In Academy Award®-nominated director-writer John Singleton's third feature, students of all races, classes, nationalities and sexual identities come together at fictitious Columbus University in California. The contemporary college experience is seen through the eyes of three incoming freshmen. Former high school track star Malik Williams (Omar Epps) thinks he can cruise through his first year of college until he learns he has to run faster and harder to keep his track scholarship. Typical white Orange County coed Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson) is date-raped the first week of school, leading her to question her sexual orientation. And misfit Remy (Michael Rapaport) becomes an easy recruit for campus neo-Nazi skinheads. Professor Maurice Phipps (Laurence Fishburne) provides guidance and a lone voice of reason in a stratified social environment as challenging to negotiate as the toughest organic chemistry exam.