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Hamilton College

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The best thing about Hamilton is the study body by far! From the minute you step on campus people smile and say hello and welcome newcomers. Maybe it is the small size but at Hamilton you really feel like you are part of something. The professors know everyone's name by the second week of classes, the women who work in the dining halls share personal stories and bring in pictures of their kids for students to look at and the staff are more than willing to help any student in need. Location wise, Hamilton is in the middle of nowhere and there is really nothing to do in town if you don't want to hit one of the two bars. On campus Hamilton shells out a shitload of cash to bring in big bands - Eve 6, Gym Class Heroes, and Ingrid Michaelson to name a few. We may not be good at sports but people come out to support our football team in the fall, hockey in the winer, and our NCAA Div III Champion women's lacrosse team.

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The best thing about Hamilton is diner breakfast. Hands down. The Diner is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 12am-5am. They serve only breakfast food and it's amazing! I would like to change one or two things, like the gym requirement (it's just annoying) and, more importantly, the extent to which the minority student population is integrated into the community. Hamilton does not have a college town, which is probably the biggest downside of our campus. But once you have access to a car as an upper-classman, that issue becomes less important because there are good restaurants, a mall, a movie theater, etc. within easy driving distance. Hamilton does not have a lot of school spirit, but there are a few good teams to cheer for (Boy's Basketball and Girl's Soccor, especially) if that's what you're into. Generally though, students do have a lot of pride in Hamilton as an academic institution.

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There's a lot of things to love about Hamilton, from the beautiful campus to the open curriculum, and I'd be hard pressed to pick just one to talk about. I'll try and cover more of that later. I think Hamilton's a great size, for one, because you never feel like you've met everyone, but you also never feel like there's too much competition for the opportunities on campus - you don't have to be lost in the crowd unless you want to be. In terms of surrounding area, Clinton has a nice small college town sort of atmosphere. Most people who actually want to do something off campus head about 15 minutes away to suburban-shopping-center New Hartford, or to Utica or Syracuse, so there are still options if you want to get off-campus. Also, it's very common among Hamilton students is a strong sense of belonging on the Hill. Even after we graduate, we continue to feel a connection to and real fondness for Hamilton.

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The best thing about Hamilton is walking down Martin's Way. A day doesn't pass that you walk down the path and fail to see someone you know. After, say, a long day of class, there's nothing better than a quick hello or conversation in transition between classes. So on a similar note, I'd say the college is just the right size. You can't name every person on campus but generally speaking you recognize everyone and can feel comfortable waving at any given person. If there was one thing I would change, I would hope for a stronger connection between the town of Clinton and the actual college itself. I'd say the "Hill" that we refer to as Hamilton is in fact more than a geographical barrier; there is not much mixing between the town and college. But all in all I know that years from now I will have nothing but good to say about my time at Hamilton.

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Though there have been several recent controversies at the school, mostly stemming from the political climate amidst the faculty and administration, the trustees are beginning to be aware and take action. At this point, the administration needs to have greater responsibility and transparency, which would solve many existing problems over allocation of funds (for example). I am, however, optimistic about the school's future progress. The redeeming quality in all this is the sincere interest of faculty members in getting to know their students. The size of the school is obviously conducive to familiarity and comfort, which in turn enriches the learning environment. The involvement of professors on campus-- as well as their willingness to offer their knowledge, time, and even their homes-- attests to the sense of community that we have here.

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Hamilton is a very small college located in upstate NY. I think one of the biggest problems with the school is that it is so secluded from everything else. However, to overcome the problem of seclusion Hamilton brings in a lot of people from off campus. For example, we have the Great Sacerdote Name Series, that since I have been here brought in Bill Clinton, Tom Brokaw, Al Gore and Aretha Franklin. Others who have come in the past have been W.B. Deblois and BB King among many others. One of the things I would change about Hamilton is the housing. I think that Residential life is not very good about accomadating students especially upperclassmen. I think that the administration is awesome. I have never meet a teacher that was not willing to help their students. It is not rare for a student to have lunch/dinner with a professor or advisor.

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I love the size of Hamilton. I transferred to Hamilton from a much larger state university so in comparison, the small liberal arts community is great. Hamilton is located in Clinton, NY, which does not offer much in the way of things for college students to do. The town is small and quiant, but students typically live on the hill and spend all of their time on campus (various forms of entertainment come to Hamilton students, rather than students traveling to shows, concerts, movies, etc.). In general, Hamilton students take great pride in their identity on this campus. I feel it is an honor to be able to say that I am a Hamilton student. I have found that some people have never heard of this small school, however, the ones who have are very impressed by its reputation and esteemed academic vigor.

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Hamilton is definitely a school that exists in a bubble. Clinton is an idyllic little town, and probably doing a lot better than most other places in rural New York thanks to Hamilton kids with money to spend, while half an hour away, Utica's ready to just roll over and die. Also, because of the bubble, Hamilton gets a very sheltered/isolated feel to it once in a while. Sometimes this bothers people, other times people don't really notice or mind. On the flip side, because of this isolated/bubble feeling, the college community itself is pretty close-knit. The lunch ladies recognize you and ask how you're doing, faces begin to look familiar after the first couple weeks, you spend time outside of class just hanging out with your professor, and you just generally feel "at home."

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Hamilton feels like it's too small sometimes. As a senior who is involved in a lot of activities, I can honestly say that I know too many people here. Many people feel like they have no privacy because everyone knows things about everyone. Gossip is terrible here because there is no such thing as anonymity, and there are very distinct social cliques and groups. As many students near graduation, they tend to get fed up with all the crap that goes on socially. Therefore, a divide is created between the people who don't want to leave and the people who can't wait to graduate. All in all, despite all the high school b.s. that we can't seem to get away from for some reason, I can honestly say that my college experience here was pretty close to the best that it could have been.

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Hamilton's great; it's pretty easy to get along and make friends here because most of the general groups are represented (hippies, athletes, artists, etc.) It's small, which can sometimes get a little tired but generally it's nice because you know all the people you take classes with and you have a lot of options on weekends since the chances of you knowing someone at a given party are pretty high. There isn't much of a town to speak of, but basically every single student lives on campus so it isn't a big deal; there are plenty of things to do on the weekend. The one downfall is the weather: if you can't deal with the cold, forget about coming here. I found that you acclimate pretty quickly, and the campus looks beautiful in the snow so it doesn't really bother me.

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