Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: I honestly don't have much to complain about. Everything is easy to get to and warm during the Maine winter. Sometimes buildings may have small issues, but our maintenance staff is pretty quick on solving any issues.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore


5 College Sophomore


1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Facilities are pretty good, but nothing extraordinary.

3 College Junior

Campus Quality: Some facilities like the gym need renovation. But most academic buildings are beautiful and nice.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Bates doesn’t have a student center, which is a heated issue amongst many students. There have been mumblings of plans to build one, but nothing is set in stone yet, and it could be some time before construction even begins. There is a newly built dining hall, which houses a convenient store/diner, but the mailroom and the bookstore remain in Chase Hall, where the old dining hall was located. The Den is also still functioning at Chase Hall, but hours have been shortened due to the opening of Milt’s Place in New Commons. There is discontent among the upperclassmen for this, and students have petitioned to have The Den open later on weekends—however, no action has been made to change the current hours of operation. The indoor track has been resurfaced with Mondo, the same surface used in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Some of the weight-lifting machines are rusty and out-of-date, but new free-weight stations and cardio machines have been installed. There are nowhere near enough cardio machines, and people often go to the gym at odd hours to avoid crowds.

The quality of facilities at Bates depends largely on the age of the building. Some of the classrooms have almost space-age technology, with remote controls for lights, projection screens, and even window shades. These classrooms are equipped with the technology to hook up a laptop and project images from it onto a screen. Other classrooms are not so fortunate and look like they haven’t been renovated since they were built decades ago. Some rooms are not big enough for the classes that meet in them—it’s not unheard of for students to have to sit on the floor if they arrive after all the seats have been taken. To be fair, the school is making efforts to improve matters—some of the desks in Pettigrew have been replaced, and there is some new equipment in the Cardio Room in Merrill Gymnasium. In a few years, if the new student center is built and most of the other facilities have been brought up-to-date, Bates will have a really impressive campus. For the time being, however, facilities here are still adequate and sometimes above average, but nothing more.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
109 acres
Student Centers
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Ladd Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Den
  • Milt's Place
  • The Quad
  • The Ronj
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Common Grounds
  • Starbucks in the SUB
  • The Ronj, a student-run coffeehouse on Frye Street.
Movie Theater on Campus
None, but recent films are shown in the Olin Arts Center every weekend for a $1
School Slang
  • The Bates Bubble: The Bates campus and community; refers to the fact that few Bates students are aware of anything outside the bubble.
  • Batesie: Bates student.
  • Bean: Short for L.L. Bean, where many Batesies buy clothes and gear.
  • Beast: Milwaukee's Best, tied with Bud Light for most popular drink on campus.
  • The Bill: Roger Williams Hall.
  • The Cage: The Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building.
  • CBB: Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin; three liberal arts colleges in Maine.
  • Cell Hell: The Short Term course required for all bio majors and pre-med students.
  • JB: John Bertram Hall.
  • ManOps: Bates' all-male a cappella group, the Manic Optimists.
  • Men: Bates all-male a cappella group, the Deansmen.
  • Meris: Bates' all-female a cappella group, the Merimanders.
  • P-gill: Pettengill Hall.
  • Pre-Frosh: Prospective student.
  • The Puddle: Lake Andrews.
  • The Quad: The lawn at the center of campus.
  • The Silo: The Benjamin Mays Center.
  • The Tones: Bates coed a cappella group, the Crosstones
  • Chalking the Quad: Every year, OUTfront, the school's Lesbian Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) club and other students apply sidewalk chalk to the paths on the Quad, writing slogans and drawing pictures that are meant to raise Bates's awareness of issues facing the homosexual community.
  • Climbing Mount David: Mount David is really more of a hill and less than a mountain located behind Rand Hall. Most students never see the summit of Mount David in the daytime, but at night, it is a very popular spot for students who have been indulging in illegal activities. Mount David provides a very nice view of the city, and it usually takes less than 10 minutes to climb.
  • The Daily Jolt : The Daily Jolt is a student-run Web site that provides information and amusement to Batesies. It has a link to the official Web site, as well as event listings, a cross-campus forum, humorous quotes from professors, and horoscopes.
  • The Drag Show: A fairly new tradition on campus is the drag show run by OUTfront and a number of other groups, including Bates's improv comedy group and the Strange Bedfellows. This is immensely popular, playing to a standing-room-only crowd.
  • Harvest Dinner: Before Thanksgiving Break, dining services hosts a big Thanksgiving dinner, also offered to the local community. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin stew and many other foods adorn the tables around ice sculpture masterpieces. As a live folk band plays, raffle-winners are called, winning items like a chocolate fountain. Artificial pine trees scattered through Commons. You can get professional photographs taken with friends in front of fun backdrops. On the way to the Gray Cage for dessert, you can grab kettle corn and select any soda from blueberry to root beer from a soda pop wagon. At the close of your feasting, horse-drawn carriage rides are offered around the quad.
  • Lick-It and Gala: Bates offers a free semi-formal dance in the spring every year with excellent desserts and two live bands. Students generally put a lot of work into looking nice for Gala, and the event is attended by professors as well. The night before Gala is Lick-It, another school dance, but one of a very different sort. The point of Lick-It is to come absurdly drunk wearing as little as possible. Students have been known to arrive at Lick-It wearing nothing but cellophane or a single, strategically placed sock.
  • Newman Day: On the Friday of Winter Carnival, some students partake in Newman Day. Batesies founded the day, which is also celebrated at Princeton. Each year, students try to drink 24 beers in 24 hours. The College has tried to eliminate the event in the past, but students continue it. The Deans allow Newman Day on the condition that students don't disrupt the dining hall or classes. Students are generally respectful of this request. Newman Day is undoubtedly much more fun for the people who don't participate and get to watch their classmates stumble around campus than it is for those who do and generally end up making fools of themselves in very public places. Paul Newman learned of the day held in his honor, and was disgusted. He wrote a letter to the College in 1987 asking that it ban the drinking on Newman Day and instead make the day about sports or raising money for charity. The JAs and RCs honor Newman's request, raising money to donate to charity. They campaigned in 2009 to stop Newman Day to little success. A copy of the letter can be viewed at
  • The Puddle Jump: One of Bates's more interesting traditions is the jump in the Puddle during Winter Carnival. Every year, dozens of zany students take a dip in the water through a hole that is cut in the ice. Some bold souls even do this in their birthday suits. Polar Bear Club, eat your heart out!
  • Senior Pub Crawl: In the spring, seniors form teams, choose silly costumes for their teams (Vikings, Smurfs, and so on), and go on a pub crawl through Lewiston. At the end, everyone comes back to Bates and jumps in the Puddle.
  • Trick or Drink: Trick or Drink takes place on a weeknight before Halloween and is organized by the seniors in off-campus houses. Each off-campus house has a different theme such as "Alice and Wonderland." Students parade through the streets in costume, going off-campus house to off-campus house, each house to sample a wide variety of mixed drinks, from the delicious to the disgusting. Students pay $5 at the first house. Bates security and the Lewiston police have an agreement not to shut the event down until 10 p.m., as long as things don't get too out of hand.
  • Winter Carnival: Bates Winter Carnival brings a bit of cheer to the fierce Maine winters. There is a snow sculpture contest and a number of other competitions. There is sledding, skating, family fun night and inflatables. Many students will jump into the Puddle as well and it is said that you cannot graduate before you jump in.
Urban Legends
  • A car was found in the bottom of the Puddle when they drained it for cleaning. The owner of the car remains unknown. No bodies were found.
  • An underground tunnel runs from Cheney House to Lane Hall.
  • Dr. John Stanton came to Bates in 1863 as a professor of Greek and Latin at Bates. A nature lover, Stanton paid to have horses and carriages bring the freshman class to a picnic at which he would tell them the history of Bates. The tradition, called the Stanton Ride, continued for 100 years. Stanton would also take students on nature walks at Thorncrag to his cabin. After his death in 1918, students still made the walk to the Stanton Lodge. Supposedly, upon their arrival to the empty cabin, the students would discover a feast laid out for them. By whom? Some said it was Stanton spreading joy.
  • There used to be a two-story high bong in the Bill.
Favorite Things To Do
Feast your eyes on some temporary collections in the Bates Museum, which is a member of Maine Art Museum Trail and hosts more than 22,000 visitors a year. Past exhibits have included the Andrew Wyeth exhibit, which was organized by his granddaughter, a Bates student. Bates encourages the display of public art. The College rented "Legacy Mantle (Mao Jacket)" by artist Sui Jianguo in December 2008 for the year. The hollow, metal, 10-foot Mao Jacket, located along the Alumni Walk, has sparked much discussion and debate regarding its place at Bates. There are three main stage plays a year at the Lavinia Mirriam Schaeffer Theater. Students often attend the improvisational comedy of The Strange Bedfellows, as well as many student-directed plays at Black Box Theater and Gannett Theater. Open mic nights are thoroughly enjoyed at the Ronj coffeehouse and the Benjamin E. Mays Center (the Silo). The Village Club Series takes place at the Silo every Thursday night, featuring a variety of musicians such as Ryanhood and Syd. Free chai and cookies are always offered. Outdoor theater and music can be seen and heard at the Keigwin Ampitheater by Lake Andrews in the fall and during short term. Bates hosts two major concerts a year. Past artists have included the Roots, Gogol Bordello, Girl Talk, Trey Anastasio, Gavin Degraw, and Bob Saggett. Academic discussions and guest lectures at Chase Lounge and Pettengill Hall are intellectually stimulating. Get chai at the Ronj, see The Strange Bedfellows' improvisational comedy , go to a cappella concerts (The Crosstones, The Manic Optimists, The Deansmen, The Merimanders), Read The Times or The Bates Student the one day you get up for breakfast, see a Filmboard movie, The Village Club Series, Midnight Breakfast, The Puddle Jump, hike up Mount David.
Student Organizations Web Site
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
Bates has a large number of student groups on campus. The following is a brief list.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: No

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 20 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 10 responses

  • 21% The Puddle Jump
  • 15% Harvest Dinner
  • 15% 80's Dance
  • 10% Newman Day
  • 8% Climbing Mount David
  • 5% Lick-It and Gala
  • 5% Trick or Drink
  • 5% Senior Pub Crawl
  • 5% Winter Carnival
  • 3% Chalking the Quad
  • 3% Library Laser Tag
  • 3% AESOP
  • 3% Academic Challenge
  • 0% The Daily Jolt
  • 0% The Drag Show

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 22% The Den!
  • 17% Walk around the puddle
  • 11% Go to range pond
  • 11% Sushi
  • 11% Olin Arts Center
  • 11% The Ronj
  • 6% Skiing
  • 6% Study in Pettengill Hall
  • 6% Davis Fitness Center

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 12 responses

  • 33% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 33% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 25% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 8% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 23 responses

  • 65% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 30% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 4% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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