Covenant Guidelines and Additional changes due to COVID-19 restrictions

Some policies and practices have been changed for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students should look for the most current expectations by visiting the Carleton COVID-19 page, Carleton Community Covenant, and Residential Life Specific COVID-19 policies.

How does Carleton encourage sustainable living and what can I do to help?

Sustainability is very important on the Carleton campus. For example, Carleton students are encouraged to be conscious of their energy use by setting computers to energy-saving modes, turning off extraneous lights, using power strips that can be turned off at night, using energy-maximizing CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs, being conscientious about shower time and water use, using energy-maximizing settings on washers, thinking about air-drying clothes and minimizing wintertime heat loss by keeping windows closed and adjusting the heat to comfortable levels. 

Drying racks are usually available to use and will be kept in a common area (usually laundry room or storage closet). Drying racks were made possible by the Students Organized for the Protection of the Environment and the Sustainability Revolving Fund as part of an effort to reduce dryer usage and campus-wide energy consumption.

Sustainability is about creating and maintaining a long-lasting, healthy community and well as minimizing impact on the environment. The many student and campus-sponsored activities, programs and organizations at Carleton create a healthy, happy, sustainable community that is also sustainable in its low impact on the environment.

We encourage you to be conscientious of the environmental impact of your purchases as we move towards being a more sustainable campus community.

For example,

  • Where was the product made? What were the environmental costs in transporting it?
    Is the package recyclable? Is the product made from recycled materials? Can the product be recycled?
  • Do cleaning and toiletry products include toxic chemicals? Are they biodegradable?

Do I need to purchase my own printer?

No. Printers are available in the library and the many computer labs located around campus. For more information visit Printing Services website.

Is cable TV available in the residence halls?

There is cable TV available in the TV lounges of the residence halls. Cable TV is not available to the individual student rooms in the residence halls. See the Conditions of Occupancy for more information on cable.

What meal plan are first year students on?

First year students are assigned to the 20 meal plan. The 20 meal plan is Carleton’s full board plan. This plan offers 20 guaranteed meals per week in either Burton or East Dining Hall, three per day Monday through Saturday and two on Sunday, with $75 in dining dollars that may be used in the Sayles Café, Weitz Café or the dining halls.

A unique feature of the 20 Meal Plan is the meal equivalency. This is not available with the 5 or the 15 Meal Plan. Meal equivalencies are intended to provide more choice options for the 20 Meal Plan user, especially if all $75 dining dollars have been exhausted.

A meal equivalency allows you to buy food in the Sayles Café by using one of your weekly meal plan meals. The 20 meal plan allows the use of 1 meal per week as a meal equivalency. If you use a meal equivalency in a given week, then you have 19 meals available to use in the dining halls. If you don’t use a meal equivalency in the Sayles Café in a given week, then you have 20 meals available in the dining halls. There is no carryover of meal equivalencies that don’t get used.

All first-year students are automatically assigned to this plan for the year, but may choose the 15 meal plan for winter and/or spring terms. Unused meals do not carry over to the next day, week, or term. Unused dining dollars are also not carried over from term-to-term.

Further information on the meal plans is available on the Dining Services site.

How can we decorate?

We encourage you to decorate your room with posters/pictures that make your room your home. Please do not use nails, tacks or duct tape. To avoid damage to the walls and woodwork in your room, use the removable adhesive poster strips that are available in stores.

What is a Substance Free area?

Students who live in Substance-Free Areas agree to the Substance-Free Housing Area Policy.  

A list of currently active Substance-Free Areas can be found on the Room Draw Policy Page.

Will there be a phone in my room? What will my phone number be?

Public phones will be available in the lounges of all student housing for on campus and local calls. A calling card will be required for long distance calls.

May I look at my room during the summer?

Carleton College's halls and houses are actually occupied during the summer months by summer program participants. We are sorry but you'll need to wait it out with your fellow classmates until the residence halls officially open. You can take a look at the floor plans for the rooms.

When will I know what my housing assignment is for the fall and who my roommate will be?

Residential Life staff complete housing assignments for new students in mid July. As soon as all new students are housed, the class dean will send an email with the website where new students can find their room assignment and the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of their roommate(s). We hope that when you receive your assignment, you will contact your roommate(s) to become acquainted.

How can I reserve Commencement Housing?

All parents of seniors receive a mailing about Commencement Housing in January. Parents who wish to reserve commencement housing should fill out the Commencement Guest Housing reservation sheet by the stated deadline and mail it, with payment, to the Business Office. Any questions, feel free to call or email Res Life (x4072),

Is my personal property insured anywhere on campus (room or storage)?

Carleton College does not insure and is not responsible for loss or damage from any cause to the personal property of students (including items in storage).

It is recommended that students acquire renters insurance.

Are refrigerators available in the residence halls?

Refrigerators are available in every floor lounge. Many students enjoy having small refrigerators in their rooms, but they are by no means necessary since there is space in the floor refrigerator.

Small residence hall or apartment-style refrigerators (no greater than 3.6 cubic feet) are permitted in the student rooms.

Is housing available during the winter and spring breaks and during the summer months?

Limited housing is available during the winter and spring breaks and during the summer months at a nominal fee. Housing is only available for international students and students who live at least 450 miles away; students taking courses at St Olaf and students who have 20 hour per week jobs on campus. Applications for break housing are available online and in Residential Life about six weeks prior to the break. During the winter and spring breaks, students who wish to remain on campus will need to locate a permanent resident of Cassat or Evans who is willing to "sublet" their room for the break. Residents of James Hall will be able to stay in their room over break and will not need to move to Cassat or Evans.  During the summer months, off-campus houses are used for housing. The dining halls are not open during the breaks. The break housing fee is for room only.

Is there a place for students to store items?

Yes, limited storage is available for currently enrolled students. Storage is provided as an alternative to taking possessions off campus each year.

Student belongings remain in their rooms during the Winter and Spring Breaks if they will be returning to campus the following term. Storage is available for students during the summer and for those who will be on Off Campus Study programs.

Private facilities are also available within the Northfield area:

Are the halls air conditioned?

All campus halls and houses have centrally-controlled heating. The residential buildings are not air conditioned during the academic year. We recommend that students bring a fan with them or purchase one from a local store when they arrive.

Are there laundry rooms in the halls and houses? How do you pay for laundry?

Each hall and most campus houses have laundry facilities. Visit Campus Services: Laundry for more information and tips for doing your laundry at Carleton. Laundry fees are included with campus housing at no additional cost.

Does every floor have bathrooms? What about gender neutral bathrooms?

Most floors have two bathrooms (male and female) but some floors have three or more. If there are more than two, the third bathroom may be designated all-gender. Depending on the building and the types of bathrooms in that space, bathrooms may be gendered and/or gender-neutral. Most bathrooms have showers and a few also have bathtubs. Residents of rooms with private bathrooms are responsible for keeping the bathroom clean.

Are there kitchens and lounges on each floor? What equipment do they have?

There is a kitchen and lounge area on most floors. The kitchens have a sink, stove/oven, microwave, and refrigerator. Students who use the facilities are expected to clean the kitchen.

How big are the rooms/halls/houses?

The halls and houses vary in size. Floor plans for all residence halls/houses show the general layout of each room and floor. A list with estimated dimensions of each space available on floor plan pages.

What are the differences between halls, larger houses, small houses?

There are differences in architecture, room size and type, privacy of bathrooms, student class years and meal plan options. Check out the Floor Plans to learn more.

Is there a housing contract?

The Conditions of Occupancy printed on the back side of the Room Condition Report is used in lieu of a housing contract at Carleton College. The Residential Policies posted on these pages provide detailed information on all aspects of living in our residential halls and houses.

What type of cleaning is provided in the residence halls and houses?

The residence hall public areas (lounges, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms) are cleaned daily (Monday through Friday). Private areas (apartments, private bathrooms, adjoining bathrooms, common areas of a private room) are the responsibility of the residents of the room. Only during winter, spring and summer breaks will Custodial staff do a thorough cleaning of the private and adjoining bathrooms in the residence halls and the bathrooms, kitchens and main living areas in the apartments. Custodial Services provides vacuums and other basic cleaning supplies for student use. We have noted on the floor plans if cleaning is done during the term. If limited cleaning is provided, Custodial staff clean the public areas of the houses on a bi-weekly, weekly or daily basis. Residents of the houses are responsible for keeping the houses clean. Questions or concerns regarding cleaning can be referred to the Maintenance and Custodial Office, Ext. 4133.

I lost my key(s). What do I do?

If you lose your room key or house key, Residential Life can issue you a temporary key by visiting the office at Sevy G10. A temporary key can be use for up to 3 days, allowing you time to look for the key(s). If you lose your key after regular business hours, contact your RA or another RA in your area who can let you into your room. Visit the Residential Life office the next business day to get a temporary key.

If you have not found your room or/or house key(s) after three days, a new lock is put on your door. A room lock replacement will be billed to your student account at a cost of $40. A house exterior replacement will be billed to your student account $100. You and any roommates or housemates will be issued new keys and will need to return any old keys.

I lost my OneCard. What do I do?

Visit the OneCard site for instruction.

How are fees assessed for room or floor damages at the end of the year?

Residential Life Staff and Facilities Staff inspect all public and private rooms and bathrooms in the halls and houses at the end of the year to determine if there are any damages. All residents of a floor/house will be charged for cleaning, damages or missing furnishings in common areas. There is a minimum charge of $5 per resident of a hall/house/house apartment for cleaning, repair or replacement of furnishings in a common area.

All occupants of a room/house/apartment are held equally responsible for returning the room to move-in condition when they move out (remove all personal items, remove trash, and thoroughly clean and vacuum room, bathroom, kitchen, lounge, etc.). All occupants are held equally responsible for any charges incurred for cleaning or repair with a minimum charge of $25 per resident of the room/house apartment for excessive cleaning.

Charges can be appealed by filling out the Housing Damage Appeals Form.

I have additional questions about residential policies, problems, etc. Who can I turn to for answers?

The Residential Life staff oversee residential facilities (room assignments and changes, keys, damage charges), but more importantly, the area directors and resident assistants are the first line of assistance for students within their residential environment. The staff is here to help you—to answer questions, to plan fun floor and hall programs, to help you learn about Carleton and yourself, and to just listen. Central office professional and student staff members are available to advise students on any educational or personal concerns. In addition, the central staff selects, trains, and supervises area directors and resident assistants. They also develop and administer residential policies. The residential life staff is led by the director of residential life and an assistant director of residential life. We welcome your questions and suggestions; please e-mail us, stop by our office for information, to meet the staff, or to just learn your way around campus.

Are pets allowed in the halls and houses?

Fish, yes. Dogs, cats, gerbils, birds, snakes, lizards, or any other animal unable to live in a small water-filled aquarium must stay home. You will want to keep in mind that you will be gone for six weeks over the winter break when selecting your fish and their tank.

What are quiet hours and when are they in effect?

The most common and potentially aggravating problem with hall life is excessive noise. Campus-wide quiet hours start in the evening (around 11 PM) and end in the early morning (9 AM). Stereos, radios, TVs, and human voices interfere with the need for sleep, study, and quiet. The privilege of playing a stereo or socializing ceases when it disturbs someone else. Cooperating fully with requests for quiet is expected.

During finals week, residents are expected to observe 24 hour quiet hours in residential halls. You don't have to be completely silent, just respect the needs of others.

What are the policies regarding alcohol and drugs?

Students are expected to make responsible decisions concerning the use of alcohol. The College recognizes and abides by all state laws, and will cooperate fully with civil authorities. Alcoholic beverages may be possessed and consumed (not sold) by anyone of legal drinking age (21). Alcohol is not allowed in public areas in the residence halls or residential houses. Alcohol may be served at registered events where a carding system, food, and alternative beverages are present. The illegal use, sale, distribution, or possession of drugs is prohibited anywhere on the Carleton campus. Education and counseling on alcohol and drugs is provided by staff members in Student Health and Counseling and the Office of Health Promotion.

Can I host guest or visitors in my room?

Of course you can host visitors! When inviting or hosting guests, please be considerate of your roommate(s) and members of the community. Visitors are expected to follow the same expectations as residents. We suggest that roommates discuss guidelines for their own rooms in terms of guests, activities, and privacy. As with anything in this communal environment, study, rest, and privacy take precedence over visitation, guests, and recreation. Guests are not allowed to stay for more than three nights in a row. Learn more about the guest policy by visiting the Student Handbook: Guests in Residential Spaces.

Rollaway beds can be requested from Custodial Services by completing the Rollaway Bed Request Form.

What furnishings are provided in the rooms? What should I bring myself?

All rooms are furnished with a bunkable bedframe, 80" (extra long) twin mattress, desk, desk chair, wardrobe or closet, trash can, recycle bin, mirror, and overhead light. Please note that personal lofts are not permitted. You are welcome to bring additional items to personalize your room: a small comfy chair, a desk lamp, etc. If you choose to bring a lamp, avoid halogens. To protect and maintain the furniture for future residents, all room furniture must be kept in the room, and all lounge furniture must be kept in the lounges.

Students must provide their own linens which may be ordered from our partnered linen company. The extra long twin size linens are also available at most major department stores. Our student staff have developed a listing of useful items to bring with you to campus. We encourage you to coordinate with your roommate to avoid duplicates.

There is a mixture of carpeted and non-carpeted rooms.

What is the “housing freeze?”

Although the Housing Freeze sounds like something related to cold months in Minnesota, it actually occurs during the first and last two weeks of each term. During the Housing Freeze no room changes can occur. The Freeze is designed to allow time to get settled into your room and get to know your roommate(s), to respect academic efforts at busy times of the term, and to give Residential Life staff members time to evaluate occupancy levels for the term.

How are first year student room assignments determined?

Remember that Roommate Preference Questionnaire you completed? Residential Life staff read each and every Roommate Preference Questionnaire and match students based on responses to the questions on the form. They take into consideration your habits and patterns. Students are sorted based on the main issues that tend to cause conflicts in roommate situations (room cleanliness, noise/activity levels in the room, and bed times). Once students are put into those broad categories, we look at their academic and extracurricular interests and the other personal information they share. We work to put students together who have some overlapping interests, but who are not identical matches. We believe that part of the learning that takes place at a residential college is meeting and living with people who are different from you. Because of this philosophy, we strive to not place people from the same state or schools in the same rooms. Siblings are not placed together as roommates and we try not to place siblings in the same buildings together. We typically don't honor roommate or specific dorm requests either. We also don't place athletes from the same team together as roommates. We believe that all of our communities are great places to live and that each student will have a fulfilling experience in the living environment that they are assigned to.

In mid July, you will receive an email from your class dean with the website address where you can find your room assignment and roommate(s). After your first year at Carleton, you will be able to select your own room and choose your roommate(s) via a housing selection process that occurs every spring. If for some reason during the year, you would like to petition for a room assignment change, talk to your area director.

Where can I return my room key and/or house key?

When you are moving off campus or to a different room on campus, please return your room key (and house key if applicable) to any of these Express Check Out Box locations.

  • Allen House, living room wall
  • Brooks House, Apartment 100
  • Burton Hall, main entrance
  • Colwell House, Apartment 100
  • Davis Hall, South entrance
  • Eugster House, Apartment 100
  • Faculty Club, across from door 719
  • Goodhue Hall, across from AD apartment 158
  • Huntington House, main entrance
  • Musser Hall, main entrance
  • Myers Hall, to the right of the 108 apartment
  • Nourse Hall, outside the main lounge
  • Parish House, Lobby
  • Rice House, main entrance
  • Severance Hall, across from the elevator on 2nd floor
  • Watson Hall, main entrance.

You can also return your residential keys to the Residential Life Office or to the Night Drop Box located outside the Residential Life Office door. 

Can I get a loft kit for my room?

Some rooms on campus are equipped with loft kits. These are spaces that warrant them due to space restrictions. We are unable to distribute additional loft kits. You are able to bunk beds using pins provided.

What is a Quiet Area?

Students who live in Quiet Areas agree to the Quiet Housing Areas Policy. 

A list of currently active Quiet Areas can be found on the Room Draw Policy Page.

Where should I have my mail sent?

Carleton has centralized Mail Services located in Sayles-Hill. Information about sending/receiving mail and packages can be found at Mail Services.

What is an RCR and why do I need one for my room?

For your protection, as well the College's, your Resident Assistant/House Manager completes the RCR (Room Condition Report) to check the condition of your room when you move and again when you move out of the room. It is important that you also check each item listed on the RCR as you are responsible for the condition of everything in your room. Review the RCR prior to moving in and note any discrepancies that you see. Please note all existing conditions and date them when you move in to avoid charges at the end of the year. Changes in the checkout condition of the RCR result in charges to your student account.

If there are items that need repair when you you move in or at any time during the year, please complete a Facilities Work Request.

What size are the beds in the halls?

Carleton College uses bunkable beds with an 80" (extra long) twin mattress. Most of our mattress dimensions are: 36"x80"x8". When students arrive, the beds will not be bunked, they will be positioned at about 19" above the floor. If students would like to bunk their bed, the pins are stored in the top drawer of the dresser. Custodial staff in the buildings may have some in storage if there are no pins in the room.