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The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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I'll be honest, my personal experience has beenQuite BrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
I'll be honest, my personal experience has been pretty positive BUT that does not mean MCLA is without its faults. I had to make an active effort to get involved with something and by doing so it opened up a lot of doors for me on campus. Joining any club/student activity and building your social circle is really, really important at such a small school.

I agree that RPS and the food served here is lacking, to say the least. The professors care, though, and if more money and time were put into listening to us and the faculty, and improving the campus overall I think it would be way better here. Certain parts of the administration aren't great, but individually many of them are working hard to keep the school running, even if higher-ups aren't really that appreciative or helpful.

One of the major complaints I hear is the lack of nightlife. This isn't the school's fault, not really. MCLA is in North Adams, which is an old mill town with a very unsteady future as it is. That being said you can still have fun and find parties. I would suggest getting used to smaller-scale parties if you're used to big ones because those are very common here. You'll find that the bigger ones happen on Blackington, or in the Boardman townhouses near campus, but honestly, the smaller ones are worth way more to me. Students are also making more of an effort now to make the campus more exciting BUT this relies just as much on you actively participating in campus events when they happen. There are some restaurants around town, they're a "don't look and you'll miss them" kind of thing. The town isn't that dangerous either, the crime stats were interpreted incorrectly and a lot of crime here is within homes (domestic violence, etc) and drug abuse. Typical for rural areas. You'll want access to a car at some point, even if it's carpooling with friends, this is the Berkshires and transportation is a problem everywhere, not just in relation to MCLA.

I'm not big into Greek Life so I can't really say much on that. I suggest accepting that it offers the same positives and negatives of Greek Life in other places.

Dorms are alright, the elevators are ALWAYS broken in Hoosac Hall though. I lived in Berkshire Towers during my first year and it lived up to its reputation as the quieter of the dorm halls. It's definitely more private, but I don't know that much about Hoosac living. I live in a townhouse now and I enjoy it overall and wouldn't be able to go back to living in BT. The decoration inside is dated and I feel like they need some type of renovation, but good otherwise. RPS is a huge pain the neck, you'll get used to it.

The food is bad, which is why a lot of upperclassmen will tell you to eat wisely. It used to be even worse, according to some, but it's still not that great. I have my own dietary issues but asking around you'll find that everybody has a problem with the dining services. I'm pretty sure I lost a couple of pounds as opposed to gaining some during my first year. Living in a townhouse means you have access to a kitchen, and dorm rooms come with a micro-fridge (microwave w a mini fridge) so do take advantage of that if you can. The pizza's ok, depends on who's cooking it. Breakfast ALWAYS makes me sick, god knows why.

The faculty is great, I've never had a personal issue with any of them, but ask around, some are known for being difficult (this goes for any college). The history department isn't huge here but I think that all of the professors in it are helpful, understanding, and clearly know what they're talking about. As you progress here try to get to know some of the faculty, it offers opportunities you wouldn't otherwise get.

Theatre kids, this is for you: The performing clubs on campus are Harlequinne (musical theatre), Yorick (Shakespeare, shamelessly plugging it, it's very fun and not pretentious), Dance Company, and Nexxus (step team, dance). The FPA department is OK, there are some very biased professors within it who I would be mindful of. You might get along fantastically or you might really not, it's hard to say, but they definitely have a reputation. FPA and the performing clubs sometimes conflict. I think if we had more space on campus it wouldn't be a big problem, but the small campus really does make us all more competitive. This means there is some bad blood there, but if you keep an open mind and be polite you'll find that there are more benefits to working together than not.

2nd Year Female -- Class 1921
Education Quality: A+, Campus Maintenance: D-
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Poor leadership with mostBrightPsychology
Poor leadership with most of the administrators. Very poor direction given by the acedemic advisors. Overall a very disappointing experience. A discouraging school to attend.
4th Year Female -- Class 2018
University Resource Use/ spending: A, Education Quality: F
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All of my classes were small, the vastEnglish
All of my classes were small, the vast majority were fewer than twenty, and every professor was invested in student success. This is not a party school and does not pretend to be one; it is not the school for you if partying is any kind of a priority. There are multiple cultural opportunities available at almost all times, but it is the beauty and recreation possibilities of the Berkshires that is the big draw (other than the academics). MCLA is not for everyone, no college is, but it was the best choice for me.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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