Hobart and William Smith Colleges
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private high school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students.
Major: Media and Society
Extracurricular Activities: Hobart Radio Club – I hosted a weekly one-hour radio show. Intramural volleyball. I was a photography teaching assistant. Also, I was in a fraternity.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
We watch lots of movies and write about a paper a week. You have to write reading reflections and be prepared for class by knowing the readings. Professors sometimes give pop quizzes if they felt like nobody was doing the reading. The big assignments are big final papers, and some classes require digital projects. Those can differ depending on the professor. One required you give two 30-minute presentations about the topic of the day over the semester. There is also lots of group work in M&S.
What was your favorite class you took for your major?
I have two: My senior seminar called Spectral Stardom, and a lower level class called Cultural Advertising. I ended up picking a lot of classes with a certain professor. It makes the whole class easier and better when you share interests with your professor.
What was your least favorite class you took for your major?
I didn’t take a class I didn’t like
What is a fun class you took outside of your major?
I took this Russian Literature class about vampires which was absurd. We’d watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer for homework. I also took Tibetan Mandala Painting with a visiting monk.
Why did you pick your major?
I’m interested in advertising, sales, and marketing and media in general. I think that things in the future are going to be very media oriented and it’s important to understand the motives behind its creation. It drives many parts of our society and how people perceive things, and it’s easily manipulated. A lot of people take what they see for face value, and I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Cheryl with a tough roommate. It was really bad.
Sophomore: Quad in Bartlett called Beta. I lived in a water closet, it was a really small bedroom. We had a good common room with a couch and a place to hang out, but the bedroom was ridiculously small.
Junior: Lived on campus in Odell’s Apartments. It’s in between a dorm and a house. It’s a small village of townhouses. I lived there with three guys in my frat. We had a blast. Everybody had their own room and we had a kitchen and a common room. We were able to do that because we had a really good lottery number. The people that live in Odell’s are a mix of juniors and less socially active seniors.
Senior: Off-Campus house with 4 other guys. Two of them were in my frat and the other two were in a different frat.
What was your favorite living situation?
Odell’s was my favorite because it was such a carefree environment.
Do you think you could walk to get necessities?
Yes, you can walk to get groceries but having a car is more convenient. I did do that freshman and sophomore year.
Pros and cons of being in Geneva?
Pros: (1) It’s beautiful, the lake is beautiful.
(2) There are some vineyards nearby.
Cons: (1) It’s frigid for longer than you want.
(2) The town is very poor and there is not a lot to do. [The poverty rate in Geneva is about 22%.]
(3) There’s not a lot to do. There are no concerts. There are a few bars and restaurants, but no chains.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. I mostly go to off-campus houses. The party houses with names get passed down to people and everybody knows where they are. There are a few bars the older kids go to. Saturday & Thursday nights are either a house party or a bar night. Sunday is a bar night. Friday’s sometimes can be fun, but most of the time people are resting.
What are your favorite nights at Hobart?
My favorite nights are my frat events, like formals.
What’s the impact of Greek Life?
Frats are a big deal socially. If you’re in an organization, that’s either a team or a frat. It’s hard for guys to get into social events if you aren’t in one.
How happy are you with nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it. I had a good time. I just wish there was some more dancing.
How did you make your closest friends?
Pledged with my closest friends. The other group I met freshman year by living in the same building because Cheryl is smaller than other dorms.
How would you describe the social scene?
Frats, sports teams, and girls are cliquey. It’s very cliquey because social status and money are things that are flaunted by people at Hobart. Certain frats have certain statuses that reflect socioeconomic status. Clothing is also something that matters. Like, designer clothes and Canada Goose jackets are big. You see a lot of cookie cutter girls wearing the same thing. There is definitely a social hierarchy that is visible in the cafeteria. [Socioeconomically, 12% of students come from the top 1% and the median family income is about $161,000.]
Do people seem happy with Hobart by senior year?
The people I graduated with all liked their experience. I know there are people that did not have a good time at Hobart.
Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yes, to race, no to sexual orientation. [People of different sexual orientations] don’t really come to frat parties.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Hobart before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew that the town is so bad and that the school can be cliquey. [The median household income in Geneva is about $38,000.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Check out the natural beauty of Geneva and the hiking trails nearby.