Residential Life, Student Engagement, and Campus Services

Message from Natalie Basil, Dean of Students

Greetings to all. We hope that your summers have been inspiring, productive, and restorative. Here on campus, we are busily preparing for the start of the fall term. You’ll find in these Digital Coffee Hour pages reminders about the beginning of term and other pertinent information and updates. Please be in touch if you have questions prior to your arrival. We look forward to seeing you very soon.

    New in Student Life

    Sustainability

    • Bennington continues to look at the impact we have on our environment with an eye toward reducing our ecological footprint and creating sustainable practices. Toward that end, the Dining Hall has, over the last two years, significantly increased our food purchasing from local and sustainable sources. This term, we will eliminate the use of 6,000 paper coffee cups and the plastic lids that we go through in a week. If you want to take coffee to go, don’t forget to bring your Coffee Hour Mug or other reusable container.  More Sustainability news to follow in College Week.  

    Residential Life

    Confirmation emails for 2019–20 housing assignments will be emailed to all returning students at their Bennington email addresses.

    As a reminder, the entrances to houses are locked 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.

    House Laundry Rooms

    All Houses have had their laundry rooms switched to coin operated washers and dryers that Buildings and Grounds will now manage. There will be the same number of machines in each house as there was last term. There will be coin machines in Swan, McCullough, Sawtell, and Merck.

    Laundry Service

    If you are interested in having a laundry service you can reach out to Jon E. Suds on Main Street in Bennington by email
    or by phone at: (802) 681-7358.

    End-of-Term Spring 2020

    At the end of spring term, May 2020, the campus is going to have a quick transition from Bennington students leaving to Middlebury students arriving on campus. The option of staying longer on campus will no longer be available. There will be more details to come throughout the term via College Week and Community Wide emails.

    Student Handbook 2019

    The most current Student Handbook (revised 2019) is available. 

    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 requirement, all returning international students must stop into Barn North (Barn 113) 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 at 802-753-2491 or x2491.

    Supporting Student Financial Constraints

    Desktop Loan Program 

    Last Spring FLoW launched the Desktop Loan Program and we are happy to announce that it will continue this year! We encourage current students to fill out this request form to indicate interest in borrowing an iMac or PC Lenovo all-in-one desktop computers. There is a limited number of desktops available so priority will be given to students with demonstrated financial need. If you are interested in requesting a Desktop please fill out this request form no later than September 6. Students will be notified of their status the week of September 9. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or if you have any questions please contact flow@bennington.edu.

    Course Books Section

    In addition to the course texts that are placed on reserve by faculty (available for two-hour checkouts in the library only), Crossett Library also offers a limited selection of coursebooks that have been used in previous years. These books, purchased and donated by students, can be checked out for the entire term and are located on the bottom floor of Crossett at the back wall directly across from the staircase. A list of coursebooks available for term-long checkout can be viewed here: Crossett Course Books.

    Little Extras Pantry 

    Last Spring FLoW launched the Food and Supply Pantry that has been renamed Little Extras Pantry. The pantry is open to all currently enrolled students. The Pantry is located in the cubbies outside of the Business Office (Barn 105). The Barn remains open until 10:00 pm every day of the week. If you are a student and you feel that you can benefit from the pantry, please do not hesitate to take any item(s) that you need. 

    We are currently accepting donations for the pantry. If you would like to donate non-perishable food items and/or supplies, such as toiletries, there is a dropbox in Barn North (Barn 113). We ask that all food donation items be unopened and unused. If you have any questions or concerns, please email flow@bennington.edu.

    Student Emergency Travel Fund

    Through gifts from anonymous donors, the College has been able to establish an emergency travel fund to support international and domestic students who must unexpectedly travel because of a personal and/or family emergency. (Please note, these funds have been given expressly for emergencies, and cannot be used for routine academic purposes such as FWT travel, study away programs, etc.)  

    The funding is limited and will be granted on a rolling basis with an effort to keep funding available over the course of the full academic year.  

    Requests for funding will be reviewed by the Dean of Students and Dean of Studies who may consult with other offices in order to prioritize multiple requests.  

    Students interested in applying for these funds, please begin by filling out the form and submitting it. If you have questions about the eligibility of your emergency or wish to talk about your specific circumstances, please contact Kate Child, Assistant Dean for Academic Services, Noelle Murphy, Assistant Dean for Academic Services or Christine Winget, Associate Dean for Student Life.

    Campus Safety and Parking

    Parking Decals

    If you have a vehicle on campus, you must purchase and display a new decal (2019–2020) on your vehicle by Tuesday, September 17. 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 driver’s license and present it to Campus Safety to obtain the parking decal. Vehicles without valid parking decals by Tuesday, September 17 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, with the exception of the decal grace period, at all times.

    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. Please see college website for a list of designated houses.

    Dining

    We continue to enhance our locally-sourced food options in Commons Dining Hall. 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. Bennington College earned an A+ on Peta’s Vegan Report Card.  Menu creation is achieved with dietary restrictions in mind to assure enough options are available to our guests who are intolerant or allergic to foods such as gluten, dairy, fish, soy, eggs, and nuts. 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.

    • The dining managers are continuously available for consultation to discuss diet and menu concerns.
    • Email dining@bennington.edu with questions and comments, or if you have a favorite recipe from home that you would like to see on the menu.
    • For returning students, Commons Dining Hall will open starting Sunday, September 1.
    • Visit the Dining Services page for hours and menus.

    Information Technology

    Students can print from any public access computer, such as those in Commons, Crossett Library, and any of the computer labs. You'll be asked to sign in to your Bennington account before printing using your email login and password. You'll need to save your files to Google Drive or email them to yourself and then open them on one of these machines before printing. Please see our training video to walk you through how to login and use the new system.

    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 Windows Defender for Windows 8 and 10. Should you become compromised and get infected with a virus, please contact IT Help Desk at helpdesk@bennington.edu, x4476 or stop in to Dickinson 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 at helpdesk@bennington.edu with questions.

    Health and Psychological Services

    Health and Psychological Services will open for regular business on Monday, September 2 in the Student Health Center. Appointments can be made by calling 802-440-4426 or x4426.

    Health Insurance

    All Bennington College students must be covered by a health insurance policy and are required to provide policy information to the College. Bennington College students are not permitted to attend class without proof of a current health insurance plan on file. Please review our Student Health Insurance Policy for more information. 

    If you are an International student, you must purchase the IFS Prime Plus policy by August 1 for coverage starting August 15. If policy info is not provided by August 1, the College will purchase the IFS plan on the student’s behalf and will post the cost to the student bill with a $100 administrative fee.

    Domestic students who need to enroll or change their coverage, have a 30 day window when they move to campus (called a qualifying event) to make policy changes. Window specifics vary depending upon 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 determine whether your chosen coverage will pay for services away from home, as you will be billed for any fees that are not covered. If at any time your insurance policy changes, go online and submit a new Proof of Insurance.

    2019 Graduation Commencement

    If you were unable to attend Commencement, you can watch videos of specific speeches and the conferring of degrees.

    Beyond the Classroom: Student Engagement Through Clubs, Organizations, and Community

    Interested in getting more involved on campus? Come to the Student Engagement Fair on Tuesday, September 10 from 5:00-7:00 pm, location TBA. Representatives from all current student organizations will be present to talk about their groups, and registration forms will be available for students interested in starting something new. Hope to see you there!

    Additionally, the Office for Student Engagement is launching a Social Justice Leadership & Change Series. This bi-monthly series will focus on building tools, practices, and knowledge to lead and engage in campus and the broader community through an equity and justice lens. Workshops will include topics such as club and organization leadership; event planning and management; identity, oppression, and privilege; and more! The first workshop will be Monday, September 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm in UpCaf and DownCaf, with a focus on prepping your club or organization for the Student Engagement Fair.

    Looking to connect with the Programming & Activity Council (PAC)? Have an idea for a band? Reach out to PAC at pac@bennington.edu.

    Does your club or organization already have an idea for an event? Join the Budget & Events Committee from 6:00 to 7:00 p, on September 16, 23, or 30 (location TBA) to learn more about submitting an Event Funding Proposal.

    Extended/Special Hours for Various Campus Services

    • The Bookstore will be open Sunday, September 1, 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Regular hours (9:00 am-5:00 pm) will resume on Monday, September 2.

    • Packages are to be picked up in Buildings and Grounds by the Purchasing Office. This part of the post office will be open on Saturday, August 31, 11:00 am-3:00 pm, Sunday, September 1, 11:00-3:00 pm and Monday, September 2, 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Letter pick up is in Commons. Student Mailboxes are right outside of the Post Office. If you have mail, a card will be put in your box. Take the card out and bring it to the window and we will give you your mail. This part of the post office will not be open on August 31-September 2. Regular post office hours (10:00 to 4:00) will resume on Tuesday September 3.

    Find hours and information for specific offices.

    In the Community

    The Robert Frost Stone House Museum, which the College acquired in December 2017 thanks to a generous gift from the Friends of Robert Frost, recently reopened for its second season and welcomed its new Director, Erin McKenny. The Stone House Museum is an extraordinary — and free — resource to students, with year-round opportunities to hear live music, view rare art, and enjoy cultural happenings. 

    Don’t forget that Bennington College has also partnered with MASS MoCA to provide free admission to the galleries for all 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.

    Whether it’s coursework, activism, the arts, or recreation, Bennington offers a range of opportunities for students to explore the region and take advantage of the College’s close relationships with local organizations. You can always find the latest news about our community connections and offerings. 

    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 to your name or the pronouns you use. You can also use this form to update your name with diacritical marks (accents, tildes, etc.) if they are not currently reflected in Populi. Only use this form if your current record is not correct. You must be logged into your Bennington email account to use this form.