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Old 03-05-2010, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,994 posts, read 4,199,492 times
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Just FYI it is referred to as CU Boulder, never UCB.
(UCB is the University of California at Berkeley)

Why is the University of Colorado know as CU and not UC or U of C?
The same applies at Kansas-KU, Missouri-MU, Nebraska-NU, Oklahoma-OU and Denver-DU. "Midwestern casualness," says former CU historian Fred Casotti. It has always been this way at Colorado, for whatever reason, and at the other five listed above-but seemingly nowhere else in the USA. In the 1950s, there was a concerted effort to eliminate the use of "CU" on the Boulder campus, both as a symbol and in speech, but Casotti said that no one would buy into it. "Nobody would change," he said. "It's easier to say than U of C, UC sounds like slang or something (as in 'you see'), and it was traditional. By trying to eliminate it, they reinforced it."
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:31 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,545,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I was with you all the way to here. Who determines what "normal" is? Maybe they don't have a "Naked Pumpkin Run" in Ft. Collins, but I'm sure they have some other wack-o stuff.
Personally, I don't think that it's all that controversial a statement. Having lived in both towns, I can say with certainty that Fort Collins is a much more conventional town than Boulder, if conventional can be defined as the norm for a city of about 100,000 people. I don't think Boulderites are going to disagree on this one. Boulderites are mostly very proud of the fact that their town is not like everyone else -- they are proud of a bit different.

If anything, I'd expect a little bit of pushback from the Fort Collins/CSU crowd -- they may not appreciate being labeled as conventional, but IMHO they are compared to Boulder.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:51 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,205,318 times
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[quote=tfox;13158374]I've actually lived in both Boulder and Fort Collins. It's the classic case of the flagship state U versus the land grant school. Think Texas/TA&M, Virginia/Virginia Tech, Michigan/Michigan St, Oregon/Oregon St, and actually most states in this country. If you're familiar with those schools, you'll understand the difference right away. The "flagship" school is stereotyped as "wine and cheese", with the more rural land grant school being all "cows and ag." This type of situation is pretty common in the midwest, west, and south (the northeast & California are different than the rest of the states, but that's a whole other story).

Generally speaking, CU Boulder has a better national reputation than CSU. It's a solid top-25 public institution (those rankings shift almost from day to day). CSU is not top-25 overall, but it is one of the top programs in the country in two areas: its vet school, and it's natural resources department (including forestry school). It also is very respectable (but not certainly not top 5), in some engineering disciplines and in agriculture.

It's worth mentioning that Mines in Golden beats out either school in the geosciences, and related engineering disciplines. Mines is arguably one of the very top institutions in the country in those areas. It also has a very solid engineering and hard sciences program even outside of geosciences.

Like most other states with this split, CU has more of a reputation for partying and liberal politics than its more square neighbor, though in truth the Rams of Fort Collins know a thing or two about beer, parties, and various herbs as well. CSU campus is not particularly conservative by any means, but overt political activism is far less a feature of campus life from what I have witnessed.

As a town, Boulder is by far more "hip" than its more northern neighbor. In Boulder, residents are justifiably proud of their town and consider it a "special" place. Part of that specialness is the city's commitment to sustainability, transit, growth management. Fort Collins people like their town, but they don't consider it necessarily "special" in the sense that it's somehow fundamentally different than the rest of Colorado. Indeed, Fort Collins is a lot more like a very typical "nice" American small city. In fact, Disney modeled its main street USA largely on the older parts of Fort Collins. To the south of the campus, Fort Collins resembles a nicely scrubbed version of Anytown, USA. If anything, some might find Fort Collins seriously lacking in grit. Boulder is simultaneously richer and grittier than Fort Collins. It's richer in the sense that the number of truly wealthy in Boulder is vastly higher than Fort Collins, but grittier in the sense that there's also a lot more visible population of homeless, panhandlers, and barefoot ex-students (whether real or not) who think they're homeless but aren't.

A lot of the things about Boulder are also true of Fort Collins. Both towns residents like their town. Both have extensive multi-use trails (Boulder has the creek path, Fort Collins the Poudre and Spring Creek trails), both have invested hugely in open space and recreational facilities, both have a fitness-oriented, outdoor mindset, and both are famous for their microbreweries. And importantly, both towns attract a large numbers of hangers-on, recent alums who can't seem to tear themselves away from their college town and alma mater; which is great for employers of college grads but not great for starting salaries.

To me, the differences in the towns affect the residents a lot more than the students. Basically, the students are mostly cut from the same cloth -- students graduate from the same high schools and go either direction, to CU versus CSU. It is true that CU has a lot more out of state students (and charges the ones who do come a lot more money for the privilege), but both schools increasingly try to recruit out of state students in order to get more money in their budgets. CU campus seems a lot more outspokenly political, but part of that I think is that the non-student population base in Boulder tends to be more engaged politically than in Fort Collins. Boulder is of course very expensive, but again, students don't feel the pinch as much directly due to shared accommodation. The other difference, and this is important, is that Boulder is much more tightly connected to Denver Metro than Fort Collins is, though Boulderites are very loathe to admit this.

But above all, the main difference is that Fort Collins appears a lot more normal than its offbeat neighbor. I think both Boulderites and residents of "the Fort" will agree with that assessment. Whether "normal" is good depends on your point of view.[/quote


**************
True,and to add to what you have said,having lived in both boulder and longmont,and familiar iwth fort collins [and i've also lived in missoula and eugene]BOTH of these college towns in CO are fantastic-and that is rare! Eugene IMO is no longer great,even though it is compared to Boulder. Corvallis,however,as the land grant insitution-is what you read about. It truly is that bucolic college town.
While Bozeman is nearly equal with Missoula by now in terms of quality of life and amenities,as well. MT and CO are the exceptions,in my experience,of land grants equalling the Univ. as a desireable place to live.

In many ways,fort collins is now what boulder was.
Boulder is still a top notch town-not only for university,but for anything-we studied alternative stuff there-and from technology to athletics [olympic athletes training]to holistic health and academics,THE best of the best is in Boulder. And I lived in SFO,Boston and currently San diego-I still find Boulder rates with them,despite being only 100k population.

Fort Collins,true,does not have what Boulder does. But it truly IS the college town you read about-there is a reason it makes all the top ten lists,same as Corvallis Oregon.
It's rare to find towns walking their talk. And fort collins does.
Boulder still has bike trails and a great infrastructure/location. But anyone looking for bucolic and low key,focused mainly on the university,would prefer fort collins these days....same with corvallis over eugene. [though eugene has deteriorated in other ways that boulder has not. boulder is yuppie,but it's economy has grown and expanded. It has grown up as a town/city,from a college enclave to an actual city,and has done a fine job of it.]

I personally did not like alot about living in boulder-but I can hands-down say it's a fantastic city of it's size,and there is a reason it is always listed in the top 10,same iwth fort collins.
Colorado is a great state with a reasonable cost of living,reasonable politics,relatively speaking,and a great quality of life. There is alot to like-no need to compare the two. Contrast them and find which city suits your needs. You cannot go wrong w/either,IMHO.

And I know colorado natives who had a great educational experience at CSU. They offer different programs,and different focuses. I also was originally turned on to FoCo by a guy from India,living in SFO,who told me how great it was and that he would live there in a heartbeat. This was before I lived in boulder. You can see FoCo is no slouch,and while it may not be 'as diverse' as boulder,in certain ways,people see it for what it is: A fantastic quality of life and laid back vibe.

As you can see,I cannot vote for either one. It's a tie.(:

Last edited by lrmsd; 03-05-2010 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:01 PM
 
3,605 posts, read 4,886,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I don't know anything about the school in Ft. Collins.

I can tell you that UC Boulder is a world class establishment. A large school with a huge student population. Large number of departments with quality staff and professors.

No wonder we clash so much

I much prefer Fort Collins and Colorado State. Why ? I just do.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:03 PM
 
3,605 posts, read 4,886,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Really? What about the one at University of Wyoming? What about the one at New Mexico Tech?
CSU's Department of Atmospheric Science blows both of those out of the water. Listen to the Penn State grad. CSU and Penn State have two of the best weather departments you can find.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,999 posts, read 30,260,840 times
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Don't forget Greeley. Not as big but still a good school. Just because you go to one of those large schools doesn't mean you'll "learn more". Most of my buddies that went to Boulder just learned how to grow weed indoors
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: CO
2,541 posts, read 5,838,673 times
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Presenting this as a battle is disingenuous.

Other than as a football or other sports rivalry, or lighthearted banter, there's little animosity or rivalry among the "college towns." They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but the choice of where to go to school depends much on the major chosen, the academic programs offered, the convenience, and the expense.

As far as which of them to choose if you're not a student but want the atmosphere of a college town, they each have their advantages, and you'll figure out and recognize which you prefer pretty quickly.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,354,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neditate View Post
Just FYI it is referred to as CU Boulder, never UCB.
(UCB is the University of California at Berkeley)
Nobody associated with it refers to The University of California as "UCB" (as in the now defunct United California Bank). It's "UC", "Cal", "California" or "The University of California". Go Bears!
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,994 posts, read 4,199,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Nobody associated with it refers to The University of California as "UCB" (as in the now defunct United California Bank). It's "UC", "Cal", "California" or "The University of California". Go Bears!
Duly noted!
Another reason that CU isn't referred to as UC from the Alumni website:
The acronym “UC” was used by the University of Colorado for fifty years, beginning when the university opened in 1876. Around 1924-25 “CU” became the official abbreviation, presumably to distinguish Colorado from the University of California.
According to University Communications, the official name of the Boulder campus is the University of Colorado at Boulder.The preferred second reference to the campus is CU-Boulder. Note: UCB should only be used in campus addresses. The official name of the four-campus system is the University of Colorado, and the acronym is CU.

Last edited by Neditate; 03-06-2010 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,114 posts, read 99,260,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
Personally, I don't think that it's all that controversial a statement. Having lived in both towns, I can say with certainty that Fort Collins is a much more conventional town than Boulder, if conventional can be defined as the norm for a city of about 100,000 people. I don't think Boulderites are going to disagree on this one. Boulderites are mostly very proud of the fact that their town is not like everyone else -- they are proud of a bit different.

If anything, I'd expect a little bit of pushback from the Fort Collins/CSU crowd -- they may not appreciate being labeled as conventional, but IMHO they are compared to Boulder.
I can accept the term "conventional" more than "normal". I have lived in Boulder County for the better part of 30 years, go to church in Boulder, have worked there, as my spouse does now, read the local paper all these years and the vast majority of the people I know, including those associated with the university, live relatively "normal" lives. Some of the hijinks make the news, as is always the case.
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