The traditions and generational habits of the University of Dallas inspire an overwhelming sense of community for the student body and professors. However, such a tight community can result in what is known as the “UD Bubble,” which leaves those outside the Bubble on a quest to break through.
Many transfer students like myself were drawn to UD by the Core curriculum. UD’s respect for literature and dedication to the liberal arts solidified my decision to attend a university so heavily rooted in tradition. The question though, is how can UD maintain tradition while including those who did not attend UD for their freshman and sophomore years? How can UD accept transfer students with open arms instead of closed doors and orientations meant for freshmen?
Namely, improving the experience of a transfer should be wildly advanced by the administration. Our integration into the UD community should not be treated the same as traditional freshmen.
Some examples I think would help improve the transfer experience would include: opportunity for proper placement into classes and a transfer group or mentor program that meets throughout the semester. Additionally, I think transfer students should be placed in dorms with people their own age. There is a big difference between a 20 year old and an 18 year old.
While considering a position on the Student Government (SG), I noticed that every class of student was represented: commuters, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, international students and seminarians. But when inquiring to the SG president as to why they do not include transfers, silence was returned.
With the evolution of UD and its quest to find a new president, one must ask: How will the traditions grow within us spiritually and academically when at the same time they can make someone feel like an outsider? This sentiment begs the question: will the future of UD remain bubbled in its approach to understanding transfer students, or will it widen their resources to welcome more students to an institution grounded in excellence? Or is the prerogative of the university to maintain a strict, generational tradition that does not welcome outside figures or ideas?
Transfer students at UD are faced with not only this new-found rigor of courses, but the overwhelming loneliness of this tight-knit community. Will UD open its doors to the “non-traditional” students or will UD reject the opportunity to educate those who hope to find excellence at UD?