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The school is the right size, and my relationships with professors have been great. They're all really interested in helping students. The administration, however, only pays lip service to student needs. They run the school like it's a for-profit business, and the students are just like pawns in their game. They also have some really sexist policies, especially for the Greek system. Greek life is really big here, but not all of the organizations are the "typical" animal house type sororities and fraternities. I've found my Greek experience to be really valuable.
Bucknell is a small school, but this is maybe it's biggest asset. You really get to know and interact with your professors and the students in your department. You're a name and not just an identification number. It's nestled in a small but pretty town in central Pennsylvania. There's not tons to do, but there's fun to be had if you look around for it, and there are a lot of on-campus activities. Unfortunately, much of the social life revolves around fraternities; if you're not Greek or you don't like large parties, finding friends and things to do can be difficult -- but certainly not impossible. When I'm not studying in the engineering building, I spend a good amount of time hanging out in friends' rooms or at the on-campus cafe, which provides both delicious drinks and a nice atmosphere for studying, reading, or chatting with friends. The Bison, one of the eating establishments, is also a nice place for meeting up with friends. Overall, I'd say there's not tons of school pride -- certainly not more than at other schools. Our basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament two years in a row; that generated a brief period of school pride, but that's about it. That's not to say students don't like the school -- overall, they're apathetic about a lot of things.
My favorite things about Bucknell are the scenery and the people. Bucknell has a gorgeous campus in Spring - Fall, but winter is not so amazing. I wanted to go to a small school, but since Lewisburg is in a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania, the combination makes for a slightly dry social life. That is why most people go "Greek" at Bucknell (around 50% of students!). It also explains why people party and drink so much - cause there really isn't much else to do! Most of my time is spent with my friends doing whatever: Usually going to dinner downtown or hanging out in someone's dorm or going to 7th St. Cafe. Like I mentioned before, there isn't much exciting in Lewisburg, so it's nice to make friends with someone who has a car so you can get off campus once in awhile. The basketball team at Bucknell did really well in the 2006-2007 season, so school pride was pretty high! The games are always fun! Another memorable experience at Bucknell is the candlelight service in December. It is held in Rooke Chapel and they have a choir and bell ringers. Most things at this school are overpriced. Go into the bookstore and you'll find batteries three times the price of what you could find at a local store. Even in the cafeteria or "Bison" the cheapest meals usually come out to around $8 and the food does not taste that amazing.
One thing I can't complain about was the education I got, for the price I had to pay (I've been on almost full scholarship for the past four years). As a double major in the liberal arts, I was able to avoid most of the "bad" faculty (East Asian studies, Biology, and International Relations, some in the Engineering school, to name those of which I've heard). As a senior now, I've realized the considerable amount of academic growing I have gone through. As for the size of Bucknell, I think that as an undergraduate institution, it was the right size. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but small, it seems, is better for undergraduate. Sure, you run across that awkward guy you hooked up with a few weeks ago more often, but *shrug* such is college. Most people still don't know about Bucknell. If they do, it's usually because we ruined their bets during March Madness of 2005 or they read somewhere that we're the 3rd-most expensive college to go to that doesn't carry as much academic clout as others in the same price range (read, the Ivies). "What college town?" Lewisburg is really nice and quaint, but it really isn't a college town at all. There's nothing to do. Sure, there's stuff going on oncampus, but really...not so much going on. On nights when I go out with my friends and try to find something to do, we usually go off campus or just end up doing what everyone else does: get drunk. It's really depressing sometimes that that's the only thing we can do here, since we're so much in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania.
Porky Pig Senior
One thing that Bucknell emphasizes, and fits me quite well, is balance in many different regions of life. It is fairly rare that a student's activities are concentrated in only one region, which I personally believe is a strength. One personal complaint could just as easily be a praise from another student: the "Bucknell Bubble" phenomenon. I love the quaint, Central Pennsylvania atmosphere of Lewisburg, the neighboring town, but admittedly there is very little to do past 6th Street and St. Catherine's after about nine in the evening. Due to this, there is something of a love-hate relationship between the town and the university. Borough residents will cheer on Bucknell in every possible sporting event as much as the Sojka Psychos in a basketball game, but they hold many of the stereotypes about which I wrote earlier. The Bucknell community has a tendency to look down its collective nose at the "townies", so perhaps we deserve the labels the outside world gives us.
The best thing about Bucknell is our professors. They are not only incredibly intelligent, as one would expect professors at an institution with Bucknell's reputation to be, but are also dedicated. They come onto campus on weekends, schedule hours outside of class to help you, and are, to put it plainly, visibly devoted to their jobs. One thing I would change about Bucknell is the homogeneity of our campus. I do not come from a rich family, and I consider myself to be very down to earth, and although I have definitely found my niche at Bucknell, it was honestly much more difficult than I would have liked. It is disheartening to see students looking down upon those that hold an on-campus job, or upon those of us that are not in a sorority. One gripe I have regarding the administration is its lack of concern for current student concerns. Our administration at the present seems to be more concerned with building an endowment and getting donations from alumni and parents, that it ignores many student needs. Too many times have I appealed to a member of the administration only to be shot down without even a "well, let's meet and talk about it."
Hallie SeniorReviews provided by: Unigo