Guidelines Regarding Use of the Recreation Center

General Guidelines

NOTE: We Do Require a Change of Shoes to use the Recreation Center - Athletic closed toed shoes shall be worn at all times in the Fitness Center for your safety and the safety of others.

  1. Court Reservations: The courts, dance studio, and classroom can be reserved up to 48 hours in advance by calling 222-4487. As standard operating procedures, we reserve the right to limit court reservations and if a user is more than 10 minutes late for their reservation, we will assign the court to another user who may be waiting.
    • Cowling Tennis Reservations:
      The Cowling Tennis Court can be used by Carleton varsity programs, students, faculty, staff and affiliates of the college. Please note the following priority of scheduling:
      1. Carleton Varsity Programs
      2. Students/Faculty/Staff (including Clubs and Intramurals)
      3. Carleton Affiliate Card Holders
      Reservations can be made up to 1 week in advance. Court reservations are limited to 90 minutes.
      To schedule tennis court time:

      1. Students/Faculty/Staff, use virtual EMS
      2. Affiliate members, email
      3. For “same day” reservations please contact the Rec Center Front Desk 507-222-4487.
  2. Animals: Are not allowed in the building with the exception of those assisting individuals with disabilities.
  3. Bicycles, roller blades, and skate boards: Are not allowed in the building. Bicycles are not to be locked, chained, or attached in any way to the building structure or handrails. In such circumstances, grounds will be notified and bicycles will be removed.
  4. Fighting: The Recreation Center has zero tolerance for violence or intimidation of any sort. Any physical abuse of any person or conduct which threatens or endangers the health and safety of any member of the College will result in immediate removal and disciplinary actions.
  5. Food and Drink: Will only be allowed in the front lobby, lounge and concourse. All other areas are for exercise and recreational activity.
  6. Alcohol: Is not allowed in the facility in an open or closed container. Possession of alcohol will result in the individual/s being asked to leave the building. Security and the Northfield police will be notified if the person/s refused to remove themselves and the alcohol.
  7. Promotions and Displays: The building supervisor or manager must clear all posters, flyers, signs etc. Displays may only be posted on approved bulletin boards. They may not be attached to the building walls (interior and exterior), doors, windows, rails or any other painted surface. The Recreation Center retains the right to limit the number, location, and duration of posting.
  8. Theft: Theft should be reported immediately to the center staff at the front counter who will file an incident report with security. Patrons are responsible for any recreation center equipment they may have checked out from the front desk. In the event of theft or loss of equipment, the ID card of the responsible party will be held until the items are located or replaced.
  9. Personal Property: The center assumes no responsibility for personal items. All patrons are encouraged to secure their own possessions.
  10. Vandalism: The center interprets vandalism as the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of College property. The center has zero tolerance to any damage caused by vandalism. The manager and the center advisory board will determine disciplinary action taken due to violating the center.
  11. Sexual Discrimination: The recreation center supports Carleton College sexual discrimination policies and procedures.

Membership Guidelines

Note: Users must have a valid Carleton College OneCard, OR Affiliate of the College Card.

  1. Current students, faculty, emeriti faculty, and staff have access to the Recreation Center with a valid Carleton College OneCard picture ID.  All other users must have a valid Carleton Affiliate card to gain access to the center.
  2. Affiliate OneCard

    The Affiliate OneCard is a Photo ID card available to: (This card is for the use of the card holder only)

    A Carleton employee's spouse/domestic partner
    A Carleton employee's legal dependents 18 or older living at home
    A Carleton retiree's spouse/domestic partner
    A Carleton alum living within 100 miles of the Rec Center
    A Carleton alum's spouse/domestic partner living within 100 miles of the Rec Center

The first Affiliate OneCard is free.  The fee for lost or replacement cards is $10, payable in Schillers.

The Affiliate OneCard extends the following privileges and benefits:

  • Recreation Center access (Dependents under the age of 18 do not qualify for an Affiliate OneCard and may not use the Rec Center unless accompanied by a parent/guardian)
  • Library privileges (borrowing privileges are limited to zip codes specified by Gould Library regulations)
  • Schillers (personal funds) deposited for purchases at the Bookstore, Carleton dining halls & cafés, vending machines, copiers, printers, Print and Mail Services
  • Access to athletic events, concerts, films and other activities (unless event is limited to students only)

Submit the Affiliate ID Request form to get started. Employees and alums can log into this form anytime to see their affiliate(s) status and the next step to obtain the card.

Directions for Employees and Retirees without log in credentials

  • Employees without log in credentials must visit Human Resources in Strong House (on the northwest corner of College Street and Second Street) for the first step in the process to obtain an Affiliate OneCard for their spouse/domestic partner and/or legal dependents 18 or older and living at home.
  • Retirees without log in credentials must visit Human Resources in Strong House (on the northwest corner of College Street and Second Street) for the first step in the process to obtain an Affiliate OneCard for their spouse/domestic partner.

Once Human Resources has created the appropriate patron record(s), affiliate(s) can visit Campus Services in Sayles-Hill with photo ID to complete the process and obtain their Affiliate OneCard.

    Member -  Guest, Visitor, and Children Guidelines:

    In order to best serve the Carleton College Community, we must adhere to our Membership and Guest Guidelines

    • One Guest Per Cardholder/Per Day, not to Exceed three guests per week: One guest of a Student, Faculty, Staff may enter at no charge, provided they are accompanied by the Carleton College sponsor. The intention is that the sponsor and guest work out together. Carleton sponsors must register their guest at the front counter upon entry. Affiliate Card holders are not allowed to bring guests.
    • Visitors: Special accommodations will be made for prospective students and parents, families of current students, and college guests as needed.
    • Children: No individual under the age of 18 (unless a student of Carleton) is allowed in the center without a parent or guardian. Children under 16 years of age many not use the fitness center or the climbing wall. Children over the age of 10 are eligible to climb in the Bouldering Cave with parent permission and the parent must be in attendance with the child.
    • Carleton and St. Olaf Recreation Facilities do not have reciprocal use rights, therefore I.D./One Cards will not work at the other College for entry.

      Facilities AND Equipment

      Climbing & Bouldering Wall Policies

      1. All participants must check in with a Wall Supervisor and sign-in prior to climbing.
      2. Belayer certification must be given by a Carleton Wall Supervisor and renewed annually.
      3. All climbers must read and sign the Climbing & Bouldering Wall Waiver and Release of Liability before climbing.
      4. Climbing Wall: A parent or guardian must sign for all climbers between 16 and 18 years of age. Climbers must be at least 16 years old to participate.
      5. Bouldering: A parent or guardian must sign for all climbers between 10 and 18 years of age.
      6. Climbing and Bouldering is allowed during open hours and only when a Wall Supervisor is present. Wall Supervisors have the authority to enforce all policies. Any violation of policies may result in the suspension of climbing privileges and removal from the Wall.
      7. Participants may use harnesses, shoes, carabiners, belay devices, and other equipment provided by the Recreation Center. A wall supervisor must approve personal harnesses and other gear.
      8. Only locking carabiners with an ATC or similar device may be used for belay purposes.
      9. Only climbing shoes or athletic shoes are permitted. Street shoes and bare feet are not allowed.
      10. No loose chalk is permitted on the walls.
      11. Climbers are encouraged to remove rings, jewelry, and watches prior to climbing.
      12. The Carleton Recreation Center is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items. Please keep personal items outside of the climbing area; lockers are available.
      13. Bouldering must have a spotter. (Spotters must be certified by climbing staff.)
      14. Boulder’s feet should not go above the spotters shoulder height.
      15. Never Boulder under another climber.
      16. Boulder’s hands must stay below twelve feet.

      Dance/Aerobic Studio

      A moderate sized studio with a sprung wooden floor is available for aerobic, dance, classes, fitness, and group activities. In order to ensure the quality of our dance studio flooring, we do require a clean pair of non-marking shoes while using the dance studio. No street shoes are allowed. We reserve the right to deny access to anyone with inappropriate footwear.

      Squash/Racquetball Courts

      Three full-sized courts have glass back walls, allowing lots of light and viewing opportunities. The two middle courts are retractable to allow conversion into squash courts. One court is fitted with wallyball attachments. We do require non-marking athletic shoes while using the courts. No street shoes are allowed. We reserve the right to deny access to anyone with inappropriate footwear.

      Field House

      This floor space covers 50,000 sq. ft. with a six-lane running track and four multi-use courts. A putting green is located in the NW corner of the building. The space is enhanced by both natural and overhead artificial light.

      Equipment Checkout and Lockers

      All lockers inside the locker room and equipment checked out are day use only. 

      Policies Concerning Intramural and Club Sports

      • Who can play? Participation is open to all currently enrolled students and presently employed faculty and staff.
      • Scheduling: Most IM leagues and Club sport practices will be scheduled in the evening hours, Sunday-Thursday between 7:00pm and 11:00pm. Every effort will be made to maintain open recreation time during these activities.
      • Participants: all participants will be required to present a valid Carleton ID when entering the facility to take part in the IM and Club activity.
      • Liability: The Recreation Center and its staff assumes no responsibility for injury received by any person during participation or involvement in any IM or Club sponsored program. Participants are reminded that their involvement in all facets of the program is voluntary. It is recommended that all participants have a medical examination prior to the activity and carry their own appropriate insurance coverage. 


      Carleton College will assume NO responsibility for the payment of medical expenses resulting from injuries that occur while participating in Club Sports. Individuals are responsible for reviewing their current health insurance policy to see if you are covered. If you require additional coverage you may purchase it through the College by completing the form on the Collegiate Insurance Resources website.

      The basic Carleton student health insurance policy costs $669 and covers only the first $500 of a Club Sport injury. Carleton College students who are not varsity athletes but participate in Club Sports may purchase optional additional coverage for Club Sports. Intramural sports and gym classes are covered under the basic Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan.

      To purchase athletic injury insurance for intercollegiate or club sport participation, you must purchase the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan AND add-on the Athletic Injury Insurance. Enroll online with Collegiate Insurance Resources. Click on the “Health Insurance Enroll/Waive” tab and enroll in the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance plan. When prompted to do so during the enrollment process, select the appropriate athletic injury coverage for your sport(s).

      The athletic injury insurance plan will pay 100% up to $90,000 per injury. The cost is $431 for football, basketball, soccer, baseball or softball (when an athlete purchases one or more of these sports, all club sports, will be covered.) The cost is $215 for all other varsity sports. The cost for equestrian, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, Nordic skiing, and Karate is $431 per club sport. If an athlete purchases one or more of these club sports, all other club sports are covered. Other club sports including Aikido and Tae Kwon Do are $215.

      If you have additional questions about the plan, contact Collegiate Insurance Resources online or by phone 1-800-322-9901.