First of all, I would like to point out that the University of Minnesota-Morris in not for everyone; though I have plenty of positive things to say about UMM, I understand that not everyone is going to find their place here.
Morris is a small school (approximately 1,900 students)in a small town in western Minnesota. One of the main concerns prospective students have is what is available in such a small environment. The answer is, pretty much everything. Morris, is a tight nit vibrant community that has tons of clubs and activities to become involved in. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to become involved in the greater Morris area; the campus and community are continually trying to improve their relationship so students can have that opportunity to get to know Morris residents, which I think is really unique. All in all, Morris students are generally very interested in campus and community engagement and are constantly looking for new ways to become involved.
Morris is also a very academic school; most of the students here care about their education and most of the faculty fully support that. Class sizes are small - my largest classes were my intro lecture classes as a Freshman and the largest of them probably had around 75 students. This semester, most of my classes having between 15 and 20 students. I like to think that we have the best of both worlds here at Morris because we have all the benefits of a small private school (for half the price) but we also have the benefit of being part of the larger University of Minnesota system, which gives students many opportunities.
Drinking does happen here but I have never felt pressured to do so (I am under 21 and don't drink). Most of the time, drinking happens at off campus parties; the people who are interested in that lifestyle will go searching for it. A few previous comments stated that if you don't drink, you will by the second week of school. NOT TRUE. I know plenty of people who don't drink and don't feel the need to.
Marijuana is also used by some students, but there is no pressure to join in with that either.
Morris is a pretty liberal campus, though this year I have noticed that a small minority of conservatives have been trying to get their voices heard - a conservative newspaper was founded as a medium to do this. Personally, I believe that there are more conservatives here than people realize because the people who are most likely to speak out are the liberals. It is worth nothing that some people might be put off by the liberal nature of the campus.
UMM is pretty accepting of LBGT issues - in fact, a Gender Neutral Living arrangement will be piloted next year (2013-2014)in the On-Campus Apartments. Sustainability is also a huge concern on campus. A new residence hall is currently being built that focuses on living a green lifestyle and the dining hall on campus has just started composting this year. Two wind turbines provide a large portion of our energy and the campus is constantly looking for more ways to be sustainable.
Most freshman live on campus, though it is not required. Excluding the residence hall that is currently being built, all the halls are older buildings. I think they are very well taken care of despite that. The laundry fee is included in tuition so there is no need to worry about fishing for quarters every time you do laundry. All in all, I think living on campus is an awesome experience and the Community Advisors on each floor to a wonderful job of trying to bring everyone together with programs.
Most people do move off campus after their freshman or sophomore years, partly because rent is often times much cheaper than paying for housing on campus. However, res life is very accommodating to upper classmen who wish to stay on campus.
All in all, going to Morris has been a wonderful experience for me so far. I am continually impressed by the students and the professors. Everyone is super friendly and for the most part, they really care about learning.
I do wish more people came to Morris from out of state - most students are from Minnesota with some from South Dakota and North Dakota. There is also a very large number of international students, primarily from China but other countries are represented too. Every once a while I meet someone from elsewhere in the U.S., but it's not very often. That being said, Morris is full of a diverse group of people from all different backgrounds. It's a remarkable little community out here on the prairie and I encourage people to check it out!