A few questions

My son is from the east coast, and is also Jewish. I worry that he wouldn’t fit in here. Is there a large Jewish population, or is it very religious? I have heard different things from different people. He is also considering Champan, any advice is appreciated, thank you!

USD is about 40% Catholic, if I remember my tour correctly. I can’t speak to the percentage of Jewish students, but it seems like a school that welcomes all faiths.

I also toured Chapman and ultimately decided not to apply - I didn’t like the “country club” feel of the campus. USD is much more laid back. However, I know two girls that go to Chapman and love it! It all comes down to the individual.

I would ask what drew him to USD in the first place? Certainly the Changemaker and Service aspects of the University would cross any religious boundaries, and looking at the list of Groups and Organizations, there is a pretty active Jewish Student Union, and there are specific contacts there that could provide you any additional information you are looking for, I would think.

@pbmom7 did your son make any decision yet about USD? I have a good friend who lives in San Diego and her S17 and son who’s a junior in college both have friends who go there and are very happy there. She recently asked a friend whose son is a current sophomore about the vibe as my D17 is admitted to and considering USD. My D is half Jewish by birth and considers herself an atheist so we want to make sure it would feel a good fit for her. My friend wrote me: "[Student’s name] says he know many Jewish students and it’s no big deal at all. No priests in the dorms. “They don’t shove Christianity down your throat at all” he also says he thinks some of the religion classes include Judaism. So I think it’s a non-issue and it’s more if she likes the kids and campus. Btw - [Student’s name] is likely agnostic if that means anything. He likes the school and the kids and he can be himself and no one cares. "

The comment about no priests in the dorm was in reply to my having asked my friend about the fact that I saw on the USD housing site something about “Resident Ministers” living in the dorms. I wasn’t sure what this meant, whether they were priests or what and how religious that would feel. My friend said she’d never heard of it, but then she doesn’t actually have a child who attends USD. Apparently this sophomore son of her friend doesn’t think there are any so either they are very unobtrusive or I don’t know! @catbird1 when you toured did this come up at all? I did find a page on the USD site that shows all these resident ministers’ photos and names and many of them look young and like they might be cool people. We plan to go tour the school during Spring Break so I can report anything else I learn then. My D also has a friend who is a junior there and we’ll see him while we are there so will see if he says anything different about the residential ministers. But he has already told my D it doesn’t seem to him to be very “religious” in general.

@CAtransplant The resident minister topic didn’t come up during my tour - like you, I read about them on the website. I think the observations you’re hearing from friends are spot on, and I really like USD for the same reasons. The Catholic/Christian environment is there if you want it, but if you don’t, it’s not a big deal!

Side note since you said you’ll be visiting - if it matters to you/your daughter, I think you have to ask in advance if you want to see a dorm during your tour. Dorms were not included in the tour I went on in November, but I’m sure they’d be happy to show you one if you ask.

@catbird1 ok thanks for your thoughts. And maybe we will ask to see a dorm, good idea.

We did tour the school. The campus is beautiful. The buildings are brand new and well maintained. Didn’t care for the surrounding area. While we felt that they did say that they had a Jewish presence on school and we are not religious. My son attends an episcopal school now. He felt that the students were much more into religion then what he is used to and was not comfortable. Still looking.

Thanks @pbmom7 - can you elaborate on what you mean by you did not like the surrounding area?

@CAtransplant My son goes to USD and really loves it. Religion is not a huge factor within the student population but is present for those who are looking for it. There are various Student led religious organizations. Catholicism is definitely not “shoved down anyone’s throats”. Everyone on campus is super accepting of one another and no-one treats anyone different due to their backgrounds. My son took a world religions class to fulfill his lower level theology requirement and learned about buddhism, hinduism, judaism, christianity, and islam.
One another note the campus itself is definitely beautiful with fantastic architecture and a decent view of Mission Bay on the west side of campus. What pbmom7 likely means about the surrounding area is that when driving to the entrances of campus you enter the Linda Vista neighborhood which is a lower income area and not very visually pleasing, however, it is still safe as it is a family neighborhood. Remember Linda Vista is just where the entrances of campus are and the rest of the areas surround USD are great. Going north right off campus is the Bay Park neighborhood which is quite nice residential neighborhood nothing bad about it really this area is right off campus and can be reached after a short walk through Tecolote Natural Park. My son runs in tecolote park daily as well as Bay Park. Mission Bay is just west of campus which is a very cool area for barbecues, running, skateboarding, walking, and water sports. My son rides his bike to mission beach just north of mission bay.
in reality USD is in a great location for the city of San Diego meaning that nothing is far away. USD is close to Balboa Park, downtown, and all of the beautiful coastline.

@sash12 hi - thanks for your reply. We did end up visiting USD but my daughter ended up deciding to go to U of Oregon as you may be able to tell from my current profile pic :slight_smile: It just felt more like “her.”