Do you like sleepless nights? Poor food? High Crime?
Then this is the place for you!
Otherwise, read on.
In the years I've been here, the school has been rapidly going down the path of no return. The first year I was here, everything seemed great. Academics were pretty good, campus seemed safe, little noisy in the dorms, but otherwise everything was swell. I was very happy to be here.
By the second year, it was like someone kicked the school into overdrive - in the wrong direction. In the school's attempt to heighten enrollment numbers, all it seemed to do was increase the head count of people who really didn't want to be here but had no where else better to go.
DORMS AND RESIDENT LIVING:
The dorms are a disaster, and wouldn't recommend them to any well-adjusted academic student. A few years ago they had security patrol the halls, enforce visitation hours, monitor noise, and generally keep everything under control. People complained they were being "too restrictive", so they removed all security and turned it into a free for all.
If you ask Student Housing and Affairs they will STILL tell you that the security patrols the halls, on top of the director and RA's. Do not believe this, if you want proof, just stay one night in the dorms anytime outside of the holidays and finals week (though even then it can get pretty bad during those times, too). Beside the security no longer having any connection to the dorms outside of crime, the director and RA's make no effort to patrol the halls.
They always do one set of formal room checks at some weird hour (midnight to 2 a.m.) the first or second week of the Fall semester following immediately after the first floor specific dorm meeting (not the general one). After that, nothing. Unless you really complain about something illegal going on in one of the other rooms, they don't care and will turn their cheek to it.
Visitation hours are a joke, they preach like they'll do something if they find guys wandering in after hours but they never do. They say they'll fine or call the cops on random guys who wander in unaffiliated with the school, but they never do.
Technically as the "rules" go, visitation hours are supposed to be between Noon and Midnight, but no one actually follows this, guys are in 24/7 and often after the initial room checks, they just take up living with their girlfriend or whatever in the dorms until the end of the year and no one gives it any second thought. Of course this also means you have random guys, students and non-students, wandering in and out of the women's bathroom 24/7 using the toilets, showers, and so forth. Many mornings I've woke up to take a shower and seen more men than women in the dorms. Guys really have to cause a stir to get thrown out.
The only time I have actually ever seen a guy removed was being physically dragged out by cops who had their batons out. When I seen this everyone acted like nothing unusual was happening.
Speaking of random guys coming in (and I've not been the only one subject to this), many like to wander in drunk or high and knock on random doors to see if girls will come out. This very situation happened to me over the last Thanksgiving Break and no one really seemed to care. Subsequently, due to the fear, most people are afraid to open their doors at night until they yell, "Who is it?" and wake up all their neighbors.
Noise and neighbors, this is my favorite topic. No one has any respect for anyone else. As soon as you understand this you can go along and happily suffer with the rest of us. Many people like to bring a sound system into their dorm room despite the limited space, set it up, turn the sound knob far as it will go, and essentially piss off their neighbors. If you complain, some get catty, others pretend nothing happened and continue, while a handful will actually stop (for a little while). A lot of people seem to feel entitled to having their "house parties" in their dorm room from sunset to sunrise and just don't care what you think.
Calling the cops and/or security won't work either because most of the time they won't bother to show up just short of assault or murder. Only route that seems to remotely work against this is to go up the Housing hierarchy to Student Affairs and complain.
Resident Assistants (RAs) are the biggest joke of them all. I don't even know what their purpose is besides appearance. Most of them will NOT take any complaint seriously unless you are visibly angered, then even at that point they will politely go over and knock on the offending door and ask if they could please turn the music down a little bit for a little while. This usually has absolutely zero impact as athletes are the most entitled feeling to start with, and then they refuse to fine athletes, period. Having said this, if you don't need to live by athletes, don't. They're the worse culprits of any disturbances I've ever heard or seen here. On top of this, all RAs hired are athletes, which could average into the intentionally non-effective nature of this setup. Plus, as I have experienced, RAs are usually the one's responsible for half of the noise making each year.
To add insult to the noise injury, usually once the parties have died down, the noise doesn't. Be advised you can hear everything and anything through the paper thin walls. When the parties are over people LOVE to slam their doors as hard as they possibly can several times over, wake up the whole floor, and giggle about it knowing nothing will happen to them.
Never, never, never, ever bring anything of any value into the dorms. This is the golden rule if you have to reside there. There are thieves EVERYWHERE. There are no cameras outside of the lobby, and I assume with the situation, rooms must be pretty easy to pick the locks on, so we have an overabundance of break-ins on a pretty regular basis. If you complain, the higher ups will go into immediate damage control mode insisting the cops should or will not be called. Despite all the people I know (including myself) having their rooms broken into at least once (for most its multiple times), the school's reported crime rate is almost non-existent. Makes all of us wonder when we look at the statistics each year too. At least they're good at something - cover-ups.
Walking at night is situational. I do it, most people do it. It depends where you're at on campus. If you're walking around the dorms, Noble Center, academic buildings, and parking lots in the center of the campus you're probably pretty safe. Never seen anything questionable myself over the years in these areas. Now, the area around the school apartments and the walk to College Corner or Sinclairs I would not recommend at night, at least by yourself. I did this once and got chased by one of the many shady athletes from the apartments until he seen security and did an abrupt about face. That was not a fun situation. If you do need to walk around the apartments or the town itself during the night, remember: good pepper spray is your best friend.
By the way, an additional thought to consider - NONE of the parking lots or sidewalks have any lights of their own. The only lights you will get are those from nearby buildings that might be left on now and then. This is one reason most people pack in by buildings regardless of where they're at, because otherwise you're in the pitch black unless you carry a flashlight around. This is not a well lit campus by any stretch of the imagination.
Academics are department and professor dependent. Art, business, computer science, and humanities are all departments with high standards for academic achievement. Agriculture and Health/P.E. are on the opposing end of the spectrum, pandering to the lowest common denominator, catering to the underachievers. Far as I can tell, Health/P.E. is the degree where brain cells are not required to graduate, as long as you're alive you'll get there in four years. Agriculture is a hit-and-miss affair. Agribusiness, agriculture education, and animal science have pride in what they do. Agronomy in contrast passes just about anything that breathes and comes to class once in awhile.
Professors vary greatly. There are those which are truly friendly, approachable, and love their job, others love ass kissing, immature, and backstab their students and co-workers at any opportunity, whereas the remainder could care less that you even exist and don't bother to learn your name even in a class of 12.
Mentioning class size, the the extra small classes are one of OPSU's strengths, that of course is as long as you've got an involved instructor who wants to show up and teach on a regular basis. Certain professors here are certainly not known for their attendance or being on time.
Another strength here is the emphasis on hands-on work. Even the worse of professors here like to utilize this method. You don't learn just theory in the class, you apply it and you get proficient in it before you get out. This has to be the saving grace for a lot of the weaker, spotty areas of the academics, learning how to apply knowledge to real life situations.
As for fellow students, that is another mixed bag. Unfortunately, most people here are not here because they want to be. Most dreamed of getting into OSU or OU but couldn't cut it, others started at these Universities or others in the Midwest or West and failed out so they transferred here, and yet others didn't want to go to college at all but their parents insisted and dropped them off here. Needless to say, there are a lot of bitter students, very little school pride, and lots of OPSU bashing amongst the student body. For people like me, who went here voluntarily under the impression it was a good, small town University, we are subject daily to the people who are mad at the world, but mostly their parents, OPSU, and whatever school rejected or suspended them previously.
Trying to make friends isn't too bad of an ordeal, there are enough lost and forlorn transfer students and freshmen that even the most introverted will find a single friend or group that wants them. I do offer a word of caution, for all the sane students who just want to make friends, there is a good share of emotionally unstable people roaming, taking advantage of new students. While I've met a lot of good people, I've also met a lot of strange students that were outright scary with stalkerish or violent tendencies.
The school's approach on mental health has to be what concerns me even more after meeting these people. If you are perceived as acting odd in any way, you will be sought out by the campus "Baptist Brigade" which is fine until you figure out why. This is the school's method of "counseling", getting you involved in the Baptist Student Union or Church. Which would be fine, except for the fact that a lot of evidently mentally ill students here are allowed to reject counseling with an actual therapist in favor of attending bible study. This to me seems like a setup for disaster, as most of these people who reject the formal counseling believe there is nothing wrong with them and are in denial and the school does not push to get them the formal help they need after the initial rejection. If they get really bad, they just get sent home (which doesn't help if they live permanently in Goodwell or Guymon, now does it?). Not a great system in my opinion. Plus, it can't be a cake walk for the people who are sane, civil, well adjusted and want to be part of the Baptist study groups.
FOOD: CAFETERIA, AGGIE GRILL, COLLEGE CORNER, SINCLAIRS:
Food, food, food. It actually isn't that bad when they cook it. I'm not sure what the deal is, but half the time the food is either undercooked or overcooked. One day I might have chicken which is pink/red on the inside, and then next day I might have a charcoal burger trying to be passed up as a hamburger. Fortunately, the overcook/undercook dilemma is usually a lunch issue. If nothing else they've got the Aggie Grill and College Corner store on campus if you decide lunch is a no go at the cafeteria.
Kudos goes out to the breakfast chef and staff, now that is a wonderful way to start the day. It varies by day, but you can have fresh crepes, pancakes, omelets, etc... made by the head chef to your specifications and you can watch it being made step-by-step through the glass. This is always an awesome choice, comes out great. Even the self-serve/self-made waffles, eggs, biscuits, and cereal options are great. Ingredients are fresh and well maintained. The colds are cold, the hots are hot. If you're paying attention and know what you're seeing, you'll notice they even thermal all pre-made self-serve hot/cold foods regularly during the serving period for safety.
Dinner/Supper is great too, usually some of the breakfast staff is there to cook for dinner and they always do a superb job at whatever they have. Most stuff is pretty healthy too, but still tastes great. Lots of options for most people. I think the major downfall is that if you are on a special diet whether it be vegan, religious, or food allergy, the bureaucracy you have to go through to get that accommodation is ridiculous and not worth it if you can find a way to buy and make your own food. The chef's themselves are very willing to please, but due to legal issues, they're not allowed to do anything special until you've gone through the red tape process with everyone else above them.
If you're living off campus, can't get to a certain meal due to class scheduling, or just don't want to go to the cafeteria one day and you can't/don't/won't cook the Aggie Grill, College Corner, or Sinclairs are additional options. The Aggie Grill is excellent - great food, great service. They do take awhile to get things done so do expect a waiting period rather than a quick fix meal, but its all worth it. The grill is located on the far end inside the Student Union building. They have a nice, well maintained sitting area inside under the roof, and then they have another sitting area that is enclosed in glass and you can see outside. The latter is very peaceful, and great for studying while taking a breakfast, lunch, or dinner break.
College Corner is a small store at the entrance to the campus. Its similar to a small gas station, it has some frozen food, chips, milk, and soda, plus basic essentials like shampoo, antacid, and tylenol. Its great if you really need something quick and can't make it out to the Walmart in Guymon. Its just a hop, skip, and jump from the main part of campus.
Sinclairs is on the outskirts of Goodwell and is a standard gas station on Highway 54 heading towards Guymon. They have everything that you'd find at College Corner, but they're a bit cheaper as well as a bit farther from the campus. You can walk there, but it'll take a little bit longer.
Don't intend on getting a job here. If you do get one by accident, you're one lucky person. The work-study system is corrupt as it gets, they only hire people who already have someone pleading to get them hired. They do not hire "strangers", which means any new students or students which are outside of the department. They do NOT follow federal work-study regulations here, which stipulate all postings must be made in a readily accessible area to all students. They aren't. They tell you, you must go to the department you are interested in and talk to the Dean. The dean then has the choice of whether he or she actually wants to tell you about any listings or not. Also, most Universities allot work-study money as part of your aid package. They don't do that here. If you can plead for a job and get someone to talk on your behalf, then financial aid will "allot" you work study money. Otherwise, if you're in that "stranger" category they'll tell you all the money has been used and effectively screw you over. Its even more fun when they've just told you there is no money and then someone comes in after you that they know, and they suddenly have money. Its great.
There is no industry at all in Goodwell, so don't expect any jobs except the handful on campus, College Corner, or Sinclairs.
Guymon is where everything is at that you'll probably need in your academic and non-academic career should you be in Goodwell. Guymon is about 10 or 15 miles outside of Goodwell. Guymon has a Walmart on the outskirts of town, multitude of Hotels, handful of restaurants, McDonalds, Braums, Sonic, Taco Bell, two Pizza Huts, RadioShack, Northridge 8 (a large beautifully well maintained cinema), United (groceries), and hoardes of gas stations just to name some. Most everything is located on Maintstreet when you turn off the highway into town, so once you get into the business area you pretty much have everything you need. You do have to drive a distance to get into the true business district as like stated with Walmart, you almost have to be out of town to get into town.