SUNY at Purchase College Visit Report by jimst

Visit to SUNY at Purchase College in March 2008 by jimst
(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2009)
(Member since December 17 2017 with ? posts)

Visit Activities:

Information Session: Yes - Signed in at receptionist desk and sent out with students. Fortunately my wife picked up a folder of info from the lobby.

Campus Tour: Yes - By students.


Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Fortunately the students we met by accident gave us a much better and positive view of the school. Four of them literally dropped what they were doing to show us around and answer questions.

Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
1 - Poor
1 - Poor
Might have rated them higher if we'd even seen anyone other than a receptionist. Would have been nice to actually been given a brochure, map, application, anything...

Appearance of Campus:
3 - Good
3 - Good
Architect's aversion to any design or ornamentation leaves it rather stark. It's not a movie version of a college campus but it's not an industrial park, either.

Building/Facilities Maintenance/Cleanliness:
3 - Good
3 - Good
Clean, no litter anywhere. Buildings appeared well-maintained.

2 - Fair
2 - Fair
Not offered on the tour. From a distance they appeared anywhere from okay to very nice.

3 - Good
3 - Good
Call boxes throughout campus. Only actual security seen was a parked unmanned vehicle, but this is built around nothing on an old farm, in the richest county in New York.Students said they felt safe.

Overall Campus Impression:
3 - Good
3 - Good
Students were great, campus was acceptable, concerns about the faculty (many part-time) and non-existent staff.


Area Immediately Around Campus:
2 - Fair
2 - Fair
Fields. Trees. That's about it. At least there's a shuttle to the train station and NYC's 45 minutes and $6 away.

2 - Fair
2 - Fair
Feeling of isolation could be overwhelming to some. White Plains is closest town, not within walking distance. Without a car or using the shuttle you're there for the duration.

Campus Visit Notes for SUNY at Purchase College

Visit Description:

In their own words:

Available during the fall and spring semesters, this tour is for students interested in seeing the classrooms and buildings specifically for the conservatories of Dance, Music or Theatre Arts & Film, or professional training in our School of Art+Design. This tour does not include general buildings such as the dining hall or dormitories, to view these please register for a general Information Session and Tour.

Chronologically, what this tour really consisted of:
- Arrived at 12:50 for 1pm tour, signed in with an overwhelmed receptionist
-Fortunately grabbed some brochures off the rack while waiting
-Sat with 20+ other people in a waiting room for 15 minutes for the tour to begin
- Had 3 students walking backwards through campus, describing the campus and answering questions. Unfortunately we were outside and their voices were often inaudible to most of the group.
- Went to the Performing Arts Center. Shown the outside of the main theatre. Couldn't go in, recording in progress.
- Shown the outside of the Pepsico theatre. Couldn't go in, film festival in progress.
- Couldn't see the black box theatre or go anywhere else in the Arts Center, job fair in progress.
- Group split up, we went with the theatre design group
- Skipped the music building, went to the dance building, walked up one hall and down the other. Couldn't see any dressing rooms or classrooms. Might have seen a teacher coming out of the men's room. That was it for the faculty.
- Group split up again, leaving all dance people behind. Went with student guide and another family to Social Sciences/Design/Technology Building. Those that stayed were on their own from that point on.
-Was shown the upstairs hallway of the building. Tour was about to end. When pressed, he went inside one of the classrooms, where we found several design students working, class not in session.
- These kids were extremely helpful and gave us more info in 5 minutes than we'd had from the tour so far.
-Guide had to leave to go to class. This was 1:45pm.

So we'd driven 8 hours to go on a scheduled tour of the college only to be given no information about the school, sent out with 2 freshmen and a sophomore and shown a couple of hallways for 40 minutes. We met no admissions people, no faculty, no staff, seen no theaters, no classrooms. Had no real questions answered. Overall this was the most pathetic informational tour of any college (or anything else, for that matter) we'd ever experienced. This was not just our impression, a few of the other families in the group made similar comments.

Fortunately the students we met in the classroom spent over an hour with us, showing us around (one even borrowed keys to get us into one of the labs). These kids were obviously passionate about there work and really went above and beyond to show us what the school is really about. They are the only reason we're even considering Purchase.

Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:

Stayed in Old Greenwich at the Hyatt (about 15 minutes away). Use Priceline, 4 star near Stamford. Great hotel and staff.

Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:

Ate at the Cobblestone right near the entrance to the college. It was average.