Hi all - Hope all is well. My D was admitted to Rhodes EA, and although she has not yet caught her breath from the application season, I am starting to catch mine and digging in a bit to Rhodes. Rhodes checks a lot of the boxes of what she is looking for in an undergraduate institution.
In 2014, a “Miscellaneous Questions” thread in this Rhodes subforum asked several questions I am asking. User “love2trvl” posted a reply, and rather than reinventing the wheel, I’ll just ask if anyone has impressions about love2trvl’s replies to a couple of the questions. I thought the replies helpful, and wondering if others have similar or different impressions:
"My daughter has no interest in joining a sorority but she does not feel out of place. She said some kids are cliquey, some aren’t. She feels she the majority of the kids are inclusive.
Southern Culture - my daughter is from New England & she definitely notices the southern culture! Rhodes is very “southern preppy”, lots of Vineyard Vines, etc… Some of dd’s friends fit this but most don’t. Her roommate is really into Anime. DD is artsy. She estimates that 60% of the girls are in a sorority, which is much higher than most of the northern schools. There are kids from all over the US so even though there is a very strong southern presence there are kids there from the west coast, north and midwest.
DD thinks the campus is split fairly evenly between liberal/conservative. This is based on her classes from last semester, which required a good amount of class participation. This balance is something my daughter was looking for.
My daughter requested the substance free dorm so she is grouped with several religious students but neither she or her roommate are religious. I think both religious and non-religious students would feel comfortable."
Those questions - centrality of sorority life, campus culture for a “Northerner,” political atmosphere, and comfort of non-religious student - are topics our family is interested in.
I’d add two more questions:
- The new Rhodes President cited the size of the student body as one of the things she wants to examine in terms of "what Rhodes wants to be." At around 2000 students, I thought Rhodes a nice size, but in her wanting reflect on Rhodes size, I am wondering if there has been a lot of enrollment growth (or maybe creep) that some think is changing the character of the institution? On a more practical level, is availability of dorm space or class registration or other possible effects of the size of the student body playing into President Hass's comments?
- Maybe not a separate question, but related to the religious/non-religious character of Rhodes, it seems like the centrality of the Life and Search sequences to Rhodes' liberal arts curriculum is one reflection of its Presbyterian roots, at least insofar as each uses the Bible as a focus/departure point. The "History of Rhodes" page on the Rhodes website explores the relationship between Rhodes' mission and the Life/Search sequences. I've read that the Life option may be more "religious" than the Search option. Anyway, the centrality of Life/Search is part of the reason for my interest in the experience of students who enter Rhodes without a grounding in the Bible (or in any particular faith tradition more generally).
Sorry for the length. Thanks very much all!