Residence Hall Common Questions
There are many questions that we are asked about the residence halls. This section provides information about questions that are common to each of our residence halls. Each hall is different and has things about it that are unique. To learn more about a specific hall please select it from the list at the right.
Is a residence hall the same thing as a dorm?
The terms "residence hall" and "dorm" are often used to mean the same thing, but UAF recognizes a significant difference between the two. The term dorm originates from the Latin word dormitus, meaning to sleep. An important objective of residence hall communities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to provide not just a place to sleep, but also a safe and productive environment to study and learn, and opportunities for social interaction. Residence Life staff through activities and programs held in every hall make important contributions to this objective.
Do I have to live in a residence hall?
There is no requirement for any UAF student to live on campus, but we highly recommend it. Living in the residence halls has many advantages over living off campus, such as convenience to classes and campus services, cost, and the benefit of living in a community of other college students. You will find that living on campus is much more convenient than living off campus. Basic cable service, laundry, and security are provided as part of your housing costs. You pay for your room for the entire semester, so you have less to worry about. Residence hall communities are a great advantage for students. Studies show that students who live on campus get better grades and are more likely to finish their degrees. (After all, isn't that what you're here for?) This figure is due in no small part to the support system that other resident students will provide for you.
How do I apply for housing, and what are my chances of getting what I want?
Everyone who is accepted to UAF is sent a packet of applications, which contains an application for campus housing. If you have been accepted, but did not receive an application, please contact us to receive one: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find an application on-line. Please complete the application and return it to us with the $350 ($35 nonrefundable application fee plus $315 damage deposit). The earlier we receive your application, the better your chances of getting the space you want. Students who apply in July or August are at risk of not getting a space, as we are at our fullest point in the fall semester. We are usually able to add new students for spring semester.
What is the EDGE program, and do I have to live there?
EDGE stands for Education, Development, Growth, and Experience. This program is designed to provide traditional first year students (first-time freshmen under 20 years of age with less than 20 college credits) with an extra support network. EDGE provides extra staff members, including academic tutors on each floor. EDGE is currently housed in Moore Hall, Skarland Hall, and McLean House and all are alcohol free communities. All traditional first time freshmen that opt to live on campus are required to participate in this program. See the EDGE Program page for more information.
Are single rooms available?
A limited number of single rooms are available on upper and lower campus. There are no single rooms available in the Cutler Apartment Complex or Lathrop Hall. Residents of certain halls have the option of "buying out" a double room if available. Most first year students share a double room. For more information, please contact our office.
Is it possible to request a particular hall or roommate?
Returning students go through a process called "Room Selection" in the spring, where they choose their room and roommates. Traditional first-time freshmen are obligated to participate in the EDGE program, but we will do everything we can to accommodate roommate requests. Please indicate your preferences on the housing application.
Can I live in the residence halls for just one semester?
Your UAF housing contract is for the academic year, meaning that if you live on campus for the fall semester, you are obligated to live on campus for the spring semester, as long as you are still a UAF student. Residents who cancel their contract early loose their deposit and are obligated under the contract to pay 25% of the charges for the second semester.
If I do not get my preferences, what can I do?
If you did not get your first choice of room assignments, you have several options. The Office of Residence Life maintains wait lists for all buildings. If you wish to be considered for a spot in a particular building that is full, have the office put you on this list. You may also be able to obtain a similar space in a different building. Please contact our office for a current list of available spaces.
If I do not have a roommate request, how will one be assigned?
On your housing application, we ask you to tell us some things about your personality and personal habits. This helps us match you up with a compatible roommate. Please be as honest as possible, as this helps us find the best match for you.
If I need help, are there people in the residence halls I can get in touch with?
Yes! Each hall has professional and student staff assigned to it that assist with check in and check out, provide social and educational programs and activities, conduct conflict resolution, enforce policies, and help students in time of need. These staff members are specially trained to help residents cope with the challenges of being in college. Resident Assistants are students just like you who have lived in the halls for at least a year. They are chosen for these positions because they exhibit a genuine desire to help students achieve personal and educational success. RD's are professional live-in staff who supervise RA's and help provide counseling and guidance for resident students. We encourage all residents to get to know your hall staff!
What if my roommate and I do not get along?
Although we make every effort to match people up who will get along, sometimes conflicts do arise. We encourage residents to take every possible step in working out their differences. If this doesn't work, we have staff members in the building who are trained at conflict resolution. If you are having problems with your roommate, contact your RA or RD.
What furnishings are provided in my room?
Each residence hall room is furnished with beds, desks, closets, dressers, shelves, and overhead florescent lighting. Halogen lamps are not allowed. Common area kitchens and laundry rooms are provided as part of the basic service. Cutler Apartments and the Sustainable Village also come furnished with couches, chairs, dinette set, and major kitchen appliances. Residents need to furnish their own linens (twin long sheets), blankets, towels, etc. Village and Cutler residents also need to furnish their own cookware.
How do the telephones, cable, and Internet access work?
Cable TV, and wireless Internet connection are included in your room charges. Residents need to provide their own phones, TV's, and computers. Telephone service is provided for $120/semester. Basic cable service provides over 30 channels; premium cable is not available at this time.
What personal belongings should I bring with me?
The following items are important for all students to bring with them, regardless of where they are living: Warm weather clothes (yes bring shorts, it does get warm in fall and spring), cold weather clothes (don't forget warm boots, gloves and hats), personal school supplies, twin long size bedding, a pillow, pajamas (something you don't mind being seen in), laundry bag, laundry soap, bottle and/or can opener, stationary (for writing letters to
your friends and family), personal first aid kit (aspirin, cold medicine Band-Aids, etc.) alarm clock, answering machine, sports equipment, TV, computer, booster cables and other emergency items for your vehicle (if you have one), medical insurance card, decorations for your new place.
You will need the following items for most jobs on or off campus: Social Security card, passport, list of previous employers names and addresses or your resume, letters of reference or names and addresses of references.
If you are not from Alaska you will most likely need to get your vehicle winterized. This means that you will need to add the engine heaters and other items that allow vehicles to function in the extreme cold of the Fairbanks winter. Most car dealerships and garages in town are able to do this for you.
If you will be living in the Residence Halls here are some additional items to bring and some things to think about: a robe (for walking down the hall to the shared bathrooms), a bucket or bag for carrying toiletries to and from the bathroom, shower shoes (flip flops), dishes and silverware (for when you order take out or cook in your hall's kitchen), coffee pot, a small refrigerator (under 3 1/2 feet). You will most likely be sharing your room with another person. It may be a good idea to get in touch with them so that you can coordinate what each of you bring. You can contact Residence Life for the name and contact information of your assigned roommate.
If you will be living in the student apartment complex here are some additional items to bring: kitchen items (pots, pans, knives, utensils, etc.), dishes and glasses, coffee pot, mop, broom, cleaning supplies (bathroom and kitchen), plants. There will be four of you in the apartment. It is a good idea to coordinate who will bring certain items.
How can I decorate my room?
You can personalize your room with a variety decorations, however residents are not allowed to paint their rooms. Also a ny use/decoration within established guidelines and that complies with safety standards are permitted as long as it is intended to enhance the interior of the room. Space beyond the interior of one's assigned space (e.g., windows and door exteriors) is considered public space. Public spaces are maintained under the jurisdiction of the Department of Residence Life. Displays inconsistent with acceptable standards or University policies should not be displayed outside of residential facility doors or in general view of the public. Residence Life staff will determine if items need to be removed.
What kinds of activities and programs are offered in the residence halls?
Your hall staff, as well as the Student Activities Office, and other groups on campus sponsor literally hundreds of programs and events on campus each year. These programs range from hiking in the Alaska Range, white water rafting, and skiing to dances, comedy shows, and coffee houses, to educational presentations and cultural awareness seminars. Residents have the opportunity not only to participate in these activities, but also to take an active roll in organizing and implementing them. Look for advertisements around your building, and get involved!
Where do I eat and when?
The UAF food service program was designed to offer quality food service, convenient locations, and pleasant dining environments, all at reasonable prices. Managed by a private contractor, residence hall students will purchase their meal plan as they check into their hall. The Lola Tilly Commons allows students the best possible dining experience on campus. Your activated Polar Express Card will provide access to the food service program. Dining Hours: Monday - Friday, there is continuous meal service from 7am-8: 00pm, except during line changeover and a short break in the afternoon. Weekend meals include brunch (10am-2pm) and dinner (5-8pm). You must have your meal card to get into the Commons, but guests can join you as a cash customer. Food Service Comments: University contractors provide management personnel in the Commons during each meal to discuss any concerns you may have. Comments should be directed to food service staff. Look for comment cards in the Commons. Check out the Food Service website for more information.
Is it possible to live in a residence hall and not be on a meal plan?
All undergraduate housing are required to have a meal plan except those students living in Cutler Apartment Complex, the Sustainable Village and graduate students living anywhere on campus.
Will my residence hall be open during vacation breaks?
All residence halls are open during Thanksgiving and spring breaks. There is no additional charge to stay in the buildings during these times. Most buildings are closed during winter break, and residents wishing to stay on campus will be consolidated into as few buildings as possible. If you wish to stay on campus during Winter Break, you must apply at the Office of Residence Life by December 1, and pay $550. Students who apply after December 1 are not guaranteed housing, and are charged an additional $50 to stay, if space is available. Students have the option to stay on campus during the summer, and are consolidated into one building. Please contact Residence Life for more information.
What kind of housing do you offer for students with disabilities?
Residence Life offers several kinds of accommodations that are fully handicapped accessible, including regular residence hall rooms, efficiency apartments, and two bedroom apartments. We have wheel chair accessible apartments, as well as rooms designed for students with hearing impairments. Please contact us if you require special housing consideration, and we will be happy to accommodate you.