Student Affairs

The Colby Experience

Student life at Colby is centered on the notion that learning extends beyond the classroom into all aspects of the college experience. As shaped by the College’s mission and precepts (see “General Information” section), a Colby education is characterized by academic rigor, a strong community, a friendly campus atmosphere, global reach, and active engagement with diversity of thought and human difference.

Student Affairs Mission Statement
Colby’s Division of Student Affairs exists to support and enhance the College’s mission to provide students a broad acquaintance with human knowledge designed to enable each student to fulfill his or her own unique potential. The student affairs staff provides instruction, advice, and support to help students become critical thinkers, effective communicators, ethical leaders, engaged citizens, and creators of knowledge with broad exposure to and understanding of human difference and diversity.
Colby 360

In 2007 the College adopted a comprehensive strategic plan to enhance the student experience and more directly link the in-class and out-of-class experiences of students. Colby 360: The Plan for Student Life and 360-Degree Learning at Colby asserts as its guiding principle the idea that a residential college affords students opportunities to learn and develop in all aspects of their college lives. Colby 360 establishes a setting for student life designed to achieve five specific learning outcomes: 1) development of life skills, 2) appreciation of and engagement with diversity and human difference, 3) understanding democracy and civic responsibility, 4) promoting wellness and healthy lifestyle choices, and 5) leadership education for the 21st century. Colby 360 provides opportunities for students to learn and practice important life skills such as self-governance, independence, personal accountability, civic responsibility, and respect for themselves and others. More detailed information about Colby 360 is on the Student Affairs Web site (

Student Affairs Departments and Staff
The Division of Student Affairs oversees student life and learning outside of the classroom, and it comprises the following programs and departments: Office of the Dean of Students, Campus Life, Diversity and Human Difference, International Students, Chaplains, Counseling Services, Health Services.

Experienced student affairs staff members advise and counsel students on the full range of academic, social, and personal matters. Student affairs staff members help students to shape and maintain positive living and learning communities, opportunities for civic engagement and leadership development, and a rich array of social options. Professional members of the staff are on call at all times when the College is in session.


Special attention is given to the task of welcoming and orienting new students into the Colby community. From the time of admission until they arrive on campus, new students are invited to make use of the admitted students’ Web site and a hotline to the College to get answers to questions they may have. First-year students come to campus a week prior to the start of fall classes and participate in a comprehensive orientation program designed to introduce them to the academic program as well as all aspects of residential, co-curricular, and social life at Colby. As part of orientation, first-year students are required to participate in COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips). Upperclass COOT leaders continue to serve as peer mentors for new students throughout the year.

The Residential College Experience

The residential experience at Colby is designed to extend and integrate intellectual inquiry and discourse into the residences and dining halls. Students are expected to live in College housing and are required to subscribe to an on-campus board plan. Individual residence hall sizes range from 30 to 166 students per building. Students from all four class years are housed in each building, with the exception of the Harold and Bibby Alfond Residence Complex, which houses only seniors. Students have access to a variety of different housing options within the Colby residential system including but not limited to dialog housing, chem-free, and quiet living. Each year a small number of students are permitted to live off campus and are generally assigned by a lottery system with first priority given to seniors. More detailed information about residential living at Colby can be found on the Campus Life web site.

Dining Services
The College offers a board plan of 21 meals per week for all resident students. Meals are served in three separate on-campus dining halls—in Foss Hall, Dana Hall, and Roberts Building, each with a different menu. Students living in the Alfond Residence Complex or off campus who do not subscribe to the full meal plan are entitled to a partial rebate on the comprehensive fee (see “Fees” section).
Cotter Union/Pulver Pavilion
Cotter Union is located near the center of the campus and serves as the student center and a venue for more formal gatherings including lectures and performances. The Office of Campus Life, the student mail room, the Blue Light Pub, offices of the Student Programming Board, and the Page Commons Room are in Cotter Union. The Pulver Pavilion opened in 2007, featuring a snack bar, coffee shop, and a variety of informal spaces. A campus bookstore opened in the union in 2008.
Student Organizations

The Office of Campus Life works with more than 100 student-led clubs and organizations focused on cultural, athletic, musical, political, publication, religious, service, or other themes. Professionals in the department also work with the residential hall staff, Student Government Association, and Student Programming Board, and they organize Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT). Campus Life also runs an emerging leaders program.

Diversity and Human Difference/International Affairs

Colby is committed to providing multicultural and international programming for the campus as well as offering academic, social, and personal counseling to all students, particularly international students and students who self-identify as persons of color and/or gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexed, or questioning.

The Pugh Center

The Pugh Center, linked to Cotter Union, provides a hub for programs and activities that promote intercultural communication and understanding. The center houses 14 student organizations focused on issues of multiculturalism, provides a gathering space for experiential learning opportunities, and serves as a clearinghouse for information on issues and concerns related to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.


Students play significant roles in shaping student life through the Student Government Association (SGA), the Student Programming Board (SPB), the Pugh Community Board (PCB),  and in the official committee structure. The president and vice president of the SGA serve as student representatives to the Board of Trustees, and students serve on College committees including Academic Affairs, Administrative, Admissions and Financial Aid, Athletic Advisory, College Affairs, Cultural Events, Financial Priorities, Healthcare Advisory, Independent Study, Information Technology, Library, Multicultural Affairs, and Race and Racism.

Safety and Security

Colby’s Security Department works to provide a safe and secure environment for the Colby community. The department, located in the Roberts Building, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained, professional officers patrol campus on foot and in cruisers. A blue-light emergency phone system is in place throughout the campus with more than 50 call boxes. The ColbyCard electronic access system is in use in all residence halls and academic buildings. The Security Department provides ride and escort services upon request. The department operates a free jitney service to downtown and other Waterville shopping centers. The Colby Jitney operates on a scheduled basis daily from 2 to 7 p.m., and on an on-call basis after 7 p.m. A new campus emergency notification system was installed in 2008. Colby’s uniform crime reporting statistics are available online at

Health and Counseling Services
Colby’s Health Center, in the Garrison-Foster Building, the only accredited college health center in Maine, is staffed around the clock while the College is in session. The Health Center’s staff of medical professionals is qualified to care for students in the event of most illnesses or accidents. Physical therapy, alcohol and drug counseling, and psychological counseling are available by appointment. The Health Center has six beds for infirmary patients as well as examination rooms, a physical therapy room, and a small lab. Students are encouraged to use the Health Center’s services, most of which are offered at no additional charge. Materials delineating health center services are distributed during new student orientation and are included on the Health Services Web site.

Counseling Services is open to any student wishing to discuss problems or situations that affect college life. Counseling Services is a separate department from the Health Center and maintains separate, confidential records. One of the College’s counselors is on call for emergencies 24 hours a day during the school year.

Colby Emergency Response is a group of radio-dispatched, trained student emergency medical technicians who respond to health emergencies on campus. Most health and counseling services are available to students at no extra charge.

General Regulations

All students are expected to know of the regulations in the Colby College Student Handbook ( and in the Colby College Catalogue ( The handbook covers academic, administrative, and social regulations.

Student Records
Colby complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which establishes the rights and restrictions of students to inspect and review education records, provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data, and establishes standards for disclosure of student information. Complete guidelines used by the College for compliance with the act are published in the Student Handbook and may be obtained at the Dean of Students Office.