Impressions Of
Lafayette College

Academic Experience

Male Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

Is there anything you feel Lafayette has done especially well or poorly academically?
Considering that I am trying to pursue an Economics and Government & Law degree, I do see that there is more emphasis on the STEM majors than the humanities majors at times. Sometimes it’s really difficult to find resources for help.

How was transitioning academically as a first-generation college student?
When I transitioned from high school to Lafayette they don’t have what they have now, which is a first-year specialist. It was really challenging for me when it came to STEM-related matters, like calculus I had to put extra effort into. For my papers and analytical writing work, I feel like my high school prepared me well for that.

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

How was managing both your club sport and your coursework?
It’s not difficult at all. We don’t have super long practices, and it’s about six hours a week in total. Sometimes I have to leave practice a little bit early because I have work to finish, but my coaches are very understanding and tell us to put school first.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I’ve wanted to be a trauma surgeon since I was 3, but I didn’t want to do Biology. I thought Neuroscience would be more applicable because the brain is kind of like the engine of the human body, and neurosurgeons are like the mechanic. If you know how the engine works you can probably fix everything with the car, and if you know how the brain works you can probably fix most things wrong with a human.

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2022

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s collaborative. If I don’t want to study by myself, I don’t have to because there’s always a study group of people willing to let you take a seat. At my high school there was an underlying competition of people asking, “What did you get on the quiz?” but that doesn’t exist here. How you do doesn’t matter to anybody else.

Is there anything that you feel Lafayette has done especially well or poorly so far academically?
I think the requirement of having support systems is something Lafayette does really well. During first year orientation, week we got a PARDner who is an upperclassman who can walk you through the way things work on campus. They tell about how to register for classes and you check in with them a few times during the semester to see where we’re at. We also have a Writing Associate with our first-year seminar class who can help review your writing. There are also drop-in hours at the Learning Center. I think the fact that Lafayette pushes all these things is something they’ve done really well. Even if you didn’t’ know how to ask for help it’s already there for you to take advantage of.

Social Opportunities

Male Environmental Science Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Lafayette?
Sometimes I stay in and hang out with my friends and play video games. If I do go out, sometimes I go with my friends to parties at off-campus housing or on campus. Usually, there’s something going on at Portlock [Black Cultural Center] or I go to the fraternities when they have [open] charity events. I usually go to more public parties, but there are more exclusive parties also.

How happy are you with the weekend activities at Lafayette? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s been pretty good overall. That’s also because when I go out I go out with people I have genuine connections with. For me, it’s more about who I’m with than where I’m going.

 

Male Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

How happy are you with the nightlife options at Lafayette? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m satisfied with the party scene. It is definitely a change in culture and music taste going to a school that is predominantly White and where the frats are predominantly White. It’s sometimes difficult to get excited about music you don’t really enjoy, so one thing I would change is to have a multicultural fraternity, so that way I would want to participate in a fraternity.

What nights of the week do you like to go out? Are there certain things you do on certain nights?
Freshman year it was a lot on the weekends. This year it’s also a lot on the weekends but I’ve gone out a few times no the weekdays because some of my friends are in fraternities and sororities so I get invited to their activities. It varies from location to location, but I do try to have a mix of Greek parties and events and cultural group parties.

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
A lot of the fraternities and sororities would team up together and throw parties with a costume theme, where all the money goes to charity. Those parties were nice because all the freshman go, and it’s just for the freshman so you don’t have to know anyone in Greek Life and there’s no pressure.

What kind of nightlife do you participate in at Lafayette?
Mainly on-campus parties, and going out to local bars. Varsity sports teams and Greek life host a lot of parties.

What nights of the week do you typically go out?
Friday and Saturday.

Campus Culture

Male Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I’d say rarely. It almost never occurs. There are a lot of Whites staying with Whites, Black staying with Blacks, Latinos with Latinos, or just people of color staying together. There’s a little mingling that happens in the center ethnicity-wise. From the perspective of a person who is Latino and also Gay, I feel like we mingle more with different sexualities within the people of color. We have a specific LGBT group here for people of color, so we have created our own space to deal with those issues and allow for different sexual orientations to get together. I feel like that stays within groups, so the White people have their own group and the people of color have their groups. There is never a huge overlap between races.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Lafayette by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving Lafayette?
Based on conversations I’ve had over the past two years with seniors, they enjoy it. Overall, they’ve enjoyed Lafayette and, to some point, they’ll miss it. They continued going there because they enjoyed it. By senior year I think the memories and friends they created will compensate for whatever bad memories you have.

 

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
There are a lot of sexuality specific and culturally specific groups, but there are also plenty of groups where no one thinks about things like that. For example, the rugby team is very diverse both in terms of ethnicity and sexuality. The varsity sports teams tend to be a little more divided and less accepting.

How did you meet your closest friends?
We all lived in Marquis Hall together and started hanging out because of that. I’ve also met a lot of really close friends through rugby.

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s got a nice mix of options. If you’re one of those people who likes to go out every day, you can do it. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like that, you don’t have to.

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2022

How would you describe the overall social scene?
As a student of color specifically, I think the social scene is very active and welcoming. There’s not a sense of, “you’re a freshman, we can’t speak to you.” Everybody wants to get to know you and see you succeed. I’ve never felt isolated because I’m a freshman, I’ve always felt welcome in the community.

How strong is the Black community on campus?
I think it’s extremely strong. There’s an attitude on campus where it is imperative that the Black community is strong. I don’t know if that is because of the generation before or the students on campus now. Everybody is very welcoming. It’s really nice that the fact when you walk into a space everybody says hi to you. It’s not a long conversation, but the fact that people say, “hi,” and acknowledge you in a space is something I really appreciate. I can sit down with a group of people who I don’t know very well and have a two-hour long conversation, and that’s something that happens often.

Easton, PA

Pros of

  • “There is Bacon Fest, which occurs annually in Easton, PA. I love food, so that’s pretty great.”
  • “It’s small, so there are a bunch of stores around you.” [You can walk to stores from campus.]

Cons of

  • “If it’s a just a regular weekend, there’s nothing happening in town. There’s a lack of events.”
  • “The small-town vibe can feel constricting at times.”
  • “I don’t see a bunch of color here. Back home I saw more Hispanics and other people of color, while here it is more White people.” [About 55% of the population of Easton, PA is White and 23% is Hispanic.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Environmental Science Major C/O 2021

What is something a prospective Hispanic student may want to know that we haven’t touched on yet?
Sometimes the Hispanics here stay in their little cliques. I’m in the Hispanic Society of Lafayette, which is where a lot of Hispanics and other people meet up to talk about current events. One thing I noticed about that club is that it’s not as big as it could be, there are more Hispanics in the school. I believe some might not identify strongly as Hispanic or don’t know about it.

What is something a prospective first-generation student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
There definitely resources out there for academics. Most of the professors are pretty lenient. They’re not necessarily out to get you, there may be some, but most aren’t. There are weed out classes here, and those will be more challenging.

Male Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

What is something a prospective LGBT student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Understand that it’s a smaller campus so there are fewer people who identify the same way. Being a person of color who also identifies as Gay, it’s even more of a struggle to find people to connect with because you’re two layers and some people may not understand how each layer affects you differently.

What is something you wish you knew about Lafayette before entering as a freshman?
I wish I’d known was that not all the dining services are provided during the weekends and during breaks. If you’re planning to stay on campus during a break there’s only one dining hall open with limited services, so you need to go food shopping.

 

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Lafayette before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how to find resources on campus better, and who to go to when I have a specific problem. In my experience, it’s better to find your own resources, whether it be advisors, a coach, or someone else. The chaplain here has been an amazing resource for me.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
It’s hard to get a read on student-faculty relationships on a tour, but we’re all very close with our professors, even those who aren’t teaching our major.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Lafayette College

To Attend

  • “The campus is beautiful. Being able to look outside and it looks beautiful, even on the most disgusting day, really impacts the way you feel about your day. That’s a frivolous detail, but I think it impacts you a lot because if you feel bad and you go outside and it looks bad, it impacts how you feel.”
  • “Lafayette spends a lot of money on its students, whether it’s keeping us occupied on the weekends, organizing events, or providing great resources like our counseling center.”
  • “You’re in between Philadelphia and New York City and tickets are relatively cheap. You have a nice balance of escaping Easton or hanging out in your dorm.”
  • “It’s a small campus so you’re going to know everybody and everybody is going to know you in your classroom.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you don’t want a small school experience. If you want to [be anonymous], don’t come here because it’s really easy to meet people and it’s a tight-knit community.”
  • “95% of the professors are great, but I can think of four or five who are known to be problematic in some other way. They create a culture where students don’t want to succeed in their class.”
  • “They tend to really focus on STEM majors. There’s a lot of resources geared towards them.”
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