SLU: Best, west of the Mississippi

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SLU: Best, west of the Mississippi

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With April 1 just around the corner, some high school seniors may still be unsure of where they want to go. In light of this, we have decided to provide some aid to the undecided by providing our own official college rankings. After a long, meticulous decision process, the University News Editorial Board is pleased to announce that our top selection for the Best University in America is … Saint Louis University.

Now, some observant readers may notice that this just so happens to be the school that we currently attend. While this may seem to have been deliberate, or even conspiratorial, we assure you this is not an endorsement we give freely. Our decision was based on a set of objective, wholly unbiased criteria, such as admission standards, student-teacher ratio, relative distance to the nearest Rally’s, number of naked statues on campus and amount of money saved by not paying adjuncts. In nearly every metric we tested, SLU emerged on top.

Still unconvinced? Perhaps SLU’s role as a history maker might change your mind. Founded in 1818, SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi. The school also boasts the oldest medical and law schools west of the Mississippi. But that’s not all. Did you know that in 1906, SLU threw the first-ever forward pass in football, west of the Mississippi? Or that in 1944, SLU became the first university to admit African-Americans in a former slave state, west of the Mississippi? Even as recently as last year, SLU was home to historic on-campus protests following the death of Michael Brown — an event that sparked what some have called the most important civil rights movement of the modern era, west of the Mississippi.

SLU is located in downtown St. Louis. As a mid-sized, industrial city, St. Louis lacks both the charm of a small town and the conveniences of a larger, livelier metropolis. Unlike most urban campuses, parking at SLU is never an issue; with car-jackings regularly occurring nearby, simply leave your car running in the street and someone will gladly take it off your hands for you. The city even has an arch!

SLU’s current president, Dr. Pestello, has proven to an unexpected boon for the school. He has engaged students by cheering on the Billikens at basketball games, walking around campus during the week and memorizing the name, major, class schedule and eating habits of each of SLU’s 13,287 students. Always understanding of the stresses that his students undergo, he has even made it an annual tradition to personally walk around the library and distribute free, homemade cookies to students before each and every tuition hike.

The student population at SLU is incredibly diverse. Spend just a few minutes walking around our campus, and you’ll find that Billikens hail from all over: from the inner city of Chicago to nearly three hours outside of Chicago.

If you haven’t heard, athletics are huge at SLU, no matter the season. In the fall, students all across campus show their Billiken pride every Saturday by tuning in and rooting for the football team of the college all their friends back home go to. Every winter, without fail, the student body rallies behind the men’s basketball team in hopes of a successful year, and every spring, without fail, they blow it.

Perhaps the most notable feature of SLU is its unique mascot. The Billiken is an ancient, St. Louis-region good luck symbol that traces its origins back to 1908, when SLU’s athletic department decided the school needed something to put on the sweatshirts. The figure’s undergone a number of facelifts over the years, resembling everything from a devilish imp, to an impish devil, to a fat leprechaun. But true SLU fans will always take comfort in knowing that beneath the changes is the same old Billy: a knowing, sinister smirk perpetually frozen onto his chubby face in a constant, unnerving state of winking.

Go Bills!