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Oral Roberts University

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Ok, so I am a sophomore at ORU.Super BrilliantOther
Ok, so I am a sophomore at ORU. Before you think I am one of those people who are either totally uninvolved, failing, or spiteful towards Christianity, hold on! I am an Academic Peer Advisor for my floor, I have a full-tuition academic scholarship, have a 4.0 GPA, and am pretty involved in the university's theatre department. I am also a nondemonational Christian and am not giving up on my faith or anything. I've tried most of what the university has to offer, so here it goes...

Let's start with campus. It's definitely safe... and different. Some people really love the architecture. I personally think it's interesting but looks run down. Save the new Student Center (which is really nice actually), the campus looks like it could be on an old episode of Star Trek (like William Shatner old). The GC/LRC (where classes are) is a nightmare at first to navigate, but you'll get it eventually. SAGA, the dining hall, has hits and misses, in my opinion usually misses. If you aren't picky, then you should be OK. If you are, there's always cereal...

Tulsa, Oklahoma has everything you need: a mall, Walmart, lots of movie theatres, and plenty of restaurants. What it doesn't have is a lot of culture or night life. There are some cool coffee shops (The Phoenix is my favorite) that stay open, but for the most part Tulsa has a definite bedtime and lull. It's annoying walking downtown at 6PM on Sunday and see everything totally closed... I am from Pittsburgh, PA, which may not be the most exciting place on earth, but it definitely has CULTURE. Being here has made me appreciate home even more. If you don't mind the blandness of the Midwest and making your own fun, Tulsa's not too bad.

Stuff to do on campus? There are lots of clubs to join like Fishing Club, Spanish Club, and Speech and Debate to name a few. If you like the arts, there are ample opportunities to participate in choirs and theatre productions (I have been in several productions this semester, and they're fun). There are lots of outreaches to get involved in, and there's the student prayer movement and chapel worship. ORU has a decent amount of things to do on campus.

The dorms? Towers have decent rooms, Gaby is really nice if you don't mind the quiet, and Claudius is loud but at least clean. I lived in Towers last year and made the unfortunate decision to live in EMR. If you are a guy and plan to attend, hear my warning. If you do not mind living in a perpetually rundown locker room (with matching smells and meatheads), DON'T LIVE IN EMR!!! The culture in the dorm allows guys to act like they're six, and we are treated like we're six. We don't have furniture, and we don't have a kitchen. They were taken away from us. And it's not like administration is being totally paranoid. Someone threw a school-owned microwave off the fire escape... sober. Yeah. There are some good guys in EMR, but the douchy frat-wannabe atmosphere prevails. If that doesn't sound like your fit, try Towers.

The people... A lot of the people are genuine and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Like buy a stranger coffee nice. Others... OH MY. ORU promotes this culture of macho, hipster, douchy bros that are totally into the Bible and totally into running around naked with each other in the dorms. And ORU promotes the girl that totally condones the "bro" and would practically kill for an engagement ring. The gender stereotypes/stigmas are really obnoxious. And these kind of people make up the majority of those who are popular at ORU. Yeah, I said popular. More on that later... If you don't live in EMR or Claudius, you can better avoid this type of ORU student.

Don't get me wrong, I have made amazing friends here, and there are some cool people. One of my favorite parts of ORU was meeting people from all over the US and world (all 50 states are at ORU and like 70-something countries at this time). However, there are lot of schools with this kind of diversity.

The culture? ORU's smaller student body of 3000 is perfect place to promote an atmosphere not unlike high school. Or youth group. Or church camp. Or all of those things combined. I went to a public school (and a good one too), so coming here felt like taking a step backwards. A lot of people here are either homeschooled or have gone to a private Christian high school (and I have not heard of any good Christian high schools, here or back home). That being said, people are really sexually repressed here, and it shows (check out the "ORU Confessions" page on Facebook). And there's the whole marriage stigma. ORU has a saying "Ring by Spring" for a reason. Here, it's not uncommon for freshmen to get engaged, and it's weird. Not to mention you can't make great friends with the opposite sex without people thinking you want sex or marriage. Be prepared to meet some very interesting people if you decide to come here...

About the popular thing... People can actually be popular around here for no specific reason, like sports. The athletes here are lesser known (actually pretty anonymous unless you are an athlete) than the popular people. To be popular, you just generally need to fit the mold of an "openminded individual on fire for Jesus." Some of these guys are cool; others just fit the mold, which is unfortunate.

The spiritual atmosphere? If you want a Pentecostal or "Spirit empowered" school, ORU is pretty much your golden ticket. I have had some amazing spiritual experiences here. However, many times the plastic Christianity that's all about "Twitter" and being close-minded is dominant. It can be obnoxious.

And believe me when I say that if you have different views (are a liberal, pro-choice, or support LGBT stuff, or are part of the LGBT community), you will not have a very good experience here. I am not saying what you believe is right or wrong, but ORU students are given the luxury of not having to consider different opinions that are "sinful." Again, I'm not saying that others are right or wrong, but too many people here haven't taken the time to consider the other side of the fence and discover why they believe what they believe. A lot of people bring their parents' faith to college and have never tasted the "real world" if they were homeschooled or went to Christian school. It's ORU's greatest spiritual disadvantage. It creates such a spiritual bubble that makes it tough to put your faith to the test or transition to what the "real world" is like after school.

Now, academics... I am writing from experience with the business, chemistry, engineering, math, and theatre department. Despite the crap it gets from everyone, ORU is sort of a real university. It has a few schools that have a good reputation in the Tulsa area. Nursing (if you don't mind possibly starting your career in Tulsa) and Theology are pretty good reasons to attend ORU. The College of Business isn't half bad, but it's nothing really special by itself. If you want the ORU package with a decent business education, then go nuts. The biology and chemistry department isn't bad. The teachers aren't terrible, and if you're pre-med, you get a lot of personal attention from faculty. But don't expect a lot of prestige getting out. You'll get into med school, but if you're aiming for Harvard or John Hopkins, you might wanna think twice about ORU. The psychology department is excellent, but also lacks the prestige factor. The visual arts department here is pretty mediocre; there are two professors and not a lot of equipment. The theatre and music department are better with more faculty and separate facilities. If you are looking for an intense, conservatory experience, then ORU isn't for you (especially if the visual arts are your thing). The humanities department I do not know a lot about, but it seems pretty run-of-the-mill. Like I said, coming to ORU is mostly a spiritual choice, not academic.

I leave this last paragraphs dedicated to the WORST department at ORU: math and engineering. The math department has only good professor at this time (Dr. Lang); the others either don't speak English well or can't teach to save their lives. There are a few good math ed professors I've heard, but it can't make up for the atrocious lack of good faculty. I'm in calculus-based stats, and my teacher dumbs everything down and waters down the entire course (he also can't teach).

And the engineering department... Once again, one great professor (Dr. Halsmer). A couple are OK, but the rest either can't speak English, can't teach, or both. I guess the international thing isn't terrible, just the being unable to teach thing... Add the fact that you have a 4-5PM seminar EVERY semester on Wednesdays that is POINTLESS, and it's awful. The required freshman class Intro to Engineering also turns into a nightmare (trust me...). I withdrew from the course and got marked absent by my professor (who approved my withdrawl BTW) after my schmuck groupmates (I don't even think they are at ORU anymore...) ridiculed me in a presentation for the entire class (they received no punishment). It was bad. Bottom line, if you wish to major in math, physics, or engineering, DO NOT COME TO ORU! Just find a good school with a decent church nearby; you'll be fine.

I hope this helps you if you are considering ORU. Due to academic reasons (I'd like to major in math...) and the weird parts of ORU culture, I am transferring out. I don't regret my first year here; I just realized ORU wasn't for me after adjusting to college. Not to sound like the clich? ORU student, but pray about coming here before you decide to enroll. You could have a great experience or an absolute nightmare...

1st Year Male -- Class 2016
Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Campus Maintenance: F
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I graduated from ORU in the relatively ancientBrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
I graduated from ORU in the relatively ancient era when almost all the founding faculty and administrators were still active. I have talked to recent grads who give me the impression that while ORU has a few strong academic programs, it is not as challenging as it was in the past, nor as challenging as it should be. When I graduated over 30 years ago, I was exceptionally well prepared for grad school and successful at two rigorous graduate universities. That's not the impression I receive now. On a positive note, the school does appeal to those who wish to become involved in "ministry": serving the charismatic and evangelical community in some direct capacity. At that task ORU is still successful. Just as in the 1970's ORU is not for everyone. Extraordinarily principled people attend the school and serve on the faculty. Working with them can focus and direct the life of the person who is supposed to be there. By the same token, if someone doesn't belong at ORU, it can be a most miserable experience. That was true in 1974 and still true today.
4th Year Male -- Class 1974
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Social Life: C
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Quite BrightCommunications
Know that you are supposed to be here before you come. If this university is for you you will have the time of your life!
1st Year Female -- Class 2008
Scholastic Success: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: F
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Oral Roberts University
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