Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

Policies and Procedures

Policies related to residence halls and residential living are included in the Student Handbook.

Student Conduct

Each student is responsible for their conduct. Conduct which is harmful to or infringes on the rights of others, which disturbs the orderly functioning of the college, undermines the standards of the college, or which is in violation of college policies and regulations is not acceptable. Students should be aware of state and local laws. Students who violate state and local laws may be subject to college disciplinary actions.

Also, the college reserves the right to discipline students for behavior occurring off campus if the
behavior violates college policies, interferes with the relationship of the college to others or harms the reputation of the college.

Students should be aware that, as students, their presence on or off the college campus does not excuse them from the responsibility to abide by the laws or campus policies. These policies not only apply on campus and off‐campus but also online, including venues such as email, blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook™.

Meal Plan Exemption

A full meal plan is obligatory for each student who lives in college housing unless the space is designated otherwise. Only exemption requests for medically prescribed diets that cannot be accommodated in Café Mac will be considered. Academic class or employment schedules, finances or vegetarian/vegan/organic diets are not viable reasons for exemption to the meal plan. Food service personnel are amenable to discussing special provisions or substitutions to meet dietary requirements, scheduling conflicts or other individual needs. Therefore, before pursuing an exemption, it is expected that you will have identified why this is an issue, and discussed the possibility of special provisions with Café Mac personnel, before completing the form below.

Should you still wish to pursue a meal plan exemption, you can fill out the Meal Plan Exemption Request Form. The Housing and Dining Exemption Committee (made up of staff from various departments on campus) will review the petition to determine if your meal plan requirement with the college will be waived due to exceptional need, hardship, or extenuating circumstances. Requests are reviewed as they are submitted on a case by case basis until the following deadlines:

Deadline for Fall, 2024: August 1, 2024

Deadline for Spring, 2025: December 1, 2024

If your request is approved, Card Services will end your meal plan access, and your student account will be charged the per day rate for each day you were on the meal plan during the semester you requested to cancel your meal plan plus an additional week. You will be notified in writing of the outcome.

Housing Contract Exemption

Campus living is an integral part of the total educational experience at Macalester. Residential living provides students with a safe, convenient place to live and learn with a nutritious, reasonably priced meal program. By living on campus, students develop interpersonal skills and intercultural understanding in an atmosphere of mutual support for academic, cultural, and intellectual pursuits. Because of the educational importance of the residence life experience, Macalester College requires all first and second-year students to live on campus. A previous boarding school experience, such as the United World College, will not be considered an exception to the two-year (four consecutive semesters) residency requirement.

  • The two-year housing requirement will be waived for students who are: married and living with their spouse, a custodial parent, or at least 22 years old when accepted to Macalester. Students in these circumstances should apply for release from the housing requirement stating which exception applies to them.
  • Upperclass students who select housing and sign room and board contracts for the following academic year will not be released from housing unless they take a leave of absence or study abroad for the fall semester. Contracts will terminate at the end of the fall semester for students accepted to spring study abroad programs.
  • A student cannot transfer a housing contract to another student. At times when Residential Life has a housing waitlist for upperclass students, consideration of the petition will include whether or not a student from the housing waitlist can fill the space. If you are released from your housing contract, your vacancy will be filled by Residential Life, therefore, you should notify your roommates(s) of your intentions.
  • Release from housing contract does not mean a release from the meal plan. Exemption from the meal plan is a separate process.

Should you still wish to pursue a meal plan exemption, you can fill out the Meal Plan Exemption Request Form. The Housing and Dining Exemption Committee will review requests as they are received.

Request for a Contract Cancellation

If you are a student who lives on campus and wishes to cancel their contract, you may request that the College release you from this agreement without further financial responsibility. The College may approve or decline any such requests in its sole discretion, but generally will not approve a request unless: 

A. You withdraw from the College; 

B. You are dismissed from the College for academic reasons; 

C. You graduate from the College; 

D. You are participating in a study abroad program or a studying out of state; 

E. You get married; 

F. You are called to active military duty 

G. You take a Leave of Absence and have supporting documentation to prove an inability to pay the difference of room and board due to financial reasons.

To request a release from this agreement, you must submit an online Request for Release of Housing and Dining Contract form and documentation of the reason for the request, such as documentation from the registrar or a marriage license. A committee of staff at Macalester across different departments will consider your request and provide you with a release of contract, if approved. If approved, the college will refund a student according to the college’s refund policy. The committee is represented of people from Business Services, Center for Disability Resources, Financial Aid, Hamre Center for Health and Wellness, International Student Programs, and Residential Life.

Residential Access

Residential students will have access to all residential buildings between 8am-10pm. Outside of those hours, access to any residential hall is limited to the residents of that building and the staff who oversee its operation.

The Sounds of Blackness lounge is available for AFRIKA and BLAC upon request.