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Wesleyan V Davidson

foodieforlifefoodieforlife 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
hello!
I am interested in applying ED to either Wes or Davidson
I want to study political science, history, literature, sociology,
and international relations. Which would seem to be better?

Thank you :)
10 replies
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Replies to: Wesleyan V Davidson

  • circuitridercircuitrider 3367 replies168 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wesleyan is a little bigger, probably more activist than Davidson. Until quite recently it could boast two alumni running for the Democratic nomination for president, Bennet and Hickenlooper. Academically, it covers the entire Government (Poli Sci), History, Literature arc with historically significant contributions to the field of American Studies. And, with the 2020 Presidential Election coming up fast, it may be a good time to consider the Wesleyan Media Project, piloted by Government Professor Erika Franklin Fowler:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/10/18/heres-one-way-democrat-has-beaten-president-donald-trump-facebook/1687800002/

    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-florida-massive-midterm-political-ad-spending-20181030-story.html

    https://wtop.com/social-media/2018/12/the-big-lessons-of-political-advertising-in-2018/

    https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/feb/06/marco-rubio/marco-rubio-no-candidate-has-run-more-negative-ads/

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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1290 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 8
    Both great schools! I've not been to Wes so can't speak to it.

    My D attends Davidson, and the majors you list certainly are strong there -- esp. poli sci, history and English. As you prolly know, Davidson is known for being very rigorous and has a strong honor code that gives students a lot of control over their academics. (e.g., take home tests and self-scheduled exams).

    The college recently revamped their humanities program which might be of interest to you. https://www.davidson.edu/academic-departments/humanities Last year the Humes students all went to Greece together paid for by the college -- my STEM D was jealous. They also do a pre-orientation retreat for first-years. It seems like a really cool program.

    Davidson is very tight community with a lot of happy students. The Div 1 sports gives it a different feels than some LACs. Very pretty campus, mild weather, amazing facilities. It's a very classic LAC experience.

    Finally, my D is liberal. While the college leans moderate to liberal these days, there are conservative voices on campus and historically it was more conservative. She likes this b/c she didn't want to be in a 'liberal bubble' for college b/c she wants alternate viewpoints in her academic discourse.

    Have you visited both? Other than academics, what are you drawn to in college?
    edited September 8
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  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you visit both schools, you should have a clear preference for one or the other due to markedly different campus cultures.
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  • citivascitivas 655 replies20 threadsRegistered User Member
    They have more in common that what separates them. Wesleyan has about 50% more students than Davidson, but since Davidson is only about 2,000 that's not saying much. Both have comparable reputations, with Wes more well known in the Northeast and Davidson more well known in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Both advantage ED applicants significantly. Both skew clearly liberal politically (anyone who says otherwise about Davidson based on it's location hasn't been there recently), though Wesleyan has a more "activist" culture among the student populations.
    Davidson is a D1 sports school, though that's not really a defining part of its culture and plenty of students aren't into that. Davidson still has a few frats and sororities plus various "eating houses." all well controlled by the college. Wes has a couple legacy frats that have often had scandals (a few national stories if you look them up) and been at odds with the college.
    I think Wes is a bit more diverse. And my casual observation is that Davidson does more than Wes to organize student life activities and opportunities. They put way more rigor into roommate selection, etc. Wes is a little more sink or swim -- you figure it out or you don't (which can be good -- not assigning it a positive or negative value here).
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  • foodieforlifefoodieforlife 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I do plan on visiting in the first week of October. In the question, Bowdoin got deleted accidentally. I am deciding ED between Wes, Davidson, and Bowdoin.
    Apart from academics, I'd like to look into the theater departments, internship opportunities, and the community engagement or civic engagement along with of course student clubs and organizations.
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  • citivascitivas 655 replies20 threadsRegistered User Member
    I have one kid at Bowdoin and one at Davidson and the Bowdoin one almost went to Wes, FWIW.
    In ranked order, in terms of difficulty to get admitted, it goes Bowdoin, Wes, Davidson. All are advantaged by ED, but Bowdoin a bit less so. But all are selective enough that you can't count on admission regardless of stats -- they all turn away perfect GPA and SAT scores and in every case it will come down to things like your extracurricular activities.
    In terms of theater, Wesleyan graduated the creator and star of Hamilton (and it's producer). It also has a student-run theater group (in addition to the faculty-led productions) that has it's own permanent theater building on campus, separate from the faculty-run theater. And it has arguably the best film studies program of any liberal arts college.
    Bowdoin recently upgraded its theater program a couple years ago to include a major in addition to a minor. It's very easy to double major in something else and theater and most theater majors do that; Also easy to get involved and not be in the theater major/minor at all and most people who do the shows aren't. In addition to the faculty-led shows there are 2 active student-run theater groups that also produce shows, one focusing on musicals and the other on non-musicals. They have a nice dedicated theater building that includes both a nice traditional stage theater and a separate black box. The facility is used in the summer to host the best regional theater company north of MA, that puts on equity productions. The nice thing about Bowdoin is they pay students to work crew on the faculty-led shows. Its treated like a student job, and you're paid by the hour for all rehearsals and show times. There is no link to financial aid, so you can qualify regardless of your family's financial status.
    Davidson has a somewhat similar setup to Bowdoin. They have a more basic black box in a dedicated theater building and they have a traditional stage theater in their student union that is usually used for large campus events but can host shows. All crew work on shows is volunteer. They do pay some financial aid work study kids to work the scene and prop shops as jobs, but only those on work study are eligible.
    In terms of community and civic engagement, and range of student clubs and activities, all the schools are excellent. Anyone selling you on one surpassing the others is probably biased or just uninformed -- they are all amazing for this. Wes has a more "hot bed" vibe of on-campus student activism (they one defunded the student newspaper after protests over the publishing of a student's editorial on BLM). But all pride themselves on community service and civic activities. Bowdoin emphasizes "The Common Good" as it's school theme. Davidson has it's Honor Code, which they take very seriously and involved an entire multi-hour signing ceremony, which includes civic responsibility. Davidson requires a course focused on social justice to graduate, in addition to another on cultural diversity. All three have hundreds of clubs subsidized or fully funded by the colleges.
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  • citivascitivas 655 replies20 threadsRegistered User Member
    BTW, just reacting to your name. Bowdoin has a reputation for some of the best college food in the country.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3367 replies168 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 11
    Also, I have to say that on an intuitive level, there must be some sort of correlation between being exposed to activism in college and choosing to run for office later in life:

    https://www.wfsb.com/news/recent-wesleyan-graduate-claims-victory-in-middletown-democratic-primary/article_efbbfeba-d36d-11e9-b36b-072111795ef9.html

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Rose_(politician)
    edited September 11
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 12
    I am deciding ED between Wes, Davidson and Bowdoin.

    It should be of interest to you that these colleges comprise 15% of this Kiplinger ranking:

    https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/college/T014-S003-20-best-college-values-in-the-u-s-2019/index.html

    This won't make your decision easier, but it should offer you further confidence in your remarkable selections as a group.
    edited September 12
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