Updates from OU Students and Parents (esp. HTC)

All OU parents and students: I am eager to hear about experiences and thoughts about the school. As expected? Issues? Good stories? Good friends made?

I am especially interested to hear from HTC parents and students.

D is doing wonderfully and loves OU. Last year she went to Rome Italy during spring break. This year she is a TA for a lab she did very well in last year. She is feeling like she is being well prepared for her grad school application (she wants to be a Physical Therapist) and enjoys her primary major. She has moved into her first apartment this year. She plans to graduate next December (a semester early). There is a lot more I could write. Much of it comes down to applying yourself and taking advantage of the opportunities OU can afford you. The advantage of the HTC (D chose not to apply) is that the professors you work with will encourage you in these opportunities. It is my understanding OU is starting a separate Honors college from the HTC. It sounds to me like they wish to have opportunities for students who may not be part of the HTC but are still very good students. OU hasn’t had a specific place for the above average student in the past. I could even see this raising the bar for the HTC.

My son is currently a junior in the Scripps College majoring in Strategic Communciations. He is loving his major, his professors, his fellow students, his club rugby team, and his (first) off campus house. He is somewhat concerned about the recent safety problems (I only know because he called me to discuss them), but is hoping that some law enforcement (either OU, Athens City and/or Athens County PD) will get things back under control. In fact he is hoping to do his major required internship with the Athens County PD in the spring.

Assuming that the campus returns to its prior safe state, my daughter will be applying to the HTC this fall. She visited with one of the HTC dean’s last fall and feels that, should she be admitted, this would be her clear first choice.

Thanks for the updates. I am glad to hear things are working out so well. I also think that the separate honors program would be a great idea.

As a former Alum and current Freshman parent, I’m sadly not shocked nor surprised that this behavior still exists on campus. Even though OU is a fine institution, i begged my daughter not to attend as she had many outstanding options, just because i experienced this same culture over 30 years ago. Culture hasn’t changed…it’s still dangerous and has everything to do with the lack of institutional control as well as the co-dependent relationship that exists between town and gown. If the town was stricter in cracking down on bars admitting students with fake ID’s; students entering bars with fake IDs and --most importantly–the elimination of “house parties,” especially on MILL STREET, which has always been a war zone–things may improve slightly. I’m afraid for my daughter every single night and that’s just not how college is supposed to feel to a parent.

I know I’ll get slammed for “generalizing,” but 6 rapes and a kidnapping in the first 5 weeks of a community of 24,000 is more than alarming–it’s an epidemic. Think about all of you who live in communities that size and how you would feel if your police blotter reported 6 rapes and kidnapping in less than a month. I really don’t want to hear anything about “it happens everywhere, etc” because it happens more at OU and has for as long as i can remember. It’s time for the university and town to take bold and decisive action, even if it means alienating those who romanticize about their first drunken house party or other drug/alcohol induced event they believe indoctrinated them into the “OU Culture.”

At orientation, the university DOS bragged about the self-identified binge drinking rate dropping from over 70% in the 80’s and 90’s to about 30% in 2016. This is something to be proud of and tout at orientation? What she didn’t say is that, until 1986, the drinking age in Ohio was 18 – hardly an apples-to-apples comparison.

If they enforce the laws against the bars, package stores, students and house parties–that would at least be a step in the proper direction. This is an opportunity for President Nellis to take bold action that would allow OU to begin to sink or swim on the virtues of its academic merit and not on its wild party/festival/binge drinking reputation. It doesn’t need that reputation to attract students, and frankly, if it does—that’s a much a larger problem that I don’t have any answers for at this time. What I don’t want is one more form email discussing all of the “steps” the school is taking to combat this issue, because those platitudes say or do nothing for the victims and potential victims who walk that campus every day and night looking over their shoulders.

And please don’t reply with “this is the world we live in now…” Thank you.

@PBJonRYE - a very important post. Thank you for this.

@digmedia --appreciate it. I love the school and want to see it come out from under this long 30+ year shadow, but that won’t ever happen unless the school and town come together to enforce the laws that are on the books–that would be a start. As an unfortunate aside–there was yet another incident this week near Clipinger hall, but fortunately the young woman had pepper spray and used it…just sad all the way around. BTW–I don’t believe the description of the assailant matched the previous descriptions so this was not connected to previous attacks.