How private can a private university really be?

By Ileane Polis

We all know that USD is a private university. This, technically speaking, means a non-government funded college. It also may mean smaller class sizes for some colleges like USD.
Our university may even be considered a medium-sized school, since it hosts nearly 5,665 undergraduates.

Could the size of USD, both as a whole and individual class sizes, cause students to feel like their business could be anyone else’s? Or is it easy for students to feel autonomous among the crowds?
The majority of students here seem to feel like enough privacy is given to them.

Both freshman Megan McDonald and freshman Madeline Young, two students at USD, don’t see lack of privacy as an issue, though Young did speak of having a lack of privacy on her floor in her on campus housing.
“For those students living on campus, I could probably imagine them knowing what each of their neighbors is doing on their floor at a certain time,” Young said.

Several students seem to like the fact that USD is small and that people are easily accessible on campus.

“USD is big enough where not every single person knows who I am, but it is small enough where my friends can keep tabs on me and I can keep tabs on my fellow classmates,” freshman Julia Personeni said. “Also, news travels fast on campus, both by word of mouth and via social media.”

Likewise, freshman Ashley Posavic enjoys USD’s size.

“I feel like I have more than enough privacy, but if I wanted less, I could easily achieve that. It all depends on how you portray yourself to others and what you actually do in public. If you do something against the rules in public, expect it to get around,” Posavic said.

Freshman Gabriella Russo goes on to encourage others to give up some privacy.

“How much privacy you have depends on how involved you are on campus,” Russo said. “The more clubs you join or events you go to, the more people you will meet. This kind of lack of privacy can be a good thing; people will want to follow you on social media and know what your club, and you, are doing.”

Furthermore, students such as Jackson Yeung, a freshman at USD, not only believe privacy among students is available here, but that the school’s atmosphere demands it.

“Because we’re a small school, I think people feel like they have to respect each other and give each other space. It becomes almost common sense to do this,” Yeung said. “Additionally, administration follows this conduct. I feel like professors are more willing to give us control of our learning and let us decide how we are going to complete tasks, rather than checking up on us and our grades.”

Personally, I agree with my fellow peers. What you decide to show to others is completely up to you.

Here at USD, people don’t find stuff out about you by snooping, but rather by accepting the information you put out there.

From what I’ve seen, for those who want to live a quieter life, USD is the place for them, just as it is for those who want to be incredibly involved and public.

The bottom line seems to be that “private” school really does mean private. Even at schools that have fewer undergraduates, privacy among students and administration is understood and granted.

So in case you were wondering, although news travels fast at USD, how private your life is can be completely up to you.