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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

August 2017

Cerri Banks

A Message from Cerri Banks
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs

Welcome and congratulations!

My name is Cerri Banks and I am the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs at Skidmore. I hope that you are as excited as I am to be a part of the Skidmore community. I also hope that you are proud of all that you have accomplished to get to this moment.

Everyone on campus is eagerly awaiting and preparing for your arrival. The staff in Facilities is making sure that the campus is beautiful and that the buildings are clean and safe. The faculty and staff in Academic Affairs are finalizing their syllabi and schedules for an exciting fall semester. In Student Affairs, we are working to make sure that you are able to enter the community and thrive.

When you arrive on campus for Orientation, you will begin to get to know the campus and the Skidmore community. Since joining the Skidmore last year, I have accrued a list of the things that make the community so great:

  • A beautiful campus setting
  • A commitment to sustaining a diverse community and learning across differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religious and spiritual practice, and global perspectives
  • A friendly, helpful, talented, and supportive faculty and staff who are experts in their areas of knowledge
  • A fierce commitment to student learning and thriving at the highest levels of excellence both inside and outside of the classroom
  • I am eager to see what will be on your list after your first few weeks at Skidmore.

Creative Thought really does matter at Skidmore College and you will find that you can pursue almost any interest you may have. Skidmore is fully committed to the liberal arts and we believe that your education here will prepare you in important ways for any path you choose to take.

Take advantage of all that is here. The Student Government Association oversees approximately 100 clubs and organizations; students participate in research projects with faculty; student performances are plentiful throughout the academic year; visiting artists and lecturers are regular features on our weekly calendar; and our athletic teams are competing hard to represent the college well in intercollegiate athletics.

Take a chance. Learn to play a new instrument, write for the school paper, travel abroad, become a mentor, try a new sport, visit your professors during office hours, secure an internship, and spend time with people who are different from you. Ask lots of questions and reach out for support early if you find yourself facing challenges. Doing so is an excellent way to make your college experience both fun and successful.

Best of luck as you continue to prepare to embark on this exciting journey. I cannot wait to meet you.

Cerri Banks
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs

Checklist of Upcoming Deadlines

August Checklist

Activity Due Date
Submit ID picture July 1—August 21
Write RAP July 1—August 30
Complete online alcohol education class
(instructions will be mailed to your SKIDMORE email account)
August 1—31
Register for Skidmore Urgent Notification System (SUNS) Ongoing
Create email account Ongoing, upon receipt of letter from IT

Past Deadlines

If you have missed any of these deadlines, please contact the appropriate office as soon as possible.

Activity Due Date
Residential Life Housing Questionnaire Contact Residential Life
Registration Contact the Registrar
Mail in Health Forms Contact Health Services

For a complete list of dates and deadlines, visit the Dates and Deadlines page on the FYE website.

London First-Year and Opportunity Program students should use the dates and deadlines for your programs:

Orientation Information


Campus MapMaps and Directions

Do you need to know where to park? Where to pick up your student ID? Where Orientation activities are? All the important locations are available on our interactive campus map. This interactive map will help you find your residence hall, drop off zone, long term parking, and more.

Need directions to campus? You'll find those on our website.

Orientation Schedules

Please be sure to visit the New Student Orientation Web page for the most up-to-date schedules for your first days at Skidmore. And check out our interactive map, which will help you find your residence hall, drop off zone, long-term parking, and more! 

London Orientation
We welcome the first members of the Class of 2021 to campus on August 21. Please report to Howe-Rounds Residence Hall when you arrive. Your packing list can be found in your Pre-Departure Handbook.

Move-In Information at a Glance  (Campus)

Move-in Procedures

Whether you are arriving on Thursday, August 31 for Pre-Orientation or Sunday, September 3 for New Student Orientation, please follow these instructions for moving into your residence hall. More than 1,000 cars will be on campus for each orientation program, so we want to be sure that all families have time to unload belongings, get settled, and enjoy orientation activities. Please know that volunteers will be on hand each move-in day to assist families with this process.

  • Report to your assigned residence hall.
  • Pick up your Skidmore ID at the ID station located at each residence hall move-in point. You must have a government-issued ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.) to pick up your Skidmore ID.
      • NOTE: If you were unable to submit a photo online, please report to the Card Office in Starbuck 101 prior to reporting to your residence hall.
  • Unload belongings at a designated drop off zone (volunteers will be on hand if you need assistance).
  • Move vehicle to long term parking.
  • Bring belongings to room/get settled.
  • Join Orientation activities.

Move-in Days

Pre-Orientation, Thursday, August 31
Those who signed up for the optional pre-orientation programs will have staggered arrival times in order to facilitate the move-in process. Please stick to the following schedule.

Off-campus pre-orientation programs (SCOOP)

  • Residence halls open at 8:30 a.m. (move in between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.
  • Report to Porter Plaza by 12:45 p.m.
  • Buses will leave promptly at 1:15 p.m. and return on Sunday
  • Family Orientation begins promptly at 1:30 p.m. in the Arthur Zankel Music Center

On-campus pre-orientation programs 

  • Residence halls open at 10:00 a.m. (move in between 10 a.m. and noon)
  • Report to Case Center at 1:00 p.m.
  • Orientation programs begin at 1:15 p.m.
  • Family Orientation begins promptly at 1:30 p.m. in the Arthur Zankel Music Center

A complimentary lunch will be available in the Dining Hall from 11:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

New Student Orientation, Sunday, September 3 
Residence halls open for all incoming new students at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 3. Students may move in between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Programming begins at 1:30 p.m. 

A complimentary lunch will be available in the Dining Hall from 11:00 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Important to Note

  • Student athletes and volunteers will be on hand to assist families during this process.
  • Belongings should be unloaded at designated Drop Zones (these will be marked). Once items are unloaded, your vehicle must be moved to one of several designated parking areas on campus.
  • Skidmore ID stations will be at each residence hall move-in point for students who submitted photos. Students who did not submit photos should go to the Card Office in Starbuck 101 before reporting to their residence hall.
Athletes are on-hand to help during move-in 
Volunteers are on-hand to assist with move-in.
Pictured are a group of sports team members who assist incoming students.

Packing Lists

Wondering what to bring to Skidmore? Please review the Residential Life Packing List for what to bring and what to leave at home. 

Post Office Reminders

Mailbox informationYour student mailbox assignment will be available the week of August 7. To obtain your assignment and mailbox combination, please visit the Post Office website and click on student mailbox information. You will be asked to log in with your username and password.

Incoming mail and/or packages should be addressed:

John/Jane Doe—Class of 2021
Mailbox #____________
Skidmore College
815 N Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Important: Do not use "PO Box" as the local post office will send your mail elsewhere in town, which will delay your items. Be sure to have mail addressed to your "Mailbox."

Field Trips: Important Information If You Are Under 18

If your Scribner Seminar has scheduled a field trip* and you will not be 18 years old by the date of the trip, Skidmore requires a parent or guardian to give permission for you to attend. Parents and guardians should email permission messages to the FYE Office.

Sample e-mail

Dear FYE,

This email grants permission for [student’s full name] to attend field trips on [dates] for his or her Scribner Seminar [name of seminar] and permission to attend the following trip/s [date/s]. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at [phone and/or email].


* Students under age 18 should inquire of their faculty members whether or not a field trip is planned.

Your Skidmore ID 

A sample Skidmore IDYour ID is essential for your first day at Skidmore. It is not just for the dining hall and library; your ID is also the key to your residence hall, your room, and a declining balance card. Prior to arriving on campus, we ask you to upload a photo for your ID. Once approved, your photo will be processed, and your ID will be available at your residence hall when you check in on your first day of Orientation. However, students who do not submit appropriate photos (or never submit photos) will face unnecessary delays when they arrive on campus.

Please use the guidelines below when submitting your photo. Photos that do not follow these guidelines or are deemed inappropriate will not be processed.  

Between July 1 and August 21, incoming students should upload a photo for their student IDs.

Photo Submission Guidelines

  • This picture is for identification purposes
  • The picture must be in color
  • The picture must be less than 500 KB in size
  • The picture must be a minimum of 300 x 300 pixels
  • The picture must be a file type of .jpg, .jpeg, .gif., or .png.
  • Please use plain light color or blank background
  • No hats, sunglasses, jewelry, or garments that obstruct the view of your face
  • Eyeglasses should be worn if normally used by students
  • Eyes should be open and looking at camera
  • There should be a small space between your head and the top of the image
  • Head should be positioned directly facing the camera, not leaning on anything

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Card Office at 518-580-5854.

Think About It
Required Wellness Education Course for Incoming First-Year Students

We know you're excited about coming to Skidmore and we are thrilled to welcome you to our community. Skidmore College is deeply committed to the health, wellbeing, and happiness of its community members. In an effort to prepare you for the unique challenges and responsibilities of college life, we require that every new incoming Skidmore student take the Think About It course offered through our partnership with CampusClarity.

We believe you'll enjoy the assignment. It is an innovative, engaging, and informative online course, created with students for students. In the course, you will examine the interconnected issues of hooking up, substance abuse, sexual violence, and healthy relationships through a variety of interactive, realistic scenarios and guided self-reflection exercises. The course promotes a healthier and safer campus environment for everyone.

  • The course will become available to you on August 1, 2017. The deadline for completing the course is August 31, 2017. Failure to complete the course may result in a hold on your Skidmore account and a fine.

    The instructions and the link for accessing the course will be sent to your Skidmore email address. Once you click the "Start Training" button, you will be taken to the login page. Please enter your Skidmore email address to log in.

Think About It takes about two to two-and-a-half hours to complete. You can work at your own pace from any computer.  You can leave and return to the course at any time. When you return, the course will open to the page where you left off.

If you have questions about accessing the course, please contact Kimberly Golemboski at 518-580-5484.

Please note: We will also be assigning a second and third course throughout your first year at Skidmore. Additional information and instructions for these courses will be sent to your Skidmore email account once the semester begins.

Connect by Communication
Connect through Respect
Connect through Conversation
by Ann Marie Przywara, Associate Dean of Residential Life and Student Conduct

Whether you were assigned one roommate or two, it is important that you make time to contact your roommates before you arrive on campus. These first conversations are a simple way to begin to develop your relationship.

Room mates at move-in

Consider asking questions such as:

  • Where are you from? What is your home like?  
  • How did you choose Skidmore College?  
  • What academic major are you considering?  
  • What do you hope to get out of college?
  • What clubs and organizations would you like to join?  
  • What are some of your hobbies and interests?  
  • Have you ever lived with another person?  
  • What kind of music do you like?
  • Are you a morning or a night person?

When you contact your roommate(s), also consider having a conversation about the space in the room, the items you will bring, and what you are willing to share. Of course, you should be prepared to answer these questions for your roommates!

Sometimes after talking to roommates, students worry that they are different from their roommates. However, developing a friendship is not the main factor in having a great roommate relationship. The key is open and ongoing communication.

If you find that you need help, please do not hesitate to contact your Resident Assistant (RA). Your RA is an upper-class student who is hired from a highly selective pool of applicants. RAs participate in two weeks of training on topics including mediation, counseling skills, and how to access campus resources. When it comes to your roommate concerns, your RA is there to help. He or she will not choose sides, but rather will work with you and your roommates to find a solution to the matter at hand. 

If all else fails, you can apply for a room change. Please note that a room change is not your first option in resolving an uncomfortable situation. It is important to invest in finding a solution to any issue at hand.

As you prepare for meeting your roommates, keep in mind what some former "triplets" were happy to share about living in a triple room. 

  • "I ended up loving my two roommates, but I think an important thing to do at the beginning of the year is to communicate. We sat down and talked about how each of us studied, and how much we wanted personal space, and if it was okay to use each other's things."
  • "I got to meet a lot of people (through my roommate) who I probably wouldn't have met otherwise." 
  • "It was nice to have two automatic buddies to go to the D-Hall with!"

Show your Skidmore pride!

You're in, you're official. You're #Skid4Life now! Follow us on Instagram @SkidmoreCollege and @LifeAtSkidmore, and send a snap of your new room to SkidmoreCollege for a chance to be featured in our Snapchat story!