I don't know much about the sociology department, but as a fellow social-science student (International Studies) I'm sure it's outstanding. If you can manage to get your AA at a Washington community college you're practically a push-in for admissions. Settling in to the social climate is much more difficult. The people are passive-aggressive (people will act nice irl then write up a rant in the lj community), and there's also the Seattle Freeze. My first quarter was very difficult, but being in school helps, and after the transition it's ideal for me as a commitmentphobe.
The weather.. meh. It's solid rain for a good couple months. The last week or so has been beautiful with only some overcast skies. It's always sunny on days I need to cram. And I don't know much about hockey, but I guess we have some kind of semi-pro team. Tacoma stinks (literally and figuratively), and it's been a while since I've been to Olympia, but I'm going to generalize and say that it's full of hippies due to its proximity to Evergreen.