The Princeton Review recently ranked UM fifth in the nation for “Great College Towns” and sixth for “Most Students From Different Backgrounds Interact” in a nation-wide ranking of colleges. UM was the only Florida school to be ranked in those categories.
“The University of Miami is indeed a diverse institution with students hailing from over 110 countries,” said Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “Through a variety of activities both in and out of the classroom, diversity is celebrated and recognized as one of the important values of the University of Miami.”
Other categories on the review included “Academics,” “Administration,” “Politics” and “Quality of Life.” Each category had sub-categories, each of which had both a positive and a negative section.
For example, “Professors Get High Marks” was paired with “Professors Suck All Life From Materials,” and “Great Food” was paired with “Is it Food?”
Other sub-categories included: “Lots of Hard Liquor” and “Scotch and Soda: Hold the Scotch,” “Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians” and “Future Rotarians and Daughters of the Revolution,” and “School Runs Like Butter”and “Long Lines and Red Tape.”
For the location category, schools were judged by size of the city, beauty of the campus and surrounding areas, climate and resources available to students.
“The moment I stepped on campus, I was sold,” said sophomore Aimee Garcia. “I knew as soon as I saw the palm trees painted across the clear blue sky that this was the school for me.”
For the diversity category, schools were judged on the percentage of non-white students enrolled and on how students from different backgrounds interact with one another.
“This campus boasts significant ethnic diversity and, in a nutshell, students say they are part of a ‘receptive and diverse group,'” the review said.
According to the report, students at UM describe themselves as “high-energy, fun-loving, friendly, and outgoing” but also feel “fiercely competitive” with one another. Also, some students are described by other UM students as “arrogant, self-centered, spoiled rich kids.”
The review goes on to say that sometimes life at UM feels like “a constant fashion contest” and that many students spend much of their free time “getting buff” and “working on their appearance.”
Although some students believe that the diversity of UM is a result of location, meaning that most of the diversity on campus comes from the diverse population of South Florida, most find that UM strives to recruit diverse groups of people from different parts of the U.S. and in many countries throughout the world.
“Yeah, it’s diverse alright,” sophomore Jennifer Wright said. “I mean – hello – my roommate is from Hong Kong.”
Many students take pride in the level of diversity on campus.
“I didn’t come here for the diversity, but I appreciate it now that I’ve experienced it,” junior Shelly Steele said.
“There are so many opportunities for everyone, no matter what race they are,” said Camille Linton, a Jamaican-American student and member of the United Black Students.
Aside from UM, two other Florida schools, UF and FSU, were also highly ranked in several categories of the Princeton Review.
UF ranked tenth in both the “Reefer Madness” and “Dorms Like Dungeons” categories, and fifth in the “Party School” category. FSU ranked third in both the “Lots of Beer” and the “Students (Almost) Never Study” category, and first in the “This is a Library?” category.
“Can we really expect anything more?” Garcia said
The Princeton Review is currently surveying students online at survey.review.com until Feb. 10. For a complete listing of the categories and rankings of the Princeton Review, visit www.princetonreview.com/college.html.
Jaclyn Lisenby and Leigha Taber can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.