An insider’s look into the Office of Admissions

An insider’s look into the Office of Admissions

BY SABA FIAZUDDIN ’21

Every year, the month of March is marked with anxiety for students awaiting admissions decisions from their top colleges. For many students, this time of year is a culmination of standardized tests, all-nighters spent finishing college essays and hours devoted to extracurricular activities. The experience, however, doesn’t just wear down students; it can also be stressful for admissions officers who must read hundreds of applications in a month and make decisions that will affect students for the next four years of their lives.

Students and staff out of sync on AccessAbility Services, misconceptions lead to campus tension

BY MADELINE FITZGERALD ’21

There is a predictable rhythm to starting college. Scan department store lists of dorm room essentials. Check Rate My Professor. Check the Facebook group. Check everything, then load the car and leave home.  For Caroline Castonguay ’20, however, there was one more necessary task to complete. Castonguay, who has cystic fibrosis, a chronic and debilitating illness, needed to meet with AccessAbility services, the office that provides students with disability accommodations. 

A strip freeze

A strip freeze

BY MIA PENNEKAMP ’20 

I suck at being still. I’m the girl who bounces her leg up and down — shaking the table. I’m familiar with the feeling of hands landing on my thigh, and mouths telling me to please “be still.” I tap my pen, play with my hair, adjust my shirt. Chapstick and lotion, apply and reapply. I’m the girl who does calf stretches in the subway station. I rise up on my toes, relevé, plié, tendu. Dancing on my own. I suck at being still, and have for most of my life. I likely lack the discipline. What I do know: I’m intently, intensely curious. Anxious sometimes, always searching and scanning. Perhaps it was this curiosity, or perhaps my expensive and insatiable Sephora habit, that led me to a Mount Holyoke figure drawing class.

Faculty Show reflects the changing senses of humor

Faculty Show reflects the changing senses of humor

BY SHEBATI SENGUPTA ’19

The first faculty show was held over 100 years ago. In earlier years, it was used as a fundraising tool for the College, to benefit anything from the health center to a scholarship fund and the tradition has continued almost uninterrupted every four years since. It operates on a volunteer basis, with a group of interested staff and faculty coming up with ideas, writing scripts and participating in skits. The writing, planning and the faculty band are prepared in advance. The comprehensive rehearsals, however, start the Monday before the show. This year some of the cast, such as psychology professor KC Haydon, participated for the first time. The longest continuous volunteer, Dawn Larder, coordinator for the economics department, has been part of faculty show since 1976. Regardless of experience and commitment level, all the faculty interviewed reiterated that the show is, first and foremost, supposed to be fun.

So what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

So what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

BY FALGUNI BASNET ’21

It’s that time of the year when rising sophomores, juniors and seniors at Mount Holyoke participate in the housing lottery. The process can be stressful, and students often worry about who they are going to end up sharing a room with and whether they will get into their desired residence halls or living learning communities (LLCs). 

Senior gift campaign aims for “donors, not dollars”

Senior gift campaign aims for “donors, not dollars”

BY SHEBATI SENGUPTA ’19

There is currently a campaign running which, on the surface, seems counterintuitive. The senior gift campaign asks graduating Mount Holyoke students, who as of yet are still college students and not yet earning significant amounts of money, to make a donation to the College. According to Rebecca Hughes ’18, one of two head class agents for the senior gift campaign, the gift “is not a physical gift…it is a sum of money that the senior class fundraises in their senior year which is given to the Mount Holyoke fund.” This fund consists of money “which gets spent on campus the next year,” said Hughes. “You can think of the endowment as the College’s savings account, and the Mount Holyoke fund as our checking account.” The senior gift campaign is only a small part of what goes into the fund, but it can be integral.

Halal station incorporates community feedback

Halal station incorporates community feedback

BY SHEBATI SENGUPTA ’19

With the opening of the new Dining Commons in January, the College set out to build community through food. Reflecting the diversity of Mount Holyoke’s students, the Commons features new stations such as the Global station, the Wok station, the L’Chaim (Kosher) station and the Baraka (Halal) station. The latter is undergoing changes as the College works with students to create a more inclusive dining experience.

Students and staff weigh in on new Dining Commons

Students and staff weigh in on new Dining Commons

BY FALGUNI BASNET ’21 

As the daily lunch rush begins, a crowd of people come flooding in to Mount Holyoke’s newest addition — the Dining Commons, popularly known as SuperBlanch. This is a chaotic hour for students, especially during the weekdays, as they hurry to find good seats,  line up for food and then return to classes. There are piles of utensils on the dishroom conveyor as student workers and staff members rush around to keep things in order.

The evolving tradition of gracious dinners

The evolving tradition of gracious dinners

BY SABA FIAZUDDIN ’21 

The gracious dinner tradition has been a key component of Mount Holyoke life for decades. In the 1950s students would dress up for a special meal, known as “gracious living” dinners, which were served in dorms and often followed by tea or coffee in the common room. Through the years, the tradition has evolved — for example, students are no longer required to come wearing stockings and heels — and the launch of centralized dining in the spring will kick-start a new phase. 

Internat’l students tackle language barriers

Internat’l students tackle language barriers

BY SABA FIAZUDDIN ’21

Moving to a new place is always challenging, regardless of who you are and where you come from. International students, however, not only have to deal with the complications of acclimating to a new place, but also have to spend a significant period of time trying to get accustomed to the culture and social life of their new home.

Hot or Not? Students weigh in on new Blanchard furniture

Hot or Not? Students weigh in on new Blanchard furniture

BY FLORI NEEDLE ’20

Mount Holyoke’s stated goal in renovating Blanchard is to create a space in which intellectual and social interactions can happen at once. According to the Mount Holyoke website, most of the $50 million renovations will be completed in the spring of 2018. However, some of the changes to Blanchard happened over the summer of 2017.

Student-run cosmetics start-up hosts makeup swap

Student-run cosmetics start-up hosts makeup swap

BY CAITLIN LYNCH ’20

Zirui, a cosmetics start-up run by Mount Holyoke students, hosted a makeup swap on Tuesday night in North Rockefeller hall. Students brought their gently-used and new-and-ignored cosmetic products and left the event with new-to-them goods.