Waukegan is a strange place (any disagreements here?).
However, the notion being tossed around that moving the College into downtown Chicago - and making it a small appendage of a professional school - may improve enrollment isn't based on much.
Waukegan and the College are within an affordable hour's ride of Chicago. Many liberal arts colleges are even further away from metropolitan fun than that. The Waukegan campus is - in my opinion - pretty nice (landscaping, historic buildings, etc.) and has improved through the hard labor of many over the years. My big complaint was that we didn't have enough books and our library was locked away in the basement of Waukegan Public (which has since changed, no?)
Waukegan itself is even nice. The lake, old houses on Sheridan, parks and whatnot, the diners. I was a bit nervous about being there my first year. But I also appreciated its remove, for the most part, and appreciated the opportunity to learn about Waukegan and find my niches there. (too bad Irene's is gone.)
My class schedule (at times including a 4-day weekend) allowed me to spend every other weekend in Chicago with friends and do all the exploring and getting-away I needed. A few days of city bustling then prepared me well to look forward to returning to the relatively more quiet - even quaint - surrounds of Waukegan and the campus.
From what I've heard, the IIT neighborhood is no great shakes either. Given this, and the benefits of the Waukegan campus noted above, exactly what are people thinking when they talk about students wanting to be there rather than Waukegan? How do you 'market' an industrial looking campus in a much more urbanized area, where - from what I've heard - students are instructed to not even leave the boundaries of the campus? How can this be better than Bob+Ann's and Prairie House?
Yours at the barricades,
Class of '98
Shimer's Love Story
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