Residential Life, Student Engagement, and Campus Services

Message from Xenia Markowitt, Dean of Students

We can't wait to welcome you back to campus! See what's new in Student Life (below). As always, I love to hear from you, so feel free to share any and all feedback on your life as a student at Bennington. Don't forget to read Dean X-change in College Week to stay informed and get involved.

    New in Student Life

    There are a lot of new things happening in the area of Student Life:

    • The Dean’s Advisory Board, and subsequent student info sessions, have advised that we create a system for student representation to improve transparency, communication and decision-making with the administration. As a starting point, we will be asking a representative from each house to serve in this capacity.  More information will be shared. In the meantime, if you are interested in this initiative, please contact Allison Kuhlman in Student Engagement.
    • It is truly bittersweet to say farewell to Michael Thomson and Jiray Avedesian, as we will miss them and their significant contributions to Student Life and the Bennington community. Yet, we know that they each have exciting new journey in store so we wish them well and are happy for them as they set off on their new adventures.  
    • We are excited to welcome Anya Piotrowski who is the new assistant director for community engagement, and who will build on Michael’s founding of our community engagement program.  Anya brings expertise and experience in working with students in developing community and civic engagement.  As she wrote in her application: “I have seen and experienced life as an inclusion-oriented, cisgender, Latina in a predominantly Southern Baptist, rural, white Appalachian community. I am the daughter of a Brazilian immigrant and a Wisconsin native, a first generation college graduate raised in the Midwest with parents of considerably different cultural backgrounds. I have learned the importance of cultivating one’s voice and seeking out spaces to gather in community…” Make sure to stop by and introduce yourself to Anya as the newest member of the Office Of Student Engagement in the UpCaf!
    • The search for a new assistant director of residential life has begun. If you wish to be involved with meeting candidates, please let your House Chair know as they will be updated as the search progresses.
    • The new Student Health Center (SHC) will be fully operational for the new year.  Health Services, Psychological Services and Student Health Promotion will be located in the new building.  Please note Ali Tartaglia is moving from the Barn and will be located in the new SHC. Ali is creating a resource room for student use for health promotion.  She will advise and train the forming peer groups: peer health education and sexual violence peer advocates who will replace SHAMPAs.  If you are interested in participating, and have other health-related programming ideas, please contact Ali. Ali Tartaglia is also available as a confidential resource 24/7 at cell number 802-440-HOPE (4673) for those wishing support regarding incidents of sexual violence. The Student Health Center will host an open house on September 4 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm so stop and see the new space!

    Residential Life

    Confirmation emails for 2017–18 housing assignments were emailed to all returning students at their Bennington email addresses on Monday, July 31. We sincerely hope that you are pleased with your housing assignment. If you are living in campus housing and did not receive an email, please contact Housing.

    Based on student feedback, coupled with efforts to continue to provide the safest and secure living experience possible, the College has moved to locking the entrances to houses 24/7. Bennington students who live in campus housing will have their Bennington IDs programmed with access to all campus houses, as usual. Students will need to carry their IDs with them while on campus.  

    Storage

    If you stored your belongings with Boomerang Storage using their door-to-door service, your belongings will be pre-delivered to your room prior to your arrival. Both Boomerang and Student Life will be in touch with more details. If you used Boomerang’s drop-off option, you will be able to pick up your belongings from Bingham Basement. Storage hours are Sunday, September 3 through through Wednesday, September 6 from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Please email Jiray Avedisian with any questions.

    International Students

    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency requires that all international students are registered (through SEVIS) for the upcoming term. In order to comply with this, all returning international students must stop into the Academic Services Office (Barn 120) and fill out a short SEVIS registration form. Students who do not complete this process will not be registered in SEVIS and, as a result, will jeopardize their status. If you have any questions, please refer to the International Student Services page or contact Kate Child (802-753-2491; on campus x2491).

    Campus Safety and Parking

    Parking Decals

    If you have a vehicle on campus, you must purchase and display a new decal (2017–2018) on your vehicle by Tuesday, September 12. Decals are issued at the Office of Campus Safety. The cost is $140 per year, which must be paid with cash, check, or Bennington Card in the Business Office (payments cannot be accepted at Campus Safety). Be sure to register for the decal immediately even if payment is delayed. You will be issued a decal with the proper vehicle documentation regardless of payment status.You must have your current insurance card, registration, and license and present it to Campus Safety to obtain the parking decal. Vehicles without valid parking decals by Tuesday, September 12 will be issued a $50 fine every 24 hours until the decal is obtained. The campus parking regulations will be issued with every decal, and all members of the community are required to adhere to all parking policies.

    Off-campus students are required to register their cars with Campus Safety, but there is no annual fee. Parking is available in all student lots. More information will be provided upon registration.

    Dining

    We continue to enhance our locally-sourced food options in the new Dining Hall in the Student Center. In season, much of our produce is sourced from our very own, on campus, Purple Carrot Farm as well as nearby farms in VT, NY, and MA. Vegetarian and vegan options remain a strong focus and, when serving meat, we strive for healthy sources. Menu creation is achieved with dietary restrictions in mind to assure enough options are available to our guests who are slightly allergic to, intolerant to, or extremely allergic to foods such as gluten, fish, soy, eggs, nuts, etc. Our dining staff is trained in these areas and will be happy to prepare a special dish for students who would like an alternate choice of a featured menu item that is safe for them to consume. Halal meat is also available.

    • The dining managers are continuously available for consultation to discuss diet and menu concerns.
    • The Campus Bar that was available previously in the Student Center and its more recent location in Down Commons will not reopen.  Events that wish to serve alcohol should contact Dining Services for details regarding options.
    • For returning students, the new Dining Hall in the Student Center will be open starting Sunday, September 3.

    Information Technology

    Computer Anti-Virus Software

    Information Technology would like to remind you to update your anti-virus software before reconnecting to the campus network, as you are responsible for keeping your computer virus-free while connected to the network. If you need an anti-virus program and prefer not to purchase one, AVG-Free is one possible solution. Another free solution for Windows users is Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and Windows Defender for Windows 8 and 10. Should you become compromised and get infected with a virus, please contact the IT@Bennington Help Desk, helpdesk@bennington.edu, X4476, or stop in to Dickinson room 225.

    Respecting Intellectual Property

    Information Technology would like to remind students to respect the work and intellectual property of others, and to remain in compliance with Bennington policies as outlined in the student handbook by not using the campus network to illegally download or distribute rights-managed works such as copyrighted movies or music. Please see the Bennington student handbook for more information on our policy, or contact IT, helpdesk@bennington.edu, with questions.

    Health and Psychological Services

    Health and Psychological Services will open for regular business on Monday, August 29 in the new Student Health Center. Appointments can be made by calling Psychological Services at 802-440-4451 (on campus x4451) or Health Services 802-440-4426 (on campus x4426).

    Health Insurance

    All full-time Bennington College students must be covered by a health insurance policy. The Bennington College Health Center charges usual and customary fees, just like any private doctor’s office. It is your responsibility to review your insurance options and to determine whether your chosen coverage will pay for services away from home, as you will be billed for any fees that are not covered. Please provide the details of your policy on the Proof of Insurance form. Students are required to provide information on any change in insurance to the College. If at any time your policy changes, images of the insurance card front and back can be emailed to healthservices@bennington.edu.

    Beyond the Classroom: Student Engagement Through Clubs and Organizations

    Interested in getting more involved on campus? Come to Beyond the Classroom on Thursday, September 14 5:30–7:30 pm, on Commons Lawn (rain location: TBD). Representatives from all current student organizations and from several local and national nonprofit organizations will be there to talk about their groups, and registration forms will be available for students interested in starting something new. Hope to see you there!

    Extended/Special Hours for Various Campus Services

    • The Bookstore will be open Sunday, September 3, 11:00 am–4:00 pm. Regular hours resume on Monday, September 4.
    • Post Office Mail/package locations have changed: Packages are now being picked up in Buildings and Grounds by the Purchasing Office. This part of the post office will be open on Saturday, September 2, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Sunday, September 3, 12:00 - 4:00 pm and Monday, September 4, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.  Letter pick-up will now be in the EAC Building. Student mailboxes will be located in the barn. If you have mail, a card will be put in your mailbox. Take the card to the EAC and hand it to whoever is behind the counter, and they will get your mail. This part of the Post Office will not be open on September 2-4.  Regular post office hours (10:00 am - 4:00 pm) will resume on Tuesday, September 5.

    Find hours and information for specific offices.

    New Partnership with MASS MoCA

    Bennington College has partnered with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to provide free admission to the galleries for all faculty, staff, and students with a valid Bennington ID card. Additionally, members of the College community will receive a 10% discount to all of MASS MoCA’s performing arts events. The museum recently opened Building 6, which features faculty member Mary Lum’s “Assembly (Lorem Ipsum),” as well as a hands-on gallery dedicated to the fantastic instruments of longtime faculty member Gunnar Schonbeck. Please take advantage of this exciting opportunity and visit MASS MoCA (and other local and regional attractions) throughout the year.

    Update your Name and Pronouns

    Students are responsible for reviewing and ensuring the accuracy of their record in Populi. Please use this form to notify the Registrar's Office of any updates as they regard your name and the pronouns you use. Only use this form if your current record is not correct. You must be logged into your Bennington email account to use this form.