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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Red Hot Chili Pepper Professors

    Whether it be on a TV show, in a movie, in a book or even in the real world, people are often unafraid of admitting their attraction to a teacher.

    Researching on the website, ratemyprofessors.com, students  have the opportunity to not only rate a professor in his or her teaching abilities but also whether they consider the professor as “hot” or “not.”

    Ratemyprofessors.com is known by students as a helpful guide for when it comes to selecting courses or researching a potential professor. Once a student selects a professor’s name, the site will list the overall rated quality, helpfulness, clarity and easiness of the professor’s grading.

    Depending on the professor, there may or may not be a little red chili pepper beside the other ratings.

    When a student clicks on the pepper at the top of the screen, an information box appears and reads, “Is your professor hot? Hot professors get a red chili pepper.” What the site doesn’t tell you is that the more times students rate the professor as being “hot,” the brighter the chili pepper appears until it’s at the point of being shown ablaze.

    In other words, there are three levels of “hotness” a professor can be. The lowest level a typical red chili pepper, the second a pepper emanating an orange glow and the highest level  a chili pepper engulfed in flames.

    Students who wish to rate a professor use a numerical system for topics such as textbook use, interest in class and professor helpfulness. Other topics, such as attendance, professor status- still teaching or retired-and appearance, are only given two options to choose from. In this case, the appearance choice is either “hot” or “not,” but is not mandatory for raters to pick one, unlike other choices. In fact, next to the choice of appearance, it says in quotations “just for fun.”

    Nick Martinez, a senior majoring in anthropology, admitted to providing feedback for the site. When asked if he takes the appearance part of the ratings seriously he shook his head saying, “Nah. It really has nothing to do with the class. It’s not important. The professor could look like Frankenstein and still be a good guy.”

    Richard Reeder, who is a professor of geology, is one of the elite group of pepper-receivers. Reeder said that he feels flattered about the title and never saw it coming.

    When asked to share a piece of advice for those professors who did not receive peppers, Reeder said, “As my mountaineering friend once said, ‘there’s not much room at the top!’”

    Though Reeder’s students apparently found him to be an attractive member of the male gender, this is not to say that the only appealing aspect of Reeder is his looks. His students also rated him very highly in all categories on the website, and he was much more satisfied with these ratings.

    “After all, I’m here to help students learn and expand their intellect,” Reeder said. “But, I’ve always felt there should be a fun side of college, and it’s nice to see this aspect of human nature in our students.”

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