SUNY Morrisville (visited 7/24/15)
Although this school sort of has the reputation as a “forgotten step-sibling” of the SUNY system, this is rapidly changing. The buildings are being renovated and new buildings are going up around the beautifully landscaped campus. This is a perfect school for students who are more of the hands-on types of learners; in fact, it ranks in the top 10 in the country for students who do internships. Classes are small, even for first-year students. “40 students would be a big class,” said the tour guide. Her largest class had 28 students; the smallest had 8.
Morrisville is the first SUNY school to provide laptops to all its students back in 1998, and many of its programs require one as part of the curriculum. Majors include such areas as Applied Psychology, Renewable Energy Technology, Resort and Recreation Management, Journalism and Communication for Online Media, Dairy Tech, Automotive Management and/or Auto Tech, Equine Science, and several Info Tech specializations (Network Admin, Web Development, End-User Support, Electronic Marketing, Application Software Development). Design and architecture (including landscape architecture) has its own building, as does Auto Tech. That large structure with 12 auto bays sits on top of the hill overlooking much of campus. The Equine Center, which opened in 2011, is about 3 miles from the main campus and can house 40 horses.
There’s a lot to do on campus. Movies are shown three times every weekend, there are plenty of clubs (the more unusual ones are the Casino Management Organization and the Pagan Alliance), and trips are offered most weekends. If 10 or more students want to go somewhere, they can request a van. Sports are popular (they’re DIII); they offer the usual sports plus Hunt Seat and Western Equestrian in the winter. They have an Ice Plex on campus with 2 full rinks. Their women’s hockey team is new this year. There are plenty of open skate times and students can use skates for free. Students do not automatically pay the $65 fee for the Fitness Center (located in the student center); they’re welcome to join if they want to use it. This is a nice change from so many schools that charge it regardless of interest.
Approximately 1800 students (of the 3200 undergrads) live on campus. Housing is grouped into 3 areas: Pond Quad, Iroquois Quad, and the Commons. Each dorm and area has its own “personality” or attraction. The Commons offer apartment style living and are some of the newest buildings. Fountain View Hall (in Pond Quad) is the 24-hour quiet dorm. Mohawk just got renovated and now has a full kitchen in it. Two more dorms are about to be renovated as well. Most dorms have suites (2 bedrooms and a main room), singles, and doubles. “Parking can be tricky since so many students commute,” said the tour guide, but all students can have cars, and their cars can be fixed for free by the auto tech students. They just pay for parts.
Another cool fact: all the milk served on campus comes from the campus dairy, and much of the produce is grown by the aquaculture students. “Breakfast is amazing!” There’s a make-your-own-waffle station with batters like apple cinnamon or blueberry. Omelets are great, too.