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The best thing about Mt Holyoke is the faculty, resources and the CAMPUS. Its gorgeous. and I have never met professors bending backwards to help their students. Can't turn a paper in on time? need an extension to be inspired...done. The professors here really make the school what it is. Needless to say, because you get an extension does not mean the school is easy. You get alot of work, I take around 20-22 credits each semester because I love reading, writing and genuinely want to do the work. Thats not just me, thats most of the students here. So why choose Mount Holyoke over an Ivy league or a school ranked 'unfairly' higher, because the school is built so you succeed, you really can't fail unless you try REALLY hard haha. I think the population of the school is just right, could be larger but mostly just right. The sad part is that people don't really know about Mount Holyoke, we have alumni everywhere, Pricilla Painton (Editor and Chief at Simon and Schuster), Susan lori parks (Pulitzer Prize winner), Jeanemarie O'brien (One of the most intelligent corporate lawyers I have worked with; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz). We also had Anthony Lake as professor here for 10 years before he left to serve as secretary of state under Bill Clinton, and if Obama wins he'll do it all over again. Every few years, like this one, he comes back and teaches a class or two. So when people ask me wheres 'Mt. Holyoke,' I just take it as their ignorance. The biggest controversy on campus recently was the sudden death of a fellow student. it really affected the campus, as students that didn't even know her held a candle in her memory. I do think their is a lot of school pride, students who don't have school pride usually transfer, and if your one of 'those' don't come...and the most frequent complaints is the town of south hadley, unfortunately reffered to as 'sa'hadley' as the saddest town ever. But even that just makes students get off campus to do things...like me, who is filling out this survey in a coffee shop in northampton...oh and yes I would choose mt. holyoke over smith--the admins there are just mean.
Mount Holyoke has familial quality and a close community feel which makes all her students feel at home, whether speaking with professors, laughing with public safety officers, or just hanging out with friends. It is in a small town, but well connected to the other schools in the five college system by way of the PVTA bus. One of the benefits of the small community within and without the college is that it draws classmates closer. Historically, Mount Holyoke has been known for the strong bonds her students form with each other, regardless of class year. Upon acceptance, the women of Mount Holyoke step into a permanent family of strong women, leaders in both private and public. The fact that two women of differing age, race, ethnicity, or gender-identification have Mount Holyoke in common bridges all of their differences. We are very proud of our school's legacy, one that we know we are becoming a part of.
I like the all women's environment. Things get done quicker and there's less overt competition. I'd change how the campus policies make it hard to have a good time on campus and don't do enough to promote safety when partying etc. When I tell people that I go to Mount Holyoke they ask me one or a combination of the following: Where is it? Is that a religious school? Are you gay? Have you hooked up with a girl? How do you get by without guys? How can you go to school in the middle of no where? Why did you decide to go there? I'm in the library, campus center or the dorms a lot. The administration seems a little slow and somewhat out of touch. Sometimes they're right on and a lot of the individual people are great. We have a lot of unusual things - class colors/mascots, traditions like M&Cs, elfing, Dis-O and random stories that get passed around campus. Students don't tend to ever like the hours of things - like the dining halls, the library, the offices they need to use. The health center is also hit or miss. A lot of people also have complaints about the CDC.
You don't go to Mount Holyoke for the guys. You go because you will make the most amazing girl friends you'll ever have in your lifetime. I'd want to be closer to the city. It's just a little bit too small. Some people ask me "Where is Mount Holyoke?", lots of people just don't know anything about the school...other people know that it is prestigious and are really shocked. I spend most of my time running around from class to studying to meetings. What college town? There isn't even a pharmacy that isn't run by the school. The administration is really slow sometimes. The race controversy was pretty big (someone claimed in the newspaper that minority organizations weren't involved enough). There's a lot of school pride, but there is some school hate too. It's mostly because it's just stressful to be here. Mount Holyoke is just a sweet place. I'll always remember living with my three best friends in a quad and LOVING it. Lots of people complain about boys--I think it's natural, but it goes away after awhile, when you realize that you don't need them to be happy.
I love Mt Holyoke for its diversity. It has one of the largest acceptance rates for international students, and this helps in building a global culture. The college promotes and supports diversity and the huge array of cultures that co-exists exceptionally well in a small college community. We have 'gracious dinner' nights with different themes, such a Chinese Gracious night or Mexican Gracious night. This is usually held by the language departments but does a great job at fostering cultural awareness. Besides diversity, Mt Holyoke surreal location is captivating. Its a clash of history and modernity. The new technologically advanced science building, Kendade, with plush couches and winding stairwells is connected to a towering Victorian looking building, Clapp, made out of old red brick with ivy growing on its walls. That would be something that Mt Holyoke has been doing right for a long time: preserving the old while promoting the new. We are simply very different from so many other colleges that I have visited. Residence Halls are scattered across campus amidst academic buildings, and the environment is not commercial at all. There aren't any small outlet stores or coffee houses inside the college campus, though we do like to complain a lot about a lack of Starbucks in the vicinity. The worst thing about Mt Holyoke though is that you can't really do anything without a car. We're situated in South Hadley, which is a small college town, and is lifeless after 7 at night. The public transportation system is not the best in the world, though there is the PVTA, which is the bus service that runs through the 5 colleges - Hampshire, Amherst, UMass, Smith, and Mt Holyoke, through sometime in the morning to 2 at night. This is a lot of help but it could get painful to go anywhere outside the 5 college area.
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