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| I wil give my best neutral opinion about CNU for you.|
Overall Grade: C+
Academics: Overall, the education here at CNU is excellent. Classes are small, so you are not just not a number. There is an ability to get help from your professors or ask questions because of the class size, in other words, the professor usually knows who you are (unless in a large lecture hall, which CNU only has one of) CNU does promise most of your professors to have PH D's in their field, but my freshman year I have only two professors with PH D's, mostly because of the General Education classes you are required to take. I hope their promise is kept for sophmore year and on. The course work-load is manageable, including NO busy work and occasional papers/assignments. Professors, so far are fair and enjoy what they teach, and are willing to help you and your grades. It is very easy to manage work and fun at the same time.
Social Life/Parties: When CNU says its a dry campus... they mean it. Do not drink in the dorms, they will catch you. The RA's are on power-trips and do "mandatory" hall walks every night, and can invade your room for whatever reason they feel necesssary(has happened to a friend). Advice for you, party off campus if you can find something. So far for my first semester here I have been to about 6 or 7 parties. Most of them were awful, and the only good parties (that I have experienced) are off campus, needing a driver for the most part. At a place called Port, it is all upper classmen and unless you know somebody, you wont be able to get in. Be prepared for failed nights of going out, and be prepared to be kicked out of parties before you step into them. Also, be prepared for people to stare at you as you walk into a party, you feel very uncomfortable at parties here at CNU, unlike others at ODU and JMU which I have been to. But mostly be aware of coming back to campus tipsy/drunk or just staggering, because the CNU police can breatholize you on the spot (happened to a friend of mine and I came home from a movie at 3 am and was intensly questioned by a CNU policeman). They roam the streets all times of the night and they WILL stop you most of the time. If you are looking for a fun and exciting college experience (that includes occasional partying) I would not chose CNU. Other than parties though, the people here are great and what make the University great. Everybody is exceptionally friendly and if you are a "non-drinker" you will usually have a great time. CNU sponsors a ton of activities through CAB, brining comedians, movies and tons of other activities to the campus.
Residence Life: Let me first say I live in York West, one of the nicest and most appreciated dorms here at CNU, which has tours come through the hallways weekly. CNU has great residence halls, a standard room joined to another room through a bathroom. I ended up with a tripled room and still found enough space to live comfortably. The problem with the Residence Life here mainly is the RA's (Residence Advisors) and the strict "summer-camp" likes rules applied to the school. Which include ridiculous noise violations, opinionated hall sport violations and other non-sense "summer-camp counselor" actions. So far, I have gotten two noise violations and a hall sport violation. The noise violations were an accidental baloon pop and the other included a tv "too loud" (opinion of the RA)which happened when I was out of town, but still had to go Checs (CNU Court System, which I can't believe they have). And the hallsport for having a soccerball between my feet... yeah ridiculous right? But that is the RA's discretion, which I feel they abuse alot of the time. Most of the RA's seem like they will get paid more for giving out violations (this is totally my opinion, since I have had ridiculous experiences with RA's here.) Each room comes with a fridge and microwave, which is a plus. Also, you feel very safe in the dorms which is very important. The dorms are clean and kept clean. There are many study rooms, for students who want to leave their dorm room for quite studying.
Food: First of all there are two dining halls, Regatta's and The Commons. Being next to Regatta's I have not eaten at the Commons much, so I will review Regatta's (rumors say The Commons has better food by the way). In Regatta's there is a burger, comfort foods, oriental, pasta and pizza line. Occasionally there is a sandwich/wrap bar, with salad, fruit and desert sections. The food is not as good as other schools (such as JMU) but it is eatable (sometimes). Personally, the food quality differs daily, and if all else fails the sandwiches are always a good deal. I feel the food is sub-par most of the time. It is buffet style, so if you get something not very good, you can always get something else which is great, because I see that happen often.
Atmosphere/Design of the Campus: There is really no school spirit at CNU, partly because our football team is division 3. People are friendly all over campus, but you wont see alot of CNU clothing other than a few people. If you are looking for a big school with alot of spirit centered around sports teams, do not chose CNU. Everything is in a close distance wich is great. You can leave 5 to 10 minutes before a class and be on time which is good. Having everything close has its ups and downs though. Having a small campus is great for getting to places quickly and being close to everything, but at the same time it feels too small.Now don't get me wrong, the most important aspect of college is academics, professors, learning, connections from the school for careers and grades. And here at CNU those all seem above average, but more importantly there should be a mix of that and a fun, social atmosphere and experience. If you are coming to this school to enjoy a typical "big, spirited and partying college" experience , you should not chose CNU. If you get accepted to a school with the same academic credability as CNU, go there. CNU seems to focus on their reputation to the community too much, and cuts away from a fun and typical college experience. I feel I am missing out on a real college experience here and hope to transfer to JMU or Virginia Tech next year. I hope this review has shed some light on any questions you may have of CNU, if not feel free to email me at
|Oct 19 2009|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2013 |
| The way I have heard CNU described, and the way I have described it to others, is like "Disneyworld." It is a pruned, perfected mold of what it was promised to be to students, but once you pierce that image you are left horridly disappointed.|
The school is, aesthetically, beautiful: the campus lawn is a great place to hang out, the fountain by the Admin Building is beautiful, and the brick plaza between the library and the Student Union is a great space for campus events.
That said, it is very "Disney" - the new Library is architecturally stunning, but not particularly functional. The budget for the library more than doubled between when I toured campus in 2005 and when the building was finished (much later than promised) in Spring 2008. I am also curious to know where this money went, since only a few thousand new books have been added, the computer systems are consistently falling apart, and massive swaths of the first floor are architectural "dead space." Just wait for the massive portrait of Paul and Rosemary Trible to be placed at the landing of the grand staircase in the Rotunda: it's going to happen.
There is an overarching feeling of indifference, or even helplessness on campus. Students have no real, discernable say in anything on campus, except what the Admin dupes students into buying into. While many students in CAB, or SGA would like to think they have the power to effect our campus, they really don't - they are at the whims of the Administration. Don't be fooled, at the first sign of dissent, you'll know when the Admin has hit you back. I know, personally, of students who have been "strongly encouraged" to stop speaking out, publicly against University policies. They no longer attend CNU.
That leads to my last major complaint: CNU is a public unviersity and is therefore beholden to certain requirements of transparency, yet there appears to be none. When asked about the cost of the furniture in the Student Union, or the cost overruns of the Library, the Administration refused to comment. When confronted with the realities of the disparity between "Admitted student numbers" and the numbers of students who ACTUALLY attend CNU (GPA/SAT scores for students who are admitted are around a 3.7/1270, but the admitted numbers are significantly lower) - the Admin refused to comment.
I have tried to make the best of my stay here, becoming involved in no fewer than a dozen campus groups/organizations, taking on leadership roles, and challenging myself through academics. Whether or not I will be actually, thoroughly prepared for graduate study is highly debatable: I can not say I know anyone who has been accepted to a Tier 1/Top 10 program in any career field so long as I have been here, so I must admit my own chances are limited.That said, CNU is not all doom and gloom. It really is what you make of it. Some people embrace the limitations of the University, work within it, enjoy what they can from it, and move on with their lives. I can honestly say, however, I am not one of them: restrictions on my ability to speak loudly, proudly, and freely, along with restrictions to information regarding my own education (which I am paying for!) do not sit well with me. I will not forget these issues when I graduate, and CNU will never see a penny of my money after I am gone. (Don't get me started on costs of tuition, housing, and food - it's highway robbery; don't let them sell you a Kia for the price of a Porsche)
|Sep 25 2008|| 2nd Year Male --
Class 2010 |