Living on Campus

The Benefits of Living on Campus

Many institutions require all first-year students to live on campus. In addition to being close to your classes and campus facilities, living on campus offers students an opportunity to build both independence and a sense of community. Studies show that students living in residence halls perform better academically and participate more fully in campus life. Campus housing staff supports and provides programming and activities that help students build relationships while creating a positive and affirming atmosphere.

Additionally, residence halls often provide programming to students living on campus. It depends on the campus and the hall, but you may get wellness programming, social activities to build relationships (like movie nights or free food), living learning communities built around a theme or academics, and more. Many residence halls have a hall government where students living in the hall can establish policies and plan programming for residents. You’ll learn more about opportunities to get involved in your hall during orientation or after move in. You can also ask your resident advisor how to get involved.

Residential Arrangements

Your institution may offer different types of housing. You will want to review what is available to you and decide if specialty housing is for you. Residential arrangements may include:

  • Single-gender by room, floor, or wing
  • Gender-inclusive housing
  • First Year Experience
  • First Generation
  • Living-Learning
  • Interest-Based (wellness would fall here)
  • Substance-free and/or Recovery
  • Fraternity/Sorority
  • Family

Housing Policies

Your campus may have certain policies or requirements that you need to meet in order to live on campus. For example, many campuses require that students living on campus receive certain vaccines, such as MMR, meningitis, or varicella. Check with your school to see what immunizations requirements or other requirements may be in place for on-campus housing. In addition to a first-year housing requirement, some schools require second year students to live on campus, too. The housing or residence life department at your institution can provide more information.

Security and Safety

Some campuses have campus security (usually small schools) others have a university police force (usually larger schools). If you live on campus, university security or police may respond if there are emergencies or security issues. Make sure you know how to call for campus security or police if you live in a residence hall.

Most residence halls have security measures and systems in place. These measures typically include things like:

  • Keeping doors locked 24/7 or during certain times
  • Requiring residents to use a key or keycard to enter
  • Video monitoring of common areas (like lobbies and entrances)
  • Staffing a front desk
  • Requiring guests to sign in

As a student living on campus, you can also share the responsibility of keeping your hall and other halls safe. Follow all instructions and policies of your hall, such as not propping open doors, not letting in people who don’t live in the hall, and complying with guest/visitor policies. If you see security or safety issues, tell your RA or a campus staff member.

For more information on safety and security, go here.