Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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2 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Some buildings like ATEC, JSOM, Big Daddy, and SSB look incredible, sleek, and modern -- almost like a sci-fi facility. The rest, however, look absolutely depressing (e.g. the dark and dank classroom buildings, monolithic Jonsson, half of Founders, Hoblitzel, Clark). Don't be fooled by what they show you on campus tours. They tend to hide the school's ugly half.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Quality: It not a too flashy campus, neither is is huge but it is appealing to the eye.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: All student are very active in every aspect

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The unique things about UTD that set it apart from other schools is I made more new friends and its a more diverse environment. The social scene and the campus is different from the community college i went to.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: I like the student center and the student hangouts.Sometimes I go to the campus events but not as often. In addition, i like the library with three stories tall


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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UTD campus buildings are, undisputedly, not beautiful. They are not so ugly that they can hurt your eyes; there’s just nothing fancy or novel about them. This is understandable, provided that the school was only built in the late '60s, with a main focus on research functionalities, not aesthetics. That being said, the buildings are new—many of them just a couple of years old—clean, and harmonious with each other to promote a sense of modernity and freshness. Unfortunately, when it comes to campus facilities, quantity is still so far behind quality. On a macro view, one four-floor library, one dining complex, one student center, and one activity center are not an ideal combination to serve 20,000 students. When one zooms in, it’s not uncommon to see three students and a TA sharing a 100-square-foot “TA Lab.” The situation will improve soon, though, as yet newer buildings are being constructed or designed. Here’s a list of known projects: two freshman dorms, a sporting center, a dining hall, a state-of-the-art ATEC (art and technology) building, and construction of new parking spaces.

Students, however, are crying out for cheap and accessible options for entertainment on campus. The small student union building is always crowded, and there’s not much there anyway, except for some pingpong and pool tables. A campus movie theater will help a lot, and so will a nice restaurant with more culinary exotics. For now, the library is merely adequate; the computer labs and research facilities, however, are great in both number and quality. By and large, students know their University is still in its early growing period and thus accept most of the school’s shortcomings and expect better days to come in a few years.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
445 acres
Student Centers
  • Student Services Building (SSB)
  • UT Dallas Student Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Eugene McDermott Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Comet Café
  • The library's Active Learning Zone
  • The Pub
  • Student union's pool tables
  • Study lounges
Bar on Campus
The Pub, on the second floor of the student union building, serves alcohol.
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Bookstore Coffee Shop, Visitor Center
  • Coffee Corner, JSOM building
  • Comet Café and The Pub, UT Dallas Student Union
  • Novel Brew, McDermott Library
Movie Theater on Campus
While there isn't yet a dedicated campus movie theater, the University does organize free movie showings at some big auditoriums and multipurpose rooms. Among the movies shown in the past have included "Hugo," "50/50," "Drive," and "Super 8."
"Green" Initiatives
Most buildings have very visible buckets for recyclable trash, and near the residential trash dumps, there's even a "recycling center" where students can drop their big bags of cans, paper, or nylon. The University also collects and composts organic waste from The Dining Hall and the landscape service. During the year, there are several "green" info sessions and recycling projects to educate students on environmental issues.
School Slang
  • The AC: Short for "Activity Center," where pretty much all of the sporting equipment is
  • EE: EE, also pronounced "Double E," stands for Electrical Engineering, one of the most popular majors at UT Dallas.
  • The PAs: Equivalent of other schools' resident advisers, the UT Dallas peer advisers help with dorm management and student counseling. They sometimes call themselves-half-jokingly-the "cool kids group."
  • The SU: Stands for the student union-the main entertainment and dining building on campus
  • Total Comet Move: Usually denoted and spoken as "TCM," "Total Comet Move" is a student group/noun phrase dedicated to describing normal-e.g., geeky, goofy, nerdy, or plain weird-behavior of a typical UTD student. Visit TCM on Facebook and Tumblr for more information.
  • Convocation and Welcome Week: For some students, Welcome Week is by far their favorite event-or chain of events-of freshman year. Packed with activities from a poker tournament to a "Texas Party" and a comedy show-Welcome Week really brings freshmen together and ignites a nascent sense of school pride in them. Convocation, on the other hand, is a more formal freshman event, with the appearance of the University's president, senior faculty, staff, and the Ceremonial Mace.
  • Homecoming: Without a football team, UT Dallas instead focuses on soccer and basketball for its Homecoming week. There are men's and women's games of both sports during the week, paralleled by fun activities such as cardboard boat racing, float decorating, and a ball night. It'll be interesting to see how a football team would change the Homecoming traditions, though.
  • Painting the Spirit Rock: Between Green Hall and University Theater lies a big rock. Whether this thing is earthly or belonged to a larger comet is not important-you can paint on it. Now, you need to bring your own paint and follow some rules, but if it's your birthday and no one cares, feel free to visit the rock and make your frustration known.
  • Paving Legacy Lane: Upon graduation, you can choose to donate $100 to the University by ordering a personalized brick-what a bargain, right? That brick will then be placed in Legacy Lane, behind the library, as a way of commemorating your enrollment at UT Dallas.
  • Rubbing Cecil Green head: There is a statue of Cecil Green (founder of Texas Instruments) in which students rub its head for good luck.
Urban Legends
  • "There's a tunnel network beneath UT Dallas, and you mustn't enter it," says an administrator on the first day of Welcome Week. What better way to provoke curious college students, right? This prohibition alone makes tunnel exploration a mouthwatering adventure for any UT Dallas student, although, quite frankly, there's probably nothing down there except some electricity cable and giant rats. Do note, however, that if someone threatens to throw you down the tunnel, he must really hate you!
  • Rumor has it that when UT Dallas was founded primarily as a research institution, Richardson folks were suspicious of the "research activities" going on in there-as it was the Cold War era! Thus, they surrounded the University with vast areas of land. This really was a blessing in disguise, since the University's rapid expansion today would be impossible but for these pieces of no man's land.
Favorite Things To Do
Depending on your friends' and your own preferences, you will find yourself doing different things for fun. Some students enjoy spending their Friday nights battling each other in Magic or board games at community lounges, while others hone their skills in pool, pingpong, or chess at the student union. Video games and sports are not at odds with each other, as many students choose to do both. Sometimes, all it takes for some good fun is just a night in, watching movies with your hallmates and friends.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Mercury
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
Founded in the 1960s, UT Dallas only started its undergraduate branch two decades ago. With young age comes both passion and inexperience, and on-campus student organizations are no exception. People start new organizations all the time, which is good, since there aren't a whole lot of things to do on campus yet. Those groups with a clear purpose, practical goals, and competent leadership develop rapidly and gain growing influence over the campus scene, with examples from sports clubs to international networks like AIESEC. Many organizations, however, go quickly out of sight, without noticeable achievements. Generally, though, starting a new club is easy, and the University Board is willing and able to fund and support "club entrepreneurs," as long as they are serious and passionate about their projects. Within existing clubs, leadership opportunities exist for everyone, even newcomers, and elections add excitement to routine activities. On the whole, the majority of students joins clubs or organizations and enjoys it.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • The Student Services Building, completed in 2010, stands proud as a green project that deploys modern technology to conserve energy. It "harvests" sunlight to help light 76 percent of spaces and assist in heating-resulting in a $60,000 thinner power bill. Built $1.1 million below budget, the SSB conserves 63 percent more energy than the average campus building.
  • There are two branches of Toastmasters International on campus: the Toastmasters club and the Jindal Management Toastmasters Society. The former meets in the student union building, while the latter is closely associated with the Jindal School of Management.
  • Located in the hot and dry Dallas area, UT Dallas is a lot greener than it naturally would be. To keep all of the trees and grass fields from dying, the University invests in a modern irrigation system, collects rain water in two tanks totaling 40,000 gallons, and uses only drought-resistant and indigenous plants.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 117 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 60 responses

  • 27% Hang out with friends
  • 15% Go to events
  • 14% Eat on campus
  • 10% Study
  • 9% Go to the gym
  • 7% I have none.
  • 4% Play basketball/football with friends
  • 4% Get involved with orgs on campus
  • 3% Play Ultimate Disc with friends
  • 2% Running
  • 1% Walk around campus alone at night
  • 1% Watching sports or playing softball for UTD
  • 1% Research Labs
  • 1% Going to campus shown movies

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 51 responses

  • 21% Welcome Week
  • 20% Convocation and Welcome Week
  • 19% Painting the Spirit Rock
  • 12% Homecoming
  • 8% Diwali
  • 7% Rubbing Cecil Green head
  • 7% International Week
  • 2% Paving Legacy Lane
  • 2% Oozeball
  • 2% Worshiping the Cranes (Enarc, JeDunn)

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 63 responses

  • 30% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 68% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 2% 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 110 responses

  • 21% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 55% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 20% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 4% I hate my school and have no school spirit.



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