During the last week of August, members of Colgate University’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Hamilton College’s Student Assembly gathered at a summit at Hamilton College to discuss the relationship between the two schools. About ten individuals from each institution met to explore how the schools can develop a mutually beneficial relationship, especially given their close proximity.
President of Colgate’s Student Government Association senior Samuel Flood ’14 attended a leadership conference in Washington D.C. this past summer where he met President of the Student Body at Hamilton College Anthony Jackson. Both agreed to schedule a meeting between the schools before the start of the new academic year.
“The SGA here at Colgate has just been trying to really step it up, especially with orientation,” SGA Executive Board member and senior Margaretta Burdick said. This year, an important part of the SGA’s orientation for their memembers included meeting with the members of Hamilton College’s Executive Board.
“It was great…we discussed the different things that we do at the two schools, what works, and some big initiatives we are working on,” Burdick said.
At the summit, members also discussed the confusion and escalated misunderstanding caused by articles written by students at both schools last year.
“I wouldn’t say that was the reason for the get-together, but it was the first thing that was brought up when we got there…people had met over the summer about that, but we definitely smoothed things over,” Burdick said.
Referring to the logic of developing a healthy, beneficial relationship, Burdick cited the fact that Hamilton and Colgate share many similarities including their location, demographics, and identities as liberal arts colleges and relative sizes.
The 20-mile distance between the schools as well as the pools of undergraduate students again point to the rationality in building a quality relationship.
“We are trying to work to potentially collaborate with them on more stuff in the future, especially because… sometimes people complain about not having enough options, especially social options. Hamilton College is about 1,800 undergraduate students our age,” Burdick said.
Colgate’s Executive Board plans to stay in touch with members at Hamilton College, which furthers the potential for collaboration in the future. Specifically, members are considering planning a social event for both schools, which would be at a location other than Colgate or Hamilton.
Meanwhile, the student presidents of both schools are optimistic about the burgeoning relationship between the schools.
“It makes so much sense for two bodies to get together, with our similar interests and activities-so why not collaborate?” Jackson said.
“I’m very excited to work with Hamilton College to forge a relationship between our two institutions of higher education. As a college that is 30 minutes away from us, it seems so appropriate to work together,” Flood said.
Contact Natalie Pudalov at [email protected]