ResLife FAQs for New Students
Get answers to common questions asked by incoming residential students including how students are housed, how triples are assigned, and more.
First Year Seminar is a 1-credit course that serves as an orientation to college life and fosters academic success, personal growth, and career exploration. First Year Seminar classes are grouped together in specific halls to facilitate out-of-class interaction. Generally, 5-8 First Year Seminar groups are assigned to each hall based on occupancy of the building.
Once each hall assignment has been determined, roommates are based on the personal attributes and preferences you provide in your housing application online.
If you are a transfer student, you will be housed in an upperclass floor in one of the residence halls. While we will make every effort to house you with another transfer student, you may be assigned to a space with a returning student.
When you fill out your housing application on ResLife Online, you will be asked about your personal preferences. You will then be matched with roommate(s) by mutual preferences (within First Year Seminar groups, if you are a first year student). It is important that you (and not a parent) fill out the housing application honestly and completely. Many problems we see new students experiencing in the residence halls can be avoided if the housing application is filled out accurately and honestly (e.g., I don't listen to music, I like to go to bed early, etc.). The chances for making good matches are significantly increased if the information is correct.
JAVĿ¼ admits students without regard to race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnic origin, age, or disability. In the assignment of rooms, gender is the only personal characteristic taken into consideration.
As a first year student, you will not be able to pick your roommate(s) for a few reasons. First of all, we encourage you to meet as many different people as possible. We have found that students who start out living with someone they know tend to limit their efforts to meet new people. Also, frequently students request to room together after a brief meeting (e.g., at an open house or recruiting visit) and then discover after spending more than a day or two living together they are not a good match. In addition, you are assigned to housing based on your First Year Seminar.
After your first year, you can choose your roommate.
In addition to doubles we also have standard triples and standard quads. Standard triples and quads are much larger in size and students are assigned to them accordingly. All room types are the same cost.
Housing assignments will be available on ResLife Online in late July for the fall semester and early January for the spring semester. You will go to the same place you applied for housing (ResLife Online) to see your roommates' names, phone numbers, addresses, and when available, emails.
Every residence hall has peer advisors called "Resident Assistants" that are available to help you with all your concerns, including roommate disagreements.
When you arrive on campus in the fall, you will work with your roommate(s) to fill out a Roommate Agreement that outlines what is mutually acceptable in the room (e.g. visitors, what can be borrowed or not...). You should be honest when filling out the form. This is a good chance for you and your roommate(s) to discuss things like visitors, music, study time, etc. If an issue arises, talk first to your roommate(s).
Inevitably, roommate issues/problems occur from time to time. If things do not work out, you should contact your RA. Be honest and upfront about issues early on so that they can be talked through. If you are having a roommate issue, work through the following steps:
- Talk to your roommate: Communication is the key! Many times you can avoid bigger issues by talking about them when they are still small. We understand that this can be hard; if you need help figuring out how to start the conversation, the RAs and professional staff can help.
- Re-visit your Roommate Agreement: Sometimes decisions made in the first week need to be modified. It is ok to revisit the agreement filled out in the beginning of the semester and come up with a new set of guidelines. Talk to your RA: If you have talked to your roommate(s) and the situation does not improve, your RA is available to meet with you to discuss the problems.
- Talk to a professional staff member: If things do not improve once your RA is involved, you should talk to your RD. If spaces are available, we consider room changes only when all efforts to work through the issues have been taken.
- Mediation: For a more formal conflict resolution option, students can request to meet with the ResLife Mediation Team by contacting the Assistant Director of Residential Life. Additionally, students may be referred and/or required to meet with the ResLife Mediation Team through the Student Conduct process or by the assistant dean of students. Mediation is a formal and structured process where one or more trained mediators facilitate communication between the involved students. Mediators assist students in focusing on the real issues of the dispute so that the students are able to state their needs and concerns, feel respected and heard, and are able to generate options that meet the interests or needs of all involved parties.
Living in the residence halls is an important part of your student's growth and development. We take the responsibility for this growth and development very seriously. Our goal is to prepare your student to live independently in the "real world" once they leave the comfort of the residence halls. Our message to families is: help us help your students, help your students help themselves.
In our office, we prefer to deal directly with the student. This helps us establish a relationship with your student and enables us to get to the crux of the issues most efficiently. That being said, we also welcome input or questions from families at any time. We will work to resolve issues to the best of our ability and we will involve your student in the solution.
We are available from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at (585) 385-8281 or in the Campus Center, Office 210. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.