- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: M
- High School: Marietta High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
The professors at the University of Alabama are good across the board. I have had maybe two teachers that I would say were not up to par during my tenure at the University. They work with the students to make them successful. My favorite class this semester is Intro to Political Science. Probably the least favorite would be Math 100. Students study fairly often. It is not neccessary for a majority of the courses, but a lot of students are committed to academic success.Class participation varies on the subject matter and the teacher also. The Journalism department is great. They have a listserve that feeds you openings of internships and job opportunities. Experience is highly accessible. You can do anything from tv to radio with just an application. The education at UA is geared at preparing you to be a viable candidate for a position in the workforce.
I am involved with a racial organization called Sustained Dialogue but there are other organizations on campus tailored to religious, LGBT, and socio-economic groups as well. The University holds a Get on Board Day so that you can sign up for anything you're interested in. The minority student that is not a people person would feel out of place. I was that minority student and still find myself uncomfortable at times. I came here knowing no one, and that was hard to deal at first. But with time you grow to meet new people thru these organizations.Students are pretty liberal with what they wear to class. A common outfit would consist of jeans and a tshirt. Unfortunately rarely do students from different backgrounds interact. That is what Sustained Dialogue works with. At Sustained Dialogue we try to bridge the gap between people that wouldn't normally interact through conversations every week. If there are four tables in the cafeteria, one would be the black Greek table, where you would see Delta Sigma Theta sorors, Alpha Phi Alpa fraternity members and possibly others having a good time. These students for the most part would be all black. The next table would consist of the foreign exchange students most likely speaking a language no one in the cafeteria could understand. Your third table would likely be the Mallet Assembly kids which would resemble your nerds in high school. They embrace the fact that they are different and do not try to conform to what is regularly accepted at the university. Yes they are the butt of a lot of jokes around campus but they do their own thing rather than try to fit in. The fourth table would probably be UA Athletics. There go your track athletes and football players- maybe a basketball player in the mix. But for the most part that's the UA cafeteria in a gist. The majority of the students that attend the University of Alabama are from the state of Alabama. Most of the majority is from Birmingham in one way or another. The other from Huntsville, and the smaller portion of that majority from "the Gump" or Montgomery. University of Alabama is a school that boasts having a very strong alumni base, so the students are normally well off. Students are for the most part politically apathetic because Student Government does no real noticeable changes on campus. As far as the Presidential debate is concerned, there are a lot of students with invested interest in getting involved with campaigns and there is a pipeline that establishes connections in DC for political science and history majors. Alabama for the most part is conservative making it a right-winged state and that reflects onto the University of Alabama campus. Suprisingly enough, many students you encounter are not at college for the money, but to do some good in the world. And that is refreshing.
The Best Things
Alabama football and the campus is beautiful
The Worst Things
Greek life dominance