This is such a close match to my experience it's as if the author attended my college. The bit about students making their own decisions is perfect.
I fondly remember my days as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison some three decades ago. During my time at Madison, I never saw an advisor. The course catalog would be delivered in bulk to Memorial Union (and other locations) and the university assumed that their adult students could make their own decisions about courses, the coherence of their schedules, and the number of courses they wanted to take in any given semester (if it took you longer to graduate than the standard four years, it was your problem). The one year I lived in university housing (a cooperative), I slept in a bunk bed in a cement block room with one window. The food was rather bland—lots of starch, little in the way of protein—and you had your choice of milk or water (things were a little better in the dorms, but not much). Since no one owned televisions, if you wanted to watch TV you went to a commons area or hit a bar. If you wanted to exercise, you went to a gym that was equipped with an assortment of old steel benches, iron weights, punching bags, and stationary bikes.