Some people are students at the University of Central Florida. But many, many more people are NOT students at the University of Central Florida. This TFM school overview is for those in the latter group.
Your school: The University of Central Florida. UCF. U Can’t Finish. Under Construction Forever. Unstoppable Carousel of Failure. The laughingstock of the college football world. My beloved alma mater.
Founded by state legislature in 1963, the university didn’t actually open its doors until 1968, but still claim 1963 on the school seal, because you have to establish prestige and those five years really make a difference. They originally went by Florida Technological University, I guess, in part, to sound like a for-profit institution and attract all of those aspiring engineers in their mid-30s who finally finished up that elusive GED and wanted to balance night classes between a 40-hour work week at Radio Shack, the “inventor” hobby they have on the side that continually puts strain on their rocky marriage, and raising three children they moronically brought into this world despite being both financially and emotionally unstable.
Is it really any wonder why NASA at Cape Canaveral went under if these are the graduates they were hiring as their personnel? I wouldn’t trust a Florida Tech grad, “space grant university” or not, to guarantee safe passage for tourists on the Spaceship Earth ride in Epcot, let alone design something that sends an actual human being into the fucking cosmos.
Thankfully, they changed the name to UCF in ’78 and were at least geographically accurate unlike certain folks in Tampa.
Your undergraduate student population: 52,532 according to the Princeton Review — the second biggest institution in the country. UCF stands for opportunity. It’s the brand campaign they launched in 2005 and it couldn’t be more true. Opportunity for all of those who got wait-listed at UF, FSU, or Miami. Opportunity for those middling applicants from the Northeast who will gladly pay the out of state tuition only to take online classes and spend their days poolside at one of the many student housing apartment complexes. Opportunity to get your bachelor’s degree in seven years and have no one blink an eye.
Despite this massive number of undergrads on main campus, there’s about forty parking spots total. Each lot becomes a dangerous game of musical chairs as cars circle around waiting for someone to pull out. On the rare occasion that someone is walking back to their vehicle to leave, and not just get something out of the console, it becomes a complete free for all and can easily turn into a demolish derby to claim a spot that you probably don’t have the right decal for anyway and will end up with a puke green envelope on your windshield with a ticket you’ll undoubtedly forget to pay until your account is put on hold and you aren’t able to register for the next semester’s classes.
Not that being on the roster for a class guarantees a seat, either, as UCF has one of the highest student to professor ratios in the country.
Your nickname: Knights. Not the “Golden” Knights. We get irrationally upset every time you throw in that Golden, ESPN — even though we’re the only major school in Florida whose mascot doesn’t make a lick of sense. The Gators, Hurricanes, Seminoles, and even the Bulls have a historic significance to each college town. Tampa was a big cattle country back in the day. But Knights? It’s like UCF hit the randomize button on a basic nicknames generator and out popped out this medieval garbage. We had the perfect mascot before, too.
Is that a space orange? Damn right. Citronaut was not the mascot we deserved, but the mascot we so desperately needed. Instead, we tossed him the wayside like a broken condom used on a back page prostitute, confused King Arthur’s tales with Greek Mythology, went with Knights for sports, Pegasus for our educational symbol, and named all of our streets after children of Zeus. At least stick to a theme, guys.
Your campus: Is modeled after a Disney theme park, shaped in a giant circle where you’ll eventually walk to whatever you’re looking for out of pure inevitability, yet countless students stumble around like a time-traveling neanderthal placed into a futuristic society with zero comprehension of what they’re seeing. Factor in all the long board riding stooges and sidewalk traffic is an absolute nightmare.
Like herpes left untreated, the school is constantly expanding and painful for all those involved. What used to be a five minute stroll to class is now twenty, as a third of the campus is blocked off for construction at all times, rotating every few months or so. All these new structures, yet every Gen Ed you’ll ever take will for one reason or another be held in the crumbling, older-than-the-school-itself Math and Physics building. Don’t be surprised if one day a construction crew confuses it with a detonation site, blows this thing to kingdom come, and thousands of students unsure why their Government class was in the MAP building to begin with are tragically lost amongst the rubble.
The only redeeming quality about this middle finger to architecture was that you were once able to sneak onto the roof by pressing the second and third floor elevator buttons at the same time and take a girl to hookup or cause drunken destruction with your buddies. But they have since fixed that issue, probably because of people like me, and have stripped this deathtrap of the little joy it provided.
Your tradition: Spirit Splash. Students jump into the cesspool of disease that is the reflection pond the Friday before homecoming. You do it once and only once, because by year two the novelty has worn off and the month with the plague that followed the first time around wasn’t worth the twenty minutes of standing in knee deep water and getting blasted in the eye by soapy MRSA water.
From conference champs the last few years with a Fiesta Bowl win thrown in, to the worst team in college football, that’s just how UCF rolls. So fitting for George O’Leary, really. The bookends of his illustrious tenure in Orlando were two completely defeated seasons. He actually built UCF into a somewhat recognizable brand, yet the only thing he’ll ever be remembered for is getting fired from Notre Dame for lying on his resume. Still, I guess that’s better than being known as the guy that ran a player into the ground. Literally. R.I.P. Ereck Plancher.
No fear, though. They just hired a new Athletic director known for building powerhouse brands. The white knight is riding in from…Buffalo? He rebranded the University of Buffalo as “New York’s big time athletics department.” Clearly it worked, because when I think big time college athletic programs, I think Buffalo.
The basketball team hasn’t made the tourney in over a decade despite getting sanctions just about every other year for recruiting violations. Donnie Jones and company can’t even cheat right. That’s almost as bad as naming your baseball field after a former coach that got fired for sexual harassment of a male equipment manager. What’s that? UCF did that too? Back to hoops.
Now the marquee athlete on campus is a 7’6″ freak show who is more interested in being an engineer than a center — understandably — because the NCAA was set to make this kid with a 3.6 GPA academically ineligible until a recent public outcry made them reverse the decision. Solid 4 points on a 2-2 shooting performance in his college debut in a loss to Davidson. Yeah, that’s right. 100 percent from the field.
Notable alumni: The dudes that made the Blair Witch Project, one of the founders of WhatsApp, Brandon Marshall, Blake Bortles, a Miss Venezuela, Daniel Tosh, and I guess me. That’s it? How is it even remotely plausible for me to be in this discussions. We pump out so many degrees a years, and I’m on this list? Shameful.
What might not suck:
Have you seen the women?
From the horse’s mouth:
We are the second largest university in the country and no knows who the fuck we are.
I am taking an extra semester due to trusting an academic advisor.
Even though most things on campus are named after Greek gods and goddesses, Greek life has very little support from the administration.
The majority of our student population walks around in Gators or Seminoles attire.
To “solve” the clusterfuck of overbooked classes that is UCF, some of our colleges came up with the bold strategy to reserve 90% of seats in their classes for people declared in their field of study (ie. Only Biology majors can register for Bio 1 & 2); then these same colleges have the balls to require core classes from every other college for their students to graduate. What we have here is known as a giant educational cockblock. Forget that I had earned early registration through my GPA or had proven I could, you know, complete a class. Fuck all that. Let’s delay my graduation and admit little Biology Billy who will probably drop the class halfway through and change his major three times. I had to go spend 4 hours, visit 3 different university entities, lie to uncover their scheme, and change my minor to Biology all to get into a class with seats available and not delay graduation.
Want to be part of the next school review? Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me ample evidence of why your school sucks: personal anecdotes, tribulations with the administration, etc. I’ll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next up: Penn State