Northampton, MA
Smith College


84 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Harper
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing: I've had at least one class every semester I loved, I got to study abroad in the country of my dreams (Italy), an...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing: I've had at least one class every semester I loved, I got to study abroad in the country of my dreams (Italy), and there's always something to do on campus (lectures, symposiums, concerts, poetry readings, house activities, bulb shows,...) What I would change: that students would stop to start sentences with "I feel" instead of "I think" I think the size is just right - at least for me. Since I'm an international student, I don't usually tell people at home where exactly I go. In the US it depends, some people have heard about it, and generally think it's a great school, others have simply not heard about it. Most of the time I spend studying at the library or in my room (very nice on-campus housing), but I also enjoy hanging out with my friends after meals. I think the administration is pretty good. I never had problems, and as anywhere else, it helps to be friendly, and not rush in screaming at people that you need something from them. The biggest controversy is always about political correctness. With such a diverse group of students, there's always somebody who gets offended by something, and the community is very receptive to such complains and tries to accomodate the beliefs of each of its members. there is of course a lot of school pride! The most frequent complain is that they have too much work. but in the end we all get it done, and are proud of what we accomplished.

Describe the students at your school.

There are obviously some radical groups on campus, but in my experience it is easy to both get involved if that's what you like, and stay away from them if you are not interested in their causes. Closed-minded people will probably feel out of place. You don't have to change, but you have to be open to accept other people's personal decisions, which are frequently very different from what you would encounter anywhere else. People wear anything, and most are pretty careless. Unless it is really cold, Sweatpants and Flipflops are probably the preferred way of showing up to class. The campus is small enough to get people to interact with all kinds of people, but also large enough that you are able to avoid crowds that you don't get along with. There is not prevalent financial background. Students are very politically aware and active, and mobilize easily to fight what they believe in. Students are predominantly left. Seniors that get offers for jobs after Smith will talk to their friends about what the conditions are, but there's not much boasting about future earnings.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Take advantage of smith's study abroad program. While I love smith, it's good to take a break from it at some point and see what other schools in other countries are like.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

neither of the above stereotypes are accurate. Smith students generally work their ass off, and do it right. You will rarely find somebody who just turns in whatever meets the basic requirements, most work hard to do it good! Of course, if you have a campus with 2500 female students, some of them are going to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, or transsexual). But most are not, and it is a great opportunity to learn about all the various possibilites people chose to identify with. If you're straight: UMASS, Amherst and Hampshire are just a bus ride away, and it's really less isolating that you could think it would be considering it is an all-women's college.

What are the academics like at your school?

Every single professor I've had during my 4 years here, knows my name. The best professor I've had was Roisin O'Sullivan (Economics). But really there was only one that did not live up to my expectations during my entire time here. Students study every day. Class participation is not only common, but frequently part of your grade (no worries though for shy people, as professors are generally pretty understanding) Absolutely. You would be amazed what kind of ideas can develop over lunch. Students are competitive, but mostly with themselves. It's not about being bette than your friend, it's more about being better than you thought you could be (if you are not competitive with yourself yet, you'll probably become it, once you get here). The most unique class? That's a hard one because there were so many great classes I've taken. I guess the Seminar in Central Banking was phenomenal, but that was also thanks to the amazing class mates I had. The Economics department is awesome! And so is the Italian Department. Sometimes I meet professors outside of class, be it during office hours, to have coffee or lunch, or because they invited me to their house. Most of the academic requirements are reasonable, and the curriculum is very flexible. For example the economics major does not require many math classes, but the schedule is sufficiently flexible to include a lot of math, and discover many other departments as well. The education is definitely not geared toward getting a job. Take Accounting, which is the only class that is directly applicable to the "real world". However, you learn many useful things in the other classes, that will indirectly help you on the job: writing, critical reading, ecc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

"done is better than good" "they are all lesbians"

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

It's hard to say what is most popular. The investment club is rather well-frequented, as is the International Students Organization, but it is hard to tell if you are not a member, and it also changes from year to year. I was involved with various groups over the years. Senior year I decided to quit the groups, and take advantage of the many lectures and other events, for which I would otherwise not have time. It depends on the house. Usually people leave their door open when they are not doing anything that requires a high level of concentration. Houses are also usually pretty quiet, so it's not hard to study in your room. I've never been to athletic events, but what I hear there are quite a few people that go to watch tehm. For guest speakers it depends on the topic, and what is going on simultaneously on other parts of the campus, Theater productions are usually well-attended. If you want to date you can, but you have to have some initiative. If you don't want to, nobody wil notice. I met them in classes and clubs, or just at dinner. If I'm awake, I do homework. There are tons of traditions: Mountain day, Rally Day, Otelia Cromwell Day, a Bulb Show, Convocation,... Most people limit their partying to the week-ends (friday and saturday nights). there are no fraternities or sororities, the entire college is considered to be one big sorority. I went to New York. Saturday night activities: dancing, watching a movie, homework, reading a book, hanging out with friends,... There are lots of cafees and small shops in downtown Northampton, there's Hapshire mall and Holyoke mall, trips to Boston and New York are always an option, visit one of the other 5colleges, etc.

Carson
Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not really. We do have a lot of LGBT students, but if anything this only serves to give us a more diverse perspective on fema...

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not really. We do have a lot of LGBT students, but if anything this only serves to give us a more diverse perspective on females! As far as the other stereotype, Smithies can be pretty confrontational, especially to each other because we're all academically competitive and have very different opinions on loads of issues.

What are the academics like at your school?

Despite any of my troubles or problems with the school, the academics are the reason that I've never given up on it. The open curriculum means you can pursue any and all of your interests. Every semester you get to try four new things, or focus your education on a favorite subject. Instead of taking core classes that I would merely have to survive, I was able to branch out and try new things, discovering classes in diverse departments and finding new talents and interests. As a member of the English Department, I can speak for our faculty, most of whom are amazing, challenging, and interesting. Of course, you will not like every class or every faculty member, but most classes are rewarding if you and the professor both put in the effort. My advisors and professors have been invaluable to me in choosing courses, working on assignments, and even personal issues. BUT, and this is a major but, you have to be committed to working on your education when you come here. The workload at Smith will be more intense than that of your peers at other schools, and even on the weekends you will not be done with work. It is very intense, but rewarding.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The biggest stereotype is that the college is populated SOLELY by lesbians. Another is that all of us are confrontational or arrogant, especially when it comes to political issues.

adeola
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Too Small Wow! well done, such a great school, especially at the embassy and at the airport Room and friend's room W...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Too Small Wow! well done, such a great school, especially at the embassy and at the airport Room and friend's room What college town? Excellent administration Faculty and budgets cut Yes

Describe the students at your school.

jeans and a sweatshirt very diverse body of students The Loud, the quiet, the onlookers New England Almost everyone is on one form of financial aid or the other Yes- very politically aware

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not very....the percentage of heterosexuals is way higher than that of homosexuals

What are the academics like at your school?

Yes Chemistry. Wonderful Teacher I absolutely love all my classes though some are much more work than others Students study very very often Dinner tables are all about world events, intelligent?...smith???...You got it Not very competitive....very collaborative Chemistry 111 Undeclared major Yes, I go to talk to them and they are always ready to chat Rigorous requirements but totally doable Learning for its own sake- the joy of knowledge

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

ISO- group for int'l students- very wonderful sense of community and support network yes, there are always open doors met my closest friends during int'l students pre-orientation studying and facebooking if i'm up at 2am I was at a conference at Yale last weekend Watch movies and go shopping with friends...chat till 4am...

Diana
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Smith is the libraries. FOUR libraries!! You can get almost anything! I've heard that Smith has the l...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Smith is the libraries. FOUR libraries!! You can get almost anything! I've heard that Smith has the largest library for a liberal arts college in the country. The Mortimer Rare Book Room is indescribable. I can always find journals that Smith libraries subscribe to when my friends at other colleges can't. If I could change one thing it would be the budget. Smith allocates funds for lectures and grants and expensive eco-friendly biodegradable forks (which melt when used for hot food), and we don't even have soap in the bathrooms! We have "hand sanitizer foam" because they want to conserve water. Sometimes you just need to wash your hands. There is less and less parking for students on campus every year. Dining halls often run out of what they planned on serving that night. Money is spent on all the "extra fluff" when some of the basic student comforts aren't provided.

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Smith is the libraries. FOUR libraries!! You can get almost anything! I've heard that Smith has the largest library for a liberal arts college in the country. The Mortimer Rare Book Room is indescribable. I can always find journals that Smith libraries subscribe to when my friends at other colleges can't. If I could change one thing it would be the budget. Smith allocates funds for lectures and grants and expensive eco-friendly biodegradable forks (which melt when used for hot food), and we don't even have soap in the bathrooms! We have "hand sanitizer foam" because they want to conserve water. Sometimes you just need to wash your hands. There is less and less parking for students on campus every year. Dining halls often run out of what they planned on serving that night. Money is spent on all the "extra fluff" when some of the basic student comforts aren't provided.

Describe the students at your school.

There is at least one of everybody, even after a bunch of people transfer out the first year (and a lot of people transfer in). People wear skirts to gym pants to class. Conservatives have a hard time on campus. It seems like a lot of groups are "in your face" and involved all the time, but I think they just stand out more. I've gotten my fare share of dirty looks because I was drinking a glass of Coke during lunch, but you just have to not let it get to you. Coke has been kicked off campus so it is not an issue anymore. Many students feel really strongly about certain things, which means that they never shut up about their opinions during class and often get into heated debates with other people. Either get into the debate with them or just leave them to their own demise. I try not to get involved. I've found that even though students are mostly liberal, they aren't open to a difference of opinions.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are definitely people who fit the stereotype, but it is far from true for everybody. I suppose that is true at many colleges. I got a lot of culture shock my first semester here because there were a lot less modest people than I was used to. I felt like a complete nerd because I was one of the few people who didn't want to go 3/4 naked to Convocation. It is common to see people who party hard on the weekends and skip a class once in a while, but when it comes down to it, students will get really serious before papers are due. There are also an equal amount of students who can pace themselves so that they can have fun without having to worry about studying last minute. Then again, there are students I never see outside of the library. I think students just find whatever study habits work best for them and stick to it. Finally, there is a higher percentage of lesbian/transgendered students at Smith than at a large number of other colleges, but it is not as high as many think. There are a few students who are Lesbians Until Graduation (LUGs), but the majority of the student body is straight. It IS hard to meet guys while at Smith, especially if you're not out-going or into the party scene. Don't believe the college when they say there are lots of opportunities to socialize at one of the other 5-colleges by taking a class or through events. It's a pain to do.

What are the academics like at your school?

Smith is good for cultivating "ways" of thinking. We learn how to communicate (relatively) effectively, research, think "outside the box", but not a ton of specific job skills. Although, by the time you're ready to graduate you have a ton of experience that you should be able to put on your resume, especially if you go abroad or do a Praxis internship. (Do a Praxis internship!! Easy way to get a paid summer job, and you can make it apply to almost anything you want to do!) It seems like there is just a lot of learning for its own sake, but while you are doing that, you are really learning a lot of other things along the way. The Career Development Office is pretty useless for very specific things, but they're pretty good for prepping you for interviews, polishing your resume, etc. I haven't found it to be true by experience, but apparently the best thing about graduating from Smith is the Alumnae Network, which is supposed to be a great way to tap into a job opportunity. I think it sounds like mooching, but that's life.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

When I tell people (around my age) that I go to Smith, they often respond with, "Are you a...lesbian?" One of the stereotypes is that Smithies are angry, men-hating, hairy, eco-obsessed, hippie lesbians. I've also heard two polar opposite stereotypes: we either are party crazed sexually promiscuous deviants, or we study all day and don't have a social life.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Most people meet their closest friends first semester in their house, and then I've found the doors are mostly closed after that. If you are awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, you are probably up having a breakdown in the hallway because you fucked up and now you have to do an all-nighter 10 page paper and you didn't do the reading and it's too late to ask for an extension. I think it happens at least twice a semester in my house and everyone knows someone who has gone through it. Activities that don't involve drinking/getting high and are actually a lot of fun: taking a canoe/row boat out on the pond in nice weather, sledding/ice skating in winter, student org shows a different movie every week, malls, coffee houses, billiards, bowling downtown, laser tag/roller skating at the mall, apple picking in the fall.

Describe the students at your school.

There is at least one of everybody, even after a bunch of people transfer out the first year (and a lot of people transfer in). People wear skirts to gym pants to class. Conservatives have a hard time on campus. It seems like a lot of groups are "in your face" and involved all the time, but I think they just stand out more. I've gotten my fare share of dirty looks because I was drinking a glass of Coke during lunch, but you just have to not let it get to you. Coke has been kicked off campus so it is not an issue anymore. Many students feel really strongly about certain things, which means that they never shut up about their opinions during class and often get into heated debates with other people. Either get into the debate with them or just leave them to their own demise. I try not to get involved. I've found that even though students are mostly liberal, they aren't open to a difference of opinions.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are definitely people who fit the stereotype, but it is far from true for everybody. I suppose that is true at many colleges. I got a lot of culture shock my first semester here because there were a lot less modest people than I was used to. I felt like a complete nerd because I was one of the few people who didn't want to go 3/4 naked to Convocation. It is common to see people who party hard on the weekends and skip a class once in a while, but when it comes down to it, students will get really serious before papers are due. There are also an equal amount of students who can pace themselves so that they can have fun without having to worry about studying last minute. Then again, there are students I never see outside of the library. I think students just find whatever study habits work best for them and stick to it. Finally, there is a higher percentage of lesbian/transgendered students at Smith than at a large number of other colleges, but it is not as high as many think. There are a few students who are Lesbians Until Graduation (LUGs), but the majority of the student body is straight. It IS hard to meet guys while at Smith, especially if you're not out-going or into the party scene. Don't believe the college when they say there are lots of opportunities to socialize at one of the other 5-colleges by taking a class or through events. It's a pain to do.

What are the academics like at your school?

Smith is good for cultivating "ways" of thinking. We learn how to communicate (relatively) effectively, research, think "outside the box", but not a ton of specific job skills. Although, by the time you're ready to graduate you have a ton of experience that you should be able to put on your resume, especially if you go abroad or do a Praxis internship. (Do a Praxis internship!! Easy way to get a paid summer job, and you can make it apply to almost anything you want to do!) It seems like there is just a lot of learning for its own sake, but while you are doing that, you are really learning a lot of other things along the way. The Career Development Office is pretty useless for very specific things, but they're pretty good for prepping you for interviews, polishing your resume, etc. I haven't found it to be true by experience, but apparently the best thing about graduating from Smith is the Alumnae Network, which is supposed to be a great way to tap into a job opportunity. I think it sounds like mooching, but that's life.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

When I tell people (around my age) that I go to Smith, they often respond with, "Are you a...lesbian?" One of the stereotypes is that Smithies are angry, men-hating, hairy, eco-obsessed, hippie lesbians. I've also heard two polar opposite stereotypes: we either are party crazed sexually promiscuous deviants, or we study all day and don't have a social life.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Most people meet their closest friends first semester in their house, and then I've found the doors are mostly closed after that. If you are awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, you are probably up having a breakdown in the hallway because you fucked up and now you have to do an all-nighter 10 page paper and you didn't do the reading and it's too late to ask for an extension. I think it happens at least twice a semester in my house and everyone knows someone who has gone through it. Activities that don't involve drinking/getting high and are actually a lot of fun: taking a canoe/row boat out on the pond in nice weather, sledding/ice skating in winter, student org shows a different movie every week, malls, coffee houses, billiards, bowling downtown, laser tag/roller skating at the mall, apple picking in the fall.

Susie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Smith is that you can try different things and see how they work for you. Want to take a Bio class? Sure...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Smith is that you can try different things and see how they work for you. Want to take a Bio class? Sure. Wanna try a language? Why not? Which one? Arabic? Mandarin? Russian? Japanese? Hindi? There's always something to try or something to do here. I love Smith because it has an open curriculum and encourages you to try things you wouldn't normally sign up for. It really expanded my horizons and I was able to maximize my education. I spent most of my time in Smith's psych department, mostly because it was my job. Second to that, however, I spent a lot of time in my house. Smith doesn't have dormitories. We have HOUSES. Yeah, does sound a little bit like greek/sorority style living, but it isn't like that at all. In your houses, you make your best friends. You always have someone to talk to, doors are almost always open; all with no wacky paddling-rituals or weird frat boys hanging around a keg. Northampton is definitely not a "college-town". It has a hippy-granola feeling with lots of art, music, good (organic) coffee, natural food stores, and small businesses that you never tire of. There are a ton of really great places to study; Haymarket cafe, The Yellow Couch, Woodstar, good 'ole Starbucks, Better Thyme Deli (great tasting, cheap sandwiches!)..the list goes on and on. If you ever get time, hit Sweeties, the candy store and try their Vegan Peanut Butter Melts! They also have fantastic non-vegan candies which are good too. Students usually complain about dining. Unlike other colleges, we have an in-house dining system. However, Smith has undergone many changes in their dining since 2003. All students are given One-Cards (which are student ID-Cards that let you into the gym, copy rooms, computer labs, your own house, and dining halls). With your one card, you may have dinner(or any other meal) at any house you choose. Each house has a different menu, which you can peruse at your leisure from the Smith website. Students often complain that it has had a negative impact on the culture of the houses, puts undue pressure on cook staff (who are already over worked), and have limited options. Moreover, the food will quickly run out especially at speciality houses (houses with themed menus). This is especially true when certain houses serve Indian or Asian food, Breakfast-for-Dinner, and other types of very popular dishes. Despite complaints: One experience that will stick with me forever is Convocation (especially the one from my first year at Smith). Convocation is a Smith tradition (one of MANY traditions we have here) that celebrates the beginning of the school year. I remember the thousand or so Smithies packed in the John M Green Hall auditorium in their school pride and other decor/costumes. Every house has their own traditions surrounding this event and it was awe inspiring to see so many women celebrating their education.

Describe the students at your school.

I would say that Smith is an extremely supportive and accepting community. As a queer person, I had no problem with coming out to friends or coworkers. The community was so diverse in this respect that I found a lot of support. However, race and class issues are abundant, but subtle. Smith has a programs during orientation that are geared toward international students and "students of color" that emphasizes how to find support, academic help, and introduces students to diversity clubs on campus. These orientation groups are fantastic in helping students find support and familiarity, however, I think that the idea is fundamentally folly. The orientation program geared toward "women of color" automatically calls attention to "otherness" rather than encouraging integration, awareness, and bridging cultural and racial gaps. Class issues are frequently brought up in discussions of inequity, but the college hardly does anything to help students with financial difficulties. Class and privilege are hardly discussed campus wide, but students tend to be more aware of this than the administration.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Perhaps the reason why lesbians at Smith are acknowledged and seen is because we are a culture of acceptance, not just because we have "a lot of lesbians". I don't think that we have an unnatural number of women who identify as gay. Yes. Smithies are stressed out overachievers. We DO get caught up in analysis paralysis from time to time. But you'd be surprised at the variety of people here. Truth be told: we do have a Republican club.

What are the academics like at your school?

Like any college, you need to work hard for a professor to get to know you. Get good grades, go to department lectures, ask questions...all that good stuff. However, it is much easier than big universities! The class sizes are TINY compared to public schools! My Russian class had 10 people in it. I learned a lot from classes like this. Smithies are definitely spend a lot of time outside of classes having intelligent conversations. We tend to make TIME to do things mindless; TV, movies, video games. (These are almost unheard of in our houses!) Students are not competitive with their class work; most of us tend to know that we're talented, capable, and intelligent women. What we do compete for, unfortunately, is our stress level. We all too often play the "I'm more stressed than you" game. Smith's academics, at least for my major, was geared toward academia rather than getting a job after college. When approached for grad school recommendation requests, professors (whom I worked with for three years) wouldn't write me a recommendation since I was only pursuing a Master's degree and not a Ph.D. Much of introduction to Psychology is learning to write in APA style for journal submissions! Lectures outside of class are held, explaining to students how to prepare for Grad school; which schools to apply to, prepping for GREs etc. Students are expected to contact the Career Development Office if they aren't interested in going to grad school after college.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I met my friends in my classes and in my houses. We tend to spend a lot, A LOT of time studying. We'll often take big trips out to a cafe to study together or we'll sit in each other's rooms to work. Honestly, Smithies hardly EVER party and if we do, it's not an all-out, drunk fest either (since we have militant HRs). We have too much homework. However, there are houses that party more than others. Never fear, there are other campuses to go to if that's your bag. The cool thing is that Smith teaches you that you don't need to drink to have fun. Sounds like something you'd hear on Mr. Roger's neighborhood, but true.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

When I got into Smith, a lot of people said, "Well...just don't become a lesbian." People tend to think that women's colleges are "full of lesbians" just because women study and live together. Smithies are also stereotyped as overachievers, stressers, opinionated, liberal.

abby
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Perhaps the greatest thing about Smith is the academics. You pay a lot of money, but you get what you pay for, a good educati...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Perhaps the greatest thing about Smith is the academics. You pay a lot of money, but you get what you pay for, a good education from a very reputable college. It does seem, however, that the school administration has been making several drastic changes to the college over the last 5 years. Several things which made the college much more of a community, for example dinning in every house, has been removed or replaced and I can't help but feel like the dynamic of the college has changed a bit from it. There is less intra house community. There have also been several incidents at the college which have fractured the Smith community. Specifically, there were several racist controversies among students as well as an incident involving the trans community at Smith. These incidents divided the Smith community into (usually) two strongly opposing sides which I would still say do not get along.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body has its groups and cliques like every other campus, however the Smith cliques I believe are a bit different than most of other colleges. There is a large population of lesbians at Smith, including those Smith dubbed LUGS or lesbians until graduation. There is a small but growing trans-gender community at Smith. There are a small group of conservative or Republican students on campus. Generally, the school is a liberal one (may 90 to 95 percent). The different groups can blend and interact together fairly well with the exception of where politics are involved. The school is extremely politically active and aware and the different opinions can create conflict.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Generally, these stereotypes are not accurate. This is not to say that the above mentioned student does not exist at Smith, they do. The problem is, the people who help create such stereotypes are louder and make more of an impression that the ones who do not perpetuate such stereotypes. The one stereotype that I will say is mostly true is the idea that Smithies get very defensive and angry very fast. It is not hard to offend most Smith students and being politically incorrect is not an option at Smith.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics at Smith are very good. They are difficult and can be challenging, but that is what we pay for. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed however, as most professors have high expectations and they also tend to forget that a student has other classes with other assignments. The work pile-up happens quickly and when classes start, they hit the ground running. That being said, most professors are willing to help out in anyway they can. The lack of core courses make it easy for students to take whatever strikes them and creates less stress in those first years. Classes themselves vary by the people who are in them, most often classes are a discussion with sporadic lectures. They can be peppered with what Smith terms "that girl" which refers to a student which talks a lot but doesn't say much. Students are very used to being correct so any statement contrary to their own can be met with hostility.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The largest group on campus is probably ASA or KASS. Since Asians students make a the majority of the minority populations, which Koreans specifically in the majority, they are well known and visible all over campus. The Smith Democrats are also an extremely popular group. The school is not known for its partying atmosphere. There are smaller rooms parties with lots of drinking and some drugs, but they are sporadic and small. There are large Smith parties however, but they are dance parties, sometimes with a bar. Recently, Smith has made attempts to expand the Smith social life by establishing a pub for students in the Campus Center. Having a social life at Smith means that you should have a car. It makes it easier to get out and meet other people and go places. The bus is not always ideal or reliable.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The strongest and most well-known stereotype is that Smith College is a school of ugly lesbians who are "Nazi-feminists" or "man-haters". There are other stereotypes that exist about Smith College women in the five-college area and usually are something about Smith students being pushy or opinionated. They can be quick to get defensive and angry, especially when their own personal beliefs are being attacked.

Emily
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Smith. I would never want to attend a large university where I didn't know every couple people I passed walking to cl...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Smith. I would never want to attend a large university where I didn't know every couple people I passed walking to class. But it isn't so small that I feel congested or that there still aren't new people to meet every day. When I tell people I go to Smith and they know what I'm talking about, they are very impressed and give the "ohhhh, Smith...!". I spend most of my time around campus--I work for the Music Department, I am President of the Student Government Association and spend lots of time in the SGA Office (in our Campus Center). Oh yeah, and I spend considerable amounts of time in the gym or at the boathouse with my crew teammates. Northampton is a great college town. I love going downtown on the weekends to drink coffee and do homework with my best friends. Other friends go to Amherst or other nearby towns to do work on the weekends, too. As a leader in the SGA, I am able to work closely with the college administration on student issues. After speaking with other SGA presidents from various universities, I realize that we are lucky to have an administration that is so responsive and actually listens to our concerns. Having said that, the administration definitely needs nudges and considerable pressure to get certain things done. The most recent controversy on campus happened last semester when a first year student attended a "Celebrity Rehab" party dressed as Whitney Houston. This incident and particularly its aftermath made it clear that Smith needs to be more proactive in seeking campus-wide multicultural competency. We are still working on this and having many conversations and planning groups to work on these issues. However, in my opinion, I believe that faculty need more pressure to address these issues within the context of their courses and take the initiative to learn more about multiculturalism themselves. We are also discussing whether or not we should arm our public safety officers. This decision will likely be made by the end of the Spring semester. We are also working on finding a new Smith spirit mark/mascot/identity/logo, etc. A local design firm has been meeting with various Smith community groups to talk about what it means to be a Smithie and what we would want from a new mascot if we were to get one. We are currently the Pioneers, though we don't have a visual identity to go with the concept of "pioneer".

Describe the students at your school.

Smith is, by the book, very diverse (sexuality, race, socio-economic class). I don't think any student should feel out of place at Smith--however, I do think students should be aware of Smith's history as it pertains to certain groups and know what incidents may have happened on this campus in the last few decades. Smith is always trying to improve itself, but the campus community should be aware of what we are trying to avoid and work away from. We are also a predominantly political-left campus. However, we do have a healthy and active Smith Republicans student organization. As for class, there is a very wide spectrum, so expect to see students from all different times of socio-economic backgrounds.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

SMITH IS AMAZING. I would go here all over again if I could.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yeah, Smith is a welcoming and open place to many groups of students, but there is still work to be done. We have a very diverse student body (class, race, ethnicity, sexuality), but more support systems are needed in all of these areas. Smith writes that it is committed to supporting all aspects of diversity, but we still need to see that commitment in action.

What are the academics like at your school?

By the end of the semester, all of my professors know my name. Many even remember it as I pass them on campus several semesters after I've had their class. My favorite classes are within the environmental science and policy program. I love this field and so any class I take ends up being a favorite. Students study a lot. I think we need to work on that though. It's sad seeing students studying in the campus center or library on friday and saturday nights! Some believe we have a "culture of stress" at Smith. I think this is self-perpetuating. If we decide it doesn't exist, then we won't have it anymore. Students need to stop trying to "one up" eachother (i.e. i have 5 exams and 12 papers to write this weekend, what about you? oh well, i have 10 exams and 15 papers, so there!) However, in the classroom, I wouldn't say students are very competitive. I've always felt comfortable asking classmates for help or clarification during or after a lecture. I do spend time with faculty members outside of class, particularly my adviser. It is generally spent working on other projects. Many of our faculty members are truly amazing and really care about students and our education... but not all! Smith only has one academic requirement and that is a writing intensive course to be taken your first year. I think we should also have a quantitative requirement and a social justice/multicultural competency requirement. These could be filled by a variety of already offered courses. Our liberal arts education is less focused on vocational pursuits. However, we do have a specialized engineering program that is very successful and rigorous.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Smith is a welcoming institution--particularly to lgbtq--and is very diverse.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

My favorite aspect of Smith is our housing system. We do not live in residential buildings or dormitories, we live in houses. I live in Lamont house. In Lamont, we leave our doors open and wander the halls to visit our friends. It is also commonplace that students live in the same house all four years. The only semester I wasn't in Lamont was when I was studying in DC for my junior year fall. Smith is also full of traditions. We have a very active archive that has so many materials for students to browse, and from which to do research. Some of our favorite traditions include Opening Convocation, Mountain Day, Otelia Cromwell Day, House Teas, Rally Day, Intramurals, Ivy Day, Illumination and Commencement. Smith also has amazing programing. Every night of the week there is something going on. There are fantastic lectures, concerts, plays, art shows, student organization parties or events.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 2,514
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $47,904
  • Acceptance rate
  • 37%

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