The University of Minnesota, Morris, Minnesota, USA Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The University of Minnesota, Morris, Minnesota, USA

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The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) was founded in 1959 on what was the location of a boarding school for American Indians. The boarding school was operational during the late 1800s, and a few of the original buildings remain on campus and are still used. The Minority Resource Center (MRC) building was one of the first to be built for the boarding school. It is a building that has gone from oppressing a native people1 to one that is currently being used to serve the campus minority population. After it ceased being a boarding school in 1909, it became a School of Agriculture. More information can be found on the University's website.

Location, Location, Location

UMM is located in the United States of America in the state of Minnesota. It is one of the three branches of the state University system (the other two being located in Crookston and Duluth), residing roughly three hours away from the state capital2, and two hours away from Fargo, North Dakota. This places Morris directly in the middle of the vast prairie, or more to the point, in the middle of nowhere.

The campus, which dominates the small town of less than 5,000 people, is surrounded by miles and miles of rolling farmland. On a visit to Morris if you take a look around you will find the ground to be exceptionally flat - your view is obscured only by the the occasional tree (which is a rarity in the area). Some find this lack of nature disturbing.

Public Liberal Arts College

UMM is a public liberal arts college (something altogether uncommon in the USA) that is 'Ranked in the top three nationally by US News' (what they don't tell you is that they are ranked top three out of twenty-one). For a list, you can consult the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

While UMM does not have much competition in the field of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, it is still an achievement to be number three on the list. If you are interested in attending UMM, it is advisable to check out their official website. UMM has a strong Theatre faculty, a decent French department, and a variety of other subjects available to study including American Sign Language. Also, considering the small student population (under 2,000 undergraduates), there are plenty of opportunities to do things on and around campus. It is easy to become a children's soccer coach, a dodge-ball team captain or a DJ on the college radio station (KUMM), all with little or no training. If you are interested in receiving a cheaper education you will find UMM to be challenging and reliable, but there are places to get a better education.

What to do at The Weekend

Recalling that Morris is a small town you might wonder what there is to do there. In truth, there is very little. There is one cinema (with just one screen), a 24-hour petrol station/grocery store, a PAMIDA3, and a few fast-food restaurants. The best place to eat is Don's Café, but it has strange hours, and seems to delight in being open only when it will have the least amount of customers possible. Your best bet for entertainment (if you are of legal age) is the Old #1 Bar and Grill, or a party off campus. Otherwise, you are in for a 45-minute drive to the closest larger town of Alexandria4 where you can find a 'Perkins' and a suitable movie theatre. In the winter there is even less to do, and driving is not advisable due to the hazardous road conditions.

1Boarding schools for Native Americans were generally used as a means to erase all pupils' memory of their culture, while replacing it with the 'more acceptable' Western culture.2UMM also resides a similar distance from the main 'twin cities' (Minneapolis and St Paul) campus.3A convenience store that sells products similar to those sold at Wal-Mart, but of lower quality and a higher price.4Alexandria is colloquially known as 'Alex' or 'Alec' for short.

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