Registering for classes is a snap with this how-to guide

Heard about interviewing but not really sure how? Here's a how-to guide to interviewing, registering, and re-interviewing for your Fall 2014 classes.

Heard about interviewing but not really sure how? Here's a how-to guide to interviewing, registering, and re-interviewing for your Fall 2014 classes.

If you have accepted your invitation to attend Sarah Lawrence College, chances are you already have an idea of what things are like around here. We do not do anything traditionally here, and our class registration process is no different. As a first-year (or first-semester transfer student), trying to navigate the confusing academic waters of the interviewing system can be challenging. This guide is meant to help you know exactly what to do and how to do it on your quest to get the perfect class schedule this semester.

In order to sign up for a class, Sarah Lawrence requires that you “interview” for it. Don’t be nervous, it is not you who will be interviewed—instead, you get to interview your professor! This is your chance to ask any and all questions that you might have for the semester to clear up any doubts you might have about the class’s workload and course material. Why get stuck in a class that you hate for a whole semester or even a year? The interview process aims to get you into classes that are right for you and, generally, serves this function. While one-on-one interviews with professors might sound a little bit intimidating, most professors are really easy to talk to and will give you all of the information that you need to make an informed decision come registration day.    

In order to sign up for an interview, you must schedule a time slot with the professor of the class that you want to learn more about. Most professors provide a sign-up sheet on the door of their office where you can write your name down for a specific time slot. Other professors, especially professors who are teaching high-volume lecture classes, will hold group interview sessions where anyone can come, listen to a short talk about the class, and ask any questions that they may have. Signing up for interviews is the hardest part of the interview process since it requires that you roam around the school looking for professor offices, which are sometimes quite hard to find.

So, how exactly do you find your professor’s office? Never fear—on move-in day you will be given a full course catalogue as well as a list of all of this year’s professors and their office door numbers. In order to make this process go smoothly, make a list of all of the classes that you are interested in signing up for. As first-years, you will only be able to choose two classes (since your first-year studies course occupies one, year-long course slot), so there’s no way that you will need to go on more than three to seven interviews. If you chose only semester long classes, you will interview a second time in the beginning of the spring semester. Since your first-year-studies course is year long, you will be in the same boat with the number of interviews you will have.             

Once you have your prospective course list written out, cross reference with the list of professors that you will be given and write down their office number next to the class name. Once that’s done, grab a friend, grab a map, and head out on a scavenger hunt for their offices. Reserve some time to do this—it may take you a few hours as offices are spread out far and wide across campus. Do not be afraid to ask faculty members or upper classmen for help if you cannot find something. Sarah Lawrence is a friendly place and people are usually quite helpful.

Make sure that you sign up for time slots that are not too close together, and that you do not double-book interview times. You will want enough time to get from one interview to another. Advice: do not forget about any of your interviews—it makes a bad impression on the professor who have a say in whether you get into the class or not.

So, now that you have your interviews all scheduled and ready, what actually happens during the interview? You will want to prepare a list of questions to ask your potential professors. You can compile a list of general questions that apply to all interviews, and some course-specific questions as well. Professors get grumpy and bored answering the same questions all day long, so try to make your questions as class specific as possible. Here is a list of some general questions that you can build off of:

    How much reading is assigned per week? Per night?

    Are there quizzes or exams in this course?

    Besides conference work, how much writing will there be per week/per night?

    What have students done for their conference work in the past? What will conference


work be like this year?

    What books will we read in the course? How many of those texts are required (aka

how many books will I have to buy)?

    How many students will be in the class?

    Will there be any collaborative work or group projects?

    What is your teaching style? How much hands-on work will we be doing?

    How much of the class is discussion based?

With a proper list of questions to ask your interviewed professor, you should be set to get all of the information that you need in order to make an informed decision about choosing classes.

Once your interviews are done, you have to do a little bit of logistical planning before you can actually fill out your registration paperwork. Check the class’s time slots. You must be available at those times to attend class, and no other class may overlap. Often times, you will be barred from taking a class simply because it overlaps with your year-long FYS. Checking class time slots will help you narrow down how many interviews you will have to conduct.

When you have everything sorted and your registration paperwork all filled out with your first, second, and third choices, it is time to register. Registration occurs in the Esther Raushenbush Library, and, basically, you just have to wait in line until it is your turn to register (do not worry, registration is usually pretty quick). After that, it is just a waiting game to see if you have been accepted into the classes that you want. Usually decisions are posted the next day on MySLC. By logging in online using your student ID number and password and clicking the “My Courses” tab, you can see which classes you were accepted into.

Due to small class sizes and high demand for some courses, you might get bumped from a class. While this is definitely a major bummer, it is not the end of the world. You will be able to tell if you got bumped if only one or two courses appear on the “My Courses” page. The last weekend of orientation week is round two interviews. If you are bumped from one or more classes, this is your time to sign up for more interviews based on the list of remaining open classes. Usually, the selection is much much smaller on second-round interviews, but you can generally find something that will interest you. After repeating the interview process, you will be asked to list three options for each open slot in your schedule. While you are asked to list in order of preference, you are not guaranteed your first or second choice.

And there you have it! All of the tools that you will need for a successful interview week. Remember that faculty and upperclassmen are super helpful, so do not be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it. Our system can be quite confusing at times, but is easy to latch on to once you get the hang of it. Good luck interviewing this semester, and welcome to Sarah Lawrence.

by Wade Wallerstein '17
twitter: b0yratchet
ig: boyratchet

Welcome to your new home! Take a tour of SLC's residence halls

photo courtesy Ellie Brumbaum '17

photo courtesy Ellie Brumbaum '17

One of the most annoying things that Sarah Lawrence fails to inform incoming students about is dormitory situations. They tell you what room you will be living in and how many roommates you will have, but there is no real way to see the space that you will be living in. Never fear! The Phoenix is here with a photo tour of Sarah Lawrence residences! We've included photos of as many of the dorms that incoming students will occupy as possible—many of which have students in them to help you visualize yourselves in your new homes. Welcome to SLC, folks!

Hill House

Hill House dorms are apartment style. All have kitchens, bathrooms, and multiple bedrooms. While some have common rooms, some do not. 

New Dorms (Rothschild, Garrison, & Tweed)

New dorms are closer to the traditional dormitory style of most college campuses. These buildings are modern with rooms lining both sides of long hallways. These rooms are non-adjoining and have their own closets. While Rothschild has apartments similar to those of Hill House with their own bathrooms, Garrison and Taylor have communal bathrooms at the end of each hallway.

Old Dorms (MacCracken, Titsworth, Dudley Lawrence, & Gilbert)

It's hard to capture the charm of these residence halls. They are old, but full of stories. Each room is a slightly different shape. The pictures above come from Titsworth, the all female building, but Dudley Lawrence, MacCracken, and Gilbert (substance free housing) are similar. Unlike the new dorms, theThere are no hall bathrooms in these buildings: instead, rooms are paired together with bathrooms that connect them. This means that you only share a bathroom with your roommates and the residents of the room next to yours. 


Ellie Brumbaum

Ellie Brumbaum

The residence hall in Westlands has some of the most unique rooms on campus. They feature all wood floors and funky architecture that makes for cozy corners and excellent study spaces. This hall is substance free, quiet housing and has communal hall bathrooms.


Lynd is, in my opinion, the most beautiful dorm on campus. Many of the rooms used to shelve books for the mansion that Lynd was converted from. This dorm is famously known as the "Yoko Ono Dorm" because she lived here during her time at SLC. It has beautiful mahogany wood paneling and flooring, and is right across from Sarah Lawrence's green house.

by Wade Wallerstein
twitter: b0yratchet
ig: boyratchet


SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

Nervous about moving in? Here's what you should bring for the best move-in day ever

photo courtesy Chris Taggart

photo courtesy Chris Taggart

We are quickly approaching the excitement of Move-In Day – a day that can seem daunting when facing the challenging task of deciding what to pack. “You don’t need to bring as much as you think you do,” explained Connor Simcox ‘16, “you want to bring a bunch of books from home because they look nice or you want to read them, but you only ever end up flipping through one or two.” Within the first few weeks of school your book collection will have doubled, adapting to your new tastes and your curriculum. “Just bring the books that might work well as reference material,” he said.

It is important that you acclimate yourself easily to your new home, and to do so you should bring familiar objects with you. “Things I was happiest to have brought were things from my childhood, like books that I had already read, my dad’s pillows or a pair of my mom’ socks, just to remind me that I was home,” said Aly Tippett ‘16.

You should buy tape to stick things on your walls that remind you of home (tacks are not allowed). “Bring photographs of your family, of your friends, of your pets, and of the neighborhood café that was the site of so many high school study sessions. Keep those people and those places with you. They are your foundation, they are what brought you to who, and where you are now,” said Sophie Needleman ‘16

You will also need a few essentials to make your life a little easier throughout the year. “Shower shoes for communal bathrooms and a robe will save your life,” said Katya Goncalves ‘16. In addition, bring “a fan, and slippers so you can walk around comfortably,” said Tippett. The beds at Sarah Lawrence are twin-sized, so bring a comforter, bed linens and two pillows sized for your new bed. Your new room will be smaller than what you are accustumed to, so you have to make the most out of the little space you have. Bring clothing hangers for your closet, bed risers and storage containers for your shoes and some of your clothes to nicely sit under your bed. Some of the rooms are not furnished with lamps, so try to bring a desk lamp and a larger lamp. The desk lamp will come in handy when you will need to work late nights and your roommate is sleeping and the larger lamp will bring some warmth to your new home. Typically, the lamps that the school gives you (if you have one in your room) will have a bright white light that is disagreeable. We recommend you bring yellow-tinted light bulbs to bring a comforting glow to your room.  Add to the list a full length mirror and a rug. The rug will make your room more cozy. If you live in the new dorms where the floors are bare and quickly get dirty, a rug is essential. If you live in Hill House, most rooms have a carpet thus a rug will not be necessary. You should also bring an over-the-door hanger; it is a great way to save space and a practical spot to keep your coat, robe and towel. To maximize space in your bathroom, you should bring a shower rack to easily transport everything you need.

Laundry will probably be the more challenging task as a freshman, but you will only need two things: detergent and a small laundry bag that you can easily carry up and down stairs. Try to buy one large case of detergent with your roommates, you will always end up borrowing each others.

When it comes to school supplies, do not forget to bring a hard drive or a small USB stick (depending on how much storage space you need) to backup your work. You do not want to risk losing all your notes and homework during conference week. The school’s bookstore sells binders, folders, paper and writing utensils but you should only use the bookstore for things that are urgent because it can be quite pricey. You can also splurge on some Sarah Lawrence merchandise if you want to; however, there is a Staples near campus that offers more choices for a better value. You also do not need to bring your own printer. Printers are available in almost every dorm. You can also print in the library, at the Pub, in Heimbold, or Slonim. On your first day, you will receive a lot of “printing money”  on your One-Card. This money does not roll-over from year to year, so make the most of it (in other words, use it all!). For late night studying do not forget to bring a coffee mug. Refills at the pub will be less expensive and it is ultimately better for the environment to use a mug instead of paper cups.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that it is “better to under pack than to over pack, as the year goes by you will have a better idea of what you need. You can build off that,” said Ramisha Sumar ‘15. You also happen to live five minutes away from both Cross County Shopping Center and downtown Bronxville where you will be able to purchase almost anything that you need. Most importantly remember to “bring your big heart and bring your wisdom,” said Needleman. Within your first few hours you will meet a lot of people who are willing to help you get anything you might need. If your parents are not with you to help, most likely one of your roommates will have a parent that is more than willing to help you get everything you need, from additional storage space to food. The biggest move-in essential is a calm mind and positive attitude.

by Julia Schur '15
Managing Editor


SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.