Packing 101

West Hall, the residence hall where Olin’s first year students live, includes double rooms equipped with a desk, a chair, an adjustable-height bed and mattress, an armoire, a three-drawer dresser, a two-shelf bookcase, and a wastebasket and recycling container for each student. The room has a wall-mounted light. The roommates will share a combination refrigerator/microwave oven provided by the College. As most occupants of typical residence hall rooms will tell you, being creative with the space you’ve got is the key to success. Amazing things can be accomplished with milk crates and double hangers.

It is a good idea to get in touch with your roommate prior to move-in day. This will give you the opportunity to coordinate who’s bringing what.

Suggestions from students

Top 10 things to bring

Thoughts on bikes

Do not bring...

FAQ

 

Suggestions from students

  • Do not bring everything you own. Leave something to protect your turf at home.
  • If there are clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in the past two years, leave them there.
  • It does not snow in September. Do not bring your heaviest winter boots, coats and sweaters until later in the year. If you are not planning a trip home before the cold weather hits, pack a box before you leave home and ask your family to ship it to you in early November.
  • Living space in a residence hall decreases proportionately with the number of trips you make into Boston. Count on a thirty percent increase in possessions by May, and leave room for them.
  • Check your family homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure your belongings (including laptop) are covered while you are away at college. Consider purchasing the personal property insurance described in the National Student Services, Inc., brochure sent to you in mid May.

 

Top 10 Recommended Items to Bring From Home

  1. Pillows and pillow cases
  2. Mattress pad, sheets, and blankets to fit an XL twin: 36” X 80”
  3. Toiletries & medications
  4. Reminder of home – something familiar, something unique that can go up on the wall, your dresser, or on your desk
  5. Reading/desk lamp
  6. Towels
  7. Laundry basket and/or bag
  8. Alarm clock
  9. Running shoes, cleats, and/or dance shoes

10. Sense of humor!

 

Bicycles

Thanks to the student group Greening Olin or GO! Olin provides students with community bikes including road bikes and mountain bikes that you can use for cruising around. For this reason, you do not need to bring a bike to campus unless you are a hard-core mountain biker or plan to join a local cycling club. Indoor bicycle storage is severely limited. Bikes stored outside will be subjected to several months of snow and rain.

Top 10 Recommended Items NOT to Bring From Home

  1. Torchiere style halogen lamps, candles, or space heaters (major fire hazards!)
  2. Your dog, cat, gerbil, lizard, farm animal, python, or hamster– with the exception of fish, pets are not permitted in College residence halls
  3. Power tools of ANY kind (we have an AMAZING machine shop that has every tool you’ll ever need and many that you’ve never heard of)
  4. Refrigerators, microwave, hot plates, or coffee makers (the college provides you with a microfridge and there is a well stocked student kitchen with all of these things an much, much more where you’ll be living)
  5. Big screws, drywall anchors, or anything else that might damage the walls in your room
  6. 25 stuffed animals, 25 basketballs, or 25 cubic feet of anything
  7. Fireworks, firearms, swords, or anything else that might be deemed a “dangerous weapon”
  8. Illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages
  9. Flea-ridden, moldy furniture, beanbags, or chairs
  10. Any paraphernalia supporting the New York Yankees J

Shipping

You may be planning to ship some of your belongings to Olin. We recommend that you tag your luggage with two address tags: one on the outside and one on the inside.

 Late August is a busy time for many carriers, so ship your luggage one to two weeks before you will be arriving. We cannot accept any packages received prior to August 20. Note that Olin receives packages Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4 pm.

Ship luggage and other packages to: [Your Name] [Your room #], Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Olin Way, Needham, MA 02492-1200. For the move-in period, please address luggage or other large packages to your room number AND your mailbox.

Frequently Asked Questions about life in Olin’s Residence Hall

 1.      May I drop things off in, set up, get into, or otherwise access my room before move-in day?

 Sorry, no. The Residence Hall will be closed for final cleaning and preparation for move-in.

 2.      Are rooms carpeted?

Yes, all rooms have wall-to-wall carpet. Bathrooms and bedroom entry vestibules have tile flooring.

3.      What is the bedroom furniture like?

The bed is extra long twin length and is adjustable in height (though it does not raise high enough to serve as a loft and the beds are not bunkable/stackable). The desk has 3 side drawers, none of which are deep enough to hold hanging file folders. The dresser is on casters and can be located under the bed. The bookcase is on casters and can be located under the bed.

4.      What are the bathrooms like?

Each room has its own bathroom. The bathrooms have ceramic tile floors and walls. Shower walls are made of fiberglass and a heavy duty vinyl shower curtain is supplied. There are two large towel rods in the bathroom area and two small towel rods in the sink area. There is a mirrored medicine cabinet with several small shelves inside and storage space for cleaning products is available in the large cabinet under the sink. The sink has a countertop for soap dishes or toothbrush holders (supplied by students). The toilets are tankless.

5.      Who cleans the bathrooms and bedrooms? Where do I get cleaning supplies?

You do! Toilet paper, bathroom cleaning supplies and vacuums are available in two locations on each floor of the Residence Hall. You are responsible for keeping your bedroom and bathroom clean and there will be 2-3 bathroom inspections each year announced approximately a week in advance and conducted by Facilities staff to ensure that your bathroom is clean. Students failing any portion of the inspection will have an opportunity to clean the failed areas of their bathroom and have it re-inspected. Students failing a re-inspection will be billed for any necessary cleaning.

6.      What’s a microfridge?

A microfridge is a combination mini-refrigerator/freezer and microwave. One is provided in each student bedroom.

7.      Where do I do my laundry? Do I need an iron?

There are three laundry rooms in West Hall. Each one has a washer, dryer, and laundry board. Students pay per load using either coins or their ID cards (card readers debit money from students’ personal Olin Dollars account). Students must supply their own iron; some have found it advantageous to share one iron amongst many students.

8.      What about banking? Is there an ATM on the Babson/Olin campus?

There are several banks in the Needham-Wellesley area including Middlesex Savings Bank, Citizens Bank, Bank of America, and Needham Co-operative Bank.

 Bank of America and Citizen's Bank both have an ATM next door on Babson’s campus.

Local banks will be here on Monday, Aug. 29 for your convenience (they will not be here on move-in day).

9.      How old do you have to be to open up a bank account?

 A local bank reports that you need to be at least 18 years old to open an account. Students under 18 will need a parental co-signer to open an account.

10. What kind of ID do I need for opening bank accounts or getting a cell phone?

Students are encouraged to have three forms of ID with them so that they can have easy access to these services. Passports, driver’s licenses, and social security cards are the most common forms of ID. Pay-per-use phones are available at large box stores such as Target without ID. A local bank accepts passports for international students wishing to open an account.

11. How much money will I need for books & other misc. school supplies?

Many of our students use online vendors such as Amazon to order their books to get a competitive price. If you plan to pay cash for books through Babson’s bookstore or another local bookstore, students report you will need between $200-$500.

12. Is there storage available on campus?

Limited storage is available to currently enrolled students. Private storage facilities are also available in the Needham area. As stated in the Student Handbook, all personal property is kept at the sole risk of the owner and the College assumes no responsibility for loss, damage or theft of items placed in storage or left in student rooms. Liquids and hazardous materials may not be kept in storage areas at any time.

While students are on campus, Olin bins, suitcases, sturdy boxes, and trunks may be stored in designated class storage areas. Limited bicycle storage is also available in designated bicycle storage areas. Items that are not clearly labeled and left in storage at the end of the school year will be discarded or donated to charitable organizations.

13. I would like to buy some things for my room. Where and when should I shop for them?

You will want to spend your time on arrival day attending the day’s programs and unpacking, not running errands off campus. You should do as much of your shopping as possible ahead of time. Feel free to order items online and have them shipped to campus prior to your arrival (we cannot accept shipments prior to August 20).

There is also a small convenience type store called Frank’s which is located in the Olin College mailroom. Frank’s will be open on move-in day!

14.  Should I pack nice clothes?

You should pack at least one nice outfit that you would wear to an interview. The Fall Career Fair is in October and we want you to dress for success. Questions? Email Suzanne Alcott @ suzanne.alcott@olin.edu

15. Should I bring clothes for the machine shops?

Most students fine jeans and tshirts just fine but students who spend a lot of time in the shop recommend a pair of coveralls. If you enjoy (or think you'll enjoy) working with grease and machines such as the drill press and lathe which can create a lot of saw dust or metal shavings, this simple investment will pay off in the long-term for sure.