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.
Incoming first-year Honors students can apply to live in Honors housing! This opportunity is part of a larger effort to create an academically focused learning community including the Clarkson School. Honors has limited reserved living space in the Ormsby and Newell wings of Price Hall, which is where the Honors Program staff offices, Honors/Clarkson School student lounge, and Honors classroom are located. Those in Honors Housing will have direct access to all of those spaces. 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 must indicate their interest in being placed in Honors housing when they complete their University Housing Questionnaire. Please note that Honors housing for incoming first-year students is not guaranteed and students will be placed on a space-availablebasis. In the 2015-2016 academic year, we were able to accommodate all first-year students who were interested in Honors housing, but our space is limited and we cannot guarantee you a place in Honors housing. Available rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the date that the incoming first-year student formally accepts his or her invitation to join the Honors Program.
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.
We welcome first-year students in August with Orientation sessions designed to introduce them to Honors student life and academic expectations in the Honors Program. 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. The highlight of Orientation for first-year Honors students is an overnight trip to Camp Oswegatchie in the Adirondacks. During the trip, students get to know one another through team-building games and challenge opportunities. Honors orientation culminates with a program-wide dinner 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.
Orientation dates for the 2016-2017 academic year are TBD. Check back to this website for updates, and additional information will be sent to students via email.
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.