Residential and Extracurricular Life

Residential Life

On-campus activities are integral to life in a residential college. College houses and residence halls offer opportunities for shared learning, educational programs, lively dialogue, and nurturing friendships. At Bates, all students are required to reside on campus, except when the dean of students grants special permission to reside elsewhere. Students who do not live on campus may receive a refund, and should accordingly consult with the Office of Student Financial Services. All residence rooms are equipped with standard furniture; bed linens and blankets are not provided. The college operates one central dining facility, the Commons, where all students gather for meals and conversation.

The goal of the Residence Life Program at Bates is to foster residential communities that support students' personal growth through critical thinking and social and intellectual engagement beyond the classroom. The dynamic role that residential living plays in Bates students' lives serves as an integral component of the educational mission of the college.

Student Responsibilities

The educational goals of the college include the strengthening of social and moral maturity. Bates students are held responsible for their conduct at all times. Any student who engages in academic or social misconduct is subject to disciplinary action by appropriate officers of the college and/or the Committee on Student Conduct.

This expectation of responsible behavior stems from the presumption that membership in the community is a voluntary act of acceptance by both the student and the college. 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 Committee on Academic Standing or the Committee on Student Conduct. 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, residential, and extracurricular life set forth in the "Policies for Student Conduct and Safety" booklet and published on the Bates website.

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 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 Association, 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 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. The Health Center 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. The Health Center emphasizes health promotion during individual consultations and through campus-wide health education programming.

During the academic year, the Health Center is open Monday through Friday, twenty-four hours a day, and is closed from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The staff includes a physician, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, psychological counselors, a consulting psychiatrist, and support staff.

All students are required to have a comprehensive health insurance policy to supplement the services of the Student 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.

Extracurricular Activities

Clubs and Organizations.

Because Bates is a residential college, extracurricular life is centered on campus and grows out of the many interests of the students. One hundred recognized student-run clubs and organizations, from political clubs and arts groups to academic clubs, are open to all students. There are no fraternities, sororities, or other exclusive organizations on campus.

The Student Activities Office and the Organizational Review Board, a student committee, oversee clubs and organizations. Students are encouraged to establish organizations that suit their interests. More information and a list of student organizations can be found at


The college sponsors a variety of intercollegiate, club sport, and intramural athletics programs for all 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, and club sports. In open recreation activities, students use the facilities informally for individual sports and personal fitness.

Club sports offered separately for men include fencing, ice hockey, rugby, water polo, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. Club sports offered separately for women include fencing, equestrian, ice hockey, rugby, ultimate Frisbee and water polo. Sailing is a coeducational club.

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, and the program is run primarily by students. Intramural activities include basketball, bowling, broomball, flag football, ice hockey, racquetball, soccer, softball, squash, tennis, volleyball, and wallyball. 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.