Simon's Rock College is a small liberal arts college located in the bustling metropolis of Great Barrington, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The foremost of the many unusual things about Simon's Rock is that most students enroll after completing the tenth grade of high school, rather than after graduating.

The college's founder, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, had formerly been a private school headmistress. She concluded from her experience, and that of her colleagues, that for many students the latter two years of high school are wasted on repetitious and overly constrained work. Many young women (and men -- but for its first few years in the '60s, Simon's Rock admitted only women), she thought, are ready to pursue college-level academic work some time before the usual system asks it of them.

Because Simon's Rock provides this accelerated program, it also attracts many students who might not consider a "liberal-arts" education if they had to wait two more years. Computer geeks, pre-med stress puppies, and mathies read Plato, Dante, Nietzsche, and Foucault alongside dancers, artists, and literary types. Many students transfer to larger institutions after two years; many stay for four.

I started out at Simon's Rock in '94, intending to focus on math and physics and to transfer to a larger (and more technical) college after two years. I ended up switching majors to social sciences -- and staying on for four years. After graduating, I worked for two years as the college's sysadmin -- finding out very quickly what it's like being a college staff member. (Hint: It's frequently very silly.)

Simon's Rock College - The Campus

  • Dolliver House - Male freshman dorm. The majority of the troubledoers and ne'er-do-wells reside here, and much chaos is generally had on a daily basis. Parietals in effect and easily enforced.
  • Crosby House - Female freshman dorm, located across from Dolliver. Parietals in effect and moderately enforced.
  • Kendrick House - Co ed freshman dorm, and is generally considered to house the sketchier students of SRC. Kendrick has the koi pond and Kendrick Pit, and the suite setup as opposed to dorm-style halls make it one of the more desired locations on campus to stay in. Parietals in effect but lightly enforced. Also the home of Kendrick Bridge.
  • Hill House - Sophomore (and some upperclassmen) housing. Opened in Fall '02, and contains one of Great Barrington's three elevators. There is controversy over the floor naming conventions (Ground, 1st, and 2nd as opposed to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). This year has seen three housekeepers quit their jobs.
  • Foster Houses (the Mods) - Built during the 70s to house construction workers expanding the campus, the mods are still desired by many due to the kitchens that each house has as well as the relative freedom it affords. Many parties go on in the mods of an unwholesome nature.
  • The Owl's Nest - Formerly student housing, closed this year and is generally used by visiting musical acts. To be razed in preparation for the new Student Union.
  • the Gatehouse - Formerly upperclass housing, currently under renovations. Future home of ex-dean Bernie Rodgers
  • Orchard Houses - Upperclass housing. Generally desired by Seniors due to the relatively close location to main campus.
  • Pibly - Upperclass housing, on Upper Campus. Former gym converted to apartments.
  • Carriage House - Upperclass housing, on Upper Campus, across from Pibly.

Classroom Buildings

The ARC - Being replaced by the nARC, see below

Administration/Other Points of Interest

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