Residence and Cocurricular Life

Residence Life

As a residential institution, on-campus experiences in residence halls, clubs, and with community-engaged programming are integral to the academic experience at Bates. The mission of the residential experience is to foster diverse, inclusive, and collaborative communities that promote students' growth beyond the classroom. The dynamic and transformative role that residential living plays in students' lives is an important part of the Bates experience and embodies the mission of the college. Students grow and support each other in intentional house and residence hall communities, where they develop and exercise the tenants of mutual respect, conflict resolution, and collaborative living. While living in a community, students develop a holistic understanding of wellness and build relationships that grow their agency and perspective. Commons, the dining hall and hub of campus social life, is central to this experience; students gather together daily. Within this deeply community-oriented space, students gather together here daily.

All first year, sophomore, and junior students are required to live on campus, unless the Office of Residential Life and Health Education grants an exception to reside elsewhere. Seniors have the opportunity to participate in the Off-Campus Lottery for access to a limited number of off-campus residential opportunities. Seniors who do not receive permission to live off-campus based on the lottery are required to live on campus. Students who do not live on campus may receive a rebate, and should accordingly consult with the Office of Student Financial Services for more information.

Student Responsibilities

The educational goals of the college include developing students' social and ethical maturity. Bates students are responsible for their own welfare and are expected to actively support and advocate for the welfare of their peers. The college community promotes a culture of mutual respect in which students are active Green Dot bystanders, creating a safer and more inclusive campus.

Bates students are held accountable for their conduct at all times. Any student who engages in academic or social misconduct is subject to action by appropriate officers of the college and/or the Committee on Student Conduct.

This expectation of responsible behavior stems from the shared belief that membership in the community is a voluntary act of acceptance by both the student and the college. By the actions of matriculation and registration at Bates College, students voluntarily enter an educational and residential community with standards of academic honesty and respect for others. This mutually voluntary relationship may be terminated by the student at any time without the assignment of specific reason. Conversely, this relationship may be severed either by the President and Trustees, without the assignment of specific reason, or by the procedures of the Academic Standing Committee or the Student Conduct Committee, or other appropriate decision-making bodies of the college. Neither the college nor any of its administrative or teaching officers is under any liability whatsoever for such withdrawal of privileges.

Attendance at Bates signifies acceptance of the provisions for the organization and policies of academic, residence, and cocurricular life set forth in the Code of Student Conduct (

Religion and Spirituality

Although founded by Freewill Baptists, Bates has no formal religious affiliation. Through the Multifaith Chaplaincy, the college works to foster a climate of genuine religious pluralism on campus. Members of many faith traditions represented at the college regularly meet, cooperate, and learn from one another. Opportunities for meditation, prayer, and spiritual reflection for people of all faiths (and no faith) are held in the Chapel and across campus each week. There are on-campus weekly ecumenical Christian services, Catholic Mass, Quaker meetings, Friday Muslim prayers, Buddhist meditation gatherings, and Shabbat services and meals. A focus of campus spiritual and civic life, the Peter J. Gomes Chapel, built in 1913, was dedicated in 2012 in memory of Reverend Gomes, a member of the Class of 1965, a preacher and professor at Harvard, and an esteemed public intellectual. The college maintains a Muslim prayer room, a Hindu shrine, and a Buddhist meditation room. Services offered by the synagogue, churches, and mosque of Lewiston and Auburn are open to Bates students and employees. Several student-led religious organizations are active at the college: Hillel, Bates Christian Fellowship, Catholic Student Community, Baha'i Association, Salaam Namaste, Muslim Student Association, Dharma, and the Yoga Kula. The Multifaith Chaplaincy also collaborates with many students who have no religious affiliation, but desire a place for conversation, social justice work, or spirituality. The multifaith chaplains are available to all members of the Bates community — regardless of religious affiliation — for confidential pastoral conversation and support. Additionally, the Multifaith Chaplaincy engages volunteer associated chaplains from Lewiston and Auburn who provide counsel and religious services to those who seek them within their respective tradition. More information about the Multifaith Chaplaincy can be found on the Bates website (

The Office of Intercultural Education

Created to help advance diversity and inclusion at Bates, the Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) coordinates academic and social programs that support students from populations underrepresented in higher education and seeks to engage the wider college community in conversations and celebrations around difference. The OIE engages, educates, and connects all members of the community in the essential work of bridging cultural differences in order to strengthen and enrich the college community. Lectures, workshops, co-curricular experiences, and other programs offer insight into ways that cultural imperatives shape our lives and our understanding of each other.

Health Services

Bates recognizes that physical and mental health significantly influences a student's ability to participate fully in the life of the college. Health Services strives to enhance each student's well-being by providing comprehensive, confidential medical and psychological health care and encouraging informed participation in all health-related decisions. Health Services and the Office of Residence Life and Health Education support students in developing effective strategies to support life-long wellness through individual consultations and campus-wide health focused programming. The Health Services staff includes physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and support staff. The counseling and psychological services staff includes counselors, psychologists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a consulting psychiatrist.

All students are required to have a comprehensive health insurance policy to supplement the services of the Health Center. Bates College has a Student Health Insurance Plan that may be purchased as the required policy or as a supplement to the student's own policy. All international students must purchase the Bates College International Health Insurance Plan or a comparable U.S. plan.

Cocurricular Activities

Clubs and Organizations

As a residential college, Bates' cocurricular life is centered on campus and thrives through the diverse array of student interests. More than one hundred recognized student-run clubs and organizations, from political clubs to arts groups, are open to all students. There are no fraternities or sororities on campus.

The Office of Campus Life, in partnership with the student-led Organizational Review Board, and the Budget Committee, oversees clubs and organizations. More information and a list of student organizations can be found at


The college sponsors a variety of intercollegiate, club sports, and intramural athletics programs for all full-time students. All physical education facilities are available for student use as stipulated by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education.

Campus athletic facilities are shared among physical education classes, intercollegiate sports, intramurals, club sports teams, and student-run clubs. In open recreation activities, students use the facilities informally for individual sports and personal fitness.

Club sports sponsored by the Department of Athletics include ice hockey, rugby, and water polo for both men and women as well as a coeducational sailing club. Club sports currently affiliated with the Department of Athletics but funded through the Office of Campus Life include men's and women's ultimate frisbee as well as coeducational fencing and equestrian. More information for Club sports programs is available at

Sustained participation, fun, and low-key competition are the goals of the intramural sports program. Most Bates students take part in some intramural activity every year. Programs are overseen by student staff, an intramural committee, and staff members. Intramural activities may include basketball, broomball, flag football, ice hockey, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Information and registration for intramural sports is available at

Bates sponsors thirty-one intercollegiate sports for men and women. Opportunities for men include alpine skiing, baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, outdoor track, rowing, soccer, squash, swimming and diving, and tennis. Women's intercollegiate teams compete in alpine skiing, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, indoor track, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, outdoor track, rowing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball. The college abides by the eligibility rules appropriate to its educational mission and its designation as an NCAA Division III institution. It is a member of state, regional, and national athletic conferences and associations, including the NCAA and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), whose members are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.