Residential Life

As a residential institution, on-campus life in residence halls, student organizations, and community-engaged programming are integral to the academic experience at Bates. The mission of the Residence Life program at Bates is to foster and sustain inclusive and accessible residential communities where all students can foster meaningful relationships, develop skills for collegiate and life-long success, and engage in the essential work of self discovery. 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. Capitalizing on the power of peer-facilitated learning opportunities, health education initiatives are generated by students and frequently facilitated by them. Defining well-being 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 off-campus. Seniors residing off-campus experience independent living while remaining engaged in community activities. Whether a student lives on or off-campus, all students are active participants in the campus community and are responsible for establishing and supporting a positive campus environment.

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 Community Standards and/or the Student Conduct Committee.

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 through the procedures of the Academic Standing Committee or the Student Conduct Committee, or by 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 college's Code of Student Conduct.

Religion and Spirituality
Although founded by Freewill Baptists, today Bates has no formal religious affiliation. The Multifaith Chaplaincy works to foster a climate of genuine religious pluralism on campus and nurtures the religious, spiritual, secular, and searching community at Bates. Members of many faith traditions regularly meet, cooperate, and learn from one another. Opportunities for meditation, prayer, worship, and spiritual reflection for people of all faiths (and no faith) are held in the Chapel and across campus each week. 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, professor, and esteemed public intellectual. The college maintains a Muslim prayer room, a Hindu shrine, and a Buddhist meditation room, located in Chase Hall. 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: Jewish Student Union, Bates Christian Fellowship, Catholic Student Community, Muslim Student Association, Dharma Society, and Unitarian Universalists. The Multifaith Chaplaincy also collaborates with many students who have no religious affiliation, but desire a place for conversation, reflection, social justice work, spiritual practices, or spirituality. The multifaith chaplains are available to all members of the Bates community — regardless of religious affiliation — for confidential conversation and support. Additionally, the Multifaith Chaplaincy engages volunteer spiritual advisors from Lewiston and Auburn who provide counsel and religious services to those who seek them within their respective tradition. Read more information about the Multifaith Chaplaincy.

Office of Intercultural Education
The Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) coordinates academic and social programs that support students from historically underrepresented populations in higher education.  Through the celebration of cultural differences, the OIE provides support, community, and connection to the student body. The OIE provides workshops, co-curricular experiences, and student -led programs that offer insight into how cultural imperatives shape our lives and our understanding of each other.

Health Services
Bates recognizes that health significantly influences a student’s ability to participate fully in the life of the college. Health Services strives to enhance each student’s well-being by providing comprehensive, confidential health care, and encouraging informed participation in all health-related 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 providers 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 vaccination to designated diseases. Bates Health Services is committed to supporting students with questions about their obligations around this documentation and vaccination requirements.

Counseling and Psychological Services
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) works to support the holistic development and psychological health of Bates students. CAPS is committed to provide equitable access and services to all Bates students supporting their personal and educational needs.

Counseling and Psychological Services offers short-term individual counseling for any Bates student who wants to explore personal concerns one-to-one with a licensed therapist. Concerns vary from coping with the challenges of college life to more severe emotional and interpersonal problems. To provide quicker access to services for students who need support in problem-solving a specific issue and not necessarily ongoing therapy, we offer a same-day, 25-minute consultation with one of our clinicians. These appointments are meant to be a one-time consultation session to problem-solve a specific concern (e.g., advice on roommate or relationship conflict, how to best manage stress, coping skills regarding anxiety, help making a decision). The consultation meeting is designed to be goal-oriented so that students can leave with a set of next steps. CAPS is excited to offer group therapy sessions that provide high levels of peer support, interpersonal learning, and connection with others in a supportive and confidential setting.

Students who need to access other resources for counseling may contact the CAPS staff in getting connected with a therapist or for referrals.

  • Free Teletherapy via Uwill – Bates students may access up to 8 free telehealth sessions over the course of the academic year (including summer) via Uwill, a leading mental health platform for colleges and universities.

  • Thriving Campus – Thriving Campus is a widely used service for college students to find available therapists in the local community using the student’s health insurance.

  • 24/7 Mental Health Hotline – ProtoCall, a Bates service provider, is available to students and staffed by mental health professionals who have been trained to work with Bates students. If you have an urgent concern and need to speak to a counselor after normal business hours, call (207) 786-6200 and press “0” to reach ProtoCall.

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 here.

Athletics, Wellness and Recreation
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 80 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, build community, and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

Athletic facilities are available for all students to use, and have time reserved and dedicated for recreational use; these facilities are scheduled for intercollegiate, club, intramural, and organized recreational programs. When available for open recreation activities, students may use the facilities informally for participating in  individual and team pickup sports as well as for personal fitness activities.

Intercollegiate Sport Programs
Bates sponsors thirty-one intercollegiate varsity sports. Men’s teams 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’s intercollegiate programs compete as Division III members of the NCAA.  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). The NESCAC conference institutions include Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College. 

Club Sport Opportunities
The Department of Athletics sponsors a variety of club sports in addition to our varsity teams. More information is available here

Intramural Opportunities
Sustained participation, fun, and friendly competition are the goals of the intramural sports program. Various tournament and special event offerings are overseen by professional staff members as well as student workers. Intramural activities include basketball, pickleball, flag football, hockey, soccer, softball, and volleyball.