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Living in the Houses

Group of students having tea in a house living room

Residential life at Smith plays an important part in your education. Smith is committed to a co-curricular environment that enhances and enriches the academic program: residential living is an integral part of that education. Students come from varied cultures, backgrounds and social identities, and the houses provide unique opportunities for them to learn about one another’s experiences.


At its best, residential living fosters a sense of community and encourages a range of ideas. Each Smith student is challenged to balance the freedom of the individual, each with their own unique self-direction, with a respect for the rights of others. These expectations are not always reached, however, and interpersonal tensions, value conflicts and discomfort caused by close community living are not unusual. Learning to respond appropriately, to take responsibility for oneself, and to overcome adversity are important elements of personal growth and of a Smith education. Every member of the Smith community has the right to be treated with respect; behaviors that show disrespect for individuals or groups will not be tolerated. The ability to deal with complex issues and to resolve conflict will serve each student well—both at Smith and in the wider world.

Students are responsible for reading all published information and meeting all deadlines. This includes, but is not limited to, email messages and information in the catalog, the handbook, the housing contract, eDigest and other posted notices. Failing to read available materials is not an excuse for missing deadlines or for being uninformed about policies and regulations.