University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA

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University students - one casual, one in cap and gown

Often ranked among the top public Universities in New England, UCONN is a medium-sized school located in a small town consisting of large farms. There are several key things to examine in order to get a clear picture of this confusing and often depressing school.

Climate

From late August until mid-September, the temperature ranges from pleasantly warm to unbearably hot and humid. From late September until late March, an amazing phenomenon occurs. Each day, the weather outside is bitingly cold with wind strong enough to bring tears to your eyes. Oftentimes, this is accompanied by snow and rain, both of which invariably blow down the neck of whatever clothing you wore specifically to prevent such an occurrence. Then, between early April and the end of the term in mid-May, the weather turns pleasantly warm, with an 85% chance of hot, half-nude, sunbathing women. Curiously, the temperature within the dormitories remains constantly too hot for comfort all year round.

Location and Activities

UCONN is found in Storrs, a subdivision of Mansfield, in North Central Connecticut, USA. Storrs/Mansfield is a hotbed for all activities commonly associated with college-aged students. The previous statement is an exaggeration. There are approximately five bars, two convenience stores, and about five sit-down restaurants within walking distance. Aside from these few diversions, there is absolutely nothing to do. Most students keep active by working out their arm muscles lifting beer bottles and playing beer pong. Another popular activity is getting violently ill from dorm food. These diversions, while tempting, are the main reason why around 25% of the students leave campus, 73% of students get absolutely plastered, and the remaining 2% sit on computers and criticize the other 98% of the student body on any given weekend.

Student Body and Residential Life

The student body of UCONN is amazingly diverse. However, each dormitory manages to have certain unifying tendencies that are worth noting in any study of the university. A brief synopsis follows:

  • Buckley Hall - In the south-eastern corner of campus, this residence hall is in close proximity to both the Music and Art Departments, and is relatively close to both Sociology and the Humanities. In other words, this dorm is full of band geeks, artsy-types, neo-hippies, and all other sorts of liberal-minded youths. Also crammed into the mix are several Honours floors, which combine to make Buckley the quietest, smartest, and most overwhelmingly peculiar dorm on campus.

  • Shippee - This hall is one of two non-coed dorms on campus. Shippee is a women's dorm. Formerly a hotel, this hall has one of the best looking interiors of any dorm. Next door to Buckley, an odd assortment of feminists, scared women, and freshman girls who didn't know better are stuck here.

  • East - Old and stately, the exterior to the East Campus dorms bear a resemblance to the Gothic halls one imagines all Ivy League schools to be full of. Inside, however, cramped rooms and possible hauntings lower East's popularity and reputation. Sprague Hall, one of the East's halls, is a male-only dorm, and is generally avoided by as many men as possible.

  • Towers - These halls are located in the far north-east corner of the campus, and are the furthest dorms from anything that might be of interest to anyone aside from people who enjoy watching cows. In the spring, the stench of cow manure causes at least one unsubstantiated report of death each year. Towers residents tend to be more tired, depressed, and prone to alcoholism than residents of most other dorms.

  • North - Nicknamed 'The Jungle', the North Campus halls are exactly that. The one true melting pot of cultures and people present at UCONN. North is known for its wild parties and vicious games of Ultimate Frisbee. Also, due to its proximity to the maths and science building, many maths and science majors choose to live in North. This leads to numerous innovations in the fields of alcohol and marijuana consumption technology being developed in North Campus.

  • Northwest - These halls are reserved for freshmen students only. For this reason, Northwest is host to the most attractive, least mature, and most impressionable girls on campus, year in and year out. Northwest is a 'substance-free' area, meaning that any 'parties' occurring there each week must be figments of Northwest residents' imaginations. Also noteworthy is Northwest's proximity to three of the bars in the area. A completely unrelated fact is the prevalence of false IDs among Northwest residents1.

  • Hilltop - As the name applies, this dorm is located on top of a large hill and is somewhat distant from the rest of campus. These dorms are famous for being able to break the spirits of weak RAs2, with partying being barely controllable. At times, during certain springs, the exterior walls of Hilltop become encased in a cloak of living ladybugs. Any Hilltop resident who is of the opinion that killing a ladybug is bad luck will change their mind after being invaded by the 'red army'. Hilltop also has the most dangerous outdoor stairway on campus, injuring numerous people (drunk and sober alike) each semester.

  • McMahon - This dorm is not, contrary to popular belief, named after WWF owner and Connecticut resident Vince McMahon. However, being right next to the main athletic arena on campus, as well as having work out equipment and fitness classes all within the building, McMahon has no shortage of brawny folk. Also, parties here are known to be loud, violent, and interesting affairs. Until the institution of a mandatory lottery limiting the number of seniors allowed to live on campus, McMahon was a popular place for seniors to live. This was also hampered by the emergence of South Campus as the nicest place to live anywhere near Storrs/Mansfield.

  • West - West can be summed up in three words: old, old, old. These dorms are impractically small, dishevelled, and amazingly hard to park near. Many freshmen who avoid the harrowing 'Northwest Experience' end up here, and immediately begin careers of trying to drink or smoke more than everyone else in order to prove that this behaviour wasn't 'new'. The only benefits of West are its central location on campus and the attractive courtyard in between its buildings. One of West's buildings, Alsop, is the 'International Dorm'. This means that residents are not forced out at vacation time. This also creates an atmosphere similar to that of North.

  • Alumni - These dorms have the largest rooms of any of the 'regular' residence halls. Many students relocate to Alumni for their sophomore and junior years, simply because Alumni has a long tradition of no one caring what happens there. This leads to the most violent and destructive parties on campus. Alumni also houses many people who consider themselves somewhat health conscious, and has the curious distinction of being home to the most people possessing both sculpted upper bodies and beer guts.

  • South - The Mecca of UCONN. These suite-style residence halls are the trophy bride of the University, appearing in all recruitment propaganda. The nicest rooms, best dining hall, and largest lawn are all parts of South Campus. South is not a regular dorm; rather, it is intended mainly for upper-classmen, honours students, and basketball team members. Any sophomore or freshman who gets into South should consider them self the luckiest person on Earth.

There are two other recently constructed non-regular residence halls, being the Hilltop Suites and Hilltop Apartments. However, these places have yet to develop any significant culture of their own, aside from being easy targets for thieves.

Dining Hall Food, or Where not to Eat at UCONN

There is a prevailing opinion among college students that the food at UCONN is decent in relation to that of other universities in America. If this is the case, it becomes almost challenging to consider what poor dining hall food must be like. At UCONN, there are eight main dining halls, and several smaller ones in the Towers complex. No matter what any student may say, there is very little that may be considered suitable for consumption at any of these. Six of the eight dining halls, as well as the Towers caf├ęs are on a rotating meal plan, with each meal coming up once every four weeks. While it is said that the diversity and range of cuisine presented in these meals are intended to promote healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. The only thing actually promoted is indigestion. For this reason, do not eat at any dining hall not called South or Northwest. South and Northwest are the best (using the term loosely) dining halls on campus. They offer a larger range of rotating meals, but also have staple foods such as french fries, grilled cheese, deli sandwiches, and hamburgers available at every meal. While these may not be the most healthy, they are certainly the only ones worth the risk of ingesting. If money is not an object, it is best to wait until night and order food from one of the several restaurants that will deliver food directly to any dorm.

Academics

Offering innumerable schools and fields of study, as well as the opportunity to design an individualized major, UCONN is an excellent educational institution. Unfortunately, the majority of the population is too drunk or too depressed most of the time to take full advantage of these services. Most of the academic buildings are old and in a state of disrepair. However, wealthy contributors have allowed certain schools and colleges to have better facilities. These include the Schools of Engineering and Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Chemistry.

A massive third engineering building is in progress in the dead centre of campus at the time of writing. A popular myth is that several students have fallen into the digging surrounding this building, and have yet to be heard from since. The new business building was completed this semester. It is an amazingly complicated, yet horribly unattractive, building. The chemistry department was given a new building two years ago. This building is large and reminiscent of Gotham City. Supposedly, it was constructed too close to a manmade lake, and is slowly sinking into said lake. Lastly, the former chemistry building was redone and made into the new home of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This building was given a shiny new interior, and houses two of the steepest lecture halls on campus. Although four floors are listed, there are two additional, unacknowledged floors above the fourth.

Athletics, or Husky Pride

The team mascot of the University of Connecticut is Jonathan the Husky. For the most part, UCONN has decent athletic prowess, with a few exceptions. Football here is considered a joke, and one in poor taste at best. Baseball and softball and men's and women's hockey are decent. They have had some moderately successful seasons. Track and field is largely successful, and it is certain that all of the other sports that weren't researched are also OK. The most outstanding teams are the men's and women's basketball and soccer teams. The soccer teams have been among the most successful in the nation over the last few years, garnering championships and awards all the way. The men's basketball team is consistently nationally regarded, and has a loyal and rabid following. The women's basketball team is the programme in women's collegiate basketball, and this claim is backed up by a legion of old people, middle-aged women, and students. The Lady Huskies are a mighty behemoth and shows no signs of stopping or taking any prisoners in the near future.

A degree of tolerance is practised for students who are not fans of most teams. However, it is nearly unacceptable to be apathetic about the basketball programmes. By the time a student leaves UCONN, they will have had the 'Husky Fight Song' permanently stuck in their brain, and they will be forced to bleed Husky blue, even if only via transfusion.

In Conclusion...

This entry provides a fair and (mostly) accurate picture of the University of Connecticut. Any further research can be done at the UCONN Website. If you like a boring place where all there is to do is abuse alcohol and watch cattle, then this is the place for you. If you can tolerate boredom and want a good, relatively inexpensive education, you might want to consider coming here. If you dislike drinking, drugs, boredom, and intolerably cold winds, research another school. Now.

1As of fall semester 2002, North and Towers will join Northwest as alcohol-free areas. Therefore, it follows that any parties supposedly taking place in these dorms after fall (autumn) 2002 must only be flashbacks to previous parties, or vicious, vicious lies.2Resident Assistants (or RAs) are students who live on the floor and are in charge of several things. They provide discipline for minor offences, such as violation of quiet hours. They perform fire safety inspections, and they also plan programmes for the floor. They serve as an immediate authority on each floor.

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