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Congratulations! The Office of Residence Life welcomes all incoming Spring 2021 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 Spring 2021 will be able to access the Online Housing System starting on November 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

General Residence Life 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 jmu.edu/orl 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.

First Year Housing Questions

 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

 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. During the Spring semester these areas will be cleaned twice daily Monday through Friday and once in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. This schedule may be amended as the needs for the building may change.
  • 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?

  • We will not be utilizing these options for the 2020-2021 academic year.

 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 res-life@jmu.edu.

Roommate Questions

 What is the roommate assignment procedure?

New students for spring 2021 will be assigned a roommate based on your Lifestyle Questionnaire answers. Please answer these questions honestly for the most compatible match. If you have a specific roommate request, both individuals need to send that request to res-life@jmu.edu by Friday, December 11 at 5:00pm. Any requests made after that time cannot be guaranteed.

 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.

Live on Again! Contract for 2021-2022 Questions

 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.

Move-in Questions

 When will I find out my move in time for the Spring 2021 Semester?

Students will be able to move in to their residence hall room as soon as their testing is done and they have been cleared by the staff in the Convocation Center.

 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.

Things to Bring Questions

 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 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 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 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 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.

Policy Questions

 What are the visitation policies in residence halls?

• For the 2020-21 academic year, no guests who live outside of a student’s residence hall may visit at any time other than move-in and move-out.
• If students plan to have overnight guests, they must obtain agreement from their roommate in advance. Roommates must have full use of their room at all times and must give consent to overnight guests. If roommates do not agree on having an overnight guest, the right of the student who does not want the guest takes priority.  The overnight guest must already reside in the same residence hall as the host.  No outside overnight guests are permitted this year.
• Guests may stay overnight in student bedrooms only (residents and guests may not sleep in suite rooms, apartment living rooms, lounges, or other public areas) and must use gender-appropriate or gender-neutral bathrooms.
• Hosts are responsible at all times for the activities and actions of their guests. Guests who violate any residence hall or university policies may be required to leave and the host held accountable. Damages attributed to guests may be charged to the hosting students.
• Hosts may not give their room key or JMU Access Card (JAC) to their guest. Guests are only allowed to visit their host, and are not permitted to wander the halls or visit other residents or rooms unless they are explicitly invited and escorted by their host.
• Students may not have overnight guests during final examination weeks.
• Roommates or other hall residents who believe their rights are being violated or that they are being imposed upon should first discuss the matter with the other party. If this does not lead to a resolution of the problem, residents should contact their RA or residence hall director.

 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.

Computer and Telephone Questions

 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 jmu.edu/orl/move-in/wireless-internet.shtml or www.jmu.edu/computing
  • 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.

Miscellaneous Questions

 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.
  • 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 (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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