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Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

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Our biggest controversy this year, was a strike. The strike really set back a lot of classes by a week. Now that it is close to finals week, a lot of people are rushing to get their projects completed on time. It was the first strike SIUC had ever experienced and was difficult for all parties to get through. The amount of Saluki pride that happened during that week of school was absolutely amazing. You know that professor at SIUC are outstanding people, when they have their whole class out striking with them out of respect.

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I really don't enjoy being at Carbondale because theirs nothing to do when you don't have any homework or just because you feel the need to get out of your dorm to go somewhere just to hangout.

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A nice University that is close together and has a wonderful Psychology program.

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I say this with the utmost sincerity: Southern Illinois is one of the most underrated schools in the entire country. The faculty here consist of some of the best teachers in the state of Illinois. What is unfortunate however, is that SIU happens to share the state with the University of Illinois, which demands much of the state's limited resources in these tough economic times. Having played on the rugby team for 4 years, I have personally traveled to all the other state schools in Illinois, and I can honestly say that Southern has the best campus. Unfortunately though, as I spoke to earlier, the school is owed a lot of money from the state, and the state simply doesn't have it. Because of this, some of the academic buildings needing improvement haven't been able to get it because there simply isn't room in the budget right now. That being said, SIU has a brand new state-of-the-art library, and a plethora of computer labs all with new computers. Furthermore, as part of a project that provided a new football stadium and renovated the basketball area, the school is going to construct new academic buildings where the old football stadium used to be. I will have graduated by the time they're ready for use, but to any prospective student, this is a very important thing to consider, since they're for you after all. As far as the administration is concerned, I will say that personally, I don't much care for them, a sentiment I believe is shared by a majority of students on campus. Earlier this school year the faculty went on strike because they had been working for nearly two years without a contract, and the administration decided to use this as an opportunity to fire tenured staff members without any reason other than budgetary concerns. For all those who are unaware of what tenure means, it means that you can't get fired. The administration, headed by Rita Cheng, found it acceptable to fire teachers rather than to find any other solution to the budget crisis. I am by no means an expert in the University's finances, however it would seem to me that firing staff members would ultimately cost the school more money in the future, as the reputation of the school and the validity of the degrees it hands out will be compromised if the faculty is decimated by firings and maligned to the point where any good teacher will leave, rather than stay somewhere with no job security. That being said, a solution was ultimately found and a labor agreement was reached. However, it still doesn't sit well with me that the administration seems to think of the students as customers, and that the University is run on an entirely profit driven motive. The administration threatened to replace all striking faculty members with replacement teachers, and that students who did not attend classes would be reprimanded departmentally, something I found incredibly insulting as a student. It is impossible to replace an entire staff of qualified college professors on the drop of a hat and contend that the level of education I am receiving as a student will be unaffected. All that being said, the administration is not a reflection of the faculty, for as I said earlier, they are some of the best teachers in the state. As an English major, I am speaking from a slightly narrowed perspective, and can really only speak for my department, but I can tell you truthfully that I've been told in good faith by other students from various other majors that they feel the same way about their departments. Carbondale as a town is interesting because there are some nice parts, but also some really bad parts. Southern Illinois as a whole is not a wealthy part of the country, and Carbondale is no exception. That being said, it's not the worst place you could spend 4 years. Being from Chicago, I was a bit apprehensive about moving so far south, but after I gave it a chance I've really come to like it down here. As far as the size of the school, I find it to be just right. There are 15,000 undergrads and about 5,000 graduate students. It's not as big as schools like University of Illinois or Ohio State, but it's still sizable enough where you won't know everyone, and everyone won't know you, unless you want them to. The biggest complaint I've found among incoming students is the food. I'll be honest, it's not great. The school only requires students to live in the dorms for one year, where as many schools require you to live on campus for at least two years, so the quality of the food hasn't been invested in nearly as much as one would hope. It's not like you're eating prison food or anything, but it's not gourmet either. Some people like it, others don't, it really comes down to personal preference. All in all, SIU is a great place to go to college. The campus is beautiful, it's close to one of the most gorgeous state parks in all of Illinois, cost of living is cheap, the faculty is excellent, and once you give Carbondale a chance it can be really great.

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The first thing everyone asks is, "What's a saluki?" Well, it's an Egyptian hunting dog that looks a little like a greyhound, and we are very proud of our mascot. Of all the colleges and universities in the United States, we're the only Salukis! I transferred to SIUC from another university in Illinois, and I'm so glad I made the decision. The campus, while gigantic and spread out, is gorgeous. I've heard it's supposed to be set up like a state park, and you'll know what I'm talking about when you visit. There are small hills and trees everywhere, and we have a small woods and lake on campus. It's really pretty here, especially in the fall. The size of the school is really nice. It's big, so there's a lot of diversity among students and faculty, but the class sizes are small. All my professors know my name - I feel like it's a good balance. When I tell people I go to Southern, I get mixed reactions. Several years ago, there were student riots and people trashed the community. Those who remember that sometimes wonder what I'm in school for. But there are others, particularly those who are familiar with the work that we do at SIUC, who really respect the institution. Overall, I love this school. I feel like I've gotten a fantastic education, and the faculty and administration really care about the students.

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My overall opinion of SIU is tha its a small college town with the full big ten experience. We have all new stadiums as well as state of the art facilities. You know everyone in your major and its the perfect amount of student whether you are in a lecture hall or a small classroom. Everyone gets the same attention as the next person. SIU has had a few bumps in the road by becoming one of the first colleges who teachers have went on strike. Even though it didnt last long it had a huge impact on peoples decisions whether this is a stable college. There are always rumors of the school shutting down because of money issues but those are rumors. This place i consider my home for the past 4 years and i am blessed to have met and enjoy the company of my colleagues.

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So far, the crime is a little scary, but I don't come from a crime free town, so I am used to it. Other than that, I love the school. I love all the activities there are to do around and on campus. The professors are absolutely amazing, so far, I am only a first year, but I have heard from upper class-men that they only get better! (:

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This school is a very well rounded school. They are very student involved, but also have a fantastic research program.

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