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Congratulations to #JMU24! The Office of Residence Life welcomes all incoming first year students!

All first year students are required to live in university residence halls for the entirety of their first academic year at James Madison University (fall and spring semesters). First year students that join JMU in the spring will be housed only for the spring semester. Exceptions to the first year residency requirement may be made for:

    • First year students who commute daily within a 60-mile radius from the permanent home address of their parents or legal guardians as indicated on their application for admission to JMU.
    • First-year students who are 21 years of age or older.
    • Prior active duty military service.
    • Married first year students.

Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to the Housing Office.

The One Book website is comprised of several steps you need to complete, including signing your First Year Housing Contract, to prepare for your transition to JMU.

New first year students for Fall 2020 will be able to access the Online Housing System starting on April 1, 2020. Visiting this system, students will be able to sign a housing contract, select a meal plan and form a Roommate Group. Students can access the Online Housing System within 24–48 hours of paying their admissions deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions


 Can you tell me more about residence life in general?

  • The One Book includes detailed information on the Office of Residence Life.
  • Additional information is available by visiting our website or by calling our office at 540-568-HOME (4663).

 Are all residence halls co-ed?

  • Yes, all residence halls are coed. 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.
  • Gender inclusive bathrooms are single-occupancy.

 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 that receive a residency waiver approval from the Office of Residence Life.
  • While returning students are not guaranteed housing 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 upperclass students, with first year students living in A section and upperclass students living in part of the B section.
  • Paul Jennings Hall houses both first year and upperclass students. First year students will live on floors 1-3 and upperclass students on floors 4-5.


 When is the First Year Housing Contract Available?

The first year housing contract will be available on April 1, 2020 and must be completed by May 31, 2020.*

*If you have any questions about this deadline, please contact our Housing Office via email at or give us a call at 540-568-HOME. 

 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.

Online Room Selection is an exciting time for students. We wanted to share some information and guidance regarding this process.

First, please be aware that Room Selection Timeslots will not be sent until late in the afternoon or the evening of Friday, July 17.  These cannot be created until after the Roommate Selection deadline at noon that day, and this process takes some time.

After you receive your Room Selection Timeslot, make sure that you consult with your roommate (if you have selected one) to find out which of you has the earlier timeslot.  That is the individual who should plan to select a room for both (or all three) of you.  That individual should plan to be available and near a computer at the time of their Room Selection Timeslot.

Also, if you believe you are in a Roommate Group with another individual, be sure to check the Online Housing System before Friday at noon to make sure you are.  If you are in a Roommate Group with another student, the Roommate Groups page should show you and your roommate in the Roommate Group together.

In addition, the Office of Residence Life encourages you and your roommate(s) (if selected) to plan ahead and develop a list of building and room preferences that you can choose during your timeslot (up to ten or beyond).

While you are developing your preference list, we encourage you to think about the following:

  • Have I looked at the JMU Campus Map to get a feel for where the residence halls are located around campus?

  • Have I visited the Office of Residence Life: First Year Housing to help me answer questions I may not even know I have?

  • Have I read about each of the buildings?  This will tell you which buildings have air conditioning, which have community or suite bathrooms, and other important information about each building and area. 

  • Have I looked at the building floor plans (at the bottom of the page)?

  • Will I or my roommate need to move-in on a specific day? See the move-in days and times and plan accordingly.

  • Will I or my roommate need housing during Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks?  If so, be sure to select a room in Chandler, Chesapeake, Eagle, Jennings, or Shenandoah Halls.

  • Have I communicated with my roommate about their preferences to see if they align with mine?

  • Have I developed the preference list with the help of my roommate (if selected), so that I am ready to search out those buildings and rooms during my time slot? Is it is a place where I will have it ready and available to easily grab when I am online?

If you have any questions about this information, please contact our office at or 540-568-4663.  


 What res halls are available to first year students?

The following halls will be available to first year students:

  • Bluestone: Hoffman, Spotswood and Wayland
  • Hillside: Bell, Hillside, and McGraw-Long
  • Lakeside: Eagle and Shorts
  • Skyline: Chesapeake, Chandler and Shenandoah (except for B Section's upper floors) and floors 1-3 of Jennings
  • Village: Chappelear, Dingledine, Frederikson, Garber, Hanson, Huffman, Ikenberry, Weaver and White

 When will I select a room?

  • Online room selection will take place for first year students from July 20th-31st. Students will receive their time slots via email for online room selection late in the afternoon of July 17th.
  • 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 specific Residential Learning Communities are housed based on major.
  • All other first year students will select their room in first year residence halls.

 How is the order determined how 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 our Res Hall Descriptions 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 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 JACard (Flex, not dining dollars) operated washers and dryers. All machines also accept quarters.
  • All halls have high efficiency (HE) washers that recommend special HE detergent.

 Are first year halls air-conditioned (AC)?

  • 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.
  • The Housing Accommodation Committee, which includes staff from Disability Services, the University Health Center and Residence Life makes all decisions regarding accommodations.

 Are some halls more academically oriented than others?

 What is the possibility of placing first year students in of-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” wide by 80” long, commonly called Twin XL.
  • If you are over 6’8” and are interested in a longer bed, please contact the Office of Residence Life at


 What is the roommate assignment procedure?

You can select your roommate if you choose, and we recommend that you do, but you are not required to.

If you select a roommate, the individual with the earliest timeslot to select a room will pull their roommate into the room they select.  The secondary roommate does not need to select a room.

If you do not select a roommate, you can still select a room, although this will occur after all students who can fill a room have made their decision.  There will be a percentage of rooms allocated in each building for students who have roommate and for those who don’t.  Please don’t think that there will automatically be fewer spaces available to you if you don’t have a roommate – it will still be based on when you paid your enrollment deposit.  You will also be able to see the answers to your potential roommate’s lifestyle questions when you are selecting a room.  So, students - please spend some personal time answering these questions so you are able to select the most compatible roommate or another student can select you as a roommate. 

Students can select their roommate(s) by forming or joining a Roommate Group on the Online Housing SystemPlease note that first year students may select roommates, but not suitemates.  Most rooms are double rooms, so most Roommate Groups will have 2 students.  However, since there are a limited number of triple rooms, 3 is the maximum number of students that may be in a Roommate Group.

Students who mutually requested each other as roommates via the Online Housing Portal by July 17th at noon will be able to be housed together. Students will then be able to select their residence hall building and room during Online Room Selection, which will take place between July 20 and July 31. Students will receive a Room Selection Timeslot during which they will select their room on July 17. The timeslot will be based on the date the student paid their Enrollment Deposit to the University.

On August 17, all students will be able to view their housing information in the Student Center on MyMadison. The information will include their building location and room number, roommate information and move-in date.

 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 (RAs) and Hall Directors (HDs) intervene and help mediate a roommate agreement for peaceful coexistence. Students are encouraged 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 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 at 12 noon. 
  • 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 July 17th at noon.

 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 17th noon deadline the roommate with the earliest timeslot will choose the room and pull the other student into the room automatically.


 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 (ORS) 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 5 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 (ORS) process based on when they sign their Live On Again! Contract.

 How many students live off-campus as upperclass students 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.


 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 program, marching band, a fall sport, or international students will be allowed early check in.
  • If you are a member of one of those groups, their group leader will contact you with those details.

 Are carts available on Move-In Day?

  • No, they are not.
  • 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.


 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.
  • Room Contents Key

 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 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 Hall Policies page 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 at

 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 (
  • For cinderblock: use poster putty (the white, NOT blue kind) or hooks with non-damaging adhesive (i.e. Command Hooks)
  • For drywall: use thumb tacks/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.


 What are the visitation policies in residence halls?

  • Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests and guest must be escorted at all times while visiting.
  • Residents may host overnight guest 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 (HD).
  • 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 2 consecutive nights without special permission from the Hall Director (HD).

 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.

 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 academic calendar with dates for all breaks.


 Are there computer hookups in the residence hall rooms?

  • Yes, residential students have access to MyReesNet wifi throughout their residence hall, including their bedroom. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • All residential student are also provided with a wired MyResNet connection in their bedroom.This enables your computer to access the internet and the campus network from your room. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • You can access more information about computing at JMU at or
  • Please note: Wireless routers are prohibited in residence halls.
  • Wireless printers are also discouraged.

 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.


 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 the 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 (

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

  • Yes, the Student Learning Initiatives (SLI) 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 (RAs) 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 (RA). The RA is an upperclass student who as 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 (CMSS), Career and Academic Planning (CAP) 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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