July 20, 2021 | Parent Information Session

We encourage you to watch this parent/family information session in its entirety to hear from our campus partners, who provided useful information for incoming parents. Remember that the information on this page was current as of July 20, 2021, and may have changed since then. For the most current information, visit our main parent page or the COVID-19 Information page.

A significant number of questions were answered in the Q&A function during the session. That information has been collected below and organized roughly by topic.


Will students have the opportunity to speak to an advisor before choosing courses?
All students will have an August Registration Consultant (who is a member of the Bates faculty or staff) who will reach out to the Class of 2025 on or about August 3 to schedule any conversations and support during the registration period from August 4 to 10. Additional supports (information on the general education program, language placement, AP credit, etc.) are currently posted to students’ Lyceum pages

How many students are typically in each first-year seminar?
Approximately 15 to 16 students are in each first-year seminar (or FYS). First-Year Seminars meet on the same schedule as other courses. Most meet three times a week, though some are twice a week.

Will schedulers make sure class schedules of fall sports athletes don’t conflict with training schedules?
Class schedules will take precedence, and athletic practices are scheduled by coaches around the academic schedules. There are sometimes conflicts. When the conflict is with a practice, the class takes precedence. For athletics contests, the student will communicate with the faculty member and will in most cases be excused as long as work is made up and the student is doing well in the class. We work as hard as possible to minimize these conflicts, but they do exist.

Can you please talk about how we can double major?
This is a great question to ask your Registration Consultant when they reach out to you in early August.  It’s possible, but a conversation is best to determine if a double major is the right path for you.  We also have GECs and minors that you can consider as well.

Are PE courses required for graduation?
PE courses are no longer required for graduation.

Where can we find information on AP credits and how they impact what courses we sign up for?
The specific website for AP information on the Registrar’s Office website is: https://www.bates.edu/registrar/academic-record/non-bates-credit/advanced-placement/   AP credit can serve as a prerequisite for other Bates courses. Reach out to registrar@bates.edu for additional information. We encourage students to send in their AP scores as soon as they can so they can potentially serve as prerequisites for courses, but there is no particular deadline.

You mentioned that first-year seminars are not first-come first-serve; does that also apply to general studies classes?
That is correct. You can register at any time between 10 AM EDT August 4 and 4 PM EDT August 10. Every student has equal access to your course. The registrar takes your course preferences into consideration. Course schedules will be released on or near August 20.

How do students handle registration if they want to do a music ensemble, which are half credit each? Can they enroll for 3.5 or 4.5 classes for fall semester?
Students do often take music ensembles or applied music lessons in addition to their 4.0 full-credit courses. They don’t have to, though. Students need to register for a minimum of 3.5 credits per semester and can register for up to a maximum of 5.5 credits if they feel they can handle that workload. The standard course load is four credits.

Where can we find a list of learning supports and explanations? 
Academic resources can be found here: https://www.bates.edu/academics/resources/

How do we get access to the student “Ask Me Anything” sessions?
The student AMAs resources are sent directly to all incoming students. Please have your student check that email that Prof. Engel referenced in his remarks.

Do you get two academic advisors if you are a double major?
Yes. Students receive an academic advisor in each major. Students also receive an academic advisor in a minor if they declare a minor

How do I make contact with my advisor once FY Seminars are assigned?
You will get to meet your FYS instructor/academic advisor once you come to campus for Orientation. Prior to orientation and for support during the August 4-10 registration period, you will be contacted by email on or near August 3 by an August Registration Consultant to assist you with fall semester course registration.

Academics and Tech 

Are there specific requirements for a computer? What are the options for IT support for students?
Please see ILS link for computer support.: https://www.bates.edu/helpdesk/it-bates-just-for-you-class-of-2024/

Can students use the Google platform to write and submit assignments? Do they need Microsoft word?
Students do utilize Google workspace (docs, sheets, etc).

Is there guidance on the type of laptops that students should have? 
Students will receive access to any specialized software through the Information Library Services department or the Helpdesk. Most do not have specialized programs on personal computers. For specific questions about laptops, email helpdesk@bates.edu.

Does it cost anything to print documents at the library? Would you recommend bringing a small printer for the dorm?
Most students do not bring their own printers and use public printers on campus. Printing in the library is free.


Is there an athletic center available for non-athletes who want to work out?
Yes! The gym is open to all Bates students, and many students who are not on teams use these spaces as well. This is a very popular gathering space on campus, so all are welcome! The only time that student-athletes utilize them solely with their teams are outside of regular operating hours.

Is there a swim club?
Reach out to head coach/aquatics director Peter Casares at pcasares@bates.edu for swim options outside of the varsity team. 

Are student-athletes able to register for AESOP? 
There will be minimal interruption in athletics participation during orientation. Athletics staff has worked closely with the orientation staff, and your coach will have more information.

I was disappointed to see that my daughter has two away field hockey games for visiting day weekend. Are there other options for parents to visit in a formal way?
Unfortunately, this is a regular occurance as the NESCAC conference produces the schedule and each year, either FH or Soccer will be away that weekend since the conference schedule calls for one sport to be home while the other is away. This is done to avoid missed class time during the week. Reach out to Coach Dani Ryder as she will usually work on an alternate game that might welcome parents in a more formal way. 

Has a new women’s lacrosse coach been hired?
Yes! We are very excited! https://gobatesbobcats.com/news/2021/7/19/womens-lacrosse-bates-names-renee-olsen-head-coach-of-womens-lacrosse.aspx

Has a new diving coach been hired? 
Diving coach search is still in progress. 

Campus Life

Is Lewiston, in general, safe for student access? Furthermore, is Lewiston, in general, safe for minority students from Bates to access? 
Students (vaccinated or not) will be safe to walk around Lewiston masked. If as student does experience discrimination or hostile reactions there are lots of resources and avenues of support for that student.

Can we run through what the Bonner Leader Program entails? 
Please email harwardcenter@bates.edu to learn more about the Bonner program.

What’s the best way for a new student to connect with Purposeful Work?
Email! They are very responsive. Feel free to reach out at any time!

Is there a link that has travel information, such as shuttles to Portland and other travel options?
Here you go. https://www.bates.edu/sustainability/to-from-campus/

How often does that shuttle run throughout the year? Is it only during first-year arrival?
Shuttles run throughout the year! Students have the ability to call for rides to move around the local community.

Are there shuttles to leave campus and go into town for students without cars?
Please see the Campus Life website now and in coming weeks for activities and shuttles for the fall. https://www.bates.edu/campus/

Is there any reason to bring dress clothes? Is a suit needed for any school events?
This is a personal decision that will depend on a student’s activities, events, and preferences. Most students can sneak by without a formal suit. College-sponsored events don’t typically require it. If a student is planning on joining debate society or other very formal activities, more formal dress might be more frequent. This is a great question for students to ask their JA as well!

How do you know if you get picked for the Bobcat First program? 
It’s an opt-in program, no need to apply. Please reach out to the OIE!

Are there leadership opportunities for underclassmen?
Lots of leadership opportunities through student clubs and organizations. Check out th Campus Life website

Are there special opportunities or programming for students of color, or is this an individualized effort?
The Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) will do programs for students of color. In addition, there are a number of student clubs and organizations that will facilitate programs for students. Some examples are Black Student Union (BSU), Caribbean Student Association, Asian American Students in Action (AASIA), and Latinos Unidos. Check out the Campus Life website for a full list!

What is the parking situation in regards to first-years?
You can access parking information at the Campus Safety link: https://www.bates.edu/campus-safety/parkingbicycles/parking-policy/parking-faqs/


What hours will the Commons be open vs when the Den will be open? 
Commons is open Monday through Thursday from 7a-9p , on Fridays from 7a-8:30p , on Saturday and Sundays from 7:30a-8:30p. We anticipate the Den will return to its regular schedule in September, which includes late night service till 11:00p Sunday through Wednesday, 12:00mid Thursday, and 1:00a Friday and Saturday.

What sort of meal plans are available?
All students are on a comprehensive meal plan that gives them full access to our dining hall. 

Are there dining options that are open really late at night?
The Bobcat Den is open after Commons closes as an on-campus, later evening dining option

Can students use their meal card to access food at The Bobcat Den after Commons closes?
No, they can not.

Do you recommend students have bottled water in the dorms or is the water in the dorms potable?
There are bottle fillers throughout campus. Most students do not use bottled water regularly.

For dining, please confirm students will have the halal option.
Yes, there are always options available.

Are there vegetarian and vegan options?
Yes, there are both vegan and vegetarian options available at every meal


Is there any programming  for parents during drop off?
We will host a President’s Welcome for families and students; this is currently scheduled for 3:15pm on Aug. 26.

Are the September family orientation seminars in person or online?
These parent orientation panels will be virtual to allow most parents to attend (or to view the sessions afterwards). But, we are very eager to start mixing more in-person events into our offerings as soon as we can this fall, both on-campus and in various regions!

When will a decision be made as to whether Back to Bates will be held in person or remote?
We are hoping to announce a decision by the end of July, if not sooner.

Do (or can) parents receive emails from Bates to their students?
We may periodically share campus-wide emails with parents/families as we did last year with the evolving issues related to COVID, but this is not common.


What is the protocol if a student who is vaccinated tests positive for covid?
The student would be moved into isolation for the duration of their infectious period (10 days from the date and time they tested positive). They would be evaluated and supported by a medical provider for their time in isolation. This provider would also clear them following Day 10 as long as there are no worsening symptoms. We would also provide the student with outreach from our support team at Health Services.  

Will students be required to wear masks on campus?
At the moment, only those students who have medical exemptions from the vaccine requirement will need to wear masks. We know that some international students will not be able to get vaccinated until they arrive in the US, and they will have to wear a mask until fully vaccinated. We also know that a number of students who are fully vaccinated will still choose to wear masks even though they are not required to do so.

When will the health care waiver be available to complete? 
There is an insurance waiver based on type and location of coverage.  You can find more information here: https://www.bates.edu/health-services/2020/07/31/health-insurance-faq/

Will students be able to visit friends in other dorms, and gather as in pre-pandemic times?  
At the moment, we expect students to have universal access to the residence halls so they can see friends in other halls. 

If our student uses student health services, do you bill our health insurance plan?
Yes, Health Services bills students’ health insurance plans for appointments.

Is a physical required?
A physical is not required for the First-Year Health Forms. All students will need a medical provider to sign their Immunization form and the TB Assessment form if necessary.

Do students need to opt into Bates Insurance to get access to the health center?
No, all students can access Health Services. All students are required to have health insurance coverage while on campus. In order to waive the Bates Student Health Insurance Plan, students must have comparable health insurance coverage, which includes access to non-emergency care in Maine. Health Services does bill students’ health insurance plans for appointments.

Orientation and Move-in

When do students find out which AESOP trip we will be going on?
AESOP trip information will be announced in the first couple weeks of August.  Stay tuned!

If a student were to take an in-person campus tour before the move-in date, could they view the inside of buildings, dorms, etc?
At the moment, campus tours are not going inside buildings.

What can parents of first-generation students expect upon arrival?
Please make sure your first-gen student gets plugged in with Bobcat First if you are interested!  

Is AESOP mandatory?
Yes. All students participate in AESOP, and a few students on fall athletics teams participate in their sport during this period instead.

Will parents be able to help their students move in?
Right now, we anticipate being able to allow fully vaccinated and masked parents into residence halls to help students move in. We also ask you to be mindful of  time and traffic; due to the need to de-densify, we would appreciate it if you can keep it to 1 hour if possible.

Are there different move-in dates for different athletic teams?
Yes. Based on the athletic teams, NCAA requirements, and team needs, different fall teams have different move-in days.

What’s the process of sending boxes for move in? Can they be sent ahead of time? Will they be delivered to rooms or will the student have to manage the (heavy) boxes themselves?
Info on Post & Print, the office who handles shipping is available here- https://www.bates.edu/post-and-print/. If you have a specific question about a heavy box, reach out to them at postandprint@bates.edu and they can help your student make a plan. Thanks!

My student is an athlete and will be moving in on 8/25. Should we, as parents, plan to stay for anything happening on 8/26 for first-year families?
No need to stay around for the night unless you would like to return for the President’s Welcome on the afternoon of Aug. 26. We will be using the next day to do testing, uniforms, photos, physicals, etc., and  getting ready for practices, so you won’t see your student, and due to still-unknown factors around COVID, we won’t be doing any athletics family programming. But, we do look forward to seeing you at a game!

Move in for International students is on Aug 22nd…any programme for parents on 22nd?
Programming for international parents is informal and will depend on who is attending. If you reach out to Dean James Reese (jreese@bates.edu) and let him know you’re attending, he’ll give you more information.

For families staying for the President’s Welcome on Aug. 26, what time should they anticipate leaving campus?
That event is currently scheduled for 3:15pm, so families should be ready to depart campus by 4:30pm or so – perfect timing to make a dinner reservation in Portland, should you so desire!