College Senior 2012-12-24T21:03:27Z
The Program, as we like to call it, is St. Johns College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum, which challenges students to wrestle with some of the timeless, fundamental questions of politics, mathematics, art, and human nature. Through the Program, we dig down to basics: Aristotle challenges us to ask, “What is politics?” Euclid inspires us to question, “What is a point?” These and many other authors call on us to lean forward and engage with their ideas, and this is our task in class. But perhaps what is most distinctive about the Program is that the books invite us to ask, “Why ask these questions at all?” As students at the college, we approach the books as well-intentioned interlocutors, mingling among the Western world’s great ideas. Though these ideas may seem distant when we first encounter them, in the course of our learning they become personal. Through the books we learn to discuss methodically, write clearly, read closely, and question boldly. To paraphrase Scott Buchanan, a founder of the Program in the 1930s, if one were to ask, “What are these books written about?” I would respond, “They were written about you!”
College Senior 2012-12-24T21:00:11Z
The Dean and Assistant Dean do an excellent job of treating students like adults. When there is an issue they always call in the students to their office. The the offense is deserving of punishment, then hey usually require students to fulfill a few of hours of community service time.
College Senior 2012-12-24T20:54:48Z
The dining in Annapolis is catered by Bon Appetite, which is a vast improvement over the dining in Santa Fe done by Aramark. The dining hall is very nice and the servers are awesome.
College Junior 2012-11-16T16:17:19Z
St. John's Dining Hall is run by Bon Appetit, and, considering that it is a college dining hall, the food is surprisingly good. They have a wide variety of options in a buffet-style setting, and they've been getting better recently not only at moving more towards an organic selection of foods and meats, but also at offering vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices. We're still working on getting a Kosher section, but hey, no dining hall is perfect! The chefs actually look at our Comments Board, so it's easy to request they serve a particular meal again - or to request that they never, ever cook twice-baked potatoes with that one barbaque sauce again. Ever.
Bon Appetit also runs the college Coffee Shop. The Coffee Shop's hours complement the Dining Hall's, which most importantly means that they're open for late-night snacking after seminar.
Freshmen are required to live on campus and be on the 21 meal plan unless they have an extremely good reason not to be, which means they eat at the dining hall most of the time. Upperclassmen can go down to a 14 meal plan if they so choose, and if you live off campus, you can go off the meal plan or switch to a lunches-only meal plan.
College Junior 2012-11-16T15:54:45Z
St. John's doesn't give out merit scholarships, which is a big turn-off for some people. It does, however, meet all demonstrated need (FAFSA, Profile). It also matches students up with alumni, scholarships, and college loans. The college's price tag looks formidable, but if you dig a bit, it becomes doable.
College Junior 2012-11-14T15:02:54Z
We don't have varsity sports and the only intercollegiate sports are crew, sailing, fencing, and croquet, but our intramural program is killer. Everyone is highly encouraged to come out and play, regardless of skill. The enthusiasm's great and it's a really nice atmosphere, especially if you had a rough time of sports in high school. We also have a women's only intramural program, called Kunai, which is the ancient Greek for "hell bitches".
The gym's pretty good, and there are lots of non-team athletics, like yoga, Crossfit, Swim Club, and Brazilian jui-jitsu.
College Junior 2012-11-14T14:55:25Z
There are only two places to eat on campus- the dining hall and the coffee shop. The dining hall food gets old after a while, but it's decent quality and there's a fair amount of variety. Not fantastic for vegetarians, but worse for vegans. Freshmen are required to have a 21 meal plan, unless they have special circumstances/dietary needs. In addition to the buffet-style set-up, there's a "Passports" section where the food is made to order which is very good. They often do things like tacos, pasta, and crepes.
The coffee shop is much better in terms of quality of food, but it can be a bit pricey. Their mozzarella sticks are the bomb. It's open until midnight every night apart from Saturday, so it's perfect for late-night study sessions.
College Junior 2012-11-14T14:40:42Z
The college is in downtown Annapolis, so it's easy to walk to lots of shops, restaurants, and cafes. This is good, because not many people have cars on campus and the public transportation in Annapolis is lacking. There aren't any grocery stores or really good clothing stores within (reasonable) walking distance, but there is a shopping shuttle provided by the school, and there are buses that go from near the school to said stores.
College Junior 2012-08-09T00:32:25Z
Guys & Girls:
"The Odds Are Good, but the Goods Are Odd." – Odds are slightly better for (straight) girls than guys, but SJC has such a great hook-up culture that it doesn't matter.
The best thing most people have going for them is style, esp. guys. If you like a guy that knows how to dress and is well-read, you are going to be very happy here.
There's a decent amount of good-looking people and a large amount of average-looking people, but after 9 months with the same 450 people, your standards adjust to fit the market.
Most people are somewhat weird and quirky, but if you're going here then chances are you are too, so you won't mind.
There's almost no queer scene, though. If you're gay, prepare to find yourself locked into a dating scene of about 7 people, or go off campus.
College Junior 2012-08-09T00:25:44Z
Something for Everyone. The dorm rooms are fairly small (especially in Randall, Paca, Campbell, & Pinkney), but they feel cozy rather than cramped. The buildings are very old and some are definitely in need of repair, but our campus was founded in 1696, so I don't know what you'd expect. Gilliam and Spector ("the suburbs") are very nice and are the newest dorms, built a few years ago.
There's a huge amount of hall camaraderie, especially in the smaller dorms (see the ones listed above).
Campus is tiny so everything's right there. Gilliam & Spector are the furthest from anything by far, and we often find ourselves laughing at our complaints about the (maximum) 5 minute walk to them.
The smaller dorms are the party dorms, and the larger dorms are quieter.
Only major negative is that there isn't any WiFi in any of the dorms. Bring an ethernet cable.
College Junior 2012-08-09T00:12:29Z
Health & Safety:
No Crime. Very Safe. The campus is fairly isolated from the rest of Annapolis (not geographically, but in the sense that few townies seem to know it exists), and you will quickly recognize every face on campus. Strangers stick out like a sore thumb, and when someone who isn't a part of the school walks onto campus, everyone sits up and takes notice. This means that there's almost never any crime from outside the SJC community.
As far as crime between students goes, our student body is so tiny that there's almost no way for anyone to steal from another student without being caught. Most people leave their doors unlocked, with no problems. 2 of my friends had significant amounts of money stolen from their rooms and 1 friend lost a laptop, so you may want to be more careful, but those sort of incidents are very unusual.
College Junior 2012-08-09T00:00:47Z
Generally Super Lenient, but They Do Like to Make Examples of People. SJC is hella lenient, but likes to choose random people to make examples of. Most of the time campus police will walk into a room with 5+ empty bottles of liquor, a fort of empty beer cans, and 30+ people and do nothing more than tell you to turn the music down, but every so often they'll take everyone's names and give you 20 hours of community service, along with a letter home to your parents. It's a gamble. The assistant dean is in charge of punishing students who get caught with underage drinking, drug use, etc., and she's as understanding as she could be without being a pushover. RAs don't give a f*** what you do, and some will show up to hall parties or provide their hall with beer. However, they're always responsible when they need to be. If you get into a tough situation, turn to your RA. They'll help you out without turning you in to the assistant dean's office, unless they absolutely have to involve the administration (for whatever reason).
College Junior 2012-08-08T22:39:09Z
Annapolis has lots of nice, small apartments and townhouses that students can live in, and they're all fairly affordable, but you will need roommates. Student housing tends to remain in the student body, with apartments passing to other students when the residents graduate. There are lots of crummy, dirty houses with subpar landlords (these are generally the houses passed from student to student), but there are also some really nice apartments in the historic district, above boutiques and cute shopping districts.
College Junior 2012-08-08T22:33:08Z
SJC blows at giving out financial aid. As helpful as the administration is and as accommodating as it wants to be, the college doesn't have very much money to give. I highly recommend calling and talking to someone in the FA office if you're not satisfied with your aid, because as flawed as the system may be, the people are lovely. There's also the Carnitas Society, which is unaffiliated with SJC but dedicated to finding scholarships for Johnnies.
College Junior 2012-08-08T22:27:41Z
You can literally count on one hand the number of black students at St. John's, and no other race fares any better (apart from the randomly significant amount of Korean expats). It's claustrophobic in its lack of racial diversity.
SJC is surprisingly economically diverse for such an expensive school, even though the over-all demographic is skewed towards the more upper-class end of the spectrum.
Politically, I've never seen more diversity amongst 500 people, but it's generally conservative. However, there is a large liberal presence.
College Junior 2012-08-08T22:16:14Z
Big Drinking Campus & Lots of Other Drugs, but NO Peer Pressure – SJC is notorious for the amount of drinking on campus (every night, sometimes day, of the week, and a lot of binging), and it's got a huge weed scene and a pretty accessible harder drugs scene, but I can't stress enough that there's no pressure to participate. Lots of people come to the big drinking parties and don't drink, and drinking/using status doesn't do anything to affect or define friendships (unless you decide you want it to). No one remotely cares about what you do or don't do.
Tangentially, smoking (tobacco) is also huge on campus.
College Junior 2012-07-07T22:10:22Z
It Almost Feels Unreal – For me, at least, it boils down to this: we get to sit around a table and talk about a book (Homer, Plato, Kant, Shakespeare, Milton, the Bible) for two hours with fifteen other people that are also excited about talking about that book, and it counts as a class. That's one of your classes. You have that class twice a week. That was enough for me.
College Junior 2012-07-06T08:41:49Z
Don't Miss Classes – officially, i think you can miss up to 12 classes in one semester. however, if you are a dependent student and if you miss 2 classes for one course, a letter will be sent to your parents and the assistant dean will probably wish to speak to you.
drugs? be very careful - people caught doing drugs disappear pretty quickly. alcohol...drink away :)
College Junior 2012-07-06T08:38:34Z
No Pressure – if you're caught doing drugs, you are immediately expelled. however, being caught drinking underage results - at the most - in a couple hours doing community service (also known as gardening with a lovely old lady).
there's really no pressure from others to drink or do drugs. it's also wonderful to have a wet campus - drinking at school-wide cookouts and just on the average day with lovely weather while doing seminar readings is wonderful.
College Senior 2011-11-17T22:44:48Z
Great Books Program – The Great Books program means that all students at St. John's read the classics of many subjects. We take classes in a variety of subjects, and all classes follow a discussion, rather than lecture, style. All of this forces us to learn how to think, rather than rotely memorize facts.
College Senior 2011-11-17T22:40:23Z
Annapolis Transport – The college has a van which provides transport for school activities. Annapolis also has a local bus system. However, most places students need to get to are within walking distance. There is no easy way to visit Washington, D.C., which is nearby.
College Senior 2011-11-17T22:34:06Z
Downtown Annapolis Dining – St. John's is right in the middle of downtown Annapolis, which has several good restaurants. Chick and Ruth's is cheap and gives large quantities of food, though the quality is not the best. Slightly pricier, but serving great food, are Galway Bay (an Irish pub) and Lemongrass (a Thai restaurant).
College Senior 2011-08-06T20:57:35Z
Igloos in Winter – The Fall and Spring are perhaps the most beautiful of one's days at St. John's. The Winter, however, takes hold in late October and keeps a steady grip on our tiny little campus where at some point the Polity flu affects everyone and social life dwindles behind big books and blankets and tea. That being said, the summer makes you pray for scarf weather.
College Senior 2011-08-06T20:53:20Z
Underclassmen are not allowed cars on campus, but exceptions are made occasionally. Either way, it's not really necessary since everything is in walking distance and there is a shuttle that takes students beyond their walking limits. Campus parking passes are one hundred dollars for the year, but if you are determined to have a car, that's much less expensive than the parking tickets one will most definitely accrue parking around Annapolis.
College Senior 2011-08-06T20:45:43Z
"THE" Program – There are no majors at St. John's, and this actually creates a perfect academic environment, in my opinion. No emphasis is placed on any subject; each of the seven liberal arts are important to the knowledge we gain here. The lack of departmental hierarchy and subject preference creates an opportunity for access to professors as a freshman that most colleges wouldn't lend me as a graduate student.
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