Frequently Asked Questions Are the residence halls safe? Do I need renter's insurance? Are students required to live on campus? How much does it cost to live on campus? What is furnished in a residence hall room? How are roommates assigned? May I request a specific person as my roommate? When will I find out my room assignment and who my roommate will be? What do I do if I want to change rooms? What happens if my roommate and I don't get along? Once I receive my room assignment, may I see my room? What do I need to bring? May I bring a microwave oven and/or a refrigerator? Will standard-size sheets fit the beds on campus? Do rooms have telephones? Do rooms have cable television? Can I put a TV mount on my wall in my room? Will I be able to connect to the Internet from my room? If I move off campus before the end of the school year, do I get a refund? What is my mailing address? Is smoking permitted in the residence halls? Is there a curfew? What is the visitation policy? Can I have an overnight guest? How many guests can I have at a time? Are there laundry facilities in the residence halls? Do I have to get a meal ticket if I live on campus? What is an RA? May I build a loft in my room? When do the residence halls open? When do the residence halls close? Are private rooms available? Are students able to stay on campus during breaks? Are pets allowed? May I store things over the summer? What should I do if I have a question that isn't answered here? Are the residence halls safe? Generally, living on campus is safer than living off campus. However, since residence halls serve as private residences for a large number of students, security and safety are important concerns. The UWA campus is patrolled by campus police officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All of the residence halls have fire alarm systems which are tested on a periodic basis and every residence hall room has a smoke detector. In addition, Gilbert and Stickney Halls are locked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to limit access to only those students living in the buildings and their guests. Do I need renter's insurance? Since the University assumes no liability for personal property damage, loss or theft, we strongly encourage students to have renter's insurance unless you are already covered by your parent's homeowner's insurance policy or their renter's insurance policy. If your insurance company does not provide property insurance, the Housing Office recommends contacting National Student Services about their student property insurance program: www.nssinc.com Are students required to live on campus? Freshmen are required to live on campus for up to one academic year. Living on campus provides educational and social benefits not available to students who live off campus. The residence halls provide students with a supportive living environment, proximity to academic resources, and convenient access to organized student activities. Students first enrolling in the summer are required to live on campus during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Students first enrolling in the fall are required to live on campus during the fall and spring semesters. Students first enrolling in the spring are required to live on campus during the spring semester. Additional information about the Freshman Residency Requirement is available HERE. Sophomores and transfer students that earned college credit prior to graduating from high school (dual enrollment, advanced placement, CLEP, etc.) are required to live on campus their first year of full-time enrollment, if more than 50% of their college credits were earned during dual enrollment, and/or through AP and CLEP tests. These students are required to live at Gilbert Hall their first year. How much does it cost to live on campus? When you take into consideration the cost of utilities and commuting expenses, living on campus is very reasonable. Specific residence hall rates are listed HERE. What is furnished in a residence hall room? Each resident is provided a desk, chair, bed, closet area and several drawers in a dresser cabinet. Furnishings in specific residence halls are as follows: Gilbert Hall - basic furnishing plus a private bathroom with a shower. Reed Hall - basic furnishing plus a mini-refrigerator and stove-top. Each room at Reed has a private bathroom with a tub/shower. Stickney Hall - basic furnishings plus a full refrigerator and oven/stove. Each room at Stickney has a private bathroom with a tub/shower. Some of the rooms in Stickney Hall are furnished for three students. Patterson Hall - basic furnishings plus a full refrigerator and oven/stove. Each room at Patterson has a private bathroom with a tub/shower. Hoover - Phase I - The double bedrooms in each apartment at Hoover-Phase I include the basic furnishings. In addition, each two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Phase I of Hoover Apartments has a sofa, a living room chair, an end table, a TV stand, a dining room table and four chairs. Each kitchen in Phase I is furnished with a refrigerator and an oven/stove. Hoover - Phase II - The single bedrooms in each apartment at Hoover-Phase II have the basic furnishings. In addition, each four-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Phase II of Hoover Apartments has a sofa, a living room chair, an end table, a TV stand, four barstools and a breakfast bar. Each kitchen in Phase II is furnished with a refrigerator, oven/stove and dishwasher. How are roommates assigned? The University of West Alabama encourages educational, social and cultural diversity within the residence halls. Therefore, roommate assignments are made without regard to race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or religion. We do, however, want you to get along with your roommate. So, we will try to assign you with a compatible roommate. Since most new students do not request a particular person as their roommate, students are matched with similar students, based on answers they provide on their Housing Application. Several of the questions are used to assign students to particular neighborhoods within the residence halls. Additional questions are designed to match roommates. It's not an exact science, but if you answer the questions honestly, you will probably end up with a great roommate. May I request a specific person as my roommate? Yes. However, in order for us to assign you with a specific person as your roommate, both you and your preferred roommate must apply for housing by the priority deadline (generally 1st Monday in April). You must also request each other as roommates on your housing application. If you decide to be roommates after you apply for housing, both of you must contact the Housing Office by June 1st to update your housing applications, requesting the other person as your preferred roommate. Recognize that in order to assign you with your preferred roommate, both of you must be assigned to the same residence hall. When will I find out my room assignment and who my roommate will be? Room assignments for the fall semester are sent by email to the student's UWA email address during the first two weeks of July, to students that apply for housing by June 1st. Students that apply for housing after June 1st will find out their room assignment when they move on campus. Room assignment emails include your building and room assignment, your roommate's name and contact information for your roommate. Be aware that the contact information usually refers to the student's UWA email address. So, new students should set up their email address as soon as possible HERE. Room assignments are not sent during the spring or summer semester; however, new residents for the spring and summer are notified of their building assignments about four weeks before the semester begins. Students moving on-campus in January or May will find out their room assignment when they arrive on campus to move into their residence hall. What do I do if I want to change rooms? Room assignments are made for the academic year and may not be changed without approval from the Assistant Director of Housing. Residents wanting to change rooms should complete the room change form available from the Housing Office. There are three different phases of Room Change – mutual Room Swaps, Open Room Change, and Mediated Room Change. A mutual Room Swap can be approved during the first two weeks of each semester. This is where two (or more) individuals switch room assignments and each move into the other’s space (no empty spaces are required). This requires the mutual approval of all four (or more) residents involved in the swap, and must be approved, in writing, by the Assistant Director of Housing prior to the move. Open Room Change takes place during the third week of each semester. During Open Room Change, anyone may request a room change for any reason without having to go through roommate mediation. Room changes during this period will be approved as space is available. Any open room changes after the third week of the semester are permissible only if the resident will be filling a vacant space in the room of the preferred roommate. Any other residents seeking a room change after the third week of each semester are required to seek resolution of roommate issues through the roommate mediation process. Residents must complete the online Mediation Request Form and participate in the mediation process. As the mediation process does take time, there is a two week waiting period after the student participates in mediation. If the mediation process was not successful, the student can complete a Room Change Request Form from the Housing Office. These room changes will be processed within seven business days, if space is available. Additional information about Mediated Room Change is available HERE. What happens if my roommate and I don't get along? Although most students do get along with their roommates, from time to time, disagreements may occur. Roommate conflicts are a natural part of community living. We want you to learn to resolve conflicting issues with your roommate since the ability to resolve differences is a useful skill that you will be able to utilize in college and after you graduate. Most residents are able to work out conflicts on their own. However, sometimes roommates find that an outside mediator is helpful. You should contact your resident assistant (RA) if mediation is needed. Your Residence Life Coordinator (or hall director) can also assist you in resolving roommate conflicts. Occasionally conflicts arise that cannot be resolved. In these cases of irreconcilable differences, one of the residents will need to change rooms. Most residents decide among themselves who will move when there are irreconcilable roommate conflicts. If this cannot be decided upon mutually by the residents of the room or apartment, the residents should contact the Director of Housing and Residence Life, Luther Gremmels. In these situations, Mr. Gremmels will make the decision about who will move. In most cases, all of the residents will be required to change rooms. Once I receive my room assignment, may I see my room? Since our residence halls are used for camps and conferences during the summer, we are not able to show you your particular room. Tours of typical residence hall rooms are available during Orientation and by appointment with the Housing Office. What do I need to bring? Deciding what to bring to college is a major task. You don't want to bring too much stuff or you'll be falling all over everything. However, you should bring things that you feel will make your room your "home away from home". You may want to consider the following items: Keepsakes Bedding Bathroom Items Electronics Memorabilia Mattress Pad Towels (2) Computer Family Pictures Pillow and Pillow Case Washcloths (2) Printer Yearbook Extra-Long Twin Sheets Toilet Tissue USB Drive Comforter Shampoo Cell Phone Miscellaneous Blanket Soap Cell Phone Charger Clothes Deodorant Headphones Alarm Clock Laundry Supplies Hygiene Products Television Desk Lamp(Non-Halogen ) Liquid Detergent(Powder is Prohibited) Toothbrushand Toothpaste Coaxial Cable Broom Fabric Softener Floss DVD Player Dust Pan Dryer Sheets Razor Video Games Vacuum Cleaner Drying Rack Shaving Cream Game Console Trash Can Laundry Bag or Basket Make-Up Surge Protector Garbage Bags Ironing Board Band Aids Extra Batteries Glass Cleaner Iron (Auto Shut-Off) Nail Clippers Camera Bathroom Cleaner Hangers Thermometer Calculator Air Freshener Hair Dryer Radio Throw Rugs Kitchen Items Headphones or Earbuds Envelopes Snack Items School Supplies Stamps Can Opener Pens and Pencils Posters Dishes Pencil Sharpener Calendar Utensils Stapler Identification/Money Message Board Food Storage Containers Scissors Social Security Card Facial Tissues Coffee Maker (Auto Shut-Off) Loose-Leaf Binder Passport Flash Light Microwave (800 Watts or Less) Paper Drivers License Umbrella Small Refrigerator(4 Cubic Ft. or Smaller) Highlighters Health Insurance Card Bike Paper Towels Index Cards ATM Card Bike Lock Dish Towel Spiral Notebooks Checkbook First Aid Kit Dish Soap Printer Paper Proof of Car Insurance Sewing Kit Sponge Book Bag Lock Box May I bring a microwave oven and/or refrigerator? Small microwave ovens (800 watts or less) and compact refrigerators (4.0 cubic feet or smaller) are permitted if the item is not already furnished in the room (or apartment). Refrigerators should be energy efficient and must not use more than 350 kilowatt-hours per year (KWH/year). For space reasons, it is recommended that each pair of roommates at Gilbert Hall share one refrigerator, instead of having two refrigerators in the room. There is a designated space under the kitchen counter that has been designed to accommodate one compact refrigerator. The dimensions of the space is 34 inches high, 24 inches wide and 26 inches deep. Patterson, Reed, Stickney and Hoover residents are not permitted to bring refrigerators since refrigerators are provided. Will standard-size sheets fit the beds on campus? Most of the mattresses on campus are extra-long (36" x 80"). If you are bringing fitted sheets, we suggest extra-long sheets. If your local stores do not carry extra-long linens, we recommend purchasing extra-long sheets from OCM, a company that specializes in supplies for college students: http://www.rhl.org/wal. Do rooms have telephones? Our older residence halls have phone jacks but the University does not provide phone service. If you want to activate phone service in your room, you must do so at your own expense. Since most students bring a cell phone instead of getting phone service in their rooms, our newer buildings do not have phone jacks. For this reason, traditional phone service is not available in Hoover - Phase 2 and in Gilbert Hall. Do rooms have cable television? Every residence hall room and campus apartment has free basic cable TV service. You will need to provide your own cable-ready television and coaxial cable. In order to work with the University's cable service, a television must have a QAM 256 (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) digital tuner. Most flat screen televisions manufactured after 2009 come equipped with a QAM 256 tuner but some "low cost" televisions do not. If you are buying a new TV, you should make sure that the TV has a QAM 256 tuner. This is especially important if you are buying one of the following television brands: Apex, Dynex, Element, Emerson, Haier, HiSense, Insignia, Magnavox, ProScan, RCA, Sanyo, Sceptre, Seiki, Sylvania, ViewSonic and Westinghouse. You can find the most current channel line-up on the Mediacom website HERE. Can I put a TV mount on my wall in my room? TVs may not be mounted to the wall due to the damage that is caused by the TV mount and because there is not the extra bracing needed for TV mounting. In addition, Housing policy does not permit the use of nails, screws, or bolts with a point-size of more than 1/16th of an inch. In Hoover, an entertainment center is provided in the living room and in other halls and the bedrooms at Hoover, most students place their TV on their dresser or desk. Will I be able to connect to the Internet from my room? Yes, if you have a computer and a wireless network card, you will be able to connect to the Internet. Every residence hall and apartment on campus is connected to the University's local area network by way of several wireless access points. The wireless network (Wi-Fi) allows you to connect to the Internet at a very high speed. If your computer does not have Wi-Fi, you may purchase a wireless USB adapter at most electronics stores and Amazon.com. Installation is easy- simply plug the adapter into your USB port and you're ready to go. In case your computer has an Ethernet port, be aware that the residence halls do not have Ethernet connections. Unless your computer also has a wireless card, you should purchase a USB adapter so that you can connect to the Internet from your room. If I move off campus before the end of the school year, do I get a refund? If an enrolled student moves off campus before the completion of the contract period (before the end of the spring semester), he/she will be charged for the residence hall room for the entire year UNLESS he/she is released from the housing agreement by the Director of Housing and Residence Life. Residents who want to be released from the housing agreement must fill out a Housing Agreement Release Form. In most cases, a student will not be released from the housing agreement unless he/she withdraws or graduates from the University. Even when approved, there are financial penalties, including loss of deposit and a cancellation fee of $250. Fall semester residents that are requesting to be released from their housing agreement for the spring semester MUST turn in a Housing Agreement Release Form at the Housing Office (Brock Hall 121) no later than November 15th. After the 60% point of the semester (approximately October 15th, March 10th and July 5th), rent and meal plan charges are not refunded for the current semester, even if the student withdraws and/or is released from the Housing Agreement. What is my mailing address? Residents do not receive mail at their residence halls. For this reason, residents should rent a campus mailbox at the Student Union Building. Students are encouraged to rent a mailbox during Summer Orientation so that they know their mailing address before arriving on campus. Your address will be as follows: Your NameUWA Box (Your Number)The University of West AlabamaLivingston, Alabama 35470-2098 Mail is not delivered to the residence halls. Packages should be sent through the U.S. Postal Service to your campus mailbox. If you must have something sent to you by Federal Express or UPS, you should use the following address: Your NameUWA Box (Your Number) 451 University DriveLivingston, AL 35470 Is smoking permitted in the residence halls? Smoking is not permitted in the residence halls. The residence halls and apartments on the UWA campus are tobacco and smoke-free. This means that smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the building nor within fifty feet of the building. E-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and smokeless pouches, are also prohibited. Is there a curfew? UWA does not have a residence hall curfew. Students may come and go from our halls as they please, but we do have a visitation policy that restricts the time when students may have guests in the building. Also, exterior doors at Gilbert, Selden, and Stickney are locked 24 hours a day. Residents of Gilbert and Selden use a card to gain access to the building, while residents of Stickney Hall may use their room key to unlock the main entrance. What is the visitation policy? In order to insure a degree of privacy for residents and maintain a secure environment, the residence halls and apartments on campus have a visitation schedule that limits visits by guests. A guest is defined as anyone (male or female) who is not assigned to the specific room or apartment. Visitation is defined as the time-period when guests are permitted to be in the residence hall and in your room or apartment. However, visitation is a privilege, not a right. Residents must consider the privacy of their roommates when having guests to their room or apartment. Study and sleep needs have priority over visitation; so, roommates must agree to the times when they will have guests in the room/ apartment. If roommates cannot agree on visitation, the RLC/ HD has the authority to reduce or prohibit visitation within the room/apartment. Residents who wish to limit visitation hours within their room/apartment should meet with their RLC/HD. The Housing Office staff may limit visitation hours and adjust the visitation schedule, as deemed necessary. For safety reasons, it is a violation of policy to let anyone into your residence hall or your room that is not your guest. Visitation is permitted at Gilbert Hall and Selden Hall during the following hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10:30 AM until 12 MidnightFriday and Saturday: 10:30 AM until 2:00 AM Visitation is permitted at Stickney, Reed and Patterson Hall and at Hoover Apartments,during the following hours:Sunday – Saturday: 10:30 AM until 2:00 AM Guests that do not live in your residence hall must be escorted at all times while in your residence hall, including when the guest enters the hall, is in the resident’s room or any common areas within the hall, and when the guest exits the hall. The host resident must be present in the room and/or in the common area with the guest at all times while the guest is in the room or common area, even for those buildings with outside entrances. Residents are held responsible for the actions of their guests; so, it is very important that you do not let your guest(s) travel in your residence hall without you. You will be held responsible for your guests’ actions, even if you are not escorting your guest. If you do not want to be held responsible for the actions of your guests, you should not have guests. Can I have an overnight guest?Visitation does not grant co-habitation. Residents who allow guests (male or female) to stay in their room for an excessive amount of time will be in violation of the visitation policy. A resident may have a person of the same sex stay as an overnight guest in his/her residence hall room ONLY IF APPROVED by the resident’s roommate and by the Residence Life Coordinator (Gilbert Hall) or Hall Director. To request approval for an overnight guest, after speaking with your roommate and getting approval from him/her, complete the online form HERE at least 48 hours prior to the visit (or by Thursday at 5 PM if visiting over the weekend). If the guest is to stay beyond two consecutive nights or more than four total nights during a semester, the form must be completed at least 72 hours in advance and approved by the Director of Housing and Residence Life. It is the responsibility of the resident to make the guest aware of all residence hall policies and rules. The hosting resident is responsible for the guest’s behavior during a visit. Due to security concerns, overnight visitation will not be permitted or approved during the following times: Pre-Season Housing; Before the 2nd week of classes each semester; Final Exams; and University Breaks In addition, overnight visits are not permitted by guests younger than 17 years of age. How many guests can I have at a time?No more than four guests are allowed in any residence hall room at the same time. If you have a roommate, you must coordinate this with your roommate so that the total occupancy of your room, including you, your roommate and all guests does not exceed six people. While this policy also applies to an individual bedroom at Hoover, the total number permitted in a Hoover apartment is four guests of any individual resident with a total of six guests in the apartment at any one time. Children under 10 years of age must be escorted by a parent/ legal guardian at all times. Children under 3 years of age are not permitted in the residence halls or university apartments except on Move-In Day and during official open house events. Are there laundry facilities in the residence halls? Yes, each residence hall and apartment area has a laundry room available for use by the residents of the area. Residents at Gilbert Hall, Stickney Hall and Hoover Apartments should use the Tiger Bucks on their student ID card to operate the washers and dryers in their areas. Residents of these buildings may check on the availability of washers and dryers here. The laundry machines in the other residence halls are coin operated (quarters). Do I have to get a meal plan if I live on campus? Students are subject to meal plan charges as long as they are being charged for a residence hall space on campus. All first-year freshmen, and students that live in a residence hall room without kitchen facilities, are required to purchase the All Access Meal Plan. A 9-meal plan is required of all other residents. Hoover residents that have lived on the UWA campus at least two semesters are exempt from the meal plan requirement except during the summer semester. All residents, including Hoover residents, must have a meal plan during the summer semester. Additional information about the meal plans is available HERE. What is an RA? An RA is a Resident Assistant. These students have been trained to assist residents in their adjustment to college life and to assist students with housing concerns. RAs provide programs and activities that promote social, educational, physical, and mental development. May I build a loft in my room? No, lofts are not permitted. In Gilbert, Patterson, Stickney, and Hoover (Phase 2), the beds are adjustable (junior lofts); so, beds may be raised high enough to store the dresser cabinet under the bed. Beds are not adjustable in Reed, Selden, and Hoover (Phase 1). If the beds are not bunked, residents of Reed and Hoover (Phase 1) may request permission to use bed risers. Prior permission is required for bed risers. The form to request the use of bed risers is located HERE. When do the residence halls open? Fall 2017: Saturday, August 12th: 10 AM - 3 PM Fall Check-In takes place at the Student Union Building. NOTE: Check-In will not take place on Sunday (August 13th). Spring 2018: Thursday, January 4th: 10 AM - 3 P.M Spring Check-In takes place at the Housing Conference Room (Brock Hall 201). An Early Check-In (or alternative time/date) Appointment may be arranged by calling the Housing Office (205-652-3686) at least three days prior to the time you want to arrive on campus. You will be expected to send an email, confirming your arrival date and time. A $10 Early Check-In Fee will be assessed when you make your special check-in appointment. This fee is charged anytime a student checks in at a time other than on Move-In Day or another scheduled Check-In period, as published by the Housing Office. In addition to the Early Check-In Fee, you will be charged a rental fee of $25 per night for each night prior to the first day of standard Check-In. If you need to make an early check-in (or alternate time/date) appointment two days before you want to arrive on campus, the Early Check-In Fee will be increased to $20. If you need to make an early check-in (or alternate time/date) appointment the day before you want to arrive on campus, the Early Check-In Fee will be increased to $40. This option is subject to availability and may not be possible. If you need to make an early check-in (or alternate time/date) appointment the day you want to arrive on campus, the Early Check-In Fee will be increased to $60. This option is not usually available; so, you should plan accordingly. When do the residence halls close? Halls will close for the Fall 2017 semester on Thursday, December 7th, at 2 PM. For the Spring 2017 semester, halls close on Thursday, May 7th, at 2 PM. Are private rooms available? Due to high occupancy levels, single rooms are not available in Gilbert Hall during the fall semester. If vacancies occur, double rooms may be available as private rooms at Gilbert Hall in the spring semester. A private room costs an additional 50% of the standard rental rate. Single bedrooms are available to sophomores and above in Hoover Apartments - Phase 2. Due to high occupancy levels, single rooms are not available in Hoover - Phase 1, Patterson, Reed and Stickney during the fall semester. If vacancies occur, double rooms may be available as single rooms during the spring semester. A private room costs an additional 50% of the standard rental rate. A few single rooms may be available each school year at Selden Hall. A single room at Selden, if available, costs an additional $300 per semester. Are students able to stay on campus during breaks? The residence hall rent that is charged each semester covers only periods when classes are in session. Residents that need to stay over Thanksgiving Break or Spring Break must sign up for break housing at least one week prior to the first day of the break. The fee to stay over Thanksgiving Break or Spring Break is $75. Residents that need to stay over Winter Break or May Break must sign up for break housing by the first day of final exams. The fee to stay over Winter or May Break is $300. May Break housing is only available to spring residents that have reserved housing for the summer semester.Housing over breaks is not guaranteed and may require relocation to a central residence hall. Break housing is not available between summer semester and fall semester. This time period is used to prepare rooms and apartments for the fall semester. Students who have special circumstances may be able to check into their fall semester rooms early. For information about an early check-in, please contact the Housing Office. Are pets allowed? With the exception of fish, pets are not permitted in the residence halls and campus apartments. This means that residents cannot bring a pet or other non-human life form into a residence hall or apartment, even for a brief period of time. Residents may also not allow a non-human life form to visit or enter a residence hall or campus apartment. Pets and all other non-human life forms are also prohibited in common areas, hallways, breezeways and within 50 feet of all residence hall entrances, rooms and campus apartments. Fish are permitted as long as they are contained in a 20 gallon or smaller aquarium. Other creatures, such as reptiles, may be able to maintain life within an aquarium but they are still prohibited. An exception to the pet policy applies to hall directors and full-time resident staff and faculty with prior approval by the Director of Housing and Residence Life. Only full-time faculty and staff with an outside entrance to their apartment are permitted to have dogs. Emotional Support Animals (ESA) may be permitted within the residence halls and campus apartments with prior approval from the Director of Housing and Residence Life. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (guide-dogs, etc.), are not subject to the pet policy, as their presence is permitted by federal law. Trainee animals that are under instruction to become service animals are not permitted to live on campus but may be granted periodic visits with prior approval from the Director of Housing and Residence Life. May I store things over the summer? Students that are living on campus during the spring semester and that have reserved housing for the fall semester may store personal items on campus over the summer if their official place of residence is over 500 miles from campus. Space is very limited and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Special storage space has been provided by the Housing Office to the International Programs Office. International students should contact International Programs regarding summer storage. What should I do if I have a question that isn't answered here? If you have a question that is not covered here, you should contact the Housing Office. The phone number is 205-652-3686. The e-mail address is ResLife@uwa.edu.