Concordia College Moorhead
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Concordia College Moorhead - Comments and Student Experiences |
It is a very homogenous and like-minded population as well as people from very similar socio-economic backgrounds (white, upper-middle class, small town or from a suburb of the Twin Cities). Sometimes it can feel like an alternate universe of clones...but the professors care and want you to TRAVEL! So make sure to save your money beyond tuition if you want to attend. DO NOT PAY STICKER PRICE!!! It is NOT WORTH IT!
The only reason I still attend is because of superficial reasons....my financial aid package, the "cobber ring", and alumni network. Even those are barely enough to convince me to stay. **OVERALL** Concordia has given me many opportunities of work, internships, travel, study, etc., but these would NOT have been worth it if I didn't have a cheap education. Also, some of these maybe could have been achieved at a neighboring state school at a slightly cheaper rate.
As a student going into K-12 Instrumental, Vocal, and Classroom Music Education (also known as Dual-License), I would not have come to Concordia if I knew they no longer offered that program of study. When I visited Concordia my senior year of high school, I asked different music faculty whether they offered Dual-License Music Education and I could not get a straight answer. By the time the music and education departments informed me I could only get one license, I was already halfway into my first semester. I wish the department could have been straightforward and to the point about which majors are offered and which are not.
With that said, Concordia was a mistake and I will be going elsewhere to get my Dual-Degree. Concordia was however, the best mistake of my life.
Pros: Great food, approachable faculty (especially in the music department), rigorous music classes (and lessons that improved my abilities 50% in one year), respect for my decision to leave, clean community bathrooms in Hoyum Hall (now a co-ed dorm just in case alumni ask "Wait. Isn't that a women's dorm?"), very helpful residence staff, awesome music program (my major aside).
Cons: Some students are not very approachable as it feels like they are thinking they are better than others. Outside of the music department, classes are kind of hit-or-miss rigor wise (I totally BS'd my way through a test in Rel. 100 and still got an A-). Winter was longer than normal (and this is coming from a Minnesota resident). There is a lack of diversity in the student body (although I did not notice much as I fit the majority of white and Christian) (since most students are from Minnesota and the Dakotas, I am not surprised at all by this)
If you want to major in Music Education and were in both band and choir through high school, I would recommend looking elsewhere and getting dual-licensure (for this No Child Left Behind/Ahead world where license is key rather than skill). If you do not know your major yet, figure it out by the end of your first year so this school does not suck money out of you for a fifth year (another reason why I am leaving, as my major is a five-year degree).
Bottom line: If you know your major, and it is not the same as mine, you should look into this college (and be sure to have a back-up plan!).
It is not all bad!
However, I have found that most reviews of Concordia completely avoid looking at the areas in which the college and surrounding student body and community need to work on. So take this as a disclaimer: my criticisms are not meant to bash Concordia. You are more than entitled to disagree with me! Clashing opinions and arguments are necessary for progress and improvement of any field.
At surface level, Concordia is a very homey, all-inclusive family. But students who venture boldy from the average "Joe Cobber" personality can sometimes find it hard to feel welcome.
What I mean by this is that a large portion of the student body come from middle- or high-middle class, Christian value-based backgrounds. It is human habit to associate with those similar to each other. That's fine. Choir kids tend to mostly hang out with their fellow choir members, as do chemistry majors with other chemistry majors; we often grow from nurturing and encouraging our similarities. But sometimes these associations arise from negative traits and as a result, encourage the forward motion and acceptance of unhelpful and community-dividing problems.
The students at Concordia who are widely considered "cool" or most admired personality-wise are generally in shape, conventionally attractive, have all the latest hipster fashions, are extremely involved in campus activities, and constantly check and update their social media profiles. Most of us identify ourselves to be open-minded and accepting ideas and things that are different from how we view and/or lead our lives and beliefs. But, as in most any large congregation of people, there are those who are subconsciously threatened by and look down upon the "oddballs" and those whose fundamental values might not align with the Lutheran morality and status-quo. But far too often, in my near three years at Concordia, I see examples of exclusivity, superiority and close-mindedness go completely ignored; many times even accepted and embraced by the collective voice of the student body.
NOTE: The criticism I'm voicing isn't meant to place myself above anyone. I want to make it clear that I am just as sheltered and inherently judgemental as the next guy. I'd be a hypocrite if I said extended time away from social media or my iPhone wouldn't be difficult. The clothes I buy often fit in with current trends. My thoughts often consist of opinions and judgements. I have just as much or more na?vet? and growing up to do as my description of the average Concordia student. With that said, I identify with the words of Mahatma Ghandi: "I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps."
A few recent happenings on campus will hopefully display with more clarity the blind and unhelpful ignorance I'm trying to explain.
There is an active and supported LGBTQ population on campus. Our student organization SAGA, or Straight and Gay Alliance, works hard every year to promote the acceptance and equality of every body, no matter their sexual preference. The group is well-voiced and embraced by many in the Concordia community, staff and students alike. While there are many supporters, some have other opinions. Big surprise, right? Arguments of hot topics, especially those as currently "sensitive" as gay rights at a school such as Concordia, with strong ties to the Bible and Lutheran tradition are common and expected. Luckily, most Concordia students and staff who have disagreeing beliefs on LGBTQ issues (or any other societal issue for that matter) know not to let their contrasting beliefs interfere negatively with the lives of others. But there ARE students on campus who have disagreed with LGBTQ acceptance and activism so strongly that they have publicly (and too often, casually) displayed anti-gay hate speech and actions. Ask me for more specific examples. I'll go on for days.
Unfortunately, you don't to question your sexuality to feel inferior or judged for who you are. Many students on campus have personalities and passions that happen to be especially eccentric and non-conventional. Some of these traits and interests found throughout the Concordia student body to be weird, stupid, or dumb, include: being overweight, the foam weapons fighting club, Atheist beliefs, physical disabilities, mental illnesses, listening to metal music,... even being "way too interested/smart" of a student. Too often these brave, social non-conformists are scoffed at, ignored, or dismissed as valuable people in their entirety, by their dear inclusive and compassionate Cobber community. To examine the real extent of Cobber community and inclusivity, scroll through the Twitter accounts @concoproblems and @conco_gossip. You'll find gems such as a comparison of our neighbors at MSUM to rats, judgmental pictures of students who are deemed "crazy," and rumors about the sexuality of students. It might be hard to find any whining about how school sucks and the pointlessness of learning....small joke.
Most students here absolutely hate to be stereotyped as rich, conservative and ignorant "Snobber Cobbers." But when we let our small, cozy community become dominated by negativity, hate-speech and passive-aggressive superiority complexes, we begin to live up to that reputation.
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