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Residence Life at Carthage

What you can expect 

By: Madeline Paakkonen ’21

Carthage is a residential college — 70 percent of Carthage students live on campus. Living in the College’s residence halls will give you some of your best college memories. From the excitement of move-in day, to the tearful goodbyes on the last day of school, residential students are engaged in campus life 24/7. Here are six aspects of residential life at Carthage that students can expect:

Residence Life at Carthage: Roommates

1. Bonding with your roommates

First things first: It is completely OK if you are not best friends with your roommate. That said, you may end up being best friends with your roommate. Plenty of Carthage students are. The nature of your relationship is up to you. The most important thing is communication. Your first week on campus, you and your roommate will complete a roommate agreement together detailing your boundaries and ground rules. If any conflict arises, you can refer back to that agreement. If you are an incoming Carthage student, contact your roommate during the summer to get to know them.

My favorite memories are with my roommate, Paige Petty,” says Kitara Harsh ’20, from Montello, Illinois. “Our friendship started when we both pledged for our sorority over a year ago. When she became my roommate this year, I think our friendship became very special to me. There’s really never a dull moment with us. We do pretty much everything together and we have so many inside jokes, and that’s something we both value.”

Read more from Carthage besties who started as roommates
Learn more about living with a roommate


Residence Life at Carthage: Roommates

2. Resident Assistants 

RA’s, or Resident Assistants, are trained peer leaders who are in charge of supervising their assigned wing of a residence hall. Many Carthage students work for the Office of Residence Life as Resident Assistants to gain leadership skills and other benefits. RA’s are always around to help students with a range of problems. They also hold events for the students living on their floor and host meetings throughout the year.

“This is my second year working in residence life. Last year I was a Resident Assistant in the Oaks, building 3, and this year I am the Senior Resident Assistant for Oaks, buildings 1-3,” says Dubuque, Iowa, native Jo Dienst ’19. “Residence life has been a really great way for me to get to know people, as well as develop as a leader. I get to help build off of the great community on campus that drew me here in the first place.”


Residence Life at Carthage: Residence Halls

3. The Residence Halls

There are eight residence halls on campus: Madrigrano Family Residence Hall, Denhart Hall, Tarble Hall, Johnson Hall, and Swenson Hall are more traditional. Tarble is an all-female hall that houses three sororities and two study-intensive wings. Swenson Hall houses around 30 all-male residents; half of the rooms include a private bathroom. The Oaks Village offers shared suite-style rooms that include private bathrooms. The new Tower Residence Hall is arranged in a similar setup, but with four students occupying two rooms connected by a shared bathroom. The Campus Apartments, located on the north side of Carthage across from the Smeds Tennis Center, give upperclass students a chance to experience apartment living before graduation.

Many of the halls are home to Carthage departments and offices as well, like the Office of Communications, Carthage Security, and the student newspaper, The Current. Residence halls also host a variety of events throughout the school year. Some of the most popular events include an annual haunted house in the halls of Johnson around Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness Week in Tarble, and cultural celebrations throughout the year.

Learn more about each residence hall


Residence Life at Carthage: What to Bring

4. What to Bring 

Your room can serve as a quiet, comfortable place to relax after a busy day, hang out with friends, or study for exams. It is important to have a good environment that you enjoy coming back to every day. A major step in figuring out what items to bring is contacting your roommate in advance. Only one fridge and one microwave are allowed in each room, so plan accordingly. Before you pack your bags and load your car, make sure to take a look at Carthage’s list of provided, suggested, and prohibited items


Residence Life at Carthage: Safety and Security

5. Security and Safety 

Student security and safety is of utmost importance at Carthage. The Office of Public Safety operates at all times, 24/7/365, and the office is located in the lower level of Johnson Residence Hall. Public Safety provides shuttle service to Carthage parking lots, event support and security, parking and traffic control, and building security. In addition to the Carthage public safety team, Hall Directors, Assistant Hall Directors, and Resident Assistants are available to aid students with minor, or major issues inside their buildings.

To contact the Office of Public Safety, call 262-551-5911


Greek Life at Carthage

6. Greek Life

More than 20 percent of Carthage students are involved in Greek life. Greek organizations are a great way to meet friends, participate in community and volunteer work, and earn leadership experience. There are 14 local and nationally affiliated sororities and fraternities for students to choose between. Greek life organizations recruit new members every fall and spring, although freshmen are not allowed to pledge until their second semester at Carthage. Members of each sorority or fraternity are housed together in their corresponding wing and floor of almost every residential hall.

When asked about her favorite Carthage memory, communications major Danielle Richards ’19 says it was “joining Alpha Chi Omega and instantly having so many friends and such a strong support system.”

Greek organizations offer valuable leadership positions for students to hold, as physics major Max Becher ’19 has experienced. 

“I am part of the executive board of Delta Upsilon, the only non-secret social fraternity on campus,” Max says. “DU has become a rich part of my college career.” 

See a list of all Greek life chapters at Carthage

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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