What is the Bridge Program about and what is it like for students?
Hey there! The Bridge Program is an orientation offered about a week or so earlier than the orientation for all incoming students. Bridge is special because it’s only for student who identify as people of color (i.e. a student of the global majority as I like to think of it). You live on campus, though not in your assigned room or home, with your cohort of Bridgees. The program is organized and facilitated largely by upper class students of color, though you still get to meet other Smith faculty and staff. The objective is to orient the students both to college life at Smith, but also the fact that navigating that transition as a person of color is unique and is an important experience to acknowledge. It also gets you started on knowing where buildings are, how to handle financial aid, and getting to talk to some professors, all while meeting new and old Smithies.
I was a Bridgee! The experience is varied. Although the program started in the 1970s, it’s continued to grow; as such, it’s still a learning process. Some people end up loving their cohort and relishing karaoke night or bonding over morning zumba. Other people don’t do well in large groups, and want independence outside of the group setting. However, I can tell you that any Bridgee I’ve ever come across has at least one warm memory of Bridge, and many are still close to their friends from the program. If you have any specific questions, let us know!