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Residence Life Frequently Asked Questions

General

 Can you tell me more about residence life in general?

  • The One Book includes detailed information about residence halls and the Office of Residence Life.
  • Additional information is available by visiting our website jmu.edu/orl or by calling our office at 540-568-HOME (4663).

 Are all residence halls co-ed?

  • Yes, all residence halls are co-ed. Most first-year halls are assigned same-gender floors or sections.
  • All bathrooms are designated as female, male or gender inclusive.
  • Gender specific bathrooms may not be used by the opposite gender.

 Are first year students guaranteed on-campus housing?

  • All first-year students are required to live on campus
  • Exceptions to this requirement include first-year students admitted as commuter students and first-year students who receive a residency waiver approval from the Office of Residence Life.
  • While returning students are not guaranteed housing in subsequent years, there is housing on campus for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  • Each year we are able to house approximately 35% of the sophomore class, so you should definitely think about living on campus after your first year!

 Are there all first-year student residence halls?

  • Almost all first-year students will select rooms in halls that are exclusively first year.
  • Shenandoah Hall houses both first-year and upper-class students, with first-year students living in A section and upper-class students living in part of the B section.
  • Paul Jennings Hall houses both first year and upper-class students. First-year students will live on floors 1-3 and upper-class students on floors 4-5.
First-Year Housing

 Do I have the option of selecting my residence hall?

  • First-year students will be able to select a residence hall room from available first-year residence halls during their online room selection time slot. Time slots will be created for students based on when the student paid their enrollment deposit to the university. Students who deposited earliest will have the earliest time slots.

 When will I select a room?

  • Online room selection will take place for first-year students July 20-31. Students will receive their time slots via email for online room selection late in the afternoon of July 17.
  • Time slots will be created for students based on when the student paid their enrollment deposit to the university. Students who deposited earliest will have the earliest time slots.

 Are students housed based on academic major?

  • Only students living in specific Residential Learning Communities are housed based on major.
  • All other first0-year students will select their room in first-year residence halls.

 How is the order determined when students will select their rooms?

  • Time slots will be created for students based on when the student paid their enrollment deposit to the university. Students who deposited earliest will have the earliest time slots.

 I don’t want a community-style bathroom. Can I request a private bathroom?

  • About 95% of our first-year halls feature community- or suite-style bathrooms.
  • If you have a medical condition that requires special accommodations, please download the Housing Accommodation form from the ORL website.

 What is the layout of the residence hall rooms?

  • Rooms vary from hall to hall and sometimes from room to room within each hall.
  • See information at jmu.edu/orl for more details.

 How often are the residence halls cleaned?

  • Bedrooms are not cleaned by university staff.
  • Common areas and community bathrooms are cleaned regularly. An updated scheduled for Fall 2020 has not be finalized yet, but will likely include more cleanings than in previous years in response to COVID-19.
  • Private suite baths are not cleaned by university staff. Remember: if a bathroom is behind a locked door the housekeeper does not clean it.

 Where do students do laundry?

  • Each hall has one or more laundry rooms with washers and dryers operated via JACard (Flex, not Dining Dollars). All machines also accept quarters.
  • All halls have high-efficiency washers that recommend special HE detergent.

 Are first-year halls air-conditioned?

  • Hoffman, Wayland, Bell, Hillside, McGraw-Long, Chandler, Chesapeake and Shenandoah have AC.
  • All Village hall suite areas and TV lounges have AC.
  • Eagle, Spotswood and Shorts Hall TV lounges have AC.

 I require air-conditioning due to a medical need. Can that be accommodated?

  • Requests for housing accommodations, including an air-conditioned building, are made by filling out the Housing Accommodation Form online at jmu.edu/orl/housing/requests.shtml
  • The Housing Accommodation Committee, which includes staff from Disability Services, the University Health Center and Residence Life makes all decisions regarding accommodations.
  • All requests are due noon June 19.

 Are some halls more academically oriented than others?

  • All halls have study lounges, quiet hours and a hall staff that encourages the respect of those who are studying.
  • Several halls house special programs such as Residential Learning Communities, which have an academic component.
  • Some halls also house a Faculty member in Residence.

 What is the possibility of placing first-year students in off-campus housing or temporary triples due to overcrowding?

  • A decision has not been made regarding overflow housing or temporary triples for Fall 2020.

 How long are the beds?

  • All beds measure 36 inches wide by 80 inces long, commonly called Twin XL.
  • If you are over 6-feet-8 and are interested in a longer bed, please contact the Office of Residence Life at res-life@jmu.edu.
Roommates

 What is the roommate assignment procedure?

  • Students who mutually requested each other as roommates via the Online Housing Portal by noon July 17 will be able to be housed together. If you form a roommate group you will select your room with your roommate.
  • If you do not form a roommate group or do not have a chosen roommate, you will select a room as an individual and may choose a room that is currently empty (the other space will be filled by another student later) or choose a space in a room that has been chosen by another person. If you choose a space with another student, you will be able to see that student’s life style question answers prior to making your selection permanent.

 How many students are assigned to a room?

  • Room capacities vary within halls and from hall to hall.
  • Most rooms are doubles and house two students. A very small number of specific rooms are designated as singles and some are designated as triples.
  • Room rates are the same for all residence hall rooms.

 How are problems with roommates handled?

  • During the first week in the semester, roommates are required to complete a roommate agreement for and are given tips and strategies for getting along. Roommates discuss typical living issues such as cleanliness, studying and borrowing items and complete the roommate agreement stating their decisions.
  • Hall staff encourages residents to initially address concerns directly with roommates. If personal communications fail, Resident Advisers and Hall Directors intervene and help mediate a roommate agreement for peaceful coexistence. Students are urged to resolve conflicts.
  • Although room changes are not encouraged, a change can be made (if space is available) by submitting a room change request form and receiving the approval of the Housing Office three weeks after the beginning of the semester.

 Can I choose my roommate if I haven’t already?

  • The deadline to select a roommate is July 17.
  • Unfortunately, requests made after this point cannot be honored.

 If I meet someone at Springboard I would like to room with next year, is that possible?

  • Yes, as long as you form a roommate group by noon July 17.

 If I have already chosen a roommate, how do we know we will be assigned together?

  • If you and your roommate created a roommate group and mutually requested/accepted one another by the July 17 noon deadline, the roommate with the earliest timeslot will choose the room and pull the other student into the room automatically.
Live On Again! Contract for 2021-22

 What is the Live On Again! Contract?

  • At the same time that incoming students sign their first year housing contract for 2020-2021, they may also sign a Live On Again! Contract for on campus housing for 2021-2022.
  • This contract guarantees them a space in one of our upperclass residence halls for their second year at JMU.
  • Students may sign this contract through the same system that they used to sign their 2020-2021 first year housing contract.
  • The earlier a student signs the Live On Again! Contract, the earlier their room selection timeslot will be for our spring Online Room Selection process.
  • Signing a Live On Again! Contract does not guarantee a student a particular location for their sophomore year.
  • Live On Again! Contracts are binding and can only be cancelled within the first five days of signing the contract.

 How are rooms selected after the first year?

  • Students with a signed Live On Again! Contract are assigned a room selection timeslot for the Returning Student Online Room Selection process based on when they sign their Live On Again! Contract.

 How many students live off-campus in nearby apartments?

  • Approximately 6,700 of JMU’s 22,000 full-time undergraduate students are housed in university-sponsored residence halls. The remaining students live at home or in nearby apartments.
Move-In

 Is early check-in allowed?

  • First-year students are expected to check in on their assigned move-in day.
  • Only students coming with an approved organization, such as the Honors College, marching band, a fall sport, or international students will be allowed early check in.
  • If you are a member of one of those groups, your group leader will contact you with those details.

 Are carts available on Move-In Day?

  • No. 
  • Hand carts are an excellent item to bring with you on Move-in Day!

 Do all halls have elevators?

  • Hoffman, Wayland, Eagle, Shorts, Chandler, Chesapeake, Paul Jennings and Shenandoah have elevators.
Things to Bring

 What is provided in residence hall rooms?

  • A bed, desk, desk chair, dresser and wardrobe/closet area are provided for each student.
  • Each room also has overhead lighting, data jacks, roller shades/mini-blinds and cable hook-up (not including cable cords) are provided.
  • Please consult the JMU One Book or our website (jmu.edu/orl/move-in) for more information

 What are the essentials that should be purchased for residence hall rooms?

  • Basic purchases include bed linens, towels, school supplies and storage bins.
  • Please visit our website (jmu.edu/orl/move-in) for a complete list of what to bring and what not to bring.

 Are loft beds permitted? When and where can a loft bed be purchased?

  • Lofts can be purchased or built.
  • All lofts must comply with Residence Life specifications, which can be found on our website (jmu.edu/orl/policies/index.shtml under "Loft Beds").

 What is the availability and price estimates on lofts, refrigerator rentals, etc.?

  • Several student organization sponsor sales of carpets, linens, shelves, etc.
  • This information is included in orientation information and our website (jmu.edu/orl/move-in)

 What is the best adhesive to use on residence hall room walls?

  • Wall types differ hall to hall. Wall type for each hall can be found in our hall descriptions on our website (jmu.edu/orl/our-residence-halls/index.shtml)
  • For cinderblock: use poster putty (the white, not blue kind) or hooks with non-damaging adhesive (i.e. Command Hooks)
  • For drywall: use thumbtacks/push pins.
  • Do not use duct tape on any walls, doors or furniture.
  • Failure to use the appropriate adhesives on walls can result in fines at move-out at the end of the year.

 Are microwaves and refrigerators allowed in rooms?

  • One 5-cubic-foot total capacity, or smaller, refrigerator per room is permitted.
  • No microwaves are permitted in residence hall rooms, but they are available in hall lounges or kitchens.
  • Microfridges (refrigerator/microwave combo) are prohibited.

 Are extension cords allowed?

  • Traditional extension cords are prohibited.
  • Please use a UL-approved power strip/circuit breaker for additional electrical outlets.
  • These must be plugged directly into the wall. Lamps with an outlet in the base and bed risers with electrical outlets are prohibited.

 Are vacuums available for students to use?

  • Yes, each hall office has at least one vacuum that students may check out during office hours.
  • Mini-vacuums and hand vacuums are great to bring with you.
Policy Questions

 What are the visitation policies in residence halls?

  • Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests and guests must be escorted at all times while visiting.
  • Residents may host overnight guests with the advance consent of their roommate(s).
  • Guests may not stay on campus overnight for more than two consecutive nights without special permission from the Hall Director.
  • Any overnight guest must be 16 years of age or older.

 Are family members allowed to sleep over in the residence hall when they visit during the school year?

  • The policy for family members is the same as for any other guests.
  • Residents may host overnight guests with the advance consent of the roommate(s).
  • Guests may not stay on campus overnight for more than two consecutive nights without special permission from the Hall Director.
  • Overnight guests must be 16 years older.

 Are there curfews in the halls?

  • However, there are quiet hours and courtesy hours.

 What are the residence hall rules and regulations?

  • There are numerous policies and regulations which govern community living in the residence halls, including rules related to alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, cooking, etc.
  • A full list of polices with explanations is available on our website under "Hall Policies." (jmu.edu/orl/policies/index.shtml)

 What measures have been taken to ensure that the halls are alcohol- and drug-free?

  • Although we know students come to college with ideas and expectations about alcohol and drug use, we have policies that are enforced in the residence halls.
  • We neither condone nor ignore violations of university policies.
  • Our staff members are trained to respond to a variety of behavioral incidents and conduct duty tours of their respective buildings several times each evening.
  • In order to be effective, we encourage residents to report where and when violations occur.

 Are halls closed during breaks?

  • All halls close for Winter Break.
  • Students needing to remain at JMU for Thanksgiving and/or Spring Break should select a room in Chandler, Chesapeake, Shenandoah, Paul Jennings or Eagle Hall. These halls remain open for those two breaks.
  • You may leave your belongings locked in your room for all breaks until the end of the spring semester.
  • Check the JMU website for the academic calendar with dates for all breaks.
Computers and Telephones

 Are there computer hookups in the residence hall rooms?

  • Yes, residential students have access to MyResNet wifi throughout their residence hall, including their bedroom. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.

    All residential students are also provided with a wired MyResNet connection in their bedroom to enable your computer to access the internet and the campus network from your room. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.

 Are phones available for student use?

  • Yes, courtesy phones are located in each residence hall for students to place on-campus, local and toll-free calls. Students can use calling card with 1-800 numbers at these phones as well.
  • Residents may request an individual residence hall room phone by working with JMU Telecommunication and submitting a Student Telephone Installation Form found on their website.
  • Parents with concerns about their student can call the 24-hour campus emergency number (540-568-6911). University police will respond to calls with appropriate counseling, medical or law enforcement assistance.
Miscellaneous

 How do I change my meal plan?

  • Students can change their meal plan through the Student Center in MyMadison.
  • Under the finances section, select “other financials” from the drop-down menu.
  • If a student tries to make a change to their meal plan and it tells them to see Card Services, this means changes are not allowed to be made at that time.
  • Typically, students have through early July to make changes to their meal plans. Card Services recommends students make changes to their meal plan by the end of June before billing begins.
  • If students cannot change their meal plan in MyMadison, they will need to go to Card Services in Student Success Center once school starts to make changes. There is a time frame for students to do this that can be found on their website.
  • Terms and conditions of all meal plan options, including payment/credits for changing options, may be obtained from JMU Dining Services (jmu.edu/dining)

 Are there programs designed to help first-year students with the transition from high school to college?

  • Yes, the Student Learning Initiatives Center is run through the Office of Residence Life and has many programs to help student feel comfortable in their surroundings, acclimate themselves to the campus and succeed academically.
  • Resident Advisers in the first-year halls also present numerous programs on transition topics/issues. For students who are struggling with homesickness, the first and best person a student can talk to is their Resident Adviser. The RA is an upper-class student who has the experience to talk with students and the training to make a referral if necessary.
  • In addition, there are many offices on campus, including the Counseling Center, the Center for Multicultural Student Services, Career and Academic Planning and the Student Activities and Involvement Office (and others) that offer programs and resources that will help students make this transition.
  • Student Org Night is held in the early Fall and Spring semesters as a resource for students to become aware of all the organizations and clubs on campus.

 What has been done to reduce the number of fire alarms in the halls?

  • There are three planned fire drills in each hall per semester. These are an important part of our safety program.
  • False fire alarms are a concern to staff and residents alike. Much effort is put into communicating the importance of community respect for property and other residents.

 When will I check out at the end of the year?

  • All residence halls close on the last day of exams in May for non-graduating students.
  • Students should plan to check out of their hall within 24 hours of their last exam.

 Can I leave my belongings here over the summer?

  • The Office of Residence Life is not able to store students’ items over the summer.
  • There are private companies you can use to store items near campus.

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