Student Handbook

House System

Housing Policy

Smith College is a residential college; traditional-aged undergraduates are required to live on campus for four years. Limited numbers of students may be given permission to live off campus through the housing lottery process or by completing the Petition for Waiver of On-Campus Living Requirement Form, available on a student’s self service page and are due by June 1 (for first semester) and December 1 (for second semester). Transfer students who are of traditional college age may also apply to live off campus by writing to the Assistant Director of Residence Life in the student affairs office at the time of application for admission. Very few exceptions will be made, and further documentation to support one’s request will be required. All requests after the housing lottery will be reviewed and decided by the off-campus housing committee.

All new students will receive a copy of the housing contract electronically when they fill out the Residence Life Information Form. Returning students get this during the room selection process. All information about house opening, closing, and key pick-up is available on the Smith College Residence Life website.

Closing and opening dates and times of houses are publicized on campus prior to vacations and are posted on the residence life website. These closing dates represent the end of each semester. Students are expected to make house departure and travel plans accordingly. All houses (including the Friedman apartments) are closed for winter break, except Cutter and Ziskind for international students; 54 Green Street, 150 Elm Street and Conway House for Ada Comstock Scholars, and graduate housing for graduate students.

Students who will not be in residence for the spring semester, including seniors graduating in January, must remove personal belongings from their room and house by 10am the day after the last day of classes. All January graduates needing commencement housing in May must submit a request in writing to the Assistant Director of Residence Life for operations by December 1. Belongings not removed on time will be packed and shipped at the student’s expense. Prompt departure from houses is required for all students. A student who rescinds a leave of absence or is readmitted for second semester cannot return to campus until the date determined by the residence life department.

Information regarding the housing lottery is distributed to students in the spring. The Student Financial Services office requires that the tuition account be in good standing, which is defined as any one of the following: balance is paid in full; balance will be covered by loans or grants not yet received; payment arrangements have been approved by the college.

If a Smith student is pregnant during the academic year, they may continue to reside in their college house. Once the child is born, the student must make alternate arrangements for housing, as the college does not permit children to live in traditional college houses, except for Conway House.

The college reserves the right to enter any room at any time deemed necessary, whether or not the student residing in the room is available. The purposes for entry include inspection for compliance with college policies including health and fire regulations, inspection and inventory of college property, maintenance of security and necessary building maintenance. Every reasonable effort will be made to respect the privacy of the occupant(s). Persons other than designated college officials should under no circumstances enter a student’s room without permission.