Experience is uncommon, but not unpleasant


I do not normally read blogs. But a review I read recently on a website about DePauw really got me. This student, a senior who unfortunately also happens to be in my major, completely ripped this school apart, cautioning future applicants, "DePauw isn't anybody's first choice...the kind of person who wants to get black out drunk, go through college doubting themselves and working to prove their worth to random people, who are willing to judge and be judged... why, DePauw's a perfect fit."  

Oh, really? 

I, myself, have a few problems with how DePauw works. Most are minor, and I believe I have even voiced a few of them in my columns. I think we need to work on support for graduating seniors in certain majors, fix up what even Dr. Casey has said is a despicable excuse for a workout center, and continue to examine how we work together both inside and outside of the greek community at DePauw. While there are other concerns, I feel that many others in the DePauw community, myself included, have addressed them in a proactive way by getting involved both on and off campus. It's all a work in progress, and most people can understand that.  

But the writer of this article does not. While it seems like a late-night rant that may have been a procrastination tool for a paper due the next day, or possibly a heated response to a bad experience, it is still damaging to the university that many of us love. So, dearest blogger who does not have the courage to own your work in the blogosphere, I would like to respond to a few of your claims.  

The article explains how terrible DePauw is socially. "DePauw is a place where people smile at you while they talk about you behind your back," the writer tells us. I am not here to judge the social experiences of one member of the DePauw community, but I do have something to say about one person reflecting a negative experience on an entire community of people. I do not feel like DePauw has a malicious or backstabbing mob straight out of "Mean Girls" who haunt our classrooms or social events. Nor do I feel like our campus plays host to a bunch of students stuck in high school stereotypes. There will be conflict nearly anywhere you go, whether it is a university or a workplace, but that doesn't mean DePauw as a university breeds a mean-spirited mentality.  

As for town/gown relations and community involvement, this blogger believes prospective students should, "be aware; those programs are run by a very ‘elite' group of social gods and goddesses. Participating in community projects is a social badge around these parts, not a humanitarian calling."  

Please. DePauw has nearly as many campus-recognized organizations as many state schools. Are you trying to tell me that all of these organizations that work with mentoring kids, raising money to build schools abroad, or building houses for local families, are not open to having interested students participate and lead projects? I do not believe you. I have neither seen nor heard of any willing, interested party being turned away. Plus, if you were really so upset by this, you could always approach student government about starting up your own organization. It is possible that the reason "the townies hate the students," and "the students judge the townies," is that you call Greencastle residents "townies," and because you choose to not get involved. What is "unhealthy" is your mentality toward the way DePauw and Greencastle have been striving to work together over the last several years to overcome these perceptions.  

There were a few other claims, ranging from the belief that all of our students are either "depressed or alcoholic," to the fact that we are all socially inept and are incapable of connecting to each other or holding intelligent conversations. Well, my fellow almost-grad, if you ever care to have an intelligent conversation about the state of DePauw and the direction of the campus and its students, let me know. Don't worry; I won't even try to buy you a drink.

— Edmundson is a senior from Greensburg, Ind., majoring in English writing and religious studies. opinion@thedepauw.com