Living On Campus

With the large majority of students living on campus at Pitzer living in the dorms is an important part of the college experience here. Both years I have lived in Mead Hall. I love living in Mead because of the suite style set up and all of the murals. It is a very communal space and does not feel institutionalized at all.  Mead can be a little grittier than the other buildings but many of us love it because of how much character it has.

Take a look at some photos of Mead:


IMG_3593IMG_3595 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Living with friends and/or strangers certainly holds some challenges. It takes an immense amount of compromise and consideration from everyone to have a happy, healthy living environment but overall it is often a very positive experience.  You learn a lot about yourself, how you interact with others, what you value, etc. when living in a shared space. There are RAs in every building who are student leaders that are a resource for residents who may need support, as well as Resident Directors who are staff that live in every residence hall. Living on campus has taught me how to advocate for myself, be a responsible roommate, and how to be patient. Learning to live well with others has been an important part of my education here and I’m glad I had the opportunity to live on campus.

Posted by Anna Pleskunas ’15, Philosophy & Art

Anna Pleskunas Tour Guide

Big Plans and Frying Pans

New Desert Park and Garden at Holden Suite


holdenhallpicThe unofficially named Holden Desert Park and Garden, which fills the gaping hole in the ground where historic Holden Hall once stood, is also very convenient. 22 seconds more convenient to be exact. Pre-park, the food-driven primal journey to McConnell Dining Hall lasted an excruciating 1 minute and 45 seconds at a food-driven pace (2.9 miles per hour according to Snapchat) from the popular turn-off point of the southeastern corner of Mead Hall. Park construction completed, that’s down to 1 minute and 33 seconds. For PZ students who trek to the dining hall twice a day, they can expect to save up to roughly (very roughly), 1 hour and 40 minutes per semester. Not much extra time, but everything counts in college. That’s 44 more seconds per day to snooze, a 44 second head-start to classes after meals, 44 more seconds to get in those grad requirements, 44 more seconds daily to enjoy “the best years of our lives.”







Like Pitzer’s desert indigenous Xeriscape, being able to enjoy the good life to the fullest extent on the Park is a little rough around the edges in its current state. Two skeletal benches are situated in the center, providing six butts worth of seating. Opinions on the park range from dazed confusion to optimism about the space’s future. Its physicality and topography has been compared to a “bumpy frying pan”, having the potential to cook students alive when the temperature inevitably breaks triple digits again in the Spring, and just generally “looking like the desert.” Mirages aside, the vision for the Garden will expand Pitzer’s open art policy with an increase of art-in-the-open. A sculpture garden will be installed, murals painted, and seating added to admire the view. Think rock cushions, and other contradictory seating fitting an oxymoronic “desert garden” concept.


holden2Students will have somewhere to sit their butts down in the Spring. For the Fall time being, if you hate the color green and you like to eat, your life at Pitzer has just been improved.

Posted by Kara Powell ’15, Media Studies and Organizational Studies

Kara Powell Diversity Intern

A Better Sequel

Movie sequels are notoriously disappointing. As a Media Studies course veteran, I have learned to never question the extrinsic value of releasing sequels (say no to drugs, but yes to box office success kids), but most times the intrinsic quotable magical quality, the very integrity of the original version is edited out of the sequel and becomes lost in translation as the once well-known dialogue becomes tangled up in complicated plot lines. Pitzer’s acceptance rate drops multiple percentage points each year, yet the student body is still highly accepting of all who come to campus.

This year, I returned to the prickly set of Pitzer College after spending five months in Paris, France. For one semester I experienced a full-fledged springtime in Paris with plenty of rain, but no umbrellas, chocolate-covered everything, Seine riverside chilling, and the essential ‘B’s – bottles (of water of course) and baguettes…but let’s go back to Pitzer (stay tuned for cliché memories from the city of lights in another blog post).

I did not experience the classic reentry culture shock that the Office of Study Abroad had promised, or rather warned of, but the Pitzer set had changed its aesthetic in a big, gaping way. Rolling onto campus for the first time in a long time, my eyes lingered on the hole where Holden Hall used to be. I inquired to myself in Frenglish regarding the dormitory’s whereabouts:

Where est Holden Hall?
Where est Holden Hall?














Beloved supporting characters often disappear by the end of the original version all the time, so Holden’s conspicuous absence in The Pitzer Experience: Senior Year should have come as no surprise, though my perma-raised eyebrows betrayed such rational conclusions. I observed the beginning of Holden’s end in Junior Year, and after an initial shocking “holy crap there should be a building here” type-of-feeling, a flashback to the final days of Holden Hall revealed the forgotten truth; tiny ill-lit makeshift offices of faculty and student-run clubs that became waterlogged and super depressing after severe flooding and poor drainage. In the end of its days, Holden Hall was hardly functioning, and had strayed very far from its sunnier days of decades past. So in coming to form a second opinion of the second version, or rather lack thereof, Holden’s eminent destruction was a good thing. The massive dust bowl on the side of the service road will make room for newness and improvement to come in future versions of the Experience. And while the rest of us keep dreading the unending drought, the Holden Hall lot is grateful for the little to nil chance of flooding this year.

Another plot twist ~ The Gold Student Center, new and improved as the Gold Student Health & Wellness Center
Every year a familiar story begins. We all move back in on or off-campus, are reunited with old faces, choose classes based on professors we have grown to admire, memorize the dining hall schedule, all while chasing the first time we experienced it all. A sociology professor of mine had this to ask during the first session: “what has changed, and what has remained the same”?  Whether it is an architectural face-lift, or a giant hole of possibilities, Pitzer’s colorful characters may find peace of mind knowing that both the infinite changes and permanence of the things that remain the same here create a brighter future, and ultimately, a better sequel.

Posted by Kara Powell ’15, Media Studies and Organizational Studies

Kara Powell Diversity Intern

Warhol, Banksy, and the Street Art of Seattle

Since I have been on the road traveling the U.S. and meeting tons of interesting and talented students, I always seem to be hit with the same question, “I want to take art courses at Pitzer, but not necessarily major in art.” Is this possible? YES! As aPitzer student, students are encouraged to take a variety of courses and get a feel for what they like and disregard the courses they may not enjoy as much. Pitzer is a great place for any students looking for a school with a strong appreciation for the arts or even just a creative outlet. As an alumnus and speaking from my own personal experience, art was a way for me to express my creative side whether on a canvas, through the lens of a camera, or in a printmaking studio.

73726_608786729484_13309413_35277303_777652_n 73506_608785297354_13309413_35277240_4271256_n 73213_608785237474_13309413_35277238_1618110_n 69483_608786759424_13309413_35277304_6892508_n 69455_608785307334_13309413_35277241_7453733_nWhile I was in Seattle this month, I had the chance to check out Capitol Hill, the downtown area, and of course the famous Pike street public market place. Because of my busy travel schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to venture around and take in all of the art worthy sites. But on this trip, I made sure to document some of the local urban/street art. If you are reading this and have had an interview with me, then you know that my office is a reflection of my love for pop art and street art (i.e. Warhol and Banksy). The Seattle area was covered in street art and other artistic forms of expression. Art was just put up on many of the walls and objects throughout the city… kind of like Pitzer’s open art policy. Have you heard of our open art policy? What?!?! NO you have not?!?! Well… allow me to take the time and do so now.

69391_608784868214_13309413_35277230_7208779_n 69342_608784992964_13309413_35277232_4726381_n 67738_608786714514_13309413_35277302_6069269_n 66295_608785087774_13309413_35277235_2127126_n 33467_608785062824_13309413_35277234_1099662_nHere at Pitzer, we value student artistic expression and encourage a creative outlet on campus through the forms of murals and much more. Whether it be on a wall or pillar throughout campus. Students, staff, and faculty vote on the coming and going of art on campus. Below is a direct quote from the Campus Aesthetics Committee:

“The Campus Aesthetics Committee is looking for outdoor mural/art proposals. If you have an idea for a piece of art you would like to create, fill out the outdoor art proposal form, attach a drawing of your concept, and submit it to the Aesthetics Committee. The Committee meets regularly during the academic year and you will be invited to present your proposal at one of the meetings.”

Avery-Pitzer Past, Present and Future, restored.

This mural, on the outside of Avery Hall since it was painted in 1996, is now part of the interior of the renovated Benson Auditorium in the Marilyn and Eugene Stein Atrium. It was expanded and restored by Paul Botello, the original artist, at the beginning of 2010.

If you would like additional information on the open art policy or the art major guidelines, please refer to the following links:

Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor