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Old 02-11-2008, 07:42 AM
Location: Atlantic Highlands NJ/Ponte Vedra FL/NYC
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My son was accepted at JMU and we are coming to visit the area this coming weekend, can anyone offer any insights about the school, the area, any info would be most appreciated.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:46 PM
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My son graduated from JMU two years ago. He was very happy there. He had a good experience. The area is beautiful and seems as safe as it is anywhere these days. You might want to stay at the Jameson or the Hampton Inn where they serve a nice continental breakfast. They only negative thing he could say was about the computer science dept. It was a mess at the time he was enrolled. He quickly transfered to become a business major. Other than that, everything was good.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:54 AM
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The campus and the town are very sleepy. Some portion of the students (don't really know how many, I'm just speaking anecdotally from my own experience) are so under-stimulated that they drop or flunk out.

I knew a guy from Thomas Jefferson HS for Sci & Tech that this happened to (dropped out to smoke a lot of pot and work a construction job in Harrisionburg), and I know what when I was there (also from TJ) I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning to go to class.

After I transferred out, I got all A's at my new school, and went on to grad school at William & Mary, and then a second graduate degree at Columbia -- graduated with academic honors from both places, so I am capable to doing well in school. But at JMU I had to drop a Physics class, for example, because I was going to flunk out -- I got perfect scores on all the tests, but was so bored, I couldn't get myself to show up to the labs (and when I did, I spent the whole time thinking I was just wasting my time).

Back when I was there, there was a genuine scandal that almost no one could rouse themselves to care about. The president of the university (since gone) was running the place into the ground and axing whole departments (like Physics) to fire tenured faculty members who complained about what a terrible job this guy was doing. And then he'd say things like "Physics isn't important because they've already discovered everything anyway". So, scandal, right? Nothing. Almost none of the students cared. You couldn't even get them to sign a petition. They were that asleep.

So, I think some kids are going to need more going on around them, and a more stimulating academic environment, than Harrisonburg has to offer. Just something to think about.

And it's not like any campus is really "safe". The most isolated campuses are the ones with the most drinking going on, since the kids get so bored.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:58 PM
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I currently live in Harrisonburg. The school is expanding rapidly, as is the city. It is a phenominal place to live -- I'm from Alexandria and this is 10x better. Lots to do, great recreational opps, etc. I have several interns at my business and they never seem to have anything negative to say about the school. It is up there with the most popular universities in VA - with good reason.

Keep an open mind until you talk to current students and see the place. It is awesome.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:33 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
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I had a great time visiting friends at JMU while I was in college... Harrisonburg didn't really ever feel like a sleepy town, especially for the students.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:39 PM
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Things to do in Harrisonburg:

1. Go to a frat party

2. Hike to the truckstop for an egg sandwich

3. Hike to the Wafflehouse for eggs and toast

4. Hike to some sandwich shop run by a couple of hippies where they call the egg sandwich a "grinder"
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:22 PM
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I'm really surprised this thread has not filled up with a lot more positive replies about JMU. You will find without a doubt that the large majority of JMU alumni and current students did/do love JMU. I graduated in '96, my sister in 2000 and my sister-in-law in 2006. I've never known anyone from JMU to consider the university to be boring. As with any university experience, it is what you make of it. JMU has a very active student body that is reflective in the seemingly endless number of student organizations in which one can get involved. It is an academically stimulating environment located in a beautiful part of Virginia. Talk to current students and alumni whenever possible and you will hear a lot of great things. Good luck and Go Dukes

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:20 AM
846 posts, read 3,056,383 times
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Everyone I knew at JMU transferred out (or dropped out to smoke pot. I mentioned that guy before) except for one guy why managed to graduate while smoking as much pot as he wanted (now an English professor in some 3rd-rate Midwestern school. That guy was from Jefferson too).

How did that CISAT thing work out? That was part of the big scandal I mentioned
before. President Carrier was making all of the "technology" classes easier (though they were already unable to receive accreditation for their CS department -- that should have been a scandal in itself) so he could fill up his new "technology campus" (CISAT) that he was spending untold gobs of money on -- across the highway from the rest of the school, so you couldn't even walk to it.

Did you get that? Lowering admission standards to fill up his new campus, rather than, say, increasing the prestige of the school to attract more high-caliber applicants. So, the President of the Univerisity was consciously degrading the value of the degree everyone was working to get, spending tons of our tuition money to do it, and axing departments to get rid of his critics, and the students didn't know, didn't care, just wanted to . . . what? Go to another frat party? Roll over and go back to sleep? People didn't care that they were going to a University that suddenly didn't have a Physics department anymore? Did the school ever re-assemble a Physics department, or does that remain an embarassing gaping hole in the curriculum?

There's another thread titled something like "Charlottesville for young families?" that was started by someone desperate to leave Harrisonburg. That might be worth looking at too. That poster voices some of her own complaints about the place.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:46 AM
299 posts, read 906,187 times
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I'll be started JMU in the fall as a graduate student. When I made my campus visit back in November, I stayed at the Jameson. Nice, CLEAN hotel.

The campus is beautiful and only a short drive from the Shenandoah National Park. It's certainly a more rural campus than where I graduated from (Pitt) but strikes me as having a similar "chemistry" as where I spent my underclassman years (Virginia Tech). I sort of take this approach; if you're bored, then you're boring. I'm sure there's plenty to do at JMU if you're willing to look for it.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:03 AM
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Dude you are totally lost. CISAT has several ways to 'walk to it'. There is a road, a tunnel, etc. EVERYONE you knew dropped out? Was your circle of friends that one guy who smoked a lot of weed? Your statements are sweeping and overly broad, and frankly, pretty uninformed.

Carrier resigned in like 1998. That was the last century. You still mad about the Civil War, too?

Last I heard, JMU was getting almost 20,000 applications for less than 5000 spots. Doesn't sound to me like they need to lower any thresholds to fill the campus.

Heck, I didn't even go to JMU, but I know it's a great school. And the whole 'lack of activities' thing is laughable. Harrisonburg is Mecca for outdoor activities.

If you are bored here, you're are probably just plain boring.
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