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Davidson College

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Date: Nov 20 2020
Major: Language - French/Spanish/etc. (This Major's Salary over time)
Almost all of my professors were absolutely wonderful. Since it's a small school, they are super available in their office hours, and since class sizes range from 6-30, it's not that hard to get in to see a professor for support. Professors are excellent at connecting students with opportunities for research grants or even to present at conferences. They are a good source of moral support and really invest in students! They also pushed me to think critically and adopt new frameworks to understand the world, whether that was looking at racial capitalism and neoliberalism, learning from the fat liberation movement, or adopting a disability studies lens.

The student body's commitment to social justice and radical change is incredible and inspiring, but the administration thinks that hosting panels and speakers and holding meetings around the flagpole to respond to tragic or racist events is enough. It's not enough. Luckily student organizers constantly push Davidson to go further with initiatives to rename Chambers, the main academic building named for someone heavily involved in the slave trade, or to start an Asian American Studies Department and a Jewish Studies Department, and to make reparations. Students have launched mutual aid efforts, social entrepreneurship projects, and change-oriented artist collectives.

Inequality in terms of resources is clear. The historically Black sororities and fraternities do not have houses on Patterson Court, whereas the predominately white frats and eating houses do. The budget of the Africana Studies department is tiny in comparison to that of Political Science, History or English. Due to student activism, there has been some positive change, for example, the opening of Lula Bell's food pantry and student resource center.

The party scene is ok, and there are lots of social events for non-drinkers as well. There are so many student activities, especially for a small school, and students are very involved. The school hosts lots of artists, performers and speakers, and the entertainment scene is surprisingly good for a school of 2,000. Davidson is about forty minutes from the city of Charlotte, however, the only public transportation between the two available currently is buses, so students mostly go downtown if they have cars or if their friends do. Davidson isn't a commuter campus and so there is a lot of activity on the weekends. Davidson encourages its students to volunteer, and many get involved in tutoring, at the community garden, or at the free medical clinic.

Counseling is free and available to all students, but there are relatively few counselors in light of the demand, and so sometimes one has to wait two or three weeks to get an appointment. Pre-COIVD, they were combatting this by having walk-in office hours. Most of the counselors are white. Mental health is a serious issue for Davidson students, probably because there is so much academic stress and pressure. Professors push students hard, and Davidson tends to attract the kind of students who care a lot about grades. I know at least three students who, during my time there, faced suicidal ideation.

The career services center is great. They offer a lot of summer internship grants, job shadowing and mentoring opportunities, and lots of help applying for positions, whether that is through resume review, mock interviews or coffee chats. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of it early on. Don't wait until you're a senior to start planning for your career!

The Chaplain's office is wonderful. Rob Spach is a gift to humanity and infuses the campus with so much love and light. So many of the staff who are in non-academic roles are incredible people and during my time there, I built relationships with everyone from cafeteria workers to librarians to office administrators. The humans who work and study at Davidson are the school's most valuable asset, and they are what makes attending worthwhile.

comment"They also pushed me to think critically and adopt new frameworks to understand the world, whether that was looking at racial capitalism and neoliberalism, learning from the fat liberation movement, or adopting a disability studies lens." Through a curious historical irony, "critical thinking" has now become a code work for "drinking the Kool Aid." Where is Kant when you need him?
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