14 days. That's all. Colby starts in 14 days.
14 days and you'll be here for real. Living on Mayflower Hill. Eating in
Dana or Bob's or Foss. Talking with your classmates face to face instead of
Facebook to Facebook (though you'll probably keep doing that too). Meeting
faculty. Going on COOT. Starting your Colby journey.
14 days to finish shopping and packing and getting organized. You'll take
your last shifts at the Dairy Queen or teaching swimming to five year-olds
or cutting lawns. You're friends who are going to colleges in other parts of
the country will be heading off and beginning classes before you even start
thinking about filling boxes and suitcases. You'll figure out with your brothers
and sisters what's coming to Colby with you and what they can borrow while
you're at school.
14 days. There's a lot to learn, right? It's okay. You're ready and we're
going to help you. Over the next two weeks you will receive several LIVING
COLBY installments from me sharing what are intended to be tips and insights
about life at Colby (e.g. academic expectations, living with a roommate,
social life, etc.) to help you in the comings days and weeks. Don't worry.
We've got your back.
14 days. That's all.
14 days and you'll really be a Colby student. It's a big deal. And it should be. There
are a few really special relationships that impact our lives in truly profound and
lasting ways. The relationships we have with our families and some close friends
if we're lucky. For many of us there is or will be a spouse or life partner. And then
there are a handful of places or groups or organizations. A team.Perhaps the city or
town where you grew up. A church or community based organization or a performing group.
And Colby.Your college.Your alma mater - which translated to English means nourishing
mother. And if you let Colby into your heart and your soul she will indeed nourish you.
And you will nourish Colby because ultimately Colby is the people who have made up
this remarkable community for 200 years. The people who came before us. The people
who are here now, teaching and learning through their connections to this place and to each
other. And the people who will follow us on this hill in central Maine in the centuries to come.
14 days. And then the rest of your life.
Dean of Students
(NOTE: If you have questions or there are issues you'd like to know more about
please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org )
As if there weren't enough to think about starting college - classes,syllabi (huh?), wireless access,
LL Bean slippers or flip-flops - on top of everything else you're going to have a roommate; most of you,for the first time. It's pretty exciting. But also kind of scary.
Sure you can check each other out on Facebook and figure out who's bringing what and text about COOT trips and First Class assignments. But still...right?
Okay, take a deep breath. It's all good. People have been doing the college roommate thing for a really long time - way before X-Boxes and cable television in every room - so the odds are with you. And, even if the comforts of technology and history were not enough to help you to rest easy, you can add to the list of advantages you have in entering into your first college roommate experience the wisdom and sage advice that I am about to impart on you.
There are essentially five types of roommate relationships you can have.
- The BFF roomie is the one that most people privately fantasize about even if they're not sure they actually want it. This is the rare lightning strike of first-year housing fortune where the confluence of well-executed housing forms, outstanding work by the Campus Life staff, and good karma come together to land you in a second floor double with your dorm living soul-mate. The ideal college companion who instantly becomes your best friend, counselor, and confidant. The ying to your yang. Robin to your Batman. Peanut butter to your jelly. From your first Facebook encounter to delivering the all-knowing, hilarious toasts at each other's weddings yours is a story of matching comforters, similar sleep patterns, and happily shared tubes of toothpaste.
- One day he's your best friend and the next you never want to see him again. On her Jekkyl days you go to meals together, talk about classes, share the brownies your mother sent from home and generally get along in every way imaginable. When Mr. Hyde rolls out of bed you would pretty much rather have a root canal than spend one more minute in the presence of the sorry excuse for a human being that is your roommate. On the upside, you get the benefit of having both an occasional BFF roomie as well as incentive to branch out and meet other people. On the downside, your life can be a little volatile and unpredictable.
- You do your thing she does hers. He doesn't let his friends mess with your stuff when you're out of the room and you try not to wake him up if you're coming in after he's gone to bed. If you're going to dinner at the same time you go together. But for the most part you march to the beat of different drummers. You are friendly and respectful of each other but happily lead separate lives in shared space.
Both occupants of your room pretend that the other doesn't exist. You come and go from classes and practices and parties,stepping over one another's discarded sweatshirts and dirty underwear (the people who are this sort of roommate are always messy) and pass in the hall on the way to and from the shower utterly oblivious to each other. On the rare occasion that one of your hall-mates steps into the demilitarized zone that is your room when you are both there, each of you carries on a separate, completely unrelated conversation with her, totally ignoring the parallel conversation of which you are not a part when it is taking place.
For the most part, you hang out in your other friends' rooms and nobody comes to visit you except when your roommate is away for the weekend.
Yeah, you really don't want any part of this one. It's hard to study for calculus with hellfire burning all around you and the Dark Lord plotting his revenge against the boy who lived from the top bunk. The most important thing to know about this one is it is never just one person's fault. This kind of destruction can only be caused by equally culpable purveyors of malice. So, if you make a reasonable effort to be nice and show respect to your roommate you will never find yourself in this sort of dysfunctional bastion of yuck. Besides, I checked with the Admissions Office and it turns out that neither Voldemort nor Lucifer got in this year. They're going to Amherst. (That was just a joke.)
Seriously, nobody's roommate situation can be boiled down to some silly one-dimensional stereotype. As with most personal relationships, you and your roommate are likely to have good days and less good days. My best advice is this:
. Almost all roommate conflicts stem from something small (roommate A leaves his dirty socks in the middle of the floor) that goes unaddressed because people convince themselves it's not worth making an issue of. But when the problem doesn't just magically go away it starts to fester and grow (like the pile of smelly socks on the floor). Eventually it moves from the failed Ignore It strategy to the much worse Passive Aggressive approach (roommate B starts putting his dirty socks on roommate A's pillow) which only succeeds in making everybody angry until the inevitable blow out occurs at which point a friend or your CA or someone from Campus Life gets involved and makes you talk about whatever is making you nuts. So it's best to save everyone the aggravation and just talk to your roommate about issues and concerns you have as they arise.
Put yourself in your roommate's shoes and treat him/her the way you want to be treated (sound familiar?).
Really. If you like to listen to music while you study and your roommate wants quiet, talk it out. Decide if you are going to share snacks or if all food is privately owned. Determine if you are comfortable sharing wardrobes (ask before you borrow that sweater, fella!). Make clear if you are cool with your roommate using your Playstation when you're not around. When is it okay to have friends in the room? Whose turn is it to vacuum (yes, you do need to vacuum the room from time to time)? Figure these things out and then respect the rules you establish together.
. They've been there before. They care about you. And, they want to help.
. Compromise. Remember, it's just as much your roommate's room as it is yours. You want your Justin Bieber poster next to the window. Your roommate wants his dogs playing poker there. Work it out. Bieber in the fall, pooches in the spring.
Did I say that already?
It's going to be fine. Having a roommate is an important life experience and a lot of fun. College is a big adventure. It's good to go share it with someone.
Dean of Students
NOTE: For more information about housing and rooming contact the Office of Campus Life (207-859-4280)
In recent years lists have become all the rage in American culture (Best Dressed, Top Plays, Best/Worst Places to Live, Sexiest Insurance Executives, etc.) so it seems only fitting that we at Colby should join the mix and offer a few lists of our own. There is already one Dean's List of which you are likely aware. It's the one to which top academic performers are named at the end of each semester. It's a good list and one you want to try to make (at Colby the students taking at least 15 credits who earn a term GPA that is in the top 30% for that semester make the Dean's List). But that's not what these lists are about.
Below are a couple of lists of some of the best and worst habits and practices of Colby students. I have developed these lists over several years through painstaking research and exacting analysis of the data collected. You will note that these lists are labeled as SOME of the best and worst, etc. That is because while I have no doubt as to the credibility of the lists - the "Bests" really are good, and the "Worsts" really are bad - I cannot say that the lists are either definitive or exhaustive. In other words, there are other good and bad things that one can do but they just aren't on the lists. Anyway, here they are.
1. TALK TO PROFESSORS OUT OF CLASS:
There are many good reasons why students choose Colby but the intimate academic setting and small student to faculty ratio are rightly among the most important. Obviously, in those instances when you might be struggling in a class or not fully understanding an assignment, the ability to go and speak with your professor is a tremendous asset. But the truth is that getting to know your professors and talking with them privately about course material is always a good thing that will enhance both your understanding of the class and the quality of your experience at Colby. For some taking that first step of initiating a conversation with a professor can be intimidating. But you need to know that the ability to get to know students is an important factor for why faculty choose to teach at a place like Colby just as it is for students. So go for it. You won't regret it.
2. GO TO CLASS:
3. GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO WORK AT COLBY:
I already mentioned the importance of making the effort to talk with your professors outside of class and in other materials you have received we have urged you to get to know your advisor and your advising dean. Likewise, you should take the time to stop into Campus Life, the Health Center, the Career Center, the Mail Room, etc. and introduce yourself to the people who work in the offices and departments around campus. Also, you should take the time to find and meet the custodian who works in your residence hall and the people who work in the dining halls and on the Physical Plant Department (PPD) staff who take care of the campus and plow the snow, etc. All the people at Colby care about students and you will benefit from taking the time to get to know them.
4. DEVELOP A DAILY/WEEKLY SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT:
I know that many of you are well-practiced at living by a busy schedule and that's probably a good thing. But if you're like most of the students I know your schedule tends only to include the formal commitments you have - school/classes, practices/rehearsals/club meetings, and major personal/social commitments (dentist appointments, the prom, cousin Edna's wedding, etc.). One of the biggest adjustments to college is getting used to how much unstructured time you have (even if you're really busy). Unlike secondary school, you are completely on your own whenever you are not in class and since most classes only meet three hours a week (language classes may meet every day and labs will add class time, but still...) so even if you are on an athletic team or in a performing group or other activity with extensive time commitments, that means you have a lot of unaccounted for time. You may find, as most do, that if you don't pay attention to how you use your unaccounted for time it is really easy to waste a lot of it. So one of the best things that students do is to make a fully detailed schedule that includes study time, meal time, sleep time, and hanging out time. Yeah, it can seem pretty type A to plan your day down to brushing and flossing, but those who are disciplined about planning and sticking to a schedule tend to have more (and more enjoyable) free time.
5. FIND YOUR OWN PRIVATE SPACE TO STUDY:
Maybe it will be a nook in the library, or an empty classroom in Lovejoy, or the third floor study lounge in your residence hall that no one else ever seems to use. Wherever, find a place where you go to study and then go there every day. Many students arrive at Colby having used their bedrooms at home as their primary study space so they think that their residence hall room will serve that purpose for them here. For some, but very few, dorm rooms will work as study space.
But for most they will not. Let's face it, residence hall rooms are terrible places to study. There are distractions galore all around you. TV's, computers, video gaming systems, music (both recorded and whatever guitars, keyboards, harmonicas, etc. that are in close proximity), and of course, anywhere from 10-50 of your new best friends just down the hall or upstairs just waiting for you to pop in and fritter away two hours of time that you planned to be studying. So find a place that is quiet and away from distractions where you can put in your study time and then go hang out with your friends who should be studying but didn't take my advice to find a quiet place to do it.
6. DISCONNECT, UNPLUG, POWER DOWN:
Coming to know yourself and what you think and where you fit in the world are central elements of your Colby experience. And gaining that sense of self-knowledge and awareness requires time to reflect on the things you are learning and just to be with your own thoughts. The ability to be connected with friends and to the limitless store of information that modern technology affords us is wonderful in many ways, but it is also at odds with the practice of quiet contemplation. You cannot learn to be alone or to understand what you think if you don't make time just to be with yourself and with your thoughts. There is plenty of time for talking and texting and tweeting and Facebooking. Make sure you make time for thinking too.
7. EAT, SLEEP, AND BE ACTIVE:
Yup. It's pretty much what your parents and kindergarten teachers told you. Doing the things that will help you stay healthy and fit are key to getting the most out of your Colby time. Okay, it seems obvious so why do I bother putting it on the list? Well, as obvious as it seems, it's actually pretty hard to do. The prevailing forces of college life tend to work against eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Dorm living is conducive to staying up until all hours talking with friends, eating pizza and Doritos six days a week, and playing Madden 2012 instead of touch football. Look all those things are part of college life (except some prefer War Craft to Madden) and that's okay. But the habits you make will shape the overall quality of your experience so if you can successfully make those things the exceptions and the eating, sleeping, and exercising the rules then you will be much happier in the long run.
8. GET INVOLVED IN THE WATERVILLE COMMUNITY:
There are lots of ways to be part of the local community. By all means, doing community service through the Colby Volunteer Center or as part of Colby Cares About Kids are great things to do and you will be glad you did if you get involved. But there are also other things you can and should do to be involved in the community. Go to the farmers' market downtown on Thursdays in the fall and spring. Go to Selah Tea or Jorgensen's or any of the other local eateries and get to know the people who live here. Read the local paper, pay attention to politics, run or walk or ride your bike in the local neighborhoods. You get four years to be here. Take advantage in every way you can imagine.
SOME OF THE WORST THINGS COLBY STUDENTS DO
Okay, everyone does it sometimes. You're out of clean socks but you just can't get motivated to deal with the laundry room so you recycle the socks you wore the day before and promise yourself you'll do the washing tomorrow. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about looking at the syllabus for your history class, seeing that the first mid-term isn't until October 12 and the first paper isn't due until November 3 and deciding that you don't have to do any of the reading for a few weeks because you take good notes in class and your COOT leader's roommate told you the material from the reading isn't that important anyway. So, you spend September getting really good at FIFA 2013 and making fun of your roommate for spending so much time in the library. You end up trying to skim five weeks of reading in three nights, get a 27 on the first exam and make up some lame excuse about how the mid-term was totally unfair when you explain to your family why you are dropping the class right after October Break. Your school work is like the old Nike ads: Just Do It!
2. BLOW OFF CLASS:
3. EMPLOY THE "GROUNDHOG DAY" APPROACH TO SOCIAL LIFE:
It is unbelievably easy to fall into a rut with respect to the way you socialize on weekends. Whether it is hanging around with the same small group of friends or attending the same parties (that take place in different places each weekend) or ordering pizza and watching Netflix - lots of students fall into social routines that become tiresome quickly. Try to get into the habit of checking out the various events that are happening on campus at any given time (lectures, plays, films, concerts, art openings, games, etc.) and make a point of doing one different thing every week. If you don't like it, don't do the same thing again. If you do, you will have found another option to keep your social life rich and interesting.
4. LOOK THE OTHER WAY WHEN PEERS DO SOMETHING WRONG:
Okay, I'm mostly talking about vandalism and dorm damage here. I know it's hard to believe that the student body annually racks up somewhere in excess of $100,000 in damage and vandalism on campus, but that is the sad truth. What's worse is that in almost every instance multiple people know who is responsible for the damage but don't turn in the culprits. The result is that all students end up having to pay for the bad behavior of a few. It doesn't have to be that way. If you hold your peers accountable then only the culprits have to pay and, more importantly, there will be less damage because people will know that vandalism is not tolerated at Colby.
5. SEND RUDE/NASTY EMAILS OR VOICEMAILS.
There will almost certainly be times during your Colby career when things don't go exactly as you would like. And, in some instances the difficulty or inconvenience you are experiencing may be in no way your fault. If your dorm room window gets stuck and won't open, or the email servers are down for a period of time, or you receive a bill for an overdue library book that you returned on time you should of course bring the matter to the attention of someone who can help you resolve the problem. But you should not do so by sending an angry email in all capital letters deriding the recipient as an incompetent idiot who is unworthy to breathe the air on Mayflower Hill. Nor should you leave a shrieking voicemail in which you threaten to have the person on the other end fired if the matter isn't resolved before you hang up. Mistakes happen. Let us know about them and we'll work with you to get them corrected.
Staying with the mistakes happen theme, one of the most unfortunate things that students do is to be less than truthful after something has gone awry. There is no situation that is made better by not telling the truth or by lying. Still, time and again students will proclaim their innocence despite the three eyewitnesses (including their roommate) who saw them shoot off the fire extinguisher, and the electronic door lock record that verifies they swiped into the building 30 seconds before it happened. Dumb happens. Dumber doesn't need to.
7. PARK IMPROPERLY ON CAMPUS:
There are places where students are allowed to park and places where students are not allowed to park. If you park where you are supposed to park, then you won't have any problems. If you park where you are not supposed to park, then you will get tickets and you will have to pay them. There are designated faculty/staff parking areas because we live in a place where almost all employees of the College have to drive to get to work. There is no public transportation system and the area is spread out enough that most people live at least a few miles from campus (some live several miles from campus) so walking or cycling is not a viable option for most through the majority of the year. Students, on the other hand, live on campus so you can walk to the places you need to go on Mayflower Hill. Student parking lots may not be the closest places to park at any given moment, but try to understand why parking works the way it does here.
Put simply: Do make this your experience and live it out in ways that you will be proud of. Don't spend your time at Colby coasting, living out someone else's desires, or building a pile of regrets.
You're going to make mistakes.
You're going to do stupid things.
You're going to do poorly on a homework assignment or a paper or an exam.
You're going to wake up some mornings and pull the pillow over your
head as a wave of "I can't believe I ...[you fill in the blank]" washes over you and you wish you could undo whatever you did.
You're going to lose your calculus book or break your ipod or leave the
sweater you borrowed from your roommate in a restaurant booth or out in the rain.
You're going to find yourself in situations where the difference between
right and wrong is unclear and despite your best intentions you're going to make the wrong choice.
You're going to find yourself in situations where you have to choose between doing something that you know is right and doing something that you know is wrong and you're going to do the wrong thing.
I know that lots of you are reading this right now and you're saying to yourselves, "Not me! I won't do those things."
But you're wrong. You will. And that is precisely the point.
Nobody plans on making mistakes. Nobody wants to screw up or get a bad grade or do something embarrassing. Nobody goes out on a Friday night thinking to themselves, "I'm going to seek out an ethical dilemma tonight and I'm gonna to do the wrong thing!"
But it ends up happening anyway. And it's okay.
You're supposed to make mistakes. If you don't make mistakes you're not
trying hard enough. If you don't make mistakes you won't learn what you
need to learn. Making mistakes is part of college because making mistakes is
part of life. And ultimately, it's not making mistakes that matters. What
matters is what you do after you make mistakes.
When you make a mistake, own it. Take responsibility. If you hurt someone or
something, apologize. If you break something, fix it or pay for it. If you get a bad grade, go talk to the professor, get extra help, and do better the next time.
When you make a mistake, learn from it. And try not to make the same mistake twice.
You're going to make mistakes. It's okay. Everyone does.
Dean of Students
Enough about you, let's talk about me.
Okay, not me personally so much as me and the other deans and what we do.
And, how what we do relates to you.
If you're like I was starting college, then you don't really know what a
dean is or why you should care about it at all. You've probably heard of the
Dean's List and you know that making it IS a good thing. You may also know
that if you get caught doing something you shouldn't do you may have to meet
with a dean and that usually is NOT a good thing. Or maybe you've seen the
movie "Animal House" or the television show "Community" and your impression
of deans is that we are incompetent, evil, ignorant, morons who spend our
days scheming up ways to make students' lives miserable.
We aren't and we don't.
Actually, the deans at Colby are capable, kind, intelligent, professionals
and we spend our days working on ways to make students' lives more
meaningful and fulfilling.
You're probably thinking, "Oh sure, Dean Terhune, you SAY you're not an evil
moron trying to ruin our lives, but why should we believe you?"
The advising deans (Joe Atkins, Tashia Bradley, Paul Johnston, Sue McDougal,
Barbara Moore, and Jed Wartman) are experienced advisors/teachers/mentors
who are available to help you think through your plans, negotiate troubles
you may encounter in or out of class, assist you in preparing to study
abroad or for a summer internship, or just listen if you need someone to
Dean Atkins and Dean Moore also provide specific assistance and support to
students with learning differences or coping with medical issues that
require unique accommodations.
Dean Bradley also directs the Pugh Center and works with dozens of students
to promote multicultural education and understanding at Colby.
Dean McDougal also supports international students at Colby in a variety of
ways (e.g. academic and personal advising, the host-family program, and
advising the International Student Organization and its programs).
Dean Wartman also direct the Office of Campus Life where he and his staff
oversee residential education and housing, outdoor education (including
COOT), leadership programming, and all of the more than 120 student
organizations including student government, class councils, WMHB radio
station, the Colby Echo (newspaper), the Student Programming Board (SPB) and
Dean Johnston also advises the student conduct board and works with students
when maybe things didn't go so well. Okay, he does the disciplinary stuff so
you may not always want to go see him, but if you do you will discover that
he's a really nice guy and he's more interested in talking with you about
how to make things go well than he is in wagging a finger at you.
Kurt Nelson is Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life. He and his colleagues
provide support to individual students and student groups (e.g. Hillel,
Colby Christian Fellowship, the Newman club, and the Muslim Student
Organization to name a few) involved in the full array of religious and
In addition to the deans there are a number of really cool, very helpful,
and extremely important people who oversee departments and programs you
should know about.
Director of the Career Center, Roger Woolsey, and his team teach, counsel,
and assist students in learning about the full array educational,
internship, and career opportunities. They provide a rich offering of
workshops and programs to help you develop the skills you will need to
pursue the educational and job opportunities beyond Colby that interest you
Director of the Counseling Center Patti Newmen and her wonderful colleagues
offer individual and group counseling programs that are specifically
tailored to Colby students. Roughly one-third of all Colby students take
advantage of the confidential, individual services provided by the
counseling center, and just about everyone participates in some of the
wellness programs they support in conjunction with the Health Center and
student organizations like Student Health On Campus (SHOC) and Active Minds.
Dr. Paul Berkner oversees the Health Center and the Athletic Trainers. The
Health Center is open seven days a week when the College is in session and
provides exceptional care if you're sick as well as a wide offering of
preventive care and health education services.
My job as Dean of Students is to help these deans and directors and their
staffs and their departments succeed in making your Colby experience the
best it can be. Specifically we work to ensure that you're your life outside
of the classroom supports what you are doing inside the classroom. And that
your Colby education is personally challenging, intellectually engaging,
socially fulfilling, safe, fun, and rewarding.
Because we know that emergencies happen, there is always a dean on-call, a
counselor on-call, and a health care provider on-call whenever the college
is in session. And by always I mean always: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I don't want to mislead you. There may be times when the issues we have to
discuss or deal with are not easy or enjoyable. But having honest and
direct, if difficult, conversations is really an act of caring and respect.
Our focus is on students and the thing we do and enjoy most is talking and
working directly with you. We want to get to know you and to hear about your
ideas and interests. We are easy to find, accessible, and ready, willing,
and able to find time to meet you in our offices or for lunch, or coffee, or
just a short conversation on the quad. We read and respond to our email -
maybe not instantly, but always within a day.
There is no "double-secret probation" at Colby. Real deans aren't like the
ones in the movies. Colby deans do what we do because we like students.
Enough about us. From now on let's talk about you.
Dean of Students
Benjamin Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." He might have been right. Or he might have been full of…well, let's just say it.
You will hear a lot about alcohol and alcohol policy at Colby and some of it will be true and some of it will be full of it. The policies regarding alcohol at Colby are detailed in the Student Handbook at:
It would be a good idea for you to look them over for yourself rather than relying exclusively on what others tell you. We don't want or expect you to memorize the handbook. There isn't going to be a quiz. Just check it out. Get a sense of what the policies are and where you can find them if and when you have questions about them. As with most things, more often than not important points get lost in the translation when things get paraphrased and repeated casually.
With respect to drinking (and by "drinking" I mean drinking alcohol) try to remember just three things: Be smart. Be Safe. And be respectful.
- The drinking age in Maine (and every other state) is 21. Of course, that doesn't mean that nobody under 21 drinks alcohol on campus. It just means that those who do are breaking the law (and Colby policy). That's a choice you get to make. Let's face it, people choose to break laws all the time. Lots of people drive over the speed limit. And it they get caught, they get a ticket and pay a fine. So if you're under 21 and you choose to drink alcohol and you get caught, then own up and accept the consequences.
- Private possession and/or consumption of hard alcohol is prohibited at Colby. If you choose to drink, it's smarter to drink beer or wine.
- If your instinct is telling you not to go to the off campus party your roommate is trying to convince you to attend, then trust it and don't go.
- If you are approached by Campus Security, give them your real ID (they will always ask to see it), be courteous, and do what they ask. You can always come and speak to one of the deans or the director of Campus Security the next day if you have concerns about an interaction with a security officer or another member of the Colby staff. Getting into an argument with a security officer at 3 o'clock on Sunday morning after you and/or your friends have been drinking is never a good idea.
- Set limits and keep track of how much you drink.
- Take care of yourself, look out for your friends, and have your friends look out for you.
- If you're going to drink, make sure you eat and also drink water.
- If you are going to be drinking off campus always have a designated driver (who is not drinking at all) or call a taxi.
- Never drink alcoholic punches or other mixed drinks from a common container because you cannot certain of exactly what kind, and how much alcohol is in it.
- If someone has had too much to drink and is sick (vomiting, uncommunicative, passed out, etc.) always call campus security or a CA for help. Never assume someone will just be okay. It really is a matter of life and death!
- Remember that Campus Security is available 24 hours a day and can provide safe escorts across campus for you and/or for friends.
- When in doubt, ask for help.
- Respect yourself. You don't have to drink to fit in at Colby.If you do choose to drink, only drink in ways with which you are comfortable.
- Intervene if you see someone being pressured to do something unsafe or that s/he does not want to do.
- Understand that you live in a community and that the things you do impact others.
- If your neighbor from down the hall knocks on your door and asks you and the 12 other people in your room to quiet down, then quiet down.
- If you hosted a party that disturbed your neighbors and created a mess in your residence hall, apologize to your neighbors and clean up the mess.
- If you break or damage something, take responsibility and pay for it.
- If you know that a friend or acquaintance broke or damaged something, tell him/her to take responsibility and pay for it; or turn them in.
The choices you will have to make about drinking and parties and such are in some ways difficult and complicated, but in other ways pretty straight forward. For the most part, the more you are able to keep the questions simple, the better off you'll be. Above all we want you to be safe. So, like just about everything else, if you are troubled by or not sure about something, ask your dean or your CA or your advisor.
Ben Franklin also said, "Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." If you can be smart, safe, and respectful when it comes to drinking at Colby you may find at least one particularly important morsel of wisdom at just the right time.
Dean of Students
Here we go. At last the waiting and anticipation is behind you. For you, the
Class of 2016, Colby starts tomorrow!
Check-in is from 8 a.m. to noon in Pulver Pavilion. Please follow the blue
signs to Pulver before going to your residence hall. At check-in you will
receive your room key, an orientation schedule, a parent schedule, and more.
Once you have checked in you will then head to your residence hall to move
in. After you have unloaded your car please move it to the nearest parking
lot so as to make room for the next group to unload.
The check-in process moves quickly and easily so there is no reason for you
to rush to get here before 8. Of course, if you want to stand around waiting
in line no one is going to stop you, but there really is no advantage to
being here before we open and you'd probably be happier stopping for a cup
of coffee or breakfast instead of racing to get here by 7:30.
Likewise, if you are planning to arrive later in the morning be assured that
there is plenty of time and assistance to get everything taken care of. Just
try not to worry and enjoy the day.
There will be lots of students on hand to provide assistance with move-in
and we will do our best to help you stay dry if it is wet. But, the weather
forecast is calling for a chance of rain showers so plan accordingly.
Have a good night. Travel safely. And, we'll see you tomorrow.
Dean of Students
So you're 48 hours into orientation. You've been welcomed and introduced and ice-breakered. You've met and spent time with the amazing CA staff, SGA members, and COOT leaders. You've seen the awesome "In Their Footsteps" video produced by Berol Dewdney '13 and featuring a ton of great advice from Colby students, etc. You've been to First Class – parts I and II – and C2It. You've seen "Talkin' 'Bout My Generation," and done some campus explorations and hung out in Pulver and started to figure out how to negotiate the serving areas in Dana and "Bob's" at meal times. And this evening you'll spend time preparing to head out on your COOT tomorrow.
We know that orientation is a hectic time. We know that we throw a major wonking pile of information at you in a short period of time and that it's not likely that you will actually remember everything we tell you this week. We know that orientation includes a pretty wide range of programs and activities and discussions, and that some of them will speak to you in more meaningful and enjoyable ways than others. And we know that it's more than a little tiring.
But we also know that being really busy during these first few days is WAY better than just hanging around and waiting for classes to start. We know that while some of the ice-breaker games and activities can be kind of goofy, meeting and getting to know even a little bit about a lot of your classmates makes the corny stuff worthwhile.
We know that spending some time actively engaged in the academic endeavor makes you better prepared when classes start for real. We know that participating in service work in Waterville and the surrounding towns exposes you to a bevy of opportunities for enriching your Colby experience through civic engagement. We know that beginning thoughtful conversations with you about diversity and making good choices (about alcohol, sexual safety, etc.) and building positive residential communities is an important component in creating and maintaining a safe, caring, and intellectually rich campus climate.
We know that orientation can be disorienting. We know that most of you will really like parts of orientation and really not like other parts of it. And we know that identifying the parts you like and the parts you don't like will prove to be immensely valuable to you as you shape and define your Colby experience.
Orientation is about STARTING to learn about life at Colby. It's about BEGINNING to better understand the academic journey on which you are about to embark. It's about INITIATING conversations about important issues that will continue in classrooms and dining halls and dorm rooms throughout your time here. And, orientation is about INTRODUCING you to the ways of accessing and claiming the almost limitless possibilities that Colby holds in store for you.
So use this time as it was intended – to help you start your path through Colby – and have fun.
Dean of Students
So you got the low-down on drinking at Colby from the dude down the hall and your older sister's best friend's cousin who graduated in '08 but some of what you heard seems a little farfetched and now you have more questions than you did before. No worries! We've assembled a list detailing some of the facts and myths about alcohol and drinking at Colby. We hope this will help quench your thirst for clarity and help direct you down the path to an enjoyable and trouble-free social life on Mayflower Hill.
Fact: The drinking age in the state of Maine (as in the other 49 states) is 21.
It's true. You have to be 21 to drink alcohol legally in Maine. And since Colby is in Maine, you have to be 21 to drink alcohol legally at Colby. Detailed information about Maine law regarding alcohol can be found at: http://statutes.laws.com/maine/title28a/title28-Ach81sec0/title28-Asec2051
Myth: It's okay to drink alcohol on campus if you're under 21.
Yeah, not so much (see above). Of course, that doesn't mean that nobody under 21 drinks alcohol on campus. It just means that those who do are breaking the law (and Colby policy). That's a choice you get to make. Let's face it, people choose to break laws all the time. Lots of people drive over the speed limit. And if they get caught, they get a ticket and pay a fine. So if you're under 21 and you choose to drink alcohol and you get caught, then own up and accept the consequences.
Fact: Colby policy prohibits the private possession and consumption of hard alcohol on campus.
Yup. It doesn't matter if you are 19 or 21 or 48. The hard alcohol policy went into effect in 2010 on the recommendation of the Campus Culture Working Group (CCWG – a committee made up of students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and parent representatives) as part of a comprehensive approach to combatting high-risk, dangerous drinking. Since the policy went into effect both hospitalizations and blood alcohol levels have dropped notably. The purpose of the policy is to eliminate high alcohol content punches and so-called pre-gaming that involves students doing multiple shots of hard alcohol in a short period of time prior to attending other events.
Myth: The administration forced through the hard alcohol policy with no input from and over the objections of the student body.
Nope. The hard alcohol policy was one of more than a dozen recommendations made by the CCWG to reduce dangerous drinking. The policy itself was written by a student-led subcommittee of the College Affairs Committee (CAC) and was ultimately passed by both the CAC and the Student Government Association (SGA) before going into effect. To be sure, some students object to the policy. But students were centrally involved in every aspect of its development and implementation. And, it is making a positive difference.
Fact: No Colby student has ever been subject to disciplinary action for seeking help for a friend who is drunk.
Not one. Not ever. Which should of course be obvious since getting help for someone in distress isn't against any rules. Still, rumors continue to persist that you can get in trouble for getting help for a friend. It's not true. So you should never think twice about getting help for a friend who is drunk.
Myth: Campus Security actively seeks out violations of policy. The administration is cracking down on all student drinking.
Wrong. Campus Security officers have neither the time nor the inclination to go out looking to bust Colby students. As noted above, the College is working hard to reduce dangerous drinking – which is to say the kind of drinking that causes the most critical and fraught situations (e.g. doing shots, binge drinking, etc.). As such, Campus Security responds to situations where behaviors are drawing adverse attention – noise complaints, damage or vandalism, intoxicated students requiring medical attention. They have no interest in, or reason to insert themselves into situations that are under control, respectful, and safe.
Fact: Registered parties result in fewer problems for hosts, guests, and neighbors.
Colby wants social life on campus to be rich, diverse, and student-driven. Student hosted parties are an important option that adds to the breadth of social alternatives. Students can register parties with the Office of Campus Life http://www.colby.edu/administration_cs/campuslife/ up to one week ahead of time. Party registration is easy and provides party hosts with assistance and support in a variety of ways. Statistically, registered parties go smoother and result in fewer problems for everyone involved.
Myth: The administration is planning to make Colby a "dry" campus (i.e. prohibit all alcohol on campus).
Nonsense! Bunk! Or, as my old grannie used to say, "Bulls--t!" As previously noted, the focus of the College's alcohol policies is to permit safe, legal, and responsible drinking and to eliminate high-risk, dangerous drinking. Let's see if we can't finally put this tired old rumor to rest once and for all.
This is not an exhaustive list of Myths and Facts about drinking at Colby. So, if you hear things around campus that raise questions or concerns for you please contact me or one of the other deans for clarification. As I noted in the previous Living Colby installment about drinking, this is a complicated issue and our collective conversations about it are and should be ongoing and evolving.
Nobody likes junk mail. Sifting through spam in your inbox is a pain in the butt. And, fending off telephone solicitations during the dinner hour is as annoying as it gets.
We live our lives surrounded by media and under constant bombardment by a seemingly endless onslaught of catalogues and e-solicitations and telemarketers. And because there seems to be no escape from the flood of inquiries and surveys and one-time-only deals that are guaranteed to make our lives happy, meaningful, and complete most of us feel a powerful urge just to ignore all of it. Let someone else deal with it. We'll call or text or email the people we want to call or text or email and everyone else can just leave us alone!
But, if you don't pay the electric bill your power will get shut off. So, you have to go to the mailbox and sift through the junk mail to find the electric bill and pay it to keep the lights on and your smartphone charged and your computer whirring away.
Part of being an independent and responsible adult is dealing with the sort of mundane, not particularly exciting or pleasant tasks that ensure that the power doesn't get shut off. And there are parts of your relationship with Colby that are not unlike one's relationship with the electric company. On the bright side (no pun intended), Colby isn't going to shut off your power. But there are several electric-bill-like things the College needs you to do from time to time. Things like registering for courses, signing up for housing, receiving and completing course materials, assignments, or correspondence from professors, not to mention a variety of communications from the dean's office, student financial services, or the health center to name just a few. And the way Colby will communicate with you is through email sent to your Colby email account and/or paper correspondence sent to your campus mailbox or to your permanent home address (when we are not in session).
You need to read your Colby email and check your campus mail daily. You are responsible for the information that is sent to you via these media. In other words, if you miss a change to a class assignment or the course registration deadline or your housing selection time because you didn't check your email or campus mail, then you're out of luck. Like when the electric company shuts off the power because you didn't pay the bill.
Pay attention to what's happening on campus. Read your Colby email. Check your campus mail. Follow through on the things you need to do. It's easy. And if you do, then your life will be happy, meaningful, and complete.
Dean of Students
You're rapidly discovering that college classes are different from high
school classes. In general there will be more reading, less graded homework,
longer papers, and fewer exams (but the exams you have will count more). The
specific requirements will vary from course to course and part of the
adjustment you will have to make is learning to read syllabi, organize and
manage your time to complete assignments and prepare for exams effectively,
and how to tailor your own personal study habits to meet course demands.
Maybe the biggest difference though, is the extent to which you will be
responsible for monitoring and managing your standing in each class.
Your professors at Colby will provide you with a syllabus that details
course assignments, expectations, and how grades will be calculated. They
will return papers and exams to you so that you know what your grades are
and they will post office hours and other ways that they are available to
meet with you out of class. Additionally, faculty are encouraged to submit
course warnings if they have concerns about your performance in a course
(e.g. low test grade, missing assignments, absences). But whereas in high
school, for the most part, the burden was on your teachers to seek you out
if there was a concern, at Colby you are responsible for reaching out to
So what exactly does that mean? Well, for example:
You are expected to go to class. Most professors will spell out their
expectations for attendance and class participation on the class syllabus.
But no one is going to come and knock on your door, and the majority of
instructors will not call or email you if you don't go to class. So if you
oversleep one day and miss class it is easy to get the impression that it
doesn't matter and no one cares. But that would be a mistake. Not only will
missing class put you behind in terms of understanding course work, but it
will almost always directly lower your grade too.
When you are unsure of exactly what is expected on a particular assignment
or have questions about course material you are responsible for speaking
with the professor and/or seeking out other forms of academic assistance
(e.g. going to the writing center, getting a tutor, talking to your advising
dean). One of the worst things students do when they first encounter
difficulty in a class is keep it to themselves. You may be able to figure
something out on your own, but more often than not you will get a better
understanding by going to the professor and having a conversation. Besides,
access to your professors is one of the best things about Colby. If you
don't take advantage of it you are missing out - even if you are getting
great grades in all your classes.
UNDERSTANDING PARAMETERS FOR COLLABORATIVE WORK:
Please never assume that it is okay to work with another student (or anyone
else) on any assignment without consulting with the professor. In many
classes you will be assigned group work, but even then it is important for
you to know what parts you can do collaboratively and what parts you need to
do independently. There is often a fine line between acceptable
collaboration and academic dishonesty. By consulting with the professor you
will always be on the right side of that line.
KNOWING YOUR GRADES:
While it is professors' responsibility to grade and return assignments, it
is yours to know exactly where you stand in a class. Students often
overestimate their grades and the likelihood of being able to get an "A" on
the next test. There is a course withdrawal deadline in the middle of the
semester (though first-years are permitted to withdraw from a course up
until the last day of classes before final exams). If you have an exam two
days before the deadline and how you do on it will determine whether or not
you stay in the class, you need to seek out the professor and explain the
situation so that you can find out where you stand before the deadline. Not
getting the test back is not grounds for extending the deadline.
GETTING EXTRA HELP:
As noted above, professors are encouraged to issue course warnings if you
are struggling in a class. Also, many will email you or make a note on a
returned assignment/exam to encourage you to speak with them if they have a
concern about your work. But faculty are not required to do those things and
some won't. And regardless of what professors choose to do, you are
responsible for knowing how you're doing and for seeking out extra help if
you need it. There are lots of support systems for students at Colby, but
you need to access them. Our expectation is you are here because you want to
be here and as such you need to be responsible for your own success.
WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK:
The examples above should give you a good sense of what is expected of you
as a student at Colby and how to meet those expectations. But the truth is
that there are hundreds of little ways in which courses and professors
expectations can differ so the most important thing for you to know is if
you are unsure about something in a class ask the instructor.
I understand that this message seems to focus heavily on the negative things
that can happen in classes. Please be assured that my intention is not to
scare you. Every one of you was admitted to Colby because you can succeed
here and you have lots to contribute to the College community. But there may
be moments or circumstances that are more difficult or confusing than
others. This information is intended to help you negotiate the challenging
moments more easily and to get the most out of your Colby experience.
Remember, you are responsible for your Colby experience so if you don't know
something, or if you need help, ask. We're here to help.
Dean of Students