Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Ratio

Y'all are going to be sick of Georgia Tech related posts by this time next week, but this video is too good to pass up. It has great production values and really nails a particular aspect of campus life peculiar to Tech.

The Ratio is the number of guys to every girl enrolled at Tech. When I was there, it was 4 to 1. Two decades later, after major efforts at enrolling more women including recruiting and scholarships and other enticements, the Ratio has improved to...wait for it...3 to 1. And holding steady.

Back in the day, I used to eat lunch on Fridays with a group of co-eds that were friends of a girl I met in my freshman drafting class (yeah, with t-squares and triangles, that's how old school I am). They were all complaining that they didn't have dates. My jaw dropped. I asked how with The Ratio could they complain. They explained that half the guys at Tech you wouldn't want to date and the other half already had girlfriends from back home or at other schools. All-girl Agnes Scott College was and still is a major source of female companionship for Tech guys. And since I had met my girlfriend/fiance/future wife in high school, I had no room to dispute their explanation. These girls had a point.

The distaff side has this saying about how The Ratio does not always work in their favor:

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd."


Alex said...

When I started at RIT, the ratio was something like 6:1 (possibly 6.5:1 [don't ask how that works, I wasn't a math person])... by the time I graduated it was down to 4:1.

yellojkt said...

And that is about as good as it gets at an engineering school except for MIT which somehow manages 1:1.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with the ratio, but I'll see your t-squares and raise you programming with punch cards. (I graduated 2 years before you did.) And after a catastrophic battery failure during a test, I always took my father's old slide rule with me as back-up and good luck charm.

2fs said...

You are, by the way, the first person I've read in a long time, both under the age of 55 and who is not a journalist, to use the word "coed." There's something bizarrely '50s-ish about the if female college students were something of a novelty (admittedly, the whole point of the post is that at engineering schools, they are, to a degree).

yellojkt said...

I missed punch cards by two years. I knew guys that remembered those days.

As a noun "co-ed" is easily as dated as "stewardess" or "gal Friday". However, I see 'co-ed' used as an adjective everywhere. I've been predicting co-ed bathrooms for decades.

Anonymous said...

There are now co-ed bathroom but are called unisex. You can find prime examples in rundown gas stations/convience stores.

Anonymous said...

Yeh, the ratio thing worked out much better for me at Adelphi University, which despite going coed in the 1940s, was still largely thought of as a women's school. We had a roughly 6:1 female-male ration going on there.

I'm sure this all has nothing to do with why I'm going to Notre Dame this year.