Residence Life

Tomson 148

The residence life program is an integral part of the educational program and academic support services of the college. In the conviction that significant learning takes place outside of the classroom, the college strives to educate students through positive, challenging, and supportive residence life experiences. The residence life staff is committed to promoting a healthy living/learning environment in which this education takes place through an emphasis on providing educational, cultural, recreational, social, and spiritual opportunities for growth; a commitment to the development of sensitive and responsible individuals; and the enrichment of lifelong friendships.

One of the major roles of the residence life staff is to help foster the development of community within the residence halls and across campus. The residence life staff seeks to promote a feeling of cooperation and understanding, enhance open communication, and provide structured and unstructured opportunities for group interaction. The residence life staff is also responsible for helping to develop an awareness and sensitivity to expectations and standards around which communities are formed and to educate through positive confrontational dialogue.

It is through the combined efforts of the entire residence life staff that the out-of-class experiences of St. Olaf students are brought into partnership with the academic area in the education of the whole person.  The Residence Life Office is located in Tomson 148.  Questions may be directed to

Community Standards

As a residential community, St. Olaf has established a set of standards and policies that defines the rules by which we live. St. Olaf students have advisory roles to develop and implement these policies and procedures and hold staff positions where they explain and enforce community standards. St. Olaf College supports open dialogue concerning these policies and standards and how they affect the life of the campus. Students wishing to be involved in this effort are encouraged to become active in their residence hall, student government, or student organizations.

General Policies

The following are general guidelines for community life at St. Olaf. For complete delineation of the policies related to housing and residence life, please refer to The Book, a valuable resource that contains the college’s Code of Student Conduct and Official Handbook, or contact the Dean of Students Office.

  • As a residential college, St. Olaf requires that all full-time students reside in college-owned housing, as far as accommodations permit. These housing commitments are binding for the entire academic year, unless a student is released from housing by the Residence Life Office. Exceptions are granted to students who are married, are a custodial parent, are living at home in Northfield, or are 23 years of age or older by the first day of fall semester of the current academic year. For further information concerning off-campus options, please contact the Residence Life Office.
  • All first-year students live in designated first-year halls. A long-standing tradition and integral part of the St. Olaf community, small “corridors” of students are assigned to live together and develop living/learning skills in a small-group setting.
  • The possession, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the St. Olaf campus, on land owned by the college, and in college-owned honor houses. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at all college-sponsored functions, no matter where located, that include students.
  • St. Olaf prohibits the unlawful possession, distribution, or use of illicit drugs and/or controlled substances on any property owned by the college or in any program or activity sponsored by the college in any location.
  • Students wishing to keep cars on campus must receive a permit from the Parking Office. Because parking spaces on campus are very limited, a priority system is in place to ensure fair distribution of permits.
  • All residences are smoke free.  Campus is smoke and tobacco free.
  • All residence hall and honor house policies and procedures may be found here.

Student Residence Halls

  • Ellingson Hall (1961): Houses 174 first-year students.
  • Hilleboe Hall (1951): Houses 125 upperclass students; adjoins Kittelsby Hall.
  • Hoyme Hall (1961): Houses 200 first-year students.
  • Kildahl Hall (1957): Houses 156 first-year students.
  • Kittelsby Hall (1957): Houses 154 first-year students.
  • Larson Hall (1964): One of two high-rise residence halls; houses 300 upperclass students.
  • Mellby Hall (1938): Houses 190 upperclass students.
  • Mohn Hall (1964): The second high-rise residence hall; houses 300 first- and second-year students.
  • Rand Hall (1980): Provides several rooming options, including suites and quads, for 245 upperclass students.
  • Thorson Hall (1948): Houses 240 upperclass students.
  • Ytterboe Hall (1989): Houses 400 upperclass students in rooms with adjoining lounges.

For more information on each of the residence halls, including pictures of the buildings and sample rooms.  See

Honor Houses

In addition to its traditional residence halls, St. Olaf has 10 located primarily along St. Olaf Avenue just east of the campus, the honor houses are home to 80 upperclass students. Each house features a kitchen, living area, and laundry facilities. Residents of the service houses participate in service projects associated with volunteer organizations in the Northfield and St. Olaf communities.


The opportunities of a residential college include the social experience of coming together for meals. The college views meals as an important part of each person’s day, not only for nutrition, but also for personal growth through interaction with others.

All students living on campus in the residence halls must have a full board plan. They may choose from the following plan options:

21 meals per week with $0 "flex dollars" per year

17 meals per week with $330 "flex dollars" per year

14 meals per week with $470 "flex dollars" per year

Students living in an honor house, who are off campus, or who are student teaching or completing clinicals through the Nursing Department are allowed to select a partial board option if so desired. The partial plan includes the 210 Meal Plan: 90 meals per semester plus 30 meals during Interim, plus $390 flex dollars per year. Meals are not restricted by the week.

Only students who live off campus in non-St. Olaf housing are automatically allowed to select the "No Board" option. Students who have documented medical conditions that require food modification should contact the Director of Residence Life to discuss meal plan options, including the "No Board" plan option.  Board plans may not be altered for a term after the 10th day of class.

Note that each week begins with Friday breakfast and ends with Thursday dinner. There is no refund or carry over of unused meals or “flex dollars.”