Ask an RA: Ray Schechter answers your burning questions about living at SLC

Ray Schechter '15 is not only a superstar RA, but also one of the most hilarious people you'll ever meet. Here, she answers the questions incoming first-years are dying to ask.

Ray Schechter '15 is not only a superstar RA, but also one of the most hilarious people you'll ever meet. Here, she answers the questions incoming first-years are dying to ask.

Despite all of our guides about first-year life that we have published, there are a lot of questions that I’m sure we were unable to answer. The list goes on and on of worries for that first day of college. So, in order to answer some of your burning questions, The Phoenix has recruited the help of veteran RA and senior Ray Schecter to get you in the know for the vague scenarios and issues that you might have.

Nervous First-year: How can I make move-in day run as smoothly as possible?

Ray Schecter: Move-in day is the most exciting event all year for the residence life staff. They look forward to it all summer so everyone you interact with will most likely be shitting sunshine anyway. To make the day go even smoother, you should take a deep breath, kiss your parents goodbye, and internalize the fact that this is the first day of the rest of your life.

NF: What do I do if I catch my roommate masturbating? Alternatively, what do I do if I have to masturbate?

RS: Masturbate! You’re in fucking college you can do whatever the hell you want.

NF: How infrequently can I shower and still be socially presentable at SLC?

RS: I had a friend tell me once, “it’s been six whole days since I’ve showered.” This was NOT during conference week, it was just a regular day during the semester. I remember looking at him and thinking, “damn, your individuality is sexy as hell.” Maybe this means six days is the limit, I’m not sure. Interpret this story as you will.

NF: What do I do if I hate my roommates?

RS: Here is a short list of procedural steps for the situation that is NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK:

a.) Voice your opinion. If you don’t say anything about a problem you’re having with your roommate, how will you solve anything?

b) After talking about your points of conflict decide on specific things you can both do to prevent these problems.

c.) If your roommate is not receptive to your angelic voice or your rooming problems, TALK TO YOUR R.A. They have many hours of training in this exact situation. Use this resource as your guiding light.
    d.) If your R.A. isn’t receptive for some weird reason, the next step is to talk to the director of residence life.

e.) You’ll be fine (by the way). Worst comes to worst, if you have a roommate you don’t get along with, residence life will help you find a new one. Remember everything is temporary. You’ll be FINE.

NF: Ugh I got a triple room -- is it possible for me to coexist with two other people?

RS: Um triple? Can you say THREESOME? No, no just kidding I wouldn’t endorse having a threesome—this causes undesirable tension in the living space (learned that one from experience). If you get a triple, or even a double for this matter, make sure to voice your opinion on things that are important to you in your living space. This is the only way your roommates will be on the same page as you to set the vibe of your room.

NF: I’m a neat-freak but my roommate is a pig. What do I do?

RS: This question I seem to have answered already. If you have a strong opinion about the standards of your living space, voice it in the beginning of the year. If it is a shared space among many young peeps, it’s tricky but you got it. Make your opinions strong and clear. Remember compromise is your friend. Listen to your roommates just like they will listen to you. DO NOT WORRY!

NF: Where’s the best place on campus to get a cup of coffee?

RS: Your own kitchen.

NF: Will upperclassmen make fun of me if I ask them for directions?

RS: Upperclassmen won’t make fun of you in general. They are looking for friends just as much as you are. When I stepped onto SLC campus as a first-year I asked two juniors how to get to Hill House. They walked me across campus to my apartment and I continue to be friends with them to this day. Give the kindness you think you ought to receive. That is just general advice. You’re welcome.

NF: How do I get the key to my room on the first day of school?

RS: You will receive your key when you check-in at the library on the first day! Don’t lose it. It [costs] money for a replacement.

NF: How do I make friends?

RS: Just be yourself! If you came to Sarah Lawrence to study and learn, you will make friends here. There are also a lot of crazy clubs and sports here to spark interest in things you might have in common with other people. If you feel like you’re not making friends and you’re anxious about it, you should check out Health Services. They have a lot of ears there and a lot of time to listen.

NF:  How do I make friends if I’m super super super shy/weird/awkward?

RS: Coming from the shyest person on campus, I can say I’ve experienced this at SLC. I know a crazy senior who is a redhead. She can help you. Find her and say “I Want friends.” She will point you in the right direction.

NF: SLC is supposed to be super-hip and trendy. What should I wear? Will people judge me if I don’t look cool enough?

RS: Secret to being cool: you are cool. Wear whatever you want! Be who you are! People will follow.

NF: Everyone at SLC is so artsy. What if I don’t write/sing/act/dance/paint?

RS: Do something you enjoy. This makes you artsy.

NF: Real talk, which dining hall is the best and what should I eat there?

RS: There’s only one dining hall that is truly a dining hall, making it the best and worst dining hall on campus. Bates. My suggestion is to get creative. But it is good in the beginning of the year, so you’re fine.


Ray Schechter '15 interviewed by Wade Wallerstein '17 &

'A Culture Built Around Smoking': smokers weigh in on the ban

From an article written by Lauren Gray '16 and published in the Phoenix on April 7, 2014:

On February 10, 2014, President Karen Lawrence sent an email to the entire campus community formally announcing the new Smoke-Free Policy that the college is set to begin implementing in August 2015. The decision was the result of a recommendation made by the Smoking Policy Task Force, an Ad-Hoc Committee chaired by Polly Waldman, after a ten-month long examination process that began in April 2012.  

Student publications outside of the Phoenix have touched upon a number of issues with the ban, including an eloquent editorial by Emily Rogers '15 for SLCSpeaks that illuminates its passage through Student Senate and the implications that will have in the governing of Sarah Lawrence. 

The smoking ban is a complicated issue: there's no singular problem or voice that can sum up smokers' experience at Sarah Lawrence. This series of interviews attempts to combine the narratives of Sarah Lawrence's smokers and illuminate the role they plays in our school's culture. Each smoker at Sarah Lawrence has a different reason for why they reach for a cigarette. It's a personal act, often leading to a moment of reflection or starting a conversation. These portraits capture the students as they smoked and reflected on what smoking meant to them. Each student was asked four questions:

  • What would you say your primary reason for smoking is?
  • How has smoking affected the quality of your social life at Sarah Lawrence?
  • What is your opinion of the smoking ban, either in implementation or the way in which it was passed? How will the smoking ban impact your experience at Sarah Lawrence, either as a smoker or as a student/resident?
  • Do you think smoking is a part of Sarah Lawrence culture?

Agatha Monasterios-Ramirez '17

"I enjoy smoking. It’s the same as when I make a cup of coffee — because I feel like it."

"I think it’s not going to work the way the administration hopes it will, but whatever. People are still gonna smoke."

"I really think it’ll have zero effect. Like, that’s the problem. It’s not going to change anything. No one’s going to care. It’s a part of every culture. I think people will still smoke even if they aren’t allowed to. It’s a big part of a lot of people’s lives. A lot of people come here and start smoking, but a lot of people come here and are already smoking. I just feel like the smoking ban is so minuscule in importance to the students. If nobody smoked [because of the ban] there definitely would be a difference, but that’s not gonna happen. It’s not gonna happen anywhere. Sarah Lawrence attracts a certain type of person, and often it’s the type of person who smokes. That can’t be denied."

Nachi Conde-Farley '14

"[Smoking] is a form of self-medicating because I have a lot of anxiety issues. I like the social aspect of it, of course. There’s a little bit of a gift economy involved - you can just go up to someone and ask for a light and have a conversation with them, or ask for a cigarette. And when you bum out to someone that’s an altruistic action. A lot of the time I meet people by sharing a cigarette at the pub or bumming a cigarette to someone outside the library and talking about my conference work. So it’s almost like a little snapshot type conversation I can have with someone: you smoke a cigarette, say hi, check-in, and connect with people. Overridingly, though, [I smoke] because I’m anxious. And I’m addicted at this point."

"I think that [the ban] speaks to the general climate that the administration puts out. They really don’t care for the democratic input of students... I see that the process that they went through to push this through was very undemocratic, despite the grievances of students and the Student Senate, who spoke out against this. This ban is something that could be feasible at UC Irvine, where Karen Lawrence used to be the chancellor* and where most of the students live off-campus. [At UC Irvine] it’s more like once when you go to school, you’re entering a professional space.

"Here, the campus is our home space, and [that means] a ban really won’t work here. There’s also been concerns from a number of community members about smoking indoors, which is another fire hazard and will create even more tension between smokers and non-smokers. Ultimately, if people are stuffed indoors smoking, it’s just going to create conflict."

Staff Note: Karen Lawrence's official title was Dean of the School of Humanities at University of California, Irvine.

Colleen O'Connor '15

"I think [smoking is] a reasonless activity. I don’t really have a solid reason. It’s not like I smoke for any purpose... I just do. Killing time, measuring breaths."

"All of the taglines [the school] sent us are so horrifying. They have this assumption of what 'health' is. 'Health for All' and 'Be Healthy'? You have to be respectful of everyone’s personal habits, smokers included. You can’t force students to change their lifestyles when they come here. That will make even more people uncomfortable."

"It’s part of the culture just because it’s something that people here do. It’s like anywhere. Anywhere you go, people are smoking outside of building. There are so many professors who have bummed cigarettes from me and it’s led to some great conversations. The conversations that I’ve had with Shahnaz Rouse—casual, outside of class conversation—about class are wonderful. [That type of conversation] levels out the difference between professors and students. It brings us together and allows us to casually interact. I had this shitty conference work last year for my film class, and we were all assigned to make videos in outside groups. I was working with one other girl and my professor, Robin Starbuck, and we did all the projections for the Chekhov play that they were putting on in the PAC. We would all go outside and smoke cigarettes and bitch about how shitty it was that we had to do the work. It was something that we all did together and it really unified us."

Naomi Brenman '17

"I made 80 to 90% of my friends during the first few months of school outside Hill House smoking. Period. I think it was just a way to meet people.

“It seemed like there was a 'conversation,' but I didn’t feel like it was actually a conversation. They were like, 'hey guys, what do you think,' but didn’t listen to what anyone said. People are still gonna smoke. If that means that hordes of kids are gonna have to sit on Kimball, because it’s not technically on campus, then they’ll do that. Or people will smoke in their rooms. If [administration is] saying it’s to be healthier, it’s not going to change the mind of anyone who already smokes, because anyone who’s ever smoked cigs knows it’s bad for them. It’s not a myth. I went to the Health Center the other day, and they were like, ‘oh, are you going to quit?’ and I was like, ‘no, now’s not the right time,’ and they were like, ‘well, you know it’s bad…’ and I was like, ‘yes, I’ve been to health class, it’s not a mystery to me.’

Blair Bird '17

"[My primary reason for smoking is] anxiety. It’s my time to relax and take deep breaths. I smoke by myself, it’s not just when I’m with other people. I’m at that point where I get headaches if I don’t smoke."

"I haven’t heard about the ban at all except through emails. If they talked to us about it and why they think this campus will benefit by being a non-smoking campus, what the pros are, then that would be way more helpful than these e-mails saying ‘on this date you won’t be able to smoke anymore.’ And then I think that it’s just irritating. If it was more personal I think the ban would be something that I could get behind and take more seriously. Now, every time I read the emails, I just think woah, that’s not happening. I’m a smoker, I smoke."

"One of the first things that my RA told me when I got here was that the majority of her friends didn’t smoke freshman year, and now they smoke. It’s not even like they smoke occasionally, they smoke heavily. I smoked before I came here, but I know a lot of people who didn’t smoke before they came here but have since gotten in to the habit."

Andrea Rogers '16

"[I smoke to] take the edge off. Honestly, having a moment of peace and quiet during the day.  You can kind of just walk away and take a five minute break from the bustling world."

"[The smoking ban] flew pretty under the radar, especially from people who are not deeply involved in student associations, which I didn’t appreciate. I also really understand where [the administration] is coming from, because most campuses are moving towards being smoke free - similar to parks and public spaces, especially in the state of New York. I think it’s a totally reasonable move. There must be things put in place around campus to address that a good percentage of the student population does in fact smoke — giving everyone tickets if they’re on campus and smoking is not going to be very efficient for security or for students."

Jomana Abdullah '16

"My parents [are the primary reason I smoke]. They’ve been smoking for 13 years, but they smoke hookah, not cigarettes. They smoke about two or three times a day for about an hour and a half. It’s a cultural thing, at least from my dad’s side, so I just got into it like that. I never used to smoke cigarettes before. It’s a pretty annoying habit."

"If you feel awkward with people, you can say ‘let’s smoke a cigarette,’ and if you’re smoking it’s a distraction tool. Que mas—I feel like also if you’re not smoking it’s a judgment here too. It’s kind of sad. I tried quitting."

"I love [the smoking ban]. Oh yeah. I don’t like to see butts on the tulips, you know?"

"I think [smoking] is this kind of grungy, hipster-ish mode of fashion. People feel very much obliged to accommodate that here. It’s a fashionable thing here."

Draye Wilson '14

“I smoke probably because of stress. It’s kind of a ritual. It’s not as much, ‘oh, I feel stressed, I have to smoke now,’ it’s more of a habit. But like, I can’t really articulate a motivation behind it.”

“People talk about it like it’s this very social thing, like it’s a way to meet people and make friends, but like… I don’t really think it is. I quit smoking for like 6 or 7 months, and the quality of my social life didn’t change at all.”

“I think the smoking ban is kinda silly, just because it doesn’t seem to be a majority rule. Conversationally, I haven’t heard anyone push for it. Like, I would like to hear the argument… I have never heard someone articulate the reason why our system now … I don’t really know who’s suffered from how it is now. I really don’t think people are going to follow it. People will still smoke in their rooms, and it’s like… so people aren’t going to smoke outside? People don’t follow the rules in terms of smoking, so I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference.”

Thomas Batuello '17

“At this point, I really really enjoy smoking. It’s something that gives me immense pleasure. I’m definitely addicted, so if I don’t have it, I stress out. Usually I reach for cigarettes for pleasure, sometimes I want one if I’m anxious, or feeling stressed out, but it’s usually just for the enjoyment of smoking.”

“I definitely have met a lot of people, at the beginning [of the year] especially, outside of Hill House smoking cigarettes. A lot of people I became acquainted with by virtue of we were all outside smoking. It doesn’t get any deeper than meeting people though.”

“I can’t imagine the smoking ban working particularly well. It depends on how tightly they enforce it, and how virulent the security guards are.”

“It seems like there’s definitely a higher percentage of smoker than just an average cross section of young people in the United States. I think there’s definitely a smoking culture here, and part of it is the artsy fartsy liberal arts school vibe. There’s definitely a large community of smokers here, but I think if I didn’t smoke it wouldn’t adversely affect my experience here. I haven’t heard of anyone complaining that not being a smoker is hurting their social life in any way.”

Jordan Martin '16

“I started smoking when I was 17, the summer before my senior year of high school. It was because a friend of mine had started kind of smoking, so I started doing it as well and picked it up. Honestly, in a sad sense, there was like a weird depression, or some sadness that I was going through, and smoking was kind of a way to relieve stress and fill a certain void. And when I started buying my own packs, which at the time I did think was so cool, I was like ‘oh, this is so different, my parents don’t smoke, no one supports this…’ completely trying to rebel and do something that was so uncharacteristic of me, because I don’t think anybody was expecting me to start smoking. I didn’t ever think of it until I started hanging out with a certain friend.”

“There’s such a culture built around smoking, and it’s become such a social thing. I think that there are probably more social smokers here than there are people that are actually truly addicted to cigarettes and will just have them on their own. I’m one of those people, I’ll just go out and have one by myself, I don’t need to be talking to people to go out and have a smoke or whatever. It definitely is such an aspect to the school, people love their cigarettes and have conversations, and that’s a way to approach people. People literally strike up conversations, and it starts with something as simple as like, ‘can I borrow a lighter?’ and that’s how people meet. It’s such a part of the culture here.”

“The smoking ban does make sense, as much as they’re trying to cut back on smoking on this campus and the policy that they’ve had in effect so far has not been working. So I understand that it’s something that affects the entire school, and secondhand smoke causes a lot of issues, obviously. This campus is enveloped in a cloud of smoke constantly, so it’s affecting people that don’t smoke, and don’t want to be around that. I think it’s fair to those people that they shouldn’t have to constantly be walking around clouds of smoke, inhaling it, breathing it, smelling it, and so I’m not fully against [the ban]. It’s going to be a hassle and it’s going to be annoying for me, but I think one of the biggest issues is that people are going to start smoking more inside their rooms. And that’s going to cause a lot of issues as far as having to enforce that rule and to focus more on getting people outside of the campus to smoke. That’s going to be a really huge deal. And speaking as an RA this year, I know a lot of responsibility is going to fall on them. I know a lot of RAs are probably going to have a difficult time with that, dealing with having their advisees smoking inside. But I think that [the ban] makes a lot of sense and it is fair to people who don’t want to be around that, because [secondhand smoke is] something that we shouldn’t be forcing upon our students.”

“Smoking does bring people together, in that you see a group of people smoking a cigarette and go up and strike up a conversation. And people – not necessarily form bonds over it – but there is like, you know, ‘oh, do you want to go out and have a cigarette with me?’ or whatever, and that’s how people interact. And on weekends, running into people on nights out, seeing people you just want to have a cigarette with them, you just want to have a conversation with them, it often happens while you’re sharing a cigarette, or both of you are smoking at the same time. I think it is something that is really so ingrained in the culture here at school."

Alia Shinbrough '14

Alia Shinbrough '14

"I’m addicted."

"I’ve met a lot of people either through bumming cigarettes or bumming them cigarettes. And I’ve had a lot of conversations over cigarettes that have really helped me in my life here.  I’ve made friends who have helped me in my time here through those conversations."

"I think it was a little skeevy that [the administration] passed [the smoking ban] without getting too much student input, but I understand the reasons why they did that. If they had gotten student input I think that the ban would not have passed."

"We have a lot of students here who smoke and I mean that is pretty much a part of the culture. It’s part of the library culture. It’s part of the pub culture. It’s what starts people talking to each other. We’re an awkward bunch of people and without that substitute I think there might be a problem with people getting to know each other."

Written and photographed by Ellie Brumbaum '17

Senior Elections: Was senate money put into campaigning?

On Friday, February 7th, Sarah Lawrence College community members were asked to participate in the online voting polls in order to fill several student government positions. Among the open positions were the roles of Senate Chair, Treasurer, New Student-at-Large, Sophomore Class President and lastly Senior Class Presidents, which were won by Ari Jones and Katie Flaherty. 

That same Friday night,  Ari and Katie hosted a party in the blue room for seniors, with the intention of starting the semester off right. At the green and white themed party, there was beer and pizza served, as well as a dance party and a computer stationed in a corner for those last few students who had not yet cast their votes. Normally when students are interested in hosting an event, they receive the go ahead as well as some money from the Student Activities sub committee. However, since this specific event was requesting that beer be served, the proposal had to go all the way through to Senate, perhaps giving the appearance that Senate had chosen a specific party to back.

 “We really wanted to make sure that the event did not in any way say that it was a ‘vote for us’ party,” said Ari Jones, senior class co-president, “it was always a senior party with a nod to the election day with green and white and a nod to the seniors with beer and pizza.”

 The timing of the party, however, raised many questions about the violation of bylaws both inside and outside of Senate. As it turns out, the bad timing was just a case of poor scheduling, due to snow days and meeting cancellations. “It wasn’t until after we had set the date and booked the space that the election date was decided,” said Katie Flaherty, senior class co-president. 

Having Senate financially back a party through the Student Activity fund was a viable option for all candidates, as well as any and all students interested in hosting an event. However Kat Stephens, senior class president candidate, who ran along side of Anissa Latif, felt that this was not the best option for their own campaign. “We could have done that, but we chose not to. It didn’t seem to be something that was as sound as the way we wanted to engage the position, especially coming out of last semester where there were a lot of questions, we wanted to approach things differently.” 

“There was never a precedence set,” said newly elected Senate Chair, Nate Montalto, as to why there has been such a gray area in terms of election ethics. “I would classify it as more than a gray area, I would say that it is something that is just not even talked about because it was something that was never considered, because it’s never been a problem before.” 

While there have been questions as to the validity of the campaigning this year, this controversy has made it so that Senate will be overlooking and rewriting the bylaws as they exist currently, focusing on clarifying the do’s and don’ts of voting protocol.

“We will be discussing amending our bylaws to include a section on election ethics, that define exactly what can and cannot be done in an election because we don’t want a confusing and uncomfortable situation like this to ever come up again” Nate said about the upcoming Senate meeting. “What the senate will hopefully adopt are rules that say basically senate money cannot be used for anything where there is an appearance that it could be a campaign event.”

by Lauren Gray '16

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.

Consent workshop follows up fall semester's sexual assault protests

Mike Domitrz, founder of the Date Safe Project, presents his workshop on consentual sex for students   Photo by Lauren Gray '16

Mike Domitrz, founder of the Date Safe Project, presents his workshop on consentual sex for students

Photo by Lauren Gray '16

Throughout last semester, Sarah Lawrence College’s campus was a heated and upset one. Protests and marches regarding the safety of students and the climate of campus were being held monthly, and smaller groups of citizens were formed left and right to try and address the issues head on. It was hard to walk around campus without being reminded that “NO MEANS NO!” and that “consent to one act is not consent to all acts”. A call to arms of sorts was brought to the administration, demanding change and recognition and our campus was in uproar. Our voices were heard and Karen Lawrence, President of Sarah Lawrence College, called a school wide meeting that took place on the North Lawn, where hundreds of faces gathered together for what seemed like the largest congregation of Sarah Lawrence community members ever. Safety, change and other promises were made; however all in all, students left the lawn feeling little more than let down. 

Now here we are, in March, and the college is coming through, or at least trying. Dina Nunziato, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Health Services and Paige Crandall, Dean of Student Affairs, have been making efforts to reinstate a sense of security not only in the students and campus life, but in the willingness of the administration to hear what community members are concerned about. Because of this, the college hired Mike Domitrz to come to campus on Monday, February 10th and give his consent workshop entitled “Can I Kiss You?” as part of the date safe project. A total of only forty students showed up for the 7p.m. consent workshop, the change the campus had been asking for just months before. 

The idea that social justice, advocacy and caring about our fellow community members was but a fleeting spark of passion due to unjust situations is not one that the Sarah Lawrence community should strive to embody or uphold. Just because time has passed, does not mean the problems have disappeared and by not participating as a community, we create a climate that allows for the “social justice fad” to exist, and we all know that is not something we want to associate ourselves with.

A trend that Domitrz spoke about in his workshop was the concept of hookup culture, specifically about how it doesn’t actually exist. Because so many people in our generation adhere to a certain set of cultural norms, and the sexual education we receive is so limited in what we can do, as opposed to the long list of things we can’t do, we’ve entered into an era of silent sex. The stigmatizing of communication during sexual encounters in fear that it might “ruin the moment”, a concept which Domitrz also claims does not exist, has brought us to a place where miscommunication is almost unavoidable. When we look at the lack of communication between sexual partners, and factor in the social pressures that keep outsiders from interfering in potentially dangerous situations, such as the idea of “cockblocking” or remaining uninvolved to avoid confrontation, it is easy to see the flawed unwritten rules which govern a lot of the ways that we interact with each other. This system is hypocritical at the very least, where “stand by and watch” is normalized in party and hookup culture, yet as soon as someone has been raped, the gut reaction is to inflict harm on the perpetrator. 

The real question here is why don’t we just use our words? If the “magic” moment is just that, a fleeting period of time in which our partner wants us in the same way that we want them, won’t the same be true after the question is asked? It takes more courage to ask, because you put yourself at risk of rejection, instead of just going for it. Asking your partner also lets them know that you respect them and their body enough to check in with them. Surprisingly enough (or not), I’ve spoken with lots of students here at SLC who have said that they have received negative responses from some of their partners who did not want to be asked. Unfortunately, these reactions are part of the problem and are, in a way, propagating the rape culture that we find coincides with our current hook up culture. By making it so that our partners feel uncomfortable asking for fear of being made fun of or berated, we close the very streams of communication we need to have open in order to have enthusiastic and consensual sex, before anything has even really happened. Communication is key when exploring other people’s bodies, and if you feel like it’s too awkward to talk about, than you and your partner may not be ready to be doing it. 

It takes a community to make change, and as community members it is our responsibility to put in the same amount of footwork as we expect our superiors, colleagues and peers to put in. This means we cannot stand by if we see a dangerous situation unfolding, and we cannot just passively accept that SLC could be a better place. This is a call for continuing to proceed with the groundwork that has been laid before us and building a community, which is safe and consensual, both in and outside of our sex lives. 

By Lauren Gray '16

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.

Vandalism in Hill House sparks outrage among community members

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or blizzards, reveal the inefficiencies of the systems they impact. Our very own little snowstorms over the past few weeks have shown the weaknesses of our own institution, and in particular, our registration process.

After several hours of interviews and deliberation over course selections that had been cut short by the start of our Odyssey with winter, a short extension was added to the registration period to compensate for school closings. Unfortunately, this left students and faculty pressed in terms of cobbling together a new interview schedule and deciding upon potential class schedules. Now, weeks later, everyone has signed up for their classes and is hard at work. However, organizational problems related to our hectic registration process have been a reoccurring issue, the snow simply aggravated the situation.  

With the added stress from the registration process, students complained of the long lines at the library and the outdated method of registration and transfer of transcripts. Students are concerned about the inability to electronically send future employers and institutions a copy of their transcripts and evaluations. Students are concerned that our institution is falling behind the technological standards set by other universities. As with many aspects of our school, we can only hope that the small subsets can keep up with the rest of the world’s institutions as we move forward into the 21st century.

While I would never claim to have the administrative or technical acumen that is required to remedy these issues, the first step to addressing a problem is to admit that there is one. Numerous students and faculty have been complaining of the outdated registration process long before these snowy months. I have witnessed several students in the past week complaining about internships that only accept electronic transcripts and the inability to provide hard copies. I have once attempted to manually scan and send in my transcript, but was met with questions about the void statements that littered the form.

None of these issues are terrible or apocalyptic in that of themselves. The office of the registrar has helped aid many students, myself included, in applying for jobs and schools. The current process of the registrar, however, creates extra loops and twists that often seem archaic and unnecessary. The question remains; what can we do move things along?

The primary idea that has been put forward by students and faculty alike is a movement to an online course registration system. The new system would allow just as much, (if not more) time for professor-student interaction, and less time rushing to file forms and wait in line at the library. By giving an open registration period, and then allowing students to complete the process on their own time. As a result, a large amount of time could be saved and spent on better things. 

The lack of e-transcripts is perhaps the more worrying of the two problems. While, until fairly recently, many institutions were willing to accept mail copies, it is now clear that the world is moving towards only accepting transcripts submitted online. Sarah Lawrence College does not give us the resources to fill in the online requisites. Offering e-transcripts would be a valuable asset for students applying to internships, jobs, and graduate programs.

The implementation of such programs would certainly require man-hours and money, both of which the school seems hard-pressed to find. If Sarah Lawrence wishes to keep up with the times, it has to make adjustments to the rest of the world. In addition, to secure the interviewing process that the college holds so dear, it has to head towards a smoother, more efficient registration process. 

by Jacqueline Quirk '17

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.