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Bethel University-Saint Paul

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What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The parking situation at my school is the most frustrating. There are too few parking spaces on campus for all of the commuting students. The amount of parking devoted to department guests is ridiculous. Most of the time those parking spaces are completely empty. My school automatically requires every commuting student to pay for a parking permit, charging my student account without my consent. They forget that some students don't require a parking permit, because they carpool or bike to school. My school should quit spending money on frivolous expenses and devote money to creating better parking solutions.

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There is a very touchy atmosphere surrounding minorities. The most prominent examples center around race and/or sexual orientation. Many students are conservative, but almost all are passive. The minorities (actually, small percentages of the minorities) feel slighted and expect the school to cater to them somewhat. As a result, there are often small issues that are blown out of proportion as the same students complain repeatedly about minor problems. Most of us don't mind people being gay, but we also don't want it to be grounds for faux-discrimination accusations.

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Bethel University was a wonderful school, but because there was a strong religous perspective, people with the same thoughts and beliefs gathered there. This was great for creating community, but did not give much exposure to what the real world was like. People often refered to it as a "bubble". Also, the strong religous emphasis made it hard for people to be different or unique without feeling judged or out of the norm. Bethel unfortunately is suited for a specific population, and doesn't leave much room for anything else, as much as the univesity would like to.

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The school is connected to the Baptist General Conference. Sponsors and donors make sure that the university sticks with their values, which are often religiously conservative. Religious diversity on campus is extremely limited and spiritual seeking and questioning is pretty hard. I wish there were more options available. I've been trying to figure out what I really believe, and I've often (not always) had to look outside campus to find something I can believe in. On campus, the library is one place where seeking is actually pretty easy.

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The lack of parking and the inadequate work out facilities are the things that frustrate me the most. I think physical fitmess is a very important aspect of a healthy life and I feel that Bethel does not accomidate this need in their weight room. I also feel that the amount of parking and the slim number of students, especially underclassmen, who are allowed a car is ridiculous. Since Bethel is so expensive it is important that the students be allowed cars so they can have off campus jobs.

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The kids here are very sheltered. A lot of them come from mainly private school or homeschooling backgrounds and don't have very good social skills. It sometimes seems like the kids here don't know "what's up" or what is really out there in this life. Most kids just stay in their little sheltered hall and don't go very far from a single friend circle. Another frustrating aspect is that lot of the professors are very biast in many aspects of Christianity and this life in general.

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The most frustrating thing about my school is that almost everyone has the same faith. We mostly all believe in God; we are almost all Christians here. I think that it would be more interesting to go here if there were more diversity in the faith aspect. It would help me see what other people believe and learn more about other faiths. I think that this would both strengthen my worldview and open my eyes to be more accepting of other faiths.

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The most frustrating thing about my school is the cost. Bethel is great about doing whatever they can to make studying and living here affordable, and they do a great job. But books, meals, classes, and living do add up. I'd suggest looking in to as many scholarships and financial aid as possible. Things come together, and if God wants us here, he'll make it work out. The price can be stressful at times though.

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Since Bethel University is what you would probably call a "conservative Christian University", some students may find that there are too many rules to follow, including a Lifestyle Covenant that all applicants who attend must sign. Because Bethel attracts mostly upper-middle-class church-raised Protestant suburban Caucasian students, students who don't quite fit that typical profile may feel like the minority.

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Probably the most frustrating aspect of Bethel would be parking. Once you are allowed to park on campus, it can be quite difficult to find a spot at all during the times of 9am to 1pm during the week. If you're fortunate, someone will be leaving the same time you arrive and hopefully you can find a place to park. Several occasions I was late for class due to the lack of parking.

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