Living on Campus

College is a time of tremendous growth and learning for students. At Grinnell, personal responsibility and respect for self and others are hallmarks of our self-governing community. As such, our academic and student life policiesare designed to treat our students as adults. We provide students with the appropriate support as they develop skills to become effective problem-solvers and good citizens. In large part, students live up to and exceed our high expectations of them.

The Student Handbook contains community standards, policies, student conduct procedures, and descriptions of campus services for students. Among the many important things included in the Student Handbook are: a description of self-governance, information related to alcohol and other drugs, and resources and policy for sexual harassment and misconduct.

  • The concept of self-governance that is central to life at Grinnell is rooted in freedom of choice, personal responsibility, and respect for others. Self-governance teaches students that they are responsible for their community, accountable for their choices and actions, and compelled to act in a manner that does not infringe upon or violate another person’s rights.
  • The College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by students. The College will impose educational outcomes on students who violate College policies and regulations, such as the alcohol and other drug policy. Student Affairs policies and procedures allow alcohol to be served at student parties to students who are of legal drinking age when an alcohol agreement is in place. However, the College does not provide alcohol to students, nor are College monies used to purchase alcohol for students. Only trained students who attend an event training workshop (that focuses on harm reduction efforts, bystander intervention, and risk management) are authorized to serve alcohol at approved parties to students who are 21+ years of age.
  • The sexual harassment and misconduct policy is based on affirmative consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity must be given knowingly, voluntarily and affirmatively. Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity, and for each form of sexual contact.

    Consent is demonstrated through mutually-understandable words and/or clear unambiguous actions that indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive.

Please refer to the on-line Student Handbook for the complete text of these and other policies.

Residence Life

The Department of Residence Life provides intentional leadership for our residential community: our student staff engages in building community and commits to supporting students; student-centered educators support self-governance and exercise the best practices of the Student Affairs profession; and an orientation program integrates students and their families into the unique climate of the College. We focus our efforts on the residential environment, personal and community development, and student learning. The Director of Residence Life directs the department and supervises the Residence Life Coordinators (RLCs) and student staff.  

The primary role of the six live-in, master’s degree level RLCs is building relationships with students by offering community building activities and educational opportunities, managing crisis situations, advising students, speaking with parents and other family members, and acting as appropriate role models. The RLCs are an integral part of the residential campus and work collaboratively with the general College community.  

In addition to building relationships with the general student body, the RLCs supervise a student staff of 6-12 student leaders each (called Community Advisers, Community Advisor Mentors, and House Coordinators) who act as peer mentors and community builders. The student staff meets weekly with their RLC and are instrumental in the creation of an environment that encourages respect and responsibility, student involvement, building of relationships, and a sense of belonging on campus.

Residence Halls

There are nineteen residence halls on campus (six on south campus, nine on north campus, and four on east campus) varying in size from forty to one hundred fifteen students. In compliance with the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act, all residence halls and all other buildings on campus are smoke free. The outside doors to each residence hall and/or house are equipped with electronic locks that allow each student to access on-campus residences by using a Pioneer One-Card (commonly referred to as a P-Card).  

Student rooms are equipped with a desk, chair, chest of drawers, closet orwardrobe, and bed with inner-spring mattress and mattress cover for each occupant. At the end of the semester or academic year (as appropriate), the room is checked for furniture and damages against the completed inventory form placed in each room. All furniture and fixtures provided by the College must remain in the room and be in good condition upon check-out. Beds and mattresses are 36”x80” (extra long single). The College does not store College-owned student furniture; it must remain in student rooms.  

Computer labs are located in some residence halls and classroom buildings. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptops or personal computers. All residence halls are wireless and each student room has one high speed internet port per room. For more information on computers or how to link personal computers to the College network, see the Information Technology Services section in this guide.  

Students are expected to provide their own towels and linens. There are laundry rooms located in Main Hall and Loose Hall (south campus); Dibble Hall, Langan Hall, and Younker Hall (north campus); Rathje Hall, Rose Hall, Kershaw Hall, and Lazier Hall (east campus). Rooms vary greatly in type and size, and sample rooms can be viewed on the Residence Life website (please note: room dimensions are not available prior to arrival).  

Floors in student rooms are covered with vinyl tile. Students may bring rugs or carpeting and additional small items of furniture. In an effort to personalize their rooms, students may mount pictures and posters on the walls with picture hangers, small tacks, or double stick tape. Nails are prohibited. Walls are painted off-white and windows are covered with draperies, shades or mini blinds in neutral colors. Walls may not be painted by anyone other than Facilities Management employees.  

The electrical appliances that are not permitted in student rooms include electric blankets, electric ovens, heaters, heat lamps, halogen lamps, and air conditioners. Students are not permitted to alter electrical wiring in their rooms. Students with medical conditions requiring air conditioners should see the Medical Accommodations page on the Residence Life website for more information. No window air conditioners are allowed in the residence halls or houses.  

An ironing board, vacuum cleaner, broom, and dustpan are available in each residence hall for student use. Cable TV is available in the main lounge of each residence hall. Hall kitchens are equipped with microwave ovens and major appliances for snack preparation. Small kitchen appliances may be used in kitchens where adequate wiring is provided. Smaller lounges and study rooms are available for studying on numerous floors of each residence hall.   

You may want to provide an alarm clock, iron, linens, pillow, lamp, wastebasket, and a small refrigerator. When choosing other items to bring to campus, please keep in mind that you will need to remove them from campus as well. During move-in and move-out, please be good stewards of the environment when choosing items for your student’s room.    

All students living in the residence halls are required to be on a residence hall dining meal plan. Please contact Dining Services at 641-269-3661 for more details.

Residence Hall Openings and Closings

The residence halls open to returning students at 8:00 a.m. two days before classes begin each semester. The residence halls remain open during fall, Thanksgiving, and spring recess periods. The residence halls close in December at noon on the Saturday following first-semester finals. The College is not responsible for housing students during winter break.  

The College allows all students to remain in the residence halls through Commencement, closing on graduation day at 5:00 p.m. Graduating seniors have until noon on the day following graduation to vacate the residence halls. Student meal plans for each semester, however, end with the noon meal on the Friday of exam week. Meals are provided for graduating seniors and essential students the weekend of commencement. Other students and guests may pay cash at the door.   

Opening and closing dates each year are listed on the 5-year academic calendar. In the case of inclement weather during the opening and closing of the residence halls, we will adjust the opening/closing schedule accordingly. Students should check e-mail regarding changes.

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