Frequently Asked Questions

While not exhaustive, we hope this information will answer some of your housing questions.

Current Housing Assignments & Summer Placement

Will students have to re-do housing registration?
We do not anticipate students needing to re-select housing assignments. We know housing is very important to students and that a lot of care went into their selections for the upcoming year. Those who do not currently have a housing assignment will continue through the summer placement process and will receive assignments as soon as we are able to do so.

Will there be enough housing for the entire body, considering most fall abroad programs are canceled?
With fall abroad programs being canceled, we are working quickly to add to our existing housing resources to try to be able to provide a place for everyone. We have been consulting with students to get a sense of what they might be interested in, including potentially living off-campus. Another option students may see is the expansion of housing to include local hotels.

Can you give any more information on local hotels?
While we work through details and space-related needs, our planning process includes ensuring access to transportation to campus, residence life staff support, laundry, and other typical student services for those who could be placed in a hotel. Again, details will follow as students report their intentions for the fall semester.

If a student requests a single, will they be guaranteed one?
The process for those who need a single for a documented disability is facilitated by the Office of Accessible Education. Those who feel they may fall into this category are encouraged to reach out to Accessible Education immediately to begin working through this process. Single rooms represent a small portion of available housing options and are granted as accommodations only in rare circumstances. It is important to note that students are not making a request for a specific housing assignment, but rather a request for an accommodation. As always, separate from the accommodations process there is no specific type of room or location that is ever guaranteed.

Can we elect to live off-campus?
Seniors, who are interested in canceling their on-campus room and applying to live off-campus, should email housing@bates.edu by July 17. Juniors without a housing assignment for the fall as they were originally studying abroad, can seek approval by emailing housing@bates.edu as soon as possible and by July 17 at the latest. We will be approving canceled off-campus study juniors on a rolling basis every few days until an off-campus capacity is reached. Our office is not approving other juniors or sophomores at this time.

Life in Houses and Halls

Are students only technically unable to access dorms that aren’t their own, or are there concrete rules barring them from spending time in other dorms?
Students will only have key card access to their own residence halls and students are only permitted to be in their own residence hall. This is a cautious approach to the fall semester, and we may elect to make some changes to this policy as things evolve in the fall semester.

Can we change our current housing assignment?
No, the room you selected in the spring will be the space you move into in the fall if you decide to return. Again, not having access to other dorms is a cautious approach to start the semester, but may evolve over the semester.

Are you able to elaborate on what is meant by a “Pod”? Will students be able to help organize pods themselves so that they can be close to friends and minimize social interaction, or are they essentially First Year Centers without JAs?
Think of a pod as those you share a bathroom with, so in most cases, those on your floor. The behavior of the virus that causes COVID-19 has practical implications for those who live around each other and share spaces. While there may be implications for pods if someone within the pod is diagnosed with a positive case of COVID-19, other aspects of your experience on campus will not be organized by pod. You may have read about other schools using the pod system to organize dining schedules or even class schedules. This is not part of the Bates plan for fall. Students will still be able to connect broadly with friends across campus, while wearing a face covering and observing physical distancing guidelines.

Remote Learning and Housing Assignments

If I go remote for fall semester, can I keep my room assignment for the winter semester if I come back to campus later?
If a student chooses to go remote, their housing assignments for the year will be canceled. If they decide they are interested in coming back to campus for the winter semester, they will apply for the winter placement process in November. They will not receive the assignment they selected in spring 2020, as those spaces will be filled by other students in fall 2020.

Can I “gift” my single to a returning student?
No, any rooms or suites that will be entirely vacated for the fall semester will be available to returning students through the summer placement process; therefore, it is not possible for students who are studying remotely to transfer those rooms to returning students outside of the winter housing process.

I am staying in my double/suite, but one or more of my roommates are moving out. What should I do?
Any student that will remain in a shared space has the first ability to fill the remaining bed with a student of their choice. Typically this is an upper-class student coming back on summer placement, but can be a current on-campus upper-class student in certain cases.

If I do not fill the bed in a shared space, can I have it as a single?
No, if the current student does not take the opportunity to fill the space, the bed will be assigned by our office as needed. Again, any completely open rooms are returned to our office for placement. In some circumstances, a shared space at low-capacity will have the current residents moved to a smaller space by the Office of Residence Life.

I have a double for the fall. Can I join the summer placement process for a single?
No, the summer placement process is for students who do not have a room assignment for the fall semester. The purpose of the summer placement process is for all students to have a space for the fall semester. 

Arrival FAQs

Where will students go for the 24-48 hours that they are awaiting testing results?

While students are awaiting test results, they will be asked to remain in their room. Students awaiting test results will be provided with access to necessary resources within their floors. We know that being asked to stay in your room for a period of time is not easy so we will be doing everything we can assist in getting test results returned as quickly as possible.