The absolute best thing about Alabama is Alabama football! The energy of the campus is phenomenal and being in the stadium with 96,000 other Crimson Tide fans is life changing! If I could change anything about the University I would do away with the Greek organizations. They provide a segregation between blacks and whites, upper class whites and lower class whites, as well as many in-state and out-of-state students. Many people join to meet new people which end up being the new people they spend the rest of their collegiate careers with. The Greek system is the beginning of the tensions that arise on campus. They receive special privileges. They are isolationists and if you can't beat them, most people just join them out of desperation. The school itself is tidy in size. By that I mean, you will know a lot of people just from commonalities, such as being at the Recreation Center at the same time, or being in the cafeteria around the same time, etc. So you will recognize faces and get an occasional hello. The interesting thing is wherever you go people always assume the University of Alabama is in Birmingham. Too often I have to clarify that the University of Alabama is in Tuscaloosa, and is not UAB, or Alabama State. Others who are familiar with the school though, instantly strike up a conversation about football, which is good that you can relate in some aspect, but begin to wish that there was more to Alabama than football. I spend most of my time at the Rec which is the greatest way to meet and interact with people. Often times, you are competing against people so often you develop a respect for one another. Other times, people in there see how committed you are to your workout program and ask questions or help. I love being in the Rec sometimes just to people watch. Or in my case girl watch. Tuscaloosa is the definition of a college town. There are two malls that are both one story and a Wal Mart. Other than that, you may have to travel to Northport which is two minutes away, or to Birmingham, a more healthy commute of about 45 minutes. The University of Alabama's administration is absolutely useless! Often times, I have sought an answer to a problem and have been sent to three different people only to be told to call back tomorrow. It is so frustrading dealing with people in the offices here, and it seems at times that some of the administrators simply don't want to help you, are distracted by something more important, or just don't care about your problem. The biggest recent controversy on campus is the idea of "a machine", a political regime organized by the Greek system to hold power in the Student Government Association. It is only a theory. The actual existence of this Machine has not been confirmed but there are conspiracy theories that the reason the past 50 or so SGA presidents have been members of predominately white Greek letter fraternities is mindboggling. This is backed by shady polling activities, intimidation methods of minority candidates, and unusual backing out of other candidates that may have a viable chance of winning to allow a lesser qualified candidate to take the position. There are a lot of questions surrounding whether "A Machine" exists to keep the power in place but nothing has solidified. UA is bountiful with school pride. Hate does not even describe what is felt about that other school in Alabama often referred to as the Cow College. UA used to have a real prevalent squirrel army in the summer and fall semesters, but they have declined in recent history. One experience I'll always remember is the day Coach Saban was announced as the new head coach at the basketball game. The place erupted so much so that they had to delay the game from all the people who stormed the court. The most frequent complaints at the school are the lack of parking and the even greater parking fines, the school store charging horrendous prices for books and giving nearly nothing back in return for them, and lighting in some places of the university.
I'll write a little on each of these things, because I have something to say on almost most of them. The best thing about UA is the different choices you have on campus, class wise. The biggest college on campus is that of the Arts and Sciences. But we also have one of the best nursing, business, and engineering schools. There is something for everyone here. When I first thought about coming to UA, I thought that it was going to be huge and that I was never going to learn my way around the campus or Tuscaloosa. Now, that I have been here for a year, it doesn't seem that big. It still is a large campus, and spread out, but once you learn where everything is, it doesn't seem that large. To me, UA is the perfect size campus, there is always somewhere to go. When I tell people that I go to UA, they are usually like, wow! I am from a small town, so they think Tuscaloosa is just the biggest thing around. But they think that it is a major accomplishment that I'm at a place like UA, and it is. Most of my time is spent on the Quad area with friends. In between classes, we all sit out there and talk, or play frisbee, which is our favorites. Any day of the week, you can see people listening or playing music, playing ultimate, or playing with their dogs. Tuscaloosa, is a college town for sure. Everywhere you look there are young people. It is so weird to walk into Publix and see an older couple with kids, our first thought is, why are they here? We say the same thing when we see little kids on campus. Sometimes we just forget that other people besides students live here also! However, there could be more activities for us students around here. UA's adminstration has a big job on their hands. There is a lot to take care of here, but they are doing a good job. The two biggest controversies at UA, would have to be the change of the discrimnation policy and the size of the next Freshman class. UA was one of few left that didn't include sexual orientation in the policy. The class sizes are getting larger and larger at UA, and the problem is that there is becoming less room for them to live here. It seems like the upperclassmen who live on campus are being pushed to move off campus, so the Freshmen can live on campus. New dorms are having to be built for the incoming classes. There is definitely a lot of school pride here. Come on any Saturday during Football Season, and you will see the pride! We say Roll Tide, at least once a day here at UA. One experience I will always remember will be the Homecoming Pep Rally and Bonfire. It is a lot of fun, but Alabama weather is so crazy that it was hot during the Bonfire, which is not that fun. But we still made fun. The biggest student complaint right now would be the parking tickets. There are only certain areas where you can park, and some areas we feel should be parking for everyone. For example, the Student Recreation Center should be parking for all, because we all pay to use that facility when we want to. If we want to go play tennis, we shouldn't get a parking ticket for leaving our car in the corner of the lot. We pay for that area, and should be able to park there.
In my opinion, The University of Alabama is one of the best college towns. Ever since I have been here my experience has been great. The lay out of the campus is so homey and I love how the town is outside the campus rather than running through it. I am a nursing major and spend a lot of time in the library. There are multiple libraries and they range from being very quiet to openly talking, so depending on how you study, you have a variety of places to choose from. I am also in a sorority here and I have just fallen in love with the Greek system. Others would disagree and say the Greek system ruins Alabama, but I believe that it is a GEAT way to meet long lasting friends.You always have events to go to and it just makes your weekends exciting! I came from a very large high school, so I love the fact that Alabama is very big. I love seeing new faces everyday on campus, and you are constantly meeting new people. The only negative thing I could say about the University would definitely be the parking. There is not any parking for guests to park. Even parking for students is always interesting. You are lucky to find a spot and make sure you park in your zone are you are definitely going to get a ticket. There is definitely a lot of school pride. It is the University of Alabama where the football is fantastic and to die for! Alabama has spirit even when it is not football season. I am only a sophomore but I am so happy with my experience so far at Alabama!
What impressed me most the first time I visited The University of Alabama was its beautiful campus. It is a perfect representation of how pristine the South truly is. UA is a large campus, but I would rather walk through the beautiful park-like landscape than a claustrophobic urban campus. Tuscaloosa is the epitome of a "college town", from Fraternity Row to The Strip where all the bars are located, there is never a dull moment at BAMA. If you ever have the chance to experience a home game at Alabama, do not hesitate to go support the Crimson Tide in Bryant Denny Stadium. One of the most paramount experiences a fan can participate in is tailgating on The Quad, a 22-acre field packed with tents, BBQ pits, and good-ole crimson spirit. Yell "Roll Tide" and you will get 20 fans yelling "Roll Tide" right back, all in unison. UA is topping in one of the biggest Greek schools in the country, which has its positives and negatives. Because there are so many student in fraternities and societies, students who are not Greek affiliated may excluded or have a hard time creating a social life. Another negative for students is that the age to get in most bars is 19, so the younger freshmen might have a hard time finding things to do on weekend nights. An alternative for students is off-campus parties at the award winning student living communities such as The Retreat and The Woodlands. At The University of Alabama, the possibilities are endless.
I have found that the University of Alabama has a very well balanced group of students on campus. I have seen demonstrations of political groups speaking for what they believe. I have heard of and been to numerous College Youth groups on campus. I have met many athletes along with many students here on large academic scholarships. There are also Greek and non Greek students. Students in dorms and off campus students. Students with really nice cars and students with old bicycles just trying to make it to class on time. Even with all of these differences, I have seen this student body come together in unimaginable ways. On a small scale, cheering the Tide to victory at sporting events and working together for charity like our 'Beat Auburn Beat Hunger' food drive. And on a MUCH bigger scale, helping to revive the community around the school after the disastrous tornado last April. All different kinds of groups and clubs opened up different buildings on campus and in town to collect anything and everything that could help the families who lost everything. Thousands meals were served and thousands of people were allowed access to clothing and necessities that they needed. I will never forget the way the different group on campus came together in the weeks after the tornado to help those in need.
The best thing about UA is the beauty of the campus. I've always wanted to go to school there, and now I'm living my dream (online, but that's where most dreams take place nowadays). The one thing I'd change is David Black. I'd not let him teach Econ anymore. School is probably too large if I were on campus, but online, it's just right. The reaction I get from people depends on who they are and what fan base they fit in. Mississippi State folks are usually okay with it...my Ole Piss fans laugh at it.... and of course Tennessee and Auburn fans...we don't acknowledge them anyways. When I'm on campus, most time is spent in the bookstore...and the Ferguson Center...because that's usually the only time I come to campus...until this year...and it'll be spent at Bryant Stadium :-). T-Town is definitely a college town...no question asked. UA's administration...I haven't had much dealings with them, but the University itself seems to be pretty stable so I'm assuming they're alright... There is a TON of school pride at UA, and the most unusual thing is...well....me I suppose.... The one experience from UA that I'll always remember is...my dream come true.
The best thing about UA is football season. One thing i would change is the "party atmosphere". I think the size is just right. When i tell people im from UA the automatically put me in the "drunk" category of their friends, and that is the exact opposite of who i am. I spend most of my time at my apartment or the business library when im not in class. Definantly a college town! The administration is ok, i think it could be better. The business schools facutly is the best on campus. My friends wish they had advisors like i do in the business school. I think the administration could do more work in the fact that UA students as a whole are very divided. I wish it was more of a "family of students" atmoshpere rather than a greek vs. non greek atmosphere. I do not know what the biggest controversy is. School pride is mainly in football season and then quickly dies. I wish there was more school pride. Students complaints deal with having multiple tests on the same day, the very long line at the stadium for the first game last season, and COMCAST (for people off campus...they suck)
Coming from what everyone here calls a "Northern" state, I find the best thing about UA is the change in how people interact with one another. At home, it's all about cliques; if you're not in the same clique, then you're shunned from dealing with each other (this happens even as people become adults). But here, most everyone treats each other with the same respect. I don't think UA is too big, it's just the right size, more to do and more to see. Most of my time on campus this year was spent making new friends. I found myself in everyone else's dorm rooms except my own just goofing around and having a good time. There is so much school spirit at UA, especially during football season. Honestly, I have never taken any kind of interest in football until this year, but when you're in the stands with 92,000+ other fans, it's kinda hard to just sit back and not cheer. You'll be cheering away with everyone else, even if you don't know what has happened.
I love attending Bama. My favorite thing would have to be the football games. Just seeing everyone in crimson and white and all the tailgaters on the quad gets you ready for the game. My major is Advertising with a minor in graphic design. Being in advertising, I'm in the college of communications and information sciences. It's nice that all the class for my major is in one building. The faculty and staff in the communication department are very nice and will do their best to answer your questions. There are only two things I complain about- parking and the transit system. Of course parking is a mess, there is not enough. The thing bad about the transit system (Crimson Ride) is that there are days that buses are a minute behind the other. This is frustrating to those waiting on it. I have found that walking is your best bit and it is actually faster to walk than riding the bus.
My overall opinion of the school is very high. Coming from out of state, I was worried about finding my place on the University of Alabama campus. However, I found that getting involved with Greek life and other on-campus activities, it was very easy to find my niche. The University has a great college atmosphere and could be considered to be located in a "college town." There is a strip of bars and restaurants that are easily accessible on campus. Most students spend a lot of time here. The students here have a lot of school pride. Especially for our football team with its recent success. Everyone gets involved and gets excited about game day on campus. Students here are proud to say that they attend the University of Alabama. When people here that I attend the University, most are very impressed. So far I am completely happy here and would not trade my decision for anything.