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10 reasons not to go to my school.

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19 hours ago, Kfirnik said:

6. Cliques. Very cliquey school. Try to find a good friend group right away, or you'll be left out for three years. 

7. Similar to the cliques, many student groups and committees are run by same group of friends who give each other awards and appoint each other to highly sought after committees. 

Were you in or out?

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22 hours ago, Kfirnik said:

 

4. Further to last point, the administration failed to listen and take appropriate action to serious concerns about misconduct of some of the professors. From my first year to my last year various issues came up and none were dealt with seriously. 

Curious if you could speak to what some of these "misconducts" were

Edited by corruptfate

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12 minutes ago, corruptfate said:

Curious if you could speak to what some of these "misconducts" were

To protect my anonymity, I won't post here. But feel free to shoot me a PM.  

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Since I've just transferred out of U Ottawa, I'll give this a go. The issues range from major to small annoyances.

1. Fauteux Hall: It's an old building with a comically bizarre layout. Hard to navigate, too small for the amount of students it services, and ugly from the outside (along with the rest of the campus). The food options in the building are very limited and overpriced. The library has a ridiculous lack of washrooms that are filthy by the end of the day. It's not a good building. 

2. Lack of school spirit: U Ottawa in general lacks school spirit, but it's even more noticeable within the law school. A LOT of students go there because they didn't get into their top choice and there's a prevailing attitude of "aww the school sucks" among the students. It's not a huge issue, but it certainly doesn't add to the environment like the school spirit at other schools does. 

3. Large class sizes: With 80+ people in your section during first year, it's nearly impossible to get to know everyone and hard to develop close relationships with faculty. You're also segregated within your section and have little overlap with any of the other first year students in other sections. The large class size was a very big disadvantage for two classes in particular where office hours were only available via appointment because drop-in hours would have been too crowded. The extra step of having to make an appointment no doubt led to many students forgetting about it and not getting the assistance they needed. Not to mention, for classes that did have drop-in hours, the line was sometimes ridiculously long. I once had to wait nearly 2 hours. 

4. Left-wing nonsense: The school SHOVES social justice down your throat. Half of orientation has to do with natives, even though that's hardly relevant. The faculty (and most of the students) are extremely left wing and usually aren't afraid to share their opinions. The school gives credence to every single left-wing/environmentalist/Aborignial cause that can possibly be thought of and then shoves it down your throat with emails, posters, etc. The vast majority of first year thematic courses are about left-wing topics. As a conservative, I cannot stress enough how annoying this all was. The faculty and administration of schools should be relatively apolitical, IMO. 

5. The administration: They were very hard to deal with from day 1. The administrative side of the school seems to be overly bloated and fond of transferring you to each other because they each don't want to deal with your issue. I had to make an appointment for someone to answer simple questions I had about financial aid when those questions could easily have been answered over the phone in 3 minutes. It's also not uncommon to be on hold for over 30 or 40 minutes when calling. I found the entire thing to be very inconvenient. 

6. Extra-curriculars: This maybe unique to the two clubs I was a part of, but almost nothing seemed to get done the entire year. It was like those in charge only wanted their titles for their resumes and didn't care to actually carry-out the duties of running a student club. I was very excited to be a part of two executives at the start of the year as the 1L rep, only to see both clubs put in very minimal effort and run a tiny number of events throughout the year. For one of the clubs, we did not have a single exec meeting and only ran 1 event each semester. It was a joke. 

7. Lack of a party culture: This was a big problem for me, but may not be a problem for others. Despite the fact that Ottawa actually has good nightlife, it was very hard to get people to go out a lot. Very different from undergrad.

8. The weather: I don't hate the winter by any means and actually did not have a problem with the cold. Rather, it was the snow that was an issue, and more specifically the fact that Ottawa doesn't seem to care about plowing sidewalks (including on campus). For the entire winter the sidewalks were virtually unwalkable, filled with snow, ice, or pools of water. It was a major inconvenience, and I can't imagine what it was like for those in wheelchairs for example. 

That's really about it for issues I had. If I had to throw in 2 minor ones to make it 10, I'd say a) the lack of affordable food options on campus and b) the horrible law bookstore.

I don't recommend U Ottawa for most and I'm happy I left. That said, if you're interested in any law within the federal jurisdiction (criminal/health/Aboriginal/etc.) then it could be a good school for you. Likewise, if you want to live in a big city and not smaller towns like London or Kingston, U Ottawa may also be right for you. Finally, a lot of students chose that school because they wanted to work or volunteer in government/politics, and you're obviously in the right city for that at U Ottawa. So even though it wasn't for me, it may be right for others. Take stock of what's most important to you when choosing a school and make a positive decision for your specific needs. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mission22 said:

 

4. Left-wing nonsense: The school SHOVES social justice down your throat. Half of orientation has to do with natives, even though that's hardly relevant. The faculty (and most of the students) are extremely left wing and usually aren't afraid to share their opinions. The school gives credence to every single left-wing/environmentalist/Aborignial cause that can possibly be thought of and then shoves it down your throat with emails, posters, etc. The vast majority of first year thematic courses are about left-wing topics. As a conservative, I cannot stress enough how annoying this all was. The faculty and administration of schools should be relatively apolitical, IMO. 

 

This section was painful to read. It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures?? and they advertise it? What kind of conservative, right wing course are you even looking for?  The whole 'half of orientation has to do with natives' part is particularly painful. *Indigenous* law is very important considering Canada's history. 

If I were to make a list for UWindsor #1-10 would be admin. It is insane how long it takes admin to get anything done. We received our grades a month ago, and they literally can't figure out how to rank >160 students, since the system apparently used to do it for them. It is wild. They don't answer emails, they can't make a timeline and, if they do, you can guarantee it won't be met. 

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2 hours ago, mission22 said:

 

4. Left-wing nonsense: The school SHOVES social justice down your throat. Half of orientation has to do with natives, even though that's hardly relevant. The faculty (and most of the students) are extremely left wing and usually aren't afraid to share their opinions. The school gives credence to every single left-wing/environmentalist/Aborignial cause that can possibly be thought of and then shoves it down your throat with emails, posters, etc. The vast majority of first year thematic courses are about left-wing topics. As a conservative, I cannot stress enough how annoying this all was. The faculty and administration of schools should be relatively apolitical, IMO. 

 

Thank you! Now I want to go to Ottawa even more!

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1 hour ago, WindsorHopeful said:

This section was painful to read. It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures?? and they advertise it? What kind of conservative, right wing course are you even looking for?  The whole 'half of orientation has to do with natives' part is particularly painful. *Indigenous* law is very important considering Canada's history. 

If I were to make a list for UWindsor #1-10 would be admin. It is insane how long it takes admin to get anything done. We received our grades a month ago, and they literally can't figure out how to rank >160 students, since the system apparently used to do it for them. It is wild. They don't answer emails, they can't make a timeline and, if they do, you can guarantee it won't be met. 

 

Could you make an updated reasons not to and a reasons to for Windsor?

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1 hour ago, WindsorHopeful said:
2 hours ago, mission22 said:

 

4. Left-wing nonsense: The school SHOVES social justice down your throat. Half of orientation has to do with natives, even though that's hardly relevant. The faculty (and most of the students) are extremely left wing and usually aren't afraid to share their opinions. The school gives credence to every single left-wing/environmentalist/Aborignial cause that can possibly be thought of and then shoves it down your throat with emails, posters, etc. The vast majority of first year thematic courses are about left-wing topics. As a conservative, I cannot stress enough how annoying this all was. The faculty and administration of schools should be relatively apolitical, IMO. 

 

This section was painful to read. It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures?? and they advertise it? What kind of conservative, right wing course are you even looking for?  The whole 'half of orientation has to do with natives' part is particularly painful. *Indigenous* law is very important considering Canada's history. 

"It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures??"

@mission22 is claiming the opposite is true, that the advertised causes are exclusively "left-wing" and therefore not diverse. @WindsorHopeful is using "diverse" to mean politically liberal, not to mean that the available choices represent various political positions. If the ideas and cultures were diverse, we would see causes supporting both environmental regulation and deregulation, gun control and gun rights, etc. 

To be fair, I think criticizing the school's support for liberal causes is misguided, as the issue re: diversity is not the outgoing support for liberal causes but rather the lack of support for conservative causes. In this way, we might have standing to reproach mission22 for the way they framed their critique. Nonetheless, they raise an important point: we could all benefit from understanding the goals and rationales of both liberal/conservative causes, and liberal/conservative perspectives on the topics addressed in first year courses.

 

As an aside, the issue is complicated by the possibility that the perceived overrepresentation of liberal causes and ideology results not from an intentional suppression of conservative causes and ideology, but from a natural emergence of the student body's interests. That is, the school isn't trying to "shove social justice down your throat," rather those topics receive greater representation because they are simply more popular among the student body.

 

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On 6/21/2019 at 2:45 PM, mission22 said:

3. Large class sizes: With 80+ people in your section during first year, it's nearly impossible to get to know everyone and hard to develop close relationships with faculty. You're also segregated within your section and have little overlap with any of the other first year students in other sections. The large class size was a very big disadvantage for two classes in particular where office hours were only available via appointment because drop-in hours would have been too crowded. The extra step of having to make an appointment no doubt led to many students forgetting about it and not getting the assistance they needed. Not to mention, for classes that did have drop-in hours, the line was sometimes ridiculously long. I once had to wait nearly 2 hours. 

7. Lack of a party culture: This was a big problem for me, but may not be a problem for others. Despite the fact that Ottawa actually has good nightlife, it was very hard to get people to go out a lot. Very different from undergrad.

 

The class sizes varies depending on the people in your large group in first year. I had a pretty good large group and everyone has stayed in touch ever since (mostly). I have heard stories of absolutely terrible large group culture in other groups; very competitive, etc. It is true that you are highly segregated in 1L, though.

This might have just been your experience, but I found that there was no lack of finding people to go out and do stuff. Even those that hit the books pretty hard and were trying to take their education seriously. 

A couple of things I would like to add concern the living situation/city itself

  • Housing in Ottawa is expensive. Not Vancouver or Toronto expensive, but definitely above Montreal (for now) or any smaller cities outside that range. I live in Gatineau and it works fine for me, but I rarely see my classmates take the same advantage. The vast majority seem to lament over the importance of being within walking distance even though public transit from the other side of the bridge isn't too bad. I personally find it difficult to disconnect from school if I am a stone's throw away and can always live in the library if I have deadlines.
  • The major areas around the school are very seedy. There are several homeless missions in direct proximity to campus and I constantly see both male and female students being harassed. Sandy Hill is a shithole to live in and the ByWard Market is not much better. Largely a result of under-policing (people rich and poor get away with murder right in front of OPD everyday), I suspect, but I do realize the situation is complex. 
  • There is a lot to do if you're into the bar scene and the canal is great summer or winter, but Ottawa is definitely no Toronto or Montreal in that regard, although it is wonderful having both those cities so closeby. Most of the 'retreat'-type activities are on the Quebec side, such as Nordik spa and pretty much all of the skiing. 
  • Parking is almost completely a non-option. A school yearly pass is $2200+ last time I checked and there is exactly one lot in Brooks which doesn't have that many spaces. You can get lucky paying for street parking in front of Fauteux Hall, but if you do it is still expensive. There is only 1hr max parking on all the surface streets in the area (in fact, parking is time limited in most parts of the city which sucks). 

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On 6/21/2019 at 2:45 PM, mission22 said:

4. Left-wing nonsense: The school SHOVES social justice down your throat. Half of orientation has to do with natives, even though that's hardly relevant. The faculty (and most of the students) are extremely left wing and usually aren't afraid to share their opinions. The school gives credence to every single left-wing/environmentalist/Aborignial cause that can possibly be thought of and then shoves it down your throat with emails, posters, etc. The vast majority of first year thematic courses are about left-wing topics. As a conservative, I cannot stress enough how annoying this all was. The faculty and administration of schools should be relatively apolitical, IMO. 

This is prevalent at Queen's and most probably at every law school in the country (though perhaps less extreme at some places). But isn't anything new. Academia has long has been dominated by left-wing professors and their ideologies. There isn't much anyone can really do about it, unless you're a big donor who will be willing to tell them that they're going too far, like Paul Bronfman did to York University. 

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