Dakin and Merrill Houses are the traditional dormitories on campus. Almost all new students live in Dakin or Merrill. First year students are often housed in double rooms, though single rooms do outnumber doubles at Hampshire. Most halls are co-ed (including the bathrooms); however, some are designated single-sex. Each hall has a designated noise level that residents must respect. Smoking is not allowed in any of the residences, nor within 25 feet of any building. Substance-free halls are available in both dorms. In addition, there are single-gender halls, older student halls, identity-based halls, and Living and Learning Communities.
Dakin and Merrill have laundry facilities and vending machines within the building. Student rooms are furnished with a bed frame, an extra-long twin size mattress measuring 80" x 36" (you can purchase this size linen at most bedding retailers), a built-in closet and bureau, a mirror, a desktop with supporting shelves and drawer units, and a desk chair. Furniture may not be removed from rooms.
In Dakin, each hall has one bathroom and a lounge. The lounge has a television and refrigerator. The number of residents per hall ranges from ten to twelve.
In Merrill, each hall is divided into two sections: The short side houses eight students and the long side houses twelve students. Each section has its own coed bathroom. Each hall has a lounge. The lounges are equipped with a television and a kitchenette area with a stove (some have ovens), sink, and refrigerator.
Greenwich, Enfield, and Prescott Houses are apartment-like dorms on campus, each offering different architectural styles and social atmospheres. Commonly referred to by students as "mods," these spaces accommodate from three to ten students and include single and double bedrooms. Mods are equipped with a kitchen, bath(s), and a living-dining area. Mod residents are almost exclusively continuing students, but an extremely limited number of spaces (almost always in double bedrooms with a roommate) are sometimes available for entering students. Such spaces usually go to older transfer students, and those who need specific accommodations.
As a residential college, Hampshire expects its students to live on campus. Only students 25 years of age or older, students living with their parents within 30 miles of Hampshire, and students with their own families can choose to live off campus. Hampshire sometimes offers other housing exemptions to continuing students if we need to create more bed space on campus. These exemptions are given based on seniority. Incoming students are required to live on campus unless they meet one of the automatic exemptions listed above. If you qualify for a housing exemption and wish to live off campus, you MUST fill out the Application to Live Off-Campus in order to inform us of this choice.
Residence Life Staff
All houses have professional and student staff who work to create community within the residences. Staff plan programs and activities to enhance students' experience at Hampshire, as well as support the norms for community living and individual student needs. Residence life staff work out of a area office located close to the residence they support. Each area office is your first contact for information and assistance with living at Hampshire. Entering students are particularly encouraged to get to know their professional and student house staff early in their first semester. Each year, the houses offer faculty seminars, study breaks, and discussion groups that focus on issues of campus life or local community service programs. Houses may sponsor programs on social and political topics, as well as joint social programs such as dances and film series.
Hampshire College is committed to providing substance-free spaces for all residents who need them. Substance-free environments exist in all the housing areas, including several halls in Merrill and Dakin. A substance-free environment is a dorm floor or mod where all residents and their guests agree to keep their hall or mod free from substances at all times. Substances are defined to include alcohol, cigarettes, and other smoking materials as well as illicit drugs. While there is an expectation for the entire community to comply with all state, federal, and local regulations regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs, the substance-free housing option offers an additional measure of support for people who choose not to smoke, drink, or use other drugs. We are finding an increasing number of entering students who, for various reasons, are making that choice. Students interested in this option must complete the Substance-Free Housing contract in addition to their Housing Preference Form.
Living and Learning Communities
This year, Residence Life will be sponsoring three Living and Learning Communities in Dakin and Merrill Houses. The themes of these communities will be Wellness; Social Justice; and Community Engagement for Social Change, and will allow first-year students the opportunity to live with peers who have similar interests. Living in the communities will require a 2-hour, bi-weekly commitment for programming facilitated by faculty, staff, and student leaders. Participation in the communities will also cover the CEL-1 requirement that each first-year student must complete.
Identity-Based Housing and Intentional Housing Communities
Identity-based housing includes various group living situations with a common identity such as race, culture, or sexual orientation. Current identity-based spaces include: International Students, Kosher, Latino/a, Queer, Students of Color, and Women of Color. Many of these spaces exist within the mods and may be limited. We're always open to creating new identity-based halls if enough interest exists. Please make sure to indicate your interest in these spaces on your preference form.
Intentional Housing Communities are living spaces in which the residents have chosen to come together around a particular area of interest that will contribute to and cultivate the campus' culture of learning. They work together with a faculty or staff advisor to educate themselves and the larger community about their area of interest. Students who elect to reside in these spaces can expect to gain meaningful relationships with one another, lasting connections with staff and faculty, access to greater campus resources, and sense of pride in their community.
You may request special accomodations due to physical, psychological, or learning disability needs. This includes environmental and food allergies. Those requests must go through our diability services coordinator, Joel Dansky, at 413.559.5423 or through email at jdAC@hampshire.edu. Special accomodations are made only by the coordinator, so please contact him as soon as possible. If no special accomodations are approved, your housing assignment will be made based on your preferences and the availability of rooms.
Hampshire's dining commons is located between Dakin House and Merrill House. All residents of Dakin and Merrill must be enrolled in the dormitory meal plan. New first year students assigned to mods will be required to enroll in the reduced meal plan. For further information regarding meal plans, or to discuss special dietary needs, please call the director of food services, John Davis, 413.549.2840.
The variety of food offered is diverse, and students may choose from a wide selection. Vegetarian and vegan entrees are served daily along with a well-stocked salad bar. Students may also prepare their own meals in woks. Three meals are served daily on weekdays. Brunch and dinner are served daily on the weekends. The dining commons closes during Thanksgiving break, spring break, and after the last day of Hampshire College exams during the fall semester and at graduation in the spring.
Other Information About Moving In
Is this everything you need to know? Well, not everything! A lot of information is available on the Before You Arrive page. You will get a packet of information from the school with much of the same information, as well as a separate mailing with information about purchasing linen that will fit our extra-long mattresses.
If you have questions, please feel free to email or call the housing operations office at 413.559.5453. We look forward to your arrival!