St. John Fisher College is a great school if you like small schools and you like to know a lot of the student body. I think that the best thing about Fisher is that it is so easy to get to know people--which includes student and faculty--and you do not feel lost in the crowd. Although for some people I can definitely see this being a downside. One thing people will say when you tell them that you go to Fisher is "Isn't that where the Buffalo Bills practice?" So a lot of people know the campus already. Another upside to Fisher is that many people around Rochester either have gone to Fisher or know someone who does, which is a major help when you are applying for jobs in the area. There is a major downside and that is if you are a commuter, parking is a real pain especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is something most students are complaining about, so one thing I am hoping that they do is make more parking spots. It is very easy to get involved in clubs on campus since there are so many, but unfortunately most clubs have a small turnout of members. I personally spend most of my time on campus either in one of the cafes or in the school newspaper and magazine office because I am an editor. At night a lot of people hang out at the Fishbowl, which is a place on campus where you can get food, sit around with friends and watch television. Most people find out their hangout place once they've made a few friends. To get to downtown, or really anywhere to hang out off-campus you do have to drive, but there are a lot of good hang out places and places to go out at night to in Rochester. One issue I have with the school's administration is that there is no update on big decisions being made to the student population. We only hear about certain things once the decision has been made, which I find to be unfair. Most recently, our school is building a School of Business which a lot of students are reacting negatively to, saying that we don't have the parking for the new students it will bring in and some buildings that were holding student offices are being torn down and the offices are being relocated. A lot of people seem relatively proud to go to Fisher. We generally have a good turnout at our football games and almost every single person is wearing some sort of Fisher paraphernalia daily. I think one thing I will always remember is just how many events are held at Fisher. When we have Fall Fest we usually have bounce houses, sumo-wrestling, bubble races (where you are put inside of a giant bubble and race each other) and you can play games, win prizes and feel like you're at an amusement park. Some events have no expenses spared, and the bingo nights generally have a few prizes like an Xbox or an iPod or a GPS. If you get involved, Fisher can be a really great place.
Every college has a flaw, in most cases more than one. Saint John Fisher balances its flaws with the overwhelming opportunity to work in one-on-one situations with the professors. Students are encouraged through these individual sessions to find their voice through their work; furthering their ideologies past graduation day and into the work force. The college is small, but a tight nit community in which professor devote time to ensuring their members receive the attention needed to succeed. In addition, the administration staff works for the well-being of the student by assisting and guiding them through the correct paper trails to graduate. A majority of my time is spent is the Mac computer lab because it is a central point of the college. Being in the Basil building, with a majority of the professors, permits me to work on papers while having the ability to access my professors on a frequent basis. The college is of Christian origin, which can put off prospective students who do not wish to associate themselves with a particular religion. However, I have found my experience at the college one that is absent of religion. It is the student's choice to bring religion into the mix, the college has no opinion either way. Even with its sister school, Nazareth college, right around the corner, the two schools form a small community within themselves encouraging the education of future minds without the pressure of religion. The largest controversy at Saint John Fisher is the course work. A majority of the undergraduate classes are simplistic to the point that students do not feel as though they are preparing for under level courses. The work load is fairly light at the beginning of the semester and escalates to a point that is almost unreasonable for students, such as myself, who work full time, in addition, to full time classes. There are few professors who assign major research papers which can be a hinderance when entering into Capstone courses who assign a 20-25 page paper. Without that experience in the past of completing at least a 15-20 page paper the task can be extremely challenging to the point of collapse. Even though there are flaws, the school spirit is not effected. Saint John Fisher college prepares its students as best as it can for real life obstacles. My internship this past year through the college is something I will always recall because it prepared me to except that a college classroom is not the same as a job. They are extremely different. Students appreciate that opportunity to learn first hand. Therefore, overal the college is good match for students who desire to travel, gain the experience of internships and the one-to-one student/professor relationship.
Best thing: the small campus - if living in a dorm you can wake up ten minutes before class and get there on time Worst thing: the prices in the cafeteria. Having a meal plan is crucial but without one it becomes extremeley expensive - a Muscle Milk and Special K bar is just over $6 St. John Fisher has a very small campus (about 50 acres) and is perfect for getting around. You can walk from one end of campus (Murphy Hall) to the other (Skalny Science Center) in 10-15 minutes, not even. In terms of student size there is just under 3,000 undergraduates and though it is nice knowing everyone and seeing everyone it also becomes a nuissance having to not only see the same people over and over again but word spreads fast in a small school which is most usually never a good thing. When I tell people that I attend St. John Fisher they seem very impressed - maybe becuase of the reputation, the location, or the extremely high cost. Whatever it may be they think it is a very good school. Before I lived off campus I spent the overhwleming majority of my time in my dorm just because I was always surrounded by my friends, a fun enviroment, and surprisingly I was able to get work done there. There are four other colleges relatively close to St. John Fisher but there is not much to do on the weekends besides going downtown, at Fisher at least. The administration is 50/50. There are actually a great number of professors who really are there to help you in any way possible (the typical professors you associate with a small school) and then there are the handful who would be better situated in a large university teaching 300 students at a time. Because of the football team's surprising run to the NCAA Elite 8 in this year's playoffs I think there has been a surge in school pride. The most frequent complaint on campus is the parking which is very limited. Even though they increased some of the lots it can still be troublesome.
The best thing about this school is the community feeling that is always present on campus. Because it is a small school, you recognize almost everyone as you walk through the halls or quad, your professors greet you as you pass, and class sizes are relatively small with personalized attention if necessary. The campus is beautiful, and often the first reaction I get when I tell others I attend Fisher, or one of the first things I bring up about the school. The community and location is also something that is great about this school, it is located close to downtown Rochester as well as the nice, homey town of Pittsford where leaving campus to catch a movie or a bite to eat is easy and accessible. One of the things that other students and I would like to change is that Fisher focuses a lot on the popular majors--pharmacy, education, nursing--where majors with fewer students get less attention from the school's administration. The professors in these less popular subjects are still passionate and have a lot of knowledge to pass on though, which makes me enjoy classes more than I'd expected.
I'm definitely glad that I decided to go to St. John Fisher. One of my main concerns was the size of the campus since I had graduated from a smaller high school. Fisher is the perfect size for me. The small size means that you'll usually know at least one or two people in your classes and always recognize a handful of students walking around campus. The campus is small enough that you can get anywhere in around 10 minutes but also big enough that there are always places to get away for some study time or getting together with friends. There is a blue light system set up so that no matter where you are on campus, help is just a button push away. However, there has never been a time where I have felt scared on campus. Although there aren't really any places within walking distance of St. John Fisher, there are free bus passes available from the Bookstore. There is also a free weekend shuttle that can take students to the mall. Fisher is a small campus but they work very hard to give students all of the benefits of a "college towns."
Personally, I love everything about Fisher. We are on a small campus, but that makes everything and every place accessible within five minutes or less. The school does a wonderful job with giving the students their own places to hang out and giving them rides off of campus so that they are not confined to it if they do not have a car. The Student Government Association always has events planned on campus for all types of students and interests. There is always some event going on on campus so that there is never a dull or boring day. My favorite event that SGA has had this current semester is the Blizzard Bash. There were cookie and ornament making stations as well as a photo booth and live performances by a few of the clubs on campus. Santa Claus also made an appearance that night so everyone could make sure that he knew what was on their Christmas list. It was a great way to unwind before finals.
Overall, I like that Fisher is small and central - college is overwhelming enough without factoring in an enormous campus to navigate! Because it is so small in comparison to other campuses, I feel safe walking back from night classes and by myself when necessary. As a junior preparing to graduate in a little over a short year, most of all I will miss my professors. I have had wonderful mentors in my English and Philosophy fields of study, and I will truly miss those classes that were so much more fun than they were work!