applied early decision to the school of Arts and Science
thinking that the professors and graduate students were knowledgeable and
accessible, the students were bright and friendly, and the campus
was beautiful. I thought this was the campus where I
could explore and grow into an intelligent, developed individual, but
I've found that individual is more threatening in the Vanderbilt
social scene than accepted.
Vanderbilt consists of those who
want to fit into a clique or certain social group,
and in order to be in the more visible cliques
such as greek life (which dominates the social life), you
subscribe to their cultural norms in order to be accepted.
Also, if you are a woman, consider the rumor that
around 60% of the women on campus are in the
education school. While this happens to a degree no matter
what group you decide to join, there is little room
for exploration and acceptance of other ideas: it's not about
cultures, it's about the culture. There's a lot of apathy
towards pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, and a lot
of political apathy: people like for things to stay the
same. With this said, many student leadership positions are meant
to give students benefits and a pat on the back.
Most are social positions for helping with parties or banquets
for non-profit fund raising.
Sure, there is diversity, but
there is not much intermingling among the different cultures. I've
spoken with many students that this bothers, but they say
they stay at Vanderbilt for the name on the diploma.
To me, it seems one either love vanderbilt, or one
is coping and getting by for name's sake.
are very intelligent and smart. It depends on who you
get as far as accessibility and helpfulness, but most professors
are open for office hours. Many professors will drill you
on how you can feed back to them what they
taught you and not what you learned.
Chancellor Gee did
more to loosen the conservative belt on diversity, student life
outside of greek life, and competitive university standards. However, now
that he is gone, I'm concerned that the transition that
Vanderbilt has been making into a progressive campus will regress
into it's comfort zone as an ol' south school.
if you are interested in environmental studies, they only provide
geology. Most of the interdisciplinary classes have not been offered
for over 7 years, and they will not be offered
again. I've checked with the head of the department.
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL IS VERY DIFFERENT. If you like the graduate
school programs, do not take this commentary to heart.