Bi-Co: Not What It's Cracked Up To Be
I don't know what other people really expected of the Bi-College (Bryn Mawr and Haverford) academic/social partnership, but I definitely think that it's falsely advertised. Even though the Bi-Co wasn't that important to me when I applied to Bryn Mawr, I got the feeling that it was advertised as something that really enhanced the college. This is kind of true, with the Blue Bus that goes between the two colleges and people taking classes at both schools, but the Bi-Co community isn't all it's cracked up to be.
I think a lot of us saw this during Customs Week (orientation week) when frosh from both schools had to mingle. For me, this was a totally worthless experience because it seemed like people were just interacting with people from their own schools. There were people I talked to whose Haverford customs groups didn't even show up, and I didn't go to the 3rd Customs activity at Haverford. Then there's the hostility, even if mild, that I sense between students. Of course, there are stereotypes that Bryn Mawr and Haverford girls don't get along, but beyond that, I just get the feeling of competition between the two schools.
What bothers me the most is the pretense of unity between the two schools. For one thing, I attended a Bi-Co News meeting this week and it was Bryn Mawr-only; I think Haverford conducts separate meetings for its sections. Articles that apply to both schools get assigned to Bryn Mawr and Haverford writers, who then meld them together. This isn't to say that the Bi-Co News is divided because I've only been on it for a week. This is just an example of how the schools aren't as united as I thought they would be.
Haverford and Bryn Mawr have a long history of cooperation. The schools still need each other i.e. Haverford offers Japanese while Bryn Mawr doesn't and we have fine arts and a theater, but since Haverford has become co-ed and is working on expansion, one has to wonder if Bryn Mawr will need it more than it needs Bryn Mawr, how much more the Bi-Co community will weaken in the future and what this means for Bryn Mawr's appeal.