The residential living experience is designed to foster student growth in interpersonal interaction and communication by developing students' leadership, and problem-solving skills via community engagement.
Over the course of their time at Caltech, undergraduates are encouraged to explore living in many different residences. Most residences have space for between 90 and 150 students; Bechtel is the largest residence with space to accommodate 211 students. Undergraduate Houses/Residences are as follows: Bechtel Residence; Avery House; North Houses: Lloyd House, Page House, and Venerable House; and South Houses: Fleming House, Dabney House, Ricketts House, and Blacker House.
Campus residences bring together undergraduates from all years to share a diversity of interests, perspectives, and passions, as well as to build unique experiences and traditions that make each residence a home. The residences are one avenue for students to get engaged on campus; students have opportunities to become a student leader for their residence and to plan and organize special activities, events, and traditions that are specific to each facility and community.
Each community is staffed by one or two Resident Associates and one Residential Life Coordinator, as well as student leaders.
Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs)
There are five Residential Life Coordinators in campus housing, situated in different buildings. An RLC is a specially trained full-time university employee, specializing in college student development, community building, counseling, and crisis intervention. The RLCs supervise the Resident Associates (RAs) on overall student wellness and community programming. The RLCs also assist Housing with the management and daily operation of the houses. They are a fantastic resource, usually just a few steps away.
Resident Associates (RAs)
From time to time, you may have a problem or concern that you would like to discuss with someone. You should feel free at such times to contact the Resident Associate who lives in an apartment in your house or residence. The RAs are Caltech graduate students who are available for guidance and consultation and are familiar with the resources on campus. They have been trained to handle day-to-day challenges, as well as emergency situations that may arise.
In addition to the RAs, all houses select Peer Advocates (PAs) who are undergraduates available to discuss personal and academic issues and help create connections with the Counseling Center staff. Health Advocates are also available to serve as liaisons between the students and the Health Center staff. Health Advocates are undergraduates trained to provide CPR, first aid, basic health care, health education, and peer counseling.
Each house elects officers, known as the Executive Committee, who plan an impressive array of social, cultural, and athletic programs throughout the year. The presidents of the seven houses and the Avery Chancellor form the Interhouse Committee, and along with an elected Chair and the IHC Secretary, oversee matters of common concern for all houses.