For more information about Residential Education, visit the department Web page.
For more information about campus clubs and organizations, visit the Office of Student Affairs.
For more information about spiritual life, visit the Office of Religious Life Web site.
For more information about community engagement, visit the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning Web site.
For more information about club sports, visit the intramurals page.
For more information about the wellness program, visit Recreation and Wellness.
To browse the 2014-2016 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2012-2014 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2010-2012 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2008-2010 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
The 2006-2008 Catalogue is still available online as a PDF. To browse it, click here.
If you have questions or comments about the new online Catalogue, please send us your feedback.
2014-2016 COURSE CATALOGUE : STUDENT LIFE
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.
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.
A variety of single-college, mixed college, and gender-neutral residences, including theme houses, cooperatives, townhouses and traditional residence halls, are available. Theme houses, of which there are more than a dozen, include a community service house, a leadership house for each College, a substance free house, an international house, and more.
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.
Some upper class Hobart students choose to live in one of six fraternity houses. There are no sororities at William Smith.
The limited number of seniors granted permission to live off-campus 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.
All residential students except those residing in co-op theme houses, fraternities, small houses, and independent living environments (Odells and 380 South Main) are required to participate in a full meal plan (Gold, Silver or Basic 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 Center. Students in small houses have a choice of one of the full meal plans or the 100-meal plan (100 meals/semester).
Students living in the Village at Odell’s Pond, 380 South Main, or off-campus may select the 45-meal plan, 100-meal plan, or one of the full meal plans. Students residing in fraternities or co-op small houses may waive the meal plan. All meal plan changes must be completed on myResEd (housing.hws.edu) based on the established deadlines posted at the beginning of each semester on myResEd.
Hobart College and William Smith College have separate student governments, each with its own jurisdictions and powers. Together, they fund clubs and maintain several joint committees.
Every enrolled student is a member of student government (Hobart Student Government or William Smith Congress). Hobart students are automatically voting members whereas William Smith students must attend at least three regular Congress meetings before earning the right to vote. The executive board is elected at large by the student body.
The governments have three major functions: coordinating the advisory roles performed by students on trustee, faculty, and administrative committees; legislating the uses of student activities fees; and representing and voicing the views of students about campus issues. Through their representatives to trustee, faculty, and administrative committees, the governments exert and shape student influence at nearly every level of decision-making within the institution. The governments are represented in several standing committees such as Academic Affairs, Social Affairs, and Finance.
The Davis Gallery, an art gallery at Houghton House, hosts six or seven art exhibits each year. These include works by artists with international reputations as well as by young artists early in their careers. Students enrolled in the halfcredit course ARTH 202 Art Collection Internship, organize an exhibition drawn from the Colleges’ art collection and work together to produce an exhibition catalogue. The close of every academic year is marked by the Student Art and Architecture Show, featuring work from studio art and architectural studies courses.
A formal opening marks the start of each exhibition. 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.
Independent studio work is encouraged. Access to studios is available to students not enrolled in classes if permission is obtained from an Art and Architecture Department faculty member. One night a week during the academic year, members of the community are invited to the Elliott Studio Arts Center to participate in drawing sessions featuring a model or a still life arrangement.
Students interested in art and architecture may wish to join the Collective, the Art History Society, or the Architecture Society.
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, anatomy and Kinesiology, improvisation and movement theories are offered on a regular basis. Students may elect to pursue a disciplinary Dance major or minor with a technique, performance and/or composition focus, or pursue an interdisciplinary major or minor with a particular concentration such as Dance Education, Movement Studies or Theory and Performance Studies.
The Department of Dance has four full-time tenured faculty members, additional adjunct faculty, accompanists, and a technical director/lighting designer. The facilities include a spacious dance studio and a fully equipped gymnasiumtheatre in Winn-Seeley. Dance Ensemble, the department’s performance company, is showcased annually in the Spring Faculty Dance Concert in contemporary works choreographed by faculty and guest artists in collaboration with students registered for the dance ensemble course. Other performance events throughout the year include informal studio showcases, an adjudicated Junior/Senior Choreographers Concert, and the student-run Koshare Dance Collective Concert. Koshare produces a dance concert each fall that includes many dance styles and techniques; it’s not unusual to find hip-hop, Salsa, jazz, ballet, Broadway, modern, tap and world dance traditions represented at the Koshare concert.
Recent guest artist/visiting dance companies on campus have included Kyle Abraham, Kate Weare Company from N.Y.; AXIS Dance Company from San Francisco, Calif., and master classes with Koresh Dance (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Ballet Jorgen (Toronto). 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, dance at the Colleges can be found in student created clubs such as the Hip~Notiqs (hip-hop/step) 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: drum set, percussion, guitar (classical or jazz/rock), piano (classical or jazz), organ, violin, viola, cello, woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, or jazz saxophone), and voice.
As of 2014-15, the per-semester fee for 14 half-hour weekly lessons is $330. 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 $660 ($330 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 (the Office of the Registrar does not).
It is recommended that students reserve early a lesson time slot with the appropriate teacher. Lesson sign-up sheets are located on the “Private Instruction” bulletin board in the Department of Music (Williams Hall, second floor).
Guitar students have the additional option of taking Class Guitar (MUS 921) at a per-semester cost of $220 for 14 one-hour classes. The sign-up sheet for Class Guitar is also located on the “private instruction” bulletin board in the Department of Music (Williams Hall, second floor).
Participation in one or more of the following Department of Music ensembles is possible: Brass Ensemble, Classical Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, String Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz 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 and Symphony Syracuse Orchestras, as well as a wide range of other guest artists, present concerts each year through this concert series. Finally, student clubs are encouraged to organize regional outings to performing arts events in Rochester, Ithaca, and Syracuse.
The Theatre Department at the Colleges 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 cocurricular (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 The Bartlett Theatre. Productions such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hedda Gabler, Heavier Than…, Radium Girls and The Laramie Project attest to the department’s emphasis on producing the best in both contemporary and classical drama. In January of 2015 the Theatre Department will initiate an abroad program in Bali and the department has also recently established a new theatre company on campus called Mosaic NY which is devoted to creating and performing works of theatre that promote dialogue, develop community, celebrate diversity, and encourage the active pursuit of social justice. Finally, THE PHOENIX PLAYERS is a student organized and run drama club 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. Recent visitors to campus have included Wangari Maathai, Cornel West, Howard Dean, Brad Falchuk, Cecile Richards, James Carville, Cantor David S. Wisnia, Jim Hightower, Carol M. Browner, David Gergen and Helen Thomas.
There are a variety of campus clubs and organizations supported by student activities fees through the Hobart Student Government and William Smith Congress. Club activities vary from year to year in response to student interests. Students with a shared interest may seek formal recognition and financial support for a new club or organization by petitioning their student governments.
Some of the current student organizations include:
Campus Activities Board
Days of Service
Relay for Life
HWS Live Health and Wellness Club
Hot Spot Geoscience
HWS Investment Club
Math & Computer Science Club
The Circle (philosophy)
Hobartones (men’s a cappella)
Koshare Dance Collective (dance)
Perfect Third (co-ed a cappella)
Three Miles Lost (women’s a cappella)
Asian Student Union
Caribbean Student Organization
Chinese Culture Club
International Student Association
Latin American Organization
Model United Nations
Native American Student Association
Project Nur Club
P.R.I.D.E. Alliance (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Friends Network)
Sankofa: Black Student Union
South Asian Culture Club
Campus Peer Ministry
Project Nur Club
Kappa Alpha Society
Phi Sigma Kappa
Theta Delta Chi
Zeta Beta Tau
Americans for Informed Democracy
Club Project Eye-to-Eye
College Experience Outreach Club
Colleges Against Cancer
Female Empowerment Movement
Habitat for Humanity
Human Rights Coalition
Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault
Progressive Student Union
Students for a free Tibet
Sustainable Foods Club
Media and Publications
Bon Bon (Fashion Magazine)
Crux (literary magazine)
Echo and Pine (yearbook)
Kink (advertising club)
Martini (satirical magazine)
Media & Society Club
The Herald (newspaper)
Thel (literary magazine)
Sport and Recreation
Alpine Ski Team
Field Hockey (HWS)
Fitness Club Heron Society
Hip~Notiqs Step Team
Ice Hockey Club (H)
Ice Hockey Club(WS)
Lacrosse Club (H)
Lacrosse Club (WS)
Nordic Ski Club (cross country)
Outdoor Rec Adventure Program (ORAP)
Rugby Club (H)
Rugby Club (WS)
Seneca Flyers (ultimate Frisbee)
Soccer Club (H)
Soccer Club (WS)
Track and Field (HWS)
Western Riding Club
Chimera (Hobart junior honor society)
Hobart Student Government
Druid Society (Hobart senior honor society)
Hai Timiai (William Smith honor society)
Laurel Society (William Smith junior honor society)
Orange Key (Hobart sophomore honor society)
William Smith Congress
The Religious Life Office located in St. John’s Chapel serves the campus as a center for spiritual life and pastoral care. St. John’s Chapel offers weekly and special programs of hospitality, service, fellowship, education, reflection, study 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 or family crises, relationship problems, questions of belief and practice, adjustment issues, faith and politics, sexuality and many other topics. They both offer Readers Colleges each semester. The Chaplain invites students into her home each week for Campus Peer Ministry training, Pasta Night, and the CloseKnit handwork club, in addition to planning off-campus excursions to local farms and orchards for the Sustainable Saturdays program. The Abbe Center serves a kosher Shabbat dinner every Friday evening during term.
Weekly worship and prayer services offered by campus groups may 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. The Chaplain, who serves all members of the Colleges’ community regardless of religious affiliation, is an Episcopal priest. The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester serves on the Board of Trustees. Episcopal Eucharist is offered weekly.
The clergy of the Roman Catholic Community of Geneva work in association with the Religious Life Office to serve the Roman Catholic students. In addition to saying weekly Masses in the Chapel, the clergy are available to meet with students.
The Religious Life Office provides students with information on programs and services offered at Geneva area houses of worship through their website.
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 vital component in a liberal arts education. Through community service, students’ assumptions are challenged, their perspectives are broadened, their voices strengthened, and they learn to become active, engaged citizens. The Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL) is at the heart of this enterprise. The Center stands for learning through service that produces students who are civically engaged and graduates who are active, global citizens. It does this by providing the opportunities that help students build the skills necessary for active citizenship.
President Gearan, former director of the Peace Corps, was instrumental in the formation of the New York Campus Compact, an organization of college and university presidents committed to public service and civic engagement on their campuses. 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 named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in 2006, 2007 and 2010. In 2010, the Center applied for and earned the Carnegie Community Engagement classification, one of only 28 baccalaureate colleges to gain the designation.
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 the area surrounding Geneva, outside the local region, and collaborates with the Center for Global Education to ensure international civic opportunities. These experiences 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 meet identified community challenges. Community based learning and co-curricular community service are major components of these experiences, linking the service activity to intentional reflection that clearly places the service in a larger context, whether that is with classroom content, an on campus voter education/registration drive (HWS Votes) or experiencing firsthand the response to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina (HWS Responds). The ripple effect of civic involvement and service-learning can be far reaching and have both a personal and community impact.
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 for 300 hours over 10 weeks with local community partners to maximize the non-profit’s mission and outreach efforts.
In addition, CCESL, located on the second floor of Trinity Hall, works with students individually to identify opportunities for post-graduate community involvement, including AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. CCESL also oversees the America Reads and America Counts programs, which mobilize more than 150 HWS tutors each year to work in local elementary schools and after-school programs as part of their Federal work-study position. Alternative Spring Break trips are another program the CCESL sponsors each year. In previous years, students have spent a week 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.
Many groups on campus direct their efforts toward community engagement. Geneva Heroes, an 8-week community service and leadership corps for approximately 20 eighth graders, is created, staffed and run by HWS students. A campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity assists area affiliates with fundraising and home building. Students coordinate a variety of service projects on campus and at various community agencies. This includes the annual Holiday Gift Project that provides gifts to local families in need; usually more than 100 individuals benefit. On Thursdays in October and February, students, faculty, and staff from the Colleges prepare and serve meals at the local soup kitchen. HWS Votes! is the campus voter registration and education program.
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 expanded to four days a year (including during Orientation and a Martin Luther King Jr., service day project) and continues to organize over 1,000 campus and community volunteers annually.
Students in the Center’s Civic Leader program coordinate a number of these initiatives. These experienced students work for up to 10 hours a week to facilitate campus and community engagement activities. Residential Education, fraternities, and a variety of service clubs work with the CCESL to support various local community and national agencies, including the Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Rotary Club programs and the Geneva Food Pantry through ongoing partnerships and volunteer fundraising efforts. Students interested in living with others committed to service may apply to live in Community Service House, a theme house in which residents work weekly at various local agencies and develop larger, house-wide projects. CCESL also facilitates Geneva 2020, a presidential-led initiative which engages the entire community around collective impact efforts to impact the Geneva City School District. A cornerstone of that program entails bringing all 2nd, 6th and 9th graders to campus in a college immersion and career awareness day. 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 athletics seeks to afford experience in intercollegiate sports to as many men as possible. Annually, about one third of the Hobart student body participates in intercollegiate athletics. Many 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, and sports medicine.
Under the supervision of the Department of Athletics, Hobart fields intercollegiate teams in basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, squash, and tennis. Hobart is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and competes in Division III in all sports except lacrosse. Since 1995, the Hobart lacrosse team has competed at the Division I level.
Since 1972, Hobart College has won 18 national championships, four Eastern College Athletic Conference regional titles, and 41 conference championships.
The Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation has as its foundation an educational philosophy that emphasizes the importance of the medium of movement as a learning vehicle for individual growth and development. William Smith is a member of the Liberty League, MAISA, NCAA, and ECAC.
Recognizing that students learn in a variety of ways and through a variety of experiences, the department provides a wide range of activity courses and a comprehensive intercollegiate athletics program. Certain activity courses are offered for credit, others are offered for no credit. Students may select from team sports, individual sports, fitness, wellness, and aquatics classes. Included in the offerings are soccer, lacrosse, tennis, skating, squash, skiing, swimming, scuba diving, weight training, conditioning, aerobics, and more.
Designated as a Division III institution, William Smith engages in varsity competition in the following sports: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving, and tennis. Soccer provides opportunities at the junior varsity level as well.
Through their membership in the William Smith Athletic Advisory Council, student-athletes play a significant role in the operations of the athletics department. They select a board of team representatives who work closely with the athletics director, providing input in policy development.
Recreation and Intramurals
The Colleges provide an extensive recreation and intramural sports program for those who enjoy sports activities but don’t necessarily wish to compete on the intercollegiate level. This enables each student to choose the activities that best satisfy his or her needs. Walleyball, touch football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, and a host of other team and individual sports are available.
Physical Education Classes
The Colleges also offer a wide variety of physical education classes (some are credit-bearing courses) designed to develop skills in activities that can be performed throughout one’s life. These classes, which range from scuba diving to ice skating, are instructed by staff members who have significant experience and expertise in that related activity.
Club sports include alpine skiing, baseball, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, free skiing and snowboarding, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, tennis, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball.
These sports are organized under the Office of Student Activities and do not carry varsity or intercollegiate status.
Outdoor Recreation 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 clinics which may be offered are: hiking and backpacking, kayaking, ice climbing, Nordic skiing, spelunking, and ice skating.
Dates and times of programs are publicized and a fee is charged to cover equipment and administrative costs. A resource center and an equipment rental system also provide individuals with the means to coordinate their own outings.
The Wellness Program
As an extension of the physical education program, the wellness program emphasizes the interrelationships between nutrition, stress management, fitness, and mental and physical well-being. More information about the program can be obtained by contacting the director of the Sport and Recreation Center.