As a senior who is graduating this week, I feel it's a good time to make some reflections about my time at Carleton. I don't expect people to care about my personal views, but I think many of my experiences parallel the experiences of others, so here they are if you care to read them:
My four years at Carleton have been a mixed bag. I have met some awesome people, and also some people that I wouldn't care to see again. I have gotten a great education, had wonderful professors who transformed me into a more critical, articulate, and questioning person, but I have also gone through periods of crippling stress that broke me down and wore me out. I've had good interactions with staff-people at my job, but I've also had some horrible interactions with the administration. On the whole, I'm glad I came, but I'm also glad to be leaving.
I guess the best thing about going to Carleton was the education I received. I entered college with a strong high school education, complete with many AP courses, but I'm leaving college with more knowledge than I would have thought possible. I feel like I truly have become an expert in my major, and feel a huge sense of accomplishment for making it through comps. I feel confident that I could go to grad school in that (or other) fields and be successful. My Carleton education has given me an ability to think, interpret, argue, and persuade that I did not have before, and I believe these skills will be indispensable to my future.
The biggest negatives at Carleton have been some of my experiences with the students, although there have been many positives in this regard as well. As I have said in other threads, I have found a lot of students to be disrespectful, rude, obnoxious, and irreverent towards other students and the community. Deliberately breaking bottles at 3am in the streets of Northfield, tearing doors off of hinges, having a holier-than-thou attitude, and being rude to staff-members are just some of the things that bothered me on a weekly basis here. I am glad to be getting away from that. I've met great friends here who I will miss dearly, but I wish that the general culture of students here (or maybe just the ones that make the most noise) did not have to be so off-putting.
The administration seems to spend more time worrying about Carleton's image and less time actually helping make students' experiences better. They have some really asinine policies, some that are blatantly discriminatory (e.g. if a girl makes a complaint about a guy, the guy is punished with no questions asked, but not the other way around). They are also not very receptive to complaints when they're raised, and have been extremely rude to me in the past. They seem very manipulative and corporate in how they conduct their business. For example, I get the sense that every senior event, and the reunion events are just ploys to get us to give money after we graduate. They do not seem to show genuine respect and appreciation for the students. In light of what I wrote above though, maybe that's partially the students' fault as well.
On the whole, the biggest things I'll miss are my friends, and the professors; and I guess those are really the two most important things in college, so I guess I can't complain too much. I wish Carleton could be better in many ways, but it's excellent in many other ways, so it really depends on how much you take advantage of the great things, and how easily you can ignore the annoying things as to how much you will like Carleton. If you can separate the two, and appreciate the value, while acknowledging the problems, I think you will find that the value you gained was still worth it.
Last edited by Clevelandude; 06-06-2012 at 06:35 PM.
They have some really asinine policies, some that are blatantly discriminatory (e.g. if a girl makes a complaint about a guy, the guy is punished with no questions asked, but not the other way around).
Regarding this matter, I don't think Carleton is any different than most other colleges and universities, but I don't have the data to prove it.
As someone who does a lot of work with sexual violence on campus, I would like to know where you are getting that information from, Clevelandude. There is actually a clear statement about that in Carleton's official sexual misconduct policy: "Sexually inappropriate conduct can be committed by a man, woman, or a group of individuals against a person or persons of the same or opposite sex." https://apps.carleton.edu/dos/sexual...duct/policies/
Also, although there is now a really great community of students and staff dedicated to fighting sexual violence on campus, Carleton (along with many other colleges) has had several documented incidents in the past of women making formal complaints about men and the charges being dropped.
I understand that you're not completely happy with some parts of your Carleton experience, and that is fine, but I ask that you check your facts next time, especially with a topic as sensitive as this one.
CD, interesting on the gender complaints. These are tough in any university. I've certainly heard of gender/sexual harassment claims filed based on professional disagreements. i.e. "This guy didn't work well with me in my project group. It must be because I'm a woman. I'm going to make a gender harassment claim." These are almost always dropped and altogether unfortunate. The man is usually grilled by some staff or administrator and a file is kept on him. It no doubt feels like punishment. I don't think these types of experiences are unique to Carleton. They are most likely a problem with the gender/sexual harassment laws in the nation. Believe or not...the gender harassment can go the other way too.
There has been times in Carleton's past where they've received bad national media attention on this issue. They may be overreacting in some ways......
CD, do you have any examples of that or are you just going off of your own opinion? I've also been very aware of the new sexual misconduct policy and I really, really don't think that is the case. As imbri3 said, there have been incidents where a woman's complaint against a man has been dropped. I also know a girl who has made a complaint against a guy, and the charges were "very" thoroughly investigated - he definitely wasn't punished "with no questions asked;" in fact, he was just warned. That's a pretty serious accusation to throw out and I don't know where you got that impression.
I will say that I agree with *some* of your complaints against the administration, although mine are more along the lines of where funding goes. The bio department, for example, has the same number of classes and professors as the History department, but over quadruple...yes, that's right, FOUR TIMES the number of majors. Classes are great, but are also ridiculously difficult to get into, even as a rising junior biology major.
That being said, I disagree with your complaint about the students. I have found such students are in the minority, and that the vast majority of people I've met are respectful, mature, and friendly. The incidents in Evans this term were definitely immature and irritating (that's, I'm assuming, the door incident that you're referring to), but I would not say those actions are typical of a Carleton student, or even an Evans resident (I lived there - the vast majority of us were really, really annoyed).
I'm glad you valued your education, though. Good luck in the real world and congratulations on graduating. I knew a lot of the seniors this year (I'm really sad that a lot of them are leaving), so it's weird to think we've probably met at some point. Either way, good luck!
If there is a moderator, please ban this person. He/she does not have a carleton.edu email and for some reason has devoted a significant portion of his/her life to defaming and insulting real carleton students.
He has admitted to trolling the boards every now and then, pretending to be an innocent high schooler, but judging from the amount of knowledge he does have of Carleton I'm pretty sure he's actually a Carleton senior. I could be wrong, but in the past he's made comments about certain events that have happened on campus that few people would know about unless they were actually Carleton students (i.e. the vending machine thefts earlier this year). I don't know, I could be wrong.
Also, if he did just graduate, his carleton.edu email would be invalid by now, I believe. Although I could be completely 100% wrong on this (haha).
ctreatus, Do you have a link to this guy's previous posts?
The misuse of sexual harrasment accuasations is nothing I ever experienced when I was at Carleton(or even heard about happening), but I have heard of situations where the accuser really misuses the ability to make such an accusation at other universities. I don't see a discussion of this at Carleton as harmful.
It would be nice if CD would use specfics, else he should probably be ignored.
Cctreatus has two posts and both call for the deletion of posts and banning of CD. I have been on this forum long enough and know CD's posts and he appears to be a genuine Carl. Perhaps he doesn't like Carleton as much as it is politically correct to, but that doesn't mean he's not a Carl. Obviously I don't know every posts CD has ever made, but Cctreatus's relatively new status and his lack of evidence casts him in a dubious light at least.
This post completely misrepresents Carleton's sexual harassment policy, so even if they are a Carl who had a negative experience, this post is misrepresenting factual information as well, which isn't helping anyone...Hmm.