New Building Names/Changes in the Alerman Road Complex

There are three new buildings in the Alderman Road Complex that will open for the Fall, 2013 Semester:  The names of the new buildings are: Lile-Maupin, Tuttle-Dunnington & Shannon House.

In May, 2013, work will begin on the next new building in the complex.  To create the space needed, Dunnington House will be demolished (removing the potential overlapping of hall names).That building is scheduled to be completed by Fall, 2015.

Dunnington’s Last Semester

If you lived in Dunnington Hall as a first year, time is running out for you to take a last nostalgic look at the building. In May, 2013, the demolition of the building will begin. By Fall, work will begin on the next of the new Alderman Road Complex buildings. Dunnington has been a good home for many students over the course of its lifetime….. It will be missed.

On Grounds Housing is Still Available!

If your original plans have changed and you still need a place to live next year, or if you are still in the process of deciding what will best fit your needs, we still have room for you in on Grounds Housing. At this point in the process, the next application deadline is 5pm on March 5th. Anyone who wants to stay or move back on Grounds is able to apply. We have space in all housing complexes for either individuals or roommate pairs.

Let us help you. The staff in the Accommodations Office would welcome your call or e-mail. We would be happy to help you talk through your options.

Roommate Relationships

It’s midterm time now and the honeymoon period for the relationship between roommate pairs is over…. LIfe gets more serious now and the little differences between roommates become harder to ignore…….  If your relationship hasn’t already caused you and your roommate to have a serious talk about any issues, you should probably sit down and reassess how things are going for each of you.   One theory about the stages of group development categorizes the stages each has to go through before they can become a high performing team as: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing……   Forming was when you met up and moved in together, Storming is next – and it’s where the group learns to address and work through conflicts.  If the conflicts in a group (you and your roommate are a group of 2) aren’t addressed, then you will stay in this stage.

It’s hard to confront things that may seem silly, but when you live in such close quarters, the little things add up and can become a big deal.  If you have a list in your head of all the things your roommate has “done” to you, or a list of their ideosycracies that annoy you, it’s time for a talk – You can also be sure that your roommate has the same “lists” for what they would like to change about you.

Most people are reasonable.  If you don’t give them the chance to change by even letting them know that you are upset, then the issue is yours.  Moving on to become a team that can develop a healthy level of mutual respect is far better than living with daily issues that distract and upset you.

Please do yourself a favor and have a discussion.  Don’t whip out your list and attack, demanding that everything be perfect for you.  Ask your roommate how things could be improved when you are both at home – review or create a real rooommate agreement, now that it’s not just an exercise…  Get advice from your RA on how to ask questions and on how to create a welcoming environment that will encourage some open and honest sharing.

Take responsibility for making it a healthy and productive relationship.

A lease is a lease…..

It’s the time of year when students are beginning to pound the pavement and work their parents about the need to sign a lease for an off-grounds apartment.  The one clear thing that everyone needs to understand before they sign a lease with anyone is that it is a legal commitment/contract.Whether you remain on Grounds, as we hope you will, or choose to move off Grounds,please know that once you sign a lease it’s time for you to quit looking at other options and choices…… you have decided and committed.  A lease is not like a hotel reservation…. you don’t get to change it because something else comes along that looks good —- or a different group that you’ve decided you like more suddently has room for you in a different apartment.

We have had too many instances where students have signed a first lease, and then a second. In one case that I know of, a student signed three leases. You can’t always do/get what you want, just because you want it.  Don’t sign a 2nd lease with anyone unless you are still planning to pay for the first….. A verbal commitment from another student who has expressed an interest in your space is not good enough for you to take that risk.

If you live on Grounds, you are automatically released if you transfer, leave school for any reason, or study abroad.  You can also change rooms any time you want.  It will also cost you about $3,000 less for a 9 month lease (only 12 month leases are available off Grounds).  Off Grounds, the contact is binding no mater what your student status is.  If you are in France for the fall you need to pay your rent or stiff your friends…  More about the advantages of living on Grounds in another post.

Please be clear – you can only sign one lease and all leases are binding legal commitments…  Don’t mess that up and put yourself or you parents in a position you can’t afford…..

There is a surplus of student apartment space in the Charlottesville Community – don’t rush into anything until you are sure that you know who you really want to live with… Wait until you know that  you are ready.

Call and talk to the staff in the Accommodations Office of Housing and Residence Life for any questions.   The off Grounds Housing Office is now a part of Accommodations, along with on Grounds Housing.  This is a change that was made this past summer.  924-3736 is our phone number.

Let us help you with your decision making process.

Finding Housing for Next Year

It is a shock to find that the process of signing leases for off grounds housing begins in Sepember/October.
The message that we want to make sure to communicate to everyone is that you do not have to feel pushed into doing anything that you aren’t ready for…… Don’t rush, it is a big decision, especially if you are a new first year student.

If you’ve decided that you are moving off-Grounds, please consider all of implications of that before you sign a lease and commit yourself to an apartment.  The local student rental market has a large surplus of space.  You can get an apartment any day of the year…

You are currently in the honeymoon phase with your new friends here……  Who you want to live with next year is a big decision.  It is likely that who you want to live with will change as you go through the year.  Once your sign a lease however, your process is over and your are locked into a 12 month lease.

Beginning next Monday, September 24, there are a series of meetings/presentations scheduled to discuss the merits of on Grounds Housing v. what it means to move off Grounds.  3 of these will be held in Alumni hall (with food provided by the Alumni Association).  Please look for the announcement and schedule of these events.

If you have individual questions or concerns, please call the Accommodations Office of Housing and Residence Life at 924-3736.  Our office now covers both on and off Grounds Housing.  For Off-Grounds housing specific questions, contact Vicki Hawes ( .  For On Grounds housing questions contact Kevin Wade (kw7ef).  If they are unavailable, you can also contact me, John Evans (jre9s).  We will be happy to discuss your individual issues and concerns.

Hitting the ground running -developing relationships

Your experience at the University will be primarily a result of the relationships that you create and develop.  Begin that process as soon as you arrive.  Meet your neighbors – everyone in the first year areas is new, so you should all have the same interest and energy for  getting to know each other.  Don’t sit on your bed and wait for others to come to you….  Meeting others and making friends will anchor your experience here.  Meet your RA first – they are a good person to guide you to others with similar interests and to give you advice on where you can become involved.

Your life and experience as a student will be enriched by the relationships you develop.  I hope that you are excited about who you will meet and looking to expand your horizons.


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