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, lively dialogue, and nurturing friendships. At Bates, all students not living with their families are required to reside on campus, except when the dean of students grants special permission to reside elsewhere or when the College requires a student to vacate College residences. Students who do not live on campus may receive a refund, and should accordingly consult with the accounts receivable manager. All dormitory rooms are equipped with standard furniture; bed linens and blankets are not provided. The College operates one central dining facility, the Memorial Commons.

The College expects Bates students to be responsible individuals who respect the rights of others. Bates encourages students to decide what style of dormitory life suits them best and, whenever possible, it accommodates that decision as long as the rights of other students and the College's academic mission are not compromised.

Student Responsibilities. The educational goals of the College include the strengthening of social and moral maturity. For this reason, all Bates College students are held personally responsible for their conduct at all times. Any student who becomes disorderly, is involved in any disturbance, interferes with the rights of others, damages property, brings the name of the College into disrepute, or is individually or as part of a group involved in unacceptable social behavior on or off campus is subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of the dean of students or the Committee on Student Conduct, a combined student-faculty committee.

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.

The Student Handbook. The Handbook contains information concerning the details of registration; the policies relating to class absences and excuses; the basis of deficiency reports, grades, and semester reports; specific rules governing conduct; and other detailed regulations. Attendance at Bates signifies acceptance of the provisions for the organization and policies of academic, residential, and extracurricular life set forth in the Handbook.

Religion. Bates works actively to foster a climate of genuine religious pluralism on campus, an atmosphere in which members of the many faith traditions represented at the College regularly meet, cooperate, and learn from one another. Although founded by Freewill Baptists, the College currently has no formal religious affiliation. An opportunity for meditation, prayer, and spiritual reflection for people of all faiths is held in the Chapel each week. There are on-campus weekly ecumenical Protestant services, Roman Catholic Masses, Quaker meetings, and Shabbat services and meals. A Muslim prayer room, a Hindu prayer room, and a Buddhist shrine are housed in the Multicultural Center. The services offered by the synagogues, churches, and mosque of Lewiston and Auburn are always open to Bates students and employees. In addition to regular on-campus services, several religious organizations are active at Bates. The Bates Hillel, Catholic Student Community, the Bates Christian Fellowship, the Progressive Christians at Bates, the Hindu Awareness Group, the Mushahada (Muslim) Association, and other groups concerned with spirituality and social justice provide varied activities for interested students, as does the College chaplain's Multifaith Council. The Office of the College Chaplain works to ground the religious life and activities of the campus in the rich intellectual heritage and mission of the College. The Chaplain is available to all members of the Bates community-regardless of religious affiliation-for counseling, conversation, and support. Additionally, the chaplain's office engages volunteer associated chaplains from Lewiston and Auburn, who provide personal counsel and religious services to those who seek them within their respective traditions. More information on the Office of the College Chaplain can be found on the Bates Web site (

The Multicultural Center. The Multicultural Center celebrates and promotes the diverse cultural experiences of members of the Bates community. The center acts as a catalyst on campus by initiating discussions about culture, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and gender. A resource room in the center houses books, journals, and videos. There are designated areas for Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist worship. Lectures, meetings, events, workshops, and exhibitions generated by the center and affiliated student organizations examine the diversity of intellectual, racial, ethnic, social, cultural, political, and spiritual backgrounds at Bates and in the community, the nation, and the world.

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 health care and by encouraging informed participation in health-related decisions. The Center emphasizes holistic health promotion during individual consultations and through campus-wide programs.

The Health Center is open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day while the College is in session. The staff includes a physician, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, psychological counselors, a consulting psychiatrist, and many referring specialists in the community.

The comprehensive fee includes general health care, eight counseling sessions, and a very basic insurance plan that pays the first $300 of treatment costs. Every student must be covered under his or her own insurance program or purchase the additional major medical plan.

Extracurricular Activities

Because Bates is a residential college, extracurricular life is centered on campus and grows out of the many interests of the students. The Student Activities Office and the Committee on Extracurricular Activities and Residential Life, a combined student-faculty committee, are charged with overseeing extracurricular life on campus. Organizations and activities are designed for all and open to all; there are no fraternities, sororities, or other exclusive organizations at Bates.

Amandla! promotes better understanding of the many communities of the African diaspora. The organization sponsors lectures, campus discussions, and performances for the College community.

The Bates Ballroom Society promotes the many forms of social and ballroom dance by offering lessons and presenting dances. A team of society members represents Bates in intercollegiate ballroom dance competitions.

The Bates Buddies Club links some forty Bates students with first-, second-, and third-graders at Longley Elementary School in Lewiston, where Bates students share lunch and recess with small groups of children, engaging in play activities and modeling social skills.

The Bates College Student Government provides a forum for discussion and resolution of problems that are within the jurisdiction of students.

The Bates Discordians sponsor a wide variety of drug-free, alcohol-free activities for the College community.

Bates Emergency Medical Services is a round-the-clock program run and staffed by students who are licensed emergency medical technicians and first responders.

The Bates Modern Dance Company gives students the opportunity to dance, exercise, perform, teach, and choreograph. Each year the company presents several major productions on campus and in Maine communities.

The Bates Outing Club is one of the oldest and most active of such organizations in the country. It sponsors outdoor activities almost every weekend and provides alpine and Nordic skis, snowshoes, toboggans, camping equipment, bicycles, and canoes. Members assume responsibility for maintaining a thirteen-mile section of the Appalachian Trail.

The Chase Hall Committee takes primary responsibility for social affairs and activities at Chase Hall, the student center. This committee sponsors popular concerts, coffeehouses, dances, Fall Weekend, the Winter Carnival, and other all-campus events.

Widely known throughout the English-speaking world for its debating program, Bates was the first American college to compete in international debate (with Oxford in 1921). Since then debaters have taken part in more than 100 international meetings. The Brooks Quimby Debate Council sponsors campus debates with visiting teams and enters Bates debaters in frequent tournaments from Maine to California.

The Environmental Coalition is concerned with campus, local, national, and international environmental issues, engaging actively in efforts ranging from campus recycling to grassroots activism.

The Filmboard, comprising student and faculty representatives, sponsors a diversified program in cinematic art for the entire community. The program includes first-run films as well as foreign film festivals and classics.

The Freewill Folk Society sponsors concerts and monthly contradances featuring traditional music from around the world.

The International Club encourages greater appreciation of the world's cultures, peoples, communities, and nations through films, dinners, and informal gatherings.

Latinos Unidos explores Latina/o history, politics, language, and cultural traditions and promotes greater awareness of the diverse Latina/o groups in the United States.

The New World Coalition presents activities and programs designed to increase awareness of the politics of international affairs, especially in emerging nations.

OUTfront serves the Bates community by providing a forum for education and discussion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. The members also serve as a support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students.

Sangai Asia hosts meetings, dinners, exhibits, and lectures that focus on Asian and Asian American identity and cultures.

The Shaggy-Dog Storytellers provide students interested in creative writing with an opportunity to share their work.

The Society of Women in Mathematics and Science (SWIMS) organizes talks, films, and social gatherings, and focuses on the challenges and opportunities for women in the sciences.

The Women of Color student organization celebrates the rich and diverse experiences of women of color. The group confronts issues of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other forms of prejudice that affect women of color.

Opportunities for students interested in music are provided by ensembles including the College Choir, the Concert Band, the "Fighting Bobcat" Orchestra, the Javanese Gamelan Mawar Mekar, the Jazz Ensemble, the Steel Pan Ensemble, the Wind Ensemble, and several a cappella vocal groups-the Crosstones, the Deansmen, the Merimanders, and Northfield.

The theater program provides opportunities to act and to do technical work behind the scenes. Associated with the Department of Theater and Rhetoric are the Robinson Players, one of the nation's oldest student theater ensembles. Strange Bedfellows, an improv comedy group, performs throughout the year.

Political clubs and other special-interest organizations enrich the extracurricular life of the College. Many academic departments and programs sponsor clubs organized to promote interest in their specific fields, supplementing classroom work through informal and panel discussions, talks by visiting scholars, social gatherings, and films.

The Bates Student, the campus newspaper, is published weekly under the supervision of an independent board of editors. A few salaried positions are available for those who do weekly reporting. Students also publish The Garnet, a literary magazine; Seed, an alternative magazine of ideas and the arts; The Mirror, a yearbook; and E-clectic, an online 'zine featuring writing and art by students, faculty, and staff.

A student organization operates the College radio studio as a noncommercial station, WRBC (91.5 FM). It is licensed to the President and Trustees of the College as an educational station.

In addition to extracurricular activities initiated by student organizations, campus life is enriched by frequent lectures, concerts, and films sponsored by various academic departments and programs, the College Lecture Series, the College Concert Series and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee. The College presents diverse speakers and artists as an integral aspect of a liberal arts education. Each year invited guests offer a variety of viewpoints and artistic traditions to faculty, staff, and students, as well as the broader regional community. Endowed funds help support some of these events, including the George Colby Chase Lecture, the Rayborn Lindley Zerby Lecture, and the Philip J. Otis Lecture. The Museum of Art offers rotating exhibitions by leading artists and hosts lectures by renowned scholars.

Athletics. The College sponsors a variety of intercollegiate, intramural, and club athletics programs for men and women. All physical education facilities are available for student use as stipulated by the Department of Physical Education.

Campus athletic facilities are shared among physical education classes, intercollegiate varsity sports, intramurals, club sports, and open recreation. Students use many of the facilities informally for individual sports and personal fitness.

Men's and women's club sports include ice hockey and rugby. Equestrian, fencing, sailing, ultimate Frisbee, water polo, and water skiing are coeducational clubs.

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 flag football, basketball, racquetball, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and wallyball.

Bates sponsors numerous 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. 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, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams.