Mount Allison University 411

An insider's perspective on life at Mount A

Mount Allison 411

Unofficial school motto:

‘We’re number four!’

Best place for a nap:

Third-floor alcoves in the Wallace McCain Student Centre

Mount Allison University student Tessa Zoe Dixon.

Best cheap lunch:

Song’s Chopsticks

Best hangover breakfast:

Patterson’s Family Restaurant

Favorite watering hole:


Perks of living in this town:

Everything is within walking distance

Best place to study:

Classics reading room, Hart Hall

Weirdest tradition:

Stealing tubs of ice cream from meal hall

Best campus event:

First Class Bash

Best giveaway:

Candy and chocolate from the librarians on Halloween

Best live music venue:

The Sackville Coke Bowling Alley at Thunder & Lightning Pub

University Insider: Tessa Dixon, 20, Political Science

I chose to go to Mount Allison having never set foot on the campus, or in New Brunswick for that matter. I was drawn to the idea of a small, tight-knit community and to Mount Allison’s reputation as a top undergraduate university. Taking that chance has paid off. Given the school’s small student population of roughly 2,500, it is nearly impossible to walk through campus without seeing a familiar face. Small class sizes give students a chance to be heard without being drowned out by the din of a large lecture hall.

Mount Allison provides multiple research opportunities for students, including 40 to 45 independent research grants for students in third year. Some students become teaching assistants in their second year, an opportunity they’re unlikely to have at large universities. Professors make themselves available to students for extra help outside of class time. Students are encouraged to think critically, engage fully with their courses and pursue their interests.

Attending a small school in a small town does have some drawbacks. Academic departments are small, so course options can be limited. Tuition is one of the highest in the country, at $8,335 a year for a full course load.


Getting involved at Mount Allison is easy. There really is something for everyone–intramural sports, environmental and social justice groups, Model United Nations, theatre and more. The student union hosts an annual clubs and societies fair. Plus, going to a small school means you’re likely to know someone in every group, so trying out new things is easy.

The yearly President’s Speaker Series brings in professionals, academics, activists and authors, giving students an opportunity to hear from leading voices in a variety of fields. Student and campus media is active, making up for Mount Allison’s dearth of journalism and broadcasting courses.

Local Vibe

There is always something to do or see in Sackville. Check out a student art show at START Gallery, a Sackville Film Society screening or the Saturday farmers’ market for your fix of pastries, coffee and local produce. There’s everything you need for a good night out—restaurants, bars, shows—just on a smaller scale. Living in a small town means going to the same places pretty regularly. On the upside, seeing a bunch of people you know is inevitable and the familiarity is welcoming.

Two annual music festivals–Stereophonic and SappyFest—feature Maritime talent, and have been known to draw some big names, like Arcade Fire. Sackville also has a series of walking and running trails that weave through and around the marshes.

The Skinny

Visit for updates on Mount Allison-related events. Check Facebook for gallery openings, shows and town, club and society events.

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