Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Campus is mixed, some buildings are modern and green while others need work

4 College Junior

Campus Quality: A beautiful campus with nice facilities. Dining spaces can get crowded at peek hours, but that's everywhere

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: So far I've been very pleased with what Dickinson has to offer its students. However, in stark contrast to larger universities, for example NYU, the library is tiny! But we do have a decent library here with a wonderful selection; you can even borrow books from around the globe, so that makes up for our small book housing.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Quality: Lots of renovations have been recently done

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: Student hangout are the dinner


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Dickinson has many nice facilities. The Kline Athletic Center is a favorite of most students, as it encourages a variety of sports activities, from squash to swimming to scaling the rock wall. The campus community enjoys the fitness area so much that is often filled with students, faculty, and staff working out side by side. This popularity frequently leads to student complaints, since the gym floor is in use nearly 20 hours a day and students who participate in club or intramural athletics are forced to compete with varsity sports teams for floor time. In addition, many students would like to see a renovation and expansion of the fitness center to better accommodate the crowding of the cardio and the weight rooms during peak hours. The Waidner-Spahr Library doesn’t need much introduction because it has spoken for itself in the national arena. The library houses more than 500,000 volumes and 6,000 periodicals with enough comfortable seating and computer access to nurture all of the study and research in the college community.

However, there are some facilities that need some work. The Depot, a building next to the gymnasium, is wildly underused, and ATS Auditorium is outdated and unattractive in comparison with the rest of the campus. Both are slated to be renovated or knocked down in the future. Other facilities worthy of mention are the Quarry Café, which was renovated to include a comfortable, quiet study area upstairs and a game room in the basement, and the Rector Science complex, which achieved recognition for its environmentally sustainable, modern design. Dickinson is a campus that is consistently being improved, and it seems that there is always a renovation or building project going on.


Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
308 acres: 90-acre main campus, 30-acre recreational area (Dickinson Park), and a 188-acre organic farm six miles from campus
Student Centers
Holland Union Building (HUB)
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Waidner-Spahr Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Morgan Field (when the weather is nice)
  • Quarry
  • Underground
Bar on Campus
None, although there are several within short walking distance
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • The Quarry Café on College Street
  • The Underground in the Holland Union Building on the lower level
Movie Theater on Campus
None, but movies are often shown on the weekends in the Dana lecture hall.
School Slang
  • Cushies: Large, circular couches in the HUB, a popular meeting place for students.
  • Deli-C: Deli Creations, the 24-hour convenience store and deli down the street from campus.
  • D-Park: Dickinson Park, an athletic field half a mile from campus owned by the College
  • DPS: Dickinson Public Safety, the certified police officers that patrol the campus.
  • Flex In: Using the Flexboard meal plan to let someone else into the cafeteria. This is frequently used toward the end of the semester when students begin to run out of points
  • The HUB: The Holland Union Building. This is the main student center on campus and houses the cafeteria, the Underground, the Devil's Den convenience store, the Union Station, and the bookstore, as well as many offices.
  • The Quarry: The cafĂ© on College. This is the favorite coffee shop and popular student hangout on campus.
  • Red Zone: A contest between upperclassmen to hook up with as many freshmen as they can between the beginning of the school year and fall pause.
  • The Snar: The Union Station. Short for "snack bar," students love the Snar because it has a huge variety of food.
  • Dickinson College Logo: The college logo is a newer, more modern symbol of the school. It began with President Bill Durden in '71 and looks much like a compass rose.
  • The Mermaid: Mermaids certainly have no place in Pennsylvania, but there is a mermaid on top of West College. When Benjamin Latrobe was designing the bell tower for the building, he wanted to model it after the ancient Greeks and decided to have the Greek god Triton atop the tower as a weathervane. Unfamiliar with the myth of Triton, and misinterpreting the description he received, the coppersmith made a mermaid by mistake, but the figure still spins on top of West College today.
  • The Seal of Dickinson College : The school motto, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty," is found on the school seal, along with a liberty cap, one of the hats worn by the Sons of Liberty. The seal was designed by John Dickinson and Benjamin Rush in 1783.
  • Signing In : Upon the start of their first semester, freshmen are welcomed to the school at a convocation ceremony, wherein the college president speaks about the incoming freshman class. After the ceremony, freshmen are lined up in front of Old West, the oldest and most ceremonial building on campus. Each student walks up the stone steps into the lobby and officially "signs in" to the college by signing their name in a large book. They then exit through the side doors of the building, because at graduation, students walk down the front steps of Old West to receive their diplomas. The rumor goes that if you walk down the front steps before you graduate, you won't make it through school! Hence, students avoid exiting Old West by the front steps like the plague!
Urban Legends
Dickinson has many ghost stories, but the most popular relates to the Weiss Center for the Arts. Before it housed the art department, Weiss was home to the school's fitness facilities, including a pool. Legend has it that a swimmer on the Dickinson swim team was training for the Olympics and given exclusive access to the pool at any hour. The story has it that the young man drowned, but that his ghost still haunts the art building today. Students practicing late at night often claim to hear strange noises, smell chlorine, and see wet footprints on the tile floor.
Favorite Things To Do
Dickinson fosters the growth of almost any hobby or interest you can think up. From “frolf” (Frisbee-golf) to rock-climbing, students can do it all without having to leave campus. The Quarry has pool tables and board games, and there’s always a movie showing in one of the lecture halls on the weekends, not to mention the various dance parties, comedy shows, and concerts that including free food sponsored by the Campus Activities Board each semester. The Multi-Organizational Board (MOB), a Student Senate-funded organization, sponsors a lot of activities on the weekends such as movies, concerts, comedy shows, dances, and special events like laser tag and magic shows. These events always include a variety of free food, from pizza to freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies! Many students also enjoy watching the performances of the Octals, the D-Tones and the Infernos (the three acapella singing groups) and Run With It (the comedy improvisation group). Movies shown in Dana Hall on Friday and Saturday nights are popular, too.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 27 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 29% Caf sitting
  • 14% Opossum Lake
  • 14% Attend MOB events
  • 14% Raid the dden
  • 14% Social Hall Events
  • 7% Attend music events
  • 7% Merchants in the Underground

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 9 responses

  • 29% Signing In
  • 29% The Seal of Dickinson College
  • 14% The Mermaid
  • 14% Charter Day
  • 10% Cafsgiving
  • 5% Dickinson College Logo

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 12 responses

  • 42% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 33% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 25% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 24 responses

  • 12% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 58% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 12% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 17% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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