What students and parents want to know about campus life

July 25, 2013

UW-L Senior Ben Urbanek pictured on a tour.

UW-L Senior Ben Urbanek is a campus Vangaurd. He fields a lot of questions from students and parents throughout the year.

An average of about 4,000 students and their family members visit campus each summer. While here, UW-L Senior Ben Urbanek encourages them to ask as many questions as possible. Urbanek, who volunteers his time giving campus tours, says he is not paid to endorse the university and his answers are always honest and based on his personal experience.

Urbanek lists the top five questions that students or parents ask him on tours.

Question 1: What is your favorite aspect of campus?

The university is not too big and not too small. The university’s size is such that when I’m going to class, it’s impossible for me to NOT bump into multiple people I know. It’s no longer just walking to class — it’s a social event. Half way through the semester, you have your friends’ schedules figured out … I know I’m going to run into one friend at the clock tower and so on. I’m a social guy, so social interactions are important to me.

Image of UW-L Senior Ben Urbanek guiding a group past Cowley science Hall.

UW-L Senior Ben Urbanek guides a campus group through UW-L on a tour this summer.

Question 2. How is the student-professor relationship here and how do you establish it?

I always give the example of my general biology class my freshman year. My professor gave her home phone number to the entire class the first day with the caveat that we not to call after 10 p.m. unless it was an emergency. I thought “holy cats!” She’s married and has several children and I imagine she has a busy home life, yet she is trusting all of us with her home number. To open that line of communication right away, I thought, was pretty sweet. It’s great how professors here have office hours every week at multiple times. They’ll be in their office to answer questions about their class or anything on your mind. They’re always available to help.

Question 3: What is there to do for fun in La Crosse — especially on the weekends?

I tell parents — if your son or daughter calls you about being bored — there is something wrong with them. There is so much to do here. With the events on campus and all the outdoor equipment you can rent through the university throughout the year, the possibilities for entertainment are endless. We have bluffs on one side of campus and the Mississippi River on the other. We have the marsh trails, Riverside Park and historic downtown. People can really take advantage of what this area has to offer. Learn more about La Crosse.

Question 4. Which residence hall would you recommend for my son or daughter?

For incoming freshmen, I have bias toward the university’s three, first-year experience halls — Coate, Laux and White Halls. They are specifically for UW-L freshmen and offer programming for the first-year experience. College is such a big transition from high school… to have everyone in the same boat as you in the same hall is so nice. Programs are tailored to get students not only accustomed to campus, but also provide opportunities to meet new people. The friends you make freshman year, you’ll probably have all four years. Helping facilitate that through a first-year experience hall is great.

Photo of the outside of Centennial Hall.

Centennial Hall opened in fall 2011. The building features advanced technology, sustainable design, structure for interactive teaching and small group discussion areas.

Question 5: What program is housed in Centennial Hall — UW-L’s newest academic building?

The cool thing about Centennial Hall is that it’s not home to just one specific major, so everyone gets to enjoy it. It’s a new building. It has cutting-edge technology. The lecture halls are designed in a way that is very conducive to learning. Everyone wants the shiny new toy — and they can have it.

Schedule a visit and learn more!

Corey Sjoquist, UW-L director of Admissions, describes a campus visit as “test driving” the university to see if it’s a good fit.

image of Corey Sjoquist.

Corey Sjoquist, UW-L director of Admissions.

“This is that opportunity for students to envision themselves on the campus,” says Sjoquist. “They can certainly see the university online or in a brochure, but when they’re able to tour campus and walk in the facilities and meet the people, that’s when they begin to understand what UW-L’s all about.”

Students and parents have a variety of options to visit campus throughout the year, including panel discussions with campus tour guides, group information sessions led by Admissions staff, and campus tours. An option called Campus Close Up is the most in-depth visit option. It allows prospective students and families to interact with UW-L students, faculty, staff and campus organizations. This option is available during the fall and spring semesters.

To learn more about visit options and schedule a visit go to the Admissions visit page.