General Expectations

In joining Aquinas College, you become a member of an intentional community underpinned by clear purposes and values. Two hundred tertiary students live together in a community designed to nurture the intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional and physical development of its members while they undertake their studies. These ‘General Expectations’, to which all students agree to adhere as condition of their membership of the College, aim to ensure that this goal can be pursued with confidence and security.

Aquinians aspire to be a community of adult learners shaped and guided by Gospel values. Gospel values include qualities such as care, respect, fairness, honesty, inclusion, justice, kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, resilience, trust, self-control, empathy and peace – all of which are reflections of the God who is Love. This translates into a code of behaviour based on mutual respect and personal responsibility. Students are expected to show respect for themselves, their fellow students, and members of the wider community, including our neighbours. Students are expected to take full responsibility for their own behaviour and to accept the consequences that flow from this. The principles of mutual respect and personal responsibility extend to all facets of life at Aquinas.

Aquinas College is founded on a strong sense of community, a friendly and caring culture, and outstanding academic, sporting, spiritual and cultural traditions. All Aquinians are encouraged to participate in a wide range of College activities throughout the year.

Aquinas promotes healthy and life-giving relationships. The College is proud of its family spirit. There is no place at Aquinas for behaviours that bully, harass, harm, demean, or endanger one another – physically, electronically, emotionally or psychologically. Aquinas is somewhere that wants noone to suffer discrimination on grounds of age, race, gender, sexual identity, disability, or religion. Further detail is found in the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy, the Equal Opportunity Policy, the Grievance Resolution Policy, and the Sexual Assault Policy.

Aquinas students enjoy outstanding individual and shared facilities, many of which are housed in magnificent heritage buildings. Everyone is expected to take great care of these buildings. There are also safety protocols that you need to observe.

Students are encouraged to keep their own cyber identities private and secure, and generally adhere to the College’s policies on social media and IT usage. Students should take special care in uploading photographs and posting comments that may be harmful to themselves or viewed as offensive or inappropriate by others.

The Dining Room is a place of conviviality, companionship and courtesy. These guidelines apply:

  • Everyone is expected to show consideration for all community members who are dining and for the kitchen and serving staff as well.
  • Students mix freely at meals, not restricting themselves to small friendship groups or single-gender cliques. There is the well-established custom of tables being filled one at a time, with a student taking the next available seat. Thus, everyone soon gets to know everyone else.
  • Normal dress code requires clean and respectable clothing and suitable footwear. For any formal occasion, no caps/hats/beanies, sports clothes, tank-tops or singlets are worn.
  • Only alcohol provided by the College is consumed in the Dining Room, other than for events where an exception is approved.

The College fosters a culture of study. An important element is not disturbing the study or rest of others. To this end, specific protocols apply to noise.

  • Noise emanating from a student’s room should not be at a level that it disturbs others.
  • Noise in passages, foyers, gardens and driveways ceases between 11pm and 9am.
  • The tennis/basketball court is not be used after 10pm.
  • All noise and socialising is kept to a minimum during Swot-Vac and Exam Periods, and at these times which are ‘quiet and dry’.

Fire fighting appliances are installed in the College for the safety of all. They are not used for any other purpose than to extinguish a fire in an emergency.

Students wear their academic gowns and dress neatly for Formal Dinners on Mondays and Wednesdays. Men wear a shirt with a collar. The use of mobile phones during these Dinners is not allowed. Everyone is seated in the Dining Room by 6pm, and stand for the entry of the High Table. Formal dinner ends with Thanksgiving and the recessing of those on the High Table.

All are encouraged to eat, drink, sleep and exercise in ways that promote their good health. To allow the College to support wellbeing and to respond promptly to a medical situation that may arise, students provide the office with an up-to-date Medical Information Form that carries all details of any medical information relevant to their health and wellbeing. First aid kits are located At Reception, with all House Coordinators and with the Duty Coordinator who have training in First Aid.  Mental health is a particular priority for Aquinas, and students have a range of options for addressing any concerns on this matter.

Recognising that the College is located in a residential district, all members of the College need to act in ways that do not disturb our neighbours and everyone’s right to live in peace. The evening quietness of the Palmer Place residential precinct is guaranteed by a particular protocol known as the Palmer Place Plan.

Aquinas students enjoy many personal connections with students of the other North Adelaide colleges. In the main, the friendly inter-collegiate rivalry is healthy and engaging for students. This may not, however, ever lead to rudeness or unsporting attitudes in inter-college events, any trespassing of the grounds of the other colleges, stealing or damaging of property, cyber-trashing of the individual residents or the Colleges’ names, or disturbing their peace.

In keeping with its Jesuit and Marist traditions, Aquinas College aims to develop the social conscience of its students and give them opportunity for exercising social responsibility. Altruistic service has been part of student life since the inception of the College in 1950. The Outreach Programme aims to enable and guide students to engage in activities that help others who are less fortunate than themselves.  The programme entails a minimum annual requirement of 10 hours of service (5 hours per semester) dedicated to or impacting upon a particular disadvantaged group or issue of social justice.


All students arrange to be present at these events:

  • Commencement Day Welcome Service, Luncheon, College Assembly, and various training and meetings that take place during O-Week which follows this day.
  • Mass and Collegiate Dinners at the start of Terms 1 and 3.
  • Assembly and Dinner at the start of Term 4.
  • Sunday night Chapel, if Catholic. Students of other traditions are most welcome.
  • Valete Service and Dinner
  • All Formal Dinners held on Mondays and Wednesdays during University term time, unless excused by the Rector or the Dean.
  • Academic Panel and Progress Review Meetings.

All students are encouraged to participate actively in College life. This includes participation in Lawrie Smart Shield events, SAAUC sporting and social events, Student Club social events and other events such as: The Getaway, Music Night, Cultural events, Women’s Forum and Men’s Forum.

In keeping with the moral guidelines of the Catholic Church and in consideration for other residents of the Aquinas College community, students are asked to refrain from sexual activity with fellow residents or with guests at College, and not to be in a sexually active relationship with a fellow resident while at college. Any sexual activity that is non-consensual, uninvited, demeaning, and/or harassing is forbidden in any and all circumstances.

Students have a right to privacy and to the security of their possessions. Therefore, students may not enter another’s room without explicit permission. Nor may they take or use another’s possessions without their permission. This includes the use of another student’s identity, computer, phone or internet passwords.

The irresponsible consumption of alcohol and the use of other drugs can lead to regrettable behaviours and even have dire long-term consequences. These can be exacerbated in a residential environment with a large number of young adults. The College therefore has clear guidelines for your decision-making on the use of these substances. All are expected to be fully conversant with the contents of the Policy on the Making Good Decisions About Alcohol and other Drugs, and the consequences for contravening this Policy.

In the interests of safety, the College needs to be able to account for residents’ whereabouts in the event of an emergency, such as a fire evacuation. While students are free to come and go as they want, they need to advise their House Coordinators if they intend to be away from the College overnight or for a weekend.