SUNY New Paltz student tells all: Schreiber alumnus Maxwell Rutman describes his college experience


As shown above, the International Business School resides in the middle of SUNY New Paltz campus. This is the home to many business students who study here in New Paltz.

Sarah Gottesman, Staff Writer

Tracing its earliest roots to the North Front Street School in 1828, SUNY New Paltz is one of the oldest and most prestigious NY State Universities.

Sarah Gottesman:  How did you hear about SUNY New Paltz?

Jenna Cohen: I was recommended SUNY New Paltz by Schreiber Alum Sarah Lyons who graduated from New Paltz. She talked about how enriching her experience was at New Paltz and raved about the theater program. After doing some research and realizing that it was a competitive public school with an open-minded environment, I decided to apply.

SG: What made you choose SUNY New Paltz?  Why did it stand out to you over the other colleges that you considered?

JC: I applied to other colleges that just didn’t have a lot to offer in availability of majors, money or diversity. When I visited New Paltz for Accepted Students Day, I felt comfortable and at home. It had majors and classes I was interested in and friendly students and staff. It’s a medium-sized school—about 8,000 students in total—and has a good student-to staff-ratio, so you can get to know your classmates and professors. New Paltz is about 2 hours away from Port, so it’s close enough to come home when you need to, but far enough to have a sense of freedom and independence. Plus the affordability of a public school doesn’t hurt.

SG: What was the transition from high school to college like?

JC: It’s hard because you really have to manage your own money and time. You have to create your own schedule that works for you. And of course getting used to not having your friends from home and family is an adjustment.

SG: What is your most memorable experience at college so far?

JC: During the first week of college, they set up a movie screen in the quad and I watched Captain America 2. There was a popcorn machine and cotton candy, and a lot of people brought towels and blankets to sit on. It was an amazing experience that my friends and I enjoyed. It was really that and walking around town exploring what the town of New Paltz has to offer.

SG: What is your workload like and how does it compare to your workload when you were at Schreiber?

JC: The workload is definitely a lot denser. At Schreiber you had either short term or long-term assignments. Here it’s a combination of both. Plus there is the option of having hybrid classes, which meets once a week, but has work, tests and assignments due online.

SG: What unique opportunities does your college have to offer?

JC: There is the career resource center which can help you take advantage of job opportunities both on and off campus, experience mock job interviews, and refine your resume. There are also self-defense classes, which are free to students. And then there are typical opportunities such as clubs, Greek life, study abroad programs and activities on campus.

SG: What clubs, sports or other activities do you participate in at college?

JC: To be honest I mostly focused on academics for the first year, so I only joined the G.S.A. here. But there were other clubs such as the Black Student Union, the feminist collective and A Capella groups that I will definitely take advantage of next year. There really are a lot of clubs available, whether it’s sports, arts, major-specific, or affiliated with Greek life. And there have been campus-wide political protests for people to take advantage of which are available to any student or member of the New Paltz community.

SG: What type of student would you recommend for this school?

JC: It’s an open-minded school with diversity and amazing opportunities. It’s mostly a liberal arts school but also has a school for business, engineers and computer science. It’s affordable, has a cute small town and an open campus to the community so you’ll see a lot of people with their children walking around or people walking their dogs. It has a hippy artsy vibe, is very liberal and has hiking trails, shops and restaurants to explore. While it does have Greek life, it really isn’t a big frat or sorority school. Someone who thrives in an open-minded, active and accepting community will definitely do well here.