Student life @the University of Cincinnati
Center for First Year Experience
The Center for First-Year Experience provides leadership for each student's first-year experience and related academic program. The center serves as a resource for all the university’s undergraduate colleges and programs. This collaboration between UC colleges, academic programs, and student groups allow freshman to continue the transition from high school to college. The program is designed to help freshmen and their faculty to develop relationships that will continue and grow throughout their time at the University of Cincinnati.
Many students at the University of Cincinnati have the opportunity to participate in learning communities. These are diverse groups of students and faculty in which 20–25 students have at least two classes together throughout their first year on campus. Students have the opportunity to join these based on their major or area of study. There are nearly 120 learning communities to choose from. They are offered in the following colleges: College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, College of Nursing, and the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. A few majors require freshmen to be in these learning communities. Many of these groups have specialized courses taught by their academic advisor.
Transition and Access Program
The Transition and Access Program, which does not lead to a degree, allows certain disabled adults to take classes, interact with other students, and intern at companies. After four years, participants receive a certificate which can be used to get a job.
Student Activities & Leadership Development (SALD) oversees over 550 registered student organizations ranging from student government to religious organizations to spirit groups. Housed in the Steger Student Life Center, the divisions overseeing these groups include Club Sports Board, Diversity Education, Greek Life, Leadership Development, Programming, RAPP, and Student Government. Additionally, there are several other Student Life Offices on campus, such as the African American Cultural & Resource Center, Bearcat Bands (the largest and oldest student group at UC), Early Learning Center, Ethnic Programs & Services, University Judicial Affairs, Resident Education & Development, Wellness Center, and the Women's Center.
The university describes service learning as reflective, educational experiences blended with service activities that foster a deeper understanding of course content and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. Each year students at the University of Cincinnati log tens of thousands of hours of community service on campus and in the surrounding city and communities through courses and other opportunities. The University of Cincinnati was one of the first universities in the country to be classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community Engagement focused university and was one of only 35 research universities on this list. In the 2013–2014 academic year, UC offered nearly 100 courses with a service learning component with over 3,000 students enrolled in them.
Among the hundreds of events that take place annually, two of the largest and most successful student-run community service events are the 18-hour Relay for Life and the 24-hour Cincinnati Dance Marathon. In support of the American Cancer Society’s education, advocacy and research programs, UC’s Relay for Life raised more than $126,000 in 2010 when over 1,800 students and over 170 teams participated by collecting pledges and walking the relay route through McMicken Commons on main campus. The event was recognized as one of the top 10 collegiate Relay for Life events in the nation and the largest Relay for Life in their region, which includes Ohio and Pennsylvania. Although the Cincinnati Dance Marathon at UC has only been taking place in the Campus Recreation Center for a few years, in 2010 500 students danced all night to raise $13,500 in donations and then in 2011 raised nearly $24,000 for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Fraternity and sorority life
Fraternities and sororities have been a part of the university since 1840. There are over 2,500 students participating in fraternities and sororities, which represents approximately 11% of the undergraduate population (Uptown Campus). 52 chapters have called UC home over the years, and currently includes 39 social fraternities and sororities: 21 Interfraternity Council fraternities, 9 Panhellenic Council sororities, 7 National Pan-Hellenic Council (three fraternities and four sororities), and two non-affiliated (Delta Phi Lambda and Phi Sigma Rho) organizations.
There are several media outlets for university students. The student newspaper is The News Record and has been in production for more than 130 years, taking its current name in 1936. It is an independent, student run newspaper and not attached to any academic program and therefore any student, regardless of program, is able to apply and work for the newspaper. There is a student-run radio station, named Bearcast that is housed in the College-Conservatory of Music on campus. The programming streams online as opposed to a traditional radio station and, like the News Record, is open to any student attending the university. There is also a television station called UCast.
The 48-hour film festival is held each year for the general public to attend. Notable speakers and filmmakers are known to kick off the event including Fraser Kershaw, as well as guest speakers and artists from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Actors, directors, editors, and composers are showcased at the MainStreet Cinema for students' and professionals.
UC Housing & Food Services runs three award winning dining centers: Center Court, MarketPointe, and Stadium View Café. Meal plans are purchased at the beginning of each year and first year students living in residence halls are required to purchase one. Upper classmen are offered the option to opt-out of a meal plan. There are also independent meal plans that students not living in residence halls may purchase. There is also a food court in the Tangeman University Center (student union) and many other restaurants and cafes are also available on campus.
UC is regularly recognized for excellent dining centers and restaurants and they have been awarded multiple awards since 2005. CenterCourt has received the greatest acclaims for UC dining, winning for best concept in 2007 and Grand Prize in 2006 National Association of College and University Food Services' awards. CenterCourt and Market Pointe Dining Program received the honorable mention award in 2009 and Market Pointe@Siddal received an honorable mention in 2008 and a Silver Award in 2005. In 2011, UC's Mick and Mack's Contemporary Café, one of the full service restaurants on campus, received the bronze award with Brown University's Blue room. UC placed third in the category of 'Retail sales – Single concept'.
6,500 students live on campus in ten residence halls that offer both traditional and suite style options. Students also have the option to live in themed housing, which include (among others) honors, business, STEM, etc. specific floors. Additionally, in fall of 2012, Campus Recreation Center Housing (CRC) was named on The Fiscal Times "10 Public Colleges with Insanely Luxurious Dorms" list. Nearly 80% of Uptown Campus incoming freshman students live on campus their first year.
In recent years, record freshman classes and increased interest by upperclass students has led to higher demand than supply for on-campus residence halls. To meet this demand, UC Housing and Food Services has added residence halls (Morgens Hall in 2013) and purchased block leases at University Park Apartments, Campus Park Apartments (formerly Sterling Manor), University Edge Apartments, and Stetson Square Apartments near campus. This has pushed the "on-campus" housing student population higher and the university announced that Scioto Hall will undergo a renovation and open in fall 2016 in addition to plans for a new residence hall and dining center where Sawyer Hall once stood.
UC Housing & Food Services manages nine undergraduate residence halls:
- Calhoun Hall
- Campus Recreation Center Housing (CRC is only available to students who are sophomores or older)
- Dabney Hall
- Daniels Hall
- Siddall Hall
- Jefferson Complex
- Consists of Schneider Hall and Turner Hall. (JCSH, JSTH)
- Stratford Heights (as of Summer 2009)
- Morgens Hall
- Scioto Hall
The University also offers limited housing to graduate students. Bellevue Gardens is an apartment community owned and operated by the University. It is located close to the Academic Health Center (AHC) and medical campus. Two off-campus university-affiliated (but not university-managed) housing options were introduced in 2005; Stratford Heights and University Park Apartments. All leases in the Stratford Heights housing area have been terminated, and control of the housing complex reverted to University control as a residence hall in Summer 2009.