Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Junior

Campus Quality: SCU is a beautiful campus with very modern buildings along side 19th century building from when the university was founded. My parents always say it feels like a resort and I have to agree with them. There are palm tees and large green spaces everywhere. All of the facilities are top notch except for the gym which is a bit small and outdated considering how much the students here use it, it is almost always packed.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: There are a few things that still need to be updated in order for this school to be "the best", but for the most part, they're doing it pretty well. The campus is very well maintained (to the point where you avoid walking on the grass in order to keep it perfect) and seems technologically up to date.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Plenty of clubs, activities, resources of great quality.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Campus is beautiful, social scene is great, attractive people.

4 College Student

Campus Quality: There are lots of green spaces on campus. The library is modern and has a sterile feel to it.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Santa Clara takes great pride in keeping its grounds and facilities well maintained, the expense of which seems to be reflected in the high tuition. Construction always seems to be going on around campus. In the past few years, Santa Clara has built a new business school, a library, and a student center, and renovated the pool, dining hall, and several dorms. But while most facilities are clean and feature state-of-the-art resources, some classrooms and dorms still don't even have air conditioning. The sluggish economy has stalled a few construction projects, but the school still maintains ambitious plans for the next few years.

Santa Clara's gorgeous campus makes it a comfortable and pleasant place to go to school—the beautiful Spanish-style architecture, manicured lawns, and palm trees contribute to a relaxed campus atmosphere that sometimes makes the school seem more like a resort than a university. Many students appreciate the up-to-date facilities and campus beauty, and cite these qualities as some of the nicest aspects of attending Santa Clara. 

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
104 acres
Student Centers
  • Benson Memorial Center
  • Locatelli Student Activity Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
University Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Benson Memorial Center
  • Lawns around the dorms, like the Graham quad
  • Mission Gardens
Bar on Campus
The Bronco in Benson Memorial Center
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Mission Bakery and Sunstream Café
Movie Theater on Campus
"Green" Initiatives
The Office of Sustainability hires student interns every year to coordinate "green initiatives" such as dorm-wide composting, recycling programs, and increased sustainable dining options. The student-run "Green Club" is also fairly active on campus, and the Cyphi RLC offers a "sustainability living" floor for its residents.
School Slang
  • Dark side: The North Side of campus, which tends to be quieter and less social
  • Grey side: A section of off-campus housing in between the "light side" and "dark side"
  • House names ("Peach," "Stucco," "Billboard," "Yellow," etc. ): Most off-campus houses are given names that are either totally random or correspond to a noticeable aspect of the house, like the color.
  • Light side: The South Side of campus, where most of the parties happen
  • Bay to Breakers: Every May, swarms of SCU students dress in ridiculous costumes and take the Caltrain to San Francisco for the annual Bay to Breakers race. Students join the 30,000 crashers who party behind the 20,000 registered runners while wearing crazy outfits (or no outfits at all).
  • Celebratory couch-burning: It's recently become a tradition for students to burn a couch in the middle of Market Street whenever Santa Clara beats Gonzaga in basketball.
  • Dads and Grads: On graduation day, The Hut offers students and their dads discounted mimosas and Bloody Marys before the ceremony begins at 8 a.m.
  • Library streaking: Every spring quarter during finals week, a group of seniors paints their bodies and streaks throughout the library.
  • Midnight Breakfast: During finals week, student organizations put on Midnight Breakfast with free eggs, tater tots, and juice for those in need of an energy boost.
Urban Legends
  • It's rumored that Santa Clara professors grade more harshly than those at Stanford; apparently, Stanford professors freely give out A's to students who have already "proven themselves" by getting in.
  • Twenty years ago, Santa Clara and USC hired the same architect to design a new dorm. Rumor has it that he or she confused the schools' acronyms and mixed up the blueprints. As a result, some believe that the smaller Spanish-style building intended for Santa Clara now resides on USC's campus in place of the 11-foot tower now known as Santa Clara's Swig dorm.
Favorite Things To Do
Students can be seen engaging in a wide variety of campus activities, including socializing over meals or coffee, jogging around campus, playing intramural or club sports, sunbathing in the Mission Gardens, working out in the gym, attending student performances, or just hanging out with friends on the lawns around campus.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Santa Clara
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
Whether you're into Irish step dance or SCUBA diving, it's pretty easy to get involved on campus. Many students choose to participate in larger organizations like SCCAP (Santa Clara Community Action Program) or smaller and more casual clubs like Cinema Club. If you don't find a club that fits your particular interests, it's pretty easy to start a club of your own-though be prepared to jump through quite a few bureaucratic hoops in order to do so.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • Completed in 2008, the state-of-the-art Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library buildings were 100-percent donor-funded.
  • During the first weekend of the year, the Office of Student Life sponsors a club fair where students can learn about and sign up for more than 60 student-run clubs and organizations.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 73 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 20 responses

  • 23% Be with friends
  • 19% Sit on the lawn and read or relax
  • 17% Go to Malley Fitness Center
  • 13% Go study in the library
  • 10% Go to the pool
  • 6% Farmer's Market
  • 4% Flea Market
  • 4% Pickup basketball
  • 4% Bake

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 18 responses

  • 25% Midnight Breakfast
  • 20% RLC weekly events
  • 18% Day parties
  • 15% Cinco de Alvisos
  • 10% Bay to Breakers
  • 8% Celebratory couch-burning
  • 5% Dads and Grads
  • 0% Library streaking

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 26 responses

  • 54% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 46% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 0% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 71 responses

  • 48% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 46% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 4% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 1% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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