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03 April 2007 @ 03:00 pm
 
Hi,

I'll be a freshman in college next year, and right now I'm trying to choose which college will be right for me. For the longest time I've been set on going to Seattle U, but UP is looking increasingly appealing to me. I have some concerns though.

How active in social justice is the campus? And not just in a 'go down to St. Francis Dining Hall' type way--are there clubs or events addressing social justice issues on a world wide scale, issues such as Darfur or the war? Seattle U seems to be very active in social justice, and I haven't gotten a sense of that level of involvement from UP. Am I wrong? I hope I am, I think I want to go to UP, but I'd like to be involved in clubs like Amnesty International, Oxfam etc. and don't know if I'll be able to do that at UP.

Also, how accepting of other traditions/beliefs is the campus? Are there classes about other faith traditions, or is it pretty focused on Catholicism and Catholicism only?

Also, not that it really matters to me, but am just curious--ratio of Republicans to Democrats?

Thanks!
 
 
 
Erinsixpenny_book on April 4th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
I'm not really all that involved in the programs you talk about, but I think they do try and have a presence on campus. Right now there are signs all over campus about the problems in Darfur, and I know there is a Peace Club type thing that holds some events. They do have what they call plunges every fall and spring break where you go with a group somewhere. They've gone to Mississippi to help with hurricane clean up, and have done other things to help people (I think they have an urban policy plunge where you learn about homelessness, among other urban issues, in Portland). Just searching around on the site, here's some other links that might be helpful:
http://www.up.edu/ovs/default.aspx?cid=1282&pid=350
http://www.up.edu/ovs/default.aspx?cid=4653&pid=346

Just as a note, in terms of the war, there's a very large ROTC presence on campus that can give the school a conservative feel. My roommate and boyfriend are both in ROTC, though, so it could just be that I'm around it a lot that I notice it. I'm a democrat and definitely against the war, so that adds to it. I'm not sure what the ratio of Republicans to Democrats is, but I feel like it's a pretty equal mix of the two. Even though we're in Portland, which is a pretty liberal city, it is a private, Catholic school so there's quite a few people coming from wealthier backgrounds that tend to be more conservative. The administration is definitely very conservative, but the faculty seems to be more liberal.

As far as religion goes, its hard for me to say because I was raised Catholic, but I don't think it's really pushed on you. The only thing is that you're required to take theology classes, including Biblical Traditions, which I think would be easier to take coming from a Catholic background and being familiar with the Bible. I also took Theology 101 (another required class) which is basically a comparative religion class, where you learn about all different kinds of religions. I don't think there are too many other classes you learn about religions other than Christianity or Catholicism, which is a shame, I think.

I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have any more questions, I'm glad to answer them.
Her?neptunepirate on April 5th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information. If I do go to Portland, I'm sure I'd love it. It's just that all of my aunts and uncles went there, and they are all pretty close minded conservative type, and I wasn't sure if that was a product of their college life, or their parents (who are very very conservative). I don't have a problem with conservatives, I just like open-mindedness, something my family is not.
mmoonstarsmmoonstars on April 4th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Um, you are right, there are fewer options regarding other religions classwise, most upper division electives in theology are centered on catholicism and those types of things, which you can check out if you go to the bulletin off the registrar's website, and look at all the theology classes offered
http://www.up.edu/registrar/default.aspx?cid=5051&pid=903&gd=yes.

Most on campus ministry activities are centered around christianity and I haven't seen much that directly serves/addresses eastern religions.

The comments above about the admin/faculty regarding views are correct, however I think that there is definately a 3/4 democrat 1/4 republican type balance, but the conservative side is definately felt.

There are no AI or Oxfam clubs on campus but you can start one, but the process is difficult I will tell you up front, but because it is a SJ related thing you would probably get more support from the admin than say a movie club idea.
There is a fair amount of SJ events on campus, however you may have to look for them/be on the right mailing lists, I don't think that they are to the forefront as much as they would be at other universities.

I would be interested to know what you are thinking about majoring in, if you have an idea yet, because I think that is something that can make a big impact on your experience at UP.

Good luck with your decision, and let me know if you want to know more, or you can email me mmascsak@up.edu

Margaret
Her?neptunepirate on April 5th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I don't know for sure what I'd like to major in, maybe business, if I like it, or history. I'm just really hesistant to miss out on something because I didn't look at all the options.
Colleenspicycolleen on January 11th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
I know this is years late, but what school did you end up going to?