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Residential Life

Converse Hall, Room 105
Office hours: Monday–Friday; 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Summer hours (Memorial Day–Labor Day): 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Dear Student,

Welcome to the Amherst College Residential Life Department. On behalf of the four Area Coordinators, 60 Resident Counselors, Luciana Fernandes (lfernandes@amherst.edu), the Administrative Assistant, and myself, we wish to extend our welcome to you. It is our sincere hope that you will find your experiences in the residence halls both rewarding and valuable in terms of personal growth, lasting friendships, and future development.

If you have any questions, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Torin Moore (tmoore@amherst.edu)
Assistant Dean of Students/ Director of Residential Life
Office: 413-542-2161
Fax: 413-542-8488



Residential Life Positions

Area Coordinators

Four Area Coordinators work with the various types of campus residences. They supervise the Resident Counselors, help in the organization of social, educational, and cultural activities, and serve as a liaison with the Physical Plant. In addition, they are available as a resource and support for students. All four reside in campus housing.

Resident Counselors

In February and March of each year, 60 Resident Counselors are selected from the current first-year, sophomore, and junior classes. These students serve during the academic year, advising all students. RC's live in the residences and are expected to have an openness toward and concern for others, as well as a wide knowledge of the various aspects of the College. The job requires a general readiness to aid students in their transition to the College and the continuing choices and dilemmas they may face during their four years at Amherst.

To apply, a student should request a job description and application from the Residential Life Office (105 Converse) in early February or print it out from below. It is also suggested that applicants speak to as many Resident Counselors as possible to obtain a sense of the position and its responsibilities. Any students wishing to apply for a position and who will be studying abroad during the interviewing process should contact Dean Moore during the prior spring semester.

First-Time Resident Counselor Application - pdf format
Returning Resident Counselor Application - pdf format

Commencement/Family Housing

Family housing for Commencement Weekend is organized by Public Affairs (413-542-2322)

Commencement/Reunion Student Worker Housing

Students working for the College during the two weeks of Commencement and Reunion, and whose name appears on a pre-approved list, are housed on campus. Rooms are assigned in early May. Because housing is very tight during this time for student workers, extra mattresses are placed on the floor to accommodate everyone. TOP

Dorms

Amherst College has 37 student resident halls. Seven of these buildings are for first-year students. The remainder, in various room configurations, are for upperclass students. Included in some of the buildings are theme houses (see Theme Houses). The occupancy of our buildings range from 6 to approximately 100.

All of the buildings are co-ed. Some of the floors are designated single gender. TOP

Early Arrivals

August

In the fall of 2008 dorms open for sophomores, juniors, and seniors on Thursday, August 28, beginning at 9 a.m. Only students whose presence is essential to the New Students Orientation Program, or those with medical reasons or grave personal emergencies, may be allowed access to their housing prior to August 30. If applicable, requests need to be submitted in writing to the Director of Residential Life before June 1. After this time, requests received cannot be guaranteed, and students should make alternate arrangements.

January

Students who were away in the fall: Rooms for students who have been away for the fall semester can be accessed after the mid-point of Interterm. Please refer to the calendar for specific dates. Students are asked to make arrangements until their room is ready. Therefore, requests for early returns cannot be accommodated.

Students who are going away for the spring: Students who are on campus for the fall semester, and going away spring semester, have until early January to be in their rooms. TOP

Housing Extensions

December

Students need to request in writing to the Director of Residential Life by the first Monday of December to request an extension. However, if the extension request is for more than 24 hours after the close of dorms, students should make arrangements to stay in Moore. Students taking classes at the other 4 colleges, AND whose final exam schedule is after the date Amherst buildings close, are notified separately.

May

Students need to request in writing to the Director of Residential Life, by May 1, if they are unable to vacate housing on time. NOTE: an academic extension is not an automatic extension for housing, and students should plan to make other arrangements. Students taking classes at the other 4 colleges, AND whose final exam schedule is after the date Amherst buildings close, are notified separately. TOP

New Student Housing & Questionnaire

The 2008-2009 incoming first-year students will be housed in Appleton, Charles Pratt, James, Stearns, North, South and Williston. All matriculated students need to fill out a Housing Questionnaire, which is a form that can be completed online (starting June 9th) and is due June 19th. Based upon these questionnaires, students are placed accordingly. Since Amherst College is a small community, we encourage all new students to meet as many of the other new students as possible. We randomly assign all incoming students, and therefore, do not honor roommate requests.

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Information regarding first-year dorms:

  • Beds in rooms on the 4th floor of North and South dormitories CANNOT be bunked; beds in all other rooms in first-year dorms can be bunked.
  • Substance-free housing is in all of North, the 1st and 2nd floors of South, 1st floor of Appleton
  • Single-sex floors: 1st floor South (all male), 1st floor Appleton (all female)
  • 5% of rooms in each building are not carpeted
  • There is no central air conditioning in any rooms, and air conditioners are not permitted unless approved by the Dean's Office
  • Click here for floor plans of all first-year dorms
  • Information on phone service will be included with the housing assignment mailing

Off Campus Housing

First-year students are not allowed to live off-campus. Because the College does not have housing facilities for them, all married students and students with children live off-campus. However, spouses and children are encouraged to participate fully in campus life. All students requesting permission for off-campus housing must submit their request in writing no later than November 1 for the spring semester, and March 15 for the next academic year. The College allows a maximum of 50 students to live off campus each semester. Failure to meet deadlines may result in the denial of off-campus status. NOTE: having signed a lease before being granted off-campus status does not constitute automatic eligibility. Students who live off-campus have the option of retaining the full meal plan or using the AC Dollar$. In granting approval for students to live off-campus, the Residential Life Department will give priority to students with compelling personal or financial reasons for moving off-campus, and then to seniors and juniors, in that order.

To apply for off-campus housing, print out the application and submit it to the Residential Life Office in Converse 105, by fax (413-542-8488) or by mail (AC #2206, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002).

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Rest and Relaxation Center (R & R Rooms)

Mismatched roommate or loud neighbors? Quiet bedrooms with desks away from the distractions of the campus are in Moore Dorm and Pratt Dorm. Those who want to use the kitchen can check out pots and pans from Dining Services for a refundable deposit plus a nominal rental fee. Contact the Residential Life Office, ext. 2161, for more information. TOP

Room Change Process

After the second week of classes for the fall semester, students receive an on-campus mailing regarding the Room Change Process. Students who would like to change their room assignment can sign up for a random lottery, which determines the names on the Room Change list. For the fall semester, first-year students are only eligible to live in first-year buildings. Once the spring semester begins, first-year students can live anywhere on campus. The Room Change process is active as long as vacancies are available. If vacancies do not exist at any given time, the process is suspended, and then resumed once vacancies are again available. TOP

Roommate, room, and /or dorm problems:

If you are experiencing any type of problems with a roommate, your room, or the floor/dorm, you should contact your Resident Counselor first, then the Area Coordinator for the building. If these two people are unable to mediate the problem to a satisfactory result for all involved, then contact the Director of Residential Life for an appointment. TOP

Students on leave

Students on leave from Amherst during the fall semester and who intend to return for the spring semester must fill out a Housing Preferences Form as part of the readmission process. Students away during the spring semester or the entire year who intend to return for the following fall semester must fill out a Housing Intentions Form. Any student who plans to live off-campus when he/she returns will need to submit an Off-campus application.

Summer Housing

Summer Housing is available for rent on a space-available basis for Amherst College students only, employed full or part time by the College during the summer. Summer housing begins at 5 p.m. the Monday AFTER Reunion weekend ends, unless the Monday is a holiday. Students must fill out a Summer Housing Application which are available in Converse 105 after April 30. If you are off-campus, please email Lu Fernandes and an application and informational letter will be sent to you. The deadline for submitting a summer housing application is 4 p.m. on Monday, May 12. Students who return their application by the deadline have first priority. Applications received after the deadline are housed on a space-available basis.

Except for students who will be away the fall semester, summer rental costs can be added to a student’s fall tuition bill. Most buildings selected for summer housing include kitchen facilities. Students may elect to have phone service during their summer occupancy, with applicable hookup and monthly fees. The weekly rent for summer 2008 is: $80/single; $67 pp/double with roommate; $62 pp/triple with roommates. TOP

Theme Housing

As part of the system of social and residential life, students have been encouraged to form Theme Houses under the sponsorship of faculty advisors. Students submit proposals for theme living to the College Council, which accepts the proposals and allocates space for the programs when there is a clear linkage between student efforts to pursue or realize the College’s central educational and cultural ideals and residential life. All Theme Houses are expected to enrich the life of the campus by undertaking outreach programs that educate students about the particular theme which is used to organize the residence.

Each member of the Theme House is expected to adhere to all responsibilities that are required of House members. The effectiveness of the House rests firmly on an accepted code of behavior in which cooperative living and consideration for others are the keynotes. Individual theme houses are responsible for developing workable ways of alleviating individual differences and resolving conflicts so that the rights of each student and the rights of the community are protected. Residents who do not adhere to the expectations of the theme house they are living in may be removed to other campus housing on the recommendation of the advisor of the house, the Director of Residential Life, or the Dean of Students.

Theme houses are reviewed each year by the College Council, which solicits a description from each house of its activities for the year, and judges its success in meeting the goals of theme housing. New theme houses are reviewed with special care for their first three years, and then are considered presumptively ongoing. Presumptively ongoing houses will continue to be reviewed, but will only be moved by the College Council from their current location or denied renewal if they clearly and consistently fail to meet the goals of theme housing for a sustained period of time.

Except for the Health & Wellness Quarter, no student may live in a particular theme house for more than two years.

Upperclass students are eligible to apply. First-year students may apply after their first semester, pending available vacancies.

For the current year, the Theme Houses and locations are as follows:

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What to Bring

Listed below is information which should be helpful to you in determining what the college allows you to put in your room. Rooms are equipped with a bed, mattress, desk, chair, bureau, wall mirror, wardrobe/closet, small bookcase or shelf, ceiling light, trash/recycle bin, computer port outlet, window shades. Please note that students are NOT allowed to nail or use screws for hanging items.

Miscellaneous Information:

  • Bed size: 36"x80" (x-long twin size)
  • Scatter rugs: 6’ x 9’ or less
  • Clearance under bed: 6"
  • Need 1 touch-tone phone
  • Foot locker/storage crates
  • Extension cords may be needed (heavy duty)
  • Umbrella
  • Clothes hangers
  • Surge protectors/power strips
  • Fish tanks — commercial manufacture only

Appliances allowed in rooms:

  • clocks, radios
  • stereo systems (compact) w/earphones
  • electric blankets
  • irons
  • stereos
  • televisions
  • lamps (desk or floor—NO HALOGEN)
  • fans
  • grooming aids
  • humidifiers
  • vaporizers
  • hot air corn poppers
  • coffee makers with automatic shut-off
  • under 4.5 cubic feet refrigerators

What Not to Bring (this is not a complete list)

  • microwave ovens
  • toaster ovens
  • candles/incense
  • hot plates
  • toasters
  • waffle iron
  • woks
  • halogen lamps
  • air conditioners
  • animals/pets

A more detailed listing can be found in the Student Handbook.

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Important Policies & Dates

Taking Time Off (and Returning)

Emergency Information

Staff Directory

Office Hours