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? 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? 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? Yes, 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. 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. Patterson Hall - basic furnishings plus a full refrigerator and oven/stove. Each room at Patterson has a private bathroom with a tub/shower. Reed Hall - basic furnishing plus a mini-refrigerator and stovetop. 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. 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, microwave, 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 (Question #6 - Roommate Matching). 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. Freshmen that apply for housing by May 1st are given the opportunity to seach for their own roommate by way of RoomSync, a Facebook® application. 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 May 1st. 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 mailed during the first week of July. Room assignment letters include your building and room assignment, your roommate's name and contact information for your roommate. Room assignment letters are not mailed out for spring or summer semester; however, new residents for the spring and summer are notified of their building assignments about one month 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 in 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 1st 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 starts the 3rd week of each semester – August 26th – 30th for Fall 2013 semester, January 21st – 24th for the Spring 2014 semester, and June 5th – 9th for the Summer 2014 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. Mediated Room Change starts after Open Room Change ends each semester. During Mediated Room Change, all room changes require that a resident seeks to resolve roommate issues through roommate mediation. Residents desiring a room change during this period should see their RA and/or Residence Life Coordinator (or hall director) to discuss the process. Room changes during Mediated Room Change are approved during a specific time period each month. Additional information about Mediated Room Change is available in the Residential Life Guide. 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 Campus Life and Housing, Luther Gremmels. In these situations, Mr. Gremmels will make the decision about who will move. 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 MP3 Player Throw Rugs Kitchen Items Envelopes Snack Items School Supplies Stamps Can Opener Pens and Pencils Posters Dishes Pencil Sharpener Poster Putty Utensils Stapler Identification/Money Calendar Food Storage Containera Scissors Social Security Card Message Board Coffee Maker (Auto Shut-Off) Loose-Leaf Binder Passport Facial Tissues Microwave (800 Watts or Less) Paper Drivers License Flash Light Small Refrigerator(4 Cubic Ft. or Smaller) Highlighters Health Insurance Card Umbrella Paper Towels Index Cards ATM Card Bike and 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. Since microwaves are provided in Hoover, Phase II, residents of Hoover-Phase II may not bring microwave ovens. 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 has free basic cable TV service. You will need to provide your own cable-ready television and coaxial cable. 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, such as Radio Shack 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 Campus Life and Housing. 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 $150 - $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. 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 Name1 College DriveUWA Housing - Hall & Room #Livingston, AL 35470-2098 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. Smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and smokeless pouches, is 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 and Stickney are locked 24 hours a day. Residents of Gilbert Hall 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 permitted at Gilbert Hall and Selden Hall during the following hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10:30 AM until 12 Midnight Friday 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. For a complete description of the visitation policy, please refer to the Residential Life Guide. 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 Gillbert 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? All first-year freshmen, and students that live in a residence hall room without kitchen facilities, are required to have at least a 14 meal plan. A 9 meal plan is required of all other residents. Hoover residents who have lived on the UWA campus for at least two semesters are exempt from the meal plan requirement. More information about campus dining 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, personal lofts are not permitted. In Gilbert, Patterson and Hoover (Phase 2), the beds are adjustable. Beds are not adjustable in Stickney, Reed and Hoover (Phase 1). If the beds are not bunked, residents of Stickney, 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. The Housing Office does permit you to rent a loft from our approved vendor, Collegiate Bed Lofts. For more information regarding the loft rental program, contact the Housing Office. When do the residence halls open? Fall 2013 Thursday, August 15th: 1 PM - 3 PM Saturday, August 17th: 10 AM - 3 PM Fall Check-In takes place at the Student Union Building. NOTE: Check-In will not take place on Friday or Sunday (August 16th and 18th). When do the residence halls close? Fall 2013 Thursday, December 12th at 2 PM NOTE: Students that are participating in commencement and residents that have other valid reasons for a late departure may remain on campus until Commencement Day (Saturday) at 3 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. 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 $50. 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 $200. 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. Therapy and Companion animals that have been approved as an accommodation by the University may be permitted within the residence halls and campus apartments with prior approval from the Director of Campus Life and Housing. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. An exception to the pet policy applies to hall directors and full-time resident staff and faculty with prior approval by the Director of Campus Life and Housing. Only full-time faculty and staff with an outside entrance to their apartment are permitted to have dogs. 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 Campus Life and Housing. May I store things over the summer? Students that are living on campus during the spring semester and that have reserved houisng 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. 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 Housing@uwa.edu . .