Nora Turriago '16
Every year, Smith College receives more and more applications as prospective students are drawn to the academic opportunities, accessible faculty and high standards of achievement. However, this year, another important factor for the high admissions rate has been Smith Confessional, an online forum where members of the Smith community anonymously post their thoughts and comments on any subject.
Other colleges that have this online feature often receive reports of cyber bullying and harassment. This has not been the case at Smith, where the forum has done the opposite: the site is jam-packed with positive messages of love and respect, including inspiring messages and compliments to other Smithies.
The overwhelming positivity on the website has resulted in a closer-knit, stronger community on campus, and everyone is noticing the difference: students have started inviting others to sit with them at lunch, doors are being held open and, just yesterday, various students were handing out bouquets of flowers to those going to class. It’s hard not to notice what a fantastic impact Smith Confessional has had, and so it’s no surprise that the GoldKey Tour Guides are mentioning this to prospective students. What was not expected, however, was just how important Smith Confessional would be in drawing in these prospies.
“The beautiful campus, the incredible academics — that’s important, sure,” said prospective student Lola McMuffin on one recent tour, “but what really got my attention is Smith Confessional. It captures just how loving and supportive Smithies are. In fact, the Confessional is the reason why I’m applying to Smith!”
McMuffin is not alone, as 85 percent of those applying to Smith this year have cited Smith Confessional as an influential factor in their decision to apply. The admissions office released a statement saying, “While we were at first taken aback that an online forum could be such a compelling component for prospective Smith students, we are nonetheless overjoyed.”
Smith Confessional truly has become an important symbol of love, kindness and respect throughout campus. On the webpage, there are posts dedicated to meeting up and hanging out with new friends. One post reads: “Interested in getting to know some Smithies while discussing literature over tea? Our book group will be meeting at the Roost this Saturday at 11 a.m. Be there! Can’t wait to meet you all!” Other posts include advice, motivational quotes and even love poems.
Smith Confessional can do no wrong. In fact, not only can it inspire a community, but it can also help students find love. One Smithie shared that she met her now-girlfriend on the forum. “Someone gave me a compliment on my eyes and my intelligence,” Louisa Poodle ’16 said. “I responded with my thanks and my e-mail, saying if she wanted to hang out, shoot me a message. The next day, I woke up with an invitation for a study date at Neilson. The rest is history!”
From increasing application rates to finding love, Smith Confessional is an essential element of Smith. It demonstrates the support and appreciation among Smithies. Whenever someone is feeling down or has a case of the “blahs,” a quick trip to Smith Confessional is the perfect cure.