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Residential Life

What to Bring

Before you start packing, here’s a list of what you should bring to campus. Use this list as a guide for you and your roommate, and for ideas on decorating your room.

We encourage you to contact your roommate to avoid bringing multiple large items, such as couches and chairs. In traditional halls, only one refrigerator and only one microwave are allowed for every two residents.

Items provided in each room (one per resident)

  • Single bed frame
  • Extra long twin mattress (80” x 36”)
  • Dresser
  • Desk
  • Desk chair
  • Mirror
  • Wastebasket
  • Closet
  • Nightstand
  • Small rolling storage unit

All Carthage furniture must remain in the room. Because the furniture in every hall enables you to bunk your bed, construction and homemade lofts are not allowed. You are permitted to use bed risers as long as they are no higher than 6 inches. 

Suggested packing list

  • Backpack
  • Bedsheets and comforter
  • Blankets
  • Can opener
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Coffee maker (automatic shut-off or K-cup machines only; cannot have an exposed hot plate)
  • Computer/laptop — The Carthage Library and Information Services team recommends a laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD (solid-state drive). Microsoft Office 365 and Symantec antivirus are provided to students at no charge, so you do not need to purchase these separately.    
  • Dishes, cups, utensils
  • Family insurance card
  • Face masks
  • Fan
  • Gloves for cleaning
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hangers
  • Health insurance card
  • Iron
  • Laundry basket/detergent
  • Lights/lamps (no halogen)
  • Mattress pad
  • Medical thermometer
  • Message board for your door
  • Microwave (must not exceed 800 watts)
  • Notebooks
  • Pens/pencils 
  • Pillows
  • Phone charger
  • Posters and pictures
  • Quarters (or credit) for laundry machines
  • Refrigerator (must not exceed 5 cubic feet; only one allowed per room)
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Screwdriver and rubber mallet (tools needed to adjust bed height)
  • Surge protectors
  • Television
  • Throw rug
  • Toiletries 
  • Towels
  • Travel-size sewing kit
  • Shower shoes/tote
  • Umbrella/raincoat

Please note: Appliances brought to campus must be UL-approved. This can be verified on the tag attached to the appliance. Appliances that would be used in the kitchen can ONLY be utilized in a kitchen facility on campus. They are not to be utilized in residence hall rooms, though they can be stored in residence hall rooms. 

What not to bring

Carthage does not allow:

  • Candles (candle warmers are allowed in the residence halls)
  • Christmas lights
  • Incense
  • Toasters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Halogen lamps
  • Cooking appliances other than those on the approved appliance list
  • Empty alcohol bottles or other containers
  • Extension cords
  • Traffic signs that were not legitimately purchased
  • Animals (Fish are the ONLY pets permitted in the residence halls; 15 gallon fish tanks or smaller)
  • Hoverboards, Segways, and motorized scooters and bicycles
  • Nerf Guns, BB guns, weapons of any kind (see weapons policy
  • WiFi router

A quick note on printers: Our Library and Information Services team recommends that you do NOT bring a printer to campus. WiFi printers will not work in the residence halls, and there are ample printers on campus for student use. Students receive $80 printing credit each, allowing up to 2,666 double-sided pages per year. If you feel you need a printer in your residence hall room, make sure the printer’s WiFi signal can be disabled and that you can connect to the printer with a USB cable.  

Decorating Ideas

The photos below were submitted by Carthage students for our annual Room Decorating contest. Use the arrows to scroll through the gallery, or click on a photo to view larger.


  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), 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 The Aspire Center.

    • 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 ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. 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 marketing 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 $25,000 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 in the Top 5 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 …