As a class, our evolving definition of a dystopia was last described as
an imaginary or real place whose people may lead a restricted and oppressive existence under some form of authority.XCOR 3010 Class Discussion
From this definition I would not describe the university (my own and generally others) as a dystopia. While I say this I also think that there is room for a university to become a dystopia.
Speaking from my personal experience at Xavier, I don’t see it as a dystopia because I’ve never felt completely restricted or oppressed under the authority that runs the school. I would be lying if I said that in my three years of attending the school I’ve never felt restricted. Depending on the situation, I have felt restricted or unheard by the university, but it has never been enough for me to describe the feeling as completely dystopia. University’s are large and have to cater to a lot of people so it can be difficult to make sure that every person is completely heard and striving. Even though this is true, I think that Xavier does a decent job in trying to compensate and hear the concerns of their students. A good example of this is how the university responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Xavier’s response was not perfect but at the end of the day, the school provided the option to pass/fail classes which was one of the requests of the students. Xavier also allowed people who needed an extension to move out of the school to stay until they were ready (I’m one of such students) and lastly they provided free access to the cafeteria for off campus students.
All of these actions catered to the students to make sure we are all safe and can succeed as best as possible during this pandemic. In a dystopian society the people don’t have a voice when it comes to the actions of the authority. I cannot speak for all university systems in America or the world, but I do know that college tends to be the first place where you see the growing youth practice expressing their concerns and make action for the first time. In such cases the colleges are often willing to hear the voices of the students and adjust accordingly. There are also many cases where the school did not respond in a positive way and instead ignored the concerns of its students and that is when I think the system can become dystopian.