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Living on campus

Heading to college means a new level of independence, new people to meet, and a new place to live. As a first-year student, some of your best Macalester memories will undoubtedly start right here, living on campus.

Incoming Students and Residential Life

Enrolled students will receive housing forms in the summer prior to their start at Macalester. Based on your preferences, Residential Life will do their best to assign you a room and roommate or possibly roommates (for triple and quad rooms). Our housing model will be gender-inclusive, which gives students the option to live with other students regardless of sex, gender, and/or gender identity, and have access to gender-inclusive bathrooms. There will be some floors and spaces that will have gender-specific spaces and bathrooms. All students will be able to select the housing arrangements that best fit their needs and live in a safe and comfortable living environment. Want to see our residence hall rooms? Find 360 views of rooms here.

Food on campus

Your meal plan is your ticket to Café Mac and other options throughout campus. With a commitment to variety, wellness, and sustainability, you’ll find options that suit your taste!

Macalester student describing Cafe Mac Open Modal

Meet Luciana

Luciana ’24 doesn’t worry about finding options at Café Mac; from vegan meals, healthy options, or a little something to treat herself.

Macalester Chef describes the food Open Modal

Meet Chef Josh

With a variety of dishes that are classics or completely new flavors, Chef Josh has the job of tasting them all!

Macalester student describes the food Open Modal

Meet Charlie

Charlie ’24 knows every table is a good table! Meeting other students and starting a conversation is easy at Café Mac.

New Adventures

Roommates at Mac

Current students share some real talk about roommates. They’ll tell you that experiences are all different, there’s support in this community, and friendships and memories are part of the journey.

Excited to move to Mac?

Start planning with this packing list.

Macalester students finishing studies Open Modal
Day in the Life

Join students in the residence halls

These students captured a day in their life, and that means you’re invited to step into their room, meet their roommates, and hang out.

Day in the Life

Join students in the residence halls

These students captured a day in their life, and that means you’re invited to step into their room, meet their roommates, and hang out.

FAQs: Living on Campus

  • Is it safe?

    We are a very safe campus in a safe neighborhood of a safe city, and this should not be underestimated. Students feel comfortable walking around by themselves, but the college does have security measures in place to ensure that students continue to feel comfortable on their campus.

    • Department of Public Safety The Department of Public Safety is staffed by full- and part-time Macalester College public safety officers 24 hours a day. The public safety dispatch center and office is located near the main entrance of the Campus Center.
    • Campus Phones On every campus building there is a phone with a blue light on top (not the same thing as the traditional “blue light system”). These phones can be used to dial Public Safety, 911, or campus extensions.
    • SAFEWalk Safety escorts are available 24 hours a day through the Department of Public Safety. Officers will escort community members to predetermined locations within a two mile radius of campus.
    • Macalester Alert Macalester uses an emergency notification system to send text messages and emails in the event of an emergency where individuals need to take action or be aware of a developing situation affecting personal safety.
    • Building Security Residence Halls are locked 24 hours a day and are accessible to students residing in the hall using their MacPass ID card. The MacPass can also be used to access 24 hour study spaces, and academic and administrative buildings during standard hours of operation.

  • What can I do on campus when I’m not in class?

    • There are many activities, meetings, speakers, workshops, and events at practically every time of day. Different academic and non-academic departments organize speakers and workshops, all of which are free for students. Our Program Board often organizes movie screenings (horror films around Halloween, Oscar nominees, etc.) in addition to off-campus opportunities such as ice skating, apple picking, Winter Ball, subsidized event tickets, etc. Student organizations usually sponsor Kagin Dances and concerts, and Program Board also occasionally offers Mac at Nite activities on weekends. In short: There’s usually something happening on campus, and it rarely feels quiet!

  • What about Student Orgs?

    Macalester currently has over 100 student organizations! Student orgs are run based on student initiative and interest, resulting in a large variety. Macalester offers student orgs that are religious, recreational, political, cultural, and everything in between. If you’re interested in something, you should be able to find other students who are interested in it as well!

  • What if the org I’m interested in doesn’t exist?

    If we don’t offer an organization based around a particular interest, you are able to start your own organization and have them chartered by MCSG.

  • How can I find these orgs?

    Every fall and spring semester, a Student Org Fair on campus features all student orgs and activities, and allows students to sign up for them as well as gain a sense of what activities and clubs Macalester has to offer! You can also find current organizations and contacts here

  • Who do I contact about housing if I have questions?

    Residential Life


    [email protected]