First-Year FAQ's

What will my relationship be with my first roommate?

The potential for first-year roommates to become lasting friends is great at Colby. However, conflicts do sometimes occur. All first-years are encouraged to fill out a Roommate Contract at the beginning of the first semester. It raises legitimate questions and forces students to talk honestly about their expectations for the room. Many times, the issues that find their way into the Campus Life Office could have been prevented had the students sat down and talked openly at the start of the semester.

If ever a student feels uncomfortable in his/her living environment, he/she should approach the Head Resident in the hall to discuss conflict resolution, or other options. Head Residents are trained and expected to assist in such situations.

What is the ColbyCard?

 The ColbyCard is the official Colby College identification card. All students, faculty, and staff should carry the card for identification. The ColbyCard features a digitized photo, proximity core for door access, SmartChip for convenience purchases, and a magnetic stripe for meal plan access. Please note that no more than $99.00 can be carried on the ColbyCard at any one time. It is our advice to apply funds as needed and replenish as necessary at any of the 5 Cash to Card locations on campus. If the card is lost those funds cannot be retrieved. The College will provide students with their first ColbyCard free of charge. Replacement of lost or damaged cards will cost $20.00.

The SmartChip provides a tool to simplify small purchases on campus. You may use the SmartChip on your ColbyCard for the following services:

  • Copy Machines
  • Laundry Machines in all residence halls
  • Soda and Beverage Machines
  • Spa
  • All Dining Halls for cash meals
  • Bookstore
  • Cotter Union
  • Post Office
  • Garrison-Foster Health Center

You can add cash to your SmartChip at Cash-to-Chip machines located in Roberts, Olin, Miller Library, Eustis, and Cotter Union. If you have any questions about the ColbyCard system, you can stop by the ColbyCard office located on the first floor of the Garrison-Foster (Health Center) building. The office is open 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday or by calling (207) 872-3939.  

What size are the beds in the residence halls?

Mattresses in our residence halls are extra-long (36”x80”). The Office of Campus Life has partnered with Residence Hall Linens to provide our students with a convenient, affordable way to purchase extra-long sheets and bedding items, as well as other campus-living necessities.  Everything is guaranteed to fit and guaranteed until graduation. Please visit the RHL website

How can I get help with computer problems?

Students who have questions or problems with their computers should contact Student Computer Services for assistance.

How does the phone/ voice mail system work?

Questions regarding basic telephone services, voice mail procedures, or phone bills should contact Student Telephone Services for assistance.

What should I do with unwanted furniture in my room? How do I submit a work order?

The furniture in student rooms is the responsibility of the students. The value of furniture for a standard room set up approaches $2000, and is even higher for suites and apartments. If any furniture is missing at the end of the academic year, the students will be responsible for the cost to replace it. To ensure that this does not happen, furniture items other than wardrobes may be removed using the following procedures: 

Submit a work order request to the Physical Plant (PPD) to have unwanted items removed. A request may be submitted in one of three ways (1) via the Physical Plant Homepage; (2) via email to ; or (3) by calling x5000. Students should be sure to provide their name, room number, phone extension, and specific items to be removed. A work order will be generated to document the removal and PPD will remove the items at no charge. When filing through the Colby web page, students will receive a reply with their request numbers as confirmation.

  • Do not leave furniture in hallways or lounges. We recognize that it may be an inconvenience for students to leave the unwanted furniture in the room until it can be picked up, however, placing it in the corridors is a SAFETY HAZARD in the event of a fire or other emergency and is prohibited. A $25 fine is assessed for each item of furniture placed in corridors. Additionally, items placed in corridors or lounges may not be credited to the proper room. In this case, students will be responsible for the replacement cost.
  • Students should keep copies of the work order number and receipts left when the furniture is picked up as documentation of the furniture removal.

It should be noted that PPD should be contacted with any maintenance problems that arise in student rooms.