Questions about Santa Clara from an accepted student?

<p>I just got into Santa Clara.. SO EXCITED..
But I had some questions..</p>

<li>Is Santa Clara going to be a full college experience?</li>
<li>Is it easy to make friends at Santa Clara?</li>
<li>Is it a big deal if I am averse to preachiness? I know it is a Catholic school, but can a non-Catholic/Christian go there and feel comfortable?</li>
<li>Will I be able to go to a good med school with the preparation I receive at Santa Clara?</li>

I'm really dying for some answers!</p>

<p>This might not help too much, but from experience (I attend a Jesuit high school) I know that the Jesuits do not try to push their religion on anyone. They are not "preachy" and they tend to be very chill people. I am certain that you will feel comfortable since I have many friends that are not Catholic that are completely at home at the Jesuit high school we attend. Hope that helps!</p>

<p>My daughter attends SCU as a transfer student. I myself attended a LAC that was religiously affiliated in a similar way as SCU, so I will share my own observations as well.</p>

<p>1) Yes. SCU provides the entire college experience. Most freshmen live on campus in dorms. There are many frats and sororities for those interested. There is heavy partying for those into that. And there are plenty of non-party activities as well. The library is great. If you like being a sports spectator, the basketball team is pretty hyped up. Etc.</p>

<p>2) Yes. It is a friendly campus. California sunny both in weather and in general mood.</p>

<p>3) Not a big deal. You can pick your religion classes to be very broad and/or non-traditional. There is a Zen Meditation class that is very popular that people like to take--some of the class time is spent actually meditating. :) The thing to do is simply ask other students who the cool/chill profs are if you are particularly sensitive. However, even the classes on Christianity tend to be approached from a scholarly lens, meaning, it isn't about conversion of the student, it is about understanding the philosophy/theology behind the religion and being able to speak about it intelligently. One does not have to agree with the theology to study it and write about it. I know at my college, one of my fav religion professors was an open atheist. I am not certain there are open atheists in the Religion Dept at SCU, but I do know they have professors of all different faith backgrounds.</p>

<p>4) Yes.</p>

<p>I appreciate the info about the SCU life !</p>

<p>Hey congrats on SCU! I got in and the farthest west I have ever gone is NYC!! I don't really know anything about the school, about Cali, or about SanFran, but I am really excited! A couple questions,
would you say that Santa Clara's administration is stricter than most schools, what about the RA's? Can you openly drink in public, I mean in a porch, or in a red cup? Can you be intoxicated where you can feel all of the benefits of being loose and partying, yet still be able to control your self and not cause any probles WITHOUT getting written up or in trouble. Is the administration lenient with alcohol and underage drinking? Do they tend to crack down on parties, not let there be any dorm parties, or any dorm drinking?</p>

<p>I don't want to give off the wrong impression, I am a very good student, but I just want to be realistic since it is college and I want to know what the social norm and life is like. </p>

<p>Are there parties on campus?</p>

<p>That is it for the social questions. Is a Santa Clara University Economics Business degree respected in the east coast? Could I get a job in LA, DC, Chicago, NYC, Boston through a strong alumni network or through a strong respected degree??</p>

<p>Also are there any specific religion classes I can take that wouldn't be a complete waste of time, maybe some Business oriented classeS?

<p>You'll have to wait for a current student to answer most of these questions about drinking and partying--even with your caveats, you still sound a bit obsessed about the drinking climate of the campus. </p>

<p>As for SCU's reputation on the east coast, I can't say that SCU is all that well known at this time on the other coast, but any employer can look up the stats for SCU and get a good sense of the school. On the positive side, I do believe SCU's profile is on the rise.</p>

<p>As for religion classes that are not a "complete waste of time," your impatience shows again. Maybe a Jesuit education isn't for you--it is about educating the whole person and having a wide range of experiences. Learning about other cultures, religions, studying basic ethics, etc are all VERY relevant to both economics and business. Look at the Bernie Madoffs of the world and one gets acquainted really quick why focusing beyond creating book smart students is important in a college education. It is not as if SCU is trying to create a cookie-cutter type experience or a particular end product student, but the journey and exploration of self in society is definitely something SCU does emphasize.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Would you say that a jesuit education is different than a liberal arts education?
I just don't agree with the fact that people should pay $50,000 a year so that we can be developed as a "whole" person. I'm catholic and was raised up in a good traditional household, and I feel like my faith and my parents could do that job for me.N Not a college education</p>

<p>"I just don't agree with the fact that people should pay $50,000 a year so that we can be developed as a "whole" person."</p>

<p>I guess that is a matter of personal opinion. But if that is the way you feel, than a school like SCU is probably not a good fit for you.</p>

<p>I am not saying that students of all backgrounds haven't already been raised well by their parents--of all faith backgrounds--before getting to college.</p>

<p>However, most 18 year old students still have a limited view of what it means to be a self-in-society. Not that a few years in college changes all of that (especially since most students at SCU are still completely dependent on the parents for tuition) but the conversations turn to a wider angle than what might have come the prior 18 years. In fact, I would be disappointed in a college that did not stretch or challenge a student on all fronts--socially as well as academically. Otherwise, why not just sign up for an online-college degree. If you just want information or a rubber-stamp degree, go to the cheapest local college you can find. The nice thing is that even at that local, cheap college, you will get challenged on many levels--it is just that a place like SCU is much more aware of the potential of being conscious about this process.</p>

<p>Again, SCU (and all colleges that think about the whole student) are not preaching or trying to step into a parent role as much as bringing the conversation to life during the college experience. It is difficult to explain, exactly, but it is about having a community of scholars, teachers and students where it is okay to ask ethical, moral, philosophical questions and have them be part of the classroom environment. Some classes lend themselves more to this idea (a business ethics class, for example) and others hardly at all (a math course).</p>

<p>I completely agree with both of you, but i just don't agree that it should take up a semester's worth of classes to teach that. That is why diversity is so important, because it challenges us to learn and think about things differently OUTSIDE of the classroom. Take an extremely conservative religious person from Texas and have him share a dorm with an extremely liberal atheist person from California. You don't think both students would learn a ton and their views be changed for the better to where they are more aware of things? Maybe SCU isn't for me, I don't know that though. It is a wonderful school, but they don't need to taked what one learns through experience and meeting different people or being challenged, and put it into a classroom.
Also are you really trying to say that if Bernie Madoff went to SCU he would have been a completely different person with different views and beliefs?</p>

<p>No, the Madoff comment was just a throw-away idea. He's probably a sociopath and as such, unable to have empathy for others. However, most people are able to stretch and grow their empathy (and related qualities) and classes that make a student think, whether a literature class, a philosophy class, a religion class, can really move a student to a deeper level of contemplation. A liberal arts education doesn't just present one "thinky thinky" class and dub the student done with reflective thinking... a liberal arts education approaches it from multiple perspectives and disciplines over and over and over--and repeats it over several years and several levels of mastery (ie: lower division vs upper division).</p>

<p>I think an atheist and a conservative sharing a dorm room or striking up a friendship is a great learning experience. Having a classroom that dives into ethical issues is still yet a different experience. In a rigorous religion class, students will generally read extremely challenging treatises and essays that they would typically not run into or even think of reading that literally drop them deep into the intellectual conversation that has been developing over centuries and will continue long after they finish their required classes... besides that, the readings and discussions in the class will tend to build systematically over the 10 week quarter, slowly deepening and widening the student's field of understanding. The professor often has a PHD specifically in the area/s he/she is having the students explore in the 10 week class, so the conversation is guided in the sense that the professor has a large "map" of the ground to be covered. I am sorry, but I don't believe that two friends sharing a dorm room are going to simply have as deep, thorough and insightful exploration of a focused topic by the mere fact that they struck up a friendship, even an intellectual one. </p>

<p>The skills one learns in a religion, theology, or philosophy class crosses over into other coursework beyond simply the challenging or deepening of ethical viewpoints--the logic skills, the writing skills, the communication skills--all are relevant in other classes as well as in the real world and career. </p>

<p>Put another way--until you've done a few of these kinds of courses, you'll not be able to know or compare with your limited view of what the experience is like. You can decide NOT to do it, but you can't say what it is like to take a religion course or a course that emphasizes "whole person" education until you try it. I think you have some rigid ideas of its goals and/or relevance to your life--and sure, you might hate it even after trying it. But I can say that your fears or objections to it don't ring true to my experience. And I'm not saying a SCU education or Jesuit education is for everyone. I'm just saying that there is immense value available for those with an open mind.</p>

<p>In any case, you don't seem to value a liberal arts education, at least not as outlined by Jesuit colleges. The religion classes are not simply about "diversity," at least not in the limited way you seem to think of it. Diversity goes beyond groovy late night chats with someone very different from yourself... diversity also means diving VERY deeply into the theory, treatises and conversations of the leading luminaries and thinkers of different schools of thought--and this kind of work is hard and for all but the true savants out there, require or greatly benefit from the classroom situation and guidance of a professor who has spent their lifetime mastering these conversations. And yes, experiences outside of the classroom are also important, but they don't replace the liberal arts coursework, either.</p>

<li><p>Yes. In all respects, SCU is a full college experience. Most students live at school (on-campus first two years and then usually off-campus the next two years), there are parties, there is a full scope of academic offerings, etc. It isn't a commuter campus by any means and, with increasing geographic diversity, most students remain on-campus through the weekends.</p></li>
<li><p>Not sure what you mean by this. It is no easier or more difficult than other schools. If you come in as a freshman living on-campus, there will be no issues at all. As a transfer student or a commuter, it will be slightly more difficult. All freshmen worry about making friends. Best advice: relax about it! You'll make friends. </p></li>
<li><p>Yes. It is entirely possible to go to SCU and not be of Catholic faith or any faith at all.</p></li>
<li><p>I don't know. Pre-med at SCU doesn't seem as big as it is at other schools. My advice is to ask more pointed questions to admissions counselors at all of the schools you're looking at. You're interested in, from what I understand, the MD program acceptance rate and the MCAT scores. Important! Be sure to ask how the pre-med program works. At a lot of schools, they drop anyone who doesn't have, say, a 3.75 GPA by the end of their sophomore year. Then the school can brag about a 100% acceptance rate. Well, no kidding, you threw out anyone who didn't have a great chance at admission.</p></li>

Don't expect a mind blowing party scene at SCU. The houses surrounding campus are small, suburban ranch homes with four bedrooms max. They're not the colossal frat houses you see on East Coast campuses. That being said, you can go to a party with lots of people, drink and dance and do whatever else you want to do. Just don't expect it to look like Vegas. The police are pretty chill. Don't do anything stupid and you'll usually have no problems, even if you're obviously drunk.</p>

<p>Your hall's strictness depends a lot on your RA. Some RAs are more strict than others. Of course, drinking as a freshman is prohibited and we have some pretty ridiculous punishments for it. ($50 fine and four hours of "contributory service" for your first write up.) If you want more of a good time, I suggest Swig Hall. </p>

<p>I'm from the East Coast as well. I don't think our alumni network out here is particularly strong. That being said, an SCU biz degree is well respected -- look at our rankings. Also, I don't think you're going to want to move back to the East Coast after four years in the Bay. :) </p>

<p>As far as the core, there's not a lot of ambiguity there. You've gotta take a fine arts, three religion courses, a pathway, etc. That's all available on our website. No, your religion course will not relate to business, nor should it. Some of the most valuable courses I have taken in college were those outside of the business major.</p>

<p>The biz school at SCU is very strong. Even though only 15% of kids are in it, it seems to almost "overpower" (I mean that with no negative connotation) the rest of the school. We are seen as a really good biz school. </p>

<p>But we are still a university with a big school of arts and sciences. If that's problematic to you, perhaps you should look elsewhere. I suggest Bentley, Babson and (to a lesser extent) Bryant on the East Coast. They're heavily focused on business. In H.S., I thought liberal arts was a waste of time. I was happily surprised and am very glad I went to a more well rounded school. If you don't think that will be the case for you, maybe you should investigate other options.</p>

<p>prepurm...I'm the parent of a SCU graduate. Your questions about the school make me think it's not the place for you. You seem to have an obsession with the party culture. Yes, students have a good time, but the notion that it's "ok" to publicly drink is beyond ridiculous. </p>

<p>The school is an outstanding college. The courses of study are excellent. The social climate is very very good. There is much to do shortage of weekend things to do. I'm quite sure that underage drinking take place but I'm also quite sure that folks don't make a public issue of it.</p>

<p>The school has the Jesuit philosophy of community service and help to others. If you are really not interested in this sort of thing...or believe you've had enough of it, perhaps you should look elsewhere for your college experience.</p>

<p>As a parent, my question isn't about the party scene but about the overall inclusiveness of the school. </p>

<p>My kids went to Catholic school as non-catholics K-4, K-7 and 5-8. While the oldest then went to public school for HS, the two younger transfered to a non-denominational school with a very small but diverse population and graduating from there. I found out much later that with my son and youngest D, there was some apparent teasing during certain catholic rites of passage that they weren't catholic. Right down to my son being told in 2nd grade that only catholics could climb the jungle gym. Seriously. </p>

<p>I respect a Jesuit education for its commitment to service and ethics, and am glad specific religion doesn't seem an issue, but I am curious to the extent the school supports the GLBT community. I see there are support groups, clubs, etc.. but what is offered might be very different from support. My children know and love several gay people who have been in their lives forever. I love the school for my D, but I've also spent her lifetime teaching tolerance and acceptance.</p>

<p>They don't tell you that only Catholics shoul climb the jungle gym here. Haha. About half of my friends here aren't Catholic (which is concurrent with the makeup of the school). People are very accepting of religious beliefs, however. A ton of the community here revolves around faith. Masses at the Mission at night are something to experience. Many of the kids aren't Catholic, but descend upon the Mission Church on Sundays at nine. You never feel more connected to Santa Clara than when a packed church of students, faculty, and alumni are singing and praying as one. For several of my non-Catholic friends, it is the highlight of their week. There are signs all around campus with rainbows demarking safe spaces where gay students can be open. There is also a Rainbow Resource Center as part of the Cowell Health Center where gay students can find counseling, form community, etc. I was going to attend a lecture (unfortunately, I could not) on how to reconcile homosexuality with one's Catholic faith. It isn't just support that is offered, but community and discussion.<br>
As for partying, it is alive and well at Santa Clara. I'm no partier. My ideal Friday night consists of pizza, movies, boardgames, etc. However, the times I've been out, there are plenty of people drinking from red cups on porches, walking around intoxicated, etc. Unfortunately (though realistically), there is even some pretty open use of marijuana, again on porches and front yards. The nice thing is that this is right off-campus. The big parties don't invade or disturb life on-campus if you're like me, but they are also a one or two block walk if you are into that scene. Wednesday (tradition), Friday, and Saturday are the big nights for that. People do get written up quite often if they drink on campus and get caught. Generally, the CF's tell you that the biggest thing is don't make noise and don't have your door open, and they won't go looking for someone to write up. But remember, they get free room and board if they do their job. They won't risk giving that up and will do their job if they look through into a room with an open door and see a bottle of Vodka. Punishments are generally a fine and community service. If it happens more than once, you get put on residential probation. If it happens multiple times, you get kicked out of the dorms. It sounds harsh, but honestly, you have to be a total moron to repeatedly get caught. I can't speak to our prestige on the East Coast, but generally people have heard of Santa Clara. Us, Gonzaga, and BYU are probably the biggest names in our league. As for finding work anywhere, the new Alaskan Attorney General is a grad, as is the Lieutenant Governor of California, the former mayor of Los Angeles, and two members of the Cabinet over in Washington, D.C. (of whom, Janet Napolitano was governor of Arizona). There was an article in the Santa Clara Magazine this past year about a few alums working as criminal defense attorneys in Chicago. Clearly, these people were able to be successful with a Santa Clara degree wherever they chose to start their careers. I would agree with a previous poster, though. Once you come to the Bay Area, it will be tough to leave. Best of luck to all.</p>

<p>@Modadunn: For the most part, it is a Catholic school if you want it to be. If you shy away from organized religion, the biggest concern will be taking three religion classes. None have to be about Catholicism. Other than that, the school is non-religious. Note that teachers enjoy full academic freedom here, so you won't have to worry about professors or librarians censoring information that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church. </p>

<p>As far as LGBT concerns, I'm not all that familiar, but I don't see any problems and I know plenty of openly gay people. There's a new center in the bottom of the "student union" designed especially for this purpose. </p>

<p>If you're really concerned about the campus environment, I recommend sticking around after a campus tour and hanging around the library or one of the cafes. After an hour or so you'll get a better feel of what the campus feels like. This goes for all schools. </p>

<p>If you want to visit the center that I just mentioned, it is on the basement level of Benson. (Tell someone you're looking for the California Mission Room -- it is near there.) I think anyone in that center would be happy to address your concerns with more authority than I can.</p>

<p>My sister lives in SF and while D will wait for a yes or no of acceptances to visit I am here now visiting sister and family. I love the Bay area. I have literally never seen such an eclectic and diverse population. The density of housing is kind of a mind flip but everyone seems so genuinely nice. Crossing my fingers for D to get a yes. Best of both worlds: go far away to school with family with whom you're close less than an hour away!!</p>