Montclair State has a strong, positive campus culture, defined by a student-focused and team-oriented ethos and high levels of pride and engagement among students, faculty and staff.
Throughout all the growth and transformation, the University has kept its caring and warm spirit while maintaining a focus on providing resources for health, wellness, safety, and personal and academic development. Montclair State gives its students a level of personal attention and support characteristic of smaller institutions, something not often found on large research university campuses. Students recognize and appreciate this culture and in return are incredibly loyal to their alma mater.
Multiple campus activities and traditions enhance school spirit and enrich the student experience, including a very strong NCAA Division III athletic program, intramural and club sports; indoor and outdoor recreation programs; flag raisings and Homecoming; and a beloved mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk, who often roams the campus in a golf cart driven by one of his student helpers. The Center for Student Involvement organizes everything from Broadway trips to Greek Life and events to help assure that Montclair State’s sizable commuter population is as well-engaged as its residential population. The Office of Social Justice and Diversity fosters a welcoming and inclusive spirit and supports student activism across campus.
The Student Recreation Center – an idea proposed by students – is an integral part of the student experience, featuring a pool, gym, track, exercise classes, lounge, bike rentals, events and outings.
Students have multiple opportunities to expand their leadership skills, make new friends and experience college at its fullest through participation in more than 120 organizations, including student government, academic clubs, the student newspaper and radio station, and cultural, artistic, spiritual, political, issues-oriented, cultural and community service organizations.
Montclair State provides a wide range of support services geared to helping students succeed academically. The recently created University College provides an academic home for pre-major (undeclared) students and expanded advising resources to help students stay on track academically and graduate in a timely fashion. The Academic Support Center provides a wide range of tutoring and skill-building programs, and Red Hawk Central is a “one-stop shop” that makes it easy for busy students to access a wide range of support services without having to visit multiple offices.
Students live the college experience in 10 residence halls, which offer a variety of living and dining
options, special interest communities, and even, for some, views of the NYC skyline.
The Office of the Dean of Students offers resources and connections to campus services for students who feel alone, disconnected, stressed, afraid and struggling with a myriad of problems. These campus services, which include Campus Recreation, Center for Leadership and Engagement, Center for Student Involvement, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Health Promotion, Social Justice and Diversity, University Health Center, the Red Hawk Food Pantry, and a community-focused University Police Department, are designed to help students thrive.
In fact, Montclair State’s community prides itself on going above and beyond for students. For example, this spring, when the pandemic suddenly separated students from their accustomed support networks on campus, campus professionals made a personal phone call to each of the University’s 21,000 students to check in, see how they were doing and offer a connection to services. In addition, the University assured that students who needed access to laptops or Wi-Fi had them, through a free loaner program. An important pivot this year has been to deliver services within a virtual environment, including tele-counseling and virtual engagement activities, with special attention to the challenges faced by students who live in multi-generational homes, work extended hours and share caregiving responsibilities.
Further, the Division of Student Development and Campus Life recognizes the ongoing need to address personal circumstances that may create barriers for students. It has developed many ongoing initiatives and programs to support students struggling with financial, housing and health-related challenges. Students can use a well-stocked food pantry, build a career wardrobe through Rocky’s Closet, and receive physical and mental health care on campus.