unitas Stadium

Though the football team hasn’t put much into the win column in recent years, the stadium in which they play isn’t suffering. Since its expansion in 2003, Johnny Unitas Stadium, better known to Towson students as “The U,” has been nearly half full with some exceptions in the last five years, and it creates quite an advantage for the home squad. Not only is it home to the Towson football team, but the school’s field hockey team has moved back to the facility as well. And for the last three years, the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Final Four has been held at The U, as well as the home games for both men’s and women’s lacrosse during the regular season. Now in 2013, when Towson’s new “Tiger Arena” is complete for basketball season, this category winner may change, but for now, The U gets the award.

Best School Rivalry
Towson versus Delaware

It doesn’t matter what sport the two CAA rivals hook up in, it’s always a war when the Tigers match up with the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens. Some of the most passionate crowds are at games where Towson plays Delaware, and it always makes for good theater when the schools’ lacrosse teams take the field (see last year’s CAA Championship Game). And the fact that the schools are so close in proximity makes things that much more intense: Talk to any die-hard Towson fan and they’ll certainly say they’d rather watch anyone else win but Delaware.

Best Athlete
Meredith Budner

Meredith Budner - Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

Meredith Budner - Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

Budner’s list of achievements is not short. The 2009 CAA Female Swimmer of the Year has set the school record in five different events and was a part of three relay teams that have set school records. She is the first female swimmer in Towson history to earn All-America honors.  She helped lead the Tigers to three straight CAA titles and competed in the NCAA Championship meet in 2009 and 2010 in three different events. She will most likely appear in the 2011 NCAA Championship, and she looks to crack either the U.S. or Israeli Olympic teams for the 2012 London games. No female swimmer in Towson history has found the success that Budner has.

Best Dorm
Tower D

Admittedly, there are few differences among the four towers in the Glen Complex, and with recent additions such as a piano in all of them and refurbished elevator walls, furniture, and appliances in the rooms, it’s difficult to name one over the others. Tower A, however, requires students to mountain climb the hill leading toward the academic buildings. That in itself is a nightmare for some of our lazier students, and combined with 8 a.m. classes, residents find themselves cursing the computer or roommate that pulled them into Tower A. Tower B appeals to crowbar attacks and Tower C starts fires, leaving Tower D the winner, with easy access to the Glen Marketplace, circle, and the closest proximity to the staircase leading to 7800 York Road.

Best Place to Take a Nap
Albert S. Cook Library

There are a bunch of places you could take a quick snooze on Towson’s campus, but none can compete with the possibilities Cook Library presents. It has five floors, each with a slightly different atmosphere that fits multiple sleeping preferences. The first floor has a nice little spot past the computer lab in the back to lay on where there’s barely any noise. The second has a nice comfy pair of couches to use. The third is for those that prefer to sleep with a bit of noise in the background. The fourth and fifth have tons of desks you can nap on if you need a break from studying. But what makes Cook the best is during exam time: you can pull an all-nighter and then sleep in. That’ll save you the time of walking back to your dorm just to catch a few winks before class.

Best Place to Have Sex
Nowhere

OK, hear us on this one. Sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a lot of work that culminates in about 30 seconds (if you’re lucky), and then there’s the awkwardness of lying next to someone that you may or may not know for the next however long until one of you says something stupid and kills the mood. Then there’s all of the tension between both parties the next time they’re seen together, and to be honest, it’s not worth it. Unless the sex is between two people in a relationship, it’s not something that should be getting the bulk of attention and therefore deems no location winner in Towson.

Best General Education Course
Theatre 101: Acting 1

For some reason, a great number of TU students dread the Creativity and Creative Development Gen. Ed., possibly because it has a limited class selection and most suckers can’t dance. What most people fail to realize is there’s a little gem of a class on that list just waiting for you to enroll in it. It’s called THEA 101: Acting 1. Quite possibly the easiest and even slightly entertaining solution to a general education requirement, Theatre 101 demands minimal effort on the part of the student and includes such strenuous academic challenges as walking around in circles at slower and faster paces, mimicking various accents, and pretending you’re a cat. Some might shirk away from the class, citing how they can’t stomach performing in front of a group. Well, if your entire final exam ends up being is a two-minute scene with a partner as opposed to hours of studying, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Best Dining Location
7720 Café

Towson’s hidden treasure isn’t a valuable education at state school prices, nor is it the beautiful campus landscape continually blocked by construction projects. No, you’ll find a little slice of bliss in the crab cake sandwich or chicken fajita panini at the 7720 Café on the first floor of the Administration Building. Hell will freeze over before the higher-ups of Towson University will grace our dining halls for Glen breakfast or a Paws pretzel sandwich. And working near such powerful and well-dressed people keeps the café’s employees sweet and smiling all day. Quality food, quality service, and they even take meals and points. Do you need another reason to try some different campus eating?

Best SGA Initiative
LED Light Sensors

While the SGA tends to make bold and questionable moves every now and then (firing directors, denying funding for select student groups, etc.) there are some cases where their work shines and seems favorable. Passing a resolution to use LED light sensors for energy efficiency in campus buildings is one of those instances. This decision falls right in line with administrative goals to “go green,” so it appears they have a good sense of direction for the university. The sensors will be installed in the coming months to reduce the wattage of lights in rooms and buildings that are vacant, preventing unnecessary energy from being used.

Best Greeks
Zeta Tau Alpha

Pink Paws - Christopher Curry/ The Towerlight

Pink Paws - Christopher Curry/ The Towerlight

Zeta Tau Alpha has left their mark on campus, and that couldn’t be taken more literally. In October, students and faculty acknowledged National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Within weeks, Zeta took awareness to the extreme to leave a “lasting” impression. Perhaps you’ve noticed the pink paw prints throughout campus? No, Towson did not change its school colors to pink and gold. These pink prints were painted to spread awareness about breast cancer – all year round. While stating that the paint used was “not permanent” and “water soluble” the prints are still very much there, many of them are more vibrant than the original gold ones.

Best On-Campus Job
Community Center Worker

I can’t think of anything better than sitting at a desk for a three to four hour time period and getting paid for it. Okay, let’s make it sound better. How about this: sitting on Facebook or YouTube (or if you’re really sick of those, doing homework) for three to four hours and getting paid for it. Yes, as a Community Center worker you’ll have to look up occasionally to make sure whoever walks in lives there or is a guest of a resident, but there are bigger issues to deal with if that’s too hard for anybody to do.

Best Professor
Jan Simpson

Rate My Professors, that well known and completely unbiased website we all use before signing up for classes, uses student reviews and ratings to rank teachers based on helpfulness, clarity and easiness. It takes a lot for to land a perfect 5.0 in all categories, and adding the chili pepper of hotness to a perfect overall quality rating is akin to finding a professor sculpted out of marble. However, one Towson University professor has managed this feat with the most ratings by TU students: Jan Simpson, part time faculty in the department of health sciences. “You would have to actually use effort in order to fail her class,” a student from last semester wrote in a review. “Super easy, and yet she truly educates the way a real teacher should.”

Best Major
Computer Science

In this economy, you’re lucky to find a job after college, much less a job that pays well. The future is in technology, and computer science majors are continually lauded by the media as the leaders of that revolution. Skills in software and program development, Web coding, and technical consulting are what big name companies are looking for, companies that are willing to pay whistle-worthy salaries to fresh-out-of-college employees. And while the specialized skills you’ll need in math, design and of course, computers require a hefty amount of studying, you won’t regret it come payday.

Best Scandal
Adjunct Professor Says N-Word In Class

If the N-word doesn’t belong in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” a classic novel written and set in a time period where it’s use wasn’t meant kindly, but was telling of society’s values, then it sure doesn’t belong in a Towson University classroom. Adjunct art professor Al Zaruba was fired for using the word in class to refer to himself, after which a student reported him to the office of the provost. The story blew up in the media, and the poor reflection on the University for their treatment of adjunct faculty members hit administration like a proverbial crowbar to the head.

Best Way to Not Have School
Snowpocalypse

Since starting kindergarten, every student has dreamed of a reason not to go to class for days at a time. Maybe the school will burn down! Maybe the teachers will go on strike and there will be no one to make us do homework! Maybe it’ll snow so much school will be cancelled for close to two weeks! Wait, that did happen. A snow storm in late 2009 that caused a few closings and late starts was hardly a warning for the record amounts of white stuff Mother Nature dumped on the greater Baltimore area last February. Towson students responded by throwing a snowball fight that took over Burdick Field. Administration responded by having students make up all the work they missed due to no fault of their own, no exceptions. Snow balls.

Best Event to Look Forward To
Tigerfest

Tigerfest file - Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

Tigerfest file - Casey Prather/ The Towerlight

With its relocation to Unitas Stadium, Tigerfest is sounding like a bigger event than ever before. Though it’s far too early for any solid predictions of performances, it’s never too early to keep an ear to the rumor mill. The only certainty right now for Tigerfest 2011 is its uncertainty. With the controversial decision to push Tigerfest into a Friday slot, students are caught between maintaining the day-long parties Tigerfest (in)famously brings and going to class. This year could be a radical game changer for the campus’ biggest celebration, an odd fluke before heading back to Burdick, or anything in between.

Best Excuse to Skip Class
“I have Swine Flu”

When the official policy regarding the H1N1 virus was released to the Towson University community, students and professors did a double take. Let’s get this straight: We say we have “Flu-like symptoms” and it’s a free pass to sleep in/make up an assignment/ just not be with my peers for more than an hour? Who would want a vaccination for that?!

Best Campus Landmark
Freedom Square

Photo by Daniel Gross

After months of having to walk an awkward path around the construction, Towson students can sit in, hang out on, and chalk the surfaces of Freedom Square. The chalk boards installed on the Lecture Hall are intended for answering the weekly question posted by the Student Government Association. People often use them to promote events, scrawl bible verses, or showcase their artistic talent. The fake grass around the Square is especially great for lounging or people watching in-between classes, since you don’t have to worry about the aggravating crawl of bugs.

Best Transportation
Walking

Over the years, many new forms of transportation have been created. We now have buses, electric cars, skateboards, rolling chairs and even Segways. But there’s still only one that gets you to these new forms, doesn’t take a second to get started, is good for your health, and won’t get you carsick – walking. Yes, it’s the first form of transportation known to man. There may be a few concerns such as fatigue, and it’s not nearly as fast as some of the other forms of transportation. But take a look at your wallet and think of all the money you could save instead of using your car.

Best Twitter Account to Follow
@like_the_TEA

While those of you with Twitter accounts may Tweet matters of great importance such as what you had for breakfast or an inspirational quote about love from the latest sappy chick flick that touched your soul, @like_the_TEA understands and acknowledges that most people don’t care. Thus, Towson University junior Rachel Lipton provides her followers with witty one-liners and reTweets of links that the general public would find entertaining. Examples of recent tweets include, “Is Karma stronger in India?” and “A little bit of snow on the ground and people complain like it’s the end of the world. The dinosaurs got hit with asteroids and they didn’t complain.”

Best Blog to Read In Class

hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com
There are a lot of ways to make someone pee their pants: tickling, frightening or letting a hand or two go swimming while the person is asleep. Usually the pants pee-er doesn’t get to participate in any of the fun. Hyperbole and a Half is so hilarious that solves this problem and many more: How can one deal with the grammatical ineptitude of others? What are seven games you can play with a brick? How can you tell if your dog is retarded? Learn all this while quite literally wetting yourself laughing. Blogger Allie Brosh entertains constantly in ways we can all relate to. Seriously, who hasn’t OD’d on Flintstones vitamins, stuffed their track suit with ice, and gotten miserably lost in Texas?

Best News Source
The Towerlight

For all things Towson, we’ve got you covered. What other local media organization has both a well-crafted print publication and marvelous digital product to provide its readers with breaking content, local news, features, entertainment, sports and much more? Better yet, what local news publication appeals as much to the college students who populate each corner of this town as it does to the community members? I can think of only one. Since 1921, The Towerlight (then The Oriole) has been putting out quality content at an increasing rate so that Towson’s inhabitants can be properly informed of local happenings and events. In addition, The Towerlight has made significant efforts to involve its readership in a marketplace of ideas, bringing commentary and entertainment into the mix through columns, feedback, online comments, Word on the Street, giveaways and much more.


One Comment »

  • Me said:

    That first part…..seriously?

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