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, 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.
Student Affairs Departments and Staff
The Division of Student Affairs oversees student life and learning outside of the classroom, and it comprises the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Campus Life, Counseling Services, Health Services, and offices supporting diversity and human difference, international students, and religious and spiritual life.
Experienced student affairs staff members advise and counsel students on the full range of academic, social, career, 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.
The advising dean program supports and enhances Colby’s commitment to first-rate, individual advising of students. In addition to having an academic advisor from the teaching faculty, every Colby student is assigned an advising dean to provide advice and support during their time at the College. The advising deans are knowledgeable about issues and problems that arise for students and are a good source of information about College resources and policies. They offer general advising as well as referrals to other campus offices. The advising deans help students and parents manage academic and non-academic situations as they arise, consulting extensively with faculty and staff across the College.
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’ website 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, cocurricular, 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 and residential community advisors (CAs) serve as peer mentors for new students during orientation and 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 accommodate 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. First-year students are clustered in housing groups within each of the integrated residence halls and are supported by upper-class student hall staff trained to facilitate the first-year transition experience. Students have access to a variety of different housing options within the Colby residential system including but not limited to dialogue housing, substance-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 website.
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 and Charges section of the catalogue).
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 Colby Bookstore, the student mail room, the Blue Light Pub, offices of the Student Programming Board, the Pugh Center, and the Page Commons Room are in Cotter Union. The Pulver Pavilion features a variety of informal spaces and a snack bar and grill called The Spa.
Student Organizations and Leadership Development
The Office of Campus Life is committed to creating opportunities for students to explore, practice, and develop their leadership capabilities. Leadership development occurs through experiences with student organizations and clubs as well as through retreats, trainings, and workshops. Colby has approximately 100 student-led clubs and organizations focused on cultural, athletic, musical, political, publication, religious, service, or other themes.
The Pugh Center and Multicultural Affairs
The mission of the Pugh Center is to promote multicultural communication, awareness, and understanding. The Pugh Center is the intellectual and social focal point on campus for conversation, exploration, and celebration of diversity at Colby. Throughout the academic year a variety of programs, including lectures, performances, concerts, symposia, and other events, are sponsored to invite exploration of different cultures and educate the broader Colby community about multicultural issues.
The Pugh Center is also home to 14 student clubs devoted to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual orientation and identity, and spirituality. It includes a common space with a stage to offer a wide array of programs presented by Pugh student clubs, the Pugh Community Board, and partnering academic departments focused on multicultural awareness and understanding. The Pugh Center program reflects Colby’s vision of a diverse and open society: one in which all members are free to be themselves and to explore, affirm, and celebrate who they are and a community in which students, faculty, and staff alike recognize, respect, honor, and learn from both their differences and shared commonalities.
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 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, Race and Racism, and the Environmental Advisory Group.
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 campus emergency notification system was installed in 2008. Colby’s crime statistics are available on the Security Department website.
Colby Health Services
Colby’s Garrison-Foster Health Center, in the Garrison-Foster Building, is the only AAAHC-accredited college health center in Maine. Its mission is to enhance the academic environment at Colby by providing quality health care, health education, and preventive services to students in a caring, cost-effective, and convenient manner. The health center provides a bridge for the health-care needs of our students as they transition away from home, often for the first time. The health center emphasizes preventive and outpatient care. The health center is available to all students at no cost for routine office visits.
The health center is staffed by a dedicated group of medical providers with experience in caring for college students. They provide general medical care and additional services in sports medicine/rehabilitation, women’s health, drug and alcohol use/abuse, and travel medicine. A registered dietician and a board-certified psychiatrist are also available for consultation. Students who need emergency care or more specialized attention are sent to MaineGeneral Medical Center, a major regional hospital located less than a mile from Colby.
Appointments with medical practitioners are available weekdays during business hours for students. Students can see a nurse if they are sick after hours or during regular hours to have injuries evaluated, get allergy shots, or arrange immunizations for travel abroad.
Colby Emergency Response (CER) is a group of students trained and licensed as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who respond to health emergencies on campus. This network supplements the care provided by the health center staff to ensure that all accident/illness victims on campus are assisted swiftly and skillfully.
No student will be allowed to register, attend classes, or participate in any campus activities, including COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips), until health and immunization records have been received and approved by the College’s health center. Documentation of a physical examination within the past 12 months is required. For students participating in varsity athletics, the NCAA requires that the physical examination be in the past six months. Proof of the following immunizations is also required: tetanus and diphtheria (primary series plus booster within 10 years), polio series plus booster, meningitis vaccine, and two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines given after the first birthday.
Not required but recommended are the hepatitis B immunization series and a chicken pox vaccine if there is no history of this disease. Students are encouraged to discuss these recommended vaccines with their health-care provider during the summer. Arrangements can be made through the health center to receive these non-required vaccines.
Maine state law requires that immunization records be complete, showing month, day, and year that immunizations were given, and that they include the signature and address of the health-care provider; a valid copy of school immunization records or hospital/clinic records also may be acceptable. Details can be found in the immunization form mailed to all students or on the health center website. If proof of vaccinations cannot be obtained, vaccines should be administered again by the student’s health-care provider before the student travels to Colby. It is expected that physical exams and immunization forms will be completed by July 15.
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.
Colby complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 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.
The Colby Career Center assists students and alumni with career exploration. Members of the Career Center staff teach job search skills and introduce students to a wide range of resources for achieving career goals and for locating specific employment, fellowships, and graduate school opportunities.
The Career Center provides a rich offering of programs, workshops, and resources to help students learn about career planning, including résumé consultations, mock interviews, reference files, job and internship listings, on- and off-campus recruiting events, graduate school admissions test information, and a variety of Web-based resources. Graduates benefit from alumni workshops and seminars that offer them ideas and continued support as their career plans evolve.
A new networking platform, CampusTap, connects current students and Colbians across multiple industries and fields in the service of student and postgraduate development. Mentoring, internship news, job information, resume help, and other opportunities are part of the initiative.
Detailed information about the Career Center and its programs is available on the Career Center website.