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Life at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is that of community. A select student enrollment, drawn from many areas and backgrounds, and a distinguished faculty produce an atmosphere conducive to individual effort and achievement. In co-curricular, as in academic matters, students play a major role in their own governance. From helping to enforce their own residence regulations and guidelines for student conduct, to overseeing many co-curricular programs, students are involved in shaping the campus lifestyle. Many campus committees encourage student membership, and two students"one senior from each college"are voting members of the Colleges' Board of Trustees.

Office of Student Engagement webpage

Office of Campus Life webpage

Office of Spiritual Engagement webpage

Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning webpage

Hobart and William Smith Athletics website

Recreation and Wellness webpage

Residential Education

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are residential colleges. The Colleges seek to provide students with a comfortable and attractive living environment, designed to support the Colleges' mission while fostering the development of interpersonal skills, moral reasoning, sense of self, well-being and a strong commitment to the community.

Campus Housing

A variety of single-college, mixed college, and gender-inclusive residences, including theme houses, cooperatives, townhouses and traditional residence halls, are available. Theme houses, of which there are more than 20, include a community service house, a leadership house for each College, a substance free house, an international house, and more. These are student-initiated themes, so they change year to year based on student interest.

All students are required to live in college residences. Housing for first-year students is based on multiple factors, including learning community selections, substance free housing preferences, preferences for single-college housing, and First-Year Seminar course. After the first year, students select their own housing assignments by participating in the housing process conducted during spring semester.

Greek Housing

Members of Greek organizations are eligible to reside in Colleges-operated Greek Housing. These houses may vary year to year based on organization type. Greek Life is available for students of all genders.

Off-Campus Housing

All students, first year through seniors, are required to live on campus. A limited number of seniors are granted permission to live off-campus via a lottery process and are responsible for locating their own housing. The Colleges place an emphasis on citizenship and helping students gain an understanding of the responsibilities of residential community living. Students who abuse this responsibility may lose the privilege of their off-campus status.

Meal Plans

All residential students except those residing in co-op theme houses, specific Greek organizations, and independent living environments (Village at Odell's Pond and 380 South Main) are required to participate in a full meal plan. The dining service offers a varied menu, selected to accommodate regular, vegetarian, and special diets. Participating students may take their meals in Saga Hall in the Scandling Campus Center. All first-year students are required to participate in the Finger Lakes meal plan. Students in small or themed houses have a choice of one of smaller mealÂÂ plans which provide additional snack money and flexibility, since a majority of their meals may be in residence. Students residing in Greek housing or co-op small houses may waive the meal plan. All meal plan changes must be completed on via a student's housing portal based on the established deadlines posted at the beginning of each semester.

Alcohol and Other Drug Programs

The HWS Alcohol and Other Drug Programs (AOD) is an integral part of the services provided through the Office of Residential Education. Our AOD services take a proactive approach in providing a comprehensive evidence-based prevention and counseling program necessary for students to make responsible choices concerning alcohol and other drugs.

We work from the premise that a wellness lifestyle is vITA to achieving personal and academic success. The preventative approaches are grounded in the social ecological model of public health that recognizes and attempts to address a broad array of factors that influence individual health decisions and behaviors on the institutional, community, individual and group levels.

Through the social norms approach, students receive current and accurate information regarding the norms at HWS. In addition, the office takes a harm reduction approach to reduce the negative consequences associated with substance misuse. These prevention strategies engage students by looking at behaviors along a continuum of healthy to unhealthy consequences. Students are encouraged to evaluate the choices they make and to examine their misperceptions regarding alcohol and other drug use among their peers.

A variety of educational outreach programs are provided to first-years, fraternity members, and student-athletes throughout the academic year. In addition, we work closely with the students living in substance free housing to provide alternative programming for all students. Confidential counseling services provide support to students who are at risk of developing alcohol and other drug-related concerns, as well as, for those who are impacted by another persons' abuse of substances. A motivational interviewing approach is utilized to engage students in a non-judgmental way.

Student Governments

Hobart College and William Smith College have separate student governments, each with their own elected student leadership roles and responsibilities. Together, they fund clubs and maintain several joint committees.
The governments have three major functions: being a student voice on campus committees, allocating student activity fee funding to student initiatives, registered student clubs, and club sports, and leading discussions with students about campus life.

Cultural Life

The Davis Gallery at Houghton House hosts five art exhibitions each year. These include works by artists with international reputations as well as by artists early in their careers. There are also a number of smaller exhibitions and pop-up galleries held throughout the year in the Solarium Gallery at Houghton House. Students enrolled in curatorial practicum courses organize an exhibition drawn from the Colleges' art collection, research and write a catalog for that exhibition, and study the collection to choose a work for acquisition, while also discussing the history and ethics of museums. The close of every academic year is marked by the Student Art and Architecture Show, featuring work from studio art and architectural studies courses.

An opening reception is held for each exhibition in the gallery. Openings are generally held on Friday evenings and include a reception for the artist as well as a gallery talk. These are important social and cultural occasions open to the campus and local community. In addition, classes regularly visit and discuss these exhibits.

Opportunities abound for students interested in studying dance technique, performing in student or faculty led ensembles, participating in guest artist master classes, or attending any of the faculty, student or guest artist dance performances.

The Dance Department offers a range of ballet, modern, Afro-Caribbean and jazz dance technique courses each semester. In addition, theory courses in dance composition, dance history, kinesiology, improvisation, and movement theories are offered on a regular basis. Students may elect to pursue a disciplinary dance major in performance and choreography or pursue an interdisciplinary major with a particular concentration such as dance education, movement studies or theory and performance studies. There is also a disciplinary dance minor.

The Department of Dance has five full-time faculty members, additional adjunct faculty, accompanists, and a technical director/lighting designer. The Dance Department is housed within the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.
Dance Department spaces include the Deming Theatre, Studio 104, a somatics studio, dance archives, a seminar-style classroom, costume suite, faculty offices, student lounge, and dressing rooms. In addition, the Dance Department continues to use Winn-Seeley dance studio for classes and rehearsals.

Dance Ensemble, the department's performance company, is showcased annually in the spring Faculty Dance Concert in contemporary works by faculty and guest artists, and in collaboration with students registered for the dance ensemble course. Auditions take place in October. Other performance events throughout the year include informal studio showcases, an adjudicated Junior/Senior Choreographers' Concert, and the student-run Koshare Dance Collective Concert that includes many dance styles. It's not unusual to find hip-hop, Salsa, jazz, ballet, tap and global dance traditions represented at the Koshare concert.

Recent guest artist classes/visiting companies on campus have included Kyle Abraham, Camille A Brown & Dancers, Monica Bill Barnes, Bill Evans, Ballet Jorgen, Koresh Dance, and Kate Weare Company. Annually, the department selects students to participate in the American College Dance Association Conference. At the ACDA Conference, students have the opportunity to take classes and perform student and faculty choreography for national adjudicators.

In addition to the Dance Department's offerings above, additional dance opportunities at the Colleges can be found in student created clubs such as Hip-NotiQs (step), Executives (hip-hop) and the Tango club. Interested students of all abilities are encouraged to discover dance in its myriad forms at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Students have many opportunities to take private music lessons and to participate in musical ensembles through the Department of Music. Private music lessons are available for each of the following: piano (classical or jazz), guitar (classical or jazz/rock), voice, woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, or jazz saxophone), violin, viola, cello, brass, organ, percussion, drum set, and jazz improvisation.

As of 2020-21, the per-semester fee for 14 half-hour weekly lessons is $350. Students may take hour-long weekly lessons if they prefer, or half-hour lessons on two separate instruments. In such cases, the per-semester fee is $700 ($350 x 2).

Half-hour music lessons through the Department of Music earn 1/2 credit per semester (or a full credit for students taking for an hour). To register formally for private music instruction, both student and teacher must fill out and sign the "Private Music Lesson Registration Form" at the first lesson in the new semester. The private teachers have these forms (Office of the Registrar does not).

It is recommended that students reserve a lesson time slot with the appropriate teacher as early as possible, preferably during the preceding semester. Lesson sign-up sheets are located on the "Private Instruction" bulletin board in the Department of Music (Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, second floor).

Students may participate in one or more of the departmental ensembles. Ensembles include Classical Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, String Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Improvisation Ensemble, Chorale, and Community Chorus. There is no fee for ensemble membership. Membership in each ensemble is by audition. Participation in each departmental ensemble earns 1/2 credit per semester. To register formally for an ensemble, students must schedule an audition with the appropriate director.

The Department of Music also hosts a number of guest artist performances on campus each year. In addition, HWS students are admitted for free to all concerts in the local "Geneva Concerts" series at the nearby Smith Center for the Arts. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a wide range of other guest artists, present concerts each year through this series. Finally, student clubs are encouraged to organize regional outings to performing arts events in Rochester, Ithaca and Syracuse.

The Theatre Department is dedicated to providing for the intellectual and artistic needs of all members of the community interested in exploring theatre as a liberal art. The department offers a variety of academic and co- curricular (production) experiences, which provide students with opportunities to learn about both the theoretical and artistic dimensions of theatrical performance, production, literature, and history.

The department offers a disciplinary major and both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary minor. It also produces three main stage faculty-directed shows per year in McDonald Theatre in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Productions such as Macbeth, Waiting for Godot, A Streetcar Named Desire, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, She Kills Monsters, The Etymology of Bird, and the world premiere of Duchess attest to the department's emphasis on producing a broad range of plays from diverse eras and perspectives. In conjunction with the active production season, the department hosts Frame/Works, a program designed to draw connections between scholarly examination and artistic practice. Frame/ Works features a pre-show talk by a guest scholar and a post-show talk-back with members of the production.

The Theatre Department organizes a short-term study abroad program in Bali, which explores theatre, music, and dance. The department also houses Mosaic NY, a theatre company devoted to creating and performing works that provoke dialogue, develop community, celebrate diversity, and encourage the active pursuit of social justice. Finally, The Phoenix Players is a student organized and run theatre organization, which presents a variety of work designed, directed, and sometimes written by students in various venues across campus.

Visiting Speakers and Performers
Although academic departments and programs and administrative offices play an important role in providing a wide variety of cultural offerings, many campus events are initiated, funded, and organized by students. Many clubs and organizations sponsor a varied program of speakers and performers. Visitors to campus have included Dr. Wangari Maathai, P'94, P'96, Sc.D. '94, Cornel West, Brad Falchuk '93, L.H.D. '14, Cecile Richards, James Carville LL.D. '13, P'17, Cantor David S. Wisnia, Jim Hightower, Carol M. Browner, David Gergen L.H.D. ‘15, Helen Thomas, Savannah Guthrie L.H.D. '12 and President Bill Clinton.

Club Sports
Club sports include alpine skiing, baseball, bowling, CrossFit, equestrian, fencing, figure skating, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, ultimate frisbee, and more!

These sports are organized under the Office of Student Activities and do not carry varsity or intercollegiate status. The Office of Student Activities can help guide you through the steps to create a new club at HWS.

2020-2022 Clubs

Alpine Ski Team Hobart

4 the Culture

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Alpine Ski Team William Smith

American Chemical Society Club

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Anime United

Arts & Design Collective (Formerly Arts Collective/Architecture Society)

Asian Student Union

Beautiful Minds

Best Buddies

Budget Allocations Committee (BAC)

Campus Activities Board

Campus Greens

Caribbean Student Association

Chi Phi Fraternity

Coding Club (formerly Blockchain)

College Democrats

College Experience Outreach

Colleges Against Cancer

Cultural Italian American Organization

Days of Service

Debate Team

Delta Chi Fraternity


Ducks Unlimited

English Country Dance

E-Scape Club

Eye to Eye

Farm Club

Finance Club

Fly Fishing Club

Geoscience @ HWS

German Club

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Habitat for Humanity

Her Campus


Hip-Notiqs Step Team

Hobart Club Baseball

Hobart Club Ice Hockey

Hobart Club Lacrosse

Hobart Club Soccer

Hobart First Year Class President

Hobart Junior Class President

Hobart Rugby Football Club

Hobart Senior Class President

Hobart Sophomore Class President

Hobart Student Government

Hobartones A Capella

HWS Art History Society

HWS Chess Club

HWS Cooks

HWS CrossFit Club

HWS Engineering Club

HWS Equestrian Team

HWS Fencing

HWS Figure Skating Club

HWS French and Francophone Club

HWS Girl Up

HWS Improv Club

HWS Live

HWS Mindfulness Club


HWS Rotaract

HWS Ultimate Frisbee/Seneca Flyers

HWS Votes!

Interfraternity Council (IFC)

International Students Association (ISA)

Kappa Alpha Society

Kappa Sigma Fraternity

Koshare Dance Collective

Latin American Organization (LAO)

Martini student newspaper

Mixed Martial Arts Club (formerly BJJ)

Mixed Media (Photography Club)

Model African Union

Muslim Student Association

One Love

One to One Friendship Club

Perfect Third A Cappella

Phoenix Players

Physics & Astronomy

Pre-Health Professions Club

Pride Alliance

Psychology Club

Random Acts of Kindness

RockSAT Club

Russian Club

Sankofa: Black Student Union

Sigma Chi Fraternity

South Asian Student Association


Studio Arts Collective

The Executives

The Herald

Thel: Literary Magazine

Theta Phi Alpha Sorority

Three Miles Lost A Capella

William Smith Club Ice Hockey

William Smith Club Soccer

William Smith Congress

William Smith Rugby Football Club

William Smith Volleyball

Women for Women

Women in Geoscience

Women's Collective

WS First Year Class President

WS Junior Class President

WS Senior Class President

WS Sophomore Class President

Young Americans for Freedom

Young Democratic Socialists of America

Spiritual Life

The Office for Spiritual Engagement (OSE) located in St. John's Chapel serves the campus as a center for spiritual practice and care, offering hospitality and programming related to service, global justice, education, reflection and worship.

The Chaplain and the Director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life serve as on-campus pastors, teachers, counselors, and resource persons. Students seek them out to talk over personal and family crises, relationship problems, questions of belief and practice, adjustment issues, faith and politics, sexuality and many other topics. The Chaplain is a member of the faculty, with a courtesy appointment in the Religious Studies Department. He invites students into his home regularly for Pasta Night and other special events. The Abbe Center serves a kosher Shabbat dinner every Friday evening during the academic year.

Weekly services offered by campus groups include Episcopal, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Buddhist, Quaker and Muslim traditions.

St. John's Chapel and Hobart College have historic and continuing ties with the Episcopal Church. Hobart and William Smith Colleges are members of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion. The Chaplain, who serves all members of the HWS community regardless of religious affiliation, is an Episcopal priest. The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester serves on the Board of Trustees. Holy Eucharist in the chapel is available Sunday evenings when classes are in session and open to all regardless of denomination.

The clergy of the Roman Catholic Community of Geneva work in association with the Spiritual Engagement Office to provide services to Catholic students. In addition to saying weekly Masses in the Chapel during the academic year, they are available to meet with students.

Updated information about on-campus programming and local congregations may be found on the Spiritual Engagement website or by contacting OSE by phone.

Community Engagement

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are committed to the idea that civic engagement plays a central role in fostering students' personal and social development and is a vITA component in a liberal arts education. Through participation in community service, students' assumptions are challenged, their perspectives are broadened, their voices strengthened, and they learn to become more active and engaged citizens. The Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL) is at the heart of this enterprise and offers a robust number of community inclusive and collaborative programs. The Center stands for learning through service that produces students who are civically engaged and graduates who are active, global citizens. A dedicated cohort of CCESL Civic Leaders work with staff to provide one-time and re-occurred civic engagement opportunities that help students build the skills necessary for active citizenship. Students learn about opportunities during First Year orientation when they serve with partners throughout Geneva and the Finger Lakes, via the Compass Times e-newsletter, and from Civic Leader peer outreach.Â

HWS is a proud member of Campus Compact, a national coalition which seeks to "advance the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to education students for civic and social responsibility and a HWS Campus Compact Civic Newman fellow is annually named to join the national cohort. The Colleges' commitment to service was recognized with inclusion as one of 81 colleges in the Princeton Review's inaugural edition of "Colleges with a Conscience" and has been consistently named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. In 2010, the Center applied for and earned the Carnegie Community Engagement classification, one of only 28 baccalaureate colleges to gain the designation which was renewed in 2020. HWS has consistently ranked in the top five among small schools on the Peace Corps' list for "Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities" and HWS is one of only 100 colleges to match AmeriCorps education awards when applied toward tuition.

Through HWS Compass, students are encouraged to explore the many facets of service to society. A three-tiered program, Compass provides experiences in community service, civic engagement, and civic leadership that chart the course to a life of engaged citizenship. CCESL connects students to service and engagement opportunities on campus, in Geneva and in the Finger Lakes region.

These experiences are often threaded into course learning objectives, referred to as service-learning classes, and are meant to help students develop citizenship skills such as leadership, self-awareness, and recognizing societal needs, while making a material change that will help address community identified challenges with support from CCESL, several departments offer service-learning classes, including Sociology, Architecture, Public Policy, Education, Religious Studies, Psychology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Dance, and History. These classes offer students an experiential component within the overall academic course. Through engaging classroom discussions combined with outside of class reflection, students relate their service experience to the course content, thereby enriching their classroom learning. Many of these service-learning opportunities and community-based research projects segue into a paid Summer of Service Internship placements, where students work in immersive experiences with local community partners to extend traditional academic year commitments as well as maximize the non-profit's mission and outreach efforts. This program has persisted despite Covid-19 challenges and many of the opportunities are virtual internships offered in collaboration with the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional, and Experiential Education.

CCESL is located on the second floor of Trinity Hall, also oversees the Geneva Corps, programs that were established in 1989 and which mobilize more than 125 HWS tutors annually to work in local elementary schools, the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, and after-school programs as part of their Federal work-study financial aid package. Alternative Spring Break trips are week long opportunities for HWS students who are interested in working with children in a North Carolina school, helping with environmental projects at a state park in Virginia, and assisting residents of the New Orleans or the New York Metro area in Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. CCESL spearheads the annual Community Sale, with support from other departments, where thousands of items donated by students at the conclusion of the academic year are recycled, redistributed, or sold. Since 2006, the sale has fundraised $90,800 for local initiatives including The United Way and Geneva 2030, and diverted more than 94,400 pounds of materials from local landfills.

Many groups on campus direct their efforts toward community engagement. A campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity assists area affiliates with fundraising and home building and the Interact Club is affiliated with the Geneva Rotary Club. Students coordinate a variety of service projects including the annual Holiday Gift Project that provides gifts to local families in need and engages with the Community Lunch Program (local soup kitchen) HWS Votes! is the campus voter registration and education program and remains active in voter engagement opportunities regardless of the election year cycle. CCESL happily supports any athletic teams, fraternities, and student groups that wish to engage in the local community.

In April 1994, a group of HWS students, faculty, and staff joined with many local community members to organize "Celebrate Service¦Celebrate Geneva¦Day of Service," a day of community service that mobilized more than 250 volunteers to provide community service at approximately 50 sites across Geneva. Days of Service has since expanded to four days a year (including during Orientation and a Martin Luther King Jr., service day project) and continues to organize more than 1,000 campus and community volunteers annually.

CCESL also facilitates Geneva 2030, a collect impact initiative which engages the entire community around in an effort that supports students enrolled in the Geneva City School District. A cornerstone of that program, named "College Bound with HWS" entails bringing all 2nd, 6th and 9th graders to campus in a college immersion and career awareness day. Geneva 2030 is part of the national Strive Together network and was highlighted in the successful application for Geneva to be recognized as an All-America City by the National Civic League.

The ripple effect of civic involvement and service-learning can be far reaching and have both a personal and community impact. Service-learning collaborations and exceptional examples of civic partnership are highlighted at the annual Community Engaged Scholarship Forum. Whatever major or career a student chooses to pursue, the programs of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, through its Compass program, can help to point them toward a life of engaged citizenship.

Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation

Hobart and William Smith Athletics seek to afford experience in intercollegiate sports to as many students as possible. Annually, about one third of the HWS student body participates in intercollegiate athletics. Some participate on more than one team. While student-athletes are encouraged to strive to fulfill their athletic potential, emphasis is placed on achieving a healthy balance between their scholastic and athletic endeavors. The broad-based program receives excellent support in the areas of equipment, facilities, staff, strength and conditioning and sports medicine. Under the supervision of the Department of Athletics, HWS fields intercollegiate teams in basketball, cross country, football, golf ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving and tennis. WS Soccer provides a junior varsity program as well. HWS is a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and competes in this division in all sports except lacrosse. Since 1995, the Hobart lacrosse team has competed at the
Division I level. .

Recreation, Intramurals and Fitness
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Department of Recreation, Intramurals, and Fitness operates out of an 83,000-square- feet multi-purpose facility, consisting of a fitness center-weight room area, group fitness and indoor cycling room, an indoor track, and a full-size artificial playing field that converts to five tennis and four basketball courts. Robert A. Bristol Field House was built in 1989 and adjoins with the Elliott Varsity House and the Dr. Frank P. Smith ‘36 Squash Center. A full sized lacrosse soccer field indoor dome facility was added in 2019 .The Recreation Department offers inclusive programs and services for participants to increase their daily activity, improve their quality of life, and enhance their knowledge on the value of health and fitness. Primarily these offerings consist of open recreation activities, group fitness classes, intramural sports, special events, and external membership services.

Club Sports
Club sports include alpine skiing, basketball, equestrian, , field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, track and field, and ultimate Frisbee. These sports are organized under the Office of Student Activities and do not carry varsity or intercollegiate status.

Outdoor Recreation Adventure Program (ORAP)
ORAP provides both structured and unstructured recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts in the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community. In addition, a concerted effort is made to introduce novices to a variety of outdoor activities.

This program sponsors a combination of courses, clinics, and outings throughout the school year. Examples of instructional courses and outings that may be offered are: hiking and backpacking, kayaking, ice climbing, Nordic skiing, spelunking and rock climbing.

Dates and times of programs are publicized and a fee is charged to cover equipment and administrative costs. A resource center, located in the second level of the barn includes a rock wall and an equipment rental system.

Physical Education Classes

The Colleges also offer a few physical education classes for non-credit that are designed to develop skills in some activities and are taught by staff members who have significant experience and expertise in that related activity.

PER 929 Field Hockey Refine fundamental field hockey skills and game tactics and techniques. Open to new and experienced players. (Scatton, spring, offered annually)

PER 962 Tennis II This is a more advanced course for tennis players with playing experience; attention will be paid to proper technique, but there will be more emphasis on live hitting and point-playing. (Riskie, fall, offered annually)

PER 972 Indoor Soccer This course is coeducational and is held in Bristol Field House. (Wilber, offered Spring semester)