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Sense of community?

roycroftmomroycroftmom 4456 replies40 threads Senior Member
My youngest kid is seeking a college with a strong sense of community-the kind of kid who joins sports teams for the team aspect, not the sport itself. Seeking supportive and collaborative. I don't really think of Columbia as having that, but current students during a visit assured us there was the case. Could any current parents or students comment? She enjoyed the tour, but I don't think it will be as warm and fuzzy as she hopes.
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Replies to: Sense of community?

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3637 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2019
    I'm not sure that Columbia has the most rah-rah, sporty, game-day atmosphere, if that's what she's looking for. The football games are held north of the campus quite a distance -- pretty facility but not very close. It's on the northern tip of Manhattan. Basketball is on the central campus at Morningside. Like many Ivies, sure, there are sports at Columbia, but it's not the main gig that unites people -- except for maybe the Yale-Harvard game each year (for the Yale - Harvard people, not Columbia)

    The school *does* have central grassy areas where on nice days the students break out frisby and tag football. The plaza with the statue and the steps also fill on sunny days with people eating lunch and chatting. There are events held on the plaza in the middle of campus too, large bbqs to welcome students, for example, and smaller events by student groups throughout the year (outdoor movies, plays, winter-lights lighting festival, that sort of thing).

    The student body is *not* overly competitive with each other, IMHO. On the scale of super-supportive to uber-competitive at the two extremes, I would place, like, Johns Hopkins on the competitive side of things, maybe, and on the supportive side, Mt. Holyoke -- super warm and fuzzy and homemade cookies every night. Columbia is a mix of like students being basically chill with each other and supportive in that way, but it has the air also of NYC -- people basically assume that you're an independent, capable adult and are busy doing whatever it is that you're interested in, so they don't go out of their way to bother you, because that would just be annoying, when you're just trying to do your thing. I think Columbia is a good mix of supportive without being cloying.

    Being in NYC that means that students also seek out things to do in the City and the school helps with that, by offering cheap and free admission to things, like museums and films, theater and opera. I heard of one group of Barnard gals who one night went out on the subway to Brighton Beach. You know there's always something to do and it's a community with diverse-enough interests that you can probably find a group of people who wants to do whatever you're interested in.
    edited March 2019
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