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First Year Housing FAQs

With the goal of providing you all the information you need prior to your arrival on campus, we've gathered the answers to our most frequently asked questions here. Admissions counselors are available to answer additional questions you don't find here.

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First-Year Housing Frequently Asked Questions

Are McDaniel College students required to live on campus?

All students are required to live on campus for their first three years at the College. Exceptions are made for those who commute from a nearby parent’s home, are married, have their own children, or are over age 24. For transfer students, residency is similarly expected for all except in the final year.The residency requirement supports the College’s educational philosophy that emphasizes the value of community and close student interactions. In addition, the requirement is in keeping with the College’s policy of maintaining reasonable costs by maximizing occupancy of residence hall spaces. All full-time undergraduate students are guaranteed college housing for four years. Students who wish to live on campus for a fifth year are assigned on a space-available basis after other returning and new students have been placed.

Would you tell me a little about the residence life staff?

One of the things that make living in the residence halls special is the staff. The Residence Life program is directed by five professional staff members and 33 Resident Assistants (RAs). RAs are specially trained student leaders who are peer advisers, mediators, and who communicate College policies to the residents in their areas. They also organize educational and social programs in the residence halls. The Associate Dean of Students, Associate Director of Residence Life, three full-time professional Area Coordinators, an Operations Manager, and the RAs are responsible for the daily operation of all residence facilities. The Residence Life staff, along with the entire faculty and staff, assist in facilitating an environment providing challenge and support. Students are challenged by their out-of-the-classroom experiences as well as by their academic experiences.

An RA is on duty every night in each residence hall area. For emergencies, a professional staff member is on call every evening and the Department of Campus Safety is staffed 24 hours a day.


How will I be paired with a roommate?

New students are often concerned about who their roommates will be. If a preference is not indicated for a specific roommate, the Residence Life staff matches roommates based on the information provided on the Roommate Questionnaire, which is due June 1. When filling out the questionnaire it is important to answer each question as honestly as possible. There will be opportunities to indicate which questions are the most important to you, as well as the opportunity to list other information that would be helpful for matching you with a roommate.

When do I find out who my roommate will be?

The Office of Residence Life sends housing confirmations via your McDaniel College email address in early August. Included in the confirmation are your housing assignment, roommate’s name, address, phone number, and College email address. Once you receive this information, it is a good idea to contact your roommate(s) to start to get to know him/her and to decide who will bring the "vital stuff” (TV, game system, fan, area rug, curtains, etc.)

What do I do if I want a specific roommate?

Students have the option of selecting a roommate in advance by indicating their preference on the Roommate Questionnaire. Only mutual roommate requests will be honored.

Do you recommend rooming with someone that I already know?

That decision is up to each student. We do recommend that if you have someone in mind, you talk with the person to truly decide how compatible you are. Perhaps you could go through the questionnaire together or simply discuss living habits. Just because you were friends before in school, that does not necessarily mean you will get along when living together.  Please also keep in mind that students tend to change living habits when they come to college. 

What if I am not getting along my roommate(s)?

We hope that all roommates will get along and work out any conflicts or differences together. The first few weeks of school are important to building good roommate relationships. You will receive information on how to do that when you arrive to campus. Open communication is key. The Resident Assistants who live on each floor of the residence halls are available to discuss roommate difficulties individually or in a group with roommates. Roommates are encouraged to respectfully address interpersonal issues that sometimes arise from living together sooner than later. These conversations can take place individually or with the Resident Assistant present. The Office of Residence Life also provides a templated Roommate Contract to students to help kick-start your conversations about mutual expectations in case you need help thinking about potential living issues that may come up. If absolutely necessary, roommate changes will be considered no earlier than the first two weeks of classes.

Some Questions to Discuss with your Soon-to-Be Roommate...

  •  Do you usually fall asleep with the radio or TV playing?
  •  Do you need to have the lights on in order to get ready in the morning?
  •  How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
  •  Do you have a steady boy/girlfriend and will they be visiting?
  •  Do you think that you will mind if we share the snacks that we keep in our room?
  •  Can I use your computer/TV/radio?
  •  Will you study in the room or in the library?
  •  Do you plan to talk on the phone in the room a lot?
  •  Do you have allergies to anything I should know about?
  •  Do you like to go to parties? Do you usually drink?
  •  Will you have a job at school? Will you be working on or off campus?
  •  Do you plan to go home on the weekends?
  •  Do you play sports? Which ones?
  •  Do you sleep a lot during the day?
  •  Do you keep your room clean or are you a little messy?
  •  What kind of music do you like?
  •  Do you want to get carpet for the room?
  •  What’s your class, work, sports etc. schedule going to be like?
  •  (If you live close enough) Do you want to get together before school starts?
  •  What do you do for fun?

What are my housing options as a first-year student?

In order to provide a unique living/learning environment focused on transitional issues common to new students, first-year students will be housed in Rouzer and Whiteford Halls.  Select first-year students may choose to live in Daniel MacLea Hall if space is available.

Will my room be cleaned?

Your room will be cleaned before you move in, and then when you and /or your roommate(s) have the need or desire to clean it. The Housekeeping staff clean the lobbies, stairwells, and common bathrooms daily. Residents in Daniel MacLea are responsible for cleaning the suite bathrooms. Trash bags and vacuum cleaners are available for use from your Resident Assistant.  There will also be times during the year when Residence Life staff will enter the rooms (either during Break closing checks, or pre-announced Health and Safety inspections), and if a space is found to be in need of cleaning the residents will be contacted and provided a deadline to correct the situation.

What furniture is provided?

Residence hall rooms are equipped with a bed and mattress (extra long mattress in the three first year student halls), desk, desk chair, dresser, mirror, and closet or armoire for each student. Some rooms have bookshelves. A microfridge (microwave/refrigerator/freezer combination) unit is installed in each room at no additional charge. College furniture may not be removed from residence hall rooms. Each room has at least one window with a pull down shade.

What are the room dimensions and furniture sizes?

Room Dimensions: Standard double room is 12’ x 14’ (Daniel MacLea Hall has a common area in each suite that also measures approximately 12’ x 14’)
Window Dimensions: Rouzer: 46” x 66”, Whiteford: 44 1/2” x 67” (4th floor: 38” x 53”), Daniel MacLea: --
Beds: Rouzer, Whiteford, and Daniel MacLea all have extra-long twin beds with 80” mattresses
Desks: 42” x 24” surface with three drawers
Wardrobes: In Rouzer and Whiteford it is 31" wide, 20" deep, and 58" high. In DMC the closet compartment is 31" wide, 21" deep, and 46" high, with a dividing board vertically down the middle and three shelf boards with mounting brackets on the left...students can opt to use the shelves and hang clothes in half the closet if they don't have as many hanging items, or take the shelves out and use the full closet.

How do I get an extra long bed?

An extra long bed/mattress is the norm in Rouzer, Whiteford, and Daniel MacLea, so buy sheets accordingly.

Will I be allowed to smoke in my room?

All college housing options are smoke free. There is no smoking permitted anywhere in any residence hall, house, or apartment on campus. This includes e-cigarettes or "vaping".

Is there a substance free living option on the campus?

All first year housing is substance free.

When do I move into the residence halls?

If you are not a member of a fall sports team, the residence halls open for new students (first year and new transfers) on the Thursday prior to the first day of classes. Resident students may check in and pick up their keys between 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. New Student Orientation begins on the same day as move-in for all new first year students. If you are a member of a fall sports team that involves pre-season practice in August, you will move onto campus earlier. The Department of Athletics will communicate with fall athletes during the summer about specific check-in dates, times and pre-season practice schedules. All other returning students will arrive the weekend prior to the first day of classes.

Do I have to move all my belongings out of my residence hall room in December at the end of the fall semester?

No, you do not need to move out of your residence hall room in December. We do recommend that you take your valuable belongings home with you, but the majority of your things can stay in your room. In DMC, though, students will need to move any personal items out of the bathrooms and off the floor of the common area.

At what times during the academic year do the residence halls close for all residential students?

All residential students should make themselves familiar with the opening and closing calendar and make their travel plans accordingly.

What belongings should I bring to college with me?

Recommended: pillow, blanket, linens, towels/washcloths, soap & toiletries, clothes hangers, waste basket, clock/radio, desk lamp (Rouzer/DMC only), stereo/TV/VCR, iron, hair dryer/personal care equipment, computer, fan, small vacuum cleaner, rug, curtains (if you want)

What belongings should I leave at home?

Air conditioner (unless approved for medical reasons), hot plate, halogen lamps, water beds, toaster/ovens, microwave ovens or refrigerator (other than the College provided microfridge), portable heater, electric fry pans, crock pots, George Forman grills, other cooking appliances, firearms/weapons/facsimiles (including BB guns or air pistols), pets (except fish in 20-gallon or less tanks), drums or amplifiers for musical instruments (check with Music Department about permission to store in Levine Hall), candles, stuffed/upholstered furniture (such as couches, futons, or chairs)

Can I study in my room?

Courtesy Hours are always in effect whereby students are expected to maintain reasonable quiet at all times. Reasonable quiet includes, but is not limited to containing noise to a student's own room. Quiet Hours are Sunday-Thursday from 10pm to 10am the next morning. On weekends, Quiet Hours begin at 1 am nightly. During Final Exam Weeks, 24-Hour Quiet Hours are in effect from the Friday before exams through the hall closing (Saturday).

What is the visitation policy?

McDaniel College has an open visitation policy as we have confidence in the ability and inclination of students to make mature decisions regarding their social behavior. We believe that no individual has the right to infringe on the freedom, privacy, or safety of another student. We expect that students will accept the responsibility that is inherent in such a policy. This should not be construed as permission for significant others to sleep overnight, or to conduct themselves in a way as to invade another person’s privacy. Students are permitted to have overnight guests for a maximum of 3 nights in a given month (and even then, only with consent from their roommate). Students are responsible for the actions of their guests.

What are my student responsibilities while living on campus?

Students are expected to contribute in positive ways as members of the College community. Each student has the right to live in a safe environment where privacy, personal property, and the need for study and sleep are respected. The Student Handbook is provided online for anyone to review, and this document includes the Student Code of Conduct as well as residence hall policies and regulations. Students are expected and required to abide by them. 

Students are not only accountable for their behavior, they are responsible for their physical environments. Students are held financially responsible for damages in individual rooms and will share in the responsibility for common damages in their respective areas. Students are expected to assist in identifying irresponsible behavior, thus alleviating their personal responsibility for damages caused by others.

What should I do if I need special housing considerations?

On occasion, students have medical or other concerns that may require special room assignments, and/or equipment (including air conditioners – see next question). By June 1, any student requesting special room accommodations due to specific documented concerns (medical or otherwise) must submit the Special Housing Request Form. Requests will then be evaluated by the appropriate College office (Student Health Services, Counseling Services, and/or Student Academic Support Services) and a determination communicated with the student. As the form explains, the student must include any supporting documentation from the appropriate clinician or psychiatrist regarding the need, diagnosis, and treatment history. All information will be kept confidential. Letters, documentation, and forms may be faxed or mailed to the Office of Residence Life, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157. Fax: 410-857-2773.

Can I bring an air conditioner?

The residence hall rooms in Rouzer, Whiteford, and McDaniel Halls are not air conditioned. Students may not bring their own, but may request one from the college for medical reasons only. These requests must be evaluated and approved through the process described above. The Special Housing Consideration Request form must be completed by June 1 and is available in the Resources area of the eRezLife online housing platform.

Can I get phone calls in my room?

Phones are not present in the rooms, no. We have found over the years that with the prevalence of cell phones, the campus phones were not being used (or even plugged in).

Can I just use my cell phone to get calls?

Yes, but please just be aware that campus offices may not have access to your personal cell phone number, which increases the importance and frequency of communication via your McDaniel College email address. It is highly recommended that you get in the habit of checking your email daily, if not several times a day, to ensure that you do not miss any information or communications from College faculty or staff.

Do I have to bring a computer?

Personal computers are not required of McDaniel College students. All students may use our computer labs. The main student computer lab is located on the main floor of the Hoover Library and is accessible 24 hours a day during the regular semester (for later night hours the doors will be secured, but students can sign-out a passkey from the Library staff during regular hours). E-mail accounts are provided and mandatory for all students.

How do I hook-up my computer when I get to campus?

Should a student bring a computer to McDaniel, access to the Internet through personally-owned computers is provided in each room for each student living in the room. For those students bringing computers to school, an information packet will be available at arrival to guide the student through the steps to get “on-line.” There are wireless routers in the residence halls and other buildings on campus, and each residence hall room also has a hardwire ethernet port for each resident of the room.

Will I have cable TV?

 Residential students will be subscribed to Comcast Xfinity service. You will be able to log in to watch on a mobile device or connect a smart TV to the wifi network for viewing.

Should I get extra insurance for my belongings?

We suggest that students carry the appropriate personal insurance. Some homeowner or rental policies may cover personal belongings while attending college. McDaniel College is not responsible for theft, loss, or damage to a student’s personal property. Information about renter's insurance is available here

Is there a campus police or security group?

The Department of Campus Safety (DoCS) is located at 152 Pennsylvania Avenue. The officers make routine rounds of the campus and offer education programs and services on personal safety. Campus Safety officers are trained to assist in medical emergencies and maintain close communication with Residence Life staff and local emergency services. Should problems develop, Campus Safety may be reached by calling 410-857-2202.

How will I do my laundry on campus?

On-campus laundry facilities are provided for resident use. Students can download an app that can be used to activate the machines. Each student will get 3 washer and 3 dryer uses per week as part of the cost of housing. Unused cycles will carry over from week to week, but expire at the end of each semester. If a student needs more than 3 of each per week, they can use the app to add money to an online account and then wash a load for $1.25 and dry for $1.25. Alternatively, the machines will also accept quarters.

How will I get mail?

Each student is assigned a post office box through the College Post Office.

Mail should be addressed as follows:
Student’s Name
McDaniel College Box ##
2 College Hill
Westminster, MD 21157-4390

I applied and was accepted under the Early Decision program as an incoming student. What does that mean for my housing options?

Students admitted under Early Decision have the option to upgrade their housing to suite-style or a single, if available, for an additional fee. Following the ED deposit deadline, deposited ED students will be sent an Early Decision Preference survey, which will invite students to share their preference for housing with the college. Every attempt will be made to meet your preference but it is not guaranteed.

It is important to note that an ED student who forms a roommate-group with a non-ED student is not eligible for the preferential housing benefit. 

Due to space planning, the deadline to submit your survey is final.  

Can I bring my car to campus?

First-year residential students are allowed to have cars on campus by entering the freshman lottery held in July. Freshman will receive information about how the lottery works and how to enter via their McDaniel email accounts in July. Parking is available to upper-class students or commuting first year students. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to published parking regulations, which are listed on the Campus Safety Portal Page. Tickets are issued for violations. 

Is there an ATM machine on campus?

An Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is serviced by BB&T and is affiliated with the MOST and PLUS networks. If you have an account with BB&T and a PIN (Personal Identification Number), there will be no charge for your ATM transaction. Otherwise, transaction charges set by your bank apply. There are, of course, a number of other banking institutions in close proximity to the College.

Can I store my belonging on campus over the summer?

Generally, no. McDaniel does not offer storage space for residential students and all students should plan on removing their belongings prior to move-out. If a student faces unique extenuating circumstances (especially international students), they may request a limited amount of on-campus storage. In this case, storage space is awarded first-come, first-serve and priority is then given to students whose permanent home address is the farthest distance from campus. McDaniel takes no responsibility for any items that are stored by the college. Storage is never guaranteed for any student regardless of circumstance, and a student who used campus storage one year should not expect it automatically in future years.

We encourage students to develop storage plans early by researching self-storage options.