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Hamilton College

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Hamilton is a small liberal arts school. Students know how to balance having fun and workign hard. Most students are extremley intelligent. The school focuses a lot on athelics, and even if you dont play a varsity sport, most students are in "good" shape. There is a social group for everyone to be a part of, whether you like to drink or not. The town the college is in is small, but very cute. We are only 15 minutes from New Hartford, which is a nice small city with a movie theater, mall, and chain restraunts. We are also about 20 minutes from Utica, NY which I have started exploring more of during my senior year. There are great places to get home cooked style ethnic food including spanish, italian, vietnamese, and greek. I think everyone that goes to hamilton is proud of the school. Its a great size, especially because of the close student-professor relationships. One of the negative things I know is that the President cuases a lot of controversy with alumni, and some students adn parents. Since she became president alumni giving has gone down. Most frequnent complaints from students are about the new president and most of the time it is in reference to how much fun Hamilton USED to be when the last president was here. There was also a large controversy with Ward Churchill coming to school and her getting blamed for it.

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I know it sounds cliché, but Hamilton truly is a community of its own. The campus is small, the town of Clinton at the bottom of the Hill is adorable but there isn't much to do for college kids, and so most students stay on campus every weekend which helps create a really closeknit atmosphere. There are always familiar faces on your stroll to class or the dining halls. Professors know not just your name, but you personally. Sports teams cheer each other on at games, attend each other's parties. At Hamilton, everyone is on a first-name-basis. The Administration is insanely helpful. They will bend over backwards to make your life easier. I once received an internship opportunity past the internship scholarship deadline, and one of my professors worked with the administration to obtain a research grant for me to make it possible. Incredible! The Campus Police are also very accommodating, surprisingly. I'll always remember hanging outside late at night the first night of one of the school breaks after most of the campus had emptied out. My friends and I were approached by Campus Police and were expecting to be told to go back to our dorms. Instead, they asked us if we were cold, and then opened one of the closed campus buildings for us to hang out in instead. It was 4AM!

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If I could do it all over again, I'd probably have gone to Boston College. With that said, Hamilton has been a great experience for the most part. I think the location of the college is too isolated, creating an intense party scene (and all the good and bad that goes along with it - including a rumor mill you wouldn't believe). Oddly enough, for such a small community, there isn't as much school spirit as I anticipated. I know a lot of this has to do with the fact that we are a Division III school, but I'm always disappointed at the number of students who come out to support the athletics and the arts. In recent years, we've been trying to find ways to get more students involved in Hamilton spirit, such as making a "Social Traditions" committee that organizes and promotes campus community events. I think this is a great addition to the school and really appreciate the work that they do. Hamilton as a whole is a little bubble: a place to meet friends, party, make mistakes, live a little and study in a safe environment. Being on The Hill is like stepping into a universe of our own. We all cohabitate independently of the external world -- free of tremendous responsibility and blissfully unaware of the world waiting for us a quarter mile down College Hill Road.

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Hamilton College is a great school, with good academics, and some really amazing and intelligent professors, though, many people have not heard of it. When I tell people that I go to Hamilton College, I usually get a blank response, or a 'Where is that?' However, when the people I talk to have heard of it, they are usually very impressed and interested in the school. I find that there is a lot of school pride for sporting events, especially since it is a small school, and there's a good chance you know someone on a sports team. I think the town is small, but quaint, there is everything you might need in the town, and they really try to welcome the Hamilton campus into the town, as well as Hamilton College tries to welcome the towns people up the hill to participate in events, such as sports or lectures. The one thing I will always remember about Hamilton is how I spent my summers there doing research. Science research is a great oppurtunity to work closely with a professor on a project that interests you. The science research program at Hamilton is really great, and few other schools allow students to get involved at the level they do at Hamilton. In addition, the summers at Hamilton are absolutely beautiful.

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After two years, Hamilton is too small. People usually don't know where Hamilton is, but if you're in the northeast, Hamilton is known as a great institution that produces fabulous writers. I spend most of my time on campus in the library or partying on the weekend. We don't have a college town, but a small town that provides new england-esque comforts. Hamilton's administration is alright - they try their best but fail at gaining a diverse student body. The bigest controversy on campus was diversity issues - a white girl dating an african american boy had the words "nigger-lover" spray-painted on her car. School pride goes to the Hamilton Men's and Women's Rugby Team - NY state champions! We have the #1 Streaking Team - we streaked the NESCACS and many ivies. I will never forget the streaking team streaking the top floor of the library during finals week - one moment, I'm in the middle of memorizing history terms, and the next...I see way too much of the guy who sits next to me in my government class! Students complain about one dining hall being open on the weekend, not enough intro classes open to seniors, and how apathetic the student body is.

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The best thing about Hamilton is the campus community and the openness of the student body to different types of things on campus. The community is tight and supportive of all members of it. It is the perfect size; small class size but a sizable community make it not overwhelming, but not boring either. Most people are impressed when I tell them I go to Hamilton. It has a strong legacy and is competitive with the top schools in the country. I spend most of my time on campus in the athletic buildings, as I play and manage a sport, but also in the Science Center- where I like to do most of my studying and there is a constant influx of people mowing about. The administration of the school are very good. They care about student needs and make student needs a priority. There is a lot of school pride, and there are always a lot of people at athletic events cheering on the school. The unusual thing about Hamilton is its open curriculum- we have no course requirements. We also have a strong interest in the outdoors and tons of outdoor trips, or events outside. The most frequent student complaints are probably about the intensity of the courseload.

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I absolutely love Hamilton even after less than 2 semesters at this campus. Although some people find Hamilton to be uncomfortably small in terms of the student body, I really appreciate that you can always meet someone new on the weekends but you can also recognize a lot of students. Another complaint about Hamilton is that it is secluded in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I do get a cabin-fever feeling but one really positive aspect that comes out of this is that the majority of students stay on campus on the weekends. This gives everyone the opportunity to socialize with students of all classes (in other words it's not just freshman stuck on campus on the weekends). The social scene is incredibly accepting-- every weekend there are parties hosted for the entire campus that are a blast and something that I think are completely unique to Hamilton. There is a lot of school pride and I love being able to say that I go to Hamilton. The reputation for its academics is fantastic and it is true that professors are incredibly helpful and always make themselves as approachable, helpful and available as possible.

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Hamilton is a small tight knight community. Students are ready to support one another and on average are very friendly and outgoing. If I could change one thing I would off more doubles, quads, and group living arrangements, since they always seem to be the firs things to go in the housing lottery. Upon telling the average person I go to Hamilton, they have never heard of it. When I got in and told my teachers they were all very excited and knew of Hamilton's writing reputation. I spend most of my time divided between the classroom, practice, and library. There is a town...kind of, but with in 20 minutes there is a decent mall, movies, chain restaurants and department stores. I haven't really gotten to know the administration. A freshman girl got hit by a car in the cross walk. It happened on her way to a mourning class. Fan will come out a cheer for the big home games. For diffrent teams diffrent groups of students will cheer/dress up/show up/paint themselves/and many other thing to try and get Hamilton riled up.

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Hamilton is great because there are no course requirements and you can take whatever you're interested in. It's also really easy to get involved in things for free- I joined debate team and started learning piano this year, things I never did in high school. There's REALLY good free entertainment almost every weekend, and the party scene is perfect- extremely fun and available without being sketchy or dangerous. The classes are small and the professors are so friendly.That said, it has its drawbacks. Diversity is not very prevelant- most of the campus is (nice) rich, white, New England. There's not a large interest in sports. The town that we're in is pretty small, but there is a mall and a movie theatre and a few restaurants and a free van service that people actually use to get there. Lastly, it's a play-hard, work-hard mentality- not the place for you if you start your weekend on Tuesday. I usually have several hours of reading and homework each day, but I love the subject matter at least.

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Hamilton seemed ideal for me when applying because I wasn't ready for a big school. It is the kind of campus that you will end up knowing every face you pass- but not necessarily associate with everyone. People are friendly to a certain extent, but only if you put forth an effort. There are definitely people that walk by and could care less about your presence. I loved the closeness with professors- I've eaten at their houses on several occasions. After visiting a big university like UMich, I adored the school pride and spirit there. That is not the case at Hamilton. While people do like being here and are proud, the school spirit is rather lacking (not too many show up regularly at athletic events, etc.) After being here for 4 years, I'm definitely ready for life in a big city. But that was not the case 4 years ago. It met my needs; however, I think that I probably could have done just fine in a slightly larger, less isolating community.

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