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Hampshire College prepares students to understand and participate responsibly in a complex world. Through its actions and pol...
Hampshire College prepares students to understand and participate responsibly in a complex world. Through its actions and policies, the college sets an example of the responsible and creative behavior it expects of its students. As a liberal arts college, Hampshire helps students develop confidence in their intellect, creativity, and values. It encourages their desire to be lifelong learners and their capacity to advance the cause of social justice and the well being of others. The college fosters these attitudes through: a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural curriculum; self-initiated, individual programs of study negotiated with faculty mentors; students active participation in original research; and the diverse communities, on campus and off, in which learning takes place.
Imagine going to school in a densely populated Occupy protestors' camp: the smells of unwashed bodies and clothes, the sights...
Imagine going to school in a densely populated Occupy protestors' camp: the smells of unwashed bodies and clothes, the sights of hairy, unwashed people, the sounds of drums beating and dogs barking throughout the camp; at night, the deep groanings of souls in distress and mental torment; the sense of there being no right, no wrong, no up or down, no east or west, no adults, just angst-soaked middle schoolers in an alternate universe with nothing to do--just grey, bloody senseless clawing at the earth and eachother for something that spoke of life and meaning, goodness and justice, love, mercy, purity--just for a moment.. Each day you would wake up and see, smell, and hear the same cold, overbearing, self-righteous, and incoherent child-people complaining, cursing the cosmos, cursing God, cursing one another, babbling, accomplishing nothing. This gives some idea of what it's like to attend Hampshire. Now place the same camp near some woods and hills that are quite pretty at certain times of year, and you have the whole picture. I attended Hampshire for four years. This wasn't typical--most students took far longer. I had come from a demanding public school, so I was self-disciplined. Most students were not; they were generally rich and lazy, extremely depressed, incoherent, and belligerent. Sadly, I saw many students become deeply and permanently scarred by their experience there. For example, one student became notorious for practicing bizarre, revolting antics on campus closed-circuit cable TV (e.g., beheading animals, performing sexual acts with himself). He invited his brother on the show and promoted it as a time when his brother would commit suicide. Many students were watching. His brother took a cup full of orange liquid, drank it, and collapsed. The host tried to rouse him, and was apparently surprised; it was not intended, but was a stunt. But, in fact, the student's brother committed suicide live on campus TV. This was not particularly extraordinary for Hampshire. The demographics of the school were generally upper income East Coast students who had attended private or alternative high schools. My experience was that my peers were generally very poorly prepared for a rigorous college educational experience. They did not know the basics of math, history, humanities-- hence, the long lag in graduation times. I am now a teacher, and this group would have been more qualified for remedial adult education, such as GED instruction. I also worked in health care, and observed many of the same behaviors here that I saw in inpatient psychiatric units. Classes were not rigorous, compared to others I attended at the local universities with which Hampshire has co-op arrangements; in fact, my high school AP classes were far more demanding than Hampshire's. Sadly, most faculty did not raise the bar for these underprepared students, and the classes generally devolved into the same, tired screeds about race, gender, sexuality, etc--even if the class content had nothing to do with it. This was so often the case that it became pointless to attend class, as the class was not really run by the professor, but by the students, who had nothing new to say, but certainly demanded to say it again anyway. As compared with the campuses I visited and attended classes at nearby, Hampshire was the most intolerant , elitist, hostile, and socially toxic. Drug use, sales, and abuse was rampant; the school had the reputation for being the drug capital of the East Coast- a notoriety that was extraordinary considering its >1000 student size and hefty price tag. Abortions were as common as eggs for breakfast, as were treated or untreated mental illnesses. Students came to class without literally any clothes and no one said boo--just sat there with in class, sitting on overstuffed chair with their stuff hanging (and smelling). Most students I knew were engaged in some form of dark art--witchcraft, seances, wicca, black/white magic, past life regression, talking with deceased spirits. I can think of only student of I knew who could even begin to construct a coherent worldview, have a decent discussion, or form a healthy relationship. (She was a very nice girl from the Queens borough of NYC; blue collar, worked her way through school, hard working. No angst, just a nice hardworking student who was a true friend) I would encourage anyone considering attending Hampshire to factor in not only the 45,000/year tuition, but about 12,000 /year in psychiatric services + a 1,000/year in meds you may need to spend for many years thereafter. There is no way to estimate the cost to your life of the damage this school will cause. I say this with all sincerity and hope that you will consider this as a real warning. I attended Hampshire because I had never visited it; I was told that I was accepted over the phone and attended sight unseen. Had I known these truths about Hampshire and had others looked into it with me, I would never, ever have attended here. I say this with an awareness of others' reviews here; as a whole, they sound much like what I would have written when I attended. In other words, not so bad. But the damage that was being done to many students took years to be revealed. Like termites, or exposure to radiation the damage was done and continuing, but would not be manifested until years later.
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There is none
The stereotype of our college is that we're a bunch of hippie stoners, which to some extent is mostly true. I can't generalize the entire school, but there are a lot of liberals, people who don't wear shoes even in New England's unforgiving temperatures, and a bunch of belief-promoting on bumper stickers of cars. There are also some city people, who don't conform to fall under these categories at all, so we're an eclectic bunch.
70-80% OF DORMS ARE SINGLES AYE !!!!1
A person who should go to Hampshire should definitely care about social justice and be a selfless person, in my opinion. A lot of the classes have some form of involvement of social justice issues like women's right's, black power, queer movements, etc, in some way or another. In some classes social justice is big and in others they aren't. But it is always encouraged to be a selfless person who considers others in their work, who wants to do better not only for themselves but for the better of their community.
Hampshire is very secluded. Its lacks diversity and are very few international students or people of color. Academics is good...
Hampshire is very secluded. Its lacks diversity and are very few international students or people of color. Academics is good but the red tape is extremely ridiculous. The social/party life is almost non existent( by that i mean parties and organised events). Everybody has their small click. Some professors are excellent take a class with Aaron Berman for example.
Do not go to this school! Apparently the professors really hate when you miss class, even if you tell them that you had to go...
Do not go to this school! Apparently the professors really hate when you miss class, even if you tell them that you had to go to the hospital. Two of them failed me because of it, and another gave me 24 hours to resubmit a brand new 25 page final paper or I'd fail that class too, resulting in withdrawal. When I contacted the administration to complain about how ridiculous that is, they accused me of "plagiarism" and kicked me out anyway. At Hampshire, what the professors say goes. And if you protest, they make something up as an excuse.
The stereotype is that we're all potheads. Pretty accurate, but not entirely.
Circus club is pretty cool, as is Anime club.
The students are ok.
They're bullshit. You learn next to nothing in your classes, and if the professor doesn't like you they can do whatever they want.
Hampshire College doesn't have lettered or numbered grades. So, really, there no grades at Hampshire. Instead, a students per...
Hampshire College doesn't have lettered or numbered grades. So, really, there no grades at Hampshire. Instead, a students performance is recorded with a Narrative Evaluation. A Narrative Evalution is a document your professor gives you after the course has ended, and it is a through written work describing how the prefessor believes you performed in their class. Narrative Evaluations aren't always good, and they're not always long. To fail a course at Hampshire, is not receive an Evaluation. I chose Hampshire because I believed my work is better reflected in words than a number.
Everything you think about college life is all wrong, yet right at the same time. Yes, people love to party. No, you will not able to drown it out with a fan and sleep through it. Yes, there is a lot of work in college. No, you are not going to be up until 3am every night. Only some nights. Yes, the Freshman 15 is real! No, unfortunately, you will not escape it. I know all that I've said sounds kinda scary, but it's really not. You'll get used to the noise. If not, be the brave person in your hall that tells people to be quiet. People will love and hate you for this. For work, just make sure you do all the readings and finals are a piece of cake. And the weight gain... please, just eat less pizza. It's not as good of an idea as you think. But what makes all these annoying and scary things worth it, are your friends. Be more social than you normally would be. Remember to keep putting your neck out, and talk to people. Because those sleepless nights are worthless without your friends doing the same.
The best thing about Hampshire College is the ability to pursue whatever you want. There are no majors or curriculums set out for you; you create your own academic path. You have a committee of teachers that work with you, to help you create your education no matter what it might be. Also, because Hampshire is part of the Five-College Consortium, I can take classes at any of the five colleges to fulfill my academic needs, even if they are grad-level courses. Hampshire is a place for individuals who want individualised education.
A school where students are encouraged to wander to the edges of their conscious mind, sometimes even into the unconscious, t...
A school where students are encouraged to wander to the edges of their conscious mind, sometimes even into the unconscious, to discover their true selves and what they desire to learn without the input of any outside forces.
Hampshire is best known for the fact that students can create their own major and study whatever they want. It is also known for its student body's drug use, which I think has decreased over the years.
Miranda, Three words (you may have heard them before) : It Gets Better. Trust me, honey, it does. You are trapped in a downward spiral, funneling you towards chaos. But that is not your way! That whirlwind tunneling down, down, is for the ignorant, stubborn, weak-minded idiots that surround you - do not let them take you along! Theirs is a future filled with disillusionment and disappointment; they will constantly be living between weekends, working boring, laborious jobs with a family chosen in high school that they will come to realize they do not love. Yours is a future filled with wonder, awe, love, and inpirational people; you will change the world, one student at a time. Your dream is to teach and inspire - you will do it! Just hang in there a little bit longer! As soon as you exit the premises of that rat-hole you've called home, the world will expand before you. Never forget who you are, and never let others attempt to tell you who that is. I love you, you'll do great things. Love, Miranda
Best Things About Hampshire - The open curriculum, accessible professors, The Lemelson Center for Design, narrative evaluatio...
Best Things About Hampshire - The open curriculum, accessible professors, The Lemelson Center for Design, narrative evaluations Worst Things - Food (SAGA is terrible, but you only have to put up with it for a year or two), ugly buildings Amherst and Northampton are both close by, so when campus gets boring, or you need to eat something other than SAGA food, they're just a short bus ride away. Professors and the administration are easily accessible. Most professors are happy to talk after class or during office hours and students are encouraged to regularly check in with their advisors. The president of Hampshire holds regular meetings with the students, including a weekly breakfast and other scheduled events. The Lemelson Center is great for developing real-world skills. With a variety of machine tools, experienced instructors, and innovative classes, students are given a chance to make things, from swords to electric cars. As an industrial design concentrator, I spend a lot of time here, between classes and student groups, which include the Design Conspiracy and the Blacksmiths' Guild. People (especially parents) tend to worry about Hampshire's lack of grades and majors. Instead of grades, students are given narrative evaluations, which seem to work out pretty well. They allow professors to explain exactly what students did in their courses and to explain the quality of the student's work. Instead of majors, Hampshire has concentrations and contracts, drawn up with a panel of advisors. After Division I (first year), students select an advisory committee for their Division II (second and third years), during which they pursue their selected concentration. After Division II, students start their Division III, which is a yearlong project that represents the capstone of their academic work. This all adds up to a strong educational program that gives students a path to do what they care about and a way to measure their progress towards that goal.
The most common stereotype that I heard while applying was that Hampshire students were all pot-smoking hippie slackers. While there are definitely stoners, slackers, and hippies around campus, we're not all like that. Most of us are incredibly passionate about what we do and we work hard in our classes and activities. Without tests or grades, we are judged on essays and class participation, so in order to succeed, all students are expected to speak in class and to learn to write effectively. Some students come in without these skills, but I have seen many of my classmates rise to the occasion and produce great work.
The best thing about Hampshire? The Five College Consortium. I don't mean this out of disloyalty. Provided the opportunity...
The best thing about Hampshire? The Five College Consortium. I don't mean this out of disloyalty. Provided the opportunity to attend any other college in the nation - given a free ride to Harvard - I'd turn the opportunity down to remain at Hampshire. What I mean in answering that the Consortium is the best of Hampshire is that the discursive purpose of Hampshire was the Consortium - we constituted the corporation and we have the most agency to use the resources. We don't have to consider credits in selecting courses; because of this, we need only be accountable to ourselves in perusing 5,300+ options in the course catalog each year. You can genuinely study anything at several institutions. I used to rip off UMass dining halls every Tues/Thurs before my Commonwealth honors seminar - where I was welcomed as a Hampshire kid with a differing perspective. Most people in the U.S. can't win - at Hampshire it's hard to lose. You are your own bureaucracy. Even your committee [team of advisers] is entirely of your choosing; they aren't administrators, they're the professors who inspire you. Amherst and Northampton are a couple of the best college towns in the nation. Students flood these communities every fall and we're welcomed by an already booming economy - this area is "one of the best kept secrets in America" (as a random guy once told me on a plane). I quite one job two weeks ago and got another with an email and a phone call yesterday; while housing and groceries are expensive, this area is an obscene location of wealth. Besides that, this community has all the features forming what oughtn't be your reasons to attend college - a stupid number of parties, youth and debauchery, frats at UMass, bars and breweries, herbs...Jesus Christ herbs...herbs in spirit of Humboldt. The towns also have such a collection of restaurants competing to attract students that I can't begin to offer a description - from the best three buck slice of pizza you'll ever have to a Hibachi dinner that'll make you feel like an exec. I certainly have my complaints to. Hampshire can be polarizing politically, it can be emotionally overwhelming, it can turn you into an alcoholic - this all depends upon who you are, what your stress-levels are, etc. You might also be of that privileged class of kid who needs to attend college because mommy said so, and who might prefer to do this 'stoned' (not spiritually elated, but 'stoned'). If this is the case, don't bother; you'll ruin your parents pension for petty purposes. While this tends to be the sort of kid with money, but without ambition, they still tend to be accepted - whatever, they ultimately fund this school anyways.
Yes, there are parties, but they're often poorly attended. Gatherings phenomenally turn into parties at Hampshire - whoever's sitting on those two boxes of Franzia and a bit of herb is most likely having a party this instant. Dorm life is crazy that way, and it's part of why mods are preferable. Mod communities are welcoming, but not constantly consuming substance. The big parties every year are Hampshire Halloween in the Fall and Easter Keg Hunt in the Spring. There used to be a Drag Ball, but persons in the trans community expressed upset in 2009, ruining the tradition which had brought Kurt Cobain to Hampshire. Yes, people in the dorms leave their doors opened, but it's like I said: this environment becomes tiresome within a year. The dorms had ought to be featured on The Wire -there's more substance exchanged and more people tripping in those buildings than in the whole of Western Mass. That said, kids get sick of this fast - it's all part of growing up. We can't stay eighteen forever - your first evaluations may reflect this truth. The dating scene? Phenomenal or nonexistent. Sorry straight guys: you don't approach; you are approached. Otherwise you're doubtlessly behaving in an affronting and offensive manner - you'll be contrived as a misogynist for engaging in simple, sexually suggestive (equal) manners. The LGBTQ community seems to have the best sex and dating life - it still isn't as good as the less-standoffish LGBTQ community I witnessed studying abroad in Edinburgh. And this is funny to me, because Hampshire is one of few schools where your physical 'roommate' may be of the opposite sex, if you so choose. I only know a few couples of the opposite sex who do this - it seems to be a lovely set-up, though I could see disaster pending if the relationship weren't solid. Things to do not involving sex, drugs, and rock-and-hiphop: we host a variety of lecturers from all over the world, as do the other colleges, almost every week. Though we don't have competitive 'sports' or 'frats,' we do have a variety of athletic clubs and student groups. I'm a 'signor' for the new Roosevelt Institute public policy Chapter at Hampshire; there are a hundred plus other groups doing all sorts of exciting things. For those who don't drink (as I'm cutting back on doing): there are both sub-free designated living spaces and groups that meet commonly. On the average night, if you check your announcement-emails, you can usually score free pizza and a movie at these meetings. If all else fails: there's porn in the world. xD Off campus life is vibrant - there are all sorts of parties at the other colleges, few of which I can remember. Amherst and Northampton are feel-good towns with too much to do to list here.
To preface: there are Hampsters from all over the globe. This is the beautiful bit about Hampshire College and the Five College Consortium: we're an international relations community where people commonly come to study politics, diplomacy, society, and the sciences. I live with my Malaysian hermano and a new girl from China; they've both been tutoring another modmate studying Mandarin (to little avail ;P). Our neighbors are from Taiwan, Nepal, Germany, and France. I'm from far Northern California; my mom is half Chicana. People are just people - we have our cultural differences, we acknowledge them, we work around them. I end up drinking sake rather than Mickeys - so it goes. We're chill with each other...except for that one time that I stepped into the sauna and a randomly naked Tibetan hombre was all disturbed, but I suppose that's just disjunctive cultural interpretation. It happens - like drinking with Germans, you regret it afterwards. The dining hall isn't the primary eatery at Hampshire - people's common troughs are kitchens in Mods, our food is what we can create for each other. My Malaysian bro cooks too many amazing dishes to start listing them here. Of course, this leads to contention among the entitled population whose parents shower them with money and who expect to be provided for (without reciprocation) by their modmates. Dear children from NYC and alike metropolises: the world doesn't work this way and taking advantage of people with a "Fuck you, Buddy" mindset gets you nowhere...except perhaps Wall Street, but the U.S. is just pathetic that way. Isn't it? This brings me back to the privilege question: it isn't a clean split, but I measure it 30/70. 30% of the kids are immensely wealthy and may be attending 'college' for the wrong reasons (i.e. mommy and daddy told me to, so I might as well attend the hippy/ster school). The majority of Hampshire students attend this college because we're sick of 'academic' nonsense and sophistical 'ideal types' of educational development. For the majority of Hampsters, our camp is a pedagogic statement denouncing the mythology of ivory towers. Concurrently, we attend classes at these ivory towers (through the consortium) where we're welcome to shit all over their structured fallacies. The Amherst students 'on the real' tend to love us, same with the professors; Smith administrators hate us and their students tend to be a bit on the slow-side socially. I don't mean this as an insult to feminisms - I truly believe that Smith students are brilliant, but emotionally underdeveloped. They tend to be very privileged people without much world experience, trapped in a bubble whereby any penis is a biopolitical enemy; Mount Holyoke students are historically the legit feminists and they're our closest/friendliest neighbors. UMass is too diverse to ever classify and an excellent resource - it's a zoo, and I hear that they're gonna start growing medical pot soon (a great opportunity for any aspiring nouveu-botanist. Yes, Hampshire students lean heavy to the left, but the former president of the collegiate young republicans of Massachusetts was a Hampshire Student. This school's philosophy is open to libertarian interpretations. Personally, I've stopped calling myself a democrat and come to identify as a preference utilitarian - if Ron Paul tones down his rhetoric concerning public education and recants his stance on abortion, I just might vote for him. Yes though - in that 30% I mentioned earlier, many kids are politically clueless and de facto 'liberal' (again, because their parents 'said so'). It's super frustrating talking political philosophy with these imbeciles, because the argument inevitably turns ad hominem (e.g. 'you're only rehearsing the patriarchy of dead white men'). Then you turn the argument to Hannah Arendt, comparative to Kant, and they still can't keep up; isn't it shameful when one claims this elitist revolutionary political philosophy without any understanding of the past three hundred years? Anyway, yeah: the school sways left, though there are multiple dimensions to the left. There are no nationalist proto-blood-and-iron, god-and-family Hegelian American exceptionalists at Hampshire; if there were, they'd at once have too many readings to contend with to maintain these positions. I came to Hampshire touting Ayn Rand (who I 'needed' at the time), then I found Mill and recognized how confused a Russian she really was. What do people wear? All sorts of everything - the more outlandish the better. Who would feel out of place at this school? People who came to 'college' as 'to attend college.' People seeking an ideal type of pedagogic development (i.e. 'a major' in 'a dorm' with 'a cohort') tend to fair poorly. Also, religious people from the Midwest may find a culture of 'Easter Keg Hunts,' 'Extravaganjas,' and 'Trip or Treats' offensive. Sorry, it's the community that our combined cultures create. Do students talk about how much they'll eventually earn per their degree? I had to laugh writing this. No. That's an Amherst culture, and they're sick of themselves with it. Life is vibrant and many of us may eventually make money. I'm currently writing my first book, entailing over a year of research - the only Amherst kid who has been able to say this over the past twenty years was Ted Conover. "I happen to believe ya make your own destiny. [...] You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself," -Momma, Forrest Gump. Hampshire prepares you to direct your own fate, and to never stop learning along the way - where adaptation is the catalyst to all life and prosperity, Hampsters carry around an ever evolving tool-kit, all our days. We're taught how to pack it at Hampshire...(I mean this in sooooo many ways xD).
The stereotypical Hampshire student: a pot smoking, privileged, pompous hipster 'concentrating' in ergot chemistry, 'medicinal' botany, or gender-identity (i.e. her gender and identity). The stereotypical rendering of Hampshire: a 'camp' - rather than a 'school' - peopled by a single archetypal whiner; that opining politically correct someone to whom you wanna scream: "you've never struggled through anything, shut up!" The common critique of our community: a collection of liberal libertines constantly convincing themselves of their 'uniqueness,' when in fact they've contrived a single libertine that themselves and everyone else must be to be. Are these stereotypes accurate? I'd like to think not. They are relevant. There's no debating that. Hampshire has always had an intellectual reputation and little funding. Because of this it is both very attractive to imbecile children from Manhattan who needn't ever work for a living, and to young people with little more than ambition. This isn't an absolute binary - these too are stereotypes. However, if you ask most people around campus they'll commonly provide this distinction: students are either of the 30% of real 'elites' who can afford this school (and who fund this school) or they're of lesser means with lots of dreams (and, ergo, receive a slice of the majority of our operating budget [$21 million per annum]). I'm part of that second group. I gotta say - as a recipient of this aid and this education - that opportunities I've been provided, and people I've encountered, shatter these stereotypes in my imagination. People come to Hampshire for a vast multiplicity of reasons with a wild variety of goals. Those who set out to pursue their dreams - hell, to have a dream - do very well at this college still slumbering in the seventies. I've personally had high-level courses and seminars at every school in the Five College Consortium. I've studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh (free of charge), researched life-sentence appeals toward my Div II portfolio, and taken a graduate-level course at UMass. I've had a seminar in a prison, toured a penitentiary, argued with supermax litigators in California, interned with a law office, volunteered with a youth court - all because of Hampshire. To those who work within and outside the bounds of this college - those who treat this 'camp' as a community, but also a resource - the possibilities are endless. This cannot be said of any other undergraduate college anywhere. [Period]. With these opportunities and this diverse a collection of formative provocateurs (from around the world), being a student at Hampshire College is an inspiring and aspirational experience. One can 'major' in virtually anything - with the resources of the Five Colleges, the sky's the limit. I have to admit that I took an additional year simply because I didn't want to leave; there's so much to learn, so precious little time. Live it, love it, learn it Hampsters of the future; pace yourselves on the herb and the vino, they're only blessings if you respect them. Visit anytime – we're a half mile past Potwine Lane on the farm just before the co-op.
Hampshire is one of those places that is either your Nirvana or your own personal hell. There is very little gray area. Why? ...
Hampshire is one of those places that is either your Nirvana or your own personal hell. There is very little gray area. Why? Hampsters can be very intolerant of political ideas that diverge from their own. There are a lot of ueber-politically correct anarchists who hate white privilege. Then again, if that's your jam, you'll fit in perfectly. I think the most common misconception about Hampshire is that you can do whatever you want. I mean, sure, you can practically take a hit in the quad and blow it in Pub Safety's face with no repercussions. However, Hampshire has way more academic structure than they originally let on, and you have to file for every next step you take as well as forming a committee. Don't expect to come to Hampshire and major in hacky sack, because that BS will not fly.
There is one dining hall. The food is managed by Sodexho, an evil multinational company who offers levels of food service--guess which level we get?! That's right, bottom of the barrel. There's not much to choose from, and they serve disgusting pizza and reheated pasta everyday. Some people like the food, but I can only assume they never had a mother like mine who fed me nutritious, good-tasting food. Your best bet is the salad bar, but it gets old... fast. Breakfast is the best meal of the day, but they serve it wayyyy too early. Plus it's not exactly good for you, just mega-tasty.
They're just for funsies. Real athletes should look elsewhere.
The architecture is, in a word, hideous. The 70s were an unfortunate decade for architecture, and it shows. Most of the freshman live in these two massive dorms with tiny hallways and ladybug/ant infestation problems. The most fortunate live in a little suburban-esque cluster of upper-classmen apartments; there is also an urban looking apartment complex that isn't bad. That said, woe betide anyone who lives in Greenwich, a series of octagon shaped apartment buildings that were built to be "semi-permanent" in the 70s. They are infested with mold. All of that said, the actual scenery is beautiful, with gorgeous mountains and fields and woods. It can look a bit dreary in the winter, though.
I find that the most dedicated students migrate off campus to take advantage of Smith, MoHo, UMass, and Amherst classes. At Hampshire specifically, the professors tend to be awesome, but the students are hit or miss. Some are really intelligent; others are total flakes. A lot of the time, discussion is hinder by students' fear of political incorrectness. One of my professors said that the single biggest problem at Hampshire was the way the students rabidly police each other's language. While being PC is certainly important, sometimes you want to backhand a rich white kid when he/she tells you that you said something racist.
Hampshire Halloween, Spring Jam, and the Easter Keg Hunt are big deals on Hampshire. Obviously, they involve a lot of debaucherous fun. The theatre community is thriving, but it can get catty (like any theatre department, I'm sure). Athletics are wayyy on the back-burner, although Hampshire guys are trying to build up a respectable soccer team. It can be hard to get students to regularly come to club meetings, because everyone is so in their own head space. Usually the promise of food helps. There is zero Greek life. That said, many a PBR is consumed each "weekend"--that is, Thursday-Saturday nights. There are usually one or two parties per weekend night, and everyone crams into a sweaty room and dances, drinks, and makes out. It can be really fun, and it can be really sketchy. Plenty of people are up all night playing guitar and ordering pizza.
Hampshire is very queer-friendly, even verging on heterophobic in some communities. There are people from all walks of life, but I must say that there are a lot of deceptively wealthy people. They dress like they're homeless, and then, one day, you discover they're a trust fund baby. It's the oddest phenomenon. There is not enough diversity, but "people of color" (as they are ALWAYS referred to at Hamp) are greatly valued in the community. I would say the most popular religious background is Jewish, although most Jews are non-practicing. The most heated debate on campus is Israel vs. Palestine. Many students are politically active, but I've found that issues that don't directly affect their lives tend to be overlooked. Certain causes become trendy to the point of being trivialized. While there are sincere activists, some students compete to be more oppressed-than-thou.
Every professor I've ever had at Hampshire has been brilliant, helpful, and flexible. The Five Colleges also have a wealth of amazing, world-renowned professor. That said, classes can get bogged down by flaky, metaphysical discussions on the students' part, and some students get by only doing the bare minimum. There is always that one kid in your class who never does the reading yet still insists on ruining really great discussions by veering off into incomprehensible weirdness. Plenty of intelligent, hard-working students exist, though.
People tend to think of Hampshire as a "hippie" school (and there are a few), but there are mostly hipsters and punks. We have a reputation for smoking tons of weed, and let's just say it has been earned.
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