reslife

First Year Housing Information

Wesleyan University believes that living on campus is a crucial component of the overall college experience.  Therefore, the university has a four year residential requirement for all undergraduate students. Residential Life supports this commitment through offering increasingly independent housing options and focusing on five learning goals, while providing a safe and supportive residential environment which complements and extends the educational experience of students. The undergraduate residence options video provides a general overview.  

RESIDENCE HALLS:  First year students are housed in several residence halls (Bennet, Clark, West College, Nicolson, 200 Church, Writer’s Block (156 High) and the Butterfields), each of which has its own positive characteristics.  All are a 5-10 minute walk from the center of campus.  The buildings are co-ed, but some halls offer single-sex floors.  They vary by size, room type and ratio of first year to upper-class students.  In all locations first year students comprise at least 50% of the residents.  Most first year students will live in a double or triple occupancy room.  There are a limited number of single occupancy rooms available for first year students, most of which are located in the Butterfields.  Students who need a specific housing accommodation due to a disability must register with the office of Accessibility Services by submitting the notification form (Accessibility Services Forms) prior to June 29. 

HOUSING PREFERENCE FORM:  Incoming students are asked to complete a housing preference form, which is accessible through their Wesleyan portal in June.  In addition to indicating a preference for a single, double or triple occupancy room, students are able to indicate their interest in six “community based living” options, which provide the opportunity to live with students who share a similar interest and are often smaller, more closely-knit communities.  These options include single sex housing, quiet floor, substance free floor, 200 Church, West College and Writer’s Block.  Students are not able to request a particular residence hall.  More information is available in the housing preference form. 

FURNISHINGS:  Every student receives a desk, chair, dresser, extra long twin-size bed, bookcase and closet or wardrobe.  The furniture is movable, with the exception of some Foss Hill (West College and Nicolson) rooms that have built-in units. Most beds are adjustable in height, so risers are not needed. There are shades or vertical blinds on the windows. Bennet, Clark, Writer's Block (156 High) and 200 Church have sheet rock walls, the others are cinder block. Almost all of the rooms have tile floors. Roommates should coordinate who will bring shared items, such as rugs and refrigerators, so as not to end up with duplicates.  Wesleyan housing stock is very diverse, with multiple room sizes within each building, however we have found that a 5x7 carpet best fits most spaces.

COOKING FACILITIES:  All residence halls have cooking facilities. The use of kitchen appliances in student rooms is prohibited with the exception of a microwave and coffee pot with an automatic shut-off.

PACKING:  Students are encouraged to limit what they pack and assess their needs upon arrival. There are a number of stores in the area, including Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Staples, and Bed, Bath and Beyond, so additional items can easily be purchased.  A list of what to bring can be found (here) and what not to bring can be found (here). 

ROOMMATES:  Rather than asking students to complete a lifestyle questionnaire or personality survey, Wesleyan randomly assigns roommates, and focuses on use of a communication tool, the Roommate Agreement, after students arrive on campus.  The agreement provides a framework for discussing a variety of topics related to sharing a room together, such as use of personal items, visitors, neatness guidelines, hours to be able to sleep or study, etc., before different expectations lead to problems.

Students are discouraged from trying to find roommates through social media.  Should students know one another well and feel they would be compatible as roommates, they may request being paired together through their housing preference form.  Each student needs to request the other for the pairing to be made. 

STAFFING:  Student and professional staff members are trained to provide a positive living/learning experience for students as well as manage the residential areas. Students are also supported by a 24-hour on-call network of administrators and staff that includes Public Safety, Residential Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, and Student Affairs.

RESIDENT ADVISORS (RAs):  Residential advisors are students chosen for their leadership and interpersonal skills. Living in residential areas with residents, RAs plan social and educational programs for their residents, assist with administrative duties, provide referrals for personal and academic issues, enforce policies, and assist with conflict mediation. Questions or concerns from students should initially be addressed to the RA.

AREA COORDINATORS:  These professional staff members are responsible for supervision of the residential student staff, judicial conferences, room changes, and crisis management. Students whose issues are not resolved after seeking assistance from the RA should contact their Area Coordinator.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:  All residence halls have card access to enter the buildings.  Buildings are only as secure as students make them, we work closely with Public Safety to educate residents and confront suspicious behavior.

CHARGES:  The Residential Comprehensive Fee includes room and board.  First and second year students pay the same rate, regardless of which building or type of room. 

PROPERTY INSURANCE: Since Wesleyan cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage of residents’ personal property caused by mechanical mishaps, theft, fire, wind, flood, or other catastrophes, the University advises students to maintain their own insurance for personal possessions. Parents should check the terms and conditions of their homeowners’ policies to determine if losses of family members’ possessions at school are covered. If not, there are several insurance companies that offer inexpensive policies that cover student belongings, such as by National Student Services Inc. or Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk.