While some students might find it a bit cheeky, campus coeds looking for another position to put in their resume can try out this week for a slot in Playboy Magazine’s “Girls of the Top 10 Party Schools” feature.
Playboy publicist Theresa Hennessey said the magazine is looking to include at least one UCSB woman in the featured section of its May 2006 issue. To audition for the magazine, interested women must call (312) 401-7343 by Wednesday, after which they might be asked to attend a private photo shoot at an undisclosed location on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. In order to be eligible, Hennessey said women must prove they are UCSB students and at least 18 years old. She said the women chosen for the spread will be paid an undisclosed amount.
For the feature, Playboy is looking for all types of women, but especially those whose looks are representative of the campus, Hennessey said. She said she expects about 50 to 100 women to audition for the feature.
“We look for the girl next door, the girl sitting next to you in math class,” Hennessey said.
To choose the top 10 party schools, Hennessey said editors of the magazine got together and consulted with Playboy campus scouts. The editors and scouts consider criteria such as a school’s proximity to cities, the liveliness of the school’s social scene and the ratio of men to women before deciding which schools made the cut.
UCSB was previously featured in Playboy’s Nov. 2002 “Top 25 Party Schools” list, ranked at number 22, Hennessey said. Although many people believe the party-school special is an annual issue, she said this is only Playboy’s third compilation. The first list of party schools — the “Top 40 Party Schools” — appeared in Jan. 1987. She said UCSB was not included in the original list.
Natalie Willis, a first-year communications major, said she thinks the university should be known for more than its parties.
“I don’t think that’s how we should be remembered,” Willis said. “There are parties here, but if you’re not looking for a party, you can find other things to do.”
Brian Martinez, a first-year business economics major, said he thinks the feature could potentially harm both UCSB and the women selected to represent the university in Playboy.
“[Posing in Playboy] would be embarrassing for [women] because every guy on campus sees her naked,” Martinez said. “So in that way it’s degrading because she loses her privacy and that part of her life.”
Hennessey said she does not agree with the assessment of Playboy Magazine as being degrading toward women. Many women who choose to appear in Playboy see it as a steppingstone to becoming actresses or models, she said.
Hennessey also said she does not think that Playboy’s list of party schools will harm the university’s reputation.
“Just because it’s a party school doesn’t mean you can’t get a great education,” Hennessey said.
According to a press release, Playboy included McGill University in Montreal, the University of Georgia, Indiana University, Ohio University, Arizona State University and the University of Tennessee in its list. The University of Wisconsin, Madison; Florida State University and San Diego State University are also included.