students sitting on a picnic bench in front of a house at bennington

Student Life and the Residential Experience for Fall Term

You have chosen a college that allows you to pursue your intellectual inquiry inside and outside the classroom. At Bennington, learning can (and does) take place anywhere, anytime.

As you might expect from a college that asks students to design their own course of study, Bennington also supports student self-governance, which naturally works best with lively participation from students in all years. In particular, residential life at Bennington is built on a foundation of self-directed learning through self-governance. This is a model in which individuals understand that their actions and inactions affect others in and around the community and, therefore, make decisions to hold themselves and community members accountable. It means, for example, that you clean up after yourself in the bathroom, kitchen, and common areas without being asked because other people also use those spaces.

Below you will find much more information about housing and residential life at Bennington, provided specifically to help you plan for your arrival. We are of course happy to help in any way that we can in the meantime. We’re very excited to have you join our vibrant community and look forward to seeing the many ways you will help shape our community.


The following forms will be accessible by logging into your enrolled student portal.

  1. Roommate Questionnaire | opens May 16, due June 15 (required) via StarRez
  2. Housing Disability Accommodation Request | due June 1 (optional) via StarRez
    • Please work with a medical provider if you plan to request specific accommodations in college. Learn more about Accommodations and Support at Bennington. Contact with any questions.
  3. Card ID image upload | due July 1 (required)
  4. Transportation Options Form | due August 1 (optional)
  5. Online wellness learning modules | opens in late July; due September 1 (required)

Living with a roommate is an important part of Bennington’s residential experience. First, second, and third-year students are paired with one or more roommates. Students learn valuable skills around communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and advocacy through living with others and, therefore, it is rare for an incoming student to be placed in a single room. At Bennington, each house community is shaped by the people who live within it. That’s what makes it a home. The information you provide on the Housing Application will assist us in pairing you with a roommate. Please answer as thoughtfully and honestly as possible.

You will receive your roommate information and housing assignment for the upcoming year by the end of July. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you as you navigate this new experience:

  • Communicate: Reach out and/or respond to your roommate before arriving on campus. We want you to connect with your roommate via a phone call, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or Google Hangout rather than only through social media sites, email, or texting. Verbal and face-to-face communication allows for a stronger foundation, especially early in the relationship.
  • Open Mind: If you are matched with another student who seems different than you and/or any of your friends, we encourage you to keep an open attitude. Part of the college experience is to expand your understanding of others and to learn more about yourself
  • Brainstorm: If sharing a room is something new for you or you’ve had experiences and already know some areas that might be difficult for you to navigate, be proactive and generate ideas to prevent issues. If you are a light sleeper, you might consider bringing a pair of earplugs. If you are sensitive to light, an eye mask could be a solution. If one roommate likes to listen to loud music and the other doesn't, headphones will be key
  • Be Realistic: Many students rely on their roommate to be their best friend during and after college. The reality is you will make many connections while at Bennington through orientation, clubs and organizations, classes, and work study. A roommate is someone with whom you can respectfully share space.
  • The Roommate Agreement: Every roommate pair or trio is asked to complete a roommate agreement. This is an exercise where students have an active and engaged conversation about how they will share the space and how they will communicate when issues arise. This is always a great first step to negotiating and resolving issues.

We’re here to help! If you need assistance navigating any housing question—now or in the fall, House Chairs along with staff in the Office of Student Life are available as resources.

students in a house at Bennington College

Get to Know Housing at Bennington

Houses at a Glance
  • Colonial (built 1930s): Bingham,* Booth, Canfield, Kilpatrick, Dewey, Leigh, Franklin, Stokes, McCullough, Swan, Welling, Woolley
  • Barnes (built 1970s): Fels, Noyes, Sawtell*
  • Woo (built 2000s): Merck, Paris-Borden, Perkins*
  • Wellness Houses: Faculty Row 1, 2, and 3
  • Co-op/Alternative Housing: Welling Townhouse (co-op), Longmeadow (intentional living houses). You must live on campus for at least one year before you are eligible to live in the Welling Townhouse, Longmeadow, (applications required).**
  • Paran Creek Apartments: Apartments for two to six students.
  • Orchard Houses: mostly for seniors. 

Learn more about houses and residential living.

*Due to housing needs for other College programs during Field Work Term, students in Fels, Merck, Noyes, Paris-Borden, Perkins, Sawtell, and Bingham will need to move completely out of their rooms in these houses and store their belongings in designated containers provided by the College. Some houses may have to vacate due to renovations—students will be notified. All students in all houses must vacate over the summer break.

**Students must live on campus for at least one year before they are eligible to live in the Welling Townhouse, or Longmeadow. 

House Chairs

Each house has two House Chairs, undergraduate students serving as community leaders to house residents. They are knowledgeable about resources available on campus, serve as liaisons between campus services and your house, and run a weekly house meeting called Coffee Hour. Whether there’s a problem with noise, or cleaning the kitchen, a discussion about campus issues, or a house dinner to coordinate, Coffee Hour is where it will be addressed. Your House Chairs will be here to greet you when you arrive and will be available throughout the term to help with any housing issues you might have.


Student rooms vary in square footage depending on if they are a single, double or triple.  Room sizes and layouts vary depending on the architecture of the house. 

Note: College furnishings cannot be removed from student rooms and storage space is limited to your room, so you are strongly discouraged from bringing large furnishings (e.g. sofa, futon, etc.) with you to campus.  Coordinating what you will bring with your roommate will help avoid duplicate items i.e. mini fridges. 

You and your roommate(s) each will have the following furnishings for your room:

  • Twin-size bed (Twin XL mattress, box spring, and frame)—note: you will need to bring your own bedding (extra-long sheets, pillow(s), blanket(s), mattress cover)
  • Desk and chair
  • Bookcase
  • Dresser
  • Closet or wardrobe
  • Internet access (wired and wireless)
Permitted Items

We encourage you to coordinate with your roommate(s) if you plan to bring certain electronics or small appliances, such as TVs, stereo equipment, and small refrigerators.

Your room is your home away from home at Bennington so we want you to make it as comfortable as possible. Keep in mind that you will need to move all of your belongings out of the room at some point (sometimes twice depending on which house you live in) each year so be mindful of how much stuff you bring. There is a Home Depot, Walmart and Job-Lots in town if there are things you need that you did not bring with you. Also, there is an on campus thrift store called TAPA (Thrift Apparel, Public Apparel) where students can get lots of the items listed below, especially bedding, winter jackets and warm clothes—all for free!

Microwaves, mini-fridges, hair dryers, electric aroma diffusers, and solar-powered twinkle lights are allowed to be used (plugged in) in your room—other plug-in devices (e.g., hair irons, clothing irons, rice cookers, electric kettle, Keurig coffee makers, etc.) can only be used (plugged in) in the bathrooms and kitchens.

Packing List:

  • Seasonal clothing (heavy coat, hat, boots, gloves, and rain gear)
  • Bedding—pillow, comforters, blankets, mattress cover, mattress pad, and linens (all beds require twin extra-long sheets)
  • Hangers
  • Towels and shower caddy
  • Toiletries
  • Laundry bag/basket and detergent
  • Pictures, posters, and other decorative items (can be hung with white sticky tack or small push pins)
  • Alarm clock
  • Lamps (desk, floor)—lamps are not furnished and most rooms in the Colonial houses do not provide overhead lighting; 13-watt or 19-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs are encouraged, or incandescent bulbs of 60 watts or less
  • Power strips (UL listed only); extension cords are not permitted
  • Computer
  • Stereo equipment
  • Dorm-sized refrigerator (less than 3 cubic feet); shared refrigerators are also available in house kitchens
  • TV and VCR/DVD player; cable television is not provided in student rooms or house.
  • Area rugs
  • Broom and other cleaning supplies
  • Bicycle and lock
  • Storage bins for under your bed
  • White-noise machine (if you're sensitive to noise)
  • Electric aroma diffuser
  • Battery-operated twinkle lights
Prohibited Items

If you have any questions about specific items or are unsure if something is prohibited or allowed, please do not hesitate to email us at

  • Pets (other than fish—maximum 10 gallon tank)
  • Hot plate or other appliances with an exposed heating element (coffee makers are allowed in kitchens but cannot be kept in rooms)
  • Halogen lamps
  • Any heavy-use appliance that exceeds 1,000 watts (air conditioners, electric, kerosene, or gas heaters)
  • Candles or incense of any kind (note: possession of such will result in fines and disciplinary action)
  • Firearms/weapons
  • Plug-in twinkle lights (there are many solar-powered twinkle light alternatives)
  • Hoverboards
Housing Accommodations

If you require housing accommodations due to a documented disability (medical, psychological, physical, etc.), please review our Accommodations and Support webpage and complete the Housing Accommodation Application form due June 10.

Vehicle Registration
  • Automobiles: You may bring a vehicle to campus; parking permits are $50 annually ($25 for each term). All vehicles must be registered with Campus Safety by the end of the first week of term, which requires a valid operator’s license, proof of registration, and proof of insurance. Any vehicles not registered after the first week will be fined $250.
  • Bicycles: Campus Safety strongly encourages you to register your bicycle with their office, free of charge. This helps prevent theft of your bicycle and to identify your bicycle at the end of term when unclaimed bicycles are collected by Student Life. Bicycles must be stored either in bike racks outside the houses or in your room. During Field Work Term, free storage space is available on campus for all registered bicycles.

Campus Safety officers are on duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day to partner with you to create a safe living and learning environment for everyone. In addition, Campus Safety oversees vehicle registration, and Campus Safety Officers are available to provide escorts if you're uncomfortable walking in the dark. Campus Safety personnel regularly make rounds of all College buildings and patrol the campus. For more information regarding safety on campus, contact Campus Safety at 802-447-4250

Additional Resources

We're here for you! Visit the Office of Student Life webpage for more information about how to engage with us! For any questions regarding any of the details listed above, feel empowered to email us at, or call us at 802-440-4330.

Consult the following for more information:

Contact Us
Name Email Office
Dr. Li-Chen Chin, Dean of Student Life Barn North
Christine Congelosi-Lulla, Assistant Director for Housing Operations UpCaf 202
Jack de Loos ‘22, Assistant Director of Student Engagement Barn North
Donnie Redd, Director of Residence Life and Community Standards UpCaf

Student Life Office Hours

•    During term: Monday–Friday 9:00 am–5:00 pm
•    Summer/Field Work Term: Monday–Friday 8:30 am–4:00 pm