Residence and Cocurricular 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 Residence Life Program is to foster socially just residential communities that support students' personal growth through critical thinking and social and intellectual engagement beyond the classroom. The 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 are challenged to engage across differences with respect, humility, and empathy. Through exposure to holistic, positive, and engaging health education programming, students learn to think critically about their health choices. Recognizing the power of peer-facilitated learning opportunities, health education initiatives are generated by students and frequently facilitated by them. Defining wellness as a multifaceted and lifelong journey, students are equipped to make informed, values-based choices that advance their understanding and practice of health throughout their lives.
Recognizing the transformational power of residential experiences, all first year, sophomore, and junior students are required to live on campus, with rare exceptions. Following three years of campus residency, seniors may apply to live in one of a limited number of off-campus spaces. Seniors residing off campus experience independent living while remaining engaged in community activities. Seniors living off campus are expected to uphold the values of community living practiced while living on campus.
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 the Office of Student Support and Community Standards 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 (bates.edu/student-affairs/student-conduct/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, Quaker meetings, 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, Muslim Student Association, Dharma, the Yoga Kula, and Stillpoint, an inclusive Christian community. The Multifaith Chaplaincy also collaborates with many students who have no religious affiliation, but desire a place for conversation, reflection, 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 (bates.edu/chaplaincy).
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 many student programs offer insight into ways that cultural imperatives shape our lives and our understanding of each other.
Physical health fundamentally impacts a student's ability to participate fully in the life of the college. Recognizing the importance of holistically supporting each student's unique medical needs, Bates Health Services provides comprehensive, accessible, and confidential medical care, and encourages informed student participation in all medical decisions. Bates Health Services supports students in developing the skills and experience to effectively access and navigate healthcare settings. Through a partnership with Central Maine Medical Center, Bates provides students on campus access to an interdisciplinary medical team dedicated to working with students. Students are able to assess, manage, and treat urgent, acute, and long-term medical conditions through diverse medical services including preventative care. Students may quickly assess appropriate care through consultations with registered nurses and appointments with physicians. Prescriptions are available via daily delivery to a student's campus address to ensure continuity of care. As with all primary and acute care providers, Bates Health Services bills student's insurance provider for care. Students not covered by a comprehensive insurance plan at the time of matriculation are required to purchase an appropriate insurance plan through the college. Bates provides assistance for students with financial concerns.
In accordance with Maine state law, all students are required to demonstrate proof of immunity to designated diseases. Bates Health Services is commited to supporting students with questions about their obligations around this documentation and vaccination requirements.
Health Services and the Office of Residence Life and Health Education support students in developing effective strategies to support lifelong wellness through individual consultations and campus-wide health-focused programming.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Bates recognizes that mental health significantly influences one's ability to participate fully in the college community. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) strives to enhance each student's well-being by providing comprehensive, confidential mental health care and encouraging informed, individual participation on mental health-related decisions. Counseling is free to all Bates students. The CAPS staff includes counselors, psychologists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Students who wish to consult a counselor in the community may contact CAPS for a list of referrals, however, insurance coverage for outside referrals may vary.
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, supports and advises student clubs and organizations. More information can be found at bates.edu/campus/.
Athletics and Physical Education
In support of the mission of the college, Bates offers a variety of intercollegiate, club, intramural, and recreational programs designed to enable students of all backgrounds and experience levels to partake in activities that support health and wellness. More than 70 percent of students participate in programs sponsored by the Department of Athletics; athletic participation, recreation, and physical engagement are important ways for students to create connections and build community.
Physical Education facilities are available to all students and have time reserved and dedicated for recreational use; these facilities are scheduled for intercollegiate, club, intramural, and organized recreational programs. In open recreation activities, students use the facilities informally for individual sports and personal fitness.
Club Sport Opportunities
Club sports supported by the Department of Athletics include equestrian, fencing, ice hockey, rugby, sailing, ultimate Frisbee, and water polo; more information is available at bates.edu/pe/academics/club-sports-teams/.
Intramural Participation Opportunities
Sustained participation, fun, and friendly competition are the goals of the intramural sports program. Programs are overseen by student staff, the intramural committee, and professional staff members. Intramural activities may include basketball, broomball, flag football, ice hockey, soccer, softball, and volleyball.
Intercollegiate Sport Programs
Bates sponsors thirty-one intercollegiate varsity 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. Bates sustains active membership in state, regional, and national athletic conferences and associations, including the NCAA and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College form the NESCAC conference.