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| Oglethorpe has a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. The experience is entirely what you make of it. |
Don't expect campus to offer much of a social life, but with effort, there are plenty of brilliant and interesting people to meet. The "Greek Life" is a total joke and entirely irrelevant. I'm saying that as a member of a fraternity. Some people might see that as a huge benefit because it means fraternity/sorority life is not an overwhelming driver of campus culture.
The dorms rage from good to inhabitable depending on what building you're assigned. The freshman have it pretty rough because they are most likely to end up in Traer (hardly up to building code) or in the Alumni or Jacobs housing (don't worry, they got the asbestos out a while back). If you're not in one of those dorms, you can enjoy a pleasant, reclusive life on campus.
Big negative here: food and dining services. The food is awful. And not just "taste bad" awful, it is unhealthy... completely void of adequate nutrition. You cannot survive on the meal plan. Expect to spend a lot of money on groceries and eating out. I cannot stress enough how bad the food is here. They use the cheapest possible ingredients to start with, and can't even prepare it well. I've been served pizza still frozen in the middle. If they cannot cook a frozen pizza properly, how can they be expected to handle meat. The same food often appears from day to day in different forms. This constant reheating and cooling removes the essential nutrients that exist in the raw form of the protein or vegetable. I always wonder how great Oglethorpe could be if we were fed properly so that our brains and bodies could function on full capacity. Long blurb on food, but yeah, it's really really bad.
The staff here are very helpful except for a few departments. The IT department seems to never have a clue what to do. Internet and online services go down frequently with no reason. The technology is dangerously dated. I worry about the security of our personal data in the hands of such an inadequate IT department. Last semester there was an IT crisis DURING exam week where dozens of students and professors were unable to access their email or other accounts for school. Surprisingly, IT is not the worst department here. IT at least is friendly and always works to fix the many problems. Venture to financial aid and you'll find a room of people who are paid by your tuition to abuse you and humiliate you before they refuse to help you. No matter what I do to avoid it, I have never had a pleasant experience with financial aid. They will not help you. The secretary will be extremely rude to you. They will blame your lack of financial aid on you and not offer any solutions. I would love to have a real advisor look over what I'm paying because I'm pretty sure there is a cheaper way that Oglethorpe won't tell me about.
A few department shout outs though... Residence Life is extremely easy to work with and usually try to make the best out of everything for the students. I really wish Dean Hall were president and Dr. Glassman were dean because they could be the Oglethorpe dream team and save this retched school. I'm not sure what the business office does other than collect money, but my interactions with them are always extremely pleasant. The employees who work the registrar desk are some of the nicest people on campus.
Lastly, the academics at Oglethorpe are entirely up to chance. I have had professors who have changed my entire world view. I have had professors who have made me want to march into president's office and get a refund. I really recommend researching the professors in your department on RateMyProfessor because some departments have a lot of great professors then some majors hardly exist and are maintained by adjuncts. I've been very pleased with my major and the professors I've had. I hear a lot of complaining from people with other majors though.
My final note is something I have just now figured out three years into my Oglethorpe education. Coming here is a four-five year commitment. Once you start, you will not be able to transfer a lot of credits out. Oglethorpe is very much a trap in that way... once they reel you in and hold onto you for your first year, you really can't leave. I notice every year how many freshman leave after their first semester. That's really the only time you can leave. Stay any longer and you're stuck.Stay stormy.
|Jan 31 2014|| 3rd Year Male --
Class 2015 |
| Oglethorpe back on 2012 was a decent school to attend, but the administration changed, as well as the starting of the EF program, effectively turned the school into a profit machine for the upper administration. As well as the majority of the student body being dissatisfied with the experience, Oglethorpe openly censors nay-sayers (one of my brothers was made to remove a video about the lack of quality at the new on-campus Starbucks). There are two real fraternities (Chi Phi and SAE), two clubs of misfits that try to be fraternities, and decent sororities. Other than 2 parties a month (one from each real fraternity), there is literally nothing to do on campus that you couldn't do in your room. The core credits you earn will not transfer anywhere, so they effectively lock you in, unless you're fine with being a fifth year somewhere when you transfer out. Stay away like it had the bubonic plague, unless you know you can get a bid from Chi Phi or SAE, or a sorority. Being Greek is the only thing to save you from insanity. |
|Jan 31 2014|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2015 |
| I chose Oglethorpe thoughtfully and carefully from among seven schools where I was accepted and provided scholarships. At the time the decision was appropriate but the school has changed and is no longer a good fit. While previously a selective school for serious students, it now most resembles a community college. Some professors are skilled and caring but more and more they are adjuncts who tolerate student absences and poor work. |
The English First program draws students with little accountability so of course they party heavily and are disruptive. Evening students who did not meet the same requirements as I met to be admitted are now free to enroll in day classes.
The most significant problems, however, are in university structures -- administration, registration, housing, security, maintenance, and food service. The organization as a whole is not proactive nor responsive to students. It is a challenge to get answers or help from nearly any campus office and there is little support for students who strive to maintain academic and social standards.
I cannot recommend Oglethorpe and am sorry that I cannot -- years ago it held the promise of being a community for engaged, committed students to work with supportive, interested faculty and administration. Now it is a four-year holding tank for apathetic, mediocre students and part-time instructors.
|Jan 12 2014|| 3rd Year Male --
Class 2015 |