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Written by Iain Bernhoft
Most students at Gonzaga are very happy to be here, although few would argue that Gonzaga isn't flawed. Common complaints include that it isn't strong enough academically, classes are too big, it's too Catholic or not Catholic enough, and Spokane is a lousy city for a college student. But most students admit their love for it anyway. Perhaps the primary reason for this is the tightness of the Gonzaga community, and the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that comes with it. One can cope with shortcomings more easily when living in a comfortable and friendly environment. Students' workload fluctuates wildly depending on field of study, but few are completely overwhelmed or obsessed with studying. Another major draw to many Gonzaga students is the school's study abroad program. Almost a quarter of Gonzaga students studies overseas, the majority attending Gonzaga's well-established Florence program.
The biggest challenge facing Gonzaga over the next few years will be the resolution of these various transition-related problems. If Gonzaga truly wants to establish itself as an elite school, growing pains still need to be resolved. It wants to be taken more seriously, but this will mean more profs, more technology, looking for new ways to accommodate students (better food, transportation, campus activities). As with just about any institution, there are plenty of reasons to get frustrated and plenty of ways in which institutional or administrative stupidity alienates those who are victims of it. The future of Gonzaga will be how it adapts after this time of change. They need to turn their attention not to expanding, but enriching.
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