Butler University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Butler attracted me because they teach the Stanislavski method of acting, have a small campus with a relaxed feel, and they were kind, though not patronizing, when I auditioned for the acting program.
Once I arrived, however, I found that the students in the theatre department were not as interested in creating successful careers as they were in replicating the feel of a high-school drama club. There's no competition, which is great if you just want to coast into a small-time acting gig teaching inner-city kids to feel, but not if you want to be a paid professional.
The training is broad, and they hope to roll out people capable of working in all areas of theatre--costuming, lighting, set design, etc. But this will NOT help you become a competitive actor in an over-saturated market. Alumns who came back to talk to us told us to also major in education as a back-up plan, and many had to go for a masters to find meaningful work after Butler. It was, frankly, depressing; more so than one would usually expect from a theatre major.
That's the harsh truth, but learn it now. I had to leave after one semester so as not to waste my money, though the financial aid I received covered over half my expenses. TL;DR: If you want to become a Broadway-caliber performer, Butler is NOT built to suit your needs. If you want to act in Midwestern regional theatre until you're too poor to make it work, or you want to be behind the scenes in any capacity, attend Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts. At least they will be nice to you.
You could stand in the middle of campus and watch girls waking by. 95% of them would be dressed exactly the same: leggings, boots, and either a sorority shirt/sweatshirt of some kind or some fashionable t-shirt/jacket/scarf combination. They are dressed to the nines every single day, looking like they were professionally styled and straight out of an Abercrombie catalog. Seriously, their hair is done, their makeup and eyebrows are done, they're dressed to impress (the opposite gender, that is. Not like in a professional way), and they've fully accessorized. I wake up 2 hours before my first class every day. Not so that I can do all that garbage, but so that I can eat, get dressed, and drive to school.
Now onto that aspect..
I am a commuter. I have been all 4 years of college. Cue the assumptions about commuter students. Yes, it is absolutely harder to make meaningful friendships as a commuter student, unless you literally are on campus all hours of the day and night to hang with your buds. If you don't live in the tight-knit communities with these people, they will view you as an outcast.
So there's that. And then there are a few more important things. First of all, about half of the faculty that I've personally had are completely not understanding when something goes wrong with your car or something involving you not being able to make it to campus. And not like "oh it happens every week." I'm saying about once or twice a semester. Because, you know, stuff happens with cars when it's -10 outside.
I still haven't gotten to the best part!
If you are a commuter, you are the lowest of the low in terms of importance to any staff or anyone on campus. They literally just about force you to live on campus with A.) their strict rules about non-campus living and B.) the way you are treated as a commuter. Freshman year, there was a decent amount of parking for commuter students. You could park in the Irwin Lot (2 rows) you could parallel park along Sunset, or you could park in the Hinkle lot (which, by the way, is about a 10 minute walk from any building on campus). Sophomore year, they removed all parking from the Irwin lot, kept the parking at Hinkle and along Sunset, and added a parking lot that was previously only usable by the residents of Tau Kappa Epsilon. So that was about 30-50 more parking spaces added and about 200 removed. Still a deficit. Junior year, they closed off the parking at TKE to commuters, they re-introduced one row of parking spaces at Irwin, closed about half the parallel parking spaces along Sunset, and of course Hinkle remained open. This year. Oh boy. This year, they not only have been doing construction on campus for THE ENTIRE YEAR, causing traffic issues out the wazoo, but they also removed all parallel parking along Sunset. They did, partway through the year, introduce another row back into parking at Irwin, returning it to its original 2 rows of parking. So now the only options are the 2 rows in Irwin or the Hinkle lot, which, may I remind you, is about a 10-minute walk to class. At least. And the sidewalk that takes you straight from Hinkle to campus is closed off due to...you guessed it..construction! So you have to either walk a zig-zagged path through the forest or cross the street multiple times back and forth. Fun.
Now for the best part.
They are closing the Irwin lot to all parking, faculty, resident, and commuter. Meaning that there will likely not even be enough spots in Hinkle to accommodate all the parking needs. So Hinkle will be the only option for parking to commuter students. Other than, of course, the infamous "I Lot" which is located on 52nd street (the school is on 46th street. LOL.) To make matters even worse, I will metion that the Hinkle lot is divided into 2 main sections. The section on the west side, which is closer to campus, and the section on the east side, which is further from campus. They have designated the section closer to campus for visitor parking. And the commuters? We get the section further from campus. Add about 2 minutes to that walk.
I drive about 40-45 minutes to school EACH DAY, MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY (I have to go home during the day to let my dogs out and to eat because the food on campus is either ridiculously expensive (Starbucks and C-Club), disgusting and makes people sick all the time (Atherton) or both (C-club again, to some extent)). So on top of that 40-45 minute drive, I have now an additional GUARANTEED 15-minute walk to class. Every day. Multiple times a day. They try to strongarm you with their bullshit to get you to live on campus. They are concerned about being a business and about making money from grants and tuition and they want to look like a good school. But it is a 100% self-focused corporate-minded university, I promise.
Also of note, I am a music major. The practice rooms here are absurdly poor quality. The windows don't shut all the way, the heaters/ACs in each room (yes, there are room units from about 1970. QUALITY!) don't work properly, the pianos are ALWAYS out of tune, and the rooms are 0% soundproof. They don't even look finished. The walls are lined with that holey paneling that men use in the garage to hang hooks on for their tools. I had the same lining in a garage in a crappy rental house in the ghetto. And yet it's lining the walls of the practice rooms. If you are a music major, or a JCA major at all (other than dance), the university doesn't care about you. Particularly music majors. We have complained many times (and for many years, long before I got here) about the inadequate and laughable practice facilities, but they refuse. Dean Caltabiano is trying his damnedest to get us the facilities we need, but the university doesn't care about its musicians. They shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to put new windows in the Fieldhouse (because it is an investment and they will get more ticket purchasers in for the basketball games if it's an up-to-date facility) and they shell out oodles more money each year for Greek organizations and for Pharmacy facilities, but they can't give a measly $30,000 to the school of music for new practice facilities? I LITERALLY PAY OVER $30,000 A YEAR TO GO HERE. THAT'S LESS THAN ONE PERSON'S TUITION. SERIOUSLY?
Also, the CORE is crap. They say that they want you to have a liberal arts education; they say that it's a liberal arts school and that they want well-rounded students.
You are required to take: a Texts and Ideas class (think AP highschool English x twice the course work) a Natural World class (5 days a week plus a 1-2 hour lab each week) a Social World class (boring anthropology-esque crap) 2 Global and Historical Studies classes (history classes...but with subject matter like "East Asian Interactions" or "China and the Islamic Middle East" or "Colonizing Africa" - literally no one cares), an Analytical Reasoning class (math.), a Perspectives in the Creative Arts class (if you're not a JCA major) (this is like a music class or an art class for invalids..it's literally stupid and will make you feel stupid), an ICR class (there are a variety of these, but it's literally 20 hours of community service in the Indianapolis community. And you need it to graduate. Plus almost all of the ICR classes have some sort of prerequisite so WATCH OUT!), and then there's the "Writing across the curriculum" and "Speaking across the curriculum" designations. You must take a writing-intensive class (uh..this is college. It's ALL writing-intensive) and a speech class.
I don't know about all of you, but in order to get an Academic Honors diploma from highschool, I had to take all kinds of English AP classes, AP science, AP math (including Calculus), a speech class, music classes, essay-heavy classes, and AP history classes. So I don't know why they're making you take all of these types of classes over again when none of them pertain to your major. If you're a science major or a history major or an English major (or anything) I think that the respective courses that add to your understanding of YOUR major are a good requirement. But otherwise, they're crap and they are just a way to make you have to pay for more courses and stay the full 4 years (or take summer classes to finish early).
There's also the BCR (Butler Cultural Requirement) which entails each student attending 8 arts events in their time at Butler. You have to get your ID scanned beforehand and afterward. This isn't an unnecessary or a particularly challenging thing to accomplish. However, I have gone to 3 performances now in hopes of getting BCR credits and the ID scanning person (Yes, there's only one per performance!!!) wasn't there. Excuse me? I paid for tickets to go to something so that I could get this requirement to graduate and the person who scans the IDs is NOT HERE?? Yes. Abso-LUTELY.
Also to note: if you are a JCA major, you have an additional events attendance requirement. On top of the 8 BCR events, you are required to attend an additional 16 recitals...per year. That's right! So at the end of your college career you will have attended 72 events. (Now, you can use events for both the BCR and the recital attendance credit..if they are eligible for both. Which, most aren't. But I digress.)
However, a lot of times, there will be no recital attendance sheets at the performance, meaning that you have to jump through hoops to try and convince the person in charge of keeping track of recital attendance that you actually went to the recital.
I have so many negative things to say about this hellish place. Literally, unless you are going to be a pharmacy major and go Greek (and live on campus all 4 years) do NOT go here. You will hate your life.
I CANNOT WAIT TO BE FREE OF THIS HELL-HOLE!
ALSO, there are multiple cases of sexual assault on campus each year. 2 fraternities have been shut down in the time that I've been here: the aforementioned Tau Kappa Epsilon (rapists) and this year, the infamous "roofiers) at Phi Kappa Psi. The sexual assaults don't just happen in Frats though. Almost all reported cases (we get emailed each time there's a reported case) have occurred in ResCo. So no one is safe. Also, this university strongly believes in blaming the victim. Or just not believing them at all. There was a case last semester where a girl had been raped and after not believing her and making her jump through hoops to prove that the boy raped her, there was to be a disciplinary hearing. They boy "couldn't attend" the hearing and it was rescheduled on his behalf. TWICE.
There have been numerous times where we've gotten an alert that there was either an armed robbery near campus (like a block away) or that there was an armed person on campus. There was once a police chase of a gunman right through campus. 2 years ago. Fun.
And they hire sex offenders. There was a faculty member who was fired from 2 previous universities for sexual misconduct with multiple students. I believe that at the Michigan university, there were about 6-10 cases against him and in Florida, there were about 20. And this is just one faculty member that I happen to know about. I'm sure there's just a plethora more.
Honest to God, don't go here. Don't let your friends go here. Don't let your children go here, or your children's children. Don't let your enemy go here. This place is full of evil people who are bigoted and hateful and exclusionary and there are rapists all over the place here, among students and faculty.Still, there is so much more I can say, but I'm out of time.