Honors Student Life
The Honors Program creates a vibrant, tight-knit “community within a community” at Clarkson. Bonds of friendship and teamwork are formed as early as “Pre-Frosh” Summer Research and first-year student orientation, when newly arrived Honors students escape for two days to Camp Oswegatchie to conquer the high ropes course and gobble a few too many s’mores. Throughout their four years, Honors students discover endless ways to connect, collaborate and create memories together.
New in Fall 2011, Honors students can apply to live together in Honors housing! This exciting new development is part of a larger effort to create an academically focused learning community including the Clarkson School. Honors has reserved living space in the Ormsby and Newell wings of Price Hall, which is where the Honors Program staff offices, Honors student lounge, and Honors classroom are located. Those in Honors Housing will have direct access to all of those spaces without leaving the building. Ormsby and Newell residence halls are suite-style housing with two students sharing a room and two rooms sharing a bathroom. An application will be available in January each year for upper-class students. Incoming first-year students will be contacted in May regarding Honors Housing.
Trips & Traditions
There is a jar of cookies and a big bowl of candy in the Honors Program office. It might seem like a small detail, but it contributes to the feeling of family and community that permeates the program. The Honors year is also punctuated by a variety of social events: the orientation picnic, Thanksgiving dinner, the December solstice party, Ben and Jerry's nights, the end-of-year picnic, and Honors Commencement Brunch.
The orientation activities include: session for the parents of first-year students; orientation session for first-year students including a trip to Camp Oswegatchie; Sophomore, Junior, and Senior class meetings; and a variety of social events. First-year students have special sessions designed to help them get to know each other as a class and to begin a four year process of self-examination and reflection. Honors orientation culminates with a program-wide picnic where all new students in the program have the opportunity to sign the Honors Program Roll Book and record their favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. New students will also receive their Honors T-shirts from the Honors Steering Board.
Ben and Jerry's nights
Ben and Jerry's nights bear some explanation. They are relatively impromptu social occasions at which students get the flavor of ice cream that they designated when they signed the Honors Program Roll Book. These occasions mark the legacy of the first Honors Program gift from a now deceased Clarkson University custodian, Shirley Nelson. She wanted a gift which would provide a time for student relaxation and enjoyment. She particularly admired people, including students, who know how to work hard and to strive for excellence in their daily lives.
Honors student government is a wonderful opportunity to influence the administration and direction of the program. Representatives are elected from each class to serve on the general Steering Board, and others are chosen to sit on the four subcommittees: Service, Honors Ambassadors, Activities and Webmasters. In addition, five students are elected each year by their peers to serve on the Honors Council, a group of Clarkson administrators, faculty and students that oversees admission to the Honors Program and also approves thesis proposals.