- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Communications
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
Ok, the school is smaller than state schools, so it is a bit expected to have your teachers know your name (classes range from 15-100 students, but most are in the 15-30 range). However, this is not always true, because I have a teacher who I have had for two semesters now, in a class of less than 20 students, and he still refuses to recognize my name. Loyola thinks it is very "diverse" and almost pushes the idea of making friends with other races/ethnicities/religions, but I think forcing it is unneccessary and unnatural. I will become friends with whomever I choose. And the school website, based on the pictures they show, paints a very racially diverse school, when in reality it is a majority of white kids. They also have two campuses, which really is more of an inconvenience than an advantage. It would be easier to have a centralized campus, where you could actually get to know students, but instead I am isolated on the downtown campus, which accounts for about 10% of the students at Loyola, and it is a 45 minute El(train) ride to get to the other campus. And of course, a majority of the classes are on the Lake Shore campus, so there is the situation of making sure you have about an hour between classes on separate campuses to allow for travel (the school shuttles are supposed to be every 15 minutes but they rarely come every 25 minutes at the least). I spend most of my time on campus in my room since there is no student union on the downtown campus, and even if you call the "Terry Student Center" a union, it is really just a room with one pool table and 2 TVs, with rarely anyone hanging around. It is hard to call this a "community" because the students do not hang out on campus per-say, they usually roam off into the city, which is understandable since there is not that many college activities to attend (no football team, a HUGE college lack) and if you were to ask someone to attend a basketball game with you, the likely response would be a "what game" or "no thanks, I have things that are more important." There is really no college town, since it is located in Chicago, which is huge. And there is no "quad" persay because they decided to take away what is left of the greenery here in order to build a fancy building that is "green" and can regulate its own temperature. I thought grass was green, but apparenly several tons of steel, glass, and solar panels are too.
As I mentioned before, the school is smaller than state schools, so it is a bit expected to have your teachers know your name (classes range from 15-100 students, but most are in the 15-30 range). However, this is not always true, because I have a teacher who I have had for two semesters now, in a class of less than 20 students, and he still refuses to recognize my name. I guess I would say my favorite class is my Advanced Advertising class, since it is a hands-on class where we get to do projects every week, like make radio commercials for fake products. In class we do things like brainstorm creative alternatives to common phrases such as "she's got a lot on her plate." Last semester my favorite was Sociology, because the teacher was very nice and open to discussion, which was the basis of the class. Even if you were shy, she allowed you to email her ideas or come to her during her office hours to discuss topics that you were too shy to talk about in class, and it could count towards your participation grade. We discussed so many topics, like race, gender, economics, and everything in between. That may sound boring by the way I am wording it, but it is quite interesting because you talk about all of them in an intellectual way, and how patterns with someone's say, economic background, affects that person's ability to get married. I found it really interesting how everything was interconnected and you could formulaiclly predict things about people you don't even know. My least favorite right now is mostly a tie between Group Communication, Philosophy, and Communication processes. They are extremely boring because it is teaching the obvious. The first class, group cmun, is basically a lecture about what you already know about working in groups in class. Ex: A leader usually emerges, people are uncomfortable when groups first emerge and are too shy to talk openly, etc. Philosophy is boring because the readings make me fall asleep, the in-class lecture is boring and not relevant to what is on the test, and the slide-show presentation (what the test is based off of) is more like slides of huge paragraphs. It is pointless to take notes because the teacher flips through the slides like they are flashcards and then puts them all up online, so it is also pointless to show up to class (but attendance is mandatory!). Communication processes is like that group class, where it is a discussion about basic communication, like how and why we talk (if you said "to communicate", you're right! Overall, the classes I hate are the classes that discuss "common sense" that you'd be a moron not to know from just living in the world. Class participation I would say is only common in classes that are mostly discussion classes. A majority of my classes are lectures, even though they are 30 students or less. Therefore, people don't raise hands that much. I wouldn't say students have intellectual conversations outside of class, because many are busy with their own personal lives to discuss things they have learned. The Loyola education strives to be for the community, like the Jesuit principles and such. Ask anyone around here, however, what the heck a Jesuit is, and they will most likely NOT know. Hell, I don't really know. I think it is an educated clergyman, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. The academic requirements are frustrating because I really don't know what I believe (but that doesn't mean I don't fully understand why people are religious, because I completely respect my friends who are very religious), yet I must take two religious classes. I understand why people believe things, but I don't really want to take an entire semester of a class dedicated to the history of a religion. I was raised Catholic and I already slept through those classes up until my sophomore year in high school...I don't need to take it again for a grade.
The school advocates diversity, so racism really isn't an issue here. However, I know last year there was an incident in my dorm where someone anonymously left a hateful letter for a Muslim girl. That really wasn't publicized, and I am surprised I even remembered it because it really was not that advertised. As for the homosexual community, BOY is it common. No one would even think to be hateful to that group because I would say of the 30% male population we have here, a majority of them are gay. If they are not, then they are taken, and if they aren't taken...something is probably wrong with them. The majority of students are middle class and upper class, since it is a private and expensive university. The presence of Uggs is very prominant. I would say that it is pretty diverse here regarding the "type" of people who I see around "campus." However, the typical frat boy/abercrombie model would be quite out of place, since most guys here have too much of a fashion sense for their own good. A lot of them dress like a woman would dress them. The other guys are pretty casual, not trying too hard to look like an Abercrombie model and not trying too hard to look good in paisley. There are a lot of girls who shop at Urban Outfitters, which would be a bit expected at a Liberal Arts school. There are girls, though, who dress with a more classic look, without anything too thought-out. The drama kids interact mostly with themselves, and the athletes stick with athletes and cheerleaders, but other than that, I really can't think of any other specific or obvious cliques. Most students are from the suburbs of chicago, or at least they are from Illinois. It is not very common to find an out of state student who is outside the Midwest, either. The students are mostly Liberal, which I guess could be surprising since it is a Jesuit University, but it is in Chicago, which is a huge democratic city.
The Best Things
If you hate the school, like I do, there is plenty to do off campus, since Chicago is right here.
The Worst Things
The two campuses are very far apart and it is very frustrating and isolated to be on the Water Tower Campus.