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FAQ: East Tennessee State University

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Is East Tennessee a state?

It’s part of a state. The eastern part. East Tennessee State University is located in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Where is West Tennessee State University Located?

There is no West Tennessee State University. There is Tennessee State University, which located in Nashville, and Middle Tennessee State University, which is located in the city of Murfreesboro.

Murfreesboro is east of Nashville.

Correct.

By default, then, wouldn’t that make Tennessee State actually West Tennessee State, and Middle Tennessee State just Tennessee State?

Technically, yes. But let’s be honest, we can’t expect too much from a state with the directional wherewithal to vaguely name a school “Middle Tennessee State.” That’s kind of like calling your school “By-the-Interestate-University” or “On That One Mountain Technical Institute.” Everyone just pretends that it makes sense, and so should you. It’s not like anyone cares where anything is located in Tennessee anyway.

Point taken. Since the Wildcats are playing ETSU this weekend, can you tell me about their athletic program?

Sure. The East Tennessee State Buccaneers are a Division I team playing in the Atlantic Sun Conference, where they have resided since a transition from the Southern Conference in 2005. This was no easy maneuver, as the massive competitive difference between Samford University and Stetson University is widely underestimated. If you are on the school’s mailing list, you likely received a “We’re moving to the Atlantic Sun Conference!” card in the mail a few years ago. ETSU men’s sports include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer and tennis. The ETSU football program was dropped in 2003. Since then, the team’s covered football facility Memorial Center has been converted to the nation’s largest Po’ Folks restaurant.

The Buccaneers is an odd choice for a college in Tennessee.

Not as odd as you might think! You may be surprised to know that all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies are available from Netflix, which includes Johnson City in its shipping area! Also, sword-related murders have traditionally been a problem for the campus (happily, these murders are down to 63 so far in 2010).

How many students attend East Tennessee State University?

Currently, the school has an enrollment of over 15,000 students. There is also a pack of dogs which roams the campus. Please do not attempt to feed them, as they are aggressive.

Is there a meal plan?

Is there! The ETSU dining plan features a continental breakfast, your choice of hot or deli-style lunches, and many contemporary and traditional classics are available nightly. Please note that all dining choices are chicken-fried, which may cause problems for students with limited dietary restrictions.

What is the campus like?

ETSU’s beautiful campus is nestled in a wooded area and features many beautiful buildings, including Yoakley Hall, Wilson-Wallis Hall, Warf-Pickel Hall, Ernest C. Ball Hall, and many other structures colorfully named by beloved American children’s writer Dr. Theodore Suess Geisel. There are also may benches strategically located across the campus, for when you get tired of learning and need to sit down and rest (note: liability for roaming dog attacks on benches is not assumed by ETSU administration).

Can I play basketball at ETSU?

Possibly! In fact, a lottery is held each summer to determine the starting roster for the ETSU Buccaneers, and uniforms for new players are available at a discounted price from local sporting outlets. Basketballs, safety helmets and mouthguards are supplied by the athletic department. Safety comes first!

Are there any famous alumni from ETSU?

Yes, there are. Four-time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney is a graduate of ETSU, as is Thirtysomething star Timothy Busfield. Chesney graduated with a degree in Advanced Jimmy Buffett studies, and Busfield excelled in beard-growing. If you can dream it, you can do it at ETSU!

I’m a student at ETSU currently, and I’m being attacked by roaming dogs at this very moment. Can you help me?

If you do not have a sword, you will need to dial the campus safety department at 439-6900. However, you will need to sign several liability forms before treatment if you if the incident occurred on a public bench. Good luck, and go Buccaneers!

Article written by C.M. Tomlin