College Catalogue

Campus Life

Student Life

The Division of Student Life focuses on the total development of the student, in particular the quality of learning that takes place outside of the formal classroom setting. Hamilton recognizes that students grow intellectually and socially while participating as  active members of a residential community. The College therefore has a responsibility to integrate the goals of a liberal arts education into its residential programs. Students are challenged to understand values and lifestyles different from their own, to relate meaningfully with one another, to develop the capacity to appreciate cultural and aesthetic differences, and to accept responsibility for their choices and the consequences of their actions.

Student Services

Emphasis within the various student services is placed on both challenging and supporting students as they strive to achieve their potential. The dean of students oversees the Division of Student Life, which includes the following areas:


Dean of Students Office

A number of services are offered through the Dean of Students Office, which is located in the Elihu Root House.

Academic Services — The associate dean of students for academic affairs provides support for Hamilton's program of academic advising of first- and second-year students, administers academic regulations and serves as the dean of students' designee for matters brought to the Honor Court. The associate dean coordinates the work of the faculty Committee on Academic Standing.

Diversity and Accessibility — The associate dean of students for diversity and accessibility provides leadership for the development of educational, cultural and social programs that enhance intercultural understanding and foster a campus climate that celebrates and respects the uniqueness of all its members. The associate dean serves as an advocate for students from diverse racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and abilities, and works cooperatively with others on campus to build and strengthen support networks and to increase and retain representation of historically underrepresented groups.

The associate dean also coordinates individualized accommodations and support services for students with documented disabilities and serves as the ADA consultant for the College. Students seeking special arrangements due to a disability should provide the associate dean with a recent evaluation conducted by a specialist in the appropriate field. It should include a diagnosis of a disabling condition, information regarding onset, longevity and severity of symptoms; information on how the disability and/or related medications and treatments interfere with or limit any major life activity, including participation in the courses, programs and activities of the College; and recommended accommodations.

Using this information, in consultation with the student, his or her professors and, if necessary, other qualified experts, the associate dean will help the student to develop a system of support services that are appropriate to the student's needs. Requests for special arrangements should be made well in advance of the time they will be needed. Questions about services may be directed to the Dean of Students Office at 315-859-4012.

Judicial Affairs — The assistant dean of students for student conduct is responsible for determining the appropriate mechanism for adjudicating alleged violations of College regulations and generally providing oversight and coordination of the judicial process. Any member of the Hamilton community may bring complaints against a student or a group of students to the attention of the dean of students, Office of Campus Safety, Office of Residential Life, the assistant dean of students for student conduct or the chair of the Judicial Board.

Study Abroad — The associate dean of students for off-campus/international study works with students who are exploring options for study at foreign or other domestic institutions or programs, researches viable study abroad programs for Hamilton's preferred list, advises students on pre- and post-study away issues, including credit transfer, and coordinates all related campus programming. The dean also advises the Committee on Academic Standing regarding issues related to study abroad and study away.

International Student Services — The associate dean of students for off-campus/international study also provides support for international students, including orientation, host family assignments and advising on immigration regulations and concerns.


Campus Safety

The Department of Campus Safety strives to provide a reasonably secure and safe environment for all who work and study at the College. Campus safety is dependent upon the cooperation and active participation of all members of the community in reducing crime and creating a safe environment. All Campus Safety officers are trained in College policy enforcement, fire and crime prevention, basic first aid and CPR. They respond to a variety of requests for assistance typically associated with the college environment. In addition, the Campus Safety director serves as a liaison with both local and state law enforcement and fire protection agencies. Campus Safety provides information to members of the community on a variety of personal safety issues through educational programs and publications.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act, Hamilton will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the U.S. Department of Education. To request a copy of our annual Report of Campus Crime Statistics, contact the Department of Campus Safety at 315-859-4141 or visit the College Website. This information may also be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education.


Career Center

Career decision-making represents one of the most important developmental tasks for most students at Hamilton. The decision to begin graduate or professional study or to enter the world of work involves a complex challenge to the student's intellectual, emotional and social growth. Career Center programming and services are designed to assist students in identifying their own achievements, values, skills and interests; to help them to understand and appreciate the diversity of the world of work; to aid in acquiring the skills necessary to enter that work world; and to manage their careers over their entire life spans.



The chaplaincy's mission is to guide students and other members of the College community in the search and understanding of the meaning that life holds. Why are we here? What is the relationship between our academic pursuits and our development and growth as human beings? We seek to help students answer these questions for themselves through various religious traditions and spiritual experiences, including bereavement and community service.

The Interfaith Council is a reflection of the chaplaincy's belief that experiencing and learning from other faith traditions are important aspects of a liberal arts education. The Interfaith Council is made up of representatives from various religious and spiritual traditions and student organizations including Christian Fellowship (evangelical ecumenical Christian), Community Church (Protestant), Gospel Choir, Hillel (Jewish), Muslim Student Association, Newman Community (Catholic), Orthodox Christian Fellowship and Zen Meditation Group. Other traditions currently represented on the Interfaith Council include Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Baha'i.

Within and beyond these traditions, the chaplaincy supports worship opportunities (on- and off-campus), religious music, observance of holy days, experiences of prayer and meditation, community service events and discussion/speaker opportunities. Chaplains (Jewish, Catholic and Protestant) are available for counseling with all members of the Hamilton community.


Community Service and Outreach

Volunteer programs and service to the local community are organized through the Community Outreach & Opportunity Project (COOP). The COOP houses many service-based initiatives including:

Hamilton Action Volunteer Outreach Coalition (HAVOC), a student organization, oversees a variety of initiatives including tutoring programs, one-time volunteer experiences and a food salvage program, among others.

HAVOC Exec Board offers student leaders the opportunity to spearhead service initiatives and coordinate projects, as well as organize campus-based discussions and events to raise awareness and funds for various causes.

Alternative Service Break (ASB), a student-run group, plans service trips to areas in need, such as New Orleans, during winter, spring and summer breaks.

Outreach Adventure (OA) is a pre-orientation service program.

A Better Chance (ABC) Program gives students the opportunity to intern as tutors with local ABC students attending Clinton High School.

Hamilton Serves! offers incoming students a service experience in the local community during new student orientation.

The COOP is located on the third floor of the Chapel and includes offices for the director, a VISTA volunteer and office assistant, as well as comfortable spaces for meetings and discussion groups.


Counseling and Psychological Services

Students experience developmental and psychological growth as well as difficult situations during their college years. Confidential discussions with counselors can be helpful in the process of making decisions, solving or managing problems, adjusting to a new environment or learning more deeply about oneself. Counseling sessions are intended to result in a more thorough understanding of issues and problems and a clear conceptualization of future actions. The professional staff of three consists of psychologists and counselors who specialize in the concerns of college students. All services are strictly confidential and free of charge to Hamilton students. The office is located on the second floor of the Thomas Brown Rudd Health Center, accessible via the north entrance. Appointments are available during the week between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If the need is urgent, arrangements will be made after hours.


Health Services

The personnel and programs of the Thomas Brown Rudd Health Center are dedicated to encouraging and maintaining the well-being and safety of students. The delivery of direct patient care values respect for the individual. Assessment and treatment of illness, consultation, referral and emergency care are provided. Healthy choices and behaviors are promoted through education on issues and lifestyles specific to the college-age population.

The clinic is open weekdays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Wednesdays 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.) when the College is in session. After-hours emergency care is provided through contacts with local urgent care and emergency departments. A trained student Emergency Medical Team is on call to respond to accidents, acute on-site illnesses and injuries. The service is free. Charges may be incurred for laboratory tests, x-rays and medications.


Outdoor Leadership

Based in the Glen House, the Hamilton Outdoor Leadership Center offers experiential education, leadership training and outdoor adventures to students and the community. Functioning out of the center, the Hamilton Outing Club offers trips and equipment rental, as well as training for future outdoor adventure leaders. The Adventure Program uses the Mark Cox Memorial Challenge Course to develop leadership and group skills to on- and off-campus groups. The Bruce Climbing Wall offers instructional and recreational indoor climbing. Adirondack Adventure is the College's nationally acclaimed wilderness pre-orientation program supervised by the director of the Outdoor Leadership Center.


Residential Life

The Office of Residential Life strives to promote and maintain a residential community conducive to intellectual and personal growth, where students can sleep, study and share ideas with peers whose culture, lifestyle and opinions may be different from their own.

The professional staff in residential life includes the director and three live-in area directors who are responsible for the management of the 27 ­residential facilities and the supervision of the paraprofessional staff members who live and work within them.

The paraprofessional staff includes 60 resident advisors, upperclass students who are trained as counselors, limit-setters, program developers and resource persons, who provide ­valuable leadership within the residential community.


Student Activities

There are numerous opportunities for student development, involvement and leadership in co-curricular activities at Hamilton. Altogether, there are more than 100 clubs and organizations, and students can choose to become involved in community service, cultural, musical, athletic, social, recreational or religious activities, or co-curricular activities related to an academic interest. A campus life open house is held at the beginning of the fall semester to introduce students to the variety of options available to them.

The Student Activities Office advises student organizations, including private societies, and supervises the Beinecke Student Activities Village, the Bristol Center and Emerson Hall. The student technical crew, the Jitney service, new student orientation and the student event staff are also coordinated through the Student Activities Office. Facilities in the Bristol Center include the College Store, radio station WHCL-88.7 FM, student organization offices, meeting and conference rooms, and 12 guest rooms. The Beinecke Village includes the Howard Diner, the Fillius Events Barn, the multipurpose Tolles Pavilion, the Mail Center, an automatic teller machine (ATM) and a variety of lounges.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB). A student-run organization, CAB is responsible for the programming of professional quality entertainment on campus. Each semester CAB brings a variety of premium events to Hamilton, including comedians, bands, novelty acts and acoustic coffeehouse performers.

The Student Assembly. The functions of student government at Hamilton are vested in the Student Assembly. The Student Assembly is composed of three branches: the coordinating branch (Central Council); the judicial branch (Honor Court and Judicial Board); and the executive branch (Executive Committee). The Student Assembly Funding Committee allocates funds to more than 70 student organizations.

Student Clubs and Organizations. Descriptions of a sampling of student organizations follow. Complete list of student organizations.

The Black Student Union was founded by students in 1968 to broaden the awareness and appreciation of Black cultures. La Vanguardia was established in 1984 to complement the growing diversity within the Latino community. The Asian Cultural Society was established in 1987 to promote Asian culture, further enriching the multicultural life of the community.

Departmental clubs provide common ground for students interested in a particular field of study. The clubs sponsor discussions, lectures, presentations of papers and similar events. Such groups are sponsored by the French, Geosciences, German and Russian Languages, Hispanic Studies and Philosophy departments.

The International Student Association is composed of international and U.S. students and regularly sponsors cultural programs and social events.

The Outing Club organizes and conducts hiking and camping trips, winter mountaineering, rock climbing and Nordic skiing. Club membership allows individuals to borrow outdoor equipment including tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves, cookware, canoes and cross-country skis.

The Womyn's Community Center was founded in order to provide a focus for the concerns of women at Hamilton. It operates a resource center and sponsors programs open to all members of the College community. The Rainbow Alliance addresses social and political concerns associated with sexual orientation.

There are 10 national fraternities, six local sororities and one national sorority recognized by the ­College. The fraternities are Alpha Delta Phi, Chi Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Phi, Delta Upsilon, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Psi Upsilon, Sigma Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Theta Delta Chi. The ­sororities are Alpha Chi Lambda, Alpha Theta Chi, Gamma Xi, Kappa Delta Omega, Kappa Sigma Alpha, Omega Phi Beta and Phi Beta Chi.

Student Media Board. Consisting of students, faculty members and administrators, but always having a student majority and chair, the Student Media Board oversees all Hamilton student publications. It approves the budget for each publication, elects editors, and reviews and adjudicates editorial problems and disputes. The newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, several smaller publications, and the radio and television stations are all operated and managed completely by students.