Butler University - Comments and Student Experiences|
The primary reason I am leaving is because I do not feel that Butler is as serious of an academic institution as they try to make it sound. Because of my aforementioned difficulty in selecting classes, I was stuck taking classes that had nothing to do with my major. Also, the classes I was taking seemed like they were of the same academic quality found at a community college (nothing wrong with this, only problem is you are paying $40,000). Also, some of the professors teaching these classes also made it seem like they were astute, distinguished academics, but in reality, most of them are just full of themselves. The professors were pretty hit or miss; some were very knowledgeable and helpful and others were just pretentious tools. The classes also have many ridiculous prerequisites that make it impossible for anyone other than a senior to take. They also do things very differently than other schools, which makes transferring nearly impossible. Also, because the school is small, many far reaching topics cannot be studied here, even as an elective. Finally, the Liberal Arts department holds an iron fist over the administration, so expect to take pointless, close-minded and biased classes about Art and Literature simply because Butler was a Liberal Arts school 100 years ago. I am leaving because I could get the same par of education and treatment from a much cheaper community college, and transfer later on to a much more respected university. Butler is also very isolated from the surrounding city, which reminds me to warn you sincerely about the Butler Bubble. It is true, this place is basically a cult, and if you don't have a car, you will think the whole world operates like this school does.
The dorms (with exception to the brand new ones they show on tours) are pretty average on the surface, and most are reasonably comfortable. I lived in ResCo, which actually wasn't bad, except for the laundry list of rules and regulations to live there and not get a trip to the Residence Life office. For example, coffee makers, microwaves, and basically anything with a heating element is banned. Furthermore, the RAs at Butler (which you will have to deal with for 3 years minimum) are either sworn Gestapo officers or "chill" people who only became RAs for the free room and board, with little in between. For example, my room was abruptly searched because it was "suspected" that there was drinking, when in reality we were just watching a football game in my room. This night (late October) began the downturn of my experience here. I quickly realized that the Disneyland picture they painted on move in day was merely a facade, and that the University was very poorly managed. Things seemed to randomly break all the time, like the hot water for the dorms and the elevators all over campus. Every lottery system they had constructed for housing and class selection was flawed. I had a very difficult time selecting classes not only that I was interested in and that would allow me to graduate on time, but also selecting the bare MINIMUM of classes that I needed just to stay at Butler! Furthermore, nearly all of my friends were placed in the freshman dorm for their sophomore year "by mistake", only for them to find out it was really because they had let too many people into the school and were genuinely out of room.
Social Life is what you make it, just like any other school. I am not terribly extroverted, but I am not a loner either. That being said, I made lots of friends here, many of whom I will miss very much. It is very easy to meet people early on. However, after first semester, if your friend decides to be part of Greek Life, expect to see them far less than you did first semester. Greek life at Butler has a far broader reach than advertised here. If you aren't a part of clubs or Greek Life, expect to sit in your dorm every day. Because chances are, 90% of your other friends are also in these organizations. I attempted to join many clubs here, but found that half of all the ones I was interested in either didn't really exist or meet, or were essentially cults. I found one club, Cru, that was neither of these things, and I credit Cru for salvaging my second semester.
I can't really talk about the food, since they are switching the supplier. Hopefully it improves, however some of the food there is very good quality. I also hope they replace some of the dining staff, as some of them are really rude and don't really know how to properly cook chicken. I hope no more raw chicken nuggets will be served here ever again.
If you are extremely interested in Greek Life, only learning about your major and nothing else, and overpaying for an education, Butler University is the place for you. I think its really a shame the direction that this school is going, especially since I think there are many excellent people here. Friends aside, attending Butler University was the worst decision I have ever made.
Butler is an excellent school for some people. The faculty are very down to earth and friendly people. All of the professors I had were both brilliant and approachable. I made it a priority to get to know my professors through their office hours and was able to do this at Butler. However, I registered at Butler with 17 credit hours already from AP credits, plus honors and athletics priorities, so I generally had first pick when it came to selecting my classes. My advisor (S/O Professor Gjerde) was very knowledgable and helpful when it came to selecting classes. Butler will keep you on track to graduate, they will not let you get too far off course. The professors and administration made me feel like they genuinely cared about my academic and personal success. Class sizes are also super small. My average class numbered about 25 kids and all of my professors knew my name. The FBE and RBE programs in the Lacy School of Business are incredible and quite unlike anything offered at any other school. It is also quite easy to double major here.
Most of the student body is friendly if approached. However, most Butler students will not go out of their way to meet new people after a certain point in the school year, so the school gets to be quite cliquey. I understand that everyone finds their group within a school, but at Butler it felt like once people had that set group, they had no interest in meeting anyone else. Of course, this is just a generalization, there are people here that don't fit that mold. Although I imagine those people are more numerous at other schools. Butler is also dominated by Greek life. Despite the fact that Butler had only 4.5 fraternities (RIP Lambda) and 7 sororities last year, it feels like over 50% of the school is greek. I was fortunate enough to be on a varsity athletic team, so I managed to find a large, close-knit group of friends without going greek. However, I have many friends who are neither greek nor athletes, and many of them had a difficult time expanding their social circles. I cannot imagine going to school here if you are not an athlete and do not intend to participate in greek life. With all of that being said, I managed to make some great friends at Butler that I'll miss dearly in my next chapter. In essence, Butler is a small school. Make sure you know that you want a small school before deciding to come here. That means eating at the same dining hall every day, seeing the same faces in the hallways, and always having a mutual friend with someone you just met. Someone shares you major? Best (try to) get to know them, because chances are, you'll have many classes with them. If this is what you want, Butler is probably a great place for you. In the end, I decided I'm just more of a big school kinda guy. I don't regret spending my freshman year at Butler because I've made some amazing friends here. But the school itself is just not what I wanted from my college experience. Although Butler wasn't the best fit for me and I have decided to transfer, I'll still cheer on the dawgs when March Madness rolls around.
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