Student Affairs

The primary components of the philosophy of Student Affairs include providing excellent services for students, encouraging community development, involving students in life beyond the classroom, and providing leadership opportunities, all in an environment characterized by challenge and support.

Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC), home to academic counseling, the Student Academic Advisers (the SAs), the Tutor Program, premajor advising, and disability support services, is the place to go to for academic support. At the ARC students can pick up planners to help them schedule their semester, lay out major requirements, and create a tentative four-year plan. The ARC staff also can provide personalized guidance in study skills, schedule planning, goal definition, concentration, motivation, and test preparation.  Study Skills Workshops are held each semester on these topics; students may sign up at the ARC, Memorial 325.


As your Walla Walla resource for textbooks, the Whitman College Bookstore welcomes you and your student to campus. The Bookstore carries the textbooks required for Whitman classes, as well as school supplies, art supplies, electronic accessories, incidentals, and Whitman clothing and gifts.

Typically, the first contact a student has with the Bookstore is during the first days of the semester when he or she spends $400-$600 for textbooks and supplies. Students can pay with cash, check, bankcard, or they can charge purchases to their Whitman ID card. Students may use this charge privilege throughout the year to purchase anything in the store. These charges appear on the college’s itemized statement at the end of each month (a small interest charge will apply on all unpaid balances). We suggest working with your student to set any desired limits on the card’s use; you can remove the limit if you wish.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Bookstore at:

Intercultural Center

The Intercultural Center seeks to foster intercultural awareness, inclusiveness and respect. We are committed to the enhancement of a positive Whitman experience for students, staff and faculty, especially those from underrepresented communities, and to strengthen partnerships with academic and administrative offices as well as organizations in the larger Walla Walla community. We facilitate and encourage ongoing dialogue regarding issues of diversity in order to move toward a more inclusive campus climate.

The Intercultural Center team provides mentoring and co-curricular, social support for students from underrepresented, international and multinational backgrounds. The center also plays a key role in bringing diverse perspectives and experiences to campus by sponsoring various speakers and events. A collection of books, films and information about internship and scholarship opportunities related to diversity and multicultural issues are available at the center. The center also manages and maintains the Glover Alston Center for the entire campus community.

The center provides assistance and resources to student organizations focused on culture and identity. Among the most active clubs on campus, they provide leadership opportunities for students and promote diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism by sponsoring discussion panels, musical events, lectures, dances, festivals and more. Currently, there are 15 active organizations: American Indian Association; Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics; Beyond Borders Club; Black Student Union; China at Whitman; Club Latino; Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment; First Generation Working Class; Hillel-Shalom; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning; Hapa and Mixed Race Club; Namasté Meditation Club; South Asian Student Association; Wakilisha Africa Club; Whitman Christian Fellowship.

Student Engagement Center

The Student Engagement Center encourages students to take advantage of the vast array of experiences available outside of the classroom. These experiences will enrich students’ academic programs as well as help them refine their interests and develop their passions for an overall more meaningful learning experience at Whitman. The Student Engagement Center fosters personal and intellectual development by promoting student engagement in academics, in community service, internships, campus and summer employment, leadership opportunities, and career exploration. The Student Engagement Center’s staff collaborates with offices and academic departments throughout the Whitman community to help students assess their skills, interests, and abilities to promote involvement in activities that will advance them toward their future goals.

Student Engagement Center programs include:

  • Academic Majors Fair Offered in collaboration with the Academic Resource Center, Major Connections is an interactive fair that allows students to meet seniors from each academic department to learn more about the major. The SEC staff offers interest inventories, introduces students to internships, community service opportunities, and the career choices made by Whitman alumni who have majored in that field.
  • Internships Internships can add to a student’s college experience by allowing them to practice professional skills and obtain a deeper understanding of the world of work. Students are encouraged to apply for one of the many internships listed on the SEC Web site or to develop an experience that best suits their interests.
  • Student-Led Community Service Programs — Student interns coordinate five service programs: Whitman Mentor Program, Adopt-A-Grandparent, Youth Adventure Program, Story Time Project, and Service Trips.
  • Community Service Consultations The SEC’s staff connects individuals and groups with volunteer opportunities and supports Greek philanthropy and the Community Service House.
  • America Reads/Counts — The Student Engagement Center employs work-study eligible Whitman students each year to tutor in the Walla Walla schools. This program provides Whitman College students the opportunity to give back to their community, gain work experience, and earn money.
  • The Virtual Career and Internship Fair — The Student Engagement Center hosts a Virtual Career and Internship Fair. Participating employers and nonprofit organizations post full-time jobs, internships, and summer jobs for Whitman students to view.
  • The Graduate School Fair — Each fall semester, regional graduate school representatives come to campus to meet students and discuss their academic programs. In addition, a Law School Panel, consisting of six law schools, provides an overview of testing and the application process.
  • Alumni Networking — The SEC provides networking opportunities for students and alumni to communicate about careers, internships and jobs. The Career Consultant Network is a database of about 1,300 alumni who have volunteered to speak with students or other alumni about career issues. Alumni lists can be searched by location, and/or career field and sent to students as an Excel file. Several times a year the SEC hosts networking receptions in conjunction with Alumni Relations.

Welty Health Center

The Welty Health Center, which is staffed by licensed nurses 24 hours a day, offers 12 overnight student beds as well as an outpatient clinic for the care and prevention of illness. Welty Health Center services are available to all Whitman students, not just those carrying Whitman insurance.

A team of physicians rotates to provide medical services to registered students. There is no charge for this routine physician care or overnight stays. (Cost of any medical services outside of the college facility must be borne by the student.) The director of the Welty Health Center, a registered nurse, also is available to see students for a nursing assessment and referral. Women’s health care can be provided by our female physicians during clinic hours.

Before any student may enter the college, a record of immunizations must be submitted. Final class registration will be held pending compliance with immunization requirements. For students under 18, a signed permission for prescriptions should be on file.

Student health records are for the use of the Welty Health Center only, and all information is held in strict confidence. The medical record is not part of the academic record, and no information will be released without signed permission from the student. The Welty Health Center staff is unable to discuss your student’s health concerns without his or her expressed permission. In the event of a medical emergency, the notification of parents/guardians will be done by a physician, the Welty Center Director, or the Dean of Students.

Health Insurance

Every student is required to have adequate medical insurance and hospitalization coverage. It is important that your student carry an insurance identification card and know the provisions of their coverage. Preferred provider and access information is essential in the case of outside referral.

Whitman College offers a student group medical insurance plan at a reasonable cost. If your student is not covered under your present policy, she/he must purchase the student group policy. Insurance Waiver or purchase of Whitman College Student Insurance must be completed prior to registration, and is available on line in the pre-registration checklist.

Welty Counseling Center

Everyone has probably experienced a week when every day seems like a Monday. In the life of a student, the “avalanche effect’’ might sound something like this: “I slept through my Spanish test this morning because I was up till 5:30 a.m. writing a paper, and my roommate and I are in a huge fight, I haven’t gotten any mail for two weeks, and I miss my dog and… and… and… ’’ When all this is happening at once, in addition to adjusting to a new environment and new pressures, the results can truly seem overwhelming.

The Counseling Center is available to help students work through the stresses of college life. Professionally trained counselors offer personal and psychological counseling at no charge. They work with individuals as well as groups, and also present workshops and programs on areas pertaining to personal growth, including listening and communication skills, stress management, relationship issues, sexuality, and assertiveness training. All counseling is entirely confidential. So, should your son or daughter mention that they are utilizing these services, it doesn’t mean they are falling apart at the seams. They are simply finding healthy ways to cope with the changes in their lives.

Residence Hall Life

Living in a residence hall is a big part of being a Whitman student, and chances are you’ll be hearing quite a bit about residence hall life in the next couple of years. At Whitman we have a two-year residency requirement and have established this policy for some very important reasons.

We feel that the residence halls offer students valuable opportunities for growth and self-discovery. After all, students spend the majority of their time in the hall — studying, sleeping, socializing, and figuring out the meaning of life at 2 a.m. over pizza. Residence hall life offers students the opportunities to build friendships with a wide variety of people, grasp the subtle art of give and take, and learn who they are and what they have to offer the community. In short, the residence halls are where friendships are made and where independence and adulthood take shape.

The residence hall experience is a vital part of learning about community. If the community is to function successfully, residents must learn that their actions affect those living around them. This is where personal responsibility begins. We hope and expect that the community connections that start in the residence halls will continue to grow as students move through their years at Whitman.

Residence halls allow students to engage in learning outside the classroom. The entire Residence Life staff is dedicated to bringing the concept of education into everyday life. The liberal arts philosophy regards nearly every experience as an opportunity for education and seeks to develop well-rounded individuals. Each hall has a distinct “personality’’ created by its residents. Each residence hall staff member provides educational programs during the semester on topics ranging from love and relationships to balancing the inevitable stresses of college life. Staff members also organize social activities such as hikes, study breaks, and dances. These programs are designed to provide valuable experiences and opportunities.

Residence halls are staffed by resident assistants (RAs), student academic advisers (SAs), senior residents (SRs), and resident directors (RDs). RAs, SAs, and SRs are students themselves. They are trained to handle emergencies, help with conflicts, and plan educational and social programs. The Resident Director in each hall is a college graduate.

Laundry rooms equipped with washers and dryers are provided in each hall at no charge. The residence halls contain a main lounge for large gatherings and several smaller lounges for TV, studying, visiting, meetings, and recreation. Kitchen facilities are located in all of the halls. Bike storage is available either outside, or in the basement of most halls.


Protecting Whitman College students, faculty, staff, and visitors is the primary purpose of the Security Office. To keep the campus a safe place, Whitman employs a full-time director, five full-time security employees, and several students.

The staff responds to reports of fire, medical, and criminal emergencies. Though the staff is trained to handle various types of criminal offenses, they are not empowered law enforcement officers. When a crime occurs on the campus, the Walla Walla Police Department is called.

To ensure that buildings are safe from fire and other hazards, routine measures are taken on a monthly basis, including fire alarm testing, fire extinguisher checks, and building inspections to eliminate any unsafe conditions. Maintenance, custodial, and housing staffs are trained in fire safety and evacuation techniques. The Walla Walla Fire Department responds to all fire calls.

During the academic year, security staff will escort faculty, staff, students and visitors anywhere on campus and within a two-block radius of the college. The security officers are on campus 24 hours a day and provide safety and security checks for campus buildings, including the residence halls.

Should you have any questions regarding the safety and security of a family member attending Whitman, please feel free to contact the Security Department at (509) 527-5777.

ID Cards

Students receive their Whitman ID cards (WID) during Orientation Week. This card is an essential tool for each student, and costs $15 to replace. The WID acts as a meal ticket at all dining halls, and can contain flex dollars to be used at Café ’66, the espresso stand, and Café ’41 in the library. Additionally, the WID allows students card-swipe access into most computer labs and buildings after normal building hours. Students must have their WID in-hand to utilize the Sherwood Athletic Center and Baker Ferguson Fitness Center facilities. Penrose Library uses the WID as a library card, and it can be used as a charge card at the cafés as well as the Whitman Bookstore. Any charges made on the card will be included on your son or daughter’s monthly statement.

Food Service/Bon Appétit

Whitman College has contracted with Bon Appétit to provide a quality food service program. Bon Appétit views their mission of providing food service to Whitman students as an important part of the educational program of the residential college.

Bon Appétit’s Executive Chef plans menus to change with both the season and the student’s academic calendar. Bon Appétit’s philosophy revolves around purchasing the best-quality groceries and making fresh, flavorful cuisine that balances restaurant-quality entrees with the students’ favorites. They purchase the freshest regional products available, cook from scratch, and make our own soups, sauces, and salad dressings. The typical lunch or dinner will have two or three primary entrees (one of which is always vegetarian), a full salad, soup, and fruit bar, and a selection of fresh-baked desserts. Students can choose their meals from a pasta bar with our own freshly made sauce, a sandwich station, or a grill with burgers, chicken breast sandwiches, and cheese quesadillas made to order.

While in the dining room, students may eat as much as they wish. Students also are allowed to take food for their current meal out of the dining hall to eat outside or back in their room. The three dining halls, the café in the campus center, and the late-night espresso shop in the library are all components of the food service at Whitman. The hours of the dining halls are offset from one another to provide your student with the broadest possible range of mealtime hours. Special events are scheduled during the holidays and as “monotony breakers” during lulls in the regular campus calendar. We also provide meals to the Welty Health Center for students not feeling well enough to come to the dining room, and sack lunches for those with class or job related mealtime conflicts.

They strive to involve students in the meal program by encouraging them to use the comment card section in every dining room, talk to the dining hall managers about what they would like to see, and e-mail or talk to the General Manager. They regularly accommodate students facing a variety of food-related issues ranging from food allergies to medical conditions that require a special diet or eating time. Should your student have any special needs it is important that they contact their dining hall manager to discuss their needs.

They welcome parents and families in the dining halls and hope that you will share a meal with them when you are on campus. For birthdays or special occasions that call for a cake or a dozen cookies, give the catering department a call at (509) 527-5127. Feel free to call the General Manager of Bon Appétit at Whitman College at (509) 527-5508 if you ever have any food service questions or concerns. Current information, including the weekly menu and hours of operation, can be found at their Whitman website, and for more information about Bon Appétit, you can visit