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What is unique/special about Amherst College?

nineteen121nineteen121 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Amherst College
Hello all,

Can someone elaborate on the unique programs at Amherst? On what makes the school stand out?

I've done some research on these threads, and it seems as though Amherst is just known for having a little bit of everything...Is this true?
Post edited by nineteen121 on
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Replies to: What is unique/special about Amherst College?

  • AdidasNikeAdidasNike Posts: 132Registered User Junior Member
    Well they ranked 1 on On campus rape, and apparently they push their victim students to remain in silence.
  • frosteddahliafrosteddahlia Posts: 1Registered User New Member
  • gratefuldadgratefuldad Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    Not fair, AdidasNike...see President Martin's response:
    https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/letters_president/node/436469
  • NadashNadash Posts: 612Registered User Member
    Adidasnike, I think that's definitely unfair. Firstly, this is a problem that is widespread across campuses in America, and not unique to amherst. Further, while I agree that the administration did a horrible job in the past regarding these cases, it looks promising that much will change. Our new president was already working on reforming this system before the this came to light and I hope that after this, reforms will be even more thorough and fast. I'm also very proud of the large majority of the student body, who took up this issue and created the tide towards this publicity and reform. There are less savory parts of the campus(e.g. Some sports teams--heard rather negative things about the lacrosse team), but most people are very supportive, open, and activated to push lasting reforms through the administration.
  • NadashNadash Posts: 612Registered User Member
    Regarding the original question, I love amherst because of its people--my friends are amazing friendly, helpful, cooperative, and accepting. Also, the five colleges allow you to access a lot of resources that a small lac lack. Next, I love the forest that we own-- great to be able to go hiking from my doorstep. Open curriculum is great, too.
  • nineteen121nineteen121 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    I have heard that there is a lot of racial diversity. But is there a lot of assimilation? Is interracial dating present on campus or is it rare?
  • bran174bran174 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Nadash, what have you heard about the lacrosse team? I would think the exact opposite about them at least from my experience. But Amherst is a great place overall because there is a little bit of everything here. You have an amazingly diverse student body, a new england small college feel when you want it, and proximity to other schools and less isolation of having a nice college town when you want it. As with most nescac's, there is a nice balance between great sports and great academics, and many extra curriculars with clubs, etc. as there's always something to find. nineteen121, you should take a visit to campus and see if you like the overall feel from what you get, I love it and I'm happy about my decision here.
  • bran174bran174 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    feedback411, I apologize as I cannot send private messages yet for some reason. Most of my answers are just from my opinion or experience, but I'll try the best I can to answer for the general population. Usually breakfast and lunch hours at Valentine don't get too crowded, but yes it does depend on the time, such as when certain classes get out. Dinner isn't too bad if you go early, because 6:30 does get pretty crowded but it's cool to see the entire school there at once. The biggest complaint is that it closes kind of early at 7:30. Freshman year is the only one that you do not get to choose your dorm room at all, and there are few singles, but definitely not many. 2 of my friends were lucky enough to get them, but I think that is very likely rare. It isn't really a problem because most dorm rooms are large and nice, and they did a good job (at least with me) as to getting a good roomate that was unlike me. After freshman year, you can choose a lot of dorms on campus, some are singles, some doubles, and some a suite-complexes usually with single rooms coming off a 4 person common room. I personally go in to town quite a bit, to be honest there isn't way too much to really do entertaining wise, as I usually go there for food or to just check out the scene. But down the main road there are definitely places and shopping centers to go to which is why having access to a car can be pretty useful, but the free bus system works. It is by no means impossible to get A's here, although the school is very challenging. Usually someone who was very used to getting straight A's in high school will find this a little different, but definitely not overbearing. If you take classes you genuinely enjoy, the right professors will reward your work, which is great because of the open curriculum. But get stuck with the wrong professor or class and it could definitely be a hard time.
  • feedback411feedback411 Posts: 308Registered User Junior Member
    ^ Thanks for your answers! They are super helpful, I'm definitely considering Amherst one of my top colleges.. I pretty much like everything that I hear about it! (:
  • katzeyezkatzeyez Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    I want to apply for RD! Amherst is such a great school..
  • amfreborgamfreborg Posts: 132Registered User Junior Member
    You mean like being one of the elite selected to attend a place where reputation and privilege trump all?

    Male Student Commits Suicide after Being Raped (Spring 2012)
    Amherst College Student's Suicide Note Points Blame At School Administration For Mishandling Sexual Assault

    Female Raped Student Shunned
    Amherst Account of Rape Brings Tension to Forefront - NYTimes.com

    I certainly wouldn't want my kid at a place like this, let alone pay $60k for the privilege.
  • jennielingjennieling Posts: 339Registered User Member
    Amfreborg, it is important to look at the big picture. Unfortunately, there are rapes on almost every campus in the nation. Many are not ever reported in the news. However, some are indeed in the news in colleges and universities other than Amherst. They are in large universities and small "elite" LAC's. Anywhere that drinking is prevalent, which, unfortunately, it is on most campuses, there is the risk of such violence. Drinking spawns many types of violence, not just rape. For example, consider the case of the marching band member from a Florida university (not an "elite" LAC) who was killed. Data does show that there is an association between number of students involved in frats and drinking. Thus, if you want to protect your child, I'd consider looking at schools with no frats or very few frats. Of course, Amherst falls in that category and yet they had these rapes--but they are not the only campus with such problems. It is close-minded to suggest that Amherst should be shunned for this reason. It is an excellent LAC.
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Posts: 4,915Registered User Senior Member
    Jennie, amfreborg is a student who applied to Amherst ED last year and was not accepted. Since then, he has been consistant on his spin of Amherst as the devil school, the root of all evil with bad students with bad morals. Hopefully he will get tired of having that bitter taste in his mouth, and I sincerely hope he is happy where he landed.
  • jennielingjennieling Posts: 339Registered User Member
    GA2012MOM, that makes a lot of sense! Thanks! I'll take his/her comments with a grain of salt.
  • sally305sally305 Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know amfreborg's history, but does it matter? Is this any different from any other "courtship" that ends, after which time you realize "wow, now that I know more about that person/company/candidate/house/school, I'm glad it didn't work out"?

    The fact is, Amherst has been known for a long time as the "party school" among the Five College Consortium (and that is saying something when one of the other schools is Hampshire). It has underground fraternities and a prevalent drinking culture. It also has had attention focused on the recent rapes, as it should. Does that mean it is a completely horrible place, or that everyone partakes in (or is a victim of) these activities? Of course not. But it is ludicrous to suggest that all colleges have these problems in equal measure. They don't.
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