What I Wish I Knew About Denison (But Didn’t Know How to Ask)

Denison Freshman

By Liz Haughton
03/04/2015
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By Liz Haughton
Unigo Campus Rep at Denison

As you might have discovered during your college selection process thus far, most colleges and universities tend to glorify themselves to attract students. When I was applying to Denison, some highlighted aspects about the school were not quite what I have found as a student. This doesn’t mean that Denison lied or even misrepresented the facts — it just means that certain qualities or situations about the school were different from what I have experienced. The following is a list of important information that you might like to know before you arrive at Denison:

Your major will likely change one or more times. 
Most people come to Denison thinking they know what they want to major in. That will change. After taking some communications and sociology/anthropology courses, I decided they would be my majors instead of English, as I’d originally planned. Come into Denison with an open mind, and take a range of courses your freshmen year to get a taste for all of the majors available to you.

Upperclassmen are the best source for which courses to take. 
Once you choose your major and minor, ask around for the best courses and professors. Rather than depend on course summaries in the school catalog, approach upperclassmen — they are the most knowledgeable source because they offer the only first hand experiences. Ask which professors are the most intriguing and entertaining in class, which are the most demanding and challenging and what comprises your course grade. It will improve your GPA a lot!

Denison is not the party school it once was. 
Denison has a reputation for being a party school. This is far from what it is today. Greek life was famous back in the 1970s and 1980s and was compared to the wild environment depicted in the classic movie Animal House. While Denison students still know how to party, the school is taking drastic measures to get away from this reputation. Greek life still exists, but frats are no longer allowed to throw parties or live in their houses. The school is also finding ways to slowly kick Greek organizations off campus. However students and alums alike are doing everything in their power to prevent this from happening.

Security on Campus is getting tougher. 
To go off the previous tip, Denison is a great academic institution with many positive qualities, but it’s trying to become known more for its academics than its social scene. As a result, security is gaining more of a presence on campus. Security is important for the safety of the students, but at times they can go overboard and curtail students’ enjoyment and college experience.

Granville is a very small town. 
It is smaller than what I first perceived during my initial visit. It only has about 10 places to eat, which gets very old after frequenting them enough. The town is very Denison oriented though, with many restaurants giving college students discounts. Overall, the town welcomes students with open arms and loves for us to become active in the community. I wish I had known just how small of a town Denison was in, but I don’t think you can pick that up until you live and experience Granville. If you want a quaint and quiet college town however, Granville couldn’t be more perfect.

Don’t come to Denison for the Cuisine. 
The food is not something to boast about at Denison. Curtis and Huffman are the two dining halls on campus — Curtis being the preferred of the two but still not your idea of fine cuisine. The student center is a little better with a Taco Bell and Pizza Hut offered but in order to stay away from the freshmen 15, I would avoid these two, especially at three in the morning.

Overall I am very pleased with Denison, but the main issue that I wish I had known before accepting is the academic renovation Denison is currently attempting. It makes sense that Denison is trying to become the best university it can be, but this makeover is also taking away from the traditions and history that make the school so unique. Students and alumni are both seeking ways to prevent this transformation from totally changing the culture of the University. Hopefully Denison will continue to grow as a prestigious academic institution, while maintaining the qualities that current and former students love about it so much.

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