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Richmond has a beautiful campus and an excellent small class size. Richmond also has a large endowment so financial aid packa...
Richmond has a beautiful campus and an excellent small class size. Richmond also has a large endowment so financial aid packages are wonderful if you are in need. I would lower the percentage of greek life, or at least the campus obsession with it. The school is very small so if you get in fights expect news to travel. It can also be harder to get new groups of friends. However, the small size of the school does create a sense of community on campus. You can rarely walk around campus without seeing at least one person you know. There is not a lot of school pride at Richmond. People are more interested in getting piss drunk, trying to get laid and then not remembering anything the next day...People don't really show up much for sporting events. When they do (at least for football), they get dressed up. People dress in sundresses and button down shirts with slacks for the homecoming game.
Religious groups like Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, the chaplaincy, etc. are undervalued. If you participate in them, you are not considered "cool" by the Greek half of campus. There are not many black people in the general fraternities and sororities. There is not much racial mixing. Students will dress up for class. Students will dress up all the time. It doesn't make sense. Why are you trying to be sexy in the library?? Honestly! People wear polos, button downs, Ralph Lauren and JCrew sweaters, headbands, you name it. Some newbie will come to class in pajamas and they will be shunned until they straighten their hair and put on some makeup for their 8:15 because what ungodly creature wouldn't. This is not a very politically active campus. If you had to divide the dining hall into groups it would work like so. The Right side has fraternities, sororities and the hopefuls of said groups. Since the big tables are over on this side, occasionally a club will take over a big table. The middle has jocks, internationals, jokers. The right side has arts and sciences students, people who have no one to sit with, visitors to campus. Exchange students just sit anywhere because they don't recognize boundaries. If you try to sit somewhere else with your group of friends then normal, they will likely get all confused.
Friendships really have a tendency to break up at Richmond due to fraternities. One of my best friends pledged a fraternity last year and he hasn't been the same since. He stopped wanting to hang out with me when people from his fraternity were around. He restricted his interest in the fine arts, which was his passion before he was in a fraternity. Now his whole life is business classes, fraternity and mock trial. He says he wouldn't change anything, but he always looks so stressed and unhappy. When I ask him how things are going he now thinks I am against his involvement in a frat. His life has become a mess of finance, economics, getting wasted every week, and slutting himself out to the entire campus. He looks and seems to be a hollow shell of what he once was. Independent thinkers: Please beware if you long for popularity. What you might become could destroy your sense of self.
The stereotypes are about 50% correct. The preps and fraternity life don't take up all of campus, but they make up enough to hinder the connection and diversity between other groups. Almost every other person on campus is on Greek life and generally if you are not in Greek life, you are not "cool." However, not everyone is rich. Some people are frighteningly rich, a vast majority is made up of varying grades of middle class. There is a good size group of lower middle class and low class, but they they will not advertise it to the campus. I think Richmond encourages the type of student who has low self confidence and can't really think for themselves. People go into business because they think it is the only way to get anywhere. Lots of people join Greek life because they are afraid to attempt to make a name for themselves by being themselves.
Yes, professors know their students, class size is small enough that you learn a lot. Some students study more than others. In the arts and sciences school the atmosphere is not too competitive. The music department has a good unity. Everyone knows each other and says hi to each other in the halls. It is not cutthroat as everybody is too busy trying to get through their classes. Plus you can feel confident that you have a community in which you can make stupid music jokes like A C and E walk into a bar and the bartender says "sorry, we don't serve minors here" The education at Richmond is geared toward learning for its own sake, but I feel like a lot of students feel pressured that they are never going to get a job, so there are a lot of art students who double major in premed or business. A lot of people double major on campus. If you are not double majoring, prepare to tell people that you feel confident your degree will show your qualifications without five billion majors on it.
People in dorms don't leave their doors open very much. It depends on the hall. There are activities every week, you just have to be willing to find them.
People are preppy, preppy and more preppy. The student body is not diverse. Everyone has complete access to daddy's credit card. Every one is a business student.
Best thing: The science research is all undergrad so I don't have to fight for research positions. One Thing I'd change: T...
Best thing: The science research is all undergrad so I don't have to fight for research positions. One Thing I'd change: The fact that everyone is exactly the same at this school. Size: Just right Reactions when I say I go to Richmond: In NY, "is that a state school?" In VA, "Oh I heard you have shoe shiners in your classes and the walls are covered in money and you are pampered beyond belief there." Where I spend most of my time: Gottwald (the science center, or my room) Not a college town at all. Richmond's administration needs to get the sticks out of their ass'. They don't listen to the student body and they basically know that the only thing we have going for us is our perfect prestine campus. So to maintain the campus they put metal bars up with American Holly bushes so that we only walk on the perfectly bricked pathways. Biggest controversy: The fact that some kid got five hours of community service for chalking the forum. Don't worry we are not allowed to chalk the forum at any point in time. School Pride? that's all I have to say. We are called the spiders... as a result I think we have identity issues. *shrugs* I don't know we're just really confused people. It's like the CT/NJ rich kids who want to go south for the pastels and annoying stupid toolish girls. Unforgetable moment: Going to Toad's Place at the same time as The Wu Tang Clan and then having the worst service ever and being really creeped out by the people that show up to Wu Tang concerts. So much craziness. Most frequent complaints: That nobody cares about anything on this campus. I came from a school that didn't have school pride but that was because we were all trying to save the world! These people are just fucking lazy.
Racial, religious, LGBT, Socio-economic... I could write about this forever. This campus is "whitewashed" and the black people on campus bond and stick together. Even the ones that came from predominately white schools who don't care are forced to be friends with all the other black people because then they would be disowned as a black person. There was a racial problem last semester where a bunch of people thought a friend of mine had depicted a black woman being lynched which was SO WRONG. It's very tense on campus. in terms of LGBT. Nobody cares about that. There are LGBT's and nothing really happens to them and they don't get crap. In terms of socio-economic, well, we have divisions. It's called greek life and those without enough money to afford greek life. But then again it's also those that want to fit in and make tons of money and those that don't care as much and are on scholarship here. If you were not a lover of polo, pearls, aka the preppy look. If you want to make a difference in your life. If you aren't really attractive and skinny. If you aren't from a private school or NJ or outside NYC ... you will feel left out. To class students are dressed up. As a friend of mine and I commented... we have learned how to casually wear a dress. We look good for each class. No PJ's and you must shower everyday. Different types of students interact to get a grade for a class... outside that they may interact while they're drunk. Four tables: First table: This table would be located on the right side of the dinning hall. Here it would contain classic richmonders. Greek life loving, private schoolers. Second table: This table would be in the middle of the dining hall. It would contain the atheletic kids who are on one of the many collegiate teams we have. Third Table: This table would also be located in the middle but nearer to one corner. This table would have all Black students with a few football players because the area where the football players eat and the black kids eat is the same. Fourth table: this table would be on the left side of Dhall and would contain either internationals, normal people (intellectuals), or IV (the largest christian group on campus) kids, or a combination. The left is also where the professors eat. Most Richmond students are from NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!! Therefore I hate it here because I'm from NY and people from NY hate people from NJ. Financial Backgrounds: Well, wealthy... Politically active? let's just say I met someone at a pro-choice lobby day who was amazed that we were there because she had gone to Richmond only 5 years prior and it was not politically active at all. I would say it is predominantly apathetic. yes, students talk about the money they are looking to make.
I wanted to tansfer but I am staying to try to make a difference.
Professors definatley know my name and will know it for the next four years... it's not just me. It's amazing. Favorite class: Organic Chemistry because I find it fun and nobody else does because they can't do it. Leave favorite: CORE! Study habits: People are good about keeping up with their work. We are a top 25 school in the nation. We wouldn'tbe there if we didn't work. Class participation: In most classes, yes. BUT in CORE probably not. You can find people to have intellectual conversations with BUT the sterotypical richmonder probably won't. They are too busy getting fucked while they're drunk at the apartment or the Lodges. Competitive: YES Most unique class: American Lit, Radical perspectives... basically a class that is trying to stop capitalism from turning into fascism which at Richmond is big. My major is actually Biochemistry and Molecular biology. I love the department a lot. They are an amazing group of dedicated scientists. Time outside of class with Profs: For me it doesn't really happen but I know pleanty to people who hang out with profs other times. Academic Requirements: They're the usual... no complaints. Getting a job, or learning... Hmmmm probably getting a job. Actually yes, getting a job. I will not say that they sacrifice learning for its own sake but getting a job is very high on the list.
Most popular groups: Anything christian Anything with alcohol involved I'm involved with Voices for Planned Parenthood which is self explanatory and Active Minds which helps people who do not feel accepted realize that they aren't alone and that they can find help with CAPS etc. Also to get the word out about mental illness on campus.I'm also in Asian Beat which is a hiphop dance group that uses asian hiphop or rap. Dorm Doors: They are always closed Athletic events... *shakes head* Guest speakers: we get some good ones. I have to say that's pretty good. Theater: Could be better Dating scene: The guys are immature and only here because they heard that all the girls were really hot. That's all I have to say. I go out with VCU guys. Closest Friends: I don't feel I have met my closet friends. My closest friends are in NY and it's going to be like that for the rest of my life. 2 a.m. on a tuesday... STUDYING FOR AN ORGANIC TEST! Traditions: Ring Dance (it's a debutaunt ball for junior girls, you all wear white and get escorted by your father/boyfriend down the staircase of the Jefferson and then the Dean of Westhampton college gives you your class ring.) Proclamation night: the first year girls wear white and write letters to themselves while the seniors wear their black grad robes and open the letters that they had written to themselves their first year here. You also learn about having Westhampton pride... blahblahblah. People party on thursday, friday and saturday night at two different places, the apartments or the lodges (frat houses). Note: no frat housing is allowed, they just have little houses to have parties, kind of like a club house. But none of the sororities are allowed to have houses... I hear it would be considered a brothel then or something by VA law. Greek Life is HUGE! last Weekend: I went to three different amazing concerts being put on by a lot of different groups. There isn't much to do on campus if there isn't drinking involved. Actually, go to the gym and play DDR. Off campus I don't do much other than go out to eat go to Doctors appointments and go shopping. We do have three malls within 20 minutes of campus. (they are the ritz too. It's rather ridiculous.)
All the girls are hot, wealthy, went to private schools, they excercise more than is healthy, they worry about what they eat too much, they all join greek life wear polo, lacoste, loafers, Vineyard Vines, are all blonde (not naturally) and much where pearls. The guys wear Vineyard Vines, wear sunglasses with those holders that keep them on them around their neck, they wear pastels readily and are really stuck up. They also join frats at a very high rate.
When I first arrived at UR as a wide-eyed freshman, my initial impression was: "Wow! It's just like summer camp - but I get t...
When I first arrived at UR as a wide-eyed freshman, my initial impression was: "Wow! It's just like summer camp - but I get to stay here all year long!" Nearly two years later, I've been slightly disillusioned by the intensity of academia, but still hold the same general impression of Richmond as a welcoming home away from home. Richmond may be somewhat of a "bubble," after all, but this can be a good thing in many ways. The fact that the majority of students live on campus lends to a great feeling of community, and also means that there's nothing holding you back from fully engaging yourself in all the enriching opportunities of college life. No, the city of Richmond isn't the hippest place around, and the weather here is completely bi-polar (yes, it has been known to snow here one day and be 80 degrees the next), but I've come to really appreciate the campus and the area as "my own," and I've found the school to be an incredibly supportive environment both personally and academically. Personally, I like the size of the school; my classes are small and especially in the courses within my majors, I generally know about half the class from the first day of the term. Walking to class you'll always recognize a friendly face, and although you'll always recognize lots of people around campus, the effect isn't stifling - there's always plenty more students to get to know.
Richmond is definitely a predominantly "preppy" school, and everyone is usually very well dressed and put together. Coming here from a hippie town in Oregon was a small shock to my system last year, I'll admit - I certainly wasn't used to girls wearing sundresses to class and found it silly that they chose to teeter on heels while traversing the cobblestone hills on campus. I was also introduced to the phenomenon of Vera Bradley, (which has after many years finally trickled over to the West Coast, as I discovered over Winter Break) which no Richmond girl can be without and a vast array of which lines the shelves in our campus bookstore. The impression I have of the student body is predominantly white, Christian, and wealthy - yes, a little on the homogenous side. There is a significant population of international students, who are great people to hang out with, but there seems to be an unspoken segregation between the different cultural groups on campus, which isn't necessarily the fault of any one group. In terms of religion, the University has a Christian chapel and the students most active in their faith are Christian, but there is also a specific "Interfaith" room for the use of several different religious groups in their services, which have followings as well. Politically, I feel there is a good balance between liberal and conservative students, and that students are politically aware and involved - in a polite sort of way, and never through anything too demonstrative.
Yes, it's sad - ask many students here and they'll haughtily reply that they should have gone to Harvard or another such institution. Indeed, UR's often been called the safety school of the Ivy Leaguers, and admittedly it was a safety school for me and several of my friends. But okay, we're here now, and I know very few who are dissatisfied with the rigor of academic life at the school. In keeping with its liberal arts curriculum, Richmond has an extensive set of general education requirements - some students like this built-in opportunity to explore other disciplines but I believe most see them as at least somewhat of a nuisance. These include Social Analysis, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Composition, Arts, and History, I believe, although students can apply AP credit to these or test out of select classes. I didn't have to take a lot of Gen Ed classes myself, but was definitely annoyed to be stuck in Bio 100 last fall looking at algae under a microscope and writing a 6 page paper about a tree instead of taking Art History or a news writing class. My advice: definitely definitely take your AP or IB tests! They serve you well here. In addition to the Gen Eds, all freshmen students are subjected to the common bonding experience of Core class (it's currently a year long, but this may change). The reading for this class is your basic Nietzsche, Freud, Darwin, with a spattering of novels, but depending on your professor, experiences will vary widely. I'm an English and French major, and really love the classes within my departments. I know the lecture classes in the math and science departments are generally much larger, but for me the liberal arts classes have ranged between 8 to 25 students. I really appreciate the relationship I have with professors here - they genuinely care about their students and some that I haven't had for class since first semester will still greet me by name when I see them around campus. I haven't had a professor yet who wasn't accessible to his students - I was particularly impressed when a French teacher last fall came in on a Sunday to help the students in our class with technical difficulties on a project. I know that in the upper levels, this student-teacher relationship only continues to grow, and I know seniors this year who have lunch with their profs and who have travel plans with them after graduation! There are certainly many students here who are in school for a set career path - we have a Business School and a Leadership School, both of which have very good programs. Students within the Liberal Arts programs might not necessarily have a certain career in mind, but have several resources available to them in the career services center and the experience and support of their professors. Students in the Arts departments generally let their interests first determine their major, and then try to go from there in determining a career path. I feel there's a good balance here between learning for learning's sake and preparing for life in the real world. The involvement of students in academic and cultural events outside of classes attests to this.
Many of the closest friends I have at UR I met in my freshman hall last year or through my sorority. Freshman year residence life is great - at least in my girls' dorm, it seemed like one big slumber party. Everyone in my hall would always leave their doors open, and we would make the rounds before dinner or an event to see who wanted to come. We would also have late night "study parties" in our lounge at late hours of the night, where we would never really get anything done but shared lots of laughs. One of my fondest Richmond memories took place with my hall our first week here; we were supposed to be in class, but a huge hurricane descended on the area and the campus lost power. Our RAs had the bright idea to take us all down to the IM fields to go mud-sliding with garbage bags - it was the silliest and most fun experience ever, and after we all got back into the warm building and showered, we spent the day all piled into one person's room watching chick flicks. Even if your roommate doesn't turn out to be your best friend, I'm sure that you too will make lots of great friendships and memories with the other people in your hall. To anyone considering coming to UR, I would suggest making sure you have a car, unless you're an international or west-coaster like myself. Richmond itself does have a lot of fun things to do (most of them involving eating), and the campus provides limited shuttle services, but nothing incredible. And I would also warn you to be wary of the bus system here - last year, as a naive little freshman, a friend and I decided to try being independent and finding our way around town by bus. Let's just say it wasn't a good - or safe -experience. Off-campus there are a lot of fun things to do. The cute boutique and restaurant district is called Carytown, and it is home to the Historic Byrd Theater, which offers $2 second-run films in a charming venue complete with classic plush seats, a red velvet curtain, and a Phantom of the Opera-esque chandelier overhead. If you go on Saturday night, you will be treated to a pre-show performance by a pipe organist who rises out of the floor of the stage and is accompanied by a light show. Lining the street nearby are fun, unique restaurants and eateries, along with great opportunities to window shop. Downtown in Shockoe Slip/ Shockoe Bottom are some more great restaurants, bars, and the club scene. Richmond also has lots of great museums, from the Edgar Allen Poe museum to a respectable Fine Arts Museum to the Museum of the Confederacy. If you're looking for music, Toad's place is a newer venue in town that's finally been bringing in some good artists - including Guster last fall and Regina Spektor sometime this spring.
You'll often hear UR called "the Bubble" - which refers to the perceived isolation of the student body from the outside world, in terms of the campus' literal seclusion and supposedly narrow-minded social atmosphere. I don't think this label is completely fair; although the student body is certainly more on the homogeneous side, in my experience Richmond provides many opportunities to break out of this "bubble." Community service and international study are in particular supported by the campus community, and the school does a lot to encourage students to stretch outside their comfort zones and widen their worldviews. This doesn't mean that all students here take advantage of these opportunities, however, and sadly there do exist some striking divisions on campus, particularly racial and cultural.
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