The Catalina Apartments, or the "Cats", are at the center of Caltech's graduate community and provide housing for up to 450 graduate students.
Caltech is a community dedicated to scientific and engineering exploration and to academic excellence. At the heart of this mission are unwavering commitments to honor, integrity, equity, and diversity, in all areas of work and campus life, which includes the Catalina Apartments.
The apartments are also home to a residential life team, whose purpose is to enhance the living experience of residents in the Cats by providing opportunities for social interactions between residents, programs that support the multifaceted aspects of graduate life, and a voice for Catalina residents in the greater Caltech community.
Graduate Residence Advisory Board
Applications are now open to serve on the board for the 2021 academic year. All members of the Caltech community are welcome to submit questions, comments or concerns to the board through the feedback form.
For information on common resident policies and how they may apply to you, please visit the Catalinas FAQ page. For additional policy information, please refer to your Housing Contract or the Caltech Resident Guide.
Each of the three Catalina Properties (North, Central and South) has a recreation center for residents' enjoyment. Your Caltech ID will provide you access to the buildings. The recreation centers are equipped with outdoor barbecues, patio furniture, foosball and pool tables, large-screen cable TV, DVD/Blu-ray, stereo equipment, kitchenette and fireplace. They also house the Catalina's washers and dryers, all card-operated.
To reserve a Catalina Recreation Room, you must create an account on our reservation system, accessible only to residents through invite. If you need access to the site, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Catalina Recreation Room Policies
- Current residents of the Catalina Apartments may reserve the recreation rooms for campus or residential community events.
- Only 2 of the 3 recreation rooms are available for reservation at any given time. One recreation room must be left open for general use at all times.
- All reservations must be approved. You will be notified via email if your reservation is approved.
- Please submit requests at least 2 business days in advance for approval. Reservations requested 2 months or more in advance will not be approved.
- Events must conclude no later than 10 PM on weekdays and 12 AM on weekends.
- Please respect your neighbors when using these facilities by being mindful of noise level.
- Event Registration: Please check the Event Registration Guidelines or consult with the Catalina Residential Life Coordinator to determine if your event needs to be registered.
- Cleaning: The Recreation Rooms should be cleaned after scheduled events. Large or excessive amounts of trash and recycling must be taken to bins located in the Cats, along S. Catalina Blvd. Failure to clean up after events will lead to disciplinary actions which may include the loss of reservation privileges and/or cleaning fees billed to the resident's Bursar account.
The Catalina Community Garden project began in response to the demand for more space by members of the Avery Community Garden. The Sustainability Office responded by opening up a green space at 391 Wilson Ave. between the parking structures. Included in the development were a small grove of citrus and avocado trees, an area for vines along the wall with grapes started, plots for a community garden, and a gazebo.
However, despite the work put into the development, the plots sat empty for over a year. Finally, in 2013, a group of resident volunteers in the Catalina Apartments applied for and received a grant from the Moore-Hufstedler Fund, providing funding to start the gardening project. The Catalina Community Associates took a leadership role in promoting the project, organizing the plots, and managing the community maintenance of the garden. The funds from the MHF grant were used to purchase plants, seeds, tools, and a garden shed and the barren area was transformed to a green oasis.
The garden plots are all well maintained, the benches are a nice spot to relax, and the gazebo has transformed into a prime location for lunch, dinner, and evening drinks.
Future development projects include planting more vines (perhaps the Strong Ale Club will plant hops), finding some covering for the gazebo (a native or adapted vine would be quite nice), and signs. A mural or sign on the Wilson parking structure is an option, as well as informational signs in the front area, where native and adapted plants are thriving and demonstrating how to make a beautiful landscape without needing extra sources of water.
If you would like to join the garden, please email the Residential Life Coordinator (Isabel Peng) to inquire if a plot is currently available, or to be added to the waitlist.
Garden members must commit to taking care of their plot for at least one term. Members may choose to keep or give up their plot at the end of the term.