Principia College does not have dorms. It has houses with living rooms, rec rooms, kitchens, computer labs, and laundry rooms available 24 hours a day. Houses vary in size (38 to 90 students) and some are coed by wing, while others are single-gender. All houses have a resident counselor (RC) who is an educator as well as a friend, available day or night to help you.
Houses have their own student governing boards that help organize house activities and represent the house in the larger community. In making housing assignments, the Office of Student Life (OSL) strives to create a balance of student talents, interests, and backgrounds for each house. You will be notified of your freshman house assignment in late July. You will also be informed of your roommate assignment when you arrive on campus. Each semester, students change rooms and roommates, but not houses.
Transfer students will be assigned to housing in upperclass houses (Buck, Brooks, Ferguson, Howard, Joe McNabb, Lowrey, and Sylvester).
Your first year at Principia College will be spent in one of the two freshman houses—Anderson Hall or Rackham Court. While there are many added benefits to freshman housing, there are no extra rules. All of the normal intramural and social activities are available in freshman houses, as well as opportunities for freshmen to serve in leadership roles.
Upperclass resident assistants (RAs) live in freshman houses and serve as peer mentors. They also participate in programs and discussions on topics essential to success in college. For example, some discussions include getting along with and respecting people from diverse backgrounds, preparing for college-level exams, or depression and eating disorder claims. Other talks deal with preventing sexual harassment, abstaining from alcohol, drugs, and premarital or extra-marital sex. Every effort is made to address issues and topics of importance to our students.
RAs are committed to getting to know you, having fun, growing spiritually, and developing a supportive sense of family.
Students may live briefly in temporary housing before moving into their permanent house with other sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Upon arrival, arrangements for storing extra belongings may be made with the resident counselor in your permanent house.
Principia offers limited housing options for non-traditional students, including those who are 25 or older, married, divorced, single parents, or trained in Christian Science nursing, as well as those who have military experience. Please call the Office of Student Life at 800.277.4648, ext. 2821, as soon as possible regarding your non-trad housing needs.
Each student room (including rooms for non-traditional students) is furnished with basic items. Each student has a desk and chair, a twin bed (extra-long), a dresser, a mirror, closet space and curtains. You will have closet space with shelf space above your hanging clothes.
Trunks and suitcases may be stored in locked storage areas (trunk rooms) in each house. These trunk rooms are also used to store personal belongings during breaks and over the summer, depending upon available space. Stored items must be contained in plastic tubs with lids. (Although trunk rooms are locked, Principia accepts no liability for any items left in them.) Campus Security provides a high-security storage room in Anderson Hall for student computers, sound systems, televisions, DVD players, etc.
You are welcome to bring additional items and decorations to make your room feel more like home. You may want to consider a floor and/or desk lamp, wastebasket, alarm clock, posters and decorations, iPod/stereo equipment, and a laundry basket. A list of suggestions for what to bring can be found at www.principiacollege.edu/packing.
No sofas, hide-a-beds, overstuffed chairs, halogen lamps, or any appliance over 1100 watts may be used in student housing. We require Energy Star rated appliances. You will want to bring your own bedding (extra-long twin sheets, pillow and pillow case, blankets, and bedspread), towels and washcloths. International students do not need to bring any bedding; all linens will be supplied.
Small refrigerators are allowed for a fee of $30 per semester (assuming they meet safety regulations and do not exceed 3.5 cubic feet). Although not required, we do recommend having an Energy Star-rated appliance. You may also have a microwave (as long as it is efficient and does not exceed 1100 watts). As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you will be changing rooms and roommates each semester and that storage space in each house is limited.
Washers, dryers, and an iron and ironing board are available for use in the house laundry rooms at no charge. Some students prefer to bring their own iron.
When packing for school, take into consideration that it will be quite warm and humid (80˚–90˚F or 26˚–32˚C) when you first arrive in the fall. However, packing some warmer clothing, including a winter jacket, is essential as winter temperatures and snow can arrive before Thanksgiving. Winters are moderately cold with occasional sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow. Normal daytime temperatures during the winter are around 40˚F (4˚C), occasionally dipping to 10˚F (-12˚C). Spring is beautiful with temperatures ranging from 60˚F (15˚C) to 95˚F (33˚C).
The Office of Student Life strives to collaborate with all academic departments and the athletic programs to ensure the quality of each student's experience. Campus social activities, international student support, residential living, student government, maintenance of community standards and issues relevant to student life are some of the specific activities for which OSL is responsible.
Dean of Students
The dean of students leads the Office of Student Life by supporting the department staff, as well as a wide range of student government and leadership programs. The dean and other OSL staff—including the residence director and the freshman housing director—work to ensure a climate and culture on campus that create a caring community and nurture spiritual growth.
Resident counselors are educators and role models who reside in each of the student houses. They encourage and support house student government and unfoldment of character expressed in the moral thinking and actions of students. They also support students’ academic progress. Resident counselors are valuable resources and helpful friends who, along with the dean of students, the residence director, and the freshman housing director, support students as they think through issues and challenges. We encourage you to get to know your resident counselor.
Resident Assistants (RAs)
Resident assistants are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who live and work in the freshman houses. Under the supervision of the freshman housing director and a resident counselor, RAs serve as peer mentors, friends, and guides for freshmen during their first year at Principia. After a rigorous selection and training program, these fun-loving, committed Christian Scientists are prepared to help freshmen get the most from their Principia experience.