Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The campus is truly lovely with historic buildings and green, green grass. There's a lot of sports areas (well, enough for a small school), and the coffee bar and cove are great hangouts. However, not many people go to the events.

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The places to hang out around campus are pretty great. Most people chill in the Cove or on the Mall (which is fantastic when it's sunny and warm out). I like my dorm because I decorated it nicely and I'm a homebody so I made it to where it's nice to hang out here. The freshman dorms have a couple hang out areas with TVs. There's almost always something going on in Bishops Lounge right outside the Commons and when it's cold out, the fireplace is lit and there are some bean bags to sit on. That's a good place to study at night, as well as the library, which has plenty of small group study rooms.

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The campus is beautiful. The landscaping and buildings are kept up nice. The student center is nice and relatively new. The athletic center could use some help, but is definitely still useful.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Campus is really beautiful with many trees and outdoor spots to study or hangout. I love that some of the buildings are original. It really adds character to campus. Tutoring and extra help is made very available, and it helps a lot. I really appreciate the opportunity to get extra help outside of class free of charge.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Campus Quality: Southwestern University is the oldest college in Texas and has retained a few of the buildings built in the late 1800's. The campus is beautiful with lots of trees and shady areas to study in or just hang out. The library is open 24 hours, 5 days a week and regular hours on the weekends. Which is a huge help when you're studying late at night for a test.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The Red and Charline McCombs Student Center is the sun around which all of Southwestern galaxy revolves. It contains the mail center, the Commons, the Cove, the bookstore, the ballrooms, and a spacious lounge with couches and a fireplace. The building itself is beautiful and relatively new. The Robertson Center is also new and certainly big enough for SU's student body. It has a pool, indoor track, and several large basketball courts, to name just a few items off a long list of amenities. Although it might not be considered a "facility," the grassy mall in the center of campus is as much a part of the school as the buildings.

Southwestern's facilities, from gym to student center, are all very well kept. Even the sagging Fine Arts Building is currently getting some work done on her-SU already has a brand new rehearsal hall and black box theater, and will soon acquire a new auditorium. Some students hope that the constant renovations and improvements done on SU will bring in more equipment for the gym. The library is extensive, and the librarians will actually drive to UT to borrow specific books from their libraries if you request it of them. The Robertson Center is quite new, and certainly big enough for SU's student body. Southwestern is very well prepared to provide students with all the facilities they need. They have several projects lined up for renovations, and the Physical Plant staff is always working hard at keeping up the appearance of the school.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
700 acres
Student Centers
Red and Charline McCombs Student Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Smith Library Center
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Cove
  • The frat houses
  • The mall
  • Your own dorm
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • The coffee bar in the Smith Library Center
  • The Cove in McCombs Student Center
  • The student-run Korouva Milkbar on west campus
Movie Theater on Campus
School Slang
  • ATT or Alma: Alma Thomas Theater.
  • Brown Scholar: Students that receive full tuition, room, and board.
  • The Bubble: The term describing how separate SU is from the rest of the known world.
  • The Chapel: Lois Perkins Chapel, located at the center of campus.
  • Comm: Short for communication studies, which is by far the most popular major at Southwestern.
  • Commons: The cafeteria housed in the McCombs Campus Center
  • Cullen: The Cullen Building, SU's oldest edifice.
  • Dirty Rush: During the fall semester when Greek students invite first-year students and independents out to dinner or other activities.
  • DLC: Dorothy Lord Residential Center
  • FAB: Fine Arts Building. Those that major in the arts (music, drama, visual arts) are called "Fabbies."
  • Fabbie: A theatre/music major
  • First-Year: Our fancy name for freshmen.
  • FRA: Fitness and Recreational Activities. This includes classes like Playground Sports and Swimming for Health and Fitness.
  • FYS: First-Year Seminar.
  • GDI: God D#@n Independent. Those students that do not participate in Greek life.
  • The horseshoe: The one route that takes you from one side of campus to the other, named after its similarity to the shape of a horseshoe.
  • IFC: Interfraternity Council, oversees male Greek life.
  • ITS: Information Technology Services. They fix your computer when it breaks!
  • LC: Lord Residential Center
  • The mall: The Academic Mall is a large grassy area in the middle of the Southwestern Campus horseshoe
  • McCombs: McCombs Student Center.
  • Meet Book/Meat Book: At the beginning of each year, the school publishes the Register, which includes names, hometowns, and majors of the entire incoming freshman class, accompanied by a photograph that the incoming student sends in. Some call it the "Meet" Book, because it helps you meet people. Others call it the "Meat" Book, because people check out the guys or girls in it like pieces of meat.
  • Mood-Bridwell: One of SU's oldest buildings and home to many teachers' offices.
  • Mouthwestern: The secondary name for Southwestern University derived from the belief that everyone knows everyone's business. This term is used whenever someone finds out the story of their weekend is being retold by people they have never met
  • Olin: The Olin Building.
  • PAIDEIA: SU's honors program. It's nice to put on a resume and is looks great to SU faculty and staff, but all students are aware with such a low GPA requirement- it's not much of an "honors" program.
  • Panhellenic: Panhellenic Council, which oversees female Greek life.
  • Phis: (Pronounced like 'fries' without the 'r') members of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • Pikes: Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity
  • Pirate bike: A Southwestern campus communal yellow bike or a female student with a loose reputation
  • Quiet Hours: The time (usually 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. on the weekdays) during which you can't be noisy in your dorm.
  • RAC: Robertson Athletic Center.
  • Registration: SU still has manual registration, which means standing in a long line, praying your courses don't fill up, and then rushing around the Walzel Courts like a madman.
  • Sigs: Members of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • Sixth Street: A street in downtown Austin that is home to some of the best clubs and restaurants in the nation.
  • SLC: Smith Library Center. The main computer lab on campus.
  • Study break: The Wednesday night gatherings/parties at the frat houses.
  • StuFo: Student Foundation, which is like a grown-up version of Student Council.
  • Townie: A resident of Georgetown, Texas that does not currently attend Southwestern University
  • Walzel Courts: Basketball courts inside the Robertson Center. Home of Registration.
  • Candlelight Service: Candlelight is the annual Advent service held in the Chapel the week before winter finals. The choir sings carols, and at the end of the service all the lights in the Chapel are turned off. Everyone is holding a candle. The pastor lights one candle, and then the light spreads throughout the entire church. It's very beautiful, and practically everyone goes, even non-Christian students. Many people invite their parents to come.
  • Final Scream: During the week of finals, there is a 24-hour quiet-hour policy in place. The only exception is Final Scream, which is 10 glorious minutes of cranked stereos and screaming. Some years, the drum corps has played on the mall during Final Scream.
  • Late Night Breakfast: The Commons opens its doors for one hour only, from 10 PM to 11 PM on the Tuesday of finals week. They serve breakfast along with a heaping helping of wackiness and entertainment. Faculty members are the wait staff.
  • Mall Ball: Fall and Spring Mall Ball are family-oriented days at SU. The school puts a giant slip-n-slide and moon bounce on the mall and serves barbeque on the McCombs patio. Faculty members usually bring their families to Mall Ball, and local Georgetown residents are also invited.
  • Matriculation Ceremony: On the last afternoon of Orientation week, all of the incoming freshmen process into the gymnasium, between two rows of smiling, robe-clad faculty. Then you sit there and listen to the school's President talk about integrity, honor, yadda, yadda, yadda. Your parents sit in the bleachers, cry, and take pictures. It's symbolic of becoming an official SU student. It sort of feels like a backwards graduation.
  • SING!: SING! is a Homecoming tradition that pits organization against organization on a field of play that everyone enjoys: musical theater. All the clubs on campus (Greek and non-Greek alike) spend countless hours writing witty dialogue, changing lyrics to popular songs, and practicing choreography in anticipation of the big weekend. Alumni flood back to campus to watch the show. SING! is probably the most popular tradition on campus. The sororities are die-hard SING! competitors, but pretty much all of their "skits" look like drill team routines.
Urban Legends
  • A wealthy donor refused to make a grant unless the sororities were not allowed to have houses. When the donor dies, the sororities will be allowed to have houses on campus, like the frats.
  • Each of the frats and sororities are given a Meet/Meat Book at the beginning of the year. They all sit down at chapter meetings and vote on who's hot and who's not, and that determines whether they'll invite you to their parties.
  • Eighty percent of Southwestern students end up marrying someone they met at Southwestern.
  • If you walk on or across the University seal in front of the Chapel, you will fail all your classes. (Even the groundskeepers don't drive their golf carts over the seal!)
  • It is rumored that Southwestern has the third heaviest workload in the nation. Students would attest to this being the truth, although faculty tend to lean toward the myth side of the spectrum. Either way, students notice if the workload is too much early on and will either tough it out, or transfer by second semester of their first year.
  • Southwestern has the highest percentage of fifth-year seniors in the nation.
  • The ghost of former Southwestern President James Samuel Barcus supposedly haunts campus. There's a group of students who keep his memory alive by helping "Barcus" (one senior guy with a wig and ski mask) make appearances at various campus events, such as SING! No one knows who will be "Barcus" each year, or how they are selected.
Favorite Things To Do
On boring weeknights, you can always go to the Cove to find your equally bored peers. On the weekends, the only designated meeting spot is down on frat row. During the day, there’s really no place better than the grassy mall. Bring a blanket, a book, a Frisbee, and a friend or two for a lovely afternoon outdoors. Outside of hanging out at the frats during the weekends, Southwestern offers things to do on campus throughout the year. The University Programming Council (UPC) plans weekly events with Cinematic Saturdays with campus wide film showings and Friday Night Live bringing comedians and musicians to campus. The FAB continually hosts musicals, concerts, and works of theater showcasing the work from fine arts students. The pool tables and shuffleboards in the Cove also serve as a nice study break.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: No
Did You Know?
  • The Physical Plant is in charge of keeping Southwestern looking good, and they take their job seriously. Their mission statement: "Providing and maintaining an environment
  • that fosters learning and the betterment of humanity, by creating an aesthetically pleasing environment for the community while preserving the historical character of the campus."

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 19 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)

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 5 responses

  • 38% The Cove
  • 23% The mall
  • 23% Your own dorm
  • 15% Bishops Lounge (in front of the fireplace)
  • 0% The frat houses

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 19 responses

  • 5% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.
  • 63% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 26% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 5% The student center is in need of a major renovation.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 19 responses

  • 32% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 63% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 0% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 5% I hate my school and have no school spirit.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% Ghost in Mood
  • 20% Story tree!


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