Every college or university has its unique features and people that make it a special place for its students. St. Lawrence University is one of those places that is hard to explain to other people that haven't been there, and experienced the magic that the campus has to offer. But through this list I will try my best to capture all the things that make St. Lawrence unique.
1. The Winters
There are few places in America that experience the kind of winters that Canton experiences. There was even proof that in recent years, Canton has been colder than the Arctic Circle. And even though the freezing cold and wind chills that reach the -30s can be brutal, there is nothing more stunning than the thousands of trees around campus (one for every student) covered in ice.
2. The Food
Unlike what I have heard from other college experiences, the food at St. Lawrence is actually good and because there aren't that many options in town, there are tons on campus that offer different kinds of food for every person. From paninis at Johnson to Eggs Benny at the pub on Saturdays to the salad (if you go to SLU you know what I mean) there is no shortage of food. St. Lawrence also does a pretty good job of catering to those with different food allergies and those on vegetarian or vegan diets.
Sergis is a super important part of SLU culture. If you need proof, the pizza delivery guys have access to all of the dorms even after 2 a.m. and will deliver your Bobs, Mikeys, or pizza roll right to your door. Growing up as a kid with a parent who was an alum I heard many stories about Sergis pizza (my mom actually worked there and was hired by mama Sergi herself) and it is one of the businesses in Canton that is still really important to the students today.
4. St. Lawrence Hockey
Another big part of SLU culture is of course our hockey teams. When it is winter for about 6 months out of the year, there isn't really that much else to do. And as a person who had only been to a few hockey games before attending St. Lawrence I am so proud to say that I didn't miss a single home game during the school year. The hockey is exciting and the cheers and the taunts will make you smile. And there is nothing like hearing the buzzer sound after we beat Clarkson in overtime. (Clarkson still sucks)
5. Squash is a big deal
One of the things that I think makes SLU really unique is the love it has for its sports that definitely don't get enough attention. Squash is huge. We probably have the most shares on Squash articles out of any university.
6. The relationships with professors
Since St. Lawrence isn't a very large university, the small class sizes that every college seems to promise are definitely reality at St. Lawrence. Most of my classes have about 20 students if that. That means the relationships you have with professors are unmatched. You will see students and professors grabbing lunch together all the time, going to office hours, and even being invited over for a class dinner isn't out of the question.
7. On campus activities
Since our downtown is small, St. Lawrence does a lot to bring entertainment to campus. From movies, bands, and folk festivals there is always something to do on campus even in the middle of winter.
8. Fall and Spring Fest
Probably some of the highlights of SLU culture, like most colleges, are our fall and spring fests. ACE is somehow able to book amazing acts for our school and the entire day is spent as basically one giant party.
9. St. Lawrence HEOP
Like all other private schools in New York St. Lawrence has a HEOP program. HEOP stands for Higher Education Opportunity Program and it is dedicated to helping low-income students of New York attend some of the top universities in the state. Through financial aid and guidance, this program helps students succeed in any area they choose. The St. Lawrence HEOP participates in CBL over the summer and creates a bond between them where they become a family. Some HEOP alumni have even come back to work at the University. (thanks Oscar for the help on this one)
10. Community Based Learning
Another important aspect of St. Lawrence culture and something I think makes it unique is the importance of giving back to the community that gives so much to the university. Part of every student at St. Lawrence's career is participating in a Community-Based Learning Experience that allows us to go into the community and work with the people that support us and our education. We are forced to step outside our comfort zone and our campus and work in the community just a few steps away.
11. You are at the foothills of the Adirondacks
And being at the foothills of the Adirondacks is definitely a perk because there are so many places to explore. St. Lawrence even has a Peak Weekend, sponsored by our Outdoor Club where we get a member of St. Lawrence on all 46 of the high peaks, the only school in the country who has done so.
12. Our theme weekends
Peak Weekend is just one of our themed weekends at St. Lawrence that keep the student body happy during the rough academic periods that SLU has to offer. Another favorite is Titus weekend, where there is dog sleds, horse-drawn carriages and ski jumps on the quad. Then pretty much all of campus hops on a bus to go to Titus for an all day ski party at Mt. Titus.
13. Theme Houses
St. Lawrence has over 20 theme houses so people with any interest can find their place. Theme houses also add a richness to campus in the events they put on and how involved they are on campus to make SLU a great place for everyone.
14. You can make the experience whatever you want it to be
With all of these amazing things and with the ability to customize your major to what you are interested in you can make your experience at St. Lawrence whatever you want it to be and I think that is the best thing about it.