I transferred from this school after two miserable years and ended up much happier at a state school. If you did not go to a boarding school or private school for high school, Denison is not for you. Denison is quite literally a glorified boarding school- you are stuck on the Hill with nowhere to go and live in crappy dorms all four years. The Brownstones are falling apart. There are two total bars in Granville- don't expect to go until you're an upperclassman. They're weirdly gatekept by all of the Greek members. There is nothing surrounding the school where you can escape. Greek life is everything, which I did not know before attending. I chose Denison after attending a highly regarded public high school coming from an extremely middle class family. I decided on Denison for the athletics (their lacrosse teams are good), but quickly realized all of my teammates cared more about Greek life than competing or being a team. I have never seen more rampant hard drug use and binge drinking in my life. In the two years I attended, I had two separate acquaintances get arrested for drug related offenses by the Granville Police. One literally spent six months in county jail (I wish I was joking) and the other got a DUI. I genuinely liked the school until I decided not to rush for Greek life and I was immediately outcast. Everything on campus revolves around Greek life. I will say the academics were outstanding and class sizes were very small, but this depends on your major and course selection. My advice? Go literally anywhere else.
Denison is a great school for academics as well as on-campus opportunities. But, one of Denison's biggest strengths is the student- faculty relationships. Professors really care and make an effort to personally get to know the students. I got to know teachers by running into them at lectures, concerts and arts events where we talked and shared common interests. Moreover, professors at Denison are always willing and available to help me if I was struggling academically.
Denison is "just right" -- not too big, not too small, set on a hill in a charming village, and has amazing arts and athletic facilities. Professors are challenging but caring and always accessible, the workload is tough but fair. Career development is very supportive and helpful. Diversity matters -- socio/economic/racial/ethnic and political. We don't get into screaming fights with "the other side" but generally work together to find common ground. There's greek life, but it is non-residential and doesn't overwhelm social life on campus. Sports are popular but mostly family and friends are out cheering, not the whole school or town. Columbus is accessible for a change of scene and makes it easy to fly in and out.
Denison is an amazing place to go especially if you are from a huge city. Granville is small and gives many of us city kids a necessary slowdown that we need. I think the administration could do better with supporting minority students but more often than not the students build a network that allows us to really see how helpful the Denison community is when it needs to be. To the minority students thinking about Denison, I would advise being prepared to speak up on social justice issues because you will need to.
The accessibility of the professors is second to none, and the relationships on campus really do run deep. While housing and campus food could be better, the academics, extra-curricular activities, and opportunities on campus are above average to other colleges.
This is an amazing school that is the picture of liberal arts. It has small classes with a variety of subjects with amazing professors that always have their door open. There are amazing resources if you go out to seek them. The only downside to the Denison experience is that the food isn't that great after a month and the diversity tension could be lessened. But overall, Denison is the experience you make it and the view is always great!!
Denison is a lovely school in physical appearance. The people, especially the teachers, are generally friendly and helpful. There is a culture of over involvement on campus though, with students constantly stretching themselves into too many activities. There is also a bit of a frightening culture that sometimes comes out after dark, so it's best to travel with friends if at all possible, just in case.
It's a big time sh*thole full of horrible and depraved people. Don't go there.
Denison is a really beautiful school and is filled with really smart people. I like Denison because it gives me a whole new experience than I believe a CUNY or a SUNY would have given me. I am still getting use to the culture and type of people that are on campus, but I am more fond of my school than I was before.
Going to Denison after growing up in Los Angeles was a huge change for me. I cannot be happier or have enough good things to say. The class sizes are small and the professors are very accessible. There is a lot of variety in classes to take. Greek life and sports exist, but aren't the main hub on campus. We have incredible facilities, a beautiful campus, the cutest town around the school, and there is a diverse range of people.
I am proud to attend Denison. It has its issues--as does every university--but, overall, I have found the environment to be extremely conducive to success and lasting relationships. The professor and staff genuinely care about the students and the campus itself is beautiful and relatively safe.
Denison is one of the best schools in the bachelors degree game, if and only if you prescribe to small, private, liberal arts colleges. Everything about the school is quite small from the population of students (about 3000 students, and about 1000 faculty), to the size of the town it is situated in (Granville, with a population of about 5000). But Denison is never far from large successes (winning awards such as Best Liberal Arts Universities of 2017 no. 51 of 100, plentiful prestigious professors awards, great selection of majors, minors, and concentrations, and a breeding grounds of many famous and successful alumni) and larger communities (such as capital city Columbus, Ohio only 30 minutes drive away). For being such a small school, Denison is (not so surprisingly) diverse. Thanks to the nationally renowned financial aid system unique to the school, people of many backgrounds, races/ ethnicities, and financial situations achieve access through Denison's selective admissions processes. So to be perfectly clear, Denison does not refuse a student due to their financial situation. The first thing that Denison is most selective on is academic success, frankly, Denison thrives on the academic prowess in its students, so when applying AS WELL AS while attending, the student's must have/remain in good academic standing. With all that being said, my opinion of the school is still high. I think this school is very prestigious for (better or worse), and very worthwhile, generous, diverse, friendly and filled with opportunity and encouragement. In short, a great school for students looking for greatness.
Denison University is leading in its investment in student success during and after undergraduate. Their commitment to liberal arts values is present in every course I have taken. If you want to make something happen, you can make it happen with the support of faculty. The professors really care about you. If you reach out slightly to a professor they will reciprocate a million times over. Denison has also been committed to increasing the diversity of students internationally, racially and ethnically. Although racial tensions and acts of bias do occur, Denison's commitment to welcoming students of color is a far stretch than any other liberal arts school in the nation. However, there is an issue of over-involvement. Students are spread too thin because of this culture ingrained in our students. There is a culture of mentorship between older and younger students which is great. The food can be better for sure, but they are more than happy to listen to the requests of the students. You can make a lot of change on campus and you are given the resources to do so. The dorms are old but they are investing over 10 million dollars in the next 10 years to bring them up to date. The party atmosphere is very contained. parties end at 1:00 am. The career centers are fantastic and the resources they give you are amazing! Would recommend highly!!
Denison University has been a joy and major influence in my life. Denison has allowed me to make new friends, create a bigger network, and get my money worth for my education. Denison is a very rigorous place, but you have unlimited resources to find help. Denison social life is pretty cool and can be very fun. Many students usually have a great time going out! The sports are great and only getting better. Denison has a beautiful campus and is an extremely safe campus. I would say the students at Denison University work hard and play hard.
As a Mexican- American coming from a diverse environment, Denison is definitely a culture shock. It saddens me to say that the social life at Dension is very cliquey and if you don't have a group, expect to feel completely lonely. Many people join sororities and fraternities in hopes to find a group to "belong to" because it is very hard to find new friends aside from the ones you already met at freshmen orientation. Additionally, everyone seems to be in a group of friends of primarily their race only. You will find international students with the internationals, the Hispanics with the Hispanics and so on and so forth. Unless you are white or a social butterfly, don't expect to get close to that many people. The party scene is a little odd considering every race have their own individual parties and the atmosphere in each one is very different. Nevertheless, people are pretty nice on superficial levels and you would hardly encounter anyone rude or mean. Finding places to hang out is almost impossible considering the campus is small and the only real hang-out place is the food are Slayter, The library is small, and you never really find an individual study area during finals week. Honestly, this school sucks, so if you have the option of going somewhere bigger and better.. DO IT. The only good thing is that Denison is pretty affordable and the small size of it helps you connect more with faculty.
Even after only having spent one semester at Denison, I can say that it truly feels like a second home because of the people on campus. The professors are all passionate about their disciplines, everything from chemistry to comics, and want theire students to succeed. Likewise, the staff, from the lunch ladies to the janitors, are all friendly and easy to talk to. However, my favorite part about Denison is the friends I have made and will continue to make. I have made friends that are caring, funny, passionate, unique, late-night ice cream eating, romcom watching kind of people who have made my transition to college much easier and much more fun. While the academics are great and the extracurricular opportunities are even better, it is the people at Denison that make this school the best fit for me.
Denison University is a great institution for people who are interested in pursuing a degree in the sciences, or for someone who has grown up in a rural area who wishes to stay in that environment. Beyond that, this school has major issues that need to be addressed. 1. This school is located in a small town and can be very isolating, as the town of Granville and the university rarely interact with each other. This creates something known as the Denison Bubble, which many students experience. Unless you have a car, DO NOT GO HERE. You will go stir crazy because it is rare that Denison students work or interact with any organization off campus. 2. The housing here is bizarre. It is a four-year residency campus, but in all my years here, the housing department has a problem housing all students on campus, since the class sizes the school keeps admitting get bigger and bigger. Instead of allowing students to live off-campus, the housing department insists all students must live on campus, and at least 20 to 100 students end up without a dorm. Therefore, they just turn common rooms into quads or decide to put extra beds in doubles and triples to make up for the lack of dorm space. Each year, that number gets bigger and bigger. They are building new dorms, but instead of adding on the number, they are knocking down old dorms (that were uninhabitable long ago). However, this means that there aren't any more or any fewer dorms with what they started. So, the housing crisis continues. The dorms themselves are CONCERNING. At a fire safety meeting for students, they showed a horrific video of the worst fire in America and its victims. While that alone is a horrible sentence that cannot be unpacked, they then proceeded to say there were currently working on getting a sprinkler system in 15 of the 30 dorms. EXCUSE ME? IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY AND THESE DORMS HAVE BEEN APPROVED TO LIVE IN WITHOUT A WORKING SPRINKLER SYSTEM? THAT IS ILLEGAL?? Maybe I'm being too demanding to ask for safety codes to be up to standard.
Another concerning story happened this year. The school approved the dorms to be lived in, and these poor girls kept getting super ill. The health center (I don't know if I can call it that?) brushed it off into the girls put pressure on them to inspect the dorm. They found ASBESTOSIS IN THE WALL. That is a carcinogen! That is not something that pops up over a summer or a day! That is years of neglect! In the middle of a snowy Ohio winter, these poor ladies had to quarantine all their belongings for one week. The dorms are not taken care of properly. The poor cleaning staff is not given the proper tools to keep up with the required cleaning. That is a more institutional issue, as the dorms are not a priority at this school, which is sad since the students are required to live on campus. Also, seniors are not guaranteed apartments so you might live in a dorm all four years. 3. The food here improved in my third year here. There are only three dining halls, and all students must have a meal plan for three years. The dining halls are not as bad as they used to be, but there aren't many healthy options to choose from. The student union is run by these sweet women who work 18-hour shifts. These poor overworked ladies are so exhausted that it makes service painfully slow. It is shocking the college allows them to work that long. Though this is not an issue anymore, there was a huge lack of diversity in food. It is surprisingly beginning to change, but there was a time that chefs had to bring their own utensils to work with (like a spatula or whisk) for their specific food station. That's just unacceptable. 4. Health services here need to be improved. This year alone, there were two suicides on a campus of at most 2,000. The health services are in a small building with staff who is pretty clueless. While I have had good experiences (because I make sure to make my appointment with the Nurse Practitioner) many of my friends have not. They do not diagnose correctly or give proper medicine (a running joke here is that they would prescribe Mucinex for a broken limb). My freshman year, one of my friends broke her elbow. This was at night, and the night staff was slightly annoyed because calling an ambulance would cost $6,000 on her insurance. Instead, they gave her not a map, but a piece of paper with a black line and X to where she could find help at a hospital ten miles away. No one would drive her, and my friend had to beg someone with a car to take her to fix her broken elbow. The counseling services here are also difficult to get into, as some of my friends were turned down for appointments since it was three weeks towards the end of school and a session "would not do them good". Some of my friends have had success with counseling here, but it is not a guarantee you will get the same counselor every session, which is not necessarily great when the sessions are 30 minutes to an hour, and you have to spend some of that time re-explaining what happened in the last session to a new counselor. It is difficult to get a time that works with your schedule as well. I was invited to dinner with Laurel Kennedy, one of the deans of students, and she spent the whole dinner talking about how to improve mindfulness activities. When I suggested focussing more financial time on the clinical outlets, Laurel seemed slightly stunned by my suggestion and proceeded to tell me that 11 counselors were just fine, especially because mindfulness is what happens between counseling sessions. She completely missed what the students needed, and seemed confused as to why dogs on Tuesday or meditation during common hour could not cure depression or anxiety. She felt that the staff was enough to handle all 2,000 students, even though it is a well-known fact that it is difficult to get counseling services. This lends itself to a bigger issue: this campus has a lot of depressing aspects, but the counseling services definitely need to be more accessible or at least have the university set up a partnership with a local psychological clinic/ private practice. That was a really infuriating conversation because it seemed as if the faculty don't even understand what the students need even when there are such tragic incidents like suicides. 5. Socially, there are some strange habits, as many people like to let loose and party on the weekends. If you want to be heavily involved in the social scene, Greek life is the way to go. However, I know many people who enjoy their social time here who aren't involved in Greek life who do fine. There are some cool people and some weirdos here (as anywhere in the world), but know that many students identify with what organization(s) they belong to. Many organizations are student-run, which have positives and negatives. It is rare for a staff member or professor to get involved so there can be a lot of unmediated fights or insane power plays. However, if you are with a group of people you love to work with and respect, it will be really rewarding! 6. The faculty here is really good but is super hit or miss depending on the major. As a theater major, I would advise looking elsewhere if you enjoy doing theater or any art related fields. I adore my English major and department, they are awesome! The academics are pretty great here, especially if you find one person in the department who you work well with to mentor you. Some students can't get into the classes they need, which is not great considering the school is so small and likes to throw around the 10:1 student to faculty ratio a lot. But most people graduate on time. Overall, I wouldn't recommend going to this school if you (1) want to pursue the arts (2) enjoy city life (3) enjoy having your home and school life separate (like if you don't like to eat, sleep, and work in the same place) or (4) Don't like boarding school atmospheres. I wish I had more positive things to say, but beyond having a few fun classes, I regret going here. Please really explore the dorms, food, social scene, and the major that you want to pursue before committing to this place.
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