Campus Guide: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is a school of approximately 8,000 students located in the small town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Bloomsburg, or BU for short, is one of 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

This guide is designed to give prospective students a look at BU through the eyes of a current student. I will explain to you BU’s academic programs, student activities, housing, and give you some general information about the town.

Academics

BU has 63 undergraduate programs. Among some of the best: the accredited School of Business, a nursing program which is a leader in Pennsylvania, and education (early childhood, special education, secondary education, and elementary education), which is a traditional part of the state system. There are also 40 subjects you can minor in. Minors are usually made up of 18 credits in a subject area. Everyone must also complete 53 credits of a general education program. To earn an undergraduate degree, students must accumulate 120 credits.

Student Life

There are numerous on campus activities available regardless of your interests. One of the most popular groups is the Bloomsburg Dance Ensemble, which constantly adds new dances to its performance repertoire and packs the Haas Center for the Arts during its annual spring semester show. The Program Board plans off campus excursions and on campus events such as movies, Bingo games, and the popular Midnight Pizza. For anyone interested in rushing, Bloomsburg offers nine social sororities and eight social fraternities. An activities fair is held every August where representatives from organizations hold sign ups and answer questions.

On Campus Housing

When you move on to Bloomsburg’s campus, you are assigned to one of seven residence halls: Columbia, Elwell, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, or Schuylkill. These dorms house anywhere from 250 to over 600 students and offer recreation rooms, study lounges, vending machines, and laundry facilities. Each room has basic amenities: closets, beds, desks, and dressers. In some of the dorms, it is possible to move around the furniture. Rooms are also wired for Internet access, cable TV, and land line phones. However, the Residence Life website has a list of items that you are not allowed to bring with you for safety reasons.

For upperclassmen, there are two on campus apartment complexes available. The first, Montgomery Place, houses four students. There are two bedrooms for two people each, one bathroom, a kitchen, and a living area. The second, Mount Olympus, is only for juniors and seniors. These are townhouses that are shared by six people. Each occupant has their own bedroom. The townhouses have two floors with a kitchen area, common area, and bathroom on each floor. However, the upstairs bathroom is split; with one room being a shower area. These apartments also come with desks, closets, and are wired for Internet and cable access.

NOTE: All rooms and apartments must be single sex only. All dorms are co-ed by door, floor, or wing.

The Town of Bloomsburg

Bloomsburg, known as “The Only Town in Pennsylvania”, is home to about 12,000 people. For those venturing off campus for entertainment, downtown Bloomsburg is always a good place to start. There are several popular restaurants such as Berrigan’s, Steph’s Subs, and Subway (for sub sandwiches), Town Perk (a coffee shop offering excellent meals and desserts), and La Fontana (pizza/Italian food). For anyone old enough to drink, Harry’s, Good Ol’ Days, and Russell’s are popular hangouts to grab a beverage or two. Russell’s also features a wing night every Wednesday.

If you want to order in, pizza restaurants such as JoJo’s, Napoli’s (known as Naps), and Original Italian Pizza are top choices of Bloomsburg students. The classic Papa John’s and Domino’s are also close by. You can even order food online through campusfood.com.

Not looking to grab a bite to eat? You can stop in Dollar General, always a student option for some inexpensive food and personal care item shopping. Phillips Emporium features a small coffee shop and Birkenstock shoes, along with an occasional poetry reading or film screening. If you have a formal event coming up, Exclusively You is a good place to shop for your Cinderella dress. For all your Greek lettering needs, Wagner’s Trophies offers affordable options, a wide selection of products, lettering patterns, and colors, as well as fast turnaround time on processing your order.

One of the biggest events in town that attracts students and townspeople alike is the annual Renaissance Jamboree, held the last Saturday in April. Town organizations and churches, as well as student groups, set up booths and volunteer at the Jamboree. There are stands with homemade crafts and jewelry, entertainment for all ages, games, and a variety of different foods.

Other Things to Know

All students living in the dorms are required to have a meal plan. There are different meal plans available to suit your dining needs. Each plan comes with FLEX dollars, an account that works like a debit card and subtracts money each time you buy an item separate from your meal. You can add FLEX dollars anytime in increments of $25 at the business office. Each plan also comes with guest meals, where you can pay for a friend or family member to eat in a dining facility. Bloomsburg has eight dining options available, from coffee shops to an all you can eat buffet.

Block Party, which usually coincides with Renaissance Jamboree, is a big deal for many students. The day long celebration involves heavy drinking at several off campus houses. Although the majority of students who attend Block Party don’t bother anyone and stay calm, there may be a small percentage causing trouble. That small percentage has caused strains in student/townspeople relations. If you do attend Block Party, please be responsible.

On that note, Bloomsburg is a dry campus so if you are caught with alcohol on campus, you could suffer serious consequences.

Bloomsburg is divided into lower and upper campus. Lower campus is made up of residence halls and academic buildings, while upper campus has the apartment complexes, athletic fields, and a parking lot for residence hall students. A shuttle bus runs between the two campuses seven days a week.

The shuttle bus also goes to Wal-Mart twice a week, making it easy for students without cars to take care of grocery shopping.

It is not necessary to have a car on campus. Most of what you will need is in walking distance and in most cases; you can either take the bus or catch a ride with a friend if you can’t walk somewhere. If you do live on campus and bring you car, you need to register your car every semester and receive a parking decal.

The Bloomsburg Fair is a popular attraction which brings hundreds of thousands of people to town each September. The fair features amusements, food, livestock shows, art exhibits, and concerts. Carrie Underwood is just one of many nationally known acts that have performed at the fair.

If all this sounds good to you, Bloomsburg hosts Saturday open houses throughout the school year and offers campus tours Monday through Friday. All tours are conducted by student guides. For more information, visit http://www.bloomu.edu to register for an open house, or even just to learn more about the school.

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