Lewiston, ME: I visited Bates College in October for their annual minority weekend. The first thing I noticed was the campus: it was beautiful. The New England foliage gave this small college in the middle of nowhere a kind of majestic quality. The college is only 20 minutes from Portland or Bath, Maine’s largest cities.
Our tour guide was extremely friendly and coordinated. Bates trained him how to walk backwards, in order to make it easier to ask him questions. The campus has a great athletic facility and their new arts building is ideal for an aspiring artist. The library has a smoking room that doubles as an all-night study room. The entire student body eats under the same food plan which promotes school unity. Don’t worry, the food at Bates is great!
While there, I attended three classes. The professors seemed genuinely interested in the students. The 12: 1 ratio encouraged student individuality. Unfortunately, when I attended an East Asian history class, they were watching a film in Japanese! A friendly student took the time to explain the entire movie to me. All the students at Bates seemed friendly.
Bates has several options for dorms from single sex, coed, quads, triplets, to all-freshmen. I stayed in a double, which was very cozy. The strange part was that this dorm had coed bathrooms. But, after two days, I got used to seeing guys in the bathrooms.
There is not much night life at Bates during the week. Most people are busy with studying. There are also many organizations and sports which keep the student body busy. However, when Friday finally rolls around, Bates more or less comes alive. Parties are everywhere. Drinking, however, does not seem to be an issue.
I really enjoyed my four-day stay at Bates. I highly recommend that college-bound seniors consider Bates. There was one thing that bothered me: the weather. It reminded me of the North Pole. It was really, really cold. I assume after a while you’d get used to it. Who knows. n
Reviewed in 1991