am graduating with high honors from PolySci/Intl. Affairs/Asian Studies this
year. I have a math minor. I have
been a president of a club for 3 years, and
I have worked in two university jobs (3 if you
count tutoring for the university) Before UC I attended
Indiana University (a school of comparable size) and American University
(a smaller, private, just as diverse institution). I had
to transfer here because my parents became very ill after
they moved here, and I had to move here to
be close to them. Because of these reasons, I
feel I am very qualified to critique this university.
do I start?
Of course, not all things are
bad about this place. There are some diamonds in
the rough - faculty members who have fought through the
highly politicized departments in the McMicken college of arts and
sciences to make themselves available to the students; faculty that
came here to teach, and to share the love of
their subjects. I'd say that the Political Science department,
while it has a few bad apples, is mostly good.
In particular, Prof. Tolley, Prof. Moore and Prof. Jenkins
(by far the best advisor I came into contact with
in my entire tenure at the school) are amazing.
The staff in the poly sci. office are very nice.
The department is fairly active and offers connections to
great lecture series and other activities. I participated in
the ModelUN. It was a waste of time because
my fellow members did not take it seriously, however, the
advisor for the club is very good, and in this
last year, the team improved greatly. The Taft Lecture
Series is fantastic. There are many opportunities for students
to get involved.
Which brings me to my next statement:
College is what one makes of it, and UC is
no exception, however, I have never encountered a university more
bent on mediocrity than this place. I am very
concerned about what I pay to learn. UC is
very expensive considering it is a public state university.
I have never felt that my money was being spent
well. I have always felt that as an Arts
and Sciences student, I am second rate to the Engineering
and Pre-Med students.
Here are a few gems from my
time at UC:
~Remember: a place is only diverse
if there is a melange at work. Here at
UC, everyone stays separated. Good luck getting a Chinese
student away from their friends. The Black students stay
with Black students; the nerds/otaku stay with only their likenesses.
The frats stay together, too. Of course there
are exceptions, but when the Asian American Association holds an
event, who do you think attends? Indian students...99% Indian
students and few others. UC is a mecca of
people from different cultures. There are so many interesting
people to meet, but few take advantage of it.
What you are dealing with here is a population comprised
mostly of white kids from small towns that come to
the big scary city and meet other white kids from
other small towns and stay with them.
~The neighborhood around
UC is extremely dangerous. I am from New York
City. I have lived in Cincinnati for 7 years.
I am not over-exaggerating this. I lived on
the corner of Oak and Eden, less than 3 blocks
from the university. A college kid coming home from
the grocery store was shot 4 times not TEN feet
from my window. Check the papers. Furthermore, UC
employs rent-a-cops, or their equivalent, to patrol a huge campus
in a dangerous urban setting. I could read out
a litany of crimes; robbery, assault, rape (male and female);
breaking and entering... this is all common around UC.
Although I love the atmosphere of Clifton, the truth is:
I work in Over-the-Rhine (Cincinnati's supposed worst downtown neighborhood) but
I still flinch at walking in Clifton at night.
Of course, with intelligence, you can avoid most of the
trouble, but it is not safe here, and the university
tries to underplay it and ignore it so that people
will pay to send their children here.
~The Greek presence
is nauseating. These elitist organizations run the student government and
the Undergraduate Funding Board. It is a system based
on racism and xenophobia and should be illegal. (Unfortunately, IU
shares this problem with UC.)
~The entire Learning Assistance Center
is populated by the friends and relatives of seemingly one
person. To say this university is affected by nihilism
would be understating it.
~The bureaucracy is excruciating. Just
dropping a class requires three signatures after one week of
class. Just try getting a grade changed or applying
for a special exploratory major - I dare you!
Most people here are “pass the buck” crazy. The
advisors in Arts and Sciences, although kind, are grossly under
~The university wants one thing: money. This is
true of every university, of course, but I have never
felt more like a cash cow than at this institution.
(And that includes my day at Disney World.) I
know what I'm there for...and every little fee and late
charge reminds me. I sit in classes that I
pay over $1000 for (three credits) and want to kill
everyone around me because my classmates are cabbages who obviously
slept through high school, and the professors are out of
touch - worried about more research for MORE MONEY.
I resent the entire system. People who are not
prepared for college, and obviously don't care should not be
here. I long for American University where the students
actually give a damn, and have actually read a book,
and the professors challenge us to think critically.
work is ridiculously easy with a few exceptions: Prof. Tolley's
courses; Prof. White (French dept.) courses; Prof. Kwan (history...left UC)
courses; the Japanese/Chinese/Arabic department courses. I'm sure there are
others, but I have been very disappointed over all.
I could sleep through these courses and get an “A".
~The only food on campus is fast food. You
can maybe eat well if you go to the salad
bar, but even there, there are fried options. Subway...I
say this with full knowledge...is the healthiest choice. The
food courts are passable.
~UCIT is populated with students who
are there for one reason: to make money doing nothing. IT is a joke; I have many friends in
the department. The servers go down at least once
a quarter; Blackboard is always on the fritz; the passwords
are screwed up...there is always something. What good is
having a 24 hour lab is the student attendant cannot
problem solve ANYTHING.
~The health center is a terrible, horrible
place. Although there are some nice staff, the doctors
are just... oh, dear God... I was a translator for
Japanese students in the health center, and I went there
4 times in my years as an undergrad... First, the
health center is located in the exact center of campus...there
is no parking...AT ALL...within a 1/4 mile. Do you
know how it is to feel so sick an have
to walk so far to get help? The doctors
and clerical staff make me feel like I am taking
up their oh-so-important time. I have NEVER been satisfied
with the level of care given to me, my friends,
or the Japanese students I assisted. I pay over
$400 dollars a quarter for “student health insurance.” It
is a joke and an insult, frankly. The tragic
thing is, University Hospital is a great hospital; it is
very renown. However, as a student at UC, it
costs $250 for a referral fee on top of your
medical insurance, just to get in the door at the
hospital. I stopped going to the health center, and
now pay out of pocket to go to another doctor.
I would rather face medical bills than deal with UC
Are you getting the picture, yet? Of
course many colleges in America have similar problems, I'm sure.
I just can't take another day without sharing how
marginalized and exploited I feel on this campus.... and I
am a good student, very involved and social. Imagine
how so many students, not so outspoken, must feel.
DO NOT ATTEND THIS SCHOOL. College should be an amazing
time of self-exploration and discovery. Of course, one can
do this with or without the help of one's institution.
However, UC does very little to foster self-discovery.
The efforts made here seem too little...and aimed at only
a select part of the population.
I wish I could
tell the world how bad this place is. Go
to OSU; go to OU; go to Bowling Green...just don't
pay to attend this hypocritical, awful place.