- Class: Senior
- Major: Other
- Gender: M
- High School: Lewisburg Area High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
I'm a computer science student. The department is small, but that's one of its strengths. I know all of the professors by name -- and, perhaps more importantly, they know me by name, too. Most of them have been accessible during working hours, and I see a good number at department-related events outside of classes. I've even been invited to dinner by some of them! The program is great, although I don't agree with the inclusion of all the required courses. My only real complaint is that the department is geared towards getting a job, and not encouraging students to pursue their own interests in computer science. I'd personally like to see more theory. A good percentage of students at Bucknell study very hard, but some don't study a whole lot at all; there's a good mix. Most of my courses are lectures, so I look forward to seminars in which there is more discussion than lecturing. Class participation varies: last spring I took a course on Greek comedy that had a lot of interesting discussion, whereas this semester I have an interdisciplinary course on technology and information ethics in which few students say provocative. Intellectual conversations outside of class are, for me, few and far between; if you go to the library, you're more likely to hear students talking about how much they drank the night before than anything approaching intellectual discussion. However, if you find the right people, you can certainly find fun discussion. I do think students at Bucknell are a bit too competitive and focused on what job they'll have after graduation and how much money they'll make, rather than pursuing education for education's sake.
Bucknell is known for its affluent, conservative student body. Many students come from an upper-class background, and many are politically conservative (strangely, though, they're more apathetic than politically active). Students largely seem to be concerned with future salaries, though.
The Best Things
The small size and friendly, accessible faculty
The Worst Things
The all-encompassing presence of fraternities