An Interview On
Lafayette College

Background

Interview Date:October 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public School in Berkeley Heights, NJ with a graduating class of about 280 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation Student: No
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Biotechnology Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: Club Rugby, Tour Guide

Have your extracurricular activities had a big impact on your experience?
Yes, especially rugby. They are my family and my whole heart, and I love them beyond belief.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It’s about 25 hours a week. That consists of doing homework, studying for exams, meeting with supplemental instructors and teaching assistants, and working in the lab and doing research.

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I would say they’re really good at getting their students into research and giving them opportunities to succeed and set themselves apart from other applicants.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. Yes, we’re competitive academically but it’s not a cutthroat environment. We do group projects, and have study groups and work on homework together frequently.

How accessible have your professors been?
Most of them are super accessible and very willing to help, but there’s very few that people have issues with.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
My independent study, Neuro 392.

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Organic Chemistry. The teacher doesn’t promote an environment where it’s easy to succeed, and he’s not very good at providing help.

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.

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.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Marquis Hall, which is all girls. I had one roommate.

Sophomore: Soles Hall, which is also all girls. I live in a suite, with me and my roommate sharing a living room with another roommate.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I have experienced a low level of safety. There are a lot of incidents the school is not very good at reporting. We have a lot of the stereotypical safety measures with public safety and a Blue Light system, but when incidents occur on campus our school is really great at sweeping it under the rug. [Note: Lafayette has recently launched a new method of reporting incidents.]

Favorite off-campus restaurant?
Cosmic Cup Coffee.

Favorite place to get away from campus?
Just walking around downtown Easton.

Pros and cons of being in Easton, PA?
Pros: It’s convenient. (1) There’s a lot of stuff just a short walk away downtown.
(2) Most of the residents are friendly and willing to help out if you’re looking for something.

Cons: It’s a pretty small city. There’s not a ton of things to do other than go out to eat.

Social Opportunities

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.

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.

How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change?
I’m pretty happy with it. There’s always a wide variety of options.

Campus Culture

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.

How would you describe the student body?
Genuinely nice people, and always willing to lend a hand when need be.

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.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Lafayette by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Lafayette?
I think people love the community and not the administration. The administration has a whole lot of issues, and they need to learn to listen to the students and take reports more seriously. [Note: Lafayette has recently launched a new method of reporting incidents.]

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I hear great things, but I haven’t applied for any yet.

Have you used the career office?
They helped me edit my resume and they were very helpful.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

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 that a prospective student interested in club sports should know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s not a huge commitment and it’s a great way to stay in shape and make friends. You can even try a new sport you’ve never played before.

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 Lafayette:
1. The community. The relationships you build with other students and the support you get from that is an amazing resource.
2. Great academics. We have countless opportunities available to us through clubs, career services, sports teams, and anything else you want to get involved in.
3. 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.

Reasons to not attend Lafayette:
1. The administration doesn’t always listen to students when issues are raised, whether it’s about problematic people on campus or other issues.
2. 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.
3. There are classes known as “weed-out” classes, where the intention is to [have students who don’t want to be a certain major change their mind]. When you’re paying an institution tuition, it’s disappointing to hear that from them.

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

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