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| I am a freshman at Christopher Newport, and I am a member of PLP, having received the $1,000 scholarship. I don't feel as though there's anything particularly negative or positive about the school. In terms of social life, clubs are fairly easy to get involved with, and in my experience the members are usually friendly and laid back. CNU is a dry campus, so drinking is definitely frowned upon, but people who've been given violations usually only have to perform community service as punishment. CAB (campus activities board) organizes activities for most weekends, things like movies, ice skating, and comedians. One really big plus of living in Newport News is having the ability to go to the beach when the weather is nice--a few times I've just driven down on the weekends with a group of friends and a picnic. Most people do go home on the weekends, however.|
The course material I'm "learning" doesn't seem to be too difficult, but then again I have just started my second semester here. I'm working on filling my areas on inquiry rather than anything I'm actually interested in, so these classes are long and mundane, and most of my teachers have mandatory attendance policies. If your education is something you're attending school for, rather than just a series of easy As and Bs, I'd recommend going somewhere else. Some of the teachers, however, truly care about their students as well as their work, and those are the ones you should look for when signing up for classes. Ratemyprofessors is every college kid's best friend.
The student body itself is mostly Caucasian, Christian, conservative, and upper/middle class. I am one of just a small minority of more liberally minded students, and although this creates problems occasionally, for the most part my ideas are respected by the people I choose to associate with. Some other students in my classes, however, quickly shout down my opinions when I voice my viewpoints on "hot political topics". I'd advise anyone who considers themselves liberal or is a non-Christian to look elsewhere if they want to be around a more diverse group of people.
The campus is, excluding the constant construction, fairly attractive. The York East and West dorms are particularly nice (anyone who signs up for a learning community will end up in West, and PLP students live in East) as is the new McMurran building. The food is hit or miss; sometimes it is fantastic (see Caesar wraps, curly fries, churros) and sometimes absolutely terrible (avoid the quesadillas; they look good but taste disgusting). Since there's some variety every night, you can usually avoid the worst choices. By the way, if you live in York East/West and your suitemates lock you out of the bathroom, you can open it again with a coin.
PLP sounded like a great deal when I was offered a place in the program. Having priority registration, priority housing, and a guaranteed spot in the York River East Residence Hall freshman year are some really big pluses. I don't really mind the community service either, I actually enjoy that. However, being required to take the Leadership minor is a big downer. The class is entirely pointless. I can say with confidence that I have learned nothing so far in my first or second semester classes, and it is a really big waste of my time. My roommate is in the Honors program as well as Leadership--she is actually a Canon scholar--and is therefore receiving the $5000 scholarship. They dropped the major she was considering the year we enrolled, and so she is contemplating transferring to a different school sometime in the future. I would definitely recommend NOT accepting the canon leadership scholar unless you are planning on staying at CNU for the full term. My roommate has had nothing but trouble in regards to her scholarships--the honors program is set up in such a way that if you transfer, you have to retake all of the basic courses at whichever school you choose, effectively starting from the beginning. The honors program will tell you that you can skip all entry level courses in favor of one seminar per semester (the honors seminars, by the way, are always scheduled at the most inconvenient times and are difficult to work into schedules). This perk does NOT transfer to other universities. If you are in both honors and PLP though, it is possible to drop PLP and still retain your scholarship as long as you remain in honors. The Cambrige trip, by the way, is only offered to the canon scholars, and it involves a lot of work. Just something to keep in mind.
While my experience here has been pretty favorable, I will be transferring to a more liberal campus for my junior year. My biggest problem is the limits imposed on the classes--the course catalog is filled with different classes one can take, but many are not offered every semester. I know plenty of other people who adore CNU--I understand it is a great fit for theater majors--but this school is just not for me.By the way, try your best to attend the earliest Setting Sail session you can--I went to the 3rd one and most of the good classes were gone by then.
|Jan 29 2010|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2013 |
| Do not be lulled by the propaganda you'll be fed coming here! The campus looks amazing and everything just seems so nice. Then you get in.|
First off, time to register for classes. But wait, funding got cut and instead of putting off that fancy new building they just fired all the non-doctorate professors, so unfortunately you won't be able to get the classes you want or need, or indeed any classes at all relating to your major. Oh don't worry though, those pretty new buildings that function half as well as the old ones? They'll spend however much it takes!
The facilities seem extremely nice. The student union is essentially one big foyer. Very impressive looking. A lot of fancy meeting rooms. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing for the students to actually do here, other than 2 TVs, a pair of pool tables and a foosball table. Where some student unions contain things like bowling or places to hang out, ours contains mostly offices. The new library is similarly massive and ostentatious, with a massive dome and huge marble atrium emblazoned with our president's name in big golden letters. Where are the books? Actually, they're all in "Collections", which is their word for the old library building that they just connected. All the new library actually contains is an overpriced coffee shop and a couple dozen computers usually occupied by people on Facebook.
The staff? A few real gems, just like any school I'm sure, but overall I have never felt less like a human than when dealing with the faculty, especially the administration. Every time I walk into the administration building it becomes a nightmare of getting shuffled around and put off on other people. Don't expect to ever actually see anyone either, the secretaries function more as guards than anything.
OK, well, how about activities on campus? Well, remember those crappy field days in high school? Expect most events to feel basically like that. Occasionally a decent act comes along or they show a good movie. On the drinking front, CNU is honestly as dry as you want it to be. If you want to party, they're around, but get used to seeing the same two dozen people for the rest of your CNU career.
So, assuming you actually got into any classes, they'll be OK, and sizes are remarkably small, though they're now almost doubling some class sizes due to the aforementioned budget cuts and loss of teachers. Unremarkable overall.The best advice I can give is to stay away. Most everyone I know will tell you the same thing; it seemed like such a great place, then they got in and realized how much crap is really going on here. This school has no regard for its students, all it cares about is looking good and making money. And it's only getting worse.
|Apr 29 2009|| 2nd Year Male --
Class 2011 |
| I love CNU, but i'm not a CNU-obsessed drone that some students turn into when they get here - dare you say one bad thing and you're a heretic. It has it's faults, it's got crazy weather and snoots and they show you a bit of an illusion in the tours but c'mon what school wouldn't? Honestly the education has been great, I've learned so much and not only facts but knew ways of learning and thinking. It is a rough bureaucratic but it can be worked if you know how, and the staff are usually very friendly and if you make it known you are an individual they will help you out. They are trying really hard to get a good reputation for CNU and I think the school has tons of potential. Yeah there are a bunch of snooty rich white kids, but those are everywhere, I think you just notice them more because of CNU's small size, and besides they're easy to avoid and it's easy to find your own place. The teachers are all really friendly and willing to work with you - they don't make it easy for you though, especially once you get out of the liberal learning core where some teachers are a little easy on you so you get those credits. But once you hit the higher level classes it's nose to the book and feet to the library. The school lacks diversity, but it's right next to ODU, a school made for taking in minorities, so we get stuck with the rich white people in the Beach area. Even the rich snoots are friendly, like everyone there, it's just an atmosphere of niceness which makes it easier to learn in as you don't get a lot of drama stress from jerks. The campus is beautiful, it's just wonderful to sit outside and eat and enjoy the fresh air (when there aren't any smokers around). If you want a night life, join a sorority or fraternity, because the city life around here is rather.. dull. It's got interesting places to visit and see but if you're a major part of the nightlife then best go for VCU or something in a major city. However if you only go out occasionally and don't mind quiet weekends (the dorms are never quiet though and there's always something to do lol)then CNU will work out great for you. |
|Mar 07 2012|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2015 |