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Stanford University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD- Faculty AccessibilityD
Useful SchoolworkD- Excess CompetitionD-
Academic SuccessD- Creativity/ InnovationC-
Individual ValueC- University Resource UseD-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA- FriendlinessD
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeC-
Surrounding CityB+ Extra CurricularsD-
SafetyD-
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant

Describes the faculty as:
Arrogant

Female
ACT:28
id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #970016; line-height:80px';float:left;
SAT1280
Not so bright
Lowest Rating
Educational Quality
D-
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
A-
She cares more about Safety than the average student.
Date: Nov 22 2003
Major: Undecided (This Major's Salary over time)
Ah yes.. Leland Stanford Junior University, what a great combination of Athletics and Academics, what a fun, talented and motivated student body, and what a great location to boot!

Before I begin, I will say there is some truth to Stanford's well known selling points, but that the University, the student body, and the campus atmosphere also have their flaws. I will share my criticisms in list form:

Lack of idealism - Lack of committment to service and activism - Pre-professionalism

Stanford is not the campus for the budding social activist or political revolutionary. The vast majority of students here do not choose to use the power and influence of their education to advance change, but rather act in insulated self interest to preserve the status quo and stay on top of the heap. Stanford has often been described as an incubator for high tech companies, and that is truly what it acts as for students in many fields, a sheltered, artificially sunny bubble in which to "grow up". Students may talk radically, but no one walks the walk.

Conformity - Elitism

Stanford students are a remarkably alike bunch. They often differentiate themselves in meaningless, tokenistic ways, but when it comes down to it most think and act remarkably similarly. The Stanford Student is white, s/he is from Southern California, s/he likes to skateboard and surf and lie in the sun, s/he makes biggoted jokes, always appears happy-go lucky, is intensely concerned with post college life and future financial security but does their best to hide it.

Lack of diversity - Racial insulation

Stanford is not diverse. True we have a lot of Asians but they keep to themselves, have no campus presence, and are even worse pre-professionals and elitists than the rest. Blacks and Latinos comprise about 15% of the student body, and have little influence. Campus ethnic centers and departments have been created, but these don't do enough to make the campus truly diverse. Stanford fails diversity where many institutions do, by paying lip service to diversity but not embracing it. Furthermore there is widespread racial insulation. The ethnic theme dorms do not help this matter, nor does the de facto segregation between the white row houses and largely black apartment complex Mirrielees. Frat parties have the same token black faces week in and week out, while black parties attract few whites.

Astonishingly weak social scene - Very little dating

There is never anything fun to do on campus on the weekends. The frat parties are all the same, and they consist of many Stanford Students (as caricatured above) standing around drinking, saying what's up to casual, insubstantial acquaintances, listening to the same tired records from 1996 by the same tired DJ, DJ Kenny G, and usually wearing Hawaiian shirts. Worse yet, there is usually only one such party to chose from! Then there are the many in room parties, which consist of alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol. Non-drinkers, enjoy! There are no parties with good music, good dancing, or good looking girls, unless you like bleary-eyed sorority girls who wear their Stanford sweatshirts three days in a row. So what are people doing? Are they dating? No of course not! First of all there is no where to go in the soulless wasteland that is Silicon Valley, secondly everyone is too driven, work-obsessed, out of touch with their feelings and disinterested in developing meaningful relationships of any kind for dating to occur.

Weather

Ah but the weather, can't complain about that now can you? Actually, it is truly nice for maybe 4 months of the school year, not all year as they would have you believe. And even when it is warm during the day, even when it hits 90, it will be 40 at night. It is 40 every night in the bay area, meaning you often have to change clothes several times a day. And it rains non-stop during all of winter quarter. And when it rains you must either ruin your clothes getting to class by bike (thanks to our spacious 8000 acre campus), or set out by foot 30 minutes before you need to arrive. When it's nice out though surely you can go swimming and stuff, right? Well yes and no. You see, because Stanford's athletics are so top notch, they need some super nice facilities and they need to use them all the time, rest of the students be damned. The weight room is not open in the middle of the afternoon, nor before classes, and much of the equipment is old. There are no treadmills in the main weight room, and only two for the entire student body anywhere on campus. We have a great golf course too, but it costs $20 for students to play, and should you bring a guest who is not lucky enough to be enrolled in this great institution, plan on forking over $75. Where does all that money go to? Maybe Stanford's $500,000 annual flower budget. Appearances, appaarences…

Location

There can be no worse college town than Palo Alto. Everything is overpriced and targeted to the Silicon Valley jet set. This goes for food, clothing, real estate, you name it. You want affordable, try East Palo Alto, the skeleton in Stanford's geographic closet. This community of 30,000 is concentrated in a 2.5 sq mile area on the other side of Hwy 101 a careful bit of gerrymandering in the 60's separated the two communities by the new highway which incidentally paved over East Palo Alto residences, in a similar fashion to the new hotel development in the area known as Whiskey Gulch where Jerry Garcia grew up, and Stanford students used to go hang out before they sold their souls sometime in the 1980s. Besides the immediate environs of the Peninsula, Stanford is lucky enough to be closest to the lamest and most Stanford like of the three bay area cities, San Jose! Lots to see and do there, trust me. The clubs on South First street are worth checking out once, but not returning to. Oakland and San Francisco, representing everything Stanford is not, are located about an hour away by car with no traffic, or anywhere from 2-3 hrs away at rush hour. Public transit, especially the BART, is very ineffective, especially in getting to Oakland. Both real cities in the bay are worth spending much time in, and there is plenty to do with or without your fake ID.

Sports

Winners of the Sears Cup 5 straight years, how can you complain? Well somehow our teams still aren't much fun to watch. The Sears Cup is awarded based on overall excellence, and Stanford wins it each year with garbage sports that no one cares to watch like gymnastics, golf, water polo, and cross country. Stanford football, though it stumbled into the Rose Bowl last year thanks to a weak field of Pac 10 contenders, is sorry. Coach Willingham is great, but how come they still don't have a running game, nor a special teams game, nor a decent secondary after three years??? Hmm, coach , you there? As for Basketball, this is the great Stanford success story of excellence in both academics and athletics. While this may be true most of the year, it comes to a grinding halt in March when the team gets straight C's on their 12 units worth of exams and loses in the second round of the tournament. Why does this keep happening, because they lack athleticism, they have no guts, and their style of play breaks down against quick teams like Arizona, UConn and UNC. They rely too much on the three pointer and it always fails them in the clutch. Why does this keep happening? Because of Montgomery's out dates style of coaching and the fact that Stanford can't and never will attract true ballers because sadly, they wouldn't belong.

After reading this review, I think you will know if you will fit in at Stanford and thus belong, and be happy; or if you are not The Stanford Student, and would be better off elsewhere.

         
Responses
responseYou are gay as hell stanford is awesome. Stanford is an amazing and has a high reputation. It is so easy to nit pick tiny details, such as the weather.
responseIt's funny how you pinpoint the average student as bigoted, and then you generalize Asians at Stanford as more elitist and pre-professional than the rest, in a bad way. Is there anything wrong with wanting to be financially independent at some point of our lives? I'm all for social revolution, but we can't all be activists, especially since a lot of us Stanford students are more gifted and passionate in the sciences and engineering than the humanities. I agree that a lot of Stanford students are concerned about their futures and that isn't always a good thing, but no need to disparage it so harshly as you've done.
responseFirstly, I would like to say that you have laid your thoughts out for people to see in a clear manner. Secondly, other people who would insult you using crass language are merely proving your point. (And Response number one? It is highly inappropriate in today's society to insult someone using the term 'gay'.) However, I do have a slight problem with a comment about sports that you made. The four sports that you listed, although admittedly not the most popular sports, are not by any means "garbage" that "nobody cares to watch." To be honest, I am not a member of any of those sports, but I do enjoy playing a sport that likely would fall into that category: powerlifting. My point is simply this: just because a sport is no fun to watch does not mean that for the players it is not an enriching experience.
responseThis is the best assessment of Stanford I have ever read. I work in proximity to the school and I have felt similarly disgusted by the cultural atmosphere.
responseWow, who pissed in your corn flakes? You need to transfer to Berkley.
responseAs a fellow student it's refreshing to see a picture of Stanford which doesn't amount to sunshine and rainbows. Stanford is not an easy school to have fun at if you do not conform to the "main" student archetype: white, American, suburban, pre-professional, selfish, and immature. That being said, I believe that enjoying your time at Stanford also requires A LOT of personal effort to find your community, build meaningful relationships with others, and explore your academic motivations. These things are so variant depending on your housing situation, major, and even interests. I honestly think you just haven't come across the right people who are adventurous, real, and mature (what you come across as). Sorry you've had a shitty experience so far, I'm a junior this year and only now have I begun to actually be "happy" while in school. Good luck, champ!
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