There are a lot of little things about Fairfield University that annoy me. A sampling:
I’ll start, casually, with the pettiest: why are there no warnings for any of the speed bumps? I drive a Fiat 500, a car that is low to the ground, meaning I have to really slow down for any speed bumps. You know what makes it hard to slow down? No speed bump signs! I know that there are little white lines on the speed bumps, but that’s ultimately unhelpful if someone’s driving at night. If I ever really damage the bottom of my car, I’m invoicing Fairfield.
This is not the most diverse school in the world. It is, in fact, a very non-diverse university. I expect that you’ve noticed this by now. It can be a little frustrating to look at a classroom and see a sea of upper middle class white Catholic kids from Long Island – not to disparage people like that! – especially when that class is discussing matters of class and race. Fairfield is more diverse than it seems at first, but overall, this is a very white school.
As many students from the College of Arts & Sciences will tell you, Fairfield shows blatant financial and resource favoritism towards the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Career fairs are marketed toward business students, the Dolan School of Business has a seemingly endless budget for events and speakers and they’ve even annihilated a large chunk of green space just for a new business school.
But do I wish I’d gone somewhere else? Absolutely not.
This wasn’t always the case. I hated Orientation, and left it planning to transfer. I even hated the first chunk of my first year. Luckily for me, a hatred of the Common App for colleges led me to put off applying to transfer, and before I could start the process I changed my mind. Here’s why.
I love, love, love my professors and my departments. (Politics, women gender and sexuality studies and digital journalism, for those playing at home). The professors at Fairfield care, and care deeply – you walk into a classroom and your professor wants to help you succeed from the get-go. You walk into office hours (pro tip from a rising senior: go to office hours) and they want to help. The classes that Fairfield offers are nuanced and interesting, we boast a faculty which studies cool and unusual subjects and we take intellectual diversity seriously.
On the social level: I have met my best friends at Fairfield. These are people I never would have met without the serendipity of picking the same college – people from all over the country and the world, despite Fairfield’s overall-mediocre diversity. I can also say with confidence that I’ve made new friends every year at Fairfield. The people you hang out with at Orientation might not remain your best friends once you really start going here, but you’ll meet people who operate on your plane of existence, whatever that plane may be. There will be friends who agree with you and friends who challenge you. You’ll go to townhouse parties with the same friends you suffer in the Dimenna Nyselius Library with.
I can confidently say that Fairfield encourages its students to be better people. I don’t always agree with the decisions the administration makes – you can sometimes catch me disagreeing in this very section of the Mirror – but the University as a whole makes up for it. Fairfield offers service opportunities, an expansive core and interesting Open Visions Forum speakers, like Angela Davis. The University is truly committed to making us all ‘men and women for and with others.’
I’m so excited that you get to go through it all, and I can’t wait to see what you think.