Residential Life - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I apply for Housing?

A. The Enrollment Agreement is included with the information materials sent to new students by the Admission Office upon acceptance to Valparaiso University. Housing enrollment materials and information about the residence halls are included in this packet. For continuing students, materials regarding the annual Room Selection Process are available from the Office of Residential Life.


Q. What are the room assignment procedures?

A. Every effort is made to honor the preferences marked on the Enrollment Agreement. However, it is not possible to guarantee that each request will be met. The following procedures will be used.

  1. Returning residents (current residence hall students and students moving from off campus) are given first preference to sign up for fall housing accommodations during a special spring sign-up period during the spring semester.
  2. New Residents (incoming freshman, transfer, readmits, and those continuing students who failed to apply for a room during the special sign-up period) are assigned to the remaining spaces based on:
  • Date the completed Enrollment Agreement is received.
  • Roommate preference. (Requests must be mutual and received within a short time of each other.)
  • Roommate preference takes priority over building preference
  • Hall and/or room preferences.


Q. How are roommates assigned?

A. Mutual requests for specific roommates are honored when possible. Otherwise, roommates are assigned using the information supplied on the Enrollment Agreement. Room assignments are made without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.


Q. When will I know my room assignment?

A. Notices of room assignments are mailed in mid July for incoming students. Along with your assignment, you will receive the name, address and home phone number of your roommate and information on check in procedures.

Returning students will receive a confirmation of their room assignment in mid June.


Q. What is the Study Intensive Community?

A. One wing of the 5th floor of Alumni Hall is reserved for female freshman students, and one wing on the 5th floor of Lankenau Hall for male freshman students who prefer a more quiet and focused atmosphere for their studies. Capacity is approximately 50 students. In this community the quiet hours are established at a minimum of 7 p.m. until 10 a.m. each day. Students may increase the number of scheduled quiet hours based upon their needs and the academic schedule, with an 80% affirmative vote of floor residents. If you wish to reside there, you must indicate it by checking the box on your Housing & Tuition Deposit form. Checking that option supersedes all other housing options.


Q. If I want to buy carpet for my room, what size should I buy?

A. We recommend that you purchase a remnant, and cut this to size once you arrive on campus. In residence halls with built in furniture, Alumni, Lankenau, Brandt and Scheele, there is 51 inches of floor width between the beds. Carpet will not fit under the beds due to the frames attached to the floor.


Q. What if I prefer a different room?

A. Room changes are allowed approximately two weeks after the start of each semester. To request a different room, students must complete a Room Change Request Form available from your Residential Learning Coordinator or the Office of Residential Life.

Room Consolidation is a process which operates under the premise that residents paying for double occupancy are to reside in double accommodations. The process occurs the first 8 weeks of each semester (except for noncom change periods). The process provides residents in unpaid single rooms the option of (1) voluntarily accepting a roommate, (2) voluntarily moving to another double room accommodation, (3) being reassigned to a double occupancy configuration by the Office of Residential Life, or (4) signing for and accepting the additional cost of a single room, rather than consolidating. Freshman students are not permitted to have single rooms, so option 4 is not available to those students.

Those students who do not comply with the process, refuse to accept a roommate, or refuse to move according to the policy are subject to disciplinary action and/or fines.


Q. Can I have a room of my own?

A. A limited number of single rooms are available. Most singles are assigned to continuing residents through our room selection process. Demand usually exceeds supply. Indicating a preference for a single room on the Enrollment Agreement or Housing Agreement does not guarantee the request will be granted. Students who are granted a single room will be sent confirmation by the Office of Residential Life; all others will be assigned double rooms and placed on a single room waiting list.

Freshman students are not permitted to have a single room.  Space availability is one reason, but more importantly, we feel it is important for new students to have roommates for support and assistance during the first year experience. Studies have shown that students having a roommate develop better interpersonal/social and coping skills during their freshman year when compared to students without roommates. In addition studies show that first year students with roommates get better grades, are less likely to withdraw, and generally report to be more satisfied with the college experience.


Q. Can I live off campus?

A. Anyone having earned fewer than 88 credits by the first day of fall semester must reside on campus.

Exceptions are:

  1. Students who Commute from the home and primary address of a parent or legal guardian.
  2. Those who are 22 years of age by September 1 of the academic year in question.
  3. Married students.
  4. Veterans of active duty with the United States Armed Forces
  5. Those living in approved Fraternity housing. (You must have a Fraternity Exemption Form on file in our office.)
  6. Parents of a minor child with whom you will live.
  7. Those who qualify as an independent student according to the federal guidelines for student financial aid.
  8. Those having received exemption through the Office of Residential Life.


Q. When may I move into my room?

A. For the fall semester, the residence halls open at 8:00 am on the Saturday before classes start for all NEW Valparaiso University students. Upon arrival, you will need to check in at your residence hall's front desk. Returning VU students may check in to their residence hall beginning at 2:00 p.m. Students may continue to check in until 10:00 pm. If for any reason a student will be checking in later than the evening before the first day of classes, he/she should contact the Office of Residential Life to make arrangements for a late check in.

Students arriving for the spring semester may move in beginning at 12:00 noon C.D.T. on the Sunday before classes begin.


Q. Will I have telephone service in my room?

A. The University provides local telephone service, a telephone, and a voice mail box for each student living on campus. Long distance service is not provided as a part of this service. Students may wish to purchase a long distance calling card for this purpose.


Q. Will I have cable television service in my room?

A. All residence hall rooms have been upgraded to receive a customized channel line-up with more than 75 channels of entertainment, sports, news, local broadcast and educational content. The service will be broadcast throughout campus and will be provided free to campus residents as a convenience of occupancy. All that is necessary to receive the service is a cable ready television set and a coaxial cable to connect the television to the cable outlet in the wall.


Q. Where will I get my mail?

A. Currently, all student mail will be diverted to the New Student Union.  Each student will have their own mailbox. Their mailing address will be same as long they live in campus housing. For more information on how to address your mail properly, please click here.


Q. May I change my room or hall assignment?

A. The Office of Residential Life accepts requests for room changes. Requests are granted based on available space, date of request, and housing requirements. The request form can be picked up from your Residential Learning Coordinator or the Office of Residential Life.


Q. What is not allowed?

A. Pets (except fish), waterbeds, microwaves (except in Guild, Memorial and Wehrenberg Halls), candles and any open heating coil appliances are not permitted. Alcohol, drugs, and firearms are also prohibited.

Due to their high heat production, halogen floor lamps and light bulbs are prohibited from use. Halogen desk lamps may not exceed 50 watts, and must have a protective glass lens over the bulb.

Please note that these are some of the most common items in question which are not allowed in the residence halls; this is not an all-inclusive list. For specific questions about items that do not appear on this list, please contact the Office of Residential Life. You may also consult the Student Guide to University Life.


Q. What are some of the things I should bring?

A. Towels, blankets, bedspread, sheets, alarm clock, laundry basket & detergent, iron, blow dryer, television, stereo, rugs, pictures, hangers, toiletries, desk lamp, etc. In short, bring what you need to make yourself feel at home. But remember, there is limited space in the rooms. Check with your roommate to make sure you are not bringing two stereos, two televisions, etc.


Q. What residential facilities remain open during breaks?

A. Vacation/Break housing will be offered to international students and other residents who meet certain criteria. The Office of Residential Life will usually choose between Brandt Hall and/or Wehrenberg Hall for break housing. All other residences close for vacation periods and academic breaks. This includes Thanksgiving break, semester break, and the spring term recess. Students who anticipate a need for housing over break periods may wish to pursue an assignment in the aforementioned areas. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to stay on-campus over vacation periods and must apply for housing prior to each break.


Q. Should I get insurance for my personal belongings?

A. If your family has personal property insurance at home, check to make sure that the policy covers your belongings while you are at school. If it does not, consider purchasing renter's insurance. Valparaiso University is not responsible for the personal property of students.


Q. Can I cook in the residence halls?

A. Each hall has kitchen facilities for resident use. Microwaves are available in most floor lounges, but are not allowed in student rooms (except for Guild, Memorial, Kade/Duesenberg German House, and Wehrenberg Halls) because of electrical supply limitations. Since most other appliances are prohibited, students are encouraged to prepare food in the appropriate kitchen located in each residence hall.


Q. Can I move off campus at any time?

A. The term of the Housing Agreement is a full academic year. Any student who wishes to leave the residence hall at any time during the academic year for reasons other than graduation, marriage, permanent military duty, student teaching, or complete withdrawal from the University, must have approval from the Assistant Dean of Students for Residential Life or his designee. Cancellation of the Housing Agreement after July 1 will result in a cancellation fee.


Q. Who do I go to with a question or problem?

A. Initially, you should go to your Resident Assistant. Your RA has been trained to assist you and is an excellent resource person. You may also contact your Residential Learning Coordinator (RLC). Your RLC is the full time staff person who lives and works in your residence hall, and is there to assist residents.


Q. Is smoking allowed in the residence halls?

A. Effective July 1, 2008, Valparaiso University is a Tobacco Free Campus. All residence halls and apartment complexes are designated NON-SMOKING areas. There is no smoking allowed anywhere within these buildings.


Q. Are the residence halls air conditioned?

A. Guild, Memorial, Kade/Duesenberg German House, and Wehrenberg halls are air conditioned. In addition Compass Pointe Apartments are air conditioned. There is an added cost for rooms in these halls. In addition, there are a limited number of air conditioned rooms available elsewhere on campus for students with documented medical needs. Due to the limited number of available rooms, medical needs are prioritized based upon medical need, severity, and consultation with the University Health Center. There is an additional fee to have an air condition unit activated in the applicable room.


Q. What size are the beds?

A. Most beds are a standard twin-size (75 inch). In Brandt, Guild, Memorial, Wehrenberg, 807 Mound Street, Compass Pointe Apartments and the second floor of Alumni Hall, all of the beds are extra-long, (80 inch). Extra-long beds and mattresses may also be available to students 6’ 3" and taller, depending upon demand. You will need to notify the Office of Residential Life before June 1 if you need an extra-long mattress and bed. The Office of Residential Life will work with other offices to meet requests, but cannot guarantee that all requests can be honored.


Q. Can I build a loft in my room?

A. For student safety, lofts and decks are prohibited in all residence halls with built in furniture, including Alumni, Brandt, Lankenau and Scheele Halls. Lofts may only be constructed after approval by the Residential Learning Coordinator in Guild, Memorial, Wehrenberg, Kade/Duesenberg, and 807 Mound Street residence halls.  Construction forms are available from the Residential Learning Coordinator after a student has formerly checked in to his/her residence hall, or can be downloaded from this web site. Click here for the form.

Lofts must be freestanding and may not be constructed affixed to or standing on room furnishings. If lofts are not constructed properly, and/or receive inspection approval from the RLC and Physical Plant Services, must be removed. University furnishing may not be removed from the room for the purpose of constructing a loft.

The University assumes no responsibility for injuries which may arise from the use of lofts. Before vacating their rooms, students are to return their room to its original condition, and must remove all loft materials.

  1. Lofts must be constructed only after receiving approval.  The appropriate forms must be approved by your Residential Learning Coordinator after your arrive on campus in the fall. Please do not submit requests in advance.
  2. Lofts must be free standing and may not be affixed to or standing on room furnishings; no furniture may be removed from the residence hall room.
  3. No decks are permitted.
  4. If lofts are not constructed properly or are constructed without permission, they may be removed; the University assumes no responsibility for injuries that my arise from the use of lofts.
  5. Before vacating your room, you must return your room to its original condition or be assessed a fine.
  6. No loft may be nearer to the ceiling than 24"to 30", with the maximum distance available applied.
  7. No loft may block or bridge a doorway.
  8. Lofts must be bolted together; No nails at the major joints!


Q. Can I bring a computer?

A. Yes, you can bring your own personal computer for your room. All of the residence hall rooms and apartments have direct access to the university network and internet. You will need to provide your own network card. Each residence hall also has a computer lab for resident use. To lean more about the specifications for computers in the residence hall, go to our University Information Technology web site.


Q. Are there lounges in the residence halls?

A. Depending upon the hall in which you live, a variety of lounges are available. Some lounges have TVs, VCRs, microwaves, pool tables, exercise equipment and more. Others are set aside for quiet study or group project work.


Q. Are there laundry facilities available?

A. Every residence hall and apartment complex has a laundry area with washers and dryers. Equipment operates by a debit card account (Crusader Cash) or by coin. The cost is $1 per load to wash and to dry. Crusader Cash accounts are separate from the dinning dollars account, and may be established by contacting the Student Accounts Office.


Q. What about parking accessibility?

A. Parking areas for residents are located near each of the halls. All are well lit and patrolled nightly by University Police. All students are required to register their vehicles with University Police to obtain a parking sticker. Freshmen are generally not allowed to have cars on campus.


Q. Can I rent a refrigerator or bring my own?

A. If you wish to bring your own, the refrigerator is limited to 3.0 cubic feet, and must draw fewer than 5.0 amps of electricity. One refrigerator is permitted per room.

We have an excellent partner in the rental program, Collegiate Concepts, Inc. They offer different rental programs, and a unique product called a Microfridge; a patented microwave/freezer/refrigerator. Go to this website to learn more about the program. Roommates may sign up together and split the rental fee, and units are delivered directly to the room before you move in. To order, go to their web site: www.collegefridge.com , and select Valparaiso University.


Q. Is storage space available in the residence halls?

A. Yes, limited storage space is located in most residence halls for use by current residents only. Because space is limited, first consideration is given to international students and students who live more then 500 miles from the university. We suggest that you purchase a 30 gallon plastic tote for placing items in to storage.


Q. Can I have friends or guests in my room?

A. Each University-operated residence hall or living unit within it, may arrange visitation hours (guest privileges) during which students may have a member of the opposite sex in their room, with the following limits:

For Freshman, the first four weeks of the fall semester:

Sunday - Thursday, 10 am - 11 pm, and Friday - Saturday, 10 am - 1 am

After four weeks, (and for all upperclassmen)

Sunday - Thursday, 10 am - 1 am, and Friday - Saturday, 10 am - 2 am

Students wishing to host a same sex, overnight guest in their room may do so only with the advance consent of their roommate(s).  All guests must be officially registered with the residence hall staff, and may not stay more than three consecutive nights.  Guests are expected to abide by all University and residence hall regulations. 


Q. My question was not answered above. How do I find out more informationp>

A. If an answer you want is not found here, please submit your question via email to: reslife@valpo.edu