A cute dog sitting on the Pitzer College seal

Meet the Dogs of Pitzer!

Hey there! My name is Nat Bentley, and I am a senior here at Pitzer! I’m majoring in Sociology, but that’s not the focus of this blog! Instead, I’ll be talking about something even cooler: The dogs of Pitzer! At Pitzer College, students can apply and receive approval to bring their emotional support animals (ESAs) to campus and live in our residence halls! Emotional support animals come in all shapes, sizes, and types, but the most popular kind is definitely man’s best friend, otherwise known as a dog. Throughout my four years here, I have gotten to know countless pups and have become friends with some of the owners too!

Admission Counselor Erin Griffin’s corgi Levi!
Director of Admission Santiago Ybarra’s dog Lily on a trip to Death Valley!









Scooter at the park.


Meet the Pups

The pups of PZ help make our environment here even warmer and fuzzier. I love walking through campus and getting to pet and interact with cute dogs. Those with cynophobia, have no fear; the Pitzer pups must be on-leash at all times, and they will not approach you without your consent! My favorite canine pal over the years has been *drum roll please*: Scooter – a miniature schnauzer poodle mix, owned by my best friend, Kat. In fact, I love Scooter so much that I even did an independent research project in Language and Gender, a sociolinguistics course taught by Professor Carmen Fought, with him! We examined gender variance in the use of babytalk when interacting with (adorable) dogs! My other favorite puppy pals include Theo, Lili and Harry. Theo and Lili are pictured below!

Lili playing fetch in the Admission Office.
Theo in class!











Unfortunately, Harry graduated last year with his human, Taylor Novick-Finder, but he was a notable and well-loved furry friend by all! He even walked across the stage with Taylor (PZ’17) during commencement (as shown below).








What fun! If you like social justice, friendly people, and dogs, then Pitzer might be the place for you :). Thanks for reading!

Posted by Nat Bentley ’18

hang gliding

Study Abroad at Pitzer!

Hello everyone! My name is AJ and I’m a senior here at Pitzer. During the fall of my junior year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador on one of Pitzer’s direct-run study abroad programs! My semester was incredible, and I’m here to give you a little insight into what studying abroad at Pitzer is all about. 

Pitzer has an impressive study abroad program. Over 50% of the student body enrolls in a direct or exchange study abroad program once in their four years. To give you a point of reference, the national average for college students studying abroad is 2% (WOAH!). Pitzer offers a range of programs, domestic and international, as well as counseling and guidance through the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs in order to find the program that best suits you. With 8 Pitzer programs (programs founded and directed by Pitzer staff and mindful of Pitzer’s core values) in Costa Rica, Vietnam, Brazil, Nepal, Ecuador, Botswana, and Italy, plus 50+ direct enroll and exchange programs, Pitzer really makes the world your oyster.

Last fall, I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Ecuador. The 5 months I spent in Quito and around the rest of the country were life-changing! From the day I arrived to the day I left, I felt incredibly supported by Pitzer staff who ensured that my stay was smooth and comfortable. There are bumps in every journey, but that being said, my abroad experience was incredibly positive.

What I enjoyed most about my stay in Ecuador was the fact that I was able to develop a routine there. What sets apart studying abroad from simply travelling to a country is that you are given the chance to create your own life in the country of stay. Everyday I would wake up at 8am and have a nice breakfast at my home stay. From there, I would take a leisurely 15 minute walk to the bus terminal, Rio Coca, and catch my 30-minute bus ride to school.

The school I attended, Universidad de San Francisco Quito (USFQ), is located in the valley of Quito called Cumbaya. The bus ride to school was windy but soothing, and it cost me a total of 25 cents. I could always expect to see the same vendors hop on the bus during my ride. One guy stood out in particular: he sold dried lima beans along with a catchy “habas, habas, habitas, habas, ricas habas” tune.  On Mondays and Fridays I had class at 10am, a course titled “The Political Economy of Inequality”. My professor was a pretty well-known economist in Ecuador; he was incredibly passionate about economic inequality in Ecuador as well as the repercussions on social and political dynamics in the country. My other class was a three-hour long painting class on Wednesday nights. I had never painted before, and this class actually proved to be more difficult than my economics course! Still, the diversity of classes I was able to take was awesome. USFQ is a private university and has a strong focus on providing a version of a liberal arts education. The connection between students and professors is strong, which reminded me a lot of my experience at Pitzer.


On top of the classes I took at USFQ, I attended a Pitzer seminar on Tuesday afternoons where we discussed topics regarding Ecuadorian culture. This included everything from politics, to economics, environmental issues, gender, and poverty. Although led by the program leaders, Sebastian and Viviana (amazing angels!!!), the seminar also included a number of guest speakers. This class particularly helped guide our independent research projects, a final report culminating research on an area of interest that we presented at the end of the semester. My project focused on the current economic downturn in Ecuador as a cause of a crash in the price of petroleum and excessive government spending over the past decade. My academics really allowed me to understand the social and political background of the country I was living in, and my classes gave me awareness of customs that are essential to understanding the Ecuadorian population.



My program also had a huge emphasis on cultural immersion. While the curriculum, host families, and community service requirements (6 hours a week at a non-profit ~ really cool options available!) set up by Pitzer help you engage with the language and culture, the level of immersion that you commit yourself to in your free time is really up to you! Being at the university allowed me to make lots of Ecuadorian friends, and throughout the semester, I was able to meet their families, share experiences, and travel with several of them. It’s crazy how close you can get to people in the span of just one semester. I still talk to my Ecuadorian friends daily, and they were one of the reasons why leaving Ecuador was so hard.


Overall, the program provided me with a well-rounded experience that helped me learn a lot about myself in a worldly context. I would 100% recommend going abroad during your time at Pitzer!

Posted by AJ Leon ’18

Pitzer Activities

Why We Love Pitzer Activities (and You Should Too!)

PAct 101: Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

Pitzer Activities (PAct) is a student-run programming board at Pitzer College that organizes a variety of on campus events and off-campus adventures. We also organize our weekly late night event, Snackie Snack!

We are dedicated to organizing weekly events for the PZ community! New to Pitzer? Here are some events to look forward to every semester!

  1. Annual Student Involvement Fair with Student Senate

Not sure how to get involved in campus life as a first-year, or hoping to become more engaged as a returning student? PAct and Senate have got you covered!

In the first few weeks of your time at Pitzer, make sure to check out our Student Involvement Fair! PAct partners with Pitzer’s Student Senate to collaborate with the student body, clubs, and organizations, to recruit the new incoming students to get involved with the community. As all must know, one of our core values is Student Engagement; so make sure to stop by to bring ya friends, ya friends’ friends, your curiosity, and your eagerness to get involved!






Student Involvement Fair Spring 2017, Courtesy of Jan Bragado

  1. Viewing Parties

Do you have a knack for free food and watching things on the big screen? Well, PAct has your back! Pitzer Activities love to host viewing parties and movie screenings! During the fall semester, we have hosted every debate during the election season, and even election night! During the spring semester, we also hosted the Superbowl Viewing Party and brought in Pizza, wings, and drinks! What’s not to like?

Election Debate Fall 2016, Courtesy of Chance Kawar
  1. Free Transportation to Women’s March

Pitzer Activities strongly abides by our core value of Social Responsibility. With that comes our passion for social justice and standing up for everyone’s rights. So best believe we not only attended the Women’s March last January in LA, but we also brought over 50 people with us! For our LA trips PAct brings in the big yellow bus, students pile in on a first-come first serve basis, and we drive off into the Sunset Blvd!

Women’s March Los Angeles, 01/21/17. Courtesy of Jan and friends
  1. Off Campus Activities in the Surrounding Cities.

Wanna get off campus for the weekend? PAct does too! Pitzer Activities surely enjoys getting away for the weekend and taking off in the big yellow bus to other destinations.

PAct has taken students out to jump as high as they can at Sky Zone, express themselves at Skate Express, or even to go see a movie at a nearby theater! We’ve even taken the trip to Raging Waters, the largest water park in California, and to the annual LA County Fair! 

(Neighborhood Holiday Lights Viewing, Rollerskate Night, and Skyzone Outing. Courtesy of Jan Bragado)

  1. Off Campus SoCal Adventures

Have the urge to further explore Southern California, but don’t have the means of transportation needed? Or maybe you just don’t have your car on campus and the free transportation sounds wonderful! Whatever it may be, Pitzer Activities love to spend some days in LA as well! We’ve taken students to baseball games, to the beach, the mountains, the Broad Museum, and the LA Zoo! Make sure you write down some requests for events during the club fair!

Angel’s baseball game outing, and Snow Day with *Pitzer Outdoor Adventures (POA). Courtesy of Jan Bragado and *Clint Isom
  1. On Campus Events

Sometimes, going off campus requires getting dressed and ready, ya know? That’s dandy and all, but there are days when you just wanna stay in. So guess what? We bring the entertainment HERE!

You can stay comfy with your PJ’s and your onesies and hang out with your friends while we bring a magician, a hypnotist, or a comedian right here to campus. Not only that, but we also bring snacks! That freshman 15 is a guarantee… for all four years.

Last semester’s most popular events:

  • Magic Show with Tom Ogden
  • Comedy Night with Megan Gailey
  • De-stress Fest from Finals with Peer Health Educators (PHE) – and puppies!
  1. Collaboration with other PZ organizations

As mentioned, PAct actively practices the Social Responsibility core value that our institution holds dearly. Therefore, we feel strongly about making sure that the PAct trips and events are inclusive to the Pitzer student body and community. We enjoy collaborating with various clubs and organizations at Pitzer and even the 5C’s! PAct has collaborated with Pitzer Peer Health Educators with a de-stress event in which PAct and PHE brought in puppies from the nearest dog shelter, provided materials for DIY stress balls and body scrubs, and had free hot chocolate and tea! For our events like Snackie, other clubs and organizations are most definitely welcome to arrange collabs.

Our most popular and well-attended events were Soul Food Snackie with BSU, Cookie Snackie with Pangea, Churros & Ice Cream Snackie with Latinx Student Union (LSU), and Snow Day at Mt. Baldy with Pitzer Outdoor Adventures.

Soul Food Snackie in collaboration with Black Student Union (BSU). Courtesy of Clint Isom
  1. Snackie Snack!

Free food: PAct’s specialty.

As a PAct Programmer during my first year, some of my favorite moments were definitely making food runs to Costco or local restaurants and eateries for Snackie and other events. My all-time favorite moment? Seeing the bright and hungry smiles of the students in line for free food.

Here’s the scoop:

You can look forward to free food every Tuesday evenings from 10pm to 11pm! Stay tuned on Facebook to find out each week’s theme!

2016-2017 Most Loved Snackies:

  • Donuts Snackie
  • Cinnabon Snackie
  • Valentine’s Day Snackie (chocolate covered everything)
  • Acai Bowls Snackie
  • Thai Food Snackie
  • Churros & Ice Cream w/ LSU Snackie
  • Boba Snackie
  • Soul Food Snackie with BSU
  • And many more!

Courtesy of Pitzer Activities

  1. Blowout Snackie/In-n-Out food truck!

PAct will not let you go back home from a long semester of hard work without rewarding you all with some well-deserving food! At the end of each semester, we either hold a “Blowout Snackie” where we bring in the most popular snackies back in one huge snackie, or we bring in a food truck to provide comfort food all night for finals. Who knows, maybe we’ll see In-n-Out’s food truck out in the East Mesa Parking lot again at the end of the semester!

(PZ Students enjoying the In-N-Out Food Truck! Courtesy of Jan Bragado.)

  1. Social Responsibility Award

Thanks to the Pitzer Community’s nomination and the Awards Selection Committee, Pitzer Activities was rewarded with the Social Responsibility Award during the 2016-2017 Student Leadership Awards. PAct is truly honored and our programmers are looking forward to the next semester of more fun, inclusive events, and of course, more food!

Student Leadership Awards 2016-2017. Courtesy of Pitzer College

Many of our students love to take advantage of the opportunities that Pitzer Activities offers. Whether you wanna go off campus or stay on campus, or jusrdrop by for some snacks, stay tuned weekly for our events on the Facebook page!

For more information, visit PAct’s website!

Now that you’ve gotten the ins and the outs of PAct’s events and our core values in action, make sure to look out for our events throughout the year!

What memories will you make with PAct?

Written by Jan Bragado ’20

Central Courtyard in the evenining

Tips for Parents during your Student’s College Visit!

When I was touring colleges, I spent endless amounts of energy worrying about my embarrassing parents. That being said, parents, embarrass your kids as much as you want, but there are effective and ineffective ways to make it happen. It’s always good to remember that your student is the one going to college. However, you may be footing the bill, so at the very least you should get all of your questions answered. Tours are a time for your student to learn more about Pitzer, but it also tends to be an instance of gauging the “feel” of the school and overall “fit”, and there might be some questions that slip your child’s mind in the overwhelming and exciting process. So parents, here are some great, productive questions to remember to ask your tour guide.

1. Find out what health resources — like counseling, trauma support, health services, gym classes and facilities, etc. — are available for students and where they are on campus. This is not only your student’s new school, but also their home, and it is important and comforting to hear about what health and supportive resources are accessible on campus.

Courtesy of Buzzfeed



2. Ask about the surrounding area to get a sense if this is somewhere your student may want to live for four years. How is the college connected to the city or town it is in? Do students interact with locals? What is there to do? How close are doctors, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc.?

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

3. What academic support resources are there? Ask about resources like career centers, academic advising, writing centers, and peer tutoring. It is worth getting familiar with any features that will make the transition to college smoother.

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

4. When it comes to the living situation, let your student ask the big questions on their mind, and maybe suggest they take pictures of the dorms so planning for moving in can be easier. As a parent, ask your tour guide what kind of peer support is offered in the dorms, like resident advisers, mentoring programs, or how accessible administrators are. These are big things that prospective students often forget that can affect the quality of college living!

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

5. Really consider Pitzer’s five core values and ask how they impact our day-to-day learning as students. Do the core values fit those of your student? We stress them so much in our tours and info sessions for a reason!

Courtesy of Buzzfeed


Don’t let the important questions slip your mind while you are visiting schools. There are several factors that can help you make an informed choice and determine whether a college is the right fit. Take advantage of the knowledgeable, enthusiastic tour guides and admission representatives who can answer your questions about the entire college experience!

Posted by Lizzy Freedman ’18

Students attending the Kohoutek Festical in 1974

Tradition at Pitzer College

Although we are a relatively young college, we have our fair share of traditions! Check out some of my favorite PZ traditions throughout the school year.

Courtesy of giphy.com.

August: New Student Orientation Week

Courtesy of Giphy.com.
Dinner for Catalina Kayaking and Backpacking Orientation Adventure. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.
Fierce competition at PZ Olympics. Courtesy of Ben Cowan.









The first week back at Pitzer is full of traditions! As the the Pitzer community gets ready to welcome incoming first year, transfer, and new resources students, traditions such as Orientation Adventure, the Pitzer Olympics, and the Move-In Day dance party in front of the Gold Student Center take place. Coming home never looked so good!


September: Alley Cat, Bike Raffle, and Baldy Bombs, oh my!

Courtesy of Giphy.com.
Alley Cat Winners and Runner Ups 2016. Courtesy of Natalie Honan


In September, the weather in Claremont is perfect for biking! While the Green Bike Program is known for their biannual bike raffle for students in need of wheels, general bicycle maintenance and repair services, and workshops, they also host a myriad of other events including Alley Cat, a 5C wide bike scavenger hunt, and Baldy Bombs, a sunrise bike ride down Mount Baldy back to Pitzer (helmets and functional brakes required!).




October: Halloween in Claremont and Haunted Grove House

Courtesy of Giphy.com.
PZ Seniors as the Sandlot. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

Halloween in Claremont is no joke and costumes are NOT optional. From Harwood Halloween to Jumpstart Trick or Treat in PAS, the spookiest place come October is the Haunted Grove House. Planned entirely by the Grove House Committee, our beloved Grove House becomes a Haunted House for Halloween, complete with costumed students and ghoulish special effects– I hear people are dying to get in…

November: Thanksgiving at McConnell

Courtesy of Giphy.com.

A very special time of the year, and a tradition which makes both my heart and stomach uncomfortably full (with friendship and food, respectively): the wonderful staff at McConnell Dining Hall prepare a full Thanksgiving feast for hungry students!

December: Late Night Snack

Courtesy of Giphy.com.

The holidays hark in a very special season in which we eat our feelings, especially the feelings of overwhelming stress that come with finals. In a very special tradition that occurs the week before final exams, our professors and the administration serve a “Late Night Snack” to students, complete with mozzarella sticks, smoothies, nutella sandwiches, and more!

January: Hens vs Stags Basketball Game “6th Street Rivalry”

Courtesy of Giphy.com.

The fabled tales of the epic face off that is the 6th Street Rivalry are far reaching. This Pomona-Pitzer tradition requires all of us to put on their best orange and blue to cheer on the Hens as they face the CMS Stag-thenas. Chirp chirp, baby!  

February: Valentine’s Dinner at Grove House

Courtesy of giphy.com.
Some lovely ladies at the G-house Valentine’s Dinner. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

In February, Pitzer students bring their gals, pals, or vals to the most romantic candlelit dinner in all of the Inland Empire– the Grove House Valentine’s Day Dinner! Tables are reserved via lottery system, and if you are one of the many lucky students, you are treated to a free, gourmet, three-course dinner with live music and romantic ambiance to spare – fall in love all over again!

March: Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival

Courtesy of Pitzer College.

In 1974, the Kohoutek Comet was meant to collide into Earth and destroy our home planet. To celebrate their last days on Earth, Pitzer students organized an epic end of the world party–  with music, food, and dancing galore! However, the world didn’t end that fateful night in 1974 and the Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival lives on, thanks to student organizers. Recent artists have included Princess Nokia, Phony Ppl, and The California Honeydrops, alongside student bands! Check out more photos from the Kohoutek archives.

April: Rockabilly Festival

Rockabilly Festival at Pitzer. Courtesy of FlickRiver.

Each spring, Pitzer’s Latinx Student Union plans the Rockabilly Festival to bring together students, faculty, and community members to celebrate Latinx culture with a car show, food, local vendors, and live music! The students’ hard work and enthusiasm is clearly reflected in this Pitzer tradition.

May: Senior Theses

Senior Theses Projects! Courtesy of Natalie Honan, Art by Sachi Watase.

Last but not least, academic traditions hold a special place in the hearts of Pitzer students as well. I’ll be finishing up my thesis, titled “An Analysis of Health Outcomes and Neuroscientific Efficacy of State Mandated Sex Education in American Public Schools”, this spring. It has been a rewarding project and it is so great to see the product of all the seniors’ hard work in their spring theses presentations!

The Pitzer community is incomparable– this is exemplified when it comes time to senior theses presentations, whether they be science theses posters at Keck, the art theses in the galleries around campus, or other theses presentations. Friends, faculty, and community members show up to support the culmination of students’ academic careers at Pitzer. With the promise of free food and seeing your friends in business casual, senior theses are one of the many community centered traditions at Pitzer.

PZ Olympic Opening Ceremony (a new tradition). Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

Finally, the most special part of Pitzer is the opportunity to create your own traditions with the wonderful people you meet here! As a senior, of course I’ll miss taking part in the traditions I’ve mentioned above, but it will also be hard to say goodbye to greasy watermelon tournaments, Friday night Potlucks at Cucamonga, team dinners, Donut Man runs, and going out to dinner with the Diversity Interns in the Admission office.


Whether campus wide or within a smaller group of friends, unique traditions make Pitzer an even more special place to spend your college years.


Which traditions will you celebrate?

Posted by Natalie Honan ’17

Gold Student Health and Wellness entrance

5 Things to Try at the Gold Student Health and Wellness Center

There are so many great ways to stay active and be healthy on Pitzer’s campus. Whether it’s the newly renovated Scott Studenmund Gym or grabbing a healthy, local bowl from the Shakedown, there is no shortage of resources at the Gold Student Health and Wellness Center! Here are just a few of the resources the GSC has to offer:

  1. The Scott Studenmund ’12 Gym: The gym is fully equipped and open for anyone to use! It has treadmills, arc trainers, upright bikes and recumbent bikes. There are also weight machines, squat cages, free weights and more! This is a great space to catch a quick workout before or after class.

  1. Fitness Classes: Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Capoeira and more! The GSC offers an array of different classes that are available to all students. Pilates is one of my favorites, you get a full body workout on the reformers and a balancing breathing exercise. When the yoga room is not scheduled for classes, any student is free to use the space. Different dance and yoga clubs also utilize this space.


  1. Peer Health Educators: The Peer Health Educators (PHE) are a great resource on campus. They design and facilitate activities throughout the semester focused on different health and wellness themes. Some wonderful activities that they have hosted include Yoga on the Mounds, Study Break Dance Party, Planting Seeds of Intention, Sex Trivia Night and many, many more!

  1. Pitzer Pool and Patio Area: Arguably one of the most popular places to spend time on campus is the Pitzer pool. Especially on hot days in August, the pool is your best friend! Students lounge on the pool chairs and gather for BBQs and other events throughout the year. The GSC also has locker rooms with showers if you are dashing off to class after a dip.

  1. Shakedown Café and the Student Activities Center: The Shakedown Café is a student run eatery that works to support small-scale, organic, local farmers and aims to reconnect students with their food. The student activity center is the perfect space for club meetings, studying sessions and just hang out.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with the offerings at the Gold Student Center. The Dolores Huerta Room is home to the Latinx Student Union. There is the huge multipurpose room that is a great space for hosting different events, like the weekly late night “Snackie Snack” sponsored by Pitzer Activities (PAct). On your next trip to Pitzer, be sure to stop by and check out the fabulous GSC!

All photos courtesy of Pitzer College

Posted by Jennifer Lesorogol ’17

Kat’s Favorite Places to Hang Out in Southern California Besides Pitzer’s Campus

It’s no secret that Pitzer has a lot to offer right here on campus. You can sip on a smoothie while listening to live music at Shakedown sounds, attend an art show in the Grove House featuring work that was created by your classmates and friends, partake in an Alley Cat scavenger hunt, hang out at the pool, or spend an afternoon slacklining. Even with all of the exciting amenities and events that Pitzer has to offer, heading off-campus– out into the beautiful Southern California sunshine– can be a rewarding and rejuvenating way to spend your day. In my three years at Pitzer so far, I’ve discovered a handful of spots in and around SoCal that I believe to be worthy of the highly coveted title, Kat’s favorite places to hangout in Southern California besides Pitzer’s campus.

1. Deep Creek Hot Springs

This hidden gem located in Apple Valley has been the spot where I’ve had some of my favorite Pitzer adventures to date. The first time I visited the hot springs was in August of 2015, on a day when the temperatures were nearing the upper-nineties by 1:00 in the afternoon. After a series of wrong-turns, the friends I was hiking with and I ended up getting VERY lost in the Mojave desert, and after 14-hours of walking, hitch hiking, and a handful of emotional breakdowns, we FINALLY made it back to our car. *Pro-tip* for if you’re planning on visiting this spot, make sure you have a good map or very clear directions before you hit the trail!


2. Claremont Wilderness Trail

The Claremont Wilderness Trail is a 5-mile loop located North of Pitzer and the other Claremont Colleges. The wilderness trail is the perfect spot for when you’re in need of some time outside and in nature but don’t want to stray too far from campus. If you’re an early riser, this is a great walk or run to do first thing in the morning– you’ll get a great view of the sunrise!


3. Mount Baldy Waterfall

For those days when Pitzer’s succulent-abundant/xeriscaped campus just isn’t doing it for you, head on over to the Mount Baldy Waterfall for a little H2O. The waterfall is the perfect place to take a dip on hot days (like in the summer months when Claremont gets upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit). You can even slide down the waterfall if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!


4. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is one of those spots that you have to visit at least once during your time at Pitzer. The park– which is nicknamed “J-Tree”– is a 2 hour drive from campus, and has a lot to offer: The park itself is a favorite among hikers, car-campers, backpackers, and rock-climbers. For those who want to experience J-Tree from the indoors, there is a town located north of the park with a number of art galleries, restaurants, and a weekend farmer’s market. My favorite memory from J-Tree is the night when a few friends and I hurriedly scrambled up a boulder (with s’mores in hand) to watch the last bit of the sunset. We only caught the tail end of the sun setting over the park, but munching on our s’mores as we watched the sun disappear over the mountains in the distance made for a lovely (and picturesque!) moment.


5. Crystal Cove Beach

Southern California has a lot of beautiful beaches to choose from, but Crystal Cove is my personal favorite. I love heading to this beach for a few hours on a weekend to soak up some sunshine while pretending to get some reading done (but actually end up falling asleep instead). *Pro-tip* for if you’re interested in visiting Crystal Cove, or really any beach in SoCal; you can never wear too much sunscreen…


6. Claremont Pooch Park

Yes, you read that correctly. This one is definitely not relevant to every Pitzer student, but as someone who has an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) that lives with me on campus, the Claremont Pooch Park is a spot that my dog Scooter and I visit on a regular basis. The park is within walking distance of campus, and it’s a lovely place to go hang out and let Scooter run around with his doggie friends for a few hours!

7. Big Bear

Having grown up in Colorado, colder weather and changing leaves are things that I really found myself missing during my first semester here at Pitzer. Big Bear– which is just an hour away from campus– provided a small taste of home with its mountainous landscape, colorful fall leaves, and crisp autumn air (mm ~poetry~). One of my favorite trips to Big Bear was this past October, when I went on a weekend retreat with a club that I’m involved with on campus. Just about everything that could have gone wrong with that trip did in fact go wrong– beginning with a spilled bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette that attracted many a critter to our campsite during the night, and ending with a trip back to Pitzer at midnight when we realized that the car keys (along with three of our sleeping bags) had gotten locked inside one of the cars. The only reason the trip wasn’t a complete disaster is that I was surrounded by a great group of people– all of whom laughed through each one of these mishaps and ultimately made the weekend a wonderfully chaotic adventure.

All photos courtesy of Kat Harhai

Posted by Kat Harhai ’18

6 Ways to Impress Your Tour Guide

So you’ve planned the all-too-exciting college visit! If one of your goals is to check out campus and get a feel for the environment, a tour should definitely be on your to-do list. And that student walking (backward) at the head of the group shuttling you from place to place? They’re not only your tour guide, but a fantastic resource for all things college. Below you’ll find some quick and easy ways to make your best impression on the expert students who bring their campus to life each and every day!

  1. Don’t let your parents take charge.

Don’t be shy. Ask most college tour guides, and they’ll say it’s an all-too-common scene: high school students trailing behind them, mumbling to their parents but too shy to ask their own questions. The number one way to impress your tour guide is by taking charge during the tour and showing them that you’re the one interested in the college, not your parents.

  1. Ask Questions.

Tour guides are trained to give you the facts, but they’re also very eager to share their personal experience. Some of my best tours are those where prospective students dared to ask those weird questions like what is in my refrigerator or even requested (although never granted the permission) to push the blue light to test the real-time readiness of campus security. Make the tour personal.

  1. Do your research.

Tours should be supplemental to the information you have already researched on our school website. With that being said, the tour is the perfect time to get a sense of whether or not a college is a good fit for you. Given all the information your brain (the one you are hoping to fill with knowledge) is processing, continuously ask yourself if you can picture yourself on our campus – tour guides can tell when you’re interested and when you’re not.  More importantly, are succulents your favorite plants? They will be if you come to Pitzer.

  1. Put it away.

Although infrequent, there have been occasions when students and parents spend more time on their phone than paying attention to the tour guide. Not only is this inappropriate, but it shows the tour guide that you’re not interested in our campus. Tour guides are experts; they have been trained, and are always ready to talk to you about our campus. Impress them by being present during the tour and not adrift on your phone.

  1. Stay near the front.

Tour guides aren’t given headsets, although I’m sure all of us would enjoy using them. The best thing to do during the tour to avoiding not hearing something is to stay near the front. Tour guides will never hesitate to repeat something, but the tour would go a lot smoother if they didn’t have to.

  1. Be excited!

Shine bright like a diamond. Just kidding. Diamonds don’t shine. But really, one of the best ways to leave an impression with your tour guide is to show them your passion for the school. One way of doing this is to ask about specific parts of campus or programs that you’re excited to be a part of.

Posted by Carlos G. Perrett ’18

What is life like as a 5C Student?

Life as a Claremont College student is crazy! From meeting students from all five colleges, to eating at all the dining halls, we all interact on a daily basis, and these interactions are what make the Claremont Colleges so unique! Below you’ll hear about all of the amazing opportunities that 5C students have available to them.

1. Food– We get to eat at ALL of the dining halls! Imagine this, seven Dining halls, ten eateries, and unlimited amounts of dessert! Doesn’t that sound like heaven?!? Well, that’s everyday life for 5C students. We get to grab lunch at Pomona’s Coop fountain, and then grab Pitzer’s famous Taco Tuesday for dinner.

The Shakedown Cafe, one of Pitzer’s student-run eateries, specializes in organic and locally-sourced meals.

2. Clubs– Not only do you have access to Pitzer’s hundreds of clubs, but you also get to join clubs from all the other five colleges! At the beginning of each fall semester, one of the 5Cs hosts our annual turf dinner where all of the 5C clubs recruit new members. Interested in taiko drumming or even catching some ocean waves? There’s a club for that. 

The annual 5C turf dinner and club fair.

3. Classes– Taking classes on the other campuses in definitely one of the best things about going to school at a consortium! Interacting with students from each of the different colleges brings so many new perspectives to the classroom. One of my favorite experiences was when my Introduction to Environmental Analysis course moved our entire class from Pitzer to Pomona’s Hive art center to complete a collective final environmental art project. It was definitely one of the coolest ways I’ve ever interacted with other 5C students, and other campuses!  

Me and my friend from Scripps back in high school!

4.  Events, Sports, & Talks– From our annual rivalry football game between Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont McKenna, Mudd, and Scripps, to our talks with guest speakers, you have access to it all! Students have fun times both watching and playing sports, especially on our varsity, club, and intramural sports teams where students from all of the colleges play alongside each other. Now, if you’re trying to go to an academic talk, don’t worry — they’re open to all 5C students! You can easily run from Pitzer’s Air Quality Summit with California Senator Kevin de León, to a talk about sustainable engineering over at Harvey Mudd in no time!

Pitzer alumnus Kevin de León delivers the Air Quality Summit keynote address this past October.

As a student at Pitzer, you aren’t just part of one campus community, but five! With so many options of what to eat, where to study and which clubs to join, life can sometimes get hectic, but that’s what makes being a 5C student so great.


Posted by Natalia Duran ’19