First Week Newsletter


Welcome to Macalester! You have successfully survived your first week of college, and we hope you are enjoying your new journey. Over the next six weeks, this newsletter will serve as a resource to you as you adjust to Macalester. 

After reading the First Six Weeks Newsletters, we hope you will know:

  • How to utilize campus resources
  • How to find your way around campus
  • Where to find great places to study
  • How to get involved
  • What other current students found helpful in navigating their first six weeks at Macalester


How will I know where I'm going? In a few weeks, you'll have it down. But for now, here's a campus map.

What if my computer breaks? If your computer isn't operating properly, the ITS Help Desk can diagnose problems and in many cases come up with the solution. Visit the Help Desk at room 314 in the Humanities Building or email at

What if I don't like my class schedule? First talk to your advisor or professor to determine what the issue is. You may then be directed to the Registrar. Consult the Registrar's list of FAQs to see if the answer may already be there before you contact them directly. Also, be aware that the last day to add or drop a class is Friday, September 14th.

What if my roommate and I don't get along? If you are having issues with your roommate, remember that it is still the first week. New relationships often require an adjustment period. However, if you believe there is a serious issue, talk with your RA so they are aware of the situation and can help facilitate conversations between you and your roommate. Also, fill out your Roommate Agreement form sooner than later; working through that process can often help create a more comfortable living environment.

How do I use my student I.D. card? Your student I.D. card has many purposes. You can use it as a...

  • Leonard Center Access Card
  • Campus Dining Card
  • Computer Lab Access Card
  • Library Card (on campus)
  • Debit Card (both on and off campus)

You can also use it to purchase things on campus.

  • Atrium Market
  • Highlander Store
  • Information Desk
  • Laundry
  • Photocopy (Document Services)
  • Textbooks

Or off campus.

  • Jimmy John's
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Italian Pie Shoppe
  • Subway
  • Shish
  • Noodles & Co
  • St. Paul Cheese Shop 
  • O'Gara's 

Money that you put on your student ID to use at campus venues is called Auxiliary Points (Aux Points). Aux Points rollover from year to year. Once Aux Points are added to your student ID, they cannot be removed until you use them or until you permanently leave the college (graduation, withdrawl, etc). Aux Points may not be transferred to your student account or withdrawn as cash. Any Aux Points left on your ID after you graduate will be returned to you via check post-Commencement.

You may also want to stop by the Highlander store off of Grand Ave. and Summit and invest in a new wallet. Or pick up one of those handy gizmos at the Campus Life front desk to attach your student I.D. to your keys. For more information on your student I.D. have a look at the FAQs

What if it gets lost, stolen, or broken? Stop by the Card Services Office located on the second floor of the Campus Center between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday - Friday. The replacement fee is $20 payable at the Information Desk. You can pay with cash, check, or charge to your student account.

What do I do if I brought too much or too little stuff for my residence hall room? Check out Mac Free Swap. It supports a sustainable campus and is a great way to get rid of old stuff or pick up some new treasures. Find it at 1600grand under the campus resources tab.

What do I need to know about the Twin Cities? 

Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with approximately 3.3 million residents.

Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined. Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Minnehaha Falls, and the Mississippi River are great areas to check out. 

The Twin Cities has the second most per capita theatre seats in the US, just behind New York. The Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Orpheum, RIverview, and Ordway are all great theatres to check out a show!  

Some other great places to explore are the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden, the Science Museum, Hmong Market, Mall of America, and Midtown Global Market. But don't just take our word for it. Visit Metro Transit and see for yourself. Subsidized bus passes are available at the Campus Center Information Desk.


"Meet as many people as you can in the first few weeks." - Alison Gerber ('15)

"Being homesick is totally fine. In fact, it's probably a good thing!" - Augusta Funk ('14)

"Remember that you are not alone. Coming to college can be overwhelming, but there are so many people going through it with you. Don't be afraid to reach out, try new things, and talk to new people--you'll be amazed by how awesome your classmates are." - Claire Runquist ('14)

"Say hi to everyone you meet at the beginning of the semester--you'll make a lot of friends that way." - Dinesh Rathakrishnan ('14)


IGCInstitute for Global Citizenship: Which houses the-

Fishbowl- link between Doty and Turck Residence Halls, which is frequently used as a pizza delivery location.

LC- Abbreviation for the Leonard Center, which houses Mac AthleticsHealth and Wellness Center, and the Deno Fitness Center.

LSC- Abbreviation for the Lealtad-Suzuki Center, located on the 1st floor of Kagin Commons

SPO- Abbreviation for the Student Post Office, this is the term commonly used for campus mail.

GRSC- Abbreviation for The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

MAX Center- This center offers free group and individual assistance to anyone in mathematics, biology, chemistry, writing, general learning skills, and time management. Located in Kagin Commons.

CRSL- Abbreviation for the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The Link- The skyway between the library and Old Main, this space is also a 24 hour study space.

D-Key: The key to the Residence Hall outside doors.

ROCK- This often brightly painted object can be spotted partially buried on Old Main Lawn.

ISP- Abbreviation for International Student Program serves the educational and personal needs of Mac's diverse international student body.

DML- Abbreviation for Department of Multicultural Life works to infuse multiculturalism throughout all aspects of college life.

C-House- A residential and programming space dedicated to the promotion of cultural awareness.

AUX points- The "money" you add to your PlaidPass ID, but different from Flex dollars.

CEC- Abbreviation for the Civic Engagement Center located in the Institute for Global Citizenship.



College is a new chapter in your life and throughout your time at Macalester you will have many new experiences, make new friends and gain new perspectives. Why not share some of your experiences or even just write them down for yourself to look back on? Consider starting a blog just for your college experiences. This can be a great way to relieve stress, vent, and serve as a reflection to look back on and see how you have changed while at Macalester.

To help get you started, here are some questions for you to think about:

  • Take a minute, how are you feeling after your first week?
  • What are you most excited for and most nervous about?

SOCIAL MEDIA: Creating a profile for success.

There's no doubt that social media is an integral part of our society, however, portraying yourself in a manner that is professional is important to your success at Macalester and beyond. Here are a few initial tips for your use of social media as a college student:

  • Brand and market yourself. Decide how you want to portray yourself from the get go.
  • Don't post things on Facebook, Twitter, or your Blog that you wouldn't want a future employer to see. These spaces may seem private, but anything on the web is fair game to your future employers.
  • Think before you post - don't get caught up in the moment and post something you may regret. Utilize your friends, roommate, or classmates to complain or vent.
  • Network - utilize social media to meet new people or possibly find a job or internship.
  • Be yourself - being professional is important, but make sure you are portraying your true self in all areas of your life, including social media.


Read below each week to learn about great campus locations and resources.