Student Life FAQs
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What is the area like? What is campus like? Student housing?
Bard College at Simon’s Rock is located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the heart of the Berkshires. The campus is rural, and the area is known for its natural beauty, so there’s plenty of access to outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and biking. The Berkshires are also home to a thriving arts community, performance venues, museums and historical sites. The town of Great Barrington is small, but it boasts a generous and eclectic collection of independent movie houses, stores and restaurants. We are located roughly two-and-a-half hours away from both Boston and New York City.
Campus itself offers acres of space and top-notch facilities. You can read more about some of our facilities here. And we welcome prospective students and families to campus for individual and group Discovery Day visits, so you can see for yourself how much campus has to offer.
All first-year students live in double rooms in one of three dorms in our "tri-dorm area." Crosby is a women’s dorm; Kendrick, a coed dorm; and Dolliver is the men’s dorm. Room sizes and shapes vary by dorm and are furnished with the usual college furniture - desks, chairs, beds, and wardrobe or closet. In most rooms, the beds can be bunked one on top of the other or lofted so that desks can fit underneath, or you can leave them at normal height. Based on the results of your Housing Assignment Profile forms, incoming students are paired with a classmate and are able to talk with their roommates over the summer to plan what each will bring.
Can students have cars on campus?
First-year students are not permitted to have cars on campus, though sophomores, juniors and seniors are. Simon’s Rock offers transportation to town, as well as to and from the airport during breaks and to a number of off-campus locations for activities. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus takes students into town, and, in nicer weather, students will often bike or walk the short distance themselves.
What’s the food like?
Our dining hall offers a full array of menu options for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served every weekday, and brunch and dinner are served on Saturdays and Sundays. Residential students are required to take part in the full meal plan.
How are roommates chosen?
We do our best to pair students with similar habits and preferences so that night owls and early birds, for instance, can all sleep in peace. A Housing Assignment Profile form is included in the New Student Packet, and enrolled students are asked to provide information about themselves that will help us make roommate matches.
What do students do for fun at Simon’s Rock?
We stay busy. We offer a packed calendar of lecture and performance series, forums and conferences, visits from renowned artists and scholars, plus campus-wide social events like dances and open mikes, talent shows and trivia contests. We have a strong core of active student organizations—the literary journal, the jazz ensemble, the chamber orchestra, the multicultural students organization, the queer-straight alliance—and a long, changeable list of groups that depend on student interest and often grow into something big and important; the community organic garden is a recent example. Our Community Council brings together students, faculty, and staff to administer a budget, coordinate campus activities, and take a major role in deciding campus policy. Students are active participants in the community and can serve on a number of boards and committees.
What’s diversity like on campus?
Diversity—different life experiences as well as ways of thinking, being, knowing, and doing—is a distinguishing feature of the human condition. We promote it, we study it, and we’ve made a major institutional commitment to it. Our Du Bois Scholars Program supports eligible students of color. Our faculty offer classes and develop academic concentrations in fields that directly address issues of diversity: African American studies, Asian studies, cross-cultural relations, gender studies, and Spanish and Latin American studies. Our Win Student Resource Commons is home to a campus-wide initiative to explore, explain, and examine diversity. Our Du Bois Lecture Series brings contemporary scholars on race to campus. The Owl's Nest serves as a welcoming space for students of color. Student groups such as QueerSA (the queer-straight alliance), the Multicultural Students Organization, and Interfaith offer opportunities for students to share experiences, provide support for one another, and contribute to campus-wide programming. Our annual Diversity Day Teach-In—an innovative collaboration between students, faculty and staff—offers a range of presentations and small group discussions led by members of the community.