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The Franciscan University of Steubenville

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To FUS' credit, half of the social workSocial Work
To FUS' credit, half of the social work classes I took were actually informative and I use the information on a weekly basis in my personal life. I do not at all feel ready to be at work in my degree, because my state requires more schooling for Social Work. However, I was not at all prepared for the living in the world. Franciscan does a great job of keeping people in a spiritual bubble and going to work after graduation popped that bubble very quickly. I had little idea of how to work well with coworkers, most of whom had very differing beliefs and values than me. None of my Philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and language classes. My 1 English class and my statistics class as well as all classes from 1 Social Work teacher were slightly helpful. I transferred out and then back in because none of my classes prepared me for public college. Their level of learning FAR outpaced FUS' and I had little coping skills for having friends who drank heavily and smoked heavily. FUS is perfectly comfortable in continuing the bubble that many home schoolers experience, but once those home schoolers graduate, they're usually unable to incorporate easily into society. Additionally, the school has been known to cover up crimes and blame victims for said crimes. I have multiple anecdotes of women getting kicked out of school for having an abortion, and women who reported rapes were verbally dismissed and their rapists allowed to continue on campus. The staff in the dorms as well in admin and the friary are all complicit on every level. They also refused to let anyone live off campus unless you're a senior, so they can rely on your and your parent's money. And they won't let anyone slander their good name because that affects their donations. My husband and his friend who studied Computer Information Science are even more worse off because their degree taught them nothing at all. Their teachers admitted multiple times that they didn't know what they were doing. They both only have succeeded now because they were home schooled properly and they learned to fend for themselves. they did lots of the correct certifications and learned hands on in their jobs once they graduated (cause thankfully, many places will hire you JUST because you have a bachelors; they don't care in what). My recommendation is to be VERY careful with where you go to college and what degree you get. Make sure it's efficient for the amount of time and money you will spend and how much you will earn back. Many people make more money jumping right into the workforce, especially in certain trades, until about 10-14 years down the road.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Going to FUS was the single most miserableBrightPsychology
Going to FUS was the single most miserable year of my life. I can still remember taking the turn off the main street to start the steep climb up the road that leads to the FUS campus, and the anxiety it would invoke each and every time I had to return. Being that I was only 18, I did not realize that what FUS was,and still is, is nothing more than a cult pretending to be a "prestigious" University. From the moment you step on campus you leave the real world and enter into a land full of judgement, rules, ignorance, elitism, misogyny, and just plain weirdness. To start the student life is broken into several groups. The religious zealots who believe that they can speak in tongues (I can assure you they are just great actors and it is scary as hell) and spend all of their time in the cult like "households." Households are groups that organize themselves by various religious ideas and engage in various religious activities. One household was call the Brides of Christ and they made giant poster boards with pictures of their heads with wedding dresses glued to them that they cut out of magazines. And even more weird,each girl made a pledge to be "married to Jesus." If you decide not to be in a household, you will be shunned by those in that group. Then there are the rich kids. These are the kids that attended private schools their entire lives. If you do not have fancy vacation homes, wear designer name clothing, or drive a European car, forget fitting in with that group. The rich kids have a special way of ignoring the poor. Then there are the kids who are home schooled, never gaining any type of emotional intelligence and not knowing how to function in a new environment outside of their home. Then there are the kids who are "rebels" those who don't follow all of the silly rules and are blacklisted by not only other students, but by the facility.

The classes are a joke. I had a math professor who showed up so drunk he would pass out. I had a theology professor who made it a point to rant about how evil Eve was because she seduced Adam into eating the apple. (the message was clear, women are to blame for the sexual advances or feelings men have) Psychology classes covered nothing of Freud, Erickson, or the like. It was all about how to be Catholic. I learned more about why I should hate Protestants in my psychology class than anything else.

Finally, the rules. ALL OF THE RULES. If you talk in the halls after quite hours, you have to pay a fine. They have a list of movies you can or cannot watch. If you are caught watching the wrong move (like I was caught watching Shawshank Redemmption) you get written up and fined. If you are meeting with somebody of the opposite sex in your dorm room, you got fined. If you listen to "secular' music, you are considered unholy. If you don't go to Mass EVERY SINGLE DAY you are unholy. If you go to Mass on Sunday at 10am instead of 8am you are going to the sinners mass. Because you must of been up doing unholy things to not get to the early mass.

All of the rules and judgement create a perfect environment where a person is not allowed to grow, think, or develop healthy relationships. It is like keeping a dog on leash and getting mad at it if it wants to explore and run. It is like being in a prison, but it is not just the prison guards watching you; EVERY person in the prison is watching you.

Then there is the misogyny. It is clear the being a female and FUS means you are second class. I hate that the friars have their own cars, their own dining hall, and teach the classes. The nuns have to share a van, and can't participate in any type of teaching. In short, women are not allowed to have any voice in religion, even if they dedicate their lives by choosing to be a nun. I can remember people literally crying out of anger when John Paul II said women could be alter servers I was told that I could not wear skirts that are too short, because if I did and it caused a boy to have a sexual thought, then I was the sinner. The thinking at the school is that being female meant you really only had value; to have children and to serve their husbands. I had a job on the landscaping crew and I was not allowed to carry heavy objects because "you can not risk hurting your reproductive parts."

I only lasted a year and transferred to a State University. God, the breath of fresh air was more than I could take in. My life at my new school did not consist of rules, but allowed me the freedom to make my own choices. I was given classes that explored science, and art, and music, and alternative viewpoints. I was challenged to be introspective and to respect the views of others that might be different. There was no judgement if I decided to hang out with a boy in my room because we were friends. There was no judgement if I decided to listen to REM. (a sure sin at FUS) Most important, I was encouraged to pursue my dreams and be an independent women. (not to limit myself to domestic duties the rest of my life) I was was encouraged seek education and to use it e to make the changes I hoped for in the world. If you don't want your spirit and soul to be slowly killed, DO NOT GO TO FUS.

1st Year Female -- Class 2000
Perceived Campus Safety: C, Education Quality: F
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I spent two years at this university, andBright
I spent two years at this university, and I find myself regretting them more and more each day.

This school claims to be " Academically excellent" but this is far from the truth. The classes here are mediocre and taught at a high school level- I felt like I was just taking expensive high school classes. The vast majority of the students here were homeschooled up until college and it shows. many of them are socially inept and seem to be academically behind ( I had an English major once ask me how to spell the word miracle, she spelled it " merical".)

This school does admittedly have two good programs- theology and Catholicism. All of the other programs are essentially worthless and underfunded. the vast majority of the students double major in theology and Catholicism, they call themselves "TheoCats" and all have the vague ambition of becoming " youth group leaders."

The households are the only semi-interesting things that occur on campus. However, I found them to be creepy, cliquish, and downright cult-like. My friends would join them and then suddenly never have time anymore. They were all too busy with their new " sisters." The rituals that the houeholds do are just weird.

My final and biggest complaint about this so called university is that it is a breeding ground for elitist thinking. The people here are all essentially the same, they are all radically conservative catholic kids with no respect for other viewpoints. Franciscan University attracts and groups together student who all think the same way, and it leads to a very narrow outlook on life. Critical thinking skills are not encouraged, and all of the students seem to think that their ideologies are the only correct ones and that their viewpoints should be relevant to all people. This could be because about 99% of these students have spent their lives in the " Catholic bubble." In other words, these students have never before had the chance to experience people whose viewpoints and ideologies on life are different from their own.

I could go on for pages about all of the reasons why I hate this school, the points that I have mentioned are only a fraction of my reasons. I also hate this school because the food is bad, Steubenville is sketchy, and the campus life is extremely boring. Also because they are ridiculously strict and condescending towards the students ( they announce quiet hours every single night in case people " forget" and they fine you for anything, including watching an R rated film other than the passion.)

In conclusion, If you are an over enthusiastic catholic kid who wants to study theology then this place is perfect for you. However, if you are not then run away from here as fast as you can! If you must attend school here do so only briefly and then transfer out as I did. Good Luck.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2017
Campus Maintenance: B, Education Quality: F
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