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Like any respectable bureaucracy, Caltech has its share of offices and services. The following is an attempt to list and summarize them. Only those likely to be relevant to students are listed.

  • Athletic Facilities Fields, gyms, swimming pools, etc.
  • Audio/Visual Rents you videocameras, etc.
  • Bookstore Sells you textbooks and memorabilia
  • Career Development Center Provides advice on future jobs and summer opportunities
  • Campus Life Various undergraduate events and activities.
  • Computer Labs Both computing and low-volume printing.
  • Counseling Center Provides confidential mental help.
  • Deans Help you with everything someone else couldn’t help you with.
  • Dining Services Self explanatory.
  • Fellowships and Study Abroad Helps you apply for various programs
  • Financial Aid Gives you money for tuition if your parents aren’t filthy rich.
  • Graphic Resources Like Kinko’s, only closer and not 24 hours.
  • Health Educator Tries to teach Techers about health.
  • Health Center Provides medical care
  • Housing Gives you a place to live.
  • Maintenance Fixes things.
  • Industrial Relations Gives management seminars, monthly presentations by presidents of technology companies, and a management library.
  • Libraries Lend books and provide quiet places to study.
  • Mail Services Helps you mail things.
  • Minority Student Affairs Educate undergraduates about minorities, provides support for minority students.
  • Public Events Coordinates campus events open to the public.
  • Public Relations Helps you present yourself (or your science) to the outside world.
  • Registrar Holds official records. You can register, get transcripts, change classes, etc.
  • Security Provides escorts at night, building access. Also the first to respond to emergencies.
  • Stockrooms A source of supplies for various departments.
  • Student Affairs In charge of campus life, deans, etc.
  • Wired Sells computers and related merchandise on campus and sometimes at a discount.
  • Women’s Center Invites speakers, organizes self-defense classes (for men and women), library of advancement of women in sciences, and has a small lending library.
  • Caltech Y Outdoorsy stuff, community volunteering activities, rents out equipment for cheap


  • Athletic Facilities x3260, www.athletics.caltech.edu
    Southern side of California, between Hill and Wilson
    open until midnight on weekdays, until 7:30pm on weekends

    There are two gyms here: Brown Gym and Braun Gym. They are both located on the southern side of California Avenue, between Wilson and Arden. Brown Gym has a basketball court, and is also used for volleyball, badminton, gymnastics, and martial arts. The climbing wall is at the east end of the building; you can get a key from the front desk.

    Braun Gym also offers volleyball, basketball, and badminton. It has squash and racquetball courts. It also has a dance/aerobics room (they offer classes with or without PE credit in these, as well as in yoga and martial arts), a weight room, and a cardiovascular fitness area.

    Between the two gyms there are two heated outdoor pools. One of them is deep enough for water polo and three-meter diving. There is a track and a soccer/football field on the south side of the gym. On the north side of the gym, a softball field and another soccer field are located on top of the parking structure. Further to the east there are tennis courts.

  • Audio/Visual x465, av.caltech.edu
    320 S. Michigan

    They rent out audio and visual equipment, cheaper than off campus locations.

  • Bookstore x6161, www.bookstore.caltech.edu
    Winnet Student Center
    M-F, 8:30am-6pm

    They sell current term textbooks, technical books, office supplies, lab notebooks, magazines, posters, assorted candies, greeting cards and gifts, calendars, New York Times bestsellers, college paraphernalia, etc. You can charge purchases to your student account (but not declining balance). They’ll also cash checks made out to them if the ATM is down, or even if it’s not and you just don’t want to pay your bank’s surcharge.

    The Bookstore matches prices from eight popular online vendors: alldirect.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, biggerbooks.com, buy.com, ecampus.com, textbookx.com, and walmart.com. You need to print out a web quote with the title and ISBN of book, statement that the books is new and available, the price, and the site name.

    You can return textbooks for two weeks, or if you drop the class: show them a drop card your advisor signed before you turn it into the registrar.

    It might be advisable to get your books early: the professors often don’t request enough books for everyone in the class, and you’re stuck waiting for the next shipment, often weeks later. If they do run out, opampbooks.com or amazon.com should be able to help you. If you think to order in advance however half.com and Amazon market place are both good resources for cheap books in good condition. One of the best sources however is upper classmen who never, ever, want to see that particular book again.The Bookstore also develops film. If you drop your film off before 1:30PM, they will have it ready the next day. Finally, they sell discounted tickets to various theme parks (so does the Caltech Y).

  • Bursar’s Office x2988, www.bursar.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 1st floor

    They bill your tuition and maintain your billing address. A common misconception is that this is the address your grades get mailed to. No longer always true – this can be changed to your MSC if you prefer to avoid having them sent home.

  • Campus Life x6194, www.campuslife.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services

    The current structure of this organization is Housing and Dining at the lowest levels, followed by Campus Life (which is headed by Tom Mannion), which falls under the category of Student Affairs (which is headed by Margo Marshak). You can appeal to Tom about various housing and dining issues if they cannot be resolved at lower levels of the bureaucracy.

  • Career Development Center x6361, www.career.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 3rd floor
    M-F, 8am-5pm

    The CDC helps students find summer and permanent employment. They also post internships, tutoring jobs (this is very lucrative if you have the time), work-study jobs, and volunteer opportunities. They maintain a library of information on employers and graduate schools. Recruiters from industry usually come to Tech first and second terms to interview students. The CDC will help you set up an interview. Watch for notices in the Tech and around campus.

    The CDC also assists students with job search strategies, resume writing, interviewing techniques and salary negotiations. The people at the CDC offer students counseling on career-related dilemmas as well as vocational tests.

  • Computing

    There are several computing labs on campus. There are also a number of computers in Millikan Library and Sherman Fairchild Library, with ITS logons. Individual houses also often maintain their own computer labs for the use of their members.

  • ITS imss.caltech.edu
    Steele 214

    Information Technology Services (ITS) runs the campus network and some computer labs. You should have received an account at the beginning of freshman year. This account can be used for @caltech.edu e-mail, web hosting on www.its.caltech.edu, Solaris login to its.caltech.edu, and windows machines. Using SSH to its.caltech.edu and running pine is a popular way to check e-mail.

    Caltech-owned housing provides one network port per pillow. On campus housing is directly connected to the Caltech network with gigabit in some areas.

    Apartments generally have cable modem service with a VPN to allow access to library resources. DHCP works in most places although you may have to wait up to 30 seconds after connecting the cable. ITS employs student representatives in each house to maintain house labs and to help with computer problems.

    The ITS computer lab is open 24 hours in Steele 214. You can get a key to the south Steele door from the attendant. Solaris, Windows, and Mac OS are represented in the lab. Site-licensed software such as Mathematica, Matlab, and Maple are available. The lab also has a quality color printer available for students. Printing is free but you are encouraged to conserve, and use the copiers when making more than a couple copies of something.

  • CS www.cs.caltech.edu
    Jorgensen 154

    Students taking computer science classes (particularly CS 1/2/3) can get accounts on the Computer Science cluster. The historically named VLSI lab in Jorgensen 154 has Linux boxes used for office hours and turning in homework. Card access to Jorgensen can be obtained from the department administrator and the lab combination from your TA. Access via SSH is available on cs.caltech.edu but the sysadmins prefer you use a random host.

  • UGCS www.ugcs.caltech.edu
    Winnett 2C

    The UnderGraduate Computer Science Lab is run entirely by students. Anybody at Caltech can get an account and, unlike the other clusters, you can keep it after graduation. The account has @ugcs.caltech.edu e-mail, easy mailing lists, dynamic web hosting on www.ugcs.caltech.edu, postgresql database, and an interesting shell. Most of the computers run Linux on x86 but the sysadmins have a penchant for obscure hardware. The lab is on South Master from the west side basement of Winnett. SSH is available using to.ugcs.caltech.edu.

  • Counseling Center x8331, www.counseling.caltech.edu
    Arden Rd (between Hill and Wilson), just south of California
    M-F, 8am-5pm (off from noon - 1 pm)

    You can get free psychological counseling. The counselors here help with a wide range of problems: coping with stress, difficulties with advisors, homesickness, relationship problems, loneliness, depression, trouble with parents, and more. The service is confidential, however it is designed for short term help only. For longer term needs they can and will refer you to outside professionals who can diagnose and/or treat you if you are mentally ill.

    The counselors stress that most of the people they see face the same problems as the rest of Caltech students, and are not sick or disturbed. At least any more so than the rest of us are. If you have an emergency after hours, you can call security (x4701) and have them page the psychologist on call.

  • Deans’ Office x6351, www.deans.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 2nd floor
    8am-noon, 1pm-5pm

    Although you can no longer talk to Jean-Paul Revel about butterflies, elephants, and the flowers of France (Well, actually, I suppose you could... he’s still often found in Alles.), the Dean’s Office still exists. The Deans serve as an intermediary between students and the rest of the civilized world: when other adults seem like they are being unreasonable, you can ask the Deans for advice. They can also direct you to who can solve your problem if it does not fall under their sphere of influence. You can also talk to them for academic advice, or if you want to take classes at Art Center, Occidental, or Scripps.

    Barbara Green is the Associate Dean. Many students have found Dr. Green to be an especially helpful advocate in times of crisis. She’s kind of like a grandmother – very safety and rules-oriented, but kind.

    John Hall has been the Dean, since June 2005. He is also a professor of civil engineering and is known to be approachable and good at dealing with Techers, if not always in his office.

  • Dining Services http://dining.caltech.edu

    If you live on campus, you are on a board plan. This includes five dinners per week at a well-defined time (in your house for the North Houses, in Chandler for the South Houses until the planned reopening of the South Houses second term), and a declining balance that you can use at a number of Caltech dining facilities, to buy lunch or whatever else you want (the amount of money on the declining balance is intended to be five lunches’ worth per week for your average student, but this varies greatly from person to person). If you live in Avery, your dinners are also bought via declining balance (and you get a lot more declining balance).

    For the last several years, the board program for the North and South Houses also included an open kitchen 10:30am-11:30am and between 3pm and dinner – you could go and get whatever food you wanted, mostly from the wide selection of cereal, fruit, and drinks. Currently this is only If you live off-campus, you still have the option to go on board. The net money available in the North Kitchen, though it is assumed it will resume in the South Kitchen come second term. If you live off-campus, you still have the option to go on board. The net money you pay per dinner is lower if you buy the board plan (but not by that much). As of last year, dinner was about $13/meal if you were off-board and about $12/meal if you were on-board, but since we’re not eating dinner in the same kitchens anymore, this probably will have changed. Given that very few people are diligent enough to attend every dinner and use up the entirety of the declining balance, it is very rare that someone off-campus chooses to buy board.

    Chandler Cafe, open from 7am to 10:30 am for breakfast and 11am-3pm for lunch. They serve a pretty generic American breakfast, and all sorts of food for lunch. It’s reasonably cheap, especially for a declining balance vendor – lot of grad students and professors eat here for real money since it is subsidized by the rest of the board program.

    Broad Cafe is open from 9am to 6pm. They have sandwiches, snacks, and various drinks. They also have beer for those members of the community over 21. Red Door Cafe (7:45am-6pm) is pretty similar to that, only with crepes and prepackaged sandwiches.

    The Coffeehouse, formerly in the South Houses, is currently and for the foreseeable future located in Chandler from: 9pm-1:30am on weekdays when they have enough staff and no other times.

    The Convenience Store (also called C-Store, or I-Store) bears an unusual resemblance to a 7-11. They’re open 10am to 1am during weekdays (10am to 10pm during weekends), but change their hours rather often. They also close down for a half-hour break somewhere between one and three times per day.

    If you have questions or concerns about the dining program, you should talk to your local food committee representative – there is one for each house and since they are often yelled at during particularly bad dinners it should not be a problem to figure out who they are.

  • Fellowships and Study Abroad x2150, www.fellowships.studyabroad.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 3rd floor

    Caltech has exchange programs with Cambridge, University College of London, University of Copenhagen, Danish Technical Institute, and University of Edinborough. Most people go for one term of their junior year, although the fall term of senior year is also doable.

  • Financial Aid x6280, www.finaid.caltech.edu
    davidlevy@finaid
    Center for Student Services, 1st floor

    About two-thirds of Caltech’s students receive financial aid. You need to reapply every year. The first deadline you will need to meet for the finaid for 2006-2007 school year is to file FAFSA by March 1st, 2006.

    You can also go to the Financial Aid office if your family’s circumstance has changed; they will take a look at your case individually and are very accommodating in the case of parental job loss or death. The finaid office certainly benefits from the small size of Caltech, and takes into account far more factors than a larger organization would allow.

  • Graphic Resources x6701, 20 Keith Spalding
    www.its.caltech.edu/~gaf

    Graphic Arts offers various printing and copying services. They have excellent copiers. They also produce letterheads, envelopes, and business cards with the Tech emblem, as well as binding/finishing services, slide and overhead production, and mounting and scanning services. You’ll have real trouble stumping them with your graphics needs (if you’re willing to pay the prices). They can also make color copies and passport photos while you wait. All Graphic Arts services can be charged to your student account.

    The Tech Express, located on the North side of the Olive Walk next to Lloyd, is a convenient satellite of Graphic Arts. They can make copies right there, or send anything else you drop off to the main Graphic Arts location. The Tech express is open on weekdays 9am-6pm during the school year and 9am-5pm during breaks. Copies are 5.5 cents/one-sided or 10 cents/double-sided. 250 business cards are $22. Passport photos are $8.25, and color copies are $1. They can also sell you stamps and help you FedEx things.

  • Health Educator (Jane Curtis) x2961, www.healtheducation.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 2nd floor

    The idea behind the health educator is to provide health promotion programs to enhance your Caltech experience. Some program topics include stress and time management, nutrition, sexual health, alcohol and other drug use and abuse, balancing academic and social activities, and general health and wellness.

    The health educator is also there to answer minor and/or embarrassing questions that you don’t feel like going to the health center about. Services are free and confidential, and there are free snacks.

  • Health Center x6393, www.healthcenter.caltech.edu
    Arden Rd (between Hill and Wilson), just south of California

    You don’t need an appointment (unless you wish to see a specific doctor a nurse) — just drop in. Their services include medical consultations and treatments, lab tests and x-rays at offsite facilities, specialty clinics, prescription medications, Pap smears, birth control prescriptions, health education and preventative care, allergy injections and other immunizations, etc. (Note that you are not required to get a referral from the health center to visit another doctor, despite that the insurance forms make it seem otherwise) If you are having trouble with your insurance forms the receptionist Jeanne Holloway is extremely helpful with sorting things out and pointing you in the right direction.

    During the school year, they are open M-Th 8am-5pm, F 8am-4pm. During breaks, they are open M-Th 8am-noon, 1pm-4:30pm, F 8am-noon, 1pm-4pm.

    The medical and counseling staff are on call for acute medical problems when the Health Center is closed. Call (626) 588-7421 and ask for Dr. Stuart Miller; say that you are a Caltech student. Often, a physician can help you by giving advice or phoning in a prescription. But if your problem is serious, the doctor will direct you to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. The nearest hospital is Huntington Memorial, on California and Fair Oaks. The nearest urgent care center is a block or so north of that, west side of Fair Oaks.

    Services at the Health Center are free to registered Caltech students. Lab tests are covered by insurance when they’re medically necessary (once your deductible is paid). Optional lab tests (HIV, cholesterol, immunity) are not covered. Prescribed medicines that the health center has are either cheap or free.

    They also have brochures about stress management, physical fitness, diet, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and similar topics. AIDS testing is available for $20. It is confidential but not anonymous. Condoms are available without charge in the restrooms. Prescribed contraception is available at a reduced price. The morning-after pill is available, but is only effective if used within 72 hours of intercourse.

    Dermatologic services and allergy injections are available by appointment only. The orthopaedic clinic is open every other Thursday 5pm-6pm. Travel immunizations can be done both by appointment and just with a walk-in.

    The women’s health clinic offers Pap exams, birth control and pregnancy testing. They can refer you to obstetricians, hospitals, family planning clinics, and family planning counseling. This requires an appointment however.

    When you need health services beyond these, the Health Center can refer you to outside specialists. All students are automatically enrolled in Aetna’s Chickering plan. You can find a preferred provider (PPO) at www.aetna.com/docfind/custom/chickering. Most expenses are paid at 100%, but some are paid at 80%; the latter includes, but is not limited to, prescription drugs and medicines, anesthesiologists, ambulance, and services during travel outside U.S.

    If you choose to use a different provider, you will usually be covered for 70% of expenses. You will also get up to 50% off eye exams and prescriptions when done by a VisionOne optometrist. In all of these cases, be sure to show your card before treatment.

    All students are also required to enroll in the CIGNA Dental Insurance Plan unless exempted because of existing coverage.

  • Housing x6176, http://housing.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 1st floor

    These people rent out the dorms you live in. They try to enforce the contracts, as well. Over the past couple years, they have gotten increasingly more aggressive about trying to charge you money for anything and everything, so you will want to be pretty anal about keeping things the way they want them.

    First, as soon as you move in, fill out the room condition form. Note every scratch in your room, and even dust. When you check out, or move from one room to another (even if it’s within a house), fill out a room change / checkout form or you get charged $25. All of these forms can be found on the Housing website; unless you’re as lazy as I am, I would advise printing yourself a copy as well.

    If you happen to break something, you should make sure to fix it such that they can’t tell that you fixed it yourself. Housing specifically instructs you not to fix anything yourself, and will charge you for repairs anyway if something is “not to their satisfaction,” which seems to be more and more “not by us.” This is not meant to imply that the repairs they do are competent — often they have to come back a third and a seventh time. Lastly, in the last year they have stopped providing linen service and restricted the pet policy to not allow cats (cats that have been previously registered with Housing Office are welcome to stay). Pets permanently in aquariums of 20 gallons or less are still allowed (though cramming your cat into a 20 gallon aquarium is not advised).

    That being said, they’re not bad people, as they do a trmendous amount of work. The Director, Tim Chang, is a deeply moral and extremely hard-working man. Unfortunately, his standards of reasonability do not coincide with most of the undergraduate population. This results in a lot of conflicts, as they try to become more and more compliant with the lawsuit-friendly 21st century, and students try to resist policies caused by this.

    Specific people who can be extremely helpful to students are Marie Lara, an administrative assistant, and Tony Valdespino, the head of maintenance, they will go out of their way to work things out. If you talk to them you can get things fixed (leaky faucets and the like that clearly are not your fault) and get furniture moved around (extra desks taken away, extra beds moved in, whatever you want they will try to accommodate).

    If you need repairs, you can call x6175 during the business day, and x6571 (255-1770 if you are off campus) during the night. The online fixit@caltech sometimes works and there are some forms on the housing website that seem to produce results.

  • Industrial Relations Center x4041, www.irc.caltech.edu
    383 S. Hill

    The Industrial Relations Center gives management seminars to industry executives. If there’s space, students can take these seminars for free, and rub elbows with the execs. This is great if you’re looking for job contacts.

  • Libraries http://library.caltech.edu
    Millikan, SFL, and Dabney: M-F 8am-1am, Sa-Su 9am-1am
    during breaks: M-F 8am-12am, Sa-Su 9am-12am
    Most of the others: M-F 8am-5pm

    Things in the campus mail system always take a day longer than they should to reach your box, so if you really cannot stand the wait you can often pick up your package directly at either Keith Spalding or Physical Plant, depending on its method of arrival.

    The Caltech Library System contains over 550,000 books and 3,000 journal subscriptions that are vital to the Institute’s mission of research and teaching. Apart from the Caltech Library System, a number of campus organizations have their own libraries, most of which are presently in storage at St. Luke’s, and thus inaccessible for at the present time. A Caltech ID is required to enter or remain in the libraries after 5pm and on weekends.

    Millikan: Math, Physics (7th floor), Chemistry (8th floor), Biology (9th floor), Humanities (basement).

    Sherman-Fairchild: Engineering and Applied Sciences. They also have group study rooms, a Public Affairs Reading Room, a nice multimedia room for techno-fancy conferences, copiers/printers, many tables to get work done outside of your room, and contains a small leisure reading section along with open journals and news papers on the third floor.

    Dabney has a few open use computers, one of the few open access working scanners on campus and comfy chairs for studying. It is also almost always very quiet and has a nice not too busy feeling.

    The Geology and Planetary Science library is on the second floor of North Mudd. A separate Math library is in the basement of Sloan. The Astrophysics library is in the south end of Robinson.

    The online catalog for all of these is at http://clas.caltech.edu. The library also maintains a research paper search engine at http:// library.caltech.edu/scisearch/index.html. Caltech has online access to most research journals and databases.

  • Mail Services

    There’s a US Post Office, contracted out to Caltech employees, in the lobby of Keith Spalding. They can also do Fedex shipping from there.

    Mail to undergrads is delivered to the mailboxes between Lloyd and Page. If you get mail for the previous mailbox user, just make a note on the envelope to reroute it, and put it in the outgoing mail box, conveniently located at Tech Express, twenty feet to the east. If you want to mail something, you can stamp it (available at Bookstore or at the Tech Express), or write down your student ID and they will charge it to your account. Mailing things to campus addresses is free, and convenient.

  • Minority Affairs x6207, www.msa.caltech.edu
    bjones@studaff
    Center for Student Services, 2nd floor

    Minority Affairs support minority students, hopefully helping them graduate, as well as inform the rest of campus about underrepresented cultures. They organize Freshman Summer Institute for incoming frosh, the Math and Science Achievement Program, and academic and carreer

    To get something mailed to you, use the address Your Name, MSC xxx, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91126. To mail something to something else on campus, use MC y-z, y=room number, z=building number (as shown on

    information for underrepresented minorities. They cosponsor Semana Latina and activities for Black History Month. They also administer the Mellon Fellowship Program and support student organizations for underrepresented minorities.

    MSA also coordinates outreach programs that expose precollege minority students to math and science: Saturday Tutorial program for children of Caltech staff (student run) and the Saturday Academy for local high school students. They would appreciate student support (speaking, teaching, or tutoring) for either of these programs.

  • Public Events x4652, www.events.caltech.edu
    332 S. Michigan

    Caltech Public Events invites performers and speakers to Caltech. It’s only $5 for Caltech students. The website has a full list of performers for the coming year. These are often open to the general public, so appropriate off campus behavior and dress is required, but a small price to pay to see/hear some very interesting things.

  • Public Relations x6327, http://pr.caltech.edu/public_relations/visit.html
    315 S. Hill Ave

    Promotes Caltech scientists (and students) who should become famous. Also deals with the media in less friendly situations such as missing house artifacts.

  • Registrar x6355, regis.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 1st floor

    There are three terms in a year, and ten weeks of classes in each term. Some classes give midterms, usually during weeks five and six. Classes do not stop for this, and you are expected to work on midterms in your spare time. This is typically done during the weekend between weeks five and six. Finals are given out around the last day of classes, and due 4-7 days from then.

    You can add new classes until the Add Day. You can drop classes until Drop Day. You will need to pick up a yellow card from the registrar, fill it out, and have the professor and your advisor sign it. The Dean can sign for your advisor if your advisor is away. They will also sign it if your advisor is very busy, but they really would like to encourage you to hunt down your advisor. If you drop a class before Add Day, the professor teaching the class does not need to sign it. Gloria has been here forever, and does know the signatures of pretty much every professor, so it’s almost worth it to forge one of them to see her laugh at you until she turns blue.

    If you and the professor agree, you can take an extension (an “E”) to finish a class. You will need to work out all the arrangements with the professor, and the professor needs to submit the grade by the Add Day of the following term. You can do this for up to six classes during your time at Caltech. “I”s are a separate matter entirely and are only given out with proper medical reasons approved by the Dean’s office.

    There is a set of academic requirements you must fulfill to be eligible to register for a given term. These are long and complicated; if you’re in danger of being close to them, check out the Catalog, or http:// www.deans.caltech.edu/details/eligibility.html.

    UASH meets on the second day of every term to consider reinstating students who have lost their eligibility. The Deans can reinstate you from your first ineligibility and sometimes for minor infractions. You need to file a petition for UASH to the Registrar by 3pm on the first day of term.

    Registration is done online at http://regis.caltech.edu/regis.htm during the final weeks of the prior term. Conflicting classes are registered for on paper during the term.

    Other things you might want to talk to the Registrar about: getting transcripts ($5 for official, $0 for unofficial since you can now print them yourself on regis), getting out of core classes, changing your major, and talking to them during your senior year to explain how you’re going to fulfill the forty-two graduation requirements still ahead of you. Try to talk to them pretty early in the senior year, because it will give more time for confusion to settle out.

  • Security x5000 (emergencies), x4701 (non-emergencies)
    security.caltech.edu
    Holliston Parking Structure, 1st floor

    Security has its good sides and its bad sides. They do their job of protecting campus reasonably well, although there’s still theft due to off-campus people, and very rarely, violence. Sometimes, they do their job a bit too well, and try to stop students from engaging in activities that look suspicious but aren’t actually harmful, and done in good fun.

    Security provides escorts at night, both on campus and to off-campus housing. It’s probably a bit anal to ask for escorts on campus, as there’s Techers walking around at all hours of night, and I haven’t heard of any violence on campus in my time here. But it might be a good idea for walking off-campus, especially if it’s more than a block away and if you’re female. They are busiest with this job on cold rainy nights for obvious reasons.

    They can also get you into buildings if you have a good reason to go there, as well as handle lockouts. They usually want to see ID for this. In theory, they can issue you a temporary card if you lost yours and need access before the Card Office is open. They are very accommodating about opening up labs and classrooms when you realize you forgot your notebook and the building has been locked for the night.

    Security is also in charge of parking and enforcement. Their tickets actually matter, so make sure you pay them prior to graduation. While currently free on the weekend, during the week 9am-5pm parking requires a permit that runs about $300 per year. This permit allows you to park in any unmarked space however. Marked ones are those with people’s names and/or words like “caltech van pool”.

  • Stockrooms

    Most stockrooms will not sell to undergrads, mostly because they only accept PTA numbers that go with grants, not cash or student accounts. The EE (014 Steele; x4832) and the general (Physical Plant x4680, Central Warehouse x4891) ones will. If you work in a lab or know someone who does you may have access to the Biology (127 BBB x6804, 181 Alles x4922), VWR (141 BI, x2747), and the coveted Chemistry (157 Crellin, x2745) stockrooms, though payment might be tricky. In case you were wondering, VWR is just a company name.

  • Student Affairs x6321, www.studaff.caltech.edu
    108 Parsons Gates

    Student Affairs is in charge of a lot of other departments, like Campus Life (Housing, Dining, etc.), the Deans, and the Y. They can also give you legal advice about off-campus pranks and maintain a list of campus organizations that like to give students money for events.

  • Caltech Wired x8006, www.caltechwired.caltech.edu
    Winnet Student Center

    This is a computer store. They are not a ripoff on a number of items (like ethernet cables), so it’s rather convenient. You can buy actual computers there, too, and are fairly knowledgeable if you need advice for what to buy. They’re affiliated with Apple, so you get a $200 discount if you buy a Mac computer from them. They can also directly order from a number of other manufacturers with educational discounts.

  • Women’s Center x3221, www.womenscenter.caltech.edu
    Center for Student Services, 2nd floor

    The Women’s Center works for the advancement of women in science and engineering, as well as at Caltech. They have a lending library about women in science and engineering, women’s studies, management, and literature, as well as the advancement women have gone through in these fields.

    They also invite speakers – contact them if you want to be notified, organize self-defense classes (open to both males and females), screen movies, and host women’s nights.

  • Hixon Writing Center x3610, www.its.caltech.edu/~writing
    Basement of Dabney Hall

    This is basically a peer editing service. They pay other students to help you with writing your papers. They also have a library of books on writing. You can drop in during hours posted online, or set up an appointment.

  • Caltech Y x6163, www.caltechy.org
    South side of San Pasqual, between Hill and Holliston

    A well-run and ambitious organization for community service and outdoors trips. They coordinate a backpacking trip (the Y hike) to the Sierras every September before school starts, as well as other hiking and biking trips; help with Semana Latina, Black History Month, International Week, Alternative Spring Break, and Make a Difference Day; invite speakers of global influence; coordinate Noon Concerts; run the Decompression party the weekend before finals, and then some. They have a volunteering and an outdoors mailing list to inform you of most of these activities; you can sign up on their website.

    They also rent out camping gear, event equipment (tables, chairs, etc.), as well as sell balloons and discount tickets to movies, concerts, and amusement parks. Undergrads can get involved in the organization in both volunteering and leadership positions; contact caltechy@its to get involved.