Where do I begin. I remember my freshmen year first semester at the College of Wooster to be something great. I met a lot of good friends that I see myself being close to for the rest of my life and would not take that experience back. However this kind of experience can be found in any college setting as a dorm full of first year students is a recipe for great moments regardless of where it is. After that first semester my perception of the college changed.
When I came back the second year I realized first hand exactly how closed minded this 'liberal arts' college really is. The college hired the 'City' of Wooster's ex chief of police to be its new head of security. I considered this an incredible lapse in judgment. Why would you hire someone that is conditioned (for 32 years) to handle criminal cases to now handle students at a small liberal arts college? These students come from all over and are used to very different customs and ideas, particularly those from urban environments where the culture is generally far more liberal than this 'liberal arts' college is. The college has engineered a two tiered system that should be considered a violation of civil rights (and I know we waive rights by agreeing to live on a college campus but this is absurd). Essentially security is allowed to search your room (technically they can only do this if they see something deemed 'paraphernalia,' which can also include cigarette rolling papers, out but more often than not if you are caught by one individual guard they can easily lie to their supervisor and say there was something like "weed shake" on your desk to get permission from the higher ups to go ahead; I know this for a fact because it happened to both myself and a close friend) while a police officer stands nearby. Then the security guards hand over any illegal items in the room to the police who then charge you in Wooster court. Thus you face both legal issues and issues through the college administration, both of which are generally massively disproportionate to whatever 'crime' you had committed. For example: a friend of mine had half a gram of marijuana and one can natural light in their dorm and the courts are charging them for underage drinking and possession of marijuana. On top of this the security guard had lied to get permission to search this person's room in the first place. I was curious exactly how this student was causing the college or the town for that matter any serious problems that deserve this kind of treatment. The administration, and more importantly the security services, are incredibly disconnected from the general happenings in the life of a college student. As far as I can tell they think in terms of 'black and white' in that every minor infraction warrants the fullest extent of punishment. I thought security guards existed on campuses to protect the students, not get them into legal trouble when it really is not necessary. Many of the security guards are also friends with the members of the local police force so they have a tremendous amount of bureaucratic power and the ones that I have interacted with enjoy that power very much. I would describe two of them in particular as 'power trippers' but I won't go into detail about them.
Bottom line this college has demonstrated that it does not look out for the students and is in fact more concerned with money. The students end up paying fines to the county and get blemishes on their records while the college looks the other way. I have heard many fellow students refer to the practices of the administration as authoritarian and many people I considered free thinkers have left or are in the process of leaving the campus for good. This institution has demonstrated that its judgment is incredibly out of sync with the rest of liberal arts colleges across the country.
I would not recommend this college to anyone that I knew personally to be of an open mind. After the first semester the social life generally breaks up into cliques. Conformity is the name of the game at the College of Wooster. I scoff at their slogan: "Independent Minds, Working Together." This is a college that is very good at deception (I remember that during freshmen orientation you get such great food so that both you and your parents can be happy with the way things are handled, however this rapidly changes once orientation is over), you think you are going to a great open minded place until you get there and you realize you were blatantly lied to as a prospect and as an interested student.
Security is not the only problem. The food is all from the mega food conglomerate Sysco and the options are hardly veritable or and the food is hardly good. The breakfast options are the exact same every day and they pretty much cycle through the same lunch/dinner options every month. Another issue is the weather. You've got about 1-2 months of sun the first semester you are there then after that it is pretty much entirely overcast, rainy and windy (then snowy). This is basically every single day. Another problem is with the local towns people that throw milk shakes, beer cans and slurs at the students as they drive by in their pickup trucks with massive wheels. This is not the college for anyone who wants to be free to express themselves beyond the boundaries of the status quo in modern society. I would suggest anyone interested should keep looking and not overlook this review. Good luck!