An Interview On
Bard College

Background

Interview Date:April 2019

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Latino
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in New York City with a graduating class of about 200 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Economics and Math
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I’m part of the Student Government, I have my own entrepreneurial project on campus, and I’m part of BRAVE, which is a hotline where people can call about any problems they have.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I think they add to the experience, but they weren’t necessarily revolutionary to my experience here.

Are there good entrepreneurial resources on campus?
There’s an entrepreneurship club which we collaborate with. We have different types of career development offices, and there are also money management workshops on campus. [Search Bard student clubs here.]

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
There are more readings and essays for Economics, while there are more problem sets and exams for Math.

Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
Especially well, I think there is a lot of time to speak to your professors. They are very interactive with the students, and you can get to know who your professor is. This allows you to better understand the material.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s a little bit of both, but it’s a lot more collaborative. There is no competition between who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s more about you understanding the material together. Bard is competitive [when comparing it] to other schools, but not in the classroom setting.

How accessible are your professors?
They are very accessible. They have a lot of office hours where you can reach them. If you don’t fit their times, a lot of my professors will set up meetings on different days.

What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for both of your majors?
I think my Principals of Economics class really solidified my interest in it. For math, I’ve only taken Calculus I and II so far.

Why did you pick your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
Nothing is set in stone for me and I still have more to figure out, but I have an idea of what I wanted to do before I got here. Now, I feel like [the majors] are reinforcing my understanding of the material.

On and Around Campus

How was transitioning from New York City to Annandale-on-Hudson, NY?
It was a very rigid transition. Annandale-on-Hudson is not even comparable to the city. You feel it because the school is so small and is kind of its own little town and isolated from everything else. But, there are ways of getting around and getting to places, like the shuttle.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel very safe at this school. It’s so small that I feel like if anything does happen, it gets around so fast.

Pros and cons of being in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY?
Pros:
1) It’s really beautiful.
2) It’s quiet but also lively.

Cons:
1) If you don’t have a car, it’s very hard to leave campus.
2) The weather can get cold.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Bard?
There are restaurants and nearby towns. We have events on campus that we go to, such as ice skating, rollerblading, food trucks, and a bunch of different events. I usually go to parties or events on campus.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things? Are there regular places you go or things you do on certain nights?
If nothing on campus is happening on a Friday night, I’ll probably just chill. I usually work on Fridays. Saturday, there will be an occasional party or a band coming to play which I may go to. For the most part, I just go to parties if they’re fun. The parties are usually in dorms on campus. Clubs will also register parties with the school, and it will be held in different places around on campus.

How happy are you with the nightlife options at Bard? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m used to city life, so I like having a lot of things to play around with in the city. Here, there are a limited amount of options around the area.

How has identifying as LGBTQ influenced your nightlife experience? Is there much of an LGBTQ nightlife scene?
There are a lot of LGBTQ events on campus and I’ve been. [Being LGBT] hasn’t really affected me at all here.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
I was in a summer program before coming to school called The Language and Thinking Program (L&T), so I met them there. I’m also close to a lot of upperclassmen through having similar classes and social groups.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Bard?
You could say the Bard social scene is very artsy. It’s very much so anti-establishment and not conventional. There are a lot of smaller friend groups because it’s a smaller school.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Sexual orientations mix a lot more than different races do. There aren’t that many people of color on this campus. Within that smaller group, there’s a handful that interact among different races, but not all. [13% of students in the Class of 2022 are Hispanic, 8% are African American/Black, 12% are Asian, and 54% are White.]

How do you like the size of Bard in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has that impacted your experience? [There are about 1,900 undergraduate students.]
I never really thought about it until I got here, but I think it does play a role because you see the same people all the time. At the same time, the small class sizes are really good, and there’s a lot of support if you need it because the school is so small. I feel that you create more personal relationships with professors and people in general. [98% of classes have 29 students or less.]

How would you describe the Latinx community on campus? How strong is it?
They’re strong. Although there’s a small number of people, there’s solidarity, and people look out for each other. I think that a lot of the clubs are run by people of color, so that adds a lot to how comfortable we feel here.

How would you describe the LGBTQ community on campus? How strong is it?
There are a lot of LGBTQ members on campus so it’s pretty strong.

Careers

What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I’ve used it to update my resume, along with searching for internships or scholarships.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They should look at Blithewood, it has a beautiful sunset view. They should also go to the campus center because there’s always something happening.

Reasons to attend Bard:
1) It’s small enough for you to excel and that gives you a big fish in a small pond feel.
2) The strong academics and support here. The professors generally care about you as a student and want you to understand the material rather than just retaining it for the class.

Reasons to not attend Bard:
1) It’s very isolated.
2) I wish there were more people of color. [13% of students in the Class of 2022 are Hispanic, 8% are African American/Black, 12% are Asian, and 54% are White.]

Notice: Bard College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Bard College.

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