Thursday, March 31, 2011

Questions, Questions, Questions

So I recently received a list of questions from Prospective SMC Students. I'm hoping these answers are helpful, and I'll try to point everyone in the direction the who can help if not! And remember to always click around our website for a lot more on this information.

1. Are there any major preparatory requirements for your college besides completing high school and making a down payment?

I'm not positive what this question is asking? To be accepted as a student at SMC, there's a lot that's important. You need to be a solid student, taking a challenging range of courses, with an extracurricular program that shows you have a commitment to something. Leadership roles are also important. Of course, this is extremely general and everyone is different. The best way to find out if you're a fit for SMC is to come to campus and visit us, take a tour, meet with a counselor, and maybe attend some classes with a student.

2. Does your school offer used textbooks for sale or offer some form of textbook rental?

You can buy textbooks used from the bookstore when they are available. When they're not, there's a good change you can rent a new book for a cheaper price (buy you can't write in it). I personally always cross check the bookstore prices with Amazon and buy from where each book is cheapest.

3. Will students get a list of required textbooks ahead of time / before the start of the fall semester?

Students can find a book list for each class on the bookstore website a few weeks before each semester starts. You also have the option of sending your class list to the bookstore for a book pre-order, and they will be waiting for you when you get to school.

4. What amenities do dorm rooms have (e.g. bed, desk, air conditioning, personal bathroom, etc.)

All dorm rooms come with a bed, desk, chair, and dresser for each student in the room (2). Each hallway has a bathroom, so that's 8 bathrooms per building, each with 4 or 5 toilets and showers. The dorms are not air conditioned (it's not warm enough here for long enough, and a fan with an open window does the trick). There's also ample closet and storage space, as far as I'm concerned (and I have A LOT of stuff)

5. If anything within the dorm rooms becomes damaged that is property of the school, does the school assume payment of fixing / replacing the damaged item?

This really depends on how the damage occurs, what is damaged, and if a work order is placed. If you punch out a screen and never put a work order in, you will be charged for it. Usually damage that constitutes as "general wear and tear" is not charged for, but considerable damage is the responsibility of the residents of the room.

6. When do freshmen move in / unload their belongings into the dorms?

First years move in on the Thursday before classes start for their 4 day orientation. Upperclass O-leaders are there to help unload everyones car and ease the stress of move in too!

7. Are roommates assigned? Does the option exist to pick a roommate, such as a friend from the same high school who will be attending?

You may pick a roommate only if you both put each other on your housing papers. Personally, I don't recommend this, as going to college is a great time to meet new people and if you live apart from your current friends, they can make friends and so can you, and then you can all be friends! Roommates are assigned based on forms that each student fills out based on things like: bed time, wake-up time, music taste, messy vs clean, sport, etc.

8. Does the school offer long-term storage of personal belongings, such as during summer break, or are students required to empty their dorms during extended periods of time? Similarly, do dorms close down during breaks?

As far as I know, there are no storage set ups for students. However, many people leave things in personal storage units that they rent. Dorms close during Christmas and Spring break to all students, as well, of course, during the summer.

9. Does the school offer any computer labs or a means for students to print documents for classes?

We have 9 computer labs on campus, and at least as many printers (probably more) on a network system so you can print to a waiting list and pick up your document anywhere. All printing is free for students and can be accessed through personal laptops as well.

10. Does the school offer laundry facilities? Is there an additional cost?

There is laundry in every dorm, each suite building, and every townhouse area. Washers and dryers are $1.25 each.

11. If a student has more than one AP Credit for courses in the same area, such as two English language credits or two social credits, can both be used?

Again, I'm not sure what this question is asking? If you are saying you have taken both AP English tests and gotten a high enough score to earn credits here (usually a 4 or 5) on both of them, then of course you can use the credits. You might only be able to place out of one requirement (English, in this case) but you will still receive credits for both.

12. Do students have access to the internet in their dorms for personal use?

Campus is 100% wireless

13. Does being accepted into our desired major(s) guarantee us enrollment in all courses necessary to complete a four-year undergraduate study? By this, we mean to ask that if we are pursuing a major - biology in my case - will other core requirements resolve themselves, or are we left to "pick and choose" other courses?

This is a little confusing the way you're asking. You don't need to be accepted into a major here, you just declare the major and then work to complete the requirements in your 4 years. This means you are responsible for taking all courses to graduate with that major AND all LSR (core) courses as well. You may choose when it comes to an elective major or core requirement, but some are set in stone that you must take.

14. If for any reason myself or a friend I know of is caught with another student who is making illegal, unsavory, or otherwise detrimental decisions, am I or my friend guilty by association? Will I or that friend have the chance to present our case before a board or panel?

This is tricky. For the most part yes, you would be guilty by association. You name will be taken down and you would get set up to meet with somebody in student life/disciplinary. Then you would have the opportunity to explain the situation, and consequences would follow from there.

I hope these were helpful. See you soon!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Service over Spring Break

Hi everyone!

So I'm back from spring break, and definitely feeling a lot lest rested than after Jamaica last year. However, most of this is because I chose to give my break to service this year and participate in a MOVE extended service trip to NYC.

As a NJ native, 20 minutes out from the city, the sights and sounds were nothing new to me, but was new were the places I visited. Over our week in the city, we worked at 4 different, amazing organizations who are all working to help others in the best way they know how.

Me and Hannah at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

The trip is called the Covenant House trip, because we go there every day while we're on break. It's a homeless shelter for youth, typically age 18-21. As I've discussed before, homelessness happens for a variety of reasons, and we definitely saw this on our trip. I worked on the girls floor (a change from my internship with boys) and it was a really amazing experience.

The group having dinner at the Faith Community House

Another place we worked was Handcrafting Justice, an amazing fair trade organization that works with women in other countries to help them sell their beautiful, handmade crafts to help them get by. We did a lot of office work there, which was a nice change, and we got to shop at the end of the week! Check out the website for some fabulous fair trade stuff for amazing prices.
A lunch break at Handcrafting Justice

After spending the mornings at Handcrafting Justice, we headed over to the Bronx to Mercy Center which, among other things, provides an after care program for kids. We got to do the weekly lessons with the kids, work on activities, and help them with their homework. I got a girl who I did 1 on 1 tutoring with and she was so smart and awesome.

The last organization we worked with was God's Love We Deliver, a big non-profit with a HUGE volunteer base. They make meals and deliver them to the terminally ill and homebound of NYC and parts of NJ. People can be suffering from anything from AIDS or Alzheimer's to Cancer or MS. We got to prepare the food one day (peeled 100+ pounds of onions, carrots, potatoes, and squash, as well as packaged 750+ meals) and deliver it another day. I really felt strongly about the positive impact of this organization and it was amazing to work with them and get hands on experience with the people we were helping. Click here to see some photos of SMC groups working there!

At the risk of this post becoming too long, I just wanted to share what I learned while I was on my service trip. I'm very much aware of homelessness, poverty, and the need for all of the services we were providing, so my trip was not eye opening on that world-perspective level. Instead, I learned a lot about myself and where I'm going next. I'm currently waiting on a placement for AmeriCorps, but have found another option in Covenant House's Faith Community in case I don't get a placement. Being exposed to all of the possible post-grad service options on this trip has really led me to question whether 10 months with AmeriCorps will be enough before I go back to school.

I'm starting to think more and more that I might want to take another year of service, perhaps in an area closer to what I would be doing with my MSW, to really be sure of what direction I'm headed in. I know I can always change my mind, but it's better to change my mind about not going to school than to go for 2 years, pay a lot of money, and then realize I'm not passionate about my work. So, I'm at a very weird crossroads right now, working on my 6 big senior projects/papers/presentations, mid summer job application, waiting on an AmeriCorps placement, and dealing with these new feelings of nervous anticipation as the dreaded G-Day grows nearer. So, stay posted on how I'm doing, and I hope I'm keeping you interested!


Friday, March 11, 2011

what is the A-team club?

"The A-Team originated from BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students), which is a national collegiate chapter for alcohol awareness. They offer fun and interesting activities as an alternative to drinking, and promote responsibility rather than condemn the use of alcohol."

That's copied directly from the SMC website. From what I know of A-Team, they provide some awesome activities and socials here on campus as alternatives to drinking on the weekends. Fellow SMC Blogger Dan would definitely know even more info, if you'd like some.

What do you want to know about SMC?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snow, Ice Climbing, Snow, Mardi Gras, Snow

Yes, there is that much snow here.

In fact, it's snowing out my window right now. Don't get me wrong, I knew what I signed up for 4 years ago when I decided to come to college in Vermont. I knew there was going to be lots of snow. I love that. I love to ski, play outside, make snow forts, etc. For the past 3 years the snow has been great, but am I crazy to think that this year has just been excessive? We've gotten hit with storm after storm and the snow has just piled up. Maybe I'm more grouchy about this because I have a car here now, which means cleaning it off, shoveling it out, and inevitably getting stuck in my parking spot ALL THE TIME because I don't have snow tires. Maybe it's because I'm not heading anywhere warm for spring break this year. Maybe it's because I'm just itching for those days where I can go outside in flip flops and a t-shirt and relax outside with my friends all afternoon/night long. Whatever the reason, I'm over this snow.

Still, there is SO MUCH to do here in the winter, even in the snow. Aside from the obvious $30 worth of unlimited skiing at Smuggs (which I wish I had more time to take advantage of) there are wilderness program trips, or just building snow structures with friends. Two weekends ago, I went out with some friends on an Ice Climbing trip and had so much fun! I've also been snow shoeing with the wilderness program and loved that. So, even when the snow is getting a bit overwhelming, there's always something to do.

(above) me climbing the 50 foot ice. (below) the ladies and I as we pack up to head back to the van.

FACT: Monday was the first snow day at SMC in my four years. We got something like 26 inches of snow and classes were cancelled for the day. We loved it.

(below) My friends and I playing outside on the snow dayThis past weekend was also the Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade in Burlington. This is a fabulous annual event where the entire area comes out to catch beads and treats and to watch the parade. The event is sponsored by Magic Hat and the Women's Rape Crisis Center, where the proceeds go. As a team, the swimmers volunteered to help out with crowd control (over 300 SMC students worked the parade!). We got free beads, t-shirts, and treats, and had a good time out there making sure nobody got hurt or trampled or run over.

So on this snowy Thursday on the eve of spring break I'm just getting my things in order for my MOVE extended service trip to NYC to work at Covenant House and a handful of other organizations. I'll be sure to write a post about it when I return of course.

In other news, I'm also on the edge of a lot of things. My big papers and projects are all due within the next month for my 3 main classes (not that History of Jazz or Calligraphy don't count). Once those are done, there's not much to do before the year ends but have fun and finish up classes and such. I'm also at that limbo between having concrete plans for the summer and beyond. I've got applications in and such, just waiting for answers, details, etc. so I'll keep you updated.

That's all for now. Stay warm, wherever you are!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

is the deans celebration/reception thing a big deal? i dont know if i should go or not. or if my parent sneed to travel all the way here just for one night? is it worth them coming or would it be ok to go on my own?

It really depends on you. My parents have only come to one year of it (that's all you really need). It's just some little snacks and you can walk around and see senior research, and then there are a few speakers. My friends and I are going together without our parents this year, and I think that's totally fine.

P.S. Congratulations!

What do you want to know about SMC?