right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have changed the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

Social Scene

ChillDadChillDad 231 replies20 threads Junior Member
Can a reserved,studious girl who doesn't drink be comfortable at Union? Are Minerva Houses getting any traction or does Greek life still rule the day?
5 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Social Scene

  • BathsuaMakinBathsuaMakin 11 replies0 threads New Member
    I am not sure if you are still interested in comments about this subject (your daughter may already have decided whether to apply to Union or not). For what they are worth, here are my thoughts. Our daughter is a sophomore and is happy at Union. In some ways you couldn't ask more of a liberal arts college -- the professors are great and there is a dynamic intellectual atmosphere in the classes (I just sat in on one during parents' weekend). My daughter has made good friends and she came from California to Union, knowing no one there. However, she has said a couple of times that Admissions simply lied about Greek life when she asked (repeatedly) about it during her visits and when she was making her decision. It very much calls the tune of the social scene, despite an administration that tries hard to counter it with other activities. Studies suggest that there is a strong correlation between Greek life and binge drinking on campus. There is a lot of illegal drinking at Union, something that really bothered my daughter during her Freshman year. Now she simply doesn't go to those parties and has found some like-minded friends (but not many because many underage students drink). Union has a very significant problem with alcohol on campus. Check out the statistics from Union's annual Jeanne Clery Campus Safety report and compare it to other liberal arts colleges in Upstate NY (e.g. Skidmore and Hamilton). Finally, the Minerva Houses are not what they once were although my daughter found them a great resource to get to know upperclass students and enjoyed them her Freshman year. There is a rumor that when the President leaves at the end of the year (he is retiring) that they are going to drop the Minervas. I rather doubt that but there may indeed be some overhaul of the system. I know the administration would like to end the Greek system at Union and I wish they would just go ahead and do it. Still, I want to emphasize that my daughter (a 4.0 student) does really like Union.
    · Reply · Share
  • ChillDadChillDad 231 replies20 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is only in her junior year but starting her list. Thank you for your candid reply and insights.
    · Reply · Share
  • UNYMomUNYMom 120 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for this answer. I only live a 1/2 hour away from Union, and hadn't really been considering Union for my son because of its emphasis on Greek life. Then someone told me about the Minerva houses. Your answer really helps me with questions to ask other students, during tours, etc.

    I know several local kids at Union. All are getting great opportunities, but all like to party. Wasn't sure how this very small sample represented the student body as a whole. It is a great school with great programs. The report you cite is interesting. Union is less geographically isolated than many Upstate colleges, where I thought binge drinking would be more prevalent because there is less to do. I know historically (like over 100 years ago), Union was famous for its drinking. Seems some of that has lingered!
    · Reply · Share
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5983 replies10 threads Senior Member
    We had asked an independent college consultant about this when DS was narrowing down his choices and this was one of them. She went out to her network and was surprised at the number of non partying kids who reported that they were very happy there. My sense is that there is definitely a dominant culture -- as is the case at pretty much every smaller school -- but there is a vibrant life for those who don't choose it. DS found the students there to be very friendly -- if your D does a shadow day, she'll likely have the opportunity to ask lots of people about their experiences.

    Fwiw, my personal network of people who went there are super artsy. They were outside the norm then too but loved their time there and remain connected to the school.

    The kids from our school who go there are not the partiers, btw. Definitely check it out, though. Very good academics.
    · Reply · Share
  • akhipstertrashakhipstertrash 25 replies3 threads Junior Member
    This is pretty late, but I would not recommend Union to non-partiers. There is a pervasive drinking culture here that is unhealthy and actually makes drinking with friends less fun.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity