Residential Life at Pomona
Pomona takes pride in being a residential college where the line between living and learning is practically non-existent. The quality of what you will learn here outside the classroom, simply from living, working and playing as a member of such a closely knit, energetic and amazingly talented community, cannot be overstated. Pomona offers countless ways to get involved in campus life—to become a part of the many smaller communities that help shape a college experience —and the inclusive, supportive nature of the community makes it easy to join in. You may choose to be part of the Glee Club, to live in a language hall or to become an On the Loose outdoor club guide. There are myriad opportunities to get involved in dance, theatre and music productions, art shows, clubs that appeal to almost every interest, and athletics that range from varsity teams to intramural ping pong tournaments.
As the Princeton Review said recently, “Students at Pomona have got a good thing going, and they know it. In fact, residential life at Pomona is so amazing that some of the administrators ‘even live in the dorms!’ Surrounded by ‘the mountains, the beach,’ and other ‘natural locales’ at Pomona, you can ‘spend time at the beach and go skiing in the mountains on the same day.’”
The publication has also consistently listed Pomona among the nation’s top 10 in the category evocatively titled “Dorms Like Palaces.” Though that phrase may be a bit of an exaggeration, our residence halls must be doing something right. On-campus housing is guaranteed to any student who requests it, and over 97 percent of Pomona students choose to live there. Pomona’s 12 residence halls range in size from about 60 to 300 students, with most housing 120- 150. All are coed, and more than two-thirds of the rooms are singles. Each building has one or more resident advisers—students who live in the hall and serve as administrative liaisons.
First-year students are grouped into small sponsor groups, each mentored by two sophomores, and housed in four residential halls on South Campus. Oldenborg Center is home to 140 students—most in their second year—including those who live in its six language halls. North Campus has housing for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Our residence halls are more than just places to study and sleep. Halls frequently host their own activities through RAs or sponsor groups. In Walker Hall, home to 111 students, you can hear a speaker at a Women’s Union lunch (second floor), file a story at the weekly newspaper, The Student Life (first floor, south side), rent some camping gear from On the Loose (first floor, main lounge) or have your bike repaired by Green Bikes (basement). And if you drop by in the afternoon, you can join a pick-up volleyball game on the sand court in the courtyard (known as Walker Beach). It’s also a place where students gather to play Frisbee, hold barbecues and study (laptops connect to the Internet in many outdoor areas). Even garage bands (nine at last count) have their own basement rehearsal space equipped with a piano and drum kit.
When you come here for a campus tour, your guide will probably show you a Pomona ID and tell you it’s your passport to almost everything on campus—and to a few off-campus destinations. It not only allows access to dorms, libraries, the computer center and academic facilities; it also can be used at Pomona’s three main dining halls, where you’ll find everything from burger bars to vegan specialties, and at those of the other four undergraduate colleges a few minutes’ walk to the north. The “board plus” option can be used at a number of other venues, including the Coop Fountain and the Sagehen Café.
Students quickly learn the specialties of dining halls on all five college campuses, with favorites marked on their calendars. Taco Wednesday at Frank is at the top of a lot of lists, and some students can’t get through the day without a smoothie from Frary. The dining plan also includes a late-evening study break at Frary known as “Snack,” where as many as 400 students gather at 10:30 p.m. to socialize and refuel on such tidbits as quesadillas, cereal and soft pretzels.