I believe that Bethel University is a great educational instiution; however, like every educational institution, there are some negative areas about the school itself. As I am learning from expierence, I would say the biggest disadvantage about coming to Bethel is the fact that Freshman and Sophmores can not have cars on campus. This limits these students to social, educational and family events alike. This rule often becomes an inconvience for the student as well as other parties involved. Although a minor negative, this is contributes to the freshman or sophmore student being completely satisfied while attending Bethel University.
Bethel University is a wonderful institution. However, due to the fact it is a private, Christian institution does mean that there is a decided lack of diversity on campus. The majority of students who attend that college come from upper-middle class to wealthy homes, and are most often Caucasian. This population does not necessarily provide the best opportunities to experience diversity, and in many cases, several individuals will not engage others of a different ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class. I believe that this deficiency is extremely detrimental to the college experience.
I don't feel like the administration always listens to what the student body says. I feel like they push aside what we say and think that we just want to complain. They also don't provide enough opportunities for students to express their opinions are certain aspects of the college that directly affects them like certain adminstrative actions, the construction (and with the construction telling us enough information like how long is two of the hallways going to be blocked), etc. But we have a new president now who I think will be good, and will make good changes.
The worst thing about Bethel University would have to be not just the lack of diversity, but the emphasis on diversity. Because we are not ethnically diverse, making a huge deal about the struggles faced by the minority of the school is not helpful in "reconciliation." In fact, it tears the community apart and instills a fear and stigma about people. It is important to be respectful of differences in cultures and upbringing, but the way in which the minority is singled-out makes them feel too, like they are "different." This shouldn't be the case!
The worst thing about my school is the amount of money that I must put into it. Admittedly, I was not the best high school student, and did not try my absolute best. The same still applies, but not as much. With that said, I do not gain the best scholarships. On the other hand, my roommate, a straight 4.0 high school GPA and recently just lost his 4.0 college GPA does not have more than a few thousand dollars more than me in the scholarship departement. Most students here are not destined for high paying jobs, inconvientiently.
The worst thing about my school is that many of the people are superficial. They are willing to befriend someone, but only get to know her a little bit. They like to pretend to be tolerant, but every gay or atheist is smart enough to know that there are definite limits to that tolerance, so he'd better keep quiet. They like to pretend congratulate themselves on being a diverse group of people, but its far too expensive for most international students and even for many students of color, so the majority of students are white.
Bethel University's worst characteristic is its lack of diversity. There isn't much diversity racially, ethnically, or economically. The student population resembles a large group of Scandinavian immigrants. This has had its fair share of consequences. It seems that there is a lack of racial sensitiviy around campus due to the fact that most students are of the same race and background. I think more can be done to improve this in our admissions office and I hope that concerted effort is taken in the school administration.
Bethel University has a wonderful community life that focuses on bringing it's students together. Sometimes this sense of community becomes so strong that students become unaware of the realities of the outside world. Because of this, my only negative feedback would be the unwillingness of students to branch out and be apart of the outside community. There is a constant unwillingness to leave Bethel University, and although that makes a great college community, I don't believe that makes as successful of a person.
Being a gal that loves sports, I have found that Bethel's student section at sporting events is quite disappointing. Even though our football team made it to National Semifinals for NCAA DIII, the Bethel crowd was sub-par throughout the season. Despite my many attempts to get them on their feet, the student section was sitting during the second half of our Homecoming game!! Although Bethel has so, so much to offer, I miss the energy that a student section uniquely creates.
I think the worst thing about Bethel is that there are quite a few snobby rich kids who are just here because their parents sent them. They are worried about their clothing brands, hair, make-up, and accessories. They do not seem like real, authentic Christians, although it is not my place to judge. While in my opinion there are a lot of these kinds of people, there are plenty other aspects of Bethel that are fantastic, so I wouldn't let this me a deterrent.