Purchase is a supposedly great arts school, and for the
minimal pricing (given that you're an in-state student like I
was), that might be true. However, there are a plethora
of things not only wrong with the school in general,
but with the prestigious departments as well. One kind
of bleeds in to the other.
First off, the program itself wasn't that bad. My professors
gave work that none of the students understood because it
was poorly explained. The staff seemed to not have tenure
and to really dislike the students at times. There was
no sense that these teachers were looking forward to fostering
your career. They just seemed plain bored. My film professor
was an exception. My main teacher for writing was so
old he couldn't really remember what his own assignment was.
The atmosphere and social
life are squarely the fault of the school, who encourage
cliques and for you to know as FEW people as
possible. They group you with two conservatories and expect you
to settle for choosing between these scant 20-30 people as
friends. In addition, you're put on a “conservatory floor” so
you have no contact with the normal students. This is
just plain snobbery.
the kids in these conservatories were worth getting to know,
I would have stayed; but they were snobbier than the
department heads. The film majors were the nastiest bunch of
people I have ever met: p.o.'d they didn't get into
NYU, a real bunch of spiteful wannabe-hipsters. Unfortunately one of
my roommates was in this group. He simply would not
talk to me or be friendly to me because I
was a “weird fucking writer".
I think that social disasters like this should be expected.
The school seems not to realize that you should be
able to have a social scene to be passably happy,
instead of slaving in some room writing a group project.
Conservatory students get no time to do anything but work,
work work for a nominal degree that doesn't even mean
as much as it did considering the dip in respect
The snooty conservatories head
told our orientation group that the low retention rate was
due to students not being able to “handle it”. Oh
please! Would anyone want to graduate at Purchase? They simply
do not provide an environment that any person, especially one
with a mercurial creative outlook on life, would want to
live around. It's a smelly, stifling, ugly, cliquish, mediocre school. Keep shopping if you're a “different” sort of kid.