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Graduate social scene in Eugene? - UO people
April 28th, 2010
03:11 pm
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Graduate social scene in Eugene?
Hi,

I'm a potential grad student in the planning program there, only have a few days left to put down a deposit, and I didn't get a very good feel for Eugene when I visited. I've seen only a handful of perspectives of UO and Eugene, and most of those are from an undergraduate aspect. So, I thought I'd post a few questions here and see if I could get any answers.

1. Are students, especially grad students, especially planning students, very social? Is there much interaction among students in different programs? Is it easy to make a network for semi-academic or non-academic activities? Or are people pretty much already in social groups or couples when they get to UO?

2. Do students (especially grad students) do things beyond the outdoors scene there? In other words, is it rare or common for people to have lower-key game nights, movie nights, and the like?

3. I've heard that, excepting its top programs, UO tends to be not so academically challenging. Do people find this to be true? Is this true in the grad school as well?

4. Are there a lot of opportunities for work if you haven't gotten a TA position? Would a student find themselves delivering pizza or something because there's too much competition for jobs on campus?

Well, those are my questions. If a PPPM student is watching this community, it would be extra-helpful if he or she replied. If a grad student who just chose UO is watching this community and would like to chip in with why they chose UO, that would be extra-extra helpful. Thanks!

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From:aristophren
Date:April 28th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Good luck finding a job dude. There aren't any (good ones at least). The social scene depends on the major, and probably you. My guess is that as long as there are some people in your program that you get along with, you will probably find stuff to do. There are some cafés on campus and the EMU, plus a ton of places off campus where people hang out. You'll be OK socially.
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From:placetohide
Date:April 29th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
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There is a LOT of competition for jobs of any kind in Eugene, even/especially crappy student positions, so don't expect to be able to walk into a job easily!
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From:rykhiuth
Date:April 29th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
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I am a planning student. 1st year CRP. For the most part, MPA and CRP students don't really interact besides buddy beers and other kind of social events. The CRP group seems to work harder than the MPA students. Maybe it is just the ebb and flow of my class (we have a lot of people in the 25-35 age range). As for other programs, the PPPM department is trying really hard to intertwine the PPPM department with the other Architecture and Allied Arts kids, so there is as much cross over as you want. Networks are what you make of them I guess. I like outdoorsy stuff so I tend to network in that direction. We also have a really fun ultimate frisbee team.

2. Do students (especially grad students) do things beyond the outdoors scene there? In other words, is it rare or common for people to have lower-key game nights, movie nights, and the like?

Yes. Again it depends on the group of students for your class. But our Student Advisory Committee Social Secretaries are really good about doing fun stuff like that.

3. I've heard that, excepting its top programs, UO tends to be not so academically challenging. Do people find this to be true? Is this true in the grad school as well?

Your in a professional planning program designed for you to get a job. Most of my friends are interning at jobs that they really like. A lot of them are being paid, which is a plus. But that being said, there are some theory classes and you are highly encouraged to take classes outside of the PPPM department.

4. Are there a lot of opportunities for work if you haven't gotten a TA position? Would a student find themselves delivering pizza or something because there's too much competition for jobs on campus?
Again it really depends. GTF positions aren't impossible to get. Jobs outside the University are kind of hit or miss depending on what you want.


If you have any other random questions, let me know!

The first year for CRP is a lot of work, but I'm really enjoying it.
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From:ohyourgod
Date:April 29th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
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I'm a grad in the arch program, but I took the PPPM Green Cities course with Robert Young, and if that class was any indication of the quality of education you would get in the PPPM department, I would highly recommend it. Green Cities was one of the most challenging, informative, and thought-provoking courses I've ever taken. I met a few of the PPPM students in that course, and they were all very intelligent and enthusiastic, as well as wicked funny.

You will have no trouble finding game nights in Eugene, but finding a job might be a bit harder. Getting a GTF position isn't impossible, though. Just make sure that you get to know your professors as early as possible.
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From:clipdude
Date:April 29th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
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1. Probably depends on the program. I was a grad student in the math department, and there was a lot of socialization between math grad students. Some of my classmates also had a moderate to high degree of social interaction with grad students in other programs.

I think many people come to grad school from another part of the country (or world), not knowing anyone in Eugene. Since the first few years of grad school can be challenging, it's natural to form social bonds with your classmates.

2. I think it's pretty common for grad students within a department to organize informal gatherings where people play games or watch movies.

There's more to do in Eugene than just outdoors stuff. Other common Eugene activities (off the top of my head) include: enjoying microbrews, political activism, listening to local musicians, the Saturday Market, watching sports.

The Eugene Weekly's calendar can give you an idea what there is to do in Eugene: http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2010/04/29/calendar.html

3. I found my program to be academically challenging. I can't judge other programs, though.

4. Finding work in Eugene is very difficult. A GTF (graduate teaching fellow) position is desirable, since it includes health insurance and a tuition waiver. If you haven't been offered a GTF position by your department, you should seek a GTF position in another department. You'll find that some administrative offices within the university offer GTF positions too: http://gradschool.uoregon.edu/?page=gtfOpenings
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From:blaze2242
Date:May 6th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)

For context, I was in the M. Ed. program in 08/09

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I think that the Ed program is quite different from other graduate programs at UO, it's very condensed, only 5 terms, plus you're doing student teaching but...

1. We were very social in classes, worked together on projects etc. and we did try and hang out socially fall term, but then school just got in the way. A few people seemed to make really good friends, but I only ended up coming away with professional relationships in the end. I found that most people had social groups, BUT were also looking to make friends or at least acquaintances with their classmates. What was more challenging to an 'outsider' was that there were people who had done their Ed. Undergrad together and had gone straight to grad school, so they had four years or more of being at school together under their belt.

2. Movie nights/game nights were the ONLY thing that the people I hung out with successfully made happen. We all had a great time and wanted to do it again, (I think we did it three or four times over the year) but time restrictions again...

3. I found that the graduate school challenged me as afar as my thinking, writing skills and organizational skills went. All of the teaching stuff was new to me, so I definitely was challenged by making curriculum maps, lesson plans etc. Not to mention the classroom management side of things, but their Ed program is one of their Top programs. I will say, though that it wasn't hard to get As. In my undergrad (which was also at UO) I found my classes challenging as well, but I wasn't in the normal programs then either, I did Music and Theater.

4. I had no experience with getting a job on campus so I can't speak to this one.

I'm a born and bred Eugenian so UO was an obvious choice for me when I chose to do an M.Ed.

Best of luck, if you have any more specific questions please feel free to shoot them my way.
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