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Old 04-11-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,501,613 times
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I am more than likely to be moving to Iowa City this fall. As a result of living in Iowa City it will be due to myself attending the University of Iowa as a entering freshmen. Can anyone give me a full insight of Iowa City, I am excited with the likely possibility of attending the University of Iowa and living in Iowa City. I have heard nothing but great things about the city besides when speaking of the southeast side image. So if I'm not asking for too much tell me everything about the city.
Thanks



(Daily check press-citizen and the dailyiowan online. I know about a lot of recent events within the city.)
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:33 AM
 
60 posts, read 191,810 times
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Hi again

Iowa City is, for better or for worse, known for its bar scene, and just within the last couple of weeks the city council finally passed the 21 ordinance which has failed to get passed many times before. Previously anyone age 19 and over could get into bars but 21 to buy drinks...although once you're in it's extremely easy to get alcohol if you are underage, but now with the 21 ordinance nobody underage can get in the bars. This is likely a huge upset for a lot of people (I don't care at all).

As for classes, when you come for registration in the summer, I forget what exactly you do, but the important thing is that you pick your classes. They are switching to a different system for numbering the courses which I am not used to but it's supposed to be easier. In the past your classes were numbered like this XXX:YYY, x is the department number and y is the course number. So for example a class that everyone is required to take is Rhetoric which has its own department number 010, and the course is number 003, so Rhetoric is 010:003. Another example is Calculus 1 which is in the Math dept 22M, and the course number is 025, so 22M:025. Freshmen are at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to classes. They are on a first come first serve basis and the students with the most credits get to choose classes first (because they most likely need specific classes more urgently to graduate where a freshman can just take them later if they can't get in). Even like this I've never had a big problem getting into classes I need.

There is a system called Courses In Common where they make groups of 3 or 4 classes and make it so that if you sign up for that CIC 'package' you are enrolled in those classes, which is helpful in a couple ways... 1. The classes are reserved for CIC so you have a better chance of getting into them. 2. All the people that choose that CIC package will share a few different classes and it is easier to make new friends since you all have the same classes. I recommend that you consider a CIC class group if you find one that has interesting classes.

The way Gen Eds work is this: Rhetoric is the only class that you absolutely must take. Everything else you get options. You aren't required to take a specific math class, but you have to take a class that falls under the Quantitative or Formal Reasoning category. So your not required to take one specific class, just a class that falls under a specific category. I cant remember how many you'll have to take overall like maybe 8-ish? You can probably knock them all out in the first year if you choose them wisely. here's the course list

Living in the dorms can turn out many different ways.. can be the greatest thing you've ever done or you cant wait to move out, depends on your roommate. There are two different 'areas', west side and east side, and I've lived on both sides. All the dorms have Cambus's running to them for about the same amount. Cambus is free and you learn the schedule pretty easily. Two buildings have a cafeteria area, the west side is Hillcrest and the east is Burge. I think Burge is bigger and has a larger selection for more time during the day, but I prefer Hillcrest's food. The west side dorms are Reinow and Slater which are pretty much identical buildings across the street from one another and they are 12 stories tall which makes for a highly congested elevator on big move days, there is also Quad and Hillcrest. On the east there is Burge which is probably the most active dorm building as far as people traffic, Currier/Stanley which I dont know much about.. they are different halves of the same building and I think it's a pretty old building. Mayflower is the largest dorm capacity-wise. It is 8 stories high and located north of campus. The walk from Mayflower to the class area isn't bad depending on how fast you walk like 15 minutes, and there is also Cambus. There are downsides to the dorms that you aren't gonna hear about from the university... For the west side it's that those dorms are located right next to the Emergency entrance to the hospital which means at all hours of the day and night you are likely to hear ambulance sirens and helicopters. I don't think it's terribly disturbing but it's definitely annoying. The downside to Mayflower is definitely its distance away, and I'm not sure about Burge and Stanley/Currier.

The Fieldhouse is a huge building where you can find any sort of recreational or physical fitness activity, it's personally one of my favorite buildings here, and you can find multiple basketball courts, volleyball courts, a swimming pool, dance floors, weight lifting rooms, martial arts mats, an indoor track, racquetball courts, rock climbing wall, etc. There is another building under construction that is supposed to be finished pretty soon here that is supposed to be like a newer Fieldhouse type of building which I'm looking forward to. The main area is called the pentacrest and is comprised of 5 buildings, only 3 of which are used for classes. If you are going to take a math or history class you'll probably be going to one of those buildings. Immediately north is Papajohn business building where business classes are held, and next to Papajohn is the chemistry building. To the east of Papajohn and the pentacrest is Phillips hall where the language classes are, and a short walk further is is Van Allen Hall where other science classes are held. Back at the pentacrest, going west at the bottom of a hill and by the river you'll find the English and Philosophy building (self explanatory) and the Communications building which I never set foot in, and the Main Library with it's vast expanse of book.

Non university places of interest are the Old Capital Mall which is immediately south of the pentacrest and the ped mall which is immediately east of that. Around the ped mall and generally to the east of the university buildings you'll find stores and bars and within the old capital and ped malls you should be able to find nearly everything you'll need. Coralville is a city very close to the north of Iowa City that some students take a city bus or drive to because they have a larger strip of stores and a larger mall that even has an ice rink.

At the moment I can't think of anything else to write about and I gotta go to class.. hope this helps
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:06 PM
 
60 posts, read 191,810 times
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During class I was thinking of more stuff to talk about..

If you plan on driving here yourself or having a car here, it's possible to get a long term storage sticker at the Hawklot a few miles west of campus. There are other lots that are more expensive and have long waiting lists. Parking is rather expensive, I believe the meters are .85 cents an hour and diligently watched over.

The book stores screw students over so bad that it's hard to believe it's legal. You can expect to pay sometimes $60, $80, $120 for a single book, and at the end of the semester the book stores will sometimes buy books back for pennies on the dollar. I hate to say it, not only at Iowa but everywhere, professors teachings classes will choose certain books because they stand to gain from many students buying it, and often issue new editions with barely anything changed and the book store wont buy books back if they wont be used again. This semester I only had to buy 1 thin, flimsy soft cover book for $60, and my $100 book I found 'online'. I think it's a problem and outrageous, but most people just come to accept high prices. Give me a break! I once bought a $50 book that we didn't even use. It would be better for you to realize sooner rather than later that you don't always have to get the books listed on ISIS.

A useful website that I didn't discover until recently is Rate My Professors - Find and rate your professor, campus and more - RateMyProfessors.com where you can ... rate a professor. This might not be very helpful at first because the very first time that you choose classes you don't have very much time to pick them. After that though you can browse through classes for weeks before you actually get to select them. Also if you have questions about a particular class or professor I might be able to answer. Dont underestimate asking about a professor. I had a professor named Hantao Zhang who has tenure so he'll be teaching for a while. I found out the hard way that he has a speech impediment and can barely speak english, and I ended up using the book more than going to lecture because I understood 1/3 words he said. I later discovered ratemyprofessors.com and looked him up and found that he nearly universally got the same poor reviews and nobody can understand a word he says. Had I known this earlier I might not have taken the class and I know to definitely avoid him.

FLIP is the foreign language incentive program. If you've completed your foreign language requirements in highschool, and you take another foreign language at the university that you dont need, you can earn 2 extra credit hours per semester which is pretty awesome. And if you take an accelerated language course it counts for 4 because they are 2 semesters packed into 1. It maxes out at 8 extra credits.

On weather websites you can find the monthly average temperature for Iowa City, but generally we have hot humid summers and bitter cold winters. I don't know where you're moving from so I dont know what else to say other than the temperature is relative. It gets cold but you get used to it and it's not so bad... but it's still bad. The crazy thing is that no matter what the weather, the cambuses always run unless it's so risky that they might cause a serious accident. I've seen many a cambus trying to make it up a snowy hill for many minutes... they might be late to the destination but they always make it. And class is rarely if ever cancelled due to weather. Class was cancelled once this school year because it snowed too much and the plows couldnt keep up I guess. A little unrelated to weather, you've asked about crime on the forums mentioning one year that stood out in particular with several murders more than other years. A few years ago there was a report of an armed man and the university used it's Hawkalert system which basically sends out automated text messages, emails, and phone calls if there is a threat to campus security. They shut down everything and what ended up happening was they found the man's van torched on the highway and he had killed his family. So yes it was a tragedy but it was an extremely, extremely unusual event and the university handled it properly.

As far as sports, I don't care for them, but if you do you can buy very very cheap season tickets for hawkeye sporting events from the university.

Also you can buy very cheap software from the university one time. I bought windows XP for like $10 and vista for like $12, and then recently they started offering a windows 7 upgrade, which isn't as good as having the standalone product but at least it's cheap. Also if you are taking a computer science class, the university has some kind of partnership with Microsoft Academic Alliance e-academy, and you can download all sorts of programs for free.

All throughout the university you can find computer labs. You can basically find a computer in nearly every building and you log in with your hawkid and password and each computer is set up with any program that you might need. The computers for the general population of students aren't that great, but oh well. The computers for the computer science labs and engineering labs are much more powerful. Also the internet in the residence halls is super fast. I only ever tested it in hillcrest, but I assume that it's the same everywhere. It's 92 mb/s which means 11.5 MB/s which means super super super super fast. You can't download songs or torrent because they do monitor what you upload which is kinda creepy but it's the price you pay for super fast university internet. If they catch you uploading copyrighted content they shut off your internet for 24 hours and issue a warning and the second time it's permanent.

If theres anything specific you want to know just ask and I'll try to answer.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,501,613 times
Reputation: 246
Oh thanks, very informative.

Well I definately have more questions about the university and city, few are:
How many credit hours required to graduate
How come and how do one manage with the university not serving meals Sunday nights... where/ what to eat ( meal plan only allows one to eat twice on Sundays, rest of the days your limit to three)
I plan to double major in economics and political science any insight?
Also concern about the safety of Iowa City, have only heard that it has worsen and not like it once was. Here is a article about last year crime, read over horror stories that I can not even recall happening in my hometown ( which is not safe either):Despite busy year, Iowa City crime remains flat | press-citizen.com | Iowa City Press Citizen
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:40 PM
 
60 posts, read 191,810 times
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You need 120 hours to graduate, which a double major should have no problem filling. On the other hand next year is my senior year and I'm having trouble choosing which electives to take because they wont really count for anything except the total number of hours so I want to take something interesting.

I don't know why they don't offer meals on Sunday night. The way the meals work is you have a student ID with a magnetic strip like a credit card and you swipe it and it automatically deducts 1 from the number of meals available per week which gets reset every sunday morning. The cafeterias offer non-stop service from open to close. They open at 6:45am during the week and close at 8, meaning that they close the doors at 8. You can come at 7:55 and there will still be some food out and you can stay for a while after 8 but that's when they close the doors. On friday and saturday they close at 7, and sunday they close at 2. As far as the last meal on sunday, you can walk downtown and find a restaurant no problem. I like Jimmy Johns. If you have a fridge and microwave in your dorm room you can store food there.

I'm not a poly sci or econ major/minor so I don't have much advice. A lot of your econ classes will probably be in the Papajohn business building and one or two might be in the Pomerantz center. Both of those are very very nice buildings.. they're the kind of buildings you give tours of the campus in because they are kinda upscale. Your poly sci classes will be in Schaeffer Hall.. I think I had a class in there once, it seemed like a history museum but without the exhibits.
But realistically you'll have other classes not pertaining to your majors too.


As far as safety.. it's a non-issue, and it depends on your activities. I'm not a big drinker, thus I don't spend much time downtown late at night. And my reward for that is that I have yet to experience any crime at all in 3 years. I've said before that the book stores are the ones committing the crimes!!

I think the word 'downtown' is giving off bad signals. When I say downtown, I'm not talking 'inner city chicago' or 'run-down meth apartments'. Downtown in IC is a whole lot different than the downtown in my home town.

If you asked me about 'the gang problem' in Iowa City I would respond to you, "Iowa City has a gang???!?"

Also that article only makes mention of thefts/assaults. What it doesn't say is what the overwhelming majority of charges are for. I just went and grabbed a copy of the Daily Iowan to tally the charges

PAULA (Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age): 14
Public Intoxication: 13
Keeping a disorderly house (party): 6
Possession of Marijuana: 6
Operating while intoxicated: 1
Driving while barred/suspended: 2
Possession of fake ID: 1
Fifth Degree Theft: 3
Interference with official acts: 1
Domestic assault: 1
Varying degrees of Robbery/Criminal Mischief: 3

Most of these happened in April while some are from March and Feb.
Charges involving Alcohol/Drugs/Party/Vehicle: 43
Charges involving Theft/Assault/Interfering/Criminal Mischief: 8

They kind of sensationalize it IMO.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,501,613 times
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How would you rate Iowa City to other college towns, and do you regret/ would have went else where than the University of Iowa, or glad of your choice for attending?
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:41 PM
 
60 posts, read 191,810 times
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well the only other campuses I visited were Ames (Iowa State) and Platteville (University of Wisconsin Platteville). I chose Iowa over those two and colleges in my home town because mostly I liked Iowa City better and UWP looked good but it's mostly an engineering school from what I gathered which didn't really appeal to me. All the colleges in my hometown are small and religious. I'm glad I made the choice I did because everything about my life has changed and I like it better now.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,809,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeofseasons View Post
Oh thanks, very informative.

Well I definately have more questions about the university and city, few are:
How many credit hours required to graduate
How come and how do one manage with the university not serving meals Sunday nights... where/ what to eat ( meal plan only allows one to eat twice on Sundays, rest of the days your limit to three)
I plan to double major in economics and political science any insight?
Also concern about the safety of Iowa City, have only heard that it has worsen and not like it once was. Here is a article about last year crime, read over horror stories that I can not even recall happening in my hometown ( which is not safe either):Despite busy year, Iowa City crime remains flat | press-citizen.com | Iowa City Press Citizen
1. I don't know. It most likely varies by program.

2. Trust me, you'll be glad for the break. It's a college town, so just about every place in town will deliver you food. Get some friends together and order a pizza.

4. Good luck!

5. I would say 90% of the crime in Iowa City can be traced to two sources: drunk, over-macho frat boys who get into fights or vandalize things downtown, and a small criminal element concentrated on the far southeast side of town. Know your limit when you go out, so you don't get sucked into a fight and don't hang around the southeast side at night and you'll be fine.

Seriously, the media in Iowa City (the P-C in particular) is getting pretty sensational lately...but blood and guts sells papers, so they're over-hyping crime stories. It's not nearly as bad as they suggest.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:33 PM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,035,328 times
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^ especially for a college student, worrying about life in Iowa City because of dumb crap going down on the Southeast side is pretty much a huge waste of time.

I'd be willing to bet 85% of the U of I students don't even know the southeast side of town exists, or would know how to get down there if they wanted. There's just NO reason that students would need to go there, or want to.

I know there's the mall, but that area is perfectly fine, and when I went to school at Iowa - there certainly wasn't a huge desire to go shopping at Sycamore Mall. I was from Iowa City and drove people around town once (we were seniors), and everyone in the car was FLOORED when we drove around the east side of town. They'd been there 4 full years and had NO idea that entire half of the city existed. They never made it east of Summit Street. They just kept saying "holy sh#$! I didn't even know people actually lived in Iowa City!"
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