Behind the Curtain: Decision-Making at Hamilton College

Over the past few years, Hamilton College has suggested and implemented drastic changes to social and residential life policies which, in almost every instance, have outraged students and alumni. In 2014 the college imposed a requirement that all students must live on campus, subjecting them to the patronizing and infantilizing attitudes that the college assumes regarding social activities and personal responsibility. While it is easy to understand the considerations leading to this specific decision, there has been talk among administration, faculty, and trustees (whom I will refrain from naming) about sanctioning students who choose to pay for on-campus housing, as required, but live off-campus in personally rented apartments. In other words, some decision-makers at Hamilton want to control and punish students’ personal leisure activities and police their financial decisions made autonomously and independently of any institutional impositions.  

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