By Daniel Clarke,
After five years attending FDU, I’ve experienced both the good and the bad things about this school. After asking peers, I’ve come up with a number of things that I believe many can relate to.
Education is the first priority for an academic institution and, for the most part, FDU does this well. With countless professors that have years of experience in the industry, they bring the lessons they learned to the classroom and provide context for the material they teach. Others bring techniques that can’t be found online or in your textbook – it’s usually lessons like these that make the rest of your courses easier.
But some other courses are not so pleasant. Many of the CORE courses in particular, besides having nothing to do with peoples’ majors, often have weakly defined objectives that result in a disorganized and frustrating experience. In one course, we were each assigned a presentation on the exact same topic; needless to say, all the presentations were the same.
Though there are many courses offered on campus, some degree programs leave little room for actual choice, especially with courses only being offered on specific semesters and hardly ever over the summer/winter breaks, at least in Engineering. Coming into this school without taking AP tests will most likely put you behind a year rather than a semester because of this grid.
With a surplus of extraordinarily pleasant staff throughout the university, it’s never difficult to ask for help. Despite being tasked with servicing the entire computer sciences and engineering program student body, Ms. Susan Seed, our Academic Advisor, has been more than helpful and, above all, pleasant to work with since day one.
Still, the inability for engineers to register online can be frustrating. As the years have gone by, it has become increasingly difficult to catch Ms. Seed at a time that there isn’t a line of students waiting outside her office.
Besides the academics, students come to college for more than their degree, they come to make friends and enjoy extra-curricular activities. While the Metropolitan campus is primarily made up of commuters, there’s still a good number of students stuck on campus.
It’s often difficult to get into some labs like Muscarelle to use the software that’s only available there when classes are taking over the room and hours are limited. Even during the hours of operation, the TA who normally opens the door for you is getting paid to be somewhere else on their phone. When you finally get into the lab, you have to log in twice or wait 5-10 minutes for the system to load. God forbid you type your password in wrong one too many times. Get ready for a half-hour wait to get UTAC to reset it.
Though printing costs can add up, they don’t quite match up to the cost savings we get from parking and laundry, services not often provided free of charge by other institutions. And though many of the campus facilities don’t have the greatest flexibility when it comes to hours of operation, Teaneck and Hackensack are metropolitan suburbs with 24/7 establishments a short walk away.
With close proximity to Target and Garden State Plaza, FDU’s Metro campus is in a good location, despite the fact that most of us think the Hackensack River is gross, no one can deny it doesn’t look amazing during sunset and sunrise. Even though our only lawn is filled with goose poop, it looks nice from afar despite the questionable landscaping choices.
FDU is a dry campus—a fact many still can’t get over, especially after they’ve turned 21. It certainly decreases the amount of parties on campus, but in all honesty, Lazy Lanigans is a walkable distance from campus, Millers only an Uber away and the city a $4.50 bus drive away. I hear people complain about the nightlife but I’ve never had an issue finding things to do at 2 a.m.
FDU has no control of the organizations that are made by the students and for the students but they have been quite fortunate to have a number of outstanding programs alongside the many programs they sponsor. Global Scholars, Sands of Time and Student Life are integral parts of the university that involve students in experiential learning.
I can’t really remember a trip or event I really disliked. Broadway tickets for $20, overnight trips to Washington, chances to meet and greet Michio Kaku, Steve Wozniak and a countless number of UN ambassadors; the opportunities these programs have provided go above and beyond. The study abroad opportunities as well are once in a lifetime and spectacularly organized.
No place is perfect, and many find themselves only seeing the bad things about everything, but I’ve stayed at FDU because I truly do like it here. I joined The Equinox, despite being an engineer, with hopes to help improve the campus through journalism. Nothing can improve without the necessary feedback. Even though we all tend to amplify the negatives, if there was nothing we did like then we wouldn’t care enough to point out what we don’t.