Posts tagged student life

Are you happy you chose to go to Bennington? Why? Is there thing you love/don't love about it that would be good for a perspective student to know? — Asked by Anonymous

Hey there! Since the answer to this question will vary from student to student, I’ve asked my fellow Monday morning interns to give their input:

Sam:
"I love the people. I am surrounded people who seem to be as curious about the world as I am. No other place I’ve been feels the same way. But I hate that I woke up shivering this morning!"

Nila:
"I love Rollerama so much!! (when Greenwall becomes a giant roller rink with a disco ball once every term.) It’s by far my favorite event on campus, and there are a lot of them to choose from."

Matt: 
"I love the view. Nothing beats it. Also the classes and the people and Rollerama. There isn’t a whole lot to dislike about the school but you might want to ask me again in a couple months when I start googling the freezing point of blood to assure myself it can’t happen."

Glennis:
"I’m happy I chose to go to Bennington. I love the student input––we shape the school. When I wasn’t happy with the tables in the dining hall I was able to talk to people and figure out a solution." (Glennis makes tables and chairs!)

As for myself, my favorite part about Bennington is the collaboration and sense of community within the student body. Students often work together to put on performances, create projects, or organize events; In my experience, the students are very much interested in each other’s work and are more than willing to offer their time and skills to create something really great. The downside is that––because everything is so interesting––I have to come to terms with the reality that I can’t take every class and participate in every student group.


But of course, the best way to get a real sense of life at Bennington is to visit!

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Happy fun times!
~Jacqui ‘17

Taste of the Townhouse

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Rainbow salad with arugula, beets, tomatoes and carrots. Root vegetables from Mighty Food Farm in Pownal, VT. 

Here’s to good eats!

-Selina ‘15

What buildings on campus are open 24 hours? — Asked by Anonymous

All of ‘em.

The ones where they keep the lights on are VAPA, CAPA, a set of study rooms in the library, and Jennings.  You can wander through most of the other buildings but you’ll need the above pictured sweet twisty keys if you want to go in the rooms.  Also, Campus Safety does not recognize the use of sweet twisty keys.  Your mileage and disciplinary sentencing may vary.  Alan, additionally, wishes me to remind you that in the Bennington educational philosophy, “freedom” is defined as “not the absence of restraint.”*

-Ray ‘15

* “…but rather the fullest possible substitution for restraint imposed by others for restraint imposed by the self.”  This applies equally to the Plan process and the availability of banned housebreaking instruments via the internet.

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

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

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…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.]

What are the winters like in Vermont? How hard do you think they'd be for someone who's lived in a relatively sunny climate their whole life? — Asked by Anonymous

here is a pic of me and my friend Army James in our respective winter and army wear back home (New Mexico) taken in the middle of february two years ago:

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here is another pic of me in typical winter attire in vermont also taken in the middle of february this year:

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we adapt. army strong.

kagan16

this might be a dumb question but I'm driving up Friday as an incoming freshman and I was wondering what time we should get to our dorms? Also what time should our parents leave if they're dropping us off? — Asked by Anonymous

Check in is from 9am to 1pm, parent send off is at 4pm and ends at 5. I think I had dinner in town with my parents after that but that send off is the *official* time for parents to say goodbye and pls leave. 

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kagan16

What kind of music ensembles are at Bennington? I'm used to being part of an orchestral group, like wind ensemble and orchestra (I'm a percussionist). Are those kinds of groups offered? Also, do you guys have a radio station? Thanks! — Asked by Anonymous

In terms of orchestral stuff, a good go-to thing is Sage City Symphony, a local full-size symphony that students can participate in. Other than that, there’s usually a brass ensemble, jazz ensemble stuff, but it looks a little different every term. If you’re curious, check out the curriculum’s ensemble tag for fall and spring term courses.

As for radio, we don’t really have a station in the sense of something with a DJ that you’d tune into, but the Bennington Radio Project is a student group that’s focused on generating content in the form of NPR-esque podcasts. You can check them out here, here and here. Glennis is in charge of that. She’s lost in the woods right now but email her at glennish@bennington.edu if you want to know more and if she finds her way back she’ll be able to fill you in.

beep boop 

kagan16

Hi, are there any driving schools in the Bennington area? It seems like I'll need a license in sleepy VT lol — Asked by Anonymous

Yup.  There are quite a few of them around and plenty of students get licensed.  But don’t drive if Vermont makes you sleepy, dude.  You’ll die.

-Ray ‘15

Is there enough space under the beds to fit a trunk or other storage containers? Also, how large are the closets in the colonial houses? This is a storage emergency! — Asked by Anonymous

The beds are on adjustable legs, so they can touch the floor, or be up high enough that you can store a mini-fridge and dresser under there.  A trunk will absolutely fit.  The colonial closets vary a lot in size; mine is like 3’x4’ right now, my last one was smaller, a friend of mine has one he could put a mattress in.  It’s kind of a crapshoot.  That said… you almost certainly don’t need as much stuff as you think you do.  And keep in mind that a crowded room will affect your roommate’s quality of life as well as your own.  

-Ray ‘15

Do you allow pets? I live with a 4 foot corn snake I've had since fifth grade. She lives in a glass cage and is only as much trouble as a fish, aside from being feared by some ophidiophobics. — Asked by Anonymous

so officially students are not allowed any pets besides fish. 

I’m not going to tell you what to do with that information but as someone who is 5 foot, the idea of a snake that is 4/5th my size in a house on campus is not exactly a calming thought. 

Again I’m not going to dictate behavior but if its as much trouble as a fish, maybe consider a fish. 

This is a snakehead fish: 

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-Eliana ‘15

I'm having a real hard time finding the list of majors on the website, so I wanted to know if there was a film program? I want to be a director — Asked by noirpineapple

Yes you can study film here. We have a range of video classes. We also have directing classes if you’re interested in working in the theater.

For the record: Go to the Bennington homepage. Click “Academics” at the bottom of the page. “Areas of study and curriculum” is the second option down. Click it. There you have a list of all the areas of study available.

http://www.bennington.edu/Academics/AreasStudy

We do not have majors, each student crafts their own educational plan, which may be why you were confused.

-Eliana ‘15

Can we hold more than one FWS job at a time? — Asked by Anonymous

Yup

I had three at one point but I wised up real quick and left one of them. There’s a cap on how much you can earn each term (about $1200) so if you’re working more than one job and you hit the cap early, you can’t work anymore and it’s a pain for everyone. 

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kagan16

Sooooo what's the 4G situation on campus? Available? Not available? I love mah 4G :( — Asked by Anonymous

Available*

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*sometimes Verizon is just ok 

How much clothing should we bring? I know that people say "not a lot" but for me a lot would be like one box. So, using boxes as a unit, how much clothing should I bring? — Asked by Anonymous

probably no more than one box

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depends on how many outfits you want to have i guess?

-kagan ‘16