Orientation Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Westmont College! We hope this information will answer your questions and help you and your family transition to Westmont.
When is Orientation?
Fall Orientation begins Thursday, August 27th. There will be Fall Orientation events through Sunday, August 30th. Classes begin on Monday, August 31st.
Are there events scheduled for my parents?
Due to COVID-19 and the need to keep everyone safe, Family Orientation will look different this fall. Family members will still receive everything they need to navigate and support their student's success, but the information will be delivered online rather than in person. There will be no Parent Orientation events on campus, other than Student Drop Off and a special self directed Service of Commitment. Parents can find more information on the Parents & Families page.
Is there a limit on the number of people I can bring with me to campus when I move in?
Yes. Due to social distancing concerns, each student is only allowed to bring two people to campus with them on their move-in day.
Why do I need an academic advisor?
Academic advisors can be helpful to you in many ways. They can help you explore your options regarding a major and career choices as they listen and learn about you and your strengths and weaknesses. They are great resources when it comes to knowing college academic policies, general graduation requirements, and scheduling classes. They are great people to talk with - and they must sign your forms before you can register!
Who are the academic advisors?
All full-team faculty members and some student life professionals act as academic advisors.
When do I register?
Incoming students typically register in May. For details on exact registration dates refer to the Registrar's Office website at the following link. The Student Records Office can be reached at 805-565-6060 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if students have any questions or concerns about the registration process.
Can I move onto campus before August 27/28?
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests to move into the residence halls prior to August 27. Click here for a local hotel guide.
What are the move-in times?
To allow for physical distancing, new student move in will be spread out over two days: Thursday, August 27 - Friday, August 28. Each new student will be assigned a specific move in day and time. These assignments will be communicated as soon as housing assignments are confirmed in mid-July. Please plan to arrive on campus at your move-in time and not before as parking & traffic flow critically depend on the steady stream of vehicles designed by the move-in schedule.
As you pack, please label all move-in boxes and items with your name and room # to expedite move-in.
Once you have moved in you will visit the Orientation Welcome Table on Kerrwood Lawn.
Please consider bringing a reusable water bottle with you for move-in day. Due to COVID-19, we will not be providing beverages, but there are touch-free water bottle filling stations at the dorms.
When do I move-in if I am going on a Pre-Orientation Adventure Trip? CANCELLED for Summer 2020
Pre-Orientation Adventure Trips are cancelled for Summer 2020. If you are going on the Backpacking or the Multi-Sport Adventure , plan to arrive at Westmont no later than Tuesday, August 13th at 9am. You will be able to store all your move-in boxes and gear in a residence hall until your return. All 3 trips will arrive back at Westmont on Tuesday, August 20th at which point you will move into your residence hall. Unfortunately, we cannot provide accommodations for storage or housing prior to the departure date of your Adventure Trip. Go to the Pre-Orientation Adventure Trips page for more information.
If I come early for sports, when do I move all my things into my room?
You will transition from your temporary housing to your permanent room assignment about two weeks before Orientation. If you choose to bring all your things when you arrive to start practice, you will need to keep them in your temporary room. If you have any other questions, please contact your coach.
Can I bring a U-Haul?
We strongly suggest you not bring enough "stuff" for your room that fills a U-Haul trailer. Also, the Westmont campus has limited parking so we ask you to park in marked spaces only.
Where do I go first when I arrive for Fall Orientation?
New students moving into Clark, Emerson and Page will enter through the main Westmont entrance on La Paz Road (2nd entrance). New students moving into Armington, VK or the GLC can enter into the entrance on the left on Cold Spring Road (1st entrance). Follow the signs to the residence hall in which you'll be living. You will park and unload all of your belongings in your dorm room. After your belongings are unloaded, please move your car down to the lower campus parking lots so we can have room for others to unload.
Are there events for my parents at Orientation?
Yes, there are scheduled events for your parents but most will be held virtually prior to Orientation. They can learn more by visiting the Parents & Families page.
Can my parents/family members register me for classes?
No, your parents/family members cannot register you for your classes. Class registration is one of many decisions we encourage students to make.
When do I find out who my roommate(s) is(are)?
For First-Year students, after creating your email password, check the student profile page in mid-July. Afterwards, go to "Personal Information," and then select "Private" for roommate information. Your roommates' home phone numbers will be listed, so take the time to call and get to know each other. On occasion, new students are assigned to a different room after the original housing assignment has been made and posted on the profile. When that occurs, the Housing Office will try to communicate the housing changes by email or phone call.
For Transfers students, please follow the same procedure as First-Year students. Be advised, though, that there are many variables involved with securing housing for transfers; so if you don't see your assignment in mid-July it should be up there soon! Thanks for bearing with us.
If you have further questions, please visit the Housing website or contact email@example.com.
For Consortium students and Re-applicants, please call the Housing Office at (805) 565-6036.
What are the general dimensions of my room in Clark or Emerson or Page? What furniture is my room provided with?
For details and pictures of what a typical residence hall room looks like please click here!
What size mattresses are in the residence hall rooms?
All on-campus mattresses are extra-long twins (80" x 36")
What are the Dining Commons hours?
Visit the Sodexo website for up to date Dining Commons hours.
Do I have to be on the campus meal plan?
Yes, all on-campus students must be on a meal plan with the exception of Global Leadership Center residents. First-year students must be on the standard meal plan for the first semester and then may switch to either the 15-meal plan or the 10-meal plan for the second semester if they wish by contacting the Housing Office. Please visit the Housing page for more information on meal plans.
Where do I send things before school starts?
You will be assigned your MS# (mail stop number) over the summer. You may find out your MS# after August 7th by consulting the student profile page. All of your mail must have this number on it, or it will be delayed. Please make sure you give this MS# to banks, doctors, parents, friends, magazines, etc., as soon as possible. If you need to mail something before Orientation, please send it addressed as follows:
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
If you need to send boxes, please wait to send them until two weeks prior to coming to campus, as we have limited storage space. The on-campus Mail Center will be open during Fall Orientation for you to pick up your boxes. Please refer to the Mail Center website for more information.
How will I do my laundry?
Every residence hall has washers and dryers for students to do their laundry. Purchase a laundry card from the College Store on campus and add value to your card online. For pricing, add-value instructions, and more information, visit the Auxiliary Services Laundry website.
Where do I park when I arrive?
Follow the signs to the residence hall in which you'll be living. After your belongings are unloaded, please move your car down to the lower campus parking lots so we can have room for more people to unload their belongings.
Are first-year students allowed to have vehicles on campus?
Due to our Conditional Use Permit with Santa Barbara County, First Year students are not able to obtain a permit to operate their vehicles on campus (including motorcycles or scooters).
For more detailed information, see the Student Parking page.
How can I get around Santa Barbara without a vehicle?
Westmont offers a shuttle that stops throughout Santa Barbara on a regular schedule. Also, Westmont has The955 service extending from Santa Barbara airport to Montecito. Westmont also has one ZipCar on campus that any student may rent by the hour or by the day.
What is an RA?
RA stands for Resident Assistant. RAs are current students that live in the same section and residence hall as you, and they are there to help you throughout the residential learning experience. Your RA will plan events, facilitate community, and help you with any questions you have.
What is an RD?
RD stands for Resident Director. RDs are professional staff members in the Division of Student Life, and they live in the residence halls and are responsible for student development in the residential setting. They also provide leadership for residence hall programming as well as acting as a resource for personal issues students may encounter during the year.
How do I get a Westmont email account?
For admitted students, email accounts should already be created and password set. If you have not done so already, you can go here to find out your email address and create a password.
What network access is available from the residence halls?
Westmont provides a high-speed network connection that allows users in-room network and internet access 24-hours a day. Wireless internet can be accessed anywhere on the Westmont campus.
PC or Mac?
Westmont is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. This decision is a personal preference. BUT the library has several public computers (both Mac and PC), so you may not need a personal computer at all.
For more information go about setting up your user accounts, check out the Information Technology page.
How often is Chapel?
Chapel is held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 am to 11:20 am in Murchison Gym.
What happens if I can't make it to all chapels?
Each student is allowed 12 absences from Chapel per semester. To read more information on Chapel, go to the Campus Pastor's page.
How do I download the Chapel Attendance App?
Our Chapel Attendance System is based on scanning each student's personal QR code that is generated from the Westmont App on their phone. (If you do not have a phone with the app on it, or your phone is broken, check in to Chapel with Samantha Joyner with your Student ID).
For iPhones, download the Westmont College app in the Apple App Store. Once downloaded, you will want to navigate to "Chapel Checkin." To do this, from the home screen on the bottom right corner, press "more" > "student" > "Chapel Checkin" > sign in with your Westmont email credentials. A QR code will be generated on your screen.
For Andriods, download the "Westmont Concierge" App in the Google Play store and sign in with your Westmont email credentials.
For more details on the Chapel Check in system, please visit the Campus Pastor's webpage.
What are other resources on campus?
How can I get to church?
Some churches have shuttles that pick up students. That list is available here. You can also get in contact with the Spiritual Formation Coordinator (SFC) in your residence hall to see a list of local churches that offer transportation.
Are there separate Orientation events for transfer students?
Yes, both at Orientation and throughout the year, programs are planned specifically for Transfer students. On the Westmont Community Guide App select the track for transfer students.
If I have a specific question about credit transfer, who do I contact?
The staff in the Student Records office will help you with any transfer credit inquiry you may have. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I determine my class standing?
I am considered a...
- first year if I have 0-25 units
- second year if I have 26-58 units
- third year if I have 59-91 units
- fourth year if I have above 92 units
A minimum of 124 semester units must be completed in order to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. More information on page 25 of the Course Catalog
Are transfers allowed to have vehicles on campus?
Eligibility for parking permit privileges is primarily based on class standing. If you have junior or senior class standing, you are eligible for a parking permit. If you have sophomore class standing, you may request a sophomore permit. Be advised, though, that Sophomore permits are very limited; so if you get a Sophomore permit, you are very lucky! For more information on parking permit eligibility, please click here.
How can I order my books?
Students are encouraged to place orders online at www.westmont.edu/bookstore/ beginning August 6th. Textbook orders placed by 11:00 pm on August 23rd will be available for pick-up at the Westmont Mail Center beginning August 28th. Late textbook orders (after August 23rd) can still be reserved online on the bookstore website and will be processed as soon as possible. Order online before August 23rd to ensure you have your books when classes begin!
The bookstore website offers the correct course materials with a variety of purchase, rental and e-book options. The website also offers comparison shopping for convenience. Your bookstore purchase helps to support the academic mission of Westmont College. Thank you for your support!
Where do I pick up my books?
There are no textbook pickups at the Bookstore. All textbooks are delivered to student mailboxes at the Campus Mail Center during business hours. The Westmont Post Office offers extended hours as well as Saturday hours the first few weeks of class for your convenience. Please refer to the Campus Mail Center's website for extended hours.
When do I pick up my books?
Textbook reservations may be picked up beginning Saturday, August 29th at the Mail Center.
What to bring to Westmont
- Please also bring at least 2-3 cloth face masks. More likely than not, you will be required to wear cloth face masks while you are out of your dorm room.
- Optional: Bicycle with Kryptonite or similar lock, Sports Equipment (Frisbee, tennis racket, racquetball rackets, spike ball set, etc.), Radio/Stereo System, Small Refrigerator (up to five cubic feet, and there is $30 fee for use), Florescent torchiere floor lamp, Coffee Pot or Electric Kettle, TV/DVD/Game System, Sleeping Bags or Hiking Gear, Beach Chair, Acoustic Guitar/Hand Drums/Keyboard, Small Portable Evaporative Cooler (Non-Window Venting)
What NOT to bring: Hot plate, Microwave (provided in Residence Hall Kitchens), Toaster/toaster oven, Halogen torchiere floor lamp, Regular extension cords, Candles/oil lamps, Incense, Drum Set, Chairs, Desks, or Beds (rooms are furnished, and there is often no space to store excess furnishings), Air conditioner, Duct tape to use for Decorations (will cause damage to walls)