For more information about Residential Education, visit the department Web page.

For more information about campus clubs and organizations, visit the Office of Student Affairs.

For more information about spiritual life, visit the Office of Religious Life Web site.

For more information about community engagement, visit the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning Web site.

For more information about athletics, visit Hobart Athletics or William Smith Athletics.

For more information about club sports, visit the intramurals page.

For more information about the wellness program, visit Recreation and Wellness.

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Life at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is that of community. A select student enrollment, drawn from many areas and backgrounds, and a distinguished faculty produce an atmosphere conducive to individual effort and achievement. In co-curricular, as in academic matters, students play a major role in their own governance. From helping to enforce their own residence regulations and guidelines for student conduct, to overseeing many co-curricular programs, students are involved in shaping the campus lifestyle. Many campus committees encourage student membership, and two students—one senior from each college—are voting members of the Colleges’ Board of Trustees.

Residential Education

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are residential colleges. The Colleges seek to provide students with a comfortable and attractive living environment, designed to support the Colleges’ mission while fostering the development of interpersonal skills, moral reasoning, sense of self, well-being, and a strong commitment to the community.

Campus Housing
A variety of single-college, mixed college, and gender-neutral residences, including theme houses, cooperatives, townhouses and traditional residence halls, are available. Theme houses, of which there are more than a dozen, include a community service house, a leadership house for each College, a substance free house, an international house, and more.

All students are required to live in college residences. Housing for first-year students is based on multiple factors, including learning community selections, substance free housing preferences, preferences for single-college housing, and First-Year Seminar course. After the first year, students select their own housing assignments by participating in the housing process conducted during spring semester.

Fraternity Housing
Some upper class Hobart students choose to live in one of six fraternity houses. There are no sororities at William Smith.

Off-Campus Housing
The limited number of seniors granted permission to live off-campus are responsible for locating their own housing. The Colleges place an emphasis on citizenship and helping students gain an understanding of the responsibilities of residential community living. Students who abuse this responsibility may lose the privilege of their off-campus status.

Meal Plans
All students except co-op, fraternity and a few small house residents are required to participate in a full meal plan (Gold, Silver or Basic plan). The dining service offers a varied menu, selected to accommodate regular, vegetarian, and special diets. Participating students may take their meals in Saga Hall in the Scandling Center. Students in selected small houses have a choice of one of the full meal plans or the 100-meal plan (100 meals/semester). Students living in fraternities, at Odell’s Pond or in off-campus housing have two additional board options: a 45-meal/semester plan, or a 100-meal/semester plan.

Student Governments

Hobart College and William Smith College have separate student governments, each with its own jurisdictions and powers. Together, they fund clubs and maintain several joint committees.

Every enrolled student is a member of student government (Hobart Student Government or William Smith Congress). Hobart students are automatically voting members whereas William Smith students must attend at least three regular Congress meetings before earning the right to vote. The executive board is elected at large by the student body.

The governments have three major functions: coordinating the advisory roles performed by students on trustee, faculty, and administrative committees; legislating the uses of student activities fees; and representing and voicing the views of students about campus issues. Through their representatives to trustee, faculty, and administrative committees, the governments exert and shape student influence at nearly every level of decision-making within the institution. The governments are represented in several standing committees such as Academic Affairs, Social Affairs, and Finance.

Cultural Life

The Davis Gallery, an art gallery at Houghton House, provides an excellent space for six or seven art exhibitions each year. These exhibitions include works by artists with international reputations as well as by young artists early in their careers. Studio classes regularly visit and discuss these exhibitions. Students enrolled in ART 440 The Art Museum organize an exhibition as a class project. At the end of every year, an exhibition of student artwork is displayed.

A formal opening marks the start of each exhibition. Openings are generally held on a Friday night, and include a reception for the artist. These are important social and cultural occasions open to the campus and local community.

Independent studio work is encouraged. Access to studios is available to students not enrolled in classes if permission is obtained from an art department faculty member. There is also a model scheduled one night a week at the Carriage House, in an informal program open to any member of the campus who wishes to pursue her or his own visual interests by drawing and painting directly from the human form.

Opportunities abound for students interested in studying dance technique, performing in student or faculty led ensembles, participating in guest artist master classes, or attending any of the faculty, student, or guest artist dance concert performances. The Dance Department offers a variety of courses in dance technique each semester, as well as dance theory courses such as dance composition, dance history, and improvisation. In addition to ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique courses, the department sponsors master classes and courses by guest faculty members in Afro-Caribbean Dance, Rhythm Tap, Argentine Tango, and Indian Dance, among other dance styles. Students may elect to pursue a disciplinary Dance major or minor with a technique, performance and/or composition focus, or pursue an interdisciplinary major or minor within particular areas of concentration.

The Department of Dance has four full-time faculty members, additional adjunct faculty, an accompanist, and a technical director/lighting designer. The facilities include a spacious dance studio and a fully equipped gymnasium-theatre in Winn-Seeley. Dance Ensemble, the department’s performance company, is showcased annually in the Spring Faculty Dance Concert in contemporary works choreographed by faculty and guest artists in collaboration with students registered for the dance ensemble course. Other performance events throughout the year include informal studio showcases, a Senior Choreographers Concert, and the student-run Koshare Dance Collective Concert. Koshare produces a dance concert each fall that includes many dance styles and techniques; it’s not unusual to find hip-hop, Salsa, jazz, ballet, Broadway, modern, tap and world dance traditions represented at the Koshare concert.

Recent guest artist/visiting dance companies on campus have included Kate Weare Company from N.Y.; AXIS Dance Company from San Francisco, Calif., and master classes with Koresh Dance (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Ballet Jorgen (Toronto, Calif.). Annually, the department selects students to participate in the American College Dance Festival Association Conference. At ACDF, students have the opportunity to take classes and perform student and faculty choreography for national adjudicators.

In addition to the Dance Department’s offerings above, dance at the Colleges can be found in student created clubs such as the Hip~Notiqs (hip-hop/step) and the Tango club. Interested students of all abilities are encouraged to discover dance in its myriad forms at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Students have many opportunities to take private music lessons and to participate in musical ensembles through the Department of Music. Private music lessons are available for each of the following: drum set, percussion, guitar (classical or jazz/rock), piano (classical or jazz), organ, violin, viola, cello, woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, or jazz saxophone), and voice.

As of 2012-13, the per-semester fee for 14 half-hour weekly lessons is $320. Students may take hour-long weekly lessons if they prefer, or half-hour lessons on two separate instruments. In such cases, the per-semester fee is $640 ($320 x 2).
Half hour music lessons through the Department of Music earn 1/2 credit per semester (or a full credit for students taking for an hour). To register formally for private music instruction, both student and teacher must fill out and sign the “Private Music Lesson Registration Form” at the first lesson in the new semester. The private teachers have these forms (the Office of the Registrar does not).

It is recommended that students reserve early a lesson time slot with the appropriate teacher. Lesson sign-up sheets are located on the “Private Instruction” bulletin board in the Department of Music (Williams Hall, second floor).

Guitar students have the additional option of taking Class Guitar (MUS 921) at a per-semester cost of $220 for 14 one-hour classes. The sign-up sheet for Class Guitar is also located on the “private instruction” bulletin board in the Department of Music (Williams Hall, second floor).

Participation in one or more of the following Department of Music ensembles is possible: Brass Ensemble, Classical Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, String Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Chorale, and Community Chorus. There is no fee for ensemble membership. Membership in each ensemble is by audition. Participation in each departmental ensemble earns 1/2 credit per semester. To register formally for an ensemble, students must schedule an audition with the appropriate director.

The Department of Music also hosts a number of guest artist performances on campus each year. In addition, HWS students are admitted for free to all concerts in the local “Geneva Concerts” series at the nearby Smith Center for the Arts. The Rochester Philharmonic and Symphony Syracuse Orchestras, as well as a wide range of other guest artists, present concerts each year through this concert series. Finally, student clubs are encouraged to organize regional outings to performing arts events in Rochester, Ithaca, and Syracuse.

The active theatre program at the Colleges provides students with a solid foundation in the art, craft, and theory of theatre by offering students experiences that are both performance-oriented and theoretically based.

The core of both the disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic programs includes a basic curriculum in the creation of theatre as well as courses in dramatic literature and theatre history. Courses offered by the program constitute a substantive basis for graduate study and professional training or an elective facet of the Colleges’ arts and humanities program.  

Students also have opportunities to take part in faculty-directed main stage productions. Recent productions, such as The Laramie Project, Dragon Country, Hedda Gabler, and Twelfth Night attest to the dual emphasis on the best in contemporary and classical drama.

The Phoenix Players, a student-managed organization, present a variety of work acted, designed, and directed by students. Recent productions include one-act plays by David Mamet, Christopher Hampton, and student playwrights. Both Phoenix Players’ and faculty-directed productions take place in the Bartlett Theatre located in Coxe Hall, as well as in other less formal venues around campus.

Visiting Speakers and Performers
Although academic departments and programs and administrative offices play an important role in providing a wide variety of cultural offerings, many campus events are initiated, funded, and organized by students. Many clubs and organizations sponsor a varied program of speakers and performers. Recent visitors to campus have included Wangari Maathai, Cornel West, Howard Dean, Rodney Jones, Cantor David S. Wisnia, Jim Hightower, David Gergen and Helen Thomas.

Co-Curricular Activities

Student Organizations
There are a variety of campus clubs and organizations supported by student activities fees through the Hobart Student Government and William Smith Congress. Club activities vary from year to year in response to student interests. Students with a shared interest may seek formal recognition and financial support for a new club or organization by petitioning their student governments.

Some of the current student organizations include:

Campus Activities Board

Community Service
Days of Service
Relay for Life

Architectural Society
Chemistry Club
Debate Team
EMS Club
HWS LiveHealth and Wellness Club
Hot Spot Geoscience
HWS Investment Club
Math & Computer Science Club
The Circle (philosophy)

Anime Central
Art Cares
Arts Collective
Campus Greens
Close Knit
Colleges Chorale
Hobartones (men’s a cappella)
Jazz Ensemble
Libertango (dance)
Koshare (dance)
Perfect Third (co-ed a cappella)
Three Miles Lost (women’s a cappella)

Asian Student Union
Caribbean Student Association
Chinese Culture Club
International Students Club
Latin American Organization
Model United Nations
Native American Student Association
Project Nur
Pride Alliance (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Friends Network)
Sankofa (Black Student Union)
South Asian Culture Club
Women’s Collective

Campus Peer Ministry
Episcopal Fellowship
Christian Fellowship
Project Nur
Newman Community

Greek Life
Chi Phi
Delta Chi
Interfraternity Council
Kappa Alpha Society
Kappa Sigma
Phi Sigma Kappa
Theta Delta Chi
Zeta Beta Tau

Advocacy Groups
Americans for Informed Democracy
Campus Greens
Club Project Eye-to-Eye
College Democrats
College Experience Outreach
College Republicans
Colleges Against Cancer
Female Empowerment Movement
Habitat for Humanity
HIV/AIDS Awareness
Human Rights Coalition
Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault
NARAL Pro-Choice
Progressive Student Union
Students for a free Tibet
Sustainable Foods

Media and Publications
Bon Bon (Fashion Magazine)
Crux (literary magazine)
Echo and Pine (yearbook)
Kink (advertising club)
Martini (satirical magazine)
Media & Society Club
The Herald (newspaper)
Thel (literary magazine)
WHWS (radio)

Sport and Recreation
Alpine Ski Team
Baseball (H)
Chess Club
Cycling Club
Equestrian Team
Field Hockey (HWS)
Figure Skating
Fishing Club
Fitness Club
Heron Society
Hip~Notiqs Step Team
Ice Hockey (H)
Ice Hockey (WS)
Karate Club
Lacrosse Club (H)
Lacrosse Club (WS)
Nordic Ski Club (cross country)
Outdoor Rec Adventure Program (ORAP)
Paintball (H)
Rugby Club (H)
Rugby Club (WS)
Seneca Flyers (ultimate Frisbee)
Soccer Club (H)
Soccer Club (WS)
Track and Field (HWS)
Western Riding Club

Chimera (Hobart junior honor society)
Hobart Student Government
Druid Society (Hobart senior honor society)
Hai Timiai (William Smith honor society)
Laurel Society (William Smith junior honor society)
Orange Key (Hobart sophomore honor society)
William Smith Congress

Spiritual Life

The Religious Life Office located in St. John’s Chapel serves the campus as a center for spiritual life and pastoral care. St. John’s Chapel offers weekly and special programs of hospitality, service, fellowship, education, reflection, study and worship.

The Chaplain and the director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life serve as on-campus pastors, teachers, counselors, and resource persons. Students seek them out to talk over personal or family crises, relationship problems, questions of belief and practice, adjustment issues, faith and politics, sexuality and many other topics. They both offer Readers Colleges each semester. The Chaplain invites students into her home each week for Campus Peer Ministry training, Pasta Night, and the CloseKnit handwork club, in addition to planning off-campus excursions to local farms and orchards for the Sustainable Saturdays program. The Abbe Center serves a kosher Shabbat dinner every Friday evening during term.

Weekly worship and prayer services offered by campus groups may include Episcopal, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Buddhist, Quaker and Muslim traditions.

St. John’s Chapel and Hobart College have historic and continuing ties with the Episcopal Church. The Chaplain, who serves all members of the Colleges’ community regardless of religious affiliation, is an Episcopal priest. The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester serves on the Board of Trustees. Episcopal Eucharist is offered weekly.

The clergy of the Roman Catholic Community of Geneva work in association with the Religious Life Office to serve the Roman Catholic students. In addition to saying weekly Masses in the Chapel, the clergy are available to meet with students.

The Religious Life Office provides students with information on programs and services offered at Geneva area houses of worship through their website.

Community Engagement

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are committed to the idea that civic engagement plays a central role in fostering students’ personal and social development and is a vital component in a liberal arts education. Through community service, students’ assumptions are challenged, their perspectives are broadened, their voices strengthened, and they learn to become active, engaged citizens. The Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning is at the heart of this enterprise. The Center stands for learning through service that produces students who are civically engaged and graduates who are active, global citizens. It does this by providing the opportunities that help students build the skills necessary for active citizenship.

Staff members from the Colleges were instrumental in the formation of the New York Campus Compact, an organization of college and university presidents committed to public service and civic engagement on their campuses. The Colleges’ commitment to service was recognized with inclusion as one of 81 colleges in the Princeton Review’s inaugural edition of “Colleges with a Conscience” and has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in 2006, 2007 and 2010. In 2010, the Center applied for and earned  the Carnegie Community Engagement classification, one of only 115 colleges to gain the designation that year.

Through HWS Compass, students are encouraged to explore the many facets of service to society. A three-tiered program, Compass provides experiences in community service, civic engagement, and civic leadership that chart the course to a life of engaged citizenship. CCESL connects students to service and engagement opportunities on campus, in the area surrounding Geneva, outside the local region, and even internationally. These experiences are meant to help students develop citizenship skills such as leadership, self-awareness, and recognizing societal needs, while making a material change that will help meet identified community challenges. Community based learning and co-curricular community service are major components of these experiences, linking the service activity to intentional reflection that clearly places the service in a larger context, whether that is with classroom content or experiencing firsthand the response to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

With support from the Center, several departments offer service-learning classes, including Sociology, Architecture, Public Policy, Education, Religious Studies, Psychology, Economics, and History. These classes offer students an experiential component within the overall academic course. Through meaningful reflection activity, students relate their service experience to the course content, thereby enriching their classroom learning. Many of these service-learning opportunities and community based research projects segue into Summer of Service Internship placements, where students work for 300 hours over 10 weeks with local community partners to maximize the non-profit’s mission and outreach efforts. As an AmeriCorps program,  Summer of Service students may have their $1,000 education voucher matched by the Colleges, a unique option available to students at only 100 colleges across the country.

In addition, the Center, located on the second floor of Trinity Hall, works with students individually to identify opportunities for post-graduate community involvement, including AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. CCESL also oversees the America Reads and America Counts programs, which mobilize more than 150 HWS tutors each year to work in local elementary schools and after-school programs as part of their college work-study position. Alternative Spring Break trips are another program the Center sponsors each year. In previous years, students have spent a week working with children in a North Carolina school, helping with environmental projects at a state park in Virginia, and assisting residents of the New Orleans area in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. In 2011, students partnered with the international service-learning organization Amizade, to spend a week in Jamaica learning about the local culture and history, as well tutor schoolchildren. 

Many groups on campus direct their efforts toward community engagement. Geneva Heroes, an 8-week community service and leadership corps for approximately 20 eighth graders, is created, staffed and run by HWS students. A campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity assists area affiliates with fundraising and home building. Students coordinate a variety of service projects on campus and at various community agencies. This includes the annual Holiday Gift Project that provides gifts to local families in need; usually more than 100 individuals benefit. On Thursdays in October and February, students, faculty, and staff from the Colleges prepare and serve meals at the local soup kitchen. HWS Votes! is the campus voter registration and education program.

In April 1994, a group of HWS students, faculty, and staff joined with many local community members to organize “Celebrate Service…Celebrate Geneva…Day of Service,” a day of community service that mobilized more than 250 volunteers to provide community service at approximately 50 sites across Geneva. Days of Service has expanded to four days a year (including during Orientation and a Martin Luther King Jr., service day project) and continues to organize over 1,000 campus and community volunteers annually.

Students in the Center’s Civic Leader program coordinate a number of these initiatives. These experienced students work for up to 10 hours a week to facilitate campus and community engagement activities. Residential Education, fraternities, and a variety of service clubs work with the CCESL to support various local community and national agencies, including the Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way, YMCA, Big Brother/Big Sisters, Rotary Club programs and the Geneva Food Pantry through ongoing partnerships and volunteer fundraising efforts. Students interested in living with others committed to service may apply to live in Community Service House, a theme house in which residents work weekly at various local agencies and develop larger, house-wide projects. Whatever major or career a student chooses to pursue, the programs of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, through its Compass program, can help to point them toward a life of engaged citizenship.

Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation

Hobart athletics seeks to afford experience in intercollegiate sports to as many men as possible. Annually, about one third of the Hobart student body participates in intercollegiate athletics. Many participate on more than one team. While student-athletes are encouraged to strive to fulfill their athletic potential, emphasis is placed on achieving a healthy balance between their scholastic and athletic endeavors. The broad-based program receives excellent support in the areas of equipment, facilities, staff, and sports medicine.

Under the supervision of the Department of Athletics, Hobart fields intercollegiate teams in basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, squash, and tennis. Hobart is a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and competes in this division in all sports except lacrosse. Since 1995, the Hobart lacrosse team has competed at the Division I level.

Since 1972, Hobart College has won 18 national championships, three Eastern College Athletic Conference regional titles, and 20 conference championships.

William Smith
The Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation has as its foundation an educational philosophy that emphasizes the importance of the medium of movement as a learning vehicle for individual growth and development. William Smith is a member of the Liberty League, MAISA, NCAA, and ECAC.

Recognizing that students learn in a variety of ways and through a variety of experiences, the department provides a wide range of activity courses and a comprehensive intercollegiate athletics program. Certain activity courses are offered for credit, others are offered for no credit. Students may select from team sports, individual sports, fitness, wellness, and aquatics classes. Included in the offerings are soccer, lacrosse, tennis, skating, squash, skiing, swimming, scuba diving, weight training, conditioning, aerobics, and more.

Designated as a Division III institution, William Smith engages in varsity competition in the following sports: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving, and tennis. Soccer provides opportunities at the junior varsity level as well.

Through their membership in the William Smith Athletic Advisory Council, student-athletes play a significant role in the operations of the athletics department. They select a board of team representatives who work closely with the athletics director, providing input in policy development.

Recreation and Intramurals
The Colleges provide an extensive recreation and intramural sports program for those who enjoy sports activities but don’t necessarily wish to compete on the intercollegiate level. This enables each student to choose the activities that best satisfy his or her needs. Walleyball, touch football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, and a host of other team and individual sports are available.

Physical Education Classes
The Colleges also offer a wide variety of physical education classes (some are credit-bearing courses) designed to develop skills in activities that can be performed throughout one’s life. These classes, which range from scuba diving to ice skating, are instructed by staff members who have significant experience and expertise in that related activity.

Club Sports
Club sports include alpine skiing, baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, Frisbee, floor hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, paintball, rugby, ski racing, track and field.

These sports are organized under the Office of Student Activities and do not carry varsity or intercollegiate status.

Outdoor Recreation Program (ORAP)
ORAP provides both structured and unstructured recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts in the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community. In addition, a concerted effort is made to introduce novices to a variety of outdoor activities. This program sponsors a combination of courses, clinics, and outings throughout the school year. Examples of instructional courses and clinics which may be offered are: hiking and backpacking, kayaking, ice climbing, Nordic skiing, spelunking, and ice skating.

Dates and times of programs are publicized and a fee is charged to cover equipment and administrative costs. A resource center and an equipment rental system also provide individuals with the means to coordinate their own outings.

The Wellness Program
As an extension of the physical education program, the wellness program emphasizes the interrelationships between nutrition, stress management, fitness, and mental and physical well-being. More information about the program can be obtained by contacting the director of the Sport and Recreation Center.