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Hands-On-Deck Learning

Celestial Navigation 101

Students Match Wits at MHC's National Debate Tournament

Ten Things to Do When You're Not in Class


Mount Holyoke College News and Events College Street Journal Vista

Spring 2005 / Volume 10, Number 1

Ten Things to Do When You're Not in ClassThere is much more to Mount Holyoke than top-flight academics. Here’s a sampling of the 24 club and varsity sports and more than 170 student organizations the College offers.

1.Student Government Rules!
The Student Government Association lets students speak out on important campus issues through dialogue in committee meetings, community forums, and Senate meetings, and through SGA referenda. “What I value most about serving on SGA are the leadership and communication skills I have developed,” said president Lindsay Dunaj ’05. “SGA is completely tied to all areas of life at the College. It is the decision-making body—the group that both the administration and the student body trust for support in campus endeavors and new campaigns for change.”

Equestrian Rider2. Going for the Gold
The College’s Equestrian Center—lauded by Town and Country magazine as “hands-down the finest East Coast” collegiate riding facility—is home to two of the winningest riding teams—huntseat and dressage—in the country. “There is nothing like feeling the enormous pressure at a big competition and, simultaneously, the support of 40 teammates behind you,” said Karin Corbett ’05. “The confidence and character that builds is something I will have forever.” And, while the College’s top-notch instructors and school horses attract some of the best college riders in the country, you don’t have to be a grand prix rider to join; both teams compete at beginner through advanced levels.

3. It’s Not All Work and No Play
The Network is a student-run organization that coordinates social events and entertainment at the College. With festive Fall and Spring Weekends, extravaganzas like Las Vegas Night, and concerts featuring stars such as Ani diFranco and Kanye West, the Network makes Mount Holyoke a destination for students at the other Five Colleges—Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts.

4. Getting Physic-al
Anyone who enjoys physics is welcome to join Mount Holyoke’s award-winning Society of Physics Students, a chapter of the national SPS. The group takes challenging, hands-on physics projects into local elementary school classrooms. The society has been honored three years running as an “outstanding SPS chapter” for its research, public science outreach, physics tutoring program, and other activities.

5. Keeping the Faith
Serving nine faith groups—Baha‘i, Buddhist, Sea Islands Improvement Project WorkersCatholic, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Unitarian Universalist, and Wiccan—Mount Holyoke’s spiritual center, Eliot House, welcomes all members of the College community to take part in a wide range of activities on and off campus. This year, a group of students and staff spent spring break repairing substandard housing in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, a poverty-stricken area where migrant workers and descendants of slaves struggle to maintain their homes and communities. “I think it is so much more meaningful to engage in a personal interaction than to simply write a check to a charity organization,” said one student participant.

6. RecycleMania
This semester, Mount Holyoke is vying with 48 colleges and universities around the nation to see which campus can collect the largest amount of recyclables. At the end of the competition, dubbed RecycleMania, the school with the highest recycling rate per person will receive a trophy, as well as a half-page announcement in the newspaper of every participating college and university. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewise program, the sponsor of the event, is keeping score. In March, MHC was in ninth place, just behind Harvard and Tufts and just ahead of University of California at Davis and Boston College.

Nancy Doherty7. A Well-Versed Tradition
Every year since 1913, Mount Holyoke has hosted one of academia’s most prestigious poetry events, the Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Competition. Glascock contenders have included Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Merrill, William Kunstler, Katha Pollitt, and many others who have gone on to prominence in the world of letters. This year’s Mount Holyoke entrant is Nancy Doherty FP ‘05 (right). One of five poets from around the nation who will compete for the top spot, Doherty also participated in the Five College Poetryfest, held in March. ”I am in awe to be in such elevated company,” Doherty said.

8. Cultural Connections
One way that Mount Holyoke celebrates its diversity is through its cultural centers, which are open to all MHC students. There’s the Asian Center for Empowerment and the International Students Cultural Club. There’s the Betty Shabazz Cultural Center for students of African descent, the Eliana Ortega Cultural Center for the Latina community, the Jeannette Marks House for the lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community, and the Zowie Banteah Cultural Center for the Native American community. At these centers, students socialize, cook, host parties, and share their culture with the larger community.

The V-8s9. Sing Along With…
The V-8s, short for Victory Eights, are the oldest continually active female collegiate a cappella group in the nation. The V-8s got their start at the 1942 Mount Holyoke Junior Show and still sing some of the group’s original numbers, applying their smooth harmonies to tunes by everyone from Doris Day and the Andrew Sisters to Less Than Jake and Liz Phair. Every year the V-8s, one of five a cappella groups on campus, go on tour, participate in intercollegiate a cappella bowls, and perform at various Mount Holyoke events.

10. A Novel Idea
Every week 12 Mount Holyoke students travel to Westfield, a neighboring city, to join the other members of their book group—30 boys and young men from the Westfield Youth Detention Center. The goal of the book club is to inspire a passion for reading in the Westfield youth. So far it’s working. Novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders have generated great discussions, laughter, and learning. “Working with these young men and experiencing the power of reading with them has so far been truly rewarding and enriching,” said book group participant Rebecca Lenn ’07.

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Copyright © 2005 Mount Holyoke College. This page created by Donna Cote and maintained by Office of Communications. Last modified on May 16, 2005.