Walked by Commons to hear the beautiful sound of people speaking  languages I do not understand whatsoever… it’s exciting to have so many new international students on campus.  Fun fact: they can gossip about me all they want, and I’ll never know…
— Parke ‘15

Walked by Commons to hear the beautiful sound of people speaking  languages I do not understand whatsoever… it’s exciting to have so many new international students on campus.  Fun fact: they can gossip about me all they want, and I’ll never know

— Parke ‘15

I got a SAT score of 1990 with 1380 on CR plus Mathematics. I have major concerns regarding financial aid. So what are my chances of getting somewhat close to full aid/full aid ? — Asked by Anonymous

Here’s the problem: 

Bennington doesn’t have a mathematical equation that we can plug your scores into and get your financial aid package. That would be nice. But, it would also mean that all students would be judged solely on their test scores. Which isn’t really how it works here. Students up for aid are looked at holistically because an SAT score really gives us no information on how you’ll fit in here. Your chances of getting a larger financial aid package increase the more excited you are about Bennington and the more passionately you pursue your own interests. If you still need additional info give the Financial Aid office a ring at 802-440-4325. 

All the best,

Emily ‘16

What are the intro to dance classes like for someone who is uncoordinated and a terrible dancer? Are we expected to enter the class with any degree of experience? — Asked by Anonymous

If you enter a beginning dance class, you are not expected nor required to have any sort of experience. There may be students who do have more experience, but you will certainly not be alone as a beginner. Everyone I asked in the office loved the dance class that they took. Dance classes can be a ton of fun, and I would highly recommend trying them out.

~ Maddy ‘16

I'm an international student wishing to apply to bennington to study a mix of industrial design, sculpture, and cuisine. I know the school offers varied courses in many subject matters but how feasible is this combination? — Asked by Anonymous

Short answer: totally feasible! 

Sculpture plays a huge role in Bennington visual arts. There are plenty of classes that you can take that will definitely catch your fancy, and you will be surrounded by other students who also share your passions. You can make your sculptures as useful or useless as you like.

Glennis is really into making furniture (through sculpture), and was looking into industrial design in her earlier years. There are some awesome courses on 3D modeling and construction that would be helpful. We also have some awesome equipment in VAPA: a laser cutter, two 3D printers, and a CNC machine (I don’t know what this is, but Glennis tells me it’s exciting).

For cuisine, there is the farm on campus, and you could also take a term off to study at a culinary school. Or you could pursue something during your Field Work Term, a seven week opportunity for students to find an internship! You could also pick up a shift at the Dining Hall, but something tells me that this isn’t quite what you’re looking for. What kind of cuisine are you into? Feel free to email me (madelynm@bennington.edu) and tell me all about it.

~ Maddy ‘16

Any advice for senioritis? — Asked by Anonymous

yeah take a comic book and put in your real book so it liooks like youre still studying!!!!!

But for real, I’ll say this: we get your transcript at the end of your senior year. Your whole transcript. So if Bennington or another college you’re going to sees that in the spring before you graduate your grades go from all A’s to all C’s or something, it won’t just be dismissed as “lol senioritis”

image

I dunno, actually try to like your senior year! I know it can be hard to, but does school have to be a chore? Is Skool not Kool? Is ball not life? A few (two) other interns have also posted about senioritis in the past. Julia’s bulleted list is especially helpful.

kagan16

Are there any comedy troupes or stand up open mic nights at Bennington? — Asked by Anonymous

We have a raucous handful of students that work in comedy - incredibly smart people that always leave me in stitches.  Bennington offers a couple of outlets, most notably a bimonthly open mic night.  Last year, some students started a comedy evening on one of our house porches - very well attended, but I’m not quite sure if it’s still up and running.  And while there have been murmurs of interest in a comedy/improv troupe, nothing has really gotten off the ground (in my time here, anyways…).  But know that if you have any desire to start a group like this on campus, it is absolutely feasible.  Interest varies from term to term, but there’s almost always something in the works that culminates with a wonderful and unusual evening of funny, funny people.  There are plenty of student contacts that would love to sit down with you and dream up some new experience for comedy@bennington.  

Remember though: there’s always something underneath.  I’ll leave you with a radio project by my dear friend and fellow intern Emily Gaynor on what it means to be a funny woman.  Enjoy!

- Jeremy ‘16

Hello! I hope you are all enjoying the summer! I have a question about dance at Bennington. I know that dance is very strong at Bennington and I was wondering if there are classes for those who are less than stellar when it comes to dancing. Are there beginner classes offered at Bennington or locally outside of the college? Thanks — Asked by Anonymous

Hiya TimidDancer99!

Ahh yes, have no fear - dance (like all other disciplines) has 2000-level and 4000-level classes. EVERYONE is welcome to take the 2000-levels - these classes are more introductory and accessible, though generally even people who have done a lot of dance throughout their pre-college lives will still have to take them, in order to get a feel for the building blocks of the sort of dance we do/teach at Bennington. On that note, most 2000-level classes do have a range of levels of expertise and comfort in them (some have absolutely no prior experience), which I think is great - those who have more experience always seem to be helpful, open, and definitely nonjudgmental of those who have less experience. The 4000-level classes are for more advanced work; people who are pointedly pursuing the given discipline.

My first term I took a 2000-level contact improv dance class, which completely altered/influenced my ideas of what I wanted to pursue academically. Super fun, super accessible, very warm and open folks.

So git awn over here and start dancin’!!!!!!

Chloe ‘16

On Sexual Harrassment and Assault

We get questions about Bennington’s incidence rate and handling of sexual harassment and assault fairly often, so today the intern body took some time and came up with a more comprehensive response than we can give off-the-cuff while on tour.  

On written policy level, our rules governing such matters are available here.  Campus Safety’s particular take on sexual harassment and assault, and campus crime statistics, are available here, and the updated 2013 figures should become available toward the end of this month.  The statistics, of course, only cover reported assaults; according to the US Department of Justice, less than 5 percent of college sexual assaults are reported to campus security forces or law enforcement.  Bennington does have in place several of the strategies that the DOJ report outlines to encourage reporting, but we also want you to be aware of the context of our statistics.

So.  Sexual harassment and assault do happen at Bennington, as at all colleges.  We are a great place to live and work, but we are not immune to this.  Generally speaking, we are a safe school at which most everyone knows most everyone else.  Due to the structure of campus life — the intimate size, the community-based housing setup, the lack of Greek life, the fact that students mostly socialize on campus and don’t go out clubbing — certain factors don’t apply.  No one in the office has ever heard of rape drugs like GHB or rohypnol being used at Bennington.  No one on campus has to fear walking around alone at night.  And if you ever do feel threatened at a party or event, your house or the Campus Safety booth are only ever a few minutes’ walk away.  Again, because the vast majority of socializing and partying occurs right on campus, it’s rare for anyone to have to feel stranded in a bad place.  These factors together lower our rate of sexual assaults a lot.

In particular, we want to make reference to Ken Collamore, the director of Campus Safety.  He’s a great guy and, more importantly, a safe person to go to when you need help.  In our various encounters with him, he has never been anything but supportive and respectful of confidentiality.  Also available ‘round the clock is Bennington’s team of sexual harassment advisors, who work with students in a confidential manner.

That’s about what we’ve got on this, but back in May, interns Alana and Arden posted about this topic, and provided a bunch of other helpful information.  We encourage you to visit their post as well.

-Ray, Alana, Alan, Eliana, and Kagan

Hey, I was wondering if you have a dance program at your school :) — Asked by Anonymous

Do we ever.

Here is what our very own Alana Cooper ‘15 has to say about how dance at Bennington has influenced her. 

And here is what we’ve got for dance on the blog.

Personally, I have made sure to be in at least one dance class per term because I have found them to be grounding and influential to my work in visual art. So there are many ways to be involved with dance at Bennington.

Hope this helps!

Nina ‘15

hey all, i need more info for international students.. — Asked by Anonymous

what’s up? what kind of info? i’m gonna need some more info to give you the info.

Nick Forcier is our counselor for international students, so you can email him at nforcier@bennington.edu with any question(s). He’s pretty smart.

kagan16

Is there Journalism at Bennington? — Asked by Anonymous

Class-wise, not really. There aren’t any straight up journalism courses here, but a lot of courses in CAPA, Literature, Political Science, Photography, Stats, etc., teach things relevant to (photo)journalism. There’s also the BFP, a student-run paper that reports on campus stuff and events in town. 

Also! here’s a secret: you can basically do whatever you want for FWT. You want to work with a journalist? Fine! or with a news agency or site of some sort? Okay! Are you Jason Moon ‘13 and did you work with NPR for a FWT? Probably not but he did do that!

Anyways my point is that there’s not an explicit journalism TRACK here, but if you’re an active thinker you probably could study journalism at Bennington. People have done it in the past. People are doing it right now. 

you can do it too~

kagan16

Do people debate at Benn? I mean in standard Karl Popper,WSDC or Parliamentary formats? — Asked by sashankaryal

image

…like this? 

People debate at Bennington all the time in the our-education-is-a-conversation way.  We don’t currently have any student groups devoted to formalized debate, although I am currently propping open my closet door with a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order.  If you were to come to Bennington and find yourself missing the good old days when people only said what the rules told them they could, you could found a debate club.  It’s pretty easy to get stuff going here.  Keeping it going can be hard, but presumably you’re persuasive.

-Ray ‘15

[Image description: two extremely buff shirtless men straining to push on a stack of book with their foreheads.  The stack is between them and they oppose each other, fruitlessly, managing only to keep the books suspended immobile above the ground.  The buff men should learn the value of teamwork, but alas, they are a .jpg file, frozen in time and doomed to their folly forever.]

I am planning to apply and so far Bennington seems like a really good school for me. I only have a few questions/worries perhaps you could help me with. 1: I am from California where we have virtually no winter and i've heard the winters can be miserable. I mean, i tell myself that its not that big of a deal cause you can put on more clothes but I've heard that winters can suck sometimes, opinion? 2: I heard from an alum and online that it can be hard getting into the classes you want? — Asked by Anonymous

The winters suck if you hate THIS:

Which would most likely categorize you as a monster.

If you are a monster, I can tell you (as a fellow Californian) that yes…it is cold…it does suck sometimes…weather is totally an important factor to consider, but if a Bennington education is what you’re after, the winters will be well well well worth it.  And the warm, pressed, local apple cider totally makes up for it (actually what I think about every day).

To your second question: the difficulty lessens exponentially with your levels of increased proactivity — talking to faculty, getting the scoop from upperclassmen, planning ahead.  People who complain are probably not trying hard enough to get what they want.  I’m not gonna lie and say it’s a shoe-in (particularly with the more coveted classes that are only offered every two years), but it’s definitely doable.  I can tell you that personally I have never not gotten into a class I wanted; it just took some forethought and perseverance.  But I do have a very good friend who studies architecture and has tried to take metalshop every year and never gotten in, whereas I accidentally got into it freshman year first term (and I’m not a visual arts student whatsoever) because I didn’t have enough credits…so….there you go.

Hope that answers everything!

Parke ‘15

You Asked UsWhat we all think of the New Pornographers’ new album?

So, of course, the best interns to answer would probably be…the non music students.  Luckily, we came to a brilliant conclusion…one even the great Liam Dailey might have been capable of….

Are you able to study business or sustainable energy? — Asked by Anonymous

Hello, 

At Bennington, you are able to study/pursue pretty much anything as long as you can articulate and make sense of it. It’s never about anything else but you and your interests, so yeah, you can definitely study business or sustainable energy or even business + sustainable energy and maybe even something else. We have this thing called The Plan Process, which you can read more about here. The plan process allows students to design their own academic pursuits, both within and outside the walls of Bennington. With the plan, Bennington students have the creative freedom to lead their own education, and to really make it what they want (with close guidance from faculty members). So, it is very much possible.    

You can also find business or sustainability classes currently being offered here and here.   

Please let me know if you have more questions about how this would work, or if you want to connect with professors offering classes in those ‘fields’.

Chernoh ‘15