The residential living experience is designed to foster student growth in interpersonal interaction and communication by developing students' leadership, and problem-solving skills via community engagement.
Undergraduate Residential Experience
Over the course of their time at Caltech, undergraduates are encouraged to explore living in many different residences. Most residences have space for between 90 and 150 students; Bechtel is the largest residence with space to accommodate 211 students. Undergraduate Houses/Residences are as follows: Bechtel Residence; Avery House; North Houses: Lloyd House, Page House, and Ruddock House; and South Houses: Fleming House, Dabney House, Ricketts House, and Blacker House.
Campus residences bring together undergraduates from all years to share a diversity of interests, perspectives, and passions, as well as to build unique experiences and traditions that make each residence a home. The residences are one avenue for students to get engaged on campus; students have opportunities to become a student leader for their residence and to plan and organize special activities, events, and traditions that are specific to each facility and community.
Each community is staffed by one or two Resident Associates and one Residential Life Coordinator, as well as student leaders.
Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs)
There are five Residential Life Coordinators in campus housing, situated in different buildings. An RLC is a specially trained full-time university employee, specializing in college student development, community building, counseling, and crisis intervention. The RLCs supervise the Resident Associates (RAs) on overall student wellness and community programming. The RLCs also assist Housing with the management and daily operation of the houses. They are a fantastic resource, usually just a few steps away.
Resident Associate (RA)
From time to time, you may have a problem or concern that you would like to discuss with someone. You should feel free at such times to contact the Resident Associate who lives in an apartment in your house or residence. The RAs are Caltech graduate students who are available for guidance and consultation and are familiar with the resources on campus. They have been trained to handle day-to-day challenges, as well as emergency situations that may arise.
In addition to the RAs, all houses select Peer Advocates (PAs), who are undergraduates available to discuss personal and academic issues. Health Advocates are also available to serve as liaisons between the students and Student Wellness Services (Health, Counseling and Occupational Therapy). Health Advocates are undergraduates trained to provide CPR, first aid, health education, and peer counseling.
Faculty in Residence (FIR)
Faculty in Residence are full-time faculty members from the Caltech community who live in the residences alongside students. FIRs support the academic mission of the Institute, the welfare of residents, and the goals and objectives of the Office of Residential Experience. The FIR team supports the holistic development and success of all Caltech residents from their first year to their graduate career. Currently at Caltech, we have four faculty members on the team:
- Dr. Antonio Rangel; Head Faculty in Residence; Bing Professor of Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology, and Economics; living in the Bechtel Residence
- Dr. Konstantin Batygin; Professor of Planetary Science; living in Avery House
- Open; Bechtel Residence
- Dr. Nicholas R. Hutzler; Assistant Professor of Physics; living in Avery House
FIRs establish an academic life and culture in the undergraduate living environments at Caltech. FIRs will form strong connections with the residents and become an integral academic and community leader. Faculty in Residence bridge the classroom experience by hosting regular conversations over dinner with students, hosting guest speakers, organizing community tours to events and landmarks of cultural, historical, and social significance in the greater Los Angeles area.
Faculty in Residence carry out their work through three main components: 1) Serving as a model and mentor to residents in undergraduate housing, 2) Initiating and participating in residential experience programming, and 3) Facilitating the involvement of other campus faculty colleagues in residential living.