Berea is a residential college community of approximately 1,500 students. Living in residence halls and participating in extracurricular life are meaningful aspects of the Berea experience. Students build friendships, expand their social horizons, and increase their understanding of themselves and others.
To benefit fully from Berea’s curricular and co-curricular programs, students are expected to live in College residence halls and eat in the College’s dining facilities. Because Berea values the learning that comes from daily living with those different from oneself, room assignments for first-year students may be changed only with special approval. Each spring, continuing students make their own choices of rooms and roommates through a lottery system.
Berea students are offered a variety of living spaces within the College’s residence halls and residential houses, many of which are undergoing renovation through an ambitious renovation program whose intent is to modernize campus facilities while retaining their distinctive character. Halls vary in architecture, size, room arrangement, atmosphere, and tradition. Some residences feature suites with common living room-like spaces, while others offer traditional single- or double-occupancy rooms opening onto conventional hallways. Some halls are reserved for first-year students while others solely house upper-class students, in addition to family housing apartments for student families.
The Collegium, a team of student life professionals who live in the residence halls, oversees day-to-day life, program implementation, and hall-wide activities. Many upper-class students serve as Hall Coordinators and Residence Assistants through the Labor Program; they help the Collegium carry out its aim.
Because campus facilities and the adjoining town are within comfortable walking distance, there is little need for students to use a car. A College-operated shuttle van runs on a regular schedule to local shopping areas and to nearby cities on weekends. For these reasons, the College’s commitment to sustainable living practices, and in recognition of the benefits of a residential education, most students are not permitted to have cars on campus or in the Berea community. Freshmen are not permitted to have vehicles. Parking spaces are limited, so Seniors are permitted to have vehicles as long as they are in good standing with the College (not on probation), then Juniors and Sophomores in good standing may apply for parking permits on a first-come, first-served basis once the Senior quota has been reached, based on the remaining number of spaces. Some special exceptions are made for the following circumstances only: student home residence and eight or more hour drive from campus, “independent” student status (based on FAFSA definition), or in some situations that require personal medical appointments outside of the area as verified by the College Health Service. The Office of Public Safety monitors and administers the Motor Vehicle Policy.
Berea makes it a point to tie social and cultural activities to the academic program. The College sponsors clubs and organizations through which students learn such valuable skills as how to lead, how to manage time and budgets, and how to work collaboratively. In the residence halls, students learn perhaps the most important lesson of all: how to live comfortably with others from a spectrum of the world’s cultures.