W&J is called a family for a reason— there is
a great sense of camaraderie between faculty, staff and students.
Many professors have no qualms about friending students on Facebook
or inviting students to their homes. If you plan on
attending grad school, though, be warned that the professors will
NOT make any large effort to pull for you or
network with other professors at grad programs to get you
in. You are expected to do this on your own.
On the bright side, because the college is so small,
everyone will quickly know you by name...
Students:...However, the social
life for students is dominated by the Greek life on
campus, and the town of Washington is quiet and uneventful.
A large percentage of students go home for the weekend,
and many more travel into Pittsburgh about 40 minutes away
in hopes of more exciting weekend activities. If you do
not wish to pledge Greek, plan on becoming very involved
with SAB (student activities board) so that you have things
Campus activities/events: Nevertheless, in past years, SAB has
increased the number of activities for non-Greeks and Greeks alike.
If you have a car, take it with you to
campus. Not only is parking free, but you will quickly
become stir-crazy living on the tiny campus without it. Due
to W&J's small size, it is also very easy to
network among faculty and staff and quickly, so if you
plan on starting a new club or spearheading a campus
event, you will know who to contact right away.
W&J takes the liberal arts curriculum to heart. If you
are a science person who expects to take no courses
in the humanities, do NOT go to W&J. Likewise, if
you are not in the sciences, expect to take two
natural science and math courses with one lab. Academically, W&J
is only challenging in the first two years. At around
halfway through junior year, I felt unchallenged by my coursework,
and assignments began to feel like busywork. I applied to
and currently attend a top-5 ranked grad school because I
was desperate for a challenge. That said, A-grades are completely
Dorms: All students are required to live on campus
for four years and are guaranteed housing (unless they register
as commuters or appeal to live off-campus.) The dorms are,
for the most part, rather old. Thankfully they are larger
than at most campuses, and there are plenty of opportunities
to live in a single dorm. There is also pet
housing on campus, and the college community is incredibly tolerant
of dogs and cats roaming with their owners on campus.
Safety: The city of Washington, where the college is located,
is a major hub for transportation of illegal drugs from
the Midwest into New England. Crime is therefore not unheard
of. However, the campus itself is watched by both city
police and campus security, and, in my experience, never felt
unsafe. I frequently walked around campus in the wee hours
of the night by myself and felt perfectly secure. Laptops
do get stolen and straying into the wrong parts of
town is not advisable, but if you are vigilant and
keep W&J Security's number close on hand, you will feel
at ease living on campus.
Overall: I loved my experience
at W&J. I received personal attention from my professors and
was able to get involved in clubs and campus initiatives
very easily. I recommend this college!