Before I knew the nickname “Old Dirty,” I knew that Old Dominion University had a less than pristine reputation. I transferred from a small city called Lynchburg and when I told people I was going to Norfolk, they had a lot of questions.
Isn’t it expensive out there? Isn’t traffic bad? Why do you want to move to the ghetto? Do they even play football?
Most people made me feel like I was settling, but I was so ready to get out of Lynchburg that I said eff it and shot down the road. I’ve been here for a year now, and I can definitely see why the stereotypes are what they are. However, despite the bitter spots, the school is evolving for the better and there is something singularly awesome about being a Monarch.
1. We’re near the beach. Why do almost all non-engineering majors come to ODU? They “wanted to be near the beach.” What they might not have realized is that Safe Ride doesn’t drop you off at the Oceanfront, and that the only time the beach is pleasant is during the summer – but it sure does get them here.
2. We’re leading the way on sexual equality in Virginia. Not only do we have a kick ass, student founded, campus organization called ODU Out that does work for the LGBTQ community in Hampton roads, but we also had English professor, Tim Bostic. He and his partner, Tony London, sued the state of Virginia on the basis that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Although Bostic has recently returned to the Hampton Roads public school system, he is a passionate teacher who has spent his career advocating for his students. Now he’s getting to stand up for himself, and that’s beautiful.
3. We seize the m-f day. When technical glitches cause spam emails to flood ODU inboxes, we email right back. When “I’m Schmacked” comes to town, we turn up, never turning down, but sometimes turning over parked vehicles. We go hard, we yolo, we have fun. Then we post about it anonymously on ODU Confessions.
4. We wrote a book. A feat that takes some author’s years was accomplished in 24 hours in February when over 150 ODU faculty and students decided to write a book. They came together in person and virtual spaces to contribute written, created and performed content with the theme “You are (w)here: how knowledge is related to virtual and physical space.” And if you need more proof that this is awesome I have two words for you: choreographed dance.
5. We have our own video game. Forbidden to ride the actual lion statue on Kaufman Mall, our lusty Video Game Design and Development Club created a game called “Ride the Lion” to fulfill our deepest fantasies. The objective? Run through the virtual campus, scoring high points while avoiding a-typical ODU stuff like longboarders.
6. We’re increasing focus on study abroad programs. ODU has a large international presence and offers hundreds of study abroad options, but we have a measly 248 students enrolled in them. The university plans to kick at least 252 more chicks out of the nest in the next five years, doubling the amount of annual study abroad students we have.
7. We’re diverse but we party the same. ODU students are cool on principle because we’re so diverse. It goes deeper than the fact that we’re from all over the world; we also come from many weird walks of life. As different as we are, we still party the same. House parties and keggers are our common ground.
8. We have our own art museum and a blossoming arts scene. We have the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries on campus. You can hop on a bus for local museums like the Chrysler. ODUs Starving Artists went to the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival with their original work “My Dorian,” and as the only American university to ever participate in the festival. Students even painted a mural in the library. You have no choice but to love art here.
9. We teach street smarts while getting cultured. Located between the “ghetto” and Ghent, ODU students run these streets. Although you should walk with a buddy at night, the occasional field trip to Ghent for fancy food and strong drinks totally takes our thugness down a notch. Plus, according to Clery Act Reports, our crime levels are median among the United States urban college campuses.
10. The bathroom stall in MGB. When I read Harry Potter as a child I had no idea that the Chamber of Secrets was located in one of the stalls in the women’s bathroom in MGB. This bathroom has seen a lot; confessions, ethical debates over serious social issues, and tons of petty arguments and catty name calling between women who don’t know one another.
Old Dirty will always be Old Dirty, and we love it that way.
Find the #old and #dirty version of this article on www.altdaily.com – “10 reasons it doesn’t suck to go to #OldDirty.”
By Adrienne Mayfield
Editor in Chief