Student Handbook

Membership in the Alma College Community

Because membership in our community is both selective and voluntary, we expect more of our members than other communities. For example, we assume prospective students will know something of the college’s goals, standards of behavior and organization before they select to attend the school. Once accepted, each student is expected to be an active participant in the community in order for him/her to support, shape and carry out the goals of the college in a style compatible with the procedures established for such activities. Implied in this definition of membership is the voluntary nature of the relationship between members of the community and the college. Should individuals find that this community does not meet their needs, they may help change the community or select other communities with different goals which may be more compatible with their needs. The college, in turn, will attempt to help all community members to understand its standards, and will advise and counsel those who find themselves in conflict with community expectations. It will also support the community government and protect the rights of all its members.

Philosophy of a Residential Campus

Because we believe that students can and do learn from one another, over 90 percent of the students at Alma College live in college-owned or -approved housing. The education students acquire from the social and interpersonal experiences of residential life plays a vital role in their total development as concerned, inquiring human beings. Regardless of whether students live in a residence hall, small housing unit, theme house, apartment, or a fraternity/sorority house, the college retains a common set of goals which promote students’ personal development and right to realize their fullest potential.

The aims and purposes of the college’s residency requirements complement the stated mission of Alma College. Thus, the goals of the college’s housing operation, like those of the total college, focus on the individual, and his/her relationship to the community in which he/she lives.

To this end, the college will attempt to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide a physical environment which is compatible with the needs of the residents, including health and safety.
  • To maintain an environment that recognizes the college’s rigorous academic program, and places high priority on the pursuit of academic interests.
  • To assist students in developing a positive regard for their living area, as well as for that of the larger campus community
  • To encourage self-reliance among residents while recognizing the interdependence of all people
  • To promote acceptance and mutual respect among all residents by developing an awareness of:
    • One’s individual responsibilities and rights
    • The rights and responsibilities of others
  • To promote an environment in which students are encouraged to:
    • Clarify and act upon their personal values, attitudes and appreciations
    • Develop a broader understanding and acceptance of those with divergent attitudes and values
    • Become aware of their emotions and develop constructive ways of expressing them
  • To provide opportunities through which one is able to develop and practice mature interpersonal relations and social skills
  • To provide opportunities for one to develop and apply leadership skills