BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: South Asian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Private school outside of Boston, Massachusetts with a graduating class of about 150 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Civil Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in a fraternity.
What impact has the fraternity had on your experience?
I’ve met a lot of people through that and it has also helped me meet people in sororities or other fraternities. Also, through engineering, I’ve met people who are also in Greek life because we have that connection, so I’m pretty close with the Greek community in general.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It depends on the semester, but, on average, I have probably two or three problem sets per week. I usually have one problem set per week per class depending on the week. In most classes we have three tests and a final. Problem sets and lab reports are the next largest in terms of points.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
All of the professors have a similar teaching style and present notes in a similar way so you don’t need to adapt to new teaching styles, problem set structures, and note-taking strategies. All the professors have similar ways of teaching and grading, which is beneficial. Obviously, different professors teach different ways, but it’s pretty similar.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative, at least in my major. 90% of the work I do is in a group. It doesn’t need to be done in a group, it’s just that engineering is difficult so people don’t want to do it on their own.
How accessible are your professors?
Very accessible. For the most part, they all have open door policies. They know the work is hard. I go in to ask my professors questions all the time and there isn’t a professor I don’t go to often.
What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Statics, which is a more advanced-level class. I like the more advanced stuff. Because I want to go into structural engineering, I’ve really liked Statics, Structures, and Mechanics of Materials.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
Yeah, I’m very happy. Originally, I got accepted to Quinnipiac for Accounting, but I didn’t really want to do that, I just picked it because I’m good with numbers. One day I woke up and realized I like building stuff so I switched to engineering. Your first semester you take a class where you learn all the engineering disciplines that Quinnipiac offers and I felt that civil was what suited me best. I think I was right because I’ve liked everything I’ve taken so far.
How has the engineering department being such a young department impacted your experience?
I think because it’s a new department the professors care a lot and really want us to succeed. They are very, very helpful. Even the professors that aren’t my favorite are still very helpful. I think they’re more invested in it because it’s a new department.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Commons with three roommates.
Sophomore: New Village with six others in a townhouse
Junior: Off-campus house with three other people. I have my own bedroom. I didn’t really want to live on York Hill Campus, so I moved off-campus.
What is your favorite living situation?
I liked living on campus a lot. Living in Commons was the best freshman living situation I could have asked for. I also liked living in New Village. All the people I’m friends from Commons I’m still friends with.
How was transitioning from your hometown in Massachusetts to Hamden, CT in terms of location?
They’re both relatively small towns. It’s not that much of a change. There’s a lot less to do in Hamden than my town, but that’s about it.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
The campus is very safe. Especially being a guy, I don’t worry about it at all. I haven’t experienced anything unsafe at all.
Pros and Cons of being in Hamden, CT?
Pros: (1) I like hiking and being outside, so Sleeping Giant [State Park] is the best part of Hamden.
(2) Whitney Avenue, where some restaurants are and a lot of off-campus houses are, is very accessible.
Cons: (1) Not that it’s not a safe area, but it can be sketchy in a few areas but I don’t think it makes a difference.
(2) I wish Hamden was closer to a nicer city than New Haven.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
When I was a freshman and sophomore I’d go out to New Haven Thursday and Friday and Saturdays I’d probably go to New Haven as well. Now that my classes are picking up and I don’t have as much time and desire, I still go to New Haven Thursdays and Saturdays occasionally but it’s just a lot of money that I don’t want to spend. I just go to whatever party is going on at an off-campus house or a frat house. It gets expensive having to Uber down to New Haven and buy drinks, but freshman year I was more fine spending it than I am now.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s pretty big. If you’re a guy and you want to party at a house, it’s pretty hard to find one if you’re not in a frat. If you’re not that into partying, it doesn’t make a difference at all. For guys specifically, being in a frat helps you have more fun.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
Going to the movie is pretty close. New Haven is nice to go down to for dinner. There is a bowling place nearby that is fun too.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Quinnipiac? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I definitely wish I went to a bigger sports school, but it’s not that big of a deal. It allows you to focus on school. I know if I had a big football or basketball game to go to I would be more inclined to go to it, so I think that helps in a way. Also, tailgating is definitely not a thing here. The other thing I’d change is accessibility because you have to Uber to whatever bar or house you’re going to if you live on campus. That’s about all I would change though, I’m fine going to bars and house parties. Where I live now, I can walk to whatever houses are having parties.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through engineering, because I do so much work with them it’s inevitable. Other than that, I met a lot of people in Commons. All of my friends I’m still friends with now I met in Commons.
How would you describe the social scene?
Greek life seems big because I’m in it, but that’s only [25%] of the population. In the fall and spring there are a lot of events that are put on by fraternities and sororities. The school also puts on a lot of events on the quad then. I wouldn’t say that we’re a huge athletic school, but I think that depends on the season. Our biggest sport is hockey, so if you’re big into hockey you’ll be big into the Quinnipiac hockey team. The social scene is pretty broad so if you are interested in something you’ll probably find it.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix on campus?
A lot more now than when I was a freshman. When I was a freshman it was a lot more White but it’s more diverse now. As a person of color, I think people mix pretty well. I would say I have a diverse group of friends. [20% of the Class of 2022 self-identified as people of color.]
How would you describe the South Asian community on campus? How strong is it?
I don’t participate in it at all. I wouldn’t say it’s that strong because I haven’t heard a lot about it. I honestly don’t know if there is a club for it. [There is a South Asian Society on campus.]
To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
It depends on the person. Some people only hang out with their fraternity or sorority, but I personally hang out with people not in Greek life and in Greek life equally. Most of the people in engineering are not in Greek life, so I spend a lot of time with them along with the guys in my frat.
How has the size of your school influenced your social experience? [There are about 7,300 undergraduate students.]
It’s also a pretty small school so I see people I know every single day, then, occasionally, I see somebody who I’ve never seen before. I don’t think it’s impacted me too much. But, it’s growing pretty rapidly and I’m happy with the size we’re at now. [The undergraduate enrollment has grown from 6,700 in 2016 to 7,300 in 2018.]
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Quinnipiac by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Quinnipiac?
I think so. I’m not a senior yet and I don’t ask people if they’re happy. But, in general, I think people are happy.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
No, neither the fraternity network the general Quinnipiac network. Especially since engineering is a pretty young department here – the first graduating class was in 2016 – so their alumni network is pretty small.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful are they?
I went to the career office once to help build my resume and they were pretty helpful, but that’s all I’ve used them for.
Have you learned any computer programs through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
I’ve learned the Microsoft Suite and AutoCAD.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how easy are they to work with?
I do have financial aid and they’re fairly responsive. I’ve had it since freshman year and I haven’t had a problem with them at all.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Quinnipiac before entering as a freshman?
How much money I would be spending to go out. Getting there isn’t too bad, but once you get there you have to pay cover and get drinks, it adds up. Over time, it gets expensive.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The York Hill Campus is pretty cool and I don’t think I saw that when I first came.
Reasons to attend Quinnipiac University:
1) It’s a small school, so if you want a small school this is a great school to come to because the community is very helpful. [The undergraduate enrollment is about 7,300 students.]
2) It’s a very pretty campus.
3) It’s a lot of fun. Freshman year I had a lot of fun going out.
Reasons to not attend Quinnipiac University:
1) When I first came here it was not that diverse, but I would change my opinion on that now. [About 75% of the undergraduate population is white. 20% of the Class of 2022 self-identified as people of color.]
2) People here are very privileged. If you don’t like that, that can be a turn off as well. [Socioeconomically, 28% of students come from the top 5%.]
3) Living on York Hill Campus can be tough because it is separate from the main campus, and if you don’t live there you have to live off-campus. The housing situation junior and senior year in general can be wishy-washy because it’s cheaper to live off-campus than live on-campus. [About 65% of students live on campus.]