Students attending a lecture at The HiveAndy Reischling, center, a junior, at “The Essay as Resistance” at Pomona College. Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Why ‘The Hive’ Should Be Your Next Favorite Spot On Campus

“I am not a failure,” is what I would have told you six months ago. Today, I will proudly announce to you that I am a failure. But before you jump to any conclusions about my statement, let me explain myself.

It was my brother’s birthday and he begged me to attend the Hive’s “Introduction to Design Thinking” event. “What the heck is that?” I remember thinking to myself. As I entered the Hive for the first time, I became enthralled by the neon sticky notes and vibrant posters that encased the building. The classrooms, too, fascinated me. There were wheels attached to all the brightly colored tables and stools, sketches covering the walls, and most impressively, an abundance of Sharpie markers. At the event, I was introduced to human-centered design and fell in love with its innovative processes. That night, I wished my brother a happy birthday and thanked him.

Three months later, I am enrolled in the Hive’s human-centered design course. Through a series of workshops and design projects, I have learned to utilize innovation, collaboration, and experimental learning to tackle complex problems. Additionally, I have learned to celebrate failure as it is an essential part of the design process. Most importantly, through my experiences with The Hive, I have learned that every problem is solvable. Upon my many returns to the Hive, I have grown to see the value of each sticky note and ultimately each person behind its short, anonymous messages. Through my experiences at the Hive, I have discovered that design thinking creates more than just collaboration, but a community.  

‘The Hive’ is…

A place and a set of mindsets for students from all five of the Claremont Colleges to come to learn to be more creative, learn to gain confidence in their creativity that they already have, learn to sharpen those creative skills, and to learn how to collaborate. Students ultimately learn how to be creative in team environments as working in groups helps us learn that often the best ideas come from teams.

 Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive)

“The Hive attracts students that have an appetite to sharpen their creative skills and make and try things.” –Fred Leichter, Director of the Hive

Students from all five colleges and different majors come to experiment, build, and meet new people. At the Hive, you’ll find button makers, rolls of colored paper, paint, glue, wood, pipe cleaners, cardboard, scissors, and much more!

What is Human-Centered Design?

Image result for human centered design
Human-Centered Design Process, Courtesy of Stanford Center on Longevity

The backbone of the Hive is Human-centered design (design thinking).  Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem-solving with an emphasis on empathy.  It begins with finding the unmet needs of the users you are designing for and ends with a solution for that individual.  This process includes generating tons of (extreme) ideas, rapid prototyping, testing and sharing your innovative solutions!

What Can You Do at The Hive

Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive), 2018-2019 Skillshares and Workshops

“It is a place to experiment and play and where failure is just fine”–Fred Leichter,  Director of the Hive


The Hive offers Skillshares for students, faculty, and staff.  Skillshares are mini-workshops for more complicated and dangerous activities, such as woodworking and screenprinting.  Students often come to prototype, bring their ideas to life, or just to experiment.


The Hive also offers non-credited Workshops that are oriented around personal skills.  Workshops are evening events are lead by guest speakers and/or Hive Staff. Some of this year’s most popular workshops include:

  • 36 Questions to Make Friends With Anyone
  • Empathetic Listening
  • Introduction to Product Management
  • Design Your Personal Brand
  • Creating New Habits
  • Halloween Costume Making Workshop
  • 3 Steps to Improving Your Future
  • Powerpoint Karaoke: Improve Your Presenter Skills

For Credit Classes

Courtesy of The Hive

The Hive offers a one-credit course for students who want a deeper understanding of design thinking. Introduction to Human-Centered Design (ENGR180HMC) is offered during the spring and fall and uses human-centered design as its underlying methodology. The course will include fundamental readings in design thinking, interactive design methods and processes, and hands-on projects. Students will learn how user research, synthesis, idea generation, and prototyping can be integrated into different phases of the design process. Although the course does not require technical knowledge, it is incredibly valuable for engineers and students studying psychology, English, economics, or philosophy, biology…the list goes on!

“It’s about tackling big ambiguous problems” — Fred Leichter,  Director of the Hive

Hive Director, Fred Leichter is always on the look for challenges where designers are needed both on and off campus. This spring 2019 semester, Fred’s students helped contribute to the redesigning of Pomona’s Center for Modern Languages and International Relations, Oldenborg.  Hive students have also tackled natural disaster response and recovery challenges as well as enhancing the organ donation experience, Claremont Consortium Library, and Hickson Center for Sustainability.


Courtesy of The Hive, Sparkathon Fall 2018

The Hive also hosts Claremont’s biennial Sparkathon Competition! Sparkathon is an impact-driven design thinking competition that challenges students to work collaboratively to solve some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges.  Sparkathon brings in students from all over California to embark on this seven-hour challenge. Winners of this challenge receive mentorship, resources, and generous funding, to implement their solutions in the real world!


Rick and Susan Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive)
130 E 7th St, Claremont, CA 91711

Click here to learn more about the events, opportunities, and resources offered at the Hive!


Posted by Kelly Chang ’22 on April 30, 2019

Kelly Chang ’22, Product Design and Communications
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

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

August: New Student Orientation Week

Courtesy of
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
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
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

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

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

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
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

Club and Intramural Sports at Pitzer

After playing with a club soccer team since third grade, I reluctantly decided to stop playing when I began college. Sports had always been a big part of my life, from childhood through high school, where I played soccer, ran track, and swam for the swim team.  However, by college, I felt burnt out and nervous about the academic workload. I was initially surprised at the amount of time I had when I wasn’t playing soccer every weekend and traveling miles away for tournaments.

Unfortunately, I quickly learned how boring it is to run on a treadmill and I really missed being part of a team. In an effort to fill the soccer-shaped hole in my heart, I decided to try out for Club Field Hockey. I had never played field hockey before but my mom played in college, and she was excited about it. I heard the formations and general idea was similar to soccer, but after my first week of field hockey, I could safely say this is not true, at least not for me. Sprinting in a skirt and holding a stick (that was much heavier than it looked), I felt like a fish out of water, I was pretty terrible at field hockey and ended up quitting after the first season.

Throughout my first year at Pitzer, I played intramural inner tube water polo with my friends from my first year orientation trip and intramural soccer. I tried my best to hop on hiking and backpacking trips with friends through Pitzer Outdoor Adventures. I also went to free workout classes around the 5Cs with my roommate like Zumba and dance. When I discovered the physical education classes on the course catalog, I took yoga, swimming, kickboxing, and tennis!

Intramural Inner Tube Water Polo

I got involved with a class called Tennis and Community Engagement, where I could practice and instruct tennis in underserved school districts as part of an after school program.  It was easy to practice social responsibility, one of Pitzer’s core values, when I was doing something I loved.  While I learned how many opportunities for physical activity the 5Cs had to offer, I still missed the team culture I had with my soccer team growing up. My search ended at the beginning of my sophomore year when I found out the Women’s Club Soccer program was restarting. After fighting for funding, space, and resources, our team became well established and now plays in the West Coast Soccer Association.  I definitely saw student engagement in action when I saw Claremont students working with administration to reestablish this club.

Claremont FC at Channel Islands this November.

The team, Claremont FC, has been such an important part of my college experience. Not only is the team competitive and my skills improved, it’s incredibly empowering to be surrounded by such strong and smart women on a regular basis. I feel very grateful to spend time on and off the field with my teammates. Moreover, it’s been a fantastic opportunity to meet people from the other colleges. Claremont FC has provided me, as the other club sports teams have provided Pitzer students, with the ideal athletic community — one which is competitive but allows enough time to concentrate on school work and be involved with other campus organizations. As a senior and the current captain of Claremont FC, I can say my experience with this team and these people has meant the world to me.

In my last year at Pitzer, I’m also still taking PE tennis classes and finding opportunities to be active outdoors. One of my favorite things about Pitzer is that you don’t have to be part of a varsity team to be an athlete! With countless opportunities to play sports through free classes at the Gold Student Center, PE courses, club, or varsity sports, Pitzer is a great place to let your competitive side out!

Posted by Natalie Honan ’17

4 Ways Pitzer Students Got Active this Year

Let’s cut right to the chase:

  1. Nepal Earthquake Relief

nepal fund

In the wake of the tragic 7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 and the aftershock earthquakes that rippled the country, Pitzer students, faculty, staff and alumni rallied to get connected with non-profit organizations and raise funds for their families and communities overseas. The Pitzer Earthquake relief fund has had 405 donors and raised $83,871 as of May 29th. If you would like to get involved, check out one of the links below to see how!


  1. Gold Student Center for Health and Wellness

Newly renovated, the Pitzer Gold Student Center for Health and Wellness boasts a Pilate’s studio, Yoga space, organic student run café (“The Shakedown”) and all new gym equipment. With spaces for student gatherings and planning, the Pitzer community got active on treadmills and social justice in the new GSC this year.

UI8A8667_1000x640  UI8A8692_1000x640



  1. Bamboo Bikes

Student members of the Green Bike Program Sandy Glickman, Karl Kiser and Cade Maldonado built a small fleet of bamboo bikes available for checkout by the Pitzer community. Dedicated to sustainability, these bikes are emission free and fun to ride! They also made a guest appearance on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show –



Keynote speaker Janet Mock

  1. Janet Mock

The Pitzer Senior class selected and raised funds to have cultural commentator and Trans* women’s rights advocate, Janet Mock, as their commencement speaker. An incredible activist, writer and advocate, the graduating class was excited to hear her words of wisdom beckon them into post-graduate life.

Read her inspiring speech here, and check out more information about the 51st Commencement here.

Photo Credit: Pitzer College

Posted by Briana Stansbury ’15, Double Major in English and World Literature/Gender & Feminist Studies


Give Me Some Slack: Balancing Learning Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Pitzer engages students both inside and outside of the classroom. This has, and always will be, one of the main reasons I chose to attend Pitzer College. From the incredible research opportunities to the vast and dynamic professor and faculty relationships one can build, from the amalgam of study abroad programs to the engaging service projects in the area, Pitzer challenges students to learn everywhere. In this way Pitzer, institutionally, breaks down the classroom and gives students the world instead. Because, as Pitzer teaches us, the classroom and the world are really just one in the same.


So it makes sense that our campus is aesthetically intellectually engaging. One cannot look around Pitzer without confronting drought politics, environmental sustainability or politically charged artwork. Pitzer’s campus itself is a classroom.

An unlikely piece of Pitzer’s aesthetic that has taught me about college, about intellectual stimulation, about self and about balance is a slackline. I found this particular slackline hung by administration on the mounds on a typical warm fall evening. I was curious and entertained but mostly, I was confused. No one seemed to be particularly good at it and it wasn’t necessarily rewarding. The first sixty times (at least) I tried it, I fell off. And not a ‘stuck it smoothly landing’ fall, but a ‘toppled over, bruised legs, stubbed toes’ fall. The slackline wasn’t particularly friendly nor was it particularly welcoming. But I found it engaging, challenging and a little endearing – I was sold. I wanted to know what this piece of Pitzer’s campus had to teach me.

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender2

While working at Pitzer last summer I promised myself that I would slackline for 20 minutes every day for 100 days. The first week I was horrible, the second just short of terrible, the third just bordering okay and the fourth mediocre at best. It took me weeks of focus, of time, of dedication to learn to walk all the way across and then more minutes, hours, days to learn to do it all backwards. The hours of time I spent on that slackline, flailing my arms about my head, taught me humility, affirmed my passion for driven, determined, good old hard work, and solidified the importance of focus. Slacklining helped me engage more in my classes, balance my co-curricular activities and be present with my peers.

Pitzer engages students both inside and outside of the classroom. This has, and always will be, one of the main reasons I chose to attend Pitzer College. Whether you choose to take part in a study abroad program, do research with a professor or spend one hundred days falling off of a slackline, know that Pitzer will challenge you to learn outside of the confines of a classroom. Whether you build strong ties with faculty, engage with a service project in the area or learn to balance a tightrope, expect to break down the classroom/world dichotomy and embrace that they are, in fact, one in the same.

IMG_6483 IMG_6484

Posted by Briana Stansbury ’15, Double Major in English and World Literature/Gender & Feminist Studies


Spring Break Adventures

It is now the end of the first week back from spring break, so let’s take a moment to reflect on how some Pitzer students spent this coveted week. We asked several Pitzer students how they spent their break, and here is what they had to say:


“I went camping in the Grand Canyon and Zion with a jillion people.” Abigail ’15


“I drove up to Tahoe with some of my close friends to stay in a cabin. There was snow! OMG” China ’17


“I spent time with my family in Texas. I missed my cousins so much.” Carly ’18


“I sampled wine in Napa with my first year suitemate. We also road bikes through the countryside.” Joey ’16


“I went to Vegas and partied with Lil’ Jon.” Emily ’15


“I camped and backpacked through New Mexico on a POA  (Pitzer Outdoor Activities) trip with my best friend and two other Pitzer friends that joined on through the club meeting.” Casey ’16

“My father and I took a road trip on the Pacific side of Costa Rica from the Nicaraguan border to the Panamanian. The landscape was very diverse and it was an amazing trip.” Anna ’15


“I traveled to Ecuador with Pitzer on the Global/Local Mentorship program. I had never been to South America and I don’t speak Spanish but my host family was super nice.” Hriman ’17


“My Dad and I were chillin’ in the Bahamas on a boat.” Jacob ‘18


“I went to visit my girlfriend in Portland. She goes to Reed. ”  Robert ‘18

“I went home to Denver, Colorado for this Spring Break to cuddle with my puppies. And celebrated my 20th birthday, so I got to spend it with my family and best friend from home.” Jessa Stein ’17


“First I stayed at Pitzer and starved because the dining halls were closed, then I went camping at Sequoia to hike around the big redwood trees.” Michelle ’18

“I went back home to Seattle to see my family. Went on some beautiful hikes, saw some live jazz, and spent time with my twin sister who goes to a different college.” Naomi ’16

“I plopped down on the beach in Puerto Peñasco for five full days of sun and Settlers of Catan” Mary ’15

“Over spring break I travelled to Ecuador with the Institute for Global/Local Action & Study. While in Ecuador I participated in a series of lectures, made several site visits, and stayed with a host family. My participation in this program will also grant me the opportunity to be a part of Research Action Team that will work on a local project of my choice upon returning to school.” Carlos ‘18

carlos 1 carlos 2

Posted by Jada Jones ’17, Economics & Lily Harris ’17, Neuroscience

Jada Jones Tour Guide Lily Harris Overnight Coordinator

Body Positive: A New Pitzer Club

I joined a new club, Body Positive, last semester and a few weeks ago Student Senate voted and made us an official Pitzer organization. This was my first experience in participating in the founding of a new club. The club is really great and I think has filled a void in current Pitzer student organizations. Previously there was not any club specifically promoting healthy body image, eating, exercise, etc. For me it has been really nice to know that there is a group of individuals on campus supporting one another with what can be a really challenging issue.

I am personally very passionate about supporting Body Positive’s goals, as body image is something that I have often struggled with. Being surrounded by a culture that ascribes to very specific types of bodies as normative or desirable has at times been really damaging. It is nice to find a community where we can talk about our own struggles and create healthy coping skills. I hope that the club remains active and engages the community after I graduate.

Starting a new club is very doable and something that is really encouraged if you feel like there is a need. We do have numerous active clubs on campus, so often it is possible to already find what you were looking for. Other times, like in the case of Body Positive, it really is fruitful to establish a new organization. You can see a list of all our active clubs here: .

Posted by Anna Pleskunas ’15, Philosophy & Art

Anna Pleskunas Tour Guide

Off-Campus Adventures

So far this semester I have been spending almost every weekend off campus. I am definitely the anomaly when it comes to leaving Pitzer so much, but it is also so fun to take advantage of the surrounding area. Getting to Los Angeles is really quite easy with the metro link leaving from the Claremont Village almost every hour. It takes around an hour to get to Union Station in downtown LA, and from there it is pretty easy to get around. I sometimes will take the subway all the way to USC to visit friends or just explore the downtown area. I love eating at the Grand Central Market and exploring the Last Book Store just a few blocks away. If I have someone picking me from the train there are tons of great museums to explore, like UCLA’s art museum The Hammer, which is totally free! Or the Museum of Jurassic Technology, that is totally bizarre.

I also love making it down to San Diego and Mexico. It’s fun to spend a weekend down there exploring, or driving down for longer stretches of time, like spring break. I also make it up to Santa Cruz and San Francisco every once in a while, which is a bit farther but worth the trip. Of course there are countless other weekend and day trips to take within a reasonable distance of campus. One of the great ways to take advantage of it all is through Pitzer Outdoor Adventure Club. The club provides funding for gas expenses and the school has tons of gear like tents and sleeping bags that we can check out. All in all there are many ways to explore the area!

Overcoming the Sophomore Slump

As a sophomore at Pitzer, I have experienced a whole new set of stressors since I returned back
to campus. The newness and excitement of college seemed to have faded away. During my first year
I was guided into the world of college with more resources for support. I was expected to
make mistakes and learn from them. The following year I felt the pressure to become an expert
at navigating my way through the rest of my time at Pitzer. I wasn’t receiving the extra attention
anymore. I decided I had to become more academically focused; not knowing what I wanted
out of my college experience terrified me. Before, I had just picked a bunch of different classes
to take because they intrigued me. Now I had to actually start thinking about requirements and
majors. I was pressured to take control but the responsibility overwhelmed me. Sophomore is
such an appropriate term to use for second year students because it’s literal meaning in Greek
is wise fool. This describes a period in which I believed that my wisdom and lessons from the
first year of college prepared me to handle life’s challenges independently, but I was foolish in
thinking that my learning had ceased. The sophomore slump is a time for growth. Pitzer created
a program that helps sophomores during this developmental stage of confusion. The Sophomore
Year Experience (SYE) gives sophomores a space to discuss concerns that are specific to our
class. Because it is run by upperclassmen, you benefit from some of the same mentoring and
advising services that first year students receive. It is a useful organization that has soothed my fears
and helped me tackle my sophomore slump.

Posted by Jada Jones ’17, Economics

Jada Jones Tour Guide

Health and Fitness at Pitzer

One of my favorite parts of campus life is having access to our beautiful athletic facility. The Gold Student Center houses our gym, pool, pilates, and yoga studios. The GSC was just renovated last year so it is a really nice space.  Classes are offered almost every day of the week by professionals and students. The pilates studio is awesome; we have seven reformers so the classes are super small and there is lots of one on one time with the instructor. I also swim laps in the pool now and again, which is a nice way to take advantage of our California sunshine.

Another fun way to get some exercise is by taking a dance class. I am currently enrolled in two, ballet I and modern I. It’s great because we learn technique, theory, and some history of the art form. It is super challenging physically but a fun way to earn academic credit. There are many ways to stay active on campus that are both fun and convenient.

Posted by Anna Pleskunas ’15, 

Anna Pleskunas Tour Guide


Feasting with the Fam

There comes a time in every fall semester where a little break is needed from the daily grind of classes and work. Luckily for me, Thanksgiving break usually comes around at the perfect time for some much needed relaxation and family time. Fortunately, I live in San Diego, about 2 hours south of Claremont and so does one of my best friends. I hitched a ride with him and we also invited our friend from Portland to spend the break in sunny San Diego.

Going back home after a few stressful weeks is always a breath of fresh air and my main goals were to hang out with my younger brothers, hit up all of my favorite scenic spots and sleep for an excess of 8 hours a night. Although I was definitely happy to be home, my heart was heavy with the constant news and updates I was reading about Ferguson. Most of my free time consisted of reading thoughtful and critical articles about race relations and police brutality and I was delighted to see my friends on social media share a plethora of relative, insightful articles and information.

Before our Thanksgiving meal, my family has a tradition of going around the table and sharing something they are thankful for. I took this as my opportunity to educate and empower my family by sharing my thoughts on Ferguson, which ultimately led to a great conversation. I also shared the reasons why my Sociology professor prefers to use the term “Thanks-taking”! At the end of the day, I ended up spending quality time with my family, ate some great ham and stuffing, and showed gave me friend a personal tour of San Diego. It was the perfect amount of days to recharge my batteries and prepare for the coming three weeks filled with final papers, exams and some last-minute fun before the semester comes to a close.

Posted by Andrew Buitron ’15, Psychology & Chicana/o – Latino/a Studies