Kalamazoo College is a residential campus, so all students are required to live on campus in the residential system through winter quarter of their junior year. Students will live in one of the six residence halls or one of the Living Learning Housing Units. Some exceptions to this policy do exist. All students living on campus eat at the central cafeteria in Hicks Center and are required to carry a meal plan through Sodexo Dining Services with the exception of those individuals living in the Living Learning Housing Units, or one of the residential apartments.
Students are offered both first-year and upper class communities. In the first year halls, the focus is on assisting students in their transition to the College and making those important connections. The upper class halls assist students in creating their own communities and continuing those connections.
Each bedroom in the residence halls comes equipped with a bed (extra long mattress), desk, desk chair and dresser for each student. Each room also has its own phone line, cable TV connection and computer connection unit. All residence halls provide wireless internet access as well. Students are responsible for furnishing their own telephone to use in their room.
All residence halls offer lounges for students to study and to socialize. They also include kitchenettes, vending machines and laundry rooms for students. The laundry rooms are equipped with large capacity front-loading washers and dryers. All machines are Energy Star Rated and allow students to do laundry more efficiently. The machines are operated on a card system and cost $1.25 per wash and $1.25 per dry. Cards can be purchased 24 hours a day. Students also have the option of purchasing laundry plans, which reduce the price per load.
Each residence hall is staffed by Resident Assistants and a Senior Resident Assistant. The student paraprofessional staff members report to two full-time professional staff members, Area Coordinators, who also reside in the residence system. In conjunction with residents from their building, the student staff members work together to build positive, inclusive communities. They also plan a variety of programs for students living in the residence halls. Some of the many programs include movie marathons, guest speakers, craft nights, group discussions, video game tournaments, barbecues and international food parties.
The students who reside in the Living Learning Housing Units appoint a group member as a liaison to work with the Office of Residential Life on issues in the houses, as well as programming. Students living in a Living Learning Housing Unit pay an additional fee to sponsor programs for the residents of the house and members of the campus community. Programming efforts in the houses include such things as panel discussions, festivals focusing on culture or political issues, outdoor activities, poetry nights, dinners, and dances.
Residential living is supportive of one's academic preparation and plays an integral role in one's experiential education, providing rich opportunities for involvement and development.