Percent Greek: 10 percent
Religious Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Location: Wedgewood Avenue, at the end of 16th Avenue South
Founded: 1890 as Belmont College, then 1913-1951 as Ward-Belmont College. In 1951, the Tennessee Baptist Convention founded the second Belmont College, which became Belmont University in 1991.
Famous Graduates: Trisha Yearwood, Minnie Pearl, Brad Paisley
Notable Accomplishment: When Sen. John Kerry decided to visit Nashville in February, he chose Belmont's newly constructed Maddox Grand Atrium as the site for his stump speech.
I'm hungry, dammit. Where can I eat?
There's the still-in-its-infancy Curb Café, located on Belmont Boulevard. This chow hut offers menus in the style of a Mexican restaurant, a pizzeria and a burger joint.
Located nearby in the Beaman Student Life Center is What's Bruin, a small convenience store of sorts that serves up snack-sized Ben & Jerry's ice cream and freshly brewed Starbucks coffee, among other treats.
Near the rear entrance of the Jack Massey School of Business on Belmont's Wedgewood border, students can stop in at The Corner Court, which offers sandwiches and wraps in addition to more typical mini-mart fare.
Those who find themselves with a little surplus time for one of their three squares should also consider the handful of popular destinations just opposite the university, along Belmont Boulevard. Particularly good are the indie coffee shop Bongo Java and the internationally flavored Tabouli's.
Where can I park?
Despite recent efforts to the contrary, Belmont's parking situation remains its most incorrigible problem. Sparsely allocated parking surrounds virtually the entire academic campus, with a substantially bigger lot located in front of the Communication Arts Building and a massive new parking garage adjacent to the Curb Events Center. The new facility, which has attenuated some of the parking woes of the past, can be accessed from next to the Wright/Maddox dormitory or from Bernard Avenue to the south.
Students living in university apartments are only allowed to park at their housing facilities, and Belmont's draconian campus security is quick to issue tickets, though a relatively simple appellate process is in place. Students pay for parking registration as part of their tuition, regardless of whether they have a car.
What course or professor will change my life?
While Belmont is known primarily for its music business program, recommendations are legion for exceptional pedagogues in the liberal arts. Larry Hall, dean of the university's College of Arts and Sciences, teaches a political theory course that senior Ashley Stelzer describes as "the most grueling, and yet the most rewarding, course I've ever taken. Dr. Hall is so brilliant that there are moments when you question whether you've really ever known anything."
Despite Belmont's conservative religious temperament, Marty Bell's comparative spirituality and world religions course wins raves from students who travel to a synagogue, a mosque and Hindu and Buddhist temples as part of the curriculum.
English professor Susan Tully also commands near-universal adoration for the live-wire manner in which she teaches her composition and Southern literature courses. As one former student puts it, "It's a mental exercise just to keep up with her."
What are the campus media like?
Belmont's main form of internal media is The Belmont Vision, the campus newspaper, which hits newsstands every other Friday. The publication has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, with a decidedly more professional layout and a battery of talented writers covering news, sports, editorials and entertainment.
The university's radio station, dubbed The Belmont Voice, is available only via a closed-circuit television network aired exclusively on campus. The station is dominated by a bland mix of country and contemporary Christian music, though it has spawned some original programming, including a humor show that was syndicated to Auburn University's WEGL-FM.
BTV is the university's television station (again, available only on campus). The channel features a monthly rotation of movies, with a lineup heavily tilted toward brand-new releases. The station's antiquated setup, however, leaves the technical quality of the broadcast in roughly the same strata as the worst of Des Moines public access.
What's with the campus statues?
The various figures of limbless humans or assorted wildlife around campus actually date to the property's historic origins. The Belmont Mansion, which now holds an honored position at the center of the campus, was originally the home of firebrand Southern belle Adelicia Acklen. Acklen, a wealthy widow, constructed her Nashville home as a vacation spot to avoid the humid summers of Louisiana. The notoriously sly Adelicia (at one point during the Civil War, she duped both the Union and the Confederacy into allowing her to sell cotton to England in exchange for some of the profits; she pocketed the entire amount) was a traveler and antique hunter of some notoriety and brought many of the trinkets, both great and small, from her European expeditions back to the home at Belmont. The statues strewn about the lawn are part of her collection, resting undisturbed here for decades (though they occasionally are victimized by vandals.) In addition, the gardens contain the largest collection of 19th century cast iron garden ornaments in the United States, including five cast iron gazebos.
Where can I get it on?
Not on this campus. While some of the more dramatic austerities of the university's Southern Baptist tradition have gone by the wayside as the school slowly tacks toward a more liberal, secularized orientation, the dreaded act of perpetuating the species has thus far not been among them.
Dorm residents are only allowed to entertain visitors of the opposite sex for certain hours, and they must keep their doors cracked during such time. Visitation hours are similar, but more expansive, for students living in on-campus apartments (who are not bound by the door proviso), though enforcement is virtually nonexistent.
Like most modern religious institutions of higher education, Belmont is full of students actively pursuing the bonds of marital bliss upon their exit, and for those who just can't wait, the school does offer married housing in its Bruin Hills apartment complex. While Belmont's sexual atmosphere may not be Berkeley circa 1966, it's not nearly as conservative as many administration officials might hope. Given its orientation in the arts, it should come as no surprise that Belmont nurses a large, if primarily closeted, gay community.
What is campus life like?
Despite the harping of Belmont's most extreme personalities on both the left and the right wing (the former deriding what they perceive as the university's intolerance and narrow-mindedness, the latter castigating the scarcity of "traditional" Christian values), most students find Belmont's 72 acres an agreeable place to call home for four years.
Belmont is a dry campus, although sororities, fraternities and non-Greeks alike seem to have found this policy often enforced with little more than a wink and a nod. The use of any more profound substances, however, is virtually nonexistent.
A plethora of student organizations are available for the sociable collegiate, running the gamut from Amnesty International to the "Jump in the Bush" club, whose sole credo is the moral virtue of hurling oneself recklessly into the local flora.
Professors and students alike are generally easygoing and happy to help those with questions, as evidenced by tutoring centers to help students with their writing or math skills.
What exactly is convo?
Convo, Belmont shorthand for "convocation," is the system that the university devised to replace its previous chapel requirements. All new Belmont freshman are required to complete 60 hours of convocation credit by the time that they graduate, with lesser requirements imposed upon transfer students. Various events are scheduled daily throughout the year (sometimes as thick as eight to 10 per day), which students can attend (usually in one-hour increments) to receive credit toward the requirement.
Students must complete 10 hours of convocation in six different categories to meet graduation requirements: academic lecture, faith development, performing arts, community service, personal growth and miscellaneous (which is composed of spillover hours from the other five categories).
In the brief time since Belmont has enacted the convocation requirement, the school has gone to great lengths to impart to students the deadly seriousness with which it regards the policy, occasionally even preventing otherwise qualified students from graduating. Thus, it has now become a rite of spring on the Belmont campus to observe seniors dashing from one event to the next like the Green Lantern on a Red Bull bender.
By Troy Senik
zumba is like a bad gonorreah contracted from gast, it keeps coming, and coming, and…
is anyone in here taking gast and bobs guns seriously?
We should invite Goad back to town and show him the real Nashville - have…
just picking nits here, but RE: "Socialism is when the "state" controls the means of…
"Let's give him a third term, because he's doing so well!"
It's Hillary's turn…