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: offices of the Dean of Students, Campus Life, the Career Center, 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, 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.

Advising Deans

The Advising Dean program supports and enhances Colby’s commitment to first-rate, individual advising of students. Designed to complement Colby’s academic advising, the Advising Dean program ensures that all students have a point of contact for advice and counsel throughout 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’ Web site 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 accommodate 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 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 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 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 opened in 2007, featuring a snack bar, coffee shop, and a variety of informal spaces.

Student Organizations

The Office of Campus Life works with approximately 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).

Multicultural Affairs and the Pugh Center

The Multicultural Affairs program promotes multicultural communication, awareness, and understanding.  Throughout the academic year a variety of programs, in-cluding 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, linked to the Cotter Union is the home to 14 student clubs devoted to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual orientation and identity, and spirituality. It also includes a common space with a stage to offer a wide array of programs presented by Pugh student clubs, the Pugh Community Board and part-nering 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; 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 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, 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 uniform crime reporting statistics are available online at

Colby Health Services

Colby’s Garrison-Foster Health Center, in the Garrison-Foster Building, is the only accredited college health center in Maine. Its mission is to enhance the academic environment at Colby by providing quality health care, health education, and pre-ventive services to students in a caring, cost effective, and convenient manner. The 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 visits and services. It is staffed by one physician, one physician’s assistant, one nurse practitioner, a physical therapist, a lab technician, and experienced registered nurses and office staff. A registered dietician as well as 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 hospital within a mile of Colby that serves all of central Maine.

Colby Emergency Response (CER) is a group of students trained as radio-dispatched 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.

Appointments with the medical practitioners are available weekdays during business hours for students who wish to schedule an appointment or who are referred by a nurse. Students can use the walk-in clinic to see the nurse if they are sick after hours. Students also see the nurse to have injuries evaluated, get allergy shots, or arrange for immunizations for travel abroad. Most health and counseling services are avail-able 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.

Career Center

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.  

Colby Connect is a four-year Career Center program that inspires success through a sequence of practical workshops, information sessions, and related programming. Colby Connect engages students by connecting them to fellowships, internships, job shadowing, Jan Plan and employment opportunities, and graduate studies. Colby Connect integrates alumni, parents, faculty, and recruiters into Career Center programming. Detailed information about the Career Center and its programs is available at