- Class: Senior
- Major: African-American Studies
- Gender: F
- High School: Westhill High School
- Transfer Student: N
One of the best things about Maryland are the living and learning programs. They make a University of over 30,000 undergrads seem like a small community. It makes it easier not to get lost in the shuffle. I would change the structure of the Student Government Association and how they allocate funds. The size of the school can be overwhelming at times but its great going to such a big university because there is always something to do, a new activity to get involved with, or meeting new people. College Park, despite the name is NOT a college town. There are about 5 bars on Rte. 1 and thats it. There also is some animosity between the university and the city of College Park. Crime is an issue here. The Administration (especially the Diversity Provost) is awesome. He's very accessible, easy to talk to and always willing to help with student initiatives. Biggest controversy--a noose was hung outside of the black student union in Fall 07 MD students have a ton of school spirit, which is one of my favorite things about Maryland. We're "terpaholics"
As an African American studies major I know my professors really well. I have a key to their office! But with the larger majors its much more difficult to make that kind of connection so students really need to make an effort to get noticed by their professors. Within my major (African American Studies) class participation is a fundamental component of the class Serious academic conversations happen all the time, especially within the activist community, world issues and other topics are frequent points of conversation. The African American Studies dept is really small and personal. I know all the staff and my advisor knows me really well. I have a really good relationship with the professors and I often talk to them about non class related things. I do think that the dept. is way under funded especially considering the caliber of the faculty within the dept. But Behavioral and Social Sciences in general is extremely under funded. Education here can be geared to learning to learn or to get a job it depends on the dept. and it depends on how the student takes the information given to them. The business school, criminal justice and the government and politics dept. definitely promotes just getting a job or going to law school. Only international development and conflict management seem to be interested in learning to learn. Smaller majors like American Studies, Sociology, Anthropology have students interested in learning for learnings sake.
There is a place for everyone at Maryland. With such a large campus, it's easy to find people that you relate to. Class is really casual but it depends on the person, it ranges from pajamas to really stylish and well dressed, but no one cares what you're wearing either way. Some students are extremely politically aware but a great deal of students are really apathetic, which is unfortunate being so close to DC. I would say that most students are center/left,
The Best Things
opportunity to experience something new and different everyday because of our proximity to DC and the size of campus there is always something going on
The Worst Things
red tape and bureaucracy