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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Are Brandeis students unattractive and awkward?

Published: November 2, 2007
Section: Opinions

Weve all heard the complaints before. Brandeis students are ugly. According to Fiskes Guide to Colleges 2005 edition, students wear beer goggles (i.e., get drunk) in order to coax themselves into hooking up with less than attractive members of the opposite sex. Then theres the old saying that nine out of ten Jewish girls are pretty and the tenth goes to Brandeis. Some girls claim that the saying works in reverse, as well.

Is there truth behind these allegations? Are Brandeis students truly less good-looking than the norm?

Interestingly, most of my interviewees wished to remain anonymous, as no one wanted to be quoted saying something that could be perceived as obnoxious. One interviewee demanded you cant put me in there. Im not kidding. Another called me back after our session to say please dont put me in there. If you do, I will kill you. As one Freshman put it, please dont quote me on what I just said. It makes me sound like a bitch.

Obviously, Brandeis students have a low comfort level confronting a sensitive topic such as this one. But the results were clear. The majority of people asked, from each gender, rated the overall attractiveness at Brandeis between a 4 and a 5, with 1 being downright atrocious and 10 being drop dead gorgeous.

Im just not impressed with the attractiveness of [students] on this campus, said one sophomore, who wished to remain anonymous. While its true that not everyone is ugly, finding that really pretty girl is rare. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I would have more success with girls at another school, because here theyre not worth going after.

Christina Tom, 10, concurred. I dont think we have many attractive people. They just dont fit my type.

Other students feel that such claims are exaggerated. I think people like to say that [were less attractive but I dont think its necessarily true, said Becca Sturgis, 11. Aimee Berenbaum, -10, concurred. There are definitely good looking people here even though everyone says theres not.

Either way, social awkwardness dominates the campus, according to many, and this detracts from a positive experience even more than the shortage of attractive students. There are some socially adept girls here, stated one Sophomore. But theyre not the majority, and the girls that Ive been around that are cute are okay socially, but I have a hard time telling whether theyre playing the dating game or not. A senior agreed. People here dont know how to have a normal, social interaction.its as though the admissions committee just picks the weirdest people.

Berenbaum suggested that social awkwardness may actually be due to a positive trait that many Brandeisians possess. People are not afraid to express themselveseveryone [makes themselves heard] and therefore people mesh awkwardly. Because everyones got their own quirks, they react awkwardly with other peoples quirks.

Other opinions varied widely. One student hypothesized that homework overloads stunt social interaction. Another supposed that college is simply different from high school, noting what was considered awkward in high school is not necessarily awkward here.

Finding a scientific basis for research on such a matter is nearly impossible, as there are no accepted definitions for awkward or ugly people. Like pornography, you know it when you see it.

Whatever the actual case, however, such low reviews suggest that Brandeis students do not have high esteem in regard to their fellow students. Perhaps we need to change our negative mentalities. Perhaps we just need to grab a beer.