- Class: Senior
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Math and Sciences
- Transfer Student: Y
One of the most favorable things about New YorkÕs Hunter College Situated in the heart of ManhattanÕs Lexington avenue, is its design. Hunter is divided into three buildings: North and East and West, which are connected to one another by walkways lined with windows exhibiting the Manhattan skyline, and intersect with the main West building . The West building consists of escalators that lead to upper floors and also down to the entrance level, where the students may exist the college directly into the train station without ever having to step foot outdoors. As opposed to other institutions in New York, such as the Kingsborough Community College campus situated along the coastline of Brooklyn -- which utilizes individual buildings with vast walking distances of each other; HunterÕs compact design allows students and faculty to access departments in all three buildings comfortably, without having to venture outdoors in unfavorable weather conditions. Making it ideal during cold Winter months and New YorkÕs brash variable rains. An unusual array of 'hang out spots' are as overabundant in Hunter as its numeric student body. Most students congregate in the large lunch room in the West Building's third floor.Other's sit on the sidelines of Hunter's walkways, cross legged with laptops in hand, or gazing at the skyline and traffic below, or chatting in small bundles with fellow classmates. Other's lounge around in the library, or stretch across, sleeping on pushchairs in Hunter's seating areas situated on the many floors in the West building. And the college's more memorable qualities include promoters for Hunter's many extracurricular clubs gathering in the North building's hallway, often handing out fliers or cup-cakes for membership, and blasting various music --ranging from Sting to The Cure to Beyonce-- from a portable stereo. Other student's, like myself, who value more quietude, often relax on stairways or windowsills on the top floors of the East building's Anthropology department -- an ideal place for studying or having lunch in absolute solitude . Though buoyant and lively, Hunter's student's do not necessarily encapsulate school pride, at least not outwardly. Most students direct their pride toward individual topics, such as the political, racial or gender topics; many times rallying in the hallways through music or posters or fliers to get their message across. This results in a multitude of information on topics otherwise not addressed or readily noticed. But school pride, is not something I have seen displayed openly, if at all. If it exists, it does so under the current of more outspoken groups, and needs to be more direct or step into the foreground to be noticed by the attending masses. In addition to the languishing school pride, one other thing I would change about Hunter is it's poor ability to deal with paperwork occasionally -- something the admission office will not admit. And is one of the most frequent of student complaints. This issue particularly concerns the financial aid office. Upon first arriving at Hunter, I, myself, had to deal with the financial officeÕs tendency to lose certain do***ents, and failure to confirm the validity of others. One such issue concerned their inability to ascertain my citizenship, when I am a native of America! Twice I sent in the appropriate do***ents, to no avail. Eventually, I had to address the issue on a face to face basis, and only then was the problem resolved. Since then, I had trouble Ð albeit minor-- with other offices and do***entation. However, I found that offices deal with issues most poorly by mail. Most likely, a studentÕs problem will be addressed and quickly apprehended if he/she visits the office personally. This may be due to HunterÕs overabundant student body -- one of the largest in the Tri-State-- which results in greater paperwork and thus a greater chance for mishaps.
Because Hunter college is a commuter school, relations with professors are usually minimal. Students rarely befriend their professors, and once the class is done, rarely even see their professors in the sea of faces traversing Hunter's hallways. this usually occurs within the first two years at Hunter, when the student may not have a particular major and attends opposing classes which have little to do with the other, such as Math and English; and the classes are held in large auditoriums. However, once the student has chosen a major, and has taken the initial introductory courses, classes tend to slimmer down. And the professors are more intimate with their students, more willing to provide individual attention and do not fumble with your names! When classes do slimmer down to approximately 25-30 students, participation becomes crucial. This depends on the major, of course. And I can only speak as an English major. English majors are encouraged to speak out regularly and state their observations and or opinions about the text(s) they are reading. However, there are always a few students, like myself, who sit in the back, are more timid or shy, and cannot formulate thoughts quickly in a classroom setting. This aggravates most professors, so raising a hand from time to time is a must, no matter how shy you are. Fortunately, when it comes to English lit., anything mentioned is relevant to the text, and rarely are observations deemed incorrect. Also, fortunately, many professors are starting to utilize blackboard to create discussion groups, providing students, like myself, to express our ideas about the reading material in the comfort of our home. One of my favorite and unique classes, African American Narratives (or ENGL321), employed this method, and the diversity within the class evoked many important issues regarding race and ethnicity involved in the text, which many might have been uncomfortable to voice in class. Other classes, such as Eng220, an introductory course required for the deceleration of the English major, was a large class and did not utilize blackboard discussion groups. This resulted in more introversion within the class, and the professor's inability to recall many students by name. The class ended on a bland note, and most of what was discussed remains predominately forgotten. When it comes to the English department, or many departments in Hunter, one of the most irritating aspects is the need to take redundant pre-requisits, or minors that have nothing to do with your desired major. This happens when students transfer from other colleges or systems (SUNY) and discover that many past credits have become obsolete. Another problem is the requirement to declare a major after a certain period (about half a year). Students who do not yet know their intended major are forced to beg various departments to let them assume that major, until they have chosen concretely. The english department is know to be the most fickle; immediately turning anyone away upon discovering the real reason for requesting the major. Other departments, such as anthropology (my former "major") are more content to oblige and aid the student in such tribulations. At my request, I was even told by a representative: "ha! we're the NICE department," as she printed her signature on my major request do***ents. Such requirements create tensions among the students toward certain departments. And I feel this is an issue that needs to be addressed. When it comes to academics at Hunter students (at least the ones I have talked to) are more geared toward getting a job than learning. Though I do not particularly think this attitude is confined only to Hunter, but the American society as a whole. It is mostly from students studying from abroad that I sense a true passion for the subjects they are learning, and making a real effort to connect to their fellow students. Studying habits often depend on how much the student has on his/her plate in his general life. Most students who work seem to contribute more attention to their work than their studies, I find. Others,like myself, who are lucky enough not to need to have time consuming jobs are able to contribute more ours to study and school related work.However, there is a healthy competition among students, though how much is geared from within an individual aspiration or is the product of society's growing demands to succeed is not known.
When it comes to racial, religious, and other groups at Hunter, I do not see them. Or know about them. Unless I take the time to speak with others; and usually there isn't much time to socialize when everyone is in such a hurry. Another thing is that people tend to stick with what they are familiar, being of Russian ancestry, my first inclination was to gravitate towards others of my own kind and share experiences. I don't advise this habit, as it prevents one from meeting other interesting individuals/ groups on campus. Interact with others as much as possible. And most are willing to socialize and share experiences, as Hunters student body is very diverse. In Hunter, It is difficult to tell where most students are from as it is a very large school. During class, before the professor appears is the best time to take a moment to talk to your classmates. Though this doesn't provide a real ability to get to know your each other, if you proceed to do so daily, or often, you'll gain much information and learn a lot. I've met people from Finland, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Egypt, etc.. At Hunter, you never know who you may meet, and from where! Any country's native is possible,. And this is definitely Hunter's greater attributes. Such diversity certainly brings to mind a lot of fashions. Though, most students, I find, dress surprisingly similar. This is due, I believe, to the digital age, and the availability of different fashions to different parts of the world. Although, I must mention that I've noticed -- Japanese students tend to accessories and dress in vibrant colors more so than any other groups I have seen! Financial backgrounds are similarly entwined. Most students I speak with are by no means wealthy, many are living on their own or with roommates. And quite frankly , many are living from pay-check to pay check. European students are first to admit that their integration into the American/ New York environment has been a difficult one in terms of economical matters. other students, like myself, are living with their parents -- hoping to find a decent job once in graduate school. Though I never heard anyone complain about expenses at Hunter, which is quite an affordable college. Excluding textbook prices, students are getting by alright.
The Best Things
The overall design/enviornment
The Worst Things
The tendency to lose paperwork