Bryn Mawr

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Student Life

Student Services | Student Residences | Student Responsibilities and Rights

Student Services

The deans are responsible for the general welfare of undergraduates. Students are free to call upon the deans for help and advice on both academic and general matters. After students select their majors at the end of their sophomore year, they are assigned a faculty adviser in the major who helps them plan their academic program for the junior and senior years. In addition to deans, students may consult the director of residential life, the director of international advising, the director of the Office for Intercultural Affairs, the director of financial aid, the director of career development and the coordinator of student activities. The Student Life Office staff and upperclass students known as hall advisers provide advice and assistance on questions concerning life in the residence halls. The College’s medical director, consulting psychiatrist and several counselors are also available to all students through scheduled appointments or, in emergencies, through the nursing staff on duty 24 hours a day in the Health Center.

The College and the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Customs Week Committee provide orientation for first-year and transfer students, and the McBride Program provides orientation for incoming McBride Scholars. First-year students and transfers take residence before the College is opened to upperclass students. The deans, hall advisers and Customs Week Committee welcome them, answer their questions and give advice. New students and their parents may meet with the president of the College during this orientation period. In addition, faculty members are available for consultation, and all incoming students have appointments with a dean or other adviser to plan their academic programs for the fall semester. Undergraduate organizations at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges acquaint new students with other aspects of college life.

Academic support services at Bryn Mawr include: the writing program, peer mentoring, peer tutoring and study-skills support services. The writing program offers a writing center in which peer mentors assist students who need help with composition and other courses. The writing program also offers occasional workshops open to the campus. Peer mentoring and peer tutoring are available without cost to students. For first-year students who need to strengthen their study skills, special study-skills programs are offered in the fall. When it is appropriate, students might be referred to the Child Study Institute for assessment or for study skills tutoring.

For information on support services for learning, physical or psychological disabilities, see Access Services below.

Students and alumnae/i are invited to make use of the services of the Career Development Office of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. These services include career and job-search counseling; group and private sessions on résumé writing, interviewing and job-hunting techniques; information and referrals for part-time, summer and permanent positions on campus and off campus; online information on more than 2,000 internships; a Web-based on- and off-campus recruiting program; and maintaining and furnishing, on request, letters of recommendation.

In addition to interview opportunities on campus, students may interview with employers participating in off-campus recruiting days co-sponsored with a consortium of selective liberal arts colleges. Conducted in December and January, these events are located in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “National Virtual Fairs” are conducted in September and March.

During the academic year, the office sponsors career panels and individual speakers featuring alumnae/i to provide students with a broader knowledge of career options. In recent years, these programs have focused on careers in the arts, business and management, communications, education, environmental science and technology, human services, law, mathematics, medicine and conflict resolution.

In cooperation with alumnae/i, the office provides students with access to a network of bi-college graduates who make themselves available to students for personal consultation on career-related questions and who, in practical ways, assist students in learning more about career fields of interest. Each year, nearly 200 students interested in exploring specific career fields participate during winter break in the Extern Program, shadowing alumnae/i representing a great variety of career fields. Career Development and alumnae/i volunteers also arrange Career Exploration Days in various cities during fall, winter and spring breaks. Small groups of students meet personally with three or four individual alumnae/i in their respective workplaces over the course of one day. Each alumna/us is engaged in work related to a career focus such as careers on Capitol Hill, or at the National Institutes of Health, or careers in public health, the museum world, finance, international development and other fields of particular interest to students.

In the spring, not-for-profit public-service career fairs are held in Boston, New York and Philadelphia (on campus), for students and alumnae. Cosponsored by a variety of prestigious colleges and universities, these events offer the opportunity to learn about internship and career opportunities in a broad spectrum of not-for-profit and public service organizations.

The Health Center is a primary-care facility open 24 hours a day when the College is in session. The College’s Health Service offers a wide range of medical and counseling services to all matriculated undergraduates.

Outpatient medical services include primary care, first aid, nursing visits, routine laboratory work, walk-in medical clinic, gynecological services and appointments with the College physician. Inpatient care is provided for students who are too ill to be in their residence halls but are not candidates for hospitalization. There is no charge for doctor or nurse visits. A current fee schedule for other services is available upon request.

The counseling service is available to all undergraduate students. Each student may receive six free visits per academic year. While there is a fee for subsequent visits, no student is denied service because of an inability to pay. Consultation with a psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist can be arranged by appointment by calling the main number of the Health Center.

All entering students must file medical history and evaluation forms with Health Services before registration for classes.

The College purchases a limited medical insurance policy for full-time undergraduate students. The insurance is provided in conjunction with services supplied by the Bryn Mawr College Health Center. The insurance policy will not cover a significant portion of the costs of a major illness. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that students maintain their coverage on their families’ health plans or purchase additional insurance. The College does provide information about additional insurance plans that may be available to Bryn Mawr students. Information about the basic insurance plan and any available additional plans is sent to students each summer.

A student may, on the recommendation of the College physician or her own doctor, at any time request a medical leave of absence for reasons of health. The College reserves the right to require a student to withdraw for reasons of health if, in the judgment of the medical director, she is not in sufficiently good health to meet her academic commitments or to continue in residence at the College. Permission to return from a medical leave is granted when the College’s Health Service receives satisfactory evidence of recovery.

Occasionally a student experiences psychological difficulties that interfere with her ability to function at college. Taking time away from college to pursue therapy may be necessary. The College sees this choice as restorative, not punitive. With evidence of improvement in health, Bryn Mawr welcomes the student’s return.

The College believes that time away for psychological reasons should, in most cases, be for an entire academic year to allow sufficient time for growth, reflection and meaningful therapy — students who hurry back prematurely tend to risk a second failure. Therefore, medical leaves of absence for psychological reasons are granted for a period of one year, except in unusual situations. Readmission requires the approval of Bryn Mawr’s medical director or the appropriate member of the College’s counseling staff. The student should ask the physician or counselor with whom she has worked while on leave to contact the appropriate person at the College’s Health Service when she is ready to apply to return.

Students who want to return in September must submit all readmission materials by July 1. Those who want to return in January must submit all readmission materials by November 15.

For information on academic leaves of absence, see the printed catalog.

Bryn Mawr is committed to providing equal access for individuals with disabilities and welcomes qualified students with disabilities to the College community. Students who require assistance because of a learning, physical or psychological disability are encouraged to contact the coordinator of Access Services in Canwyll House as early as possible to discuss their needs.

Like other student services at Bryn Mawr, Access Services aims to address each student’s needs individually. The access coordinator works with the student, and others on campus when necessary, to identify appropriate support and reasonable accommodations to help her participate as fully as possible in the College’s programs and activities. Current relevant documentation of a disability from a qualified professional is required to verify eligibility and to help determine appropriate accommodations. Disclosure of a disability is voluntary, and the information is maintained on a confidential basis. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any required documentation.

For information about specific documentation requirements, eligibility criteria and procedures for requesting accommodations, please contact the access coordinator in Canwyll House.

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Student Residences

Residence in College housing is required of all undergraduates, except those who live with their families in Philadelphia or the vicinity, and those who live off campus after having received permission to do so from the College during the annual room draw. In the latter instance, it is the responsibility of students to obtain permission from their parents for off-campus residence.

The College’s residence halls provide simple and comfortable living for students. Bryn Mawr expects students to respect its property and the standards on which the halls are run. A statement of residence regulations is included in the Student Handbook.

Thirty-six hall advisers provide resources and advice to students living in the halls, and they work with the elected student officers to uphold the social Honor Code within the halls.

The halls are open during fall and spring breaks and Thanksgiving vacation, but meals are not provided. During winter vacation, special arrangements are made for students who wish to remain in residence — international students, athletes and students who are taking classes at the University of Pennsylvania. These students pay a special fee for room and board and live in an assigned residence hall.

Any student requiring special housing accommodations because of special disability needs should contact the coordinator of Access Services at Canwyll House.

The College is not responsible for loss of personal property due to fire, theft or any other cause. Students who wish to insure against these risks should do so individually or through their own family policies.

Residence halls on campus provide full living accommodations. Brecon, Denbigh, Merion, Pembroke East, Pembroke West and Radnor Halls are named for counties in Wales, recalling the tradition of the early Welsh settlers of the area in which Bryn Mawr is situated. Rockefeller Hall is named for its donor, John D. Rockefeller, and Rhoads North and South for the first president of the College, James E. Rhoads. Erdman Hall, first opened in 1965, was named in honor of Eleanor Donnelley Erdman ’21, a former member of the Board of Trustees. The Clarissa Donnelley Haffner Hall, which creates an “international village” for students of Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish languages, was opened in 1970. Perry House is the Black Cultural Center and residence. Batten House serves as a residence for those interested in a cooperative living environment. Glenmede, located a quarter-mile from campus, was bequeathed to the college in 1980 by Mary Ethel Pew, A.B. 1906 and houses McBride and graduate students.

The College offers a variety of living accommodations, including singles, doubles, triples, quadruples and a few suites. The College provides basic furniture, but students supply linen, bed pillows, desk lamps, rugs, mirrors and any other accessories they wish.

The physical maintenance of the halls is the responsibility of the director of Facilities Services and Housekeeping Services. At the end of the year, each student is held responsible for the condition of her room and its furnishings. Room assignments, the hall-adviser program, residence-life policies, and vacation-period housing are the responsibility of the director of Residential Life.

Resident students are required to participate in the meal plan, which provides 20 meals per week. For those living at Glenmede, Batten House or Perry House, where kitchens are available, the meal plan is optional. Any student with medical or other extraordinary reasons for exemption from participation in the meal plan may present documentation of her special needs to the coordinator of Access Services. Ordinarily, with the help of the College dietician, Dining Services can meet such special needs. When this is not possible, written notice of exemption will be provided by the coordinator of Access Services.

Coeducational residence halls on the Bryn Mawr campus were established in 1969-70, housing students from Bryn Mawr and Haverford. In addition, Haverford College has spaces available on its campus for Bryn Mawr students. As neither Bryn Mawr nor Haverford allows room retention from one year to the next, the number and kind of bi-college options change each year.

Haffner Hall, which opened in 1970, is open to Bryn Mawr and Haverford students interested in the study of Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish languages and cultures. Admission is by application only and students must pledge to participate actively in the Hall’s activities. Residence in a language house provides an excellent opportunity to gain fluency in speaking a foreign language.

For nonresident students, locked mailboxes are available in the Centennial Campus Center. Nonresident students are liable for all undergraduate fees except those for residence in a hall. All matriculated undergraduate students are entitled to full use of all out- and in-patient health services.

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Student Responsibilities and Rights

The Honor Code

The high degree of trust and responsibility that the College has always given to students is reflected in the academic and social Honor Codes. These delegate to individual students the responsibility for integrity in their academic and social behavior. Responsibility for administering the academic Honor Code is shared with the faculty; the Academic Honor Board, composed of both students and faculty, mediates in cases of infraction. In the social Honor Code, as in all aspects of their social lives, students are self-governing; a Social Honor Board, consisting of 10 students, mediates in cases where social conflicts cannot be resolved by the individuals directly involved. Trained student mediators work with students to resolve conflicts in effective ways.

The successful functioning of the Honor Code is a matter of great pride to the Bryn Mawr community, and it contributes significantly to the mutual respect that exists among students and between students and faculty. While the Honor Code makes great demands on the maturity and integrity of students, it also grants them an independence and freedom that they value highly. To cite just one example, many examinations are self-scheduled, so that students may take them at whatever time during the examination period is most convenient for their own schedules and study patterns.

In resolving academic cases, the Honor Board might fail a student on an assignment or in a course, or separate her from the College temporarily or permanently. Social infractions that are beyond the ability of the Honor Board to resolve might be brought to a Dean’s Panel, which exercises similar authority. For details regarding Honor Hearings and Dean’s Panels, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Privacy of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 5411 Switzer Building, 330 C Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

Copies of Bryn Mawr’s policy regarding the act and procedures used by the College to comply with the act can be found in the Undergraduate Dean’s Office. Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Undergraduate Dean’s Office.

Directory Information

Bryn Mawr College designates the following categories of student information as public or “directory information.” Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

  • Category I : Name, address, dates of attendance, class, current enrollment status, electronic mail address
  • Category II : Previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred
  • Category III : Date of birth
  • Category IV : Telephone number
  • Category V : Marital status

Currently-enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 by written notification, which must be in the Registrar’s Office by August 15. Forms requesting the withholding of directory information are available in the Registrar’s Office. Bryn Mawr College assumes that failure on the part of any student to request the withholding of categories of directory information indicates individual approval of disclosure.

Campus Security Information

As part of its compliance with Pennsylvania’s College and University Security Information Act, Bryn Mawr provides to all students and all applicants for admission a brochure describing the College’s security policies and procedures. The College also makes available to all students and applicants the crime report required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the most recent three-year period.

Right-to-Know Act

The Student Right-to-Know Act requires disclosure of the graduation rates of degree-seeking undergraduate students. Students are considered to have graduated if they complete their programs within six years of the normal time for completion.

Class entering fall 1998 (Class of 2002)

Size at entrance 344

  • Graduated after 3 years 1.2%
  • after 4 years 75%
  • after 5 years 80.2%
  • after 6 years 81.7%

Equality of Opportunity

Bryn Mawr College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age or disability in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other College-administered programs, or in its employment practices.

In conformity with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, it is also the policy of Bryn Mawr College not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, activities or employment practices. The admission of only women in the Undergraduate College is in conformity with a provision of the Act. Inquiries regarding compliance with this legislation and other policies regarding nondiscrimination may be directed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, Florence Goff, who administers the College’s procedures, at 610-526-5275.

Students with Disabilities

Bryn Mawr welcomes the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life and is committed to providing equal access to the College’s programs, services and activities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For information about the College’s services for students with learning, physical or psychological disabilities, contact the coordinator of Access Services in Canwyll House.

Access Services

Bryn Mawr is committed to providing equal access for individuals with disabilities and welcomes qualified students with disabilities to the College community. Students who require assistance because of a learning, physical or psychological disability are encouraged to contact the coordinator of Access Services in Canwyll House as early as possible to discuss their needs.

Like other student services at Bryn Mawr, Access Services responds to each student’s concerns individually. The coordinator works with the student, and others on campus when necessary, to identify appropriate support and reasonable accommodations to help her participate as fully as possible in the College’s programs and activities. Current relevant documentation of a disability from a qualified professional is required to verify eligibility and to help determine appropriate accommodations. Disclosure of a disability is voluntary, and the information is maintained on a confidential basis. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any required documentation.

For information about eligibility criteria, specific documentation requirements, and procedures for requesting accommodations, please contact the coordinator of Access Services in Canwyll House.

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Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000