- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School: Eau Clare Memorial High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about wisconsins is the college town atmosphere, and the tight knit atmosphere on campus. At many universities i visited, i felt as if students were there simply to get an education and then leave. Not so at the university of madison. Students feel a strong sense of community through activities such as homecoming, badger sports and all campus activities such as mifflin street block party. The college town atmosphere is something that many of wisconsin's peer public universities lack. Madison is the seat of government in the state of wisconsin, but much of the activity and entertainment comes from the university and our students. The tight knit community of students thus produces the tight knit community of madison around it.
Academics at wisconsin are first rate. to quote a friend of mine that transfered from UW Green Bay, man, i never had to study so much for a chemistry class there. Our national rankings speak for themselves, as we have very few programs come in below the top fifteen in their catagory. The classes are challenging and taught by capable professors. Much of our faculty is first rate, and offer much to students outside the class room. One of their best features is being available to students for office hours. Professors at Madison are always available to talk about class issues or otherwise, and do so readily. One thing i worry about with academics is the topic of professor salaries. Being a public university, we cannot offer salaries or increases comparable to smaller, better funded private universities. As a result, we are experiencing something of a brain drain, losing professors to universities such as princeton and chicago. An example of this would be when our poli sci department lost one fifth of its professors last year, many to other universities. There needs to be some comprehensive program in place to bring salaries up and target those professors who are at risk of being poached. Unless this gradual loss of quality educators is stopped, academic standards at wisconsins will not be able to be maintained at the high levels that we have become acustomed to.
Wisconsin students have a reputation for being politically active. Students actively take part in protests on issues from political leaders to animal rights. However, one thing that students are very apathetic about is issues on their own campus, such as professor salaries, improving undergraduate facilities, and how the student body interacts with the administration in general. In our recent student government elections, we did not have even a 10% voter turn our. This is pathetic given our national recognition for our strong student government. Another example is our search for a new chancellor. We had open meet and greet sessions for the four finalists, and only a dozen or so students showed up at each. This is not only a fault of the students. It is a fault of the administration for giving the impression that students have little control over what happens at their university. The current administration has maintained a closed door policy for a time now, and students do not feel they have much contact with the administration. So the problem of student indifference cannot just be solved by getting students more active. The administration needs to take action, to let students know that they have a say in their university's policies.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
There is no worst thing about wisconsin. every school has things you need to take in stride and accept as challenges to be overcome, and wisconsin is no different. That's what makes it such a great learning experience!