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My oldest child attended Salve Regina University as a freshman in fall 2008. This school was chosen after an exhausting process of researching many, many colleges. I was an active viewer of College Confidential threads while we were searching for the right school. Unfortunately, very little was written about SRU. It is my intention to save another student from making an uninformed decision to attend this school. I only wish someone had really "filled me in." We visited Salve three times while my daughter was still in high school. We feel we were duped into believing this was a top rate college, offering all the normal opportunities for learning as well as fun in the confines of a very safe and absolutely beautiful campus. We believed the school had the studentsâ€™ best interest at heart. We were fooled. After a miserable first semester, here are some truths about Salve. -There are absolutely no campus sponsored events beyond the first week of school. When you drop your child off, you will see posters advertising orientation type fun.I realize now the college was trying to give the impression that there would be socializing opportunities- (good PR while the parents were in town.). Unfortunately, the activities are very juvenile and, therefore, not well attended. The offerings included an ice cream social, a rock painting activity, bingo, and a movie -all in the first six days of school. Beyond this first week, there was absolutely nothing to do. There were no opportunities for students to gather as a student body and meet each other. Despite the small size of the class, it was not unusual for students to only know the names of classmates in surrounding dorm rooms. Oh yes, there is a student center. It is a tiny, cramped, dark room in the basement of one building. The only people who go there are the people who have a work study job to oversee the place. -The school's major focus is preventing alcohol abuse. The RA's are so strict that there are nightly checks every two hours of each dorm room. â€œJust causeâ€ is not required for a search, and anybody under any suspicion is written up and fined. One ridiculous incident- 2 girls were being rowdy so the RA assumed that there was something funny in their Snapple bottles. She wrote the girls up even though she had no proof that any substance abuse had occurred. -During orientation, much information is given to parents about the schoolâ€™s efforts to make the freshman adjustment a smooth one. The â€œNew Students Seminarâ€ is described as a cluster of freshman who have two classes together, one academic and one to discuss the freshman transition and address the concerns students might have. This second class is a sham as half of the time it cancelled and when they do actually meet, students are only asked a cursory â€œhow is everyone doing?â€ -While there are plenty of opportunities to shop in the town of Newport, there are no nighttime hangouts the students can get into without being 21. What this means is that students stay in their rooms watching movies and playing board games like Disneyâ€™s Scene It (I kid you not). My daughter and all of her friends did not go out (other than to get dinner at Panera twice) for an entire semester. Many students traveled to other colleges on weekends. This is very indicative of a problem and causes the students to take unnecessary risks. They are traveling late at night in an area they are unfamiliar with. My daughter heard harrowing tales of students being stranded in other towns because the buses stopped running at a certain time and they did not know how to get a cab to get home. Safety is another concern. We were told there was a person on duty at each dorm to screen who was coming into each building. This is a complete lie as nobody works the lobby. Though the neighborhood seems very safe, there was a sexual assault reported very recently just outside the borders of the school. ( I do realize this could happen anywhere). The most troubling thing about my experience with this school is that I came to realize that the administration did not care at all about the students. Several phone calls and a very serious letter were left unanswered. When I pursued it to the point that a dean finally got on the phone with me, he sounded like an uneducated, hostile buffoon. He said in response to my well thought- out heartfelt and very respectful letter, â€œYeah, I donâ€™t know what you want me to say.â€ I was so shocked by his rude and cavalier manner in light of the serious problems I thought I was bringing to his attention. In retrospect, I have concluded that my daughter was only a number. It seems they expect to lose a large percentage of students after freshman year. This probably works for them as dorming facilities are fewer for upper classmen. The focus and any money is spent on recruiting a large freshman class which will then lose many students by sophomore year. It is likely they NEED to dwindle the population in order to have room. This allows them to ignore the adjustment needs of the freshman and the recreational needs of the entire student body. It is not surprising that my daughter left after the fall semester and is now very happy at her new school. We have come to learn that many students transferred out as she did. Many others say, that while they will transfer, their parents wonâ€™t let them do so until they finish a year (not a semester). It is not clear to me how the school keeps any of its students. I surmise that perhaps socializing opportunities are better once students live off campus in houses and that the town could be a lot of fun the closer one got to age 21. I also would like to make clear that my daughter was not looking for a â€œparty schoolâ€. She is very responsible and was just looking for a school where she could learn, meet people and enjoy a well rounded college experience. Thankfully, we have found that at Wagner College.
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