10/10/2007

YU Commie on UMD

Link: Univ. of Maryland's Growth Poses Problem for YU - Features

The article hits the nail on the head, but misses a few things:
1. It didn't interview any ACTUAL UMD students about why they chose it over YU.
2. It reflects a typical YU bias that people need a darn good reason not to attend a small, all male, very expensive, NCAA Division III, academically 'ok' college in a bad neighborhood. To the contrary, one needs a really good reason to attend. Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of great reasons to attend YU. I went, my wife went (and we met there - that's a good reason, no?), and we are proud YU alumni. I even grew up in Maryland and attended YU. But I sought it out because I was looking for what it had to offer; it was not the 'default' option, which other institutions had to dislodge in order to vie for my attendance.
3. The article makes it seem that the community at UMD is made up of kids from Maryland. That is clearly the largest group, and, indeed, I believe that it was a critical mass of Maryland kids which made it more attractive for students from other locales. At this point, though, they're getting students from everywhere, including a whole bunch from the New York area. 3 or 4 years ago already, the ZMaimonides school in Boston published a list of its graduating class and where they were attending college. There was more UMD on the list than YU. UMD is getting significant numbers from orthodox communities in Chicago, Minneapolis, Columbus, Atlanta, Boston, and South Florida, to name a few.
4. There are even a few things that UMD has on YU from a religious perspective. Most notably: Shabbat at UMD is much nicer.
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