Archive for July, 2010

Room Phones

We hope that you have heard already that the land line phones have been removed this summer.  They have now become a relic of the past in almost all student’s lives.  With cell phones and texting taking over the world, it no longer made sense to continue the service.  This change has been taking place at Universities across the countries as the revenue from long providing the service has become a money losing proposition.

If you feel that you want to still have a phone in your room, please contacct  You will need to give them your University ID number and your residence hall name and room number.  The phone will cost $84 to install and $31/month.  There is an additional $15/month charge for voicemail and a $4.75 Service fee. 

Compared to family cell phone packages -I know that my children are $20/month each extra, it’s easy to see why the room phones are no longer in much demand.  After my oldest son’s first year, I never even tried to contact him in his room…   A cell phone, that can reach someone no matter where they are is a much better point of contact, especially if there is an urgent need to make contact.

The UVa Bookstore

I recommend that you go to the UVa Bookstores web site/catalog sales area as you decide what to get for your room.  If an item is on sale there, it has been approved for use in the residence halls…  There is also a good chance that the Bookstore Staff will be able to deliver those items into your room (I don’t know what the deadline for orders is, but it’s coming up quickly now.)  I would also suggest that it’s a good idea to purchase items from the bookstore because the profit from those items is reinvested back in the University to support student programs.  I have not looked, but I would be surprised if the Bookstore’s web page doesn’t explain how that works and what they have provided funding for.

In the interest of full disclosure, both the Housing Divison and the Bookstore are Auxiliary Services of the University and report up the same chain of command…. We are partners who work together in trying to cover all student needs that we can.

What Adhesives can be used to hang items from walls…

What clearly cannot be used is anything that will damage the wall surface.. You are not allowed to drill holes in the cinder block or to pound nails or put screws into the drywall..  Fortunately, there are many new kinds of non-permanent adhesives available in the market.  We do not recommend any particular manufacturer, but I would suggest that kind that you see frequently advertised where you can hang hooks or picture hangers with an adhesive strip that can be stretched and pulled off the wall later is what you should look for.  When I’m in stores looking for school supplies for my younger children, I see stacks and piles of those kinds of adhesive things in all of the chain retail stores.  If you go on-line to the UVa Bookstore, you will also find adhesives that you can be confident are approved for use.

Coffee anyone?

What to bring for Coffee making?  Our information in the past has stated that coffee makers are not allowed in the residence halls.  That has been amended by the Fire Marshall so that Coffee Makers that have an automatic shut off function are allowed.

The furniture in Student Rooms has to stay in Student rooms…

A frequent question from parents is “if we bring our own____, what happens to the _____ that’s provided in the room?”  Unfortunately, all of the furniture in the student rooms has to remain in the room.  The beds, the mattress, etc. are all intended for use there.  We don’t have storage spaces elsewhere that can accommodate those items.

It’s also the case that all of the items that a student brings with them – including their suitcases, must also be kept in their room.  It usually works that for people that are from within driving distance, that the suitcases can be taken back home after they’ve been unloaded, and then brought back at the end of the year.  For most people traveling longer distances, they usually don’t have the luxury of bringing quite as much stuff with them (although that isn’t always true)…  Either way, students do fit an amazing amount of stuff in their rooms and they are able to figure it out and set up a space where they feel comfortable and at home.

Students don’t need an item for each and every possible situation or circumstance that could possibly come up – do try to stick to the important things – they need a fall/winter jacket  – not 4 different kinds of coats.  If they are going to buy a UVa sweatshirt – they don’t need to bring the whole collection from home…  I can’t speak for women, but does anyone really wear 35 pairs of shoes enough to “need” them all?  I always think of episodes of “Clean House” when I see how much stuff some people think they need.

Good luck with those decisions/planning.  I hope that you can figure out how to err on the side of bringing less, rather than more.  I’d also repeat, to all parents, to let the students figure it out…..  It’s no longer your job to make all of their decisions for them.  Even if they don’t seem interested in picking things for their room – leave it up to them… It’s good for them and for you.

Lawn and Range Residents – Firewood concern

If you will be living on the Lawn or Range this year, please play close attention to this note.  The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that aggressively attacks ash trees, killing trees in one to three years.  The web site of a Michigan Firewood alert states that the “Emerald Ash Borer can become established in an area when infested firewood is transported to a new area.”

This is of particular concern to the University and you because many of the trees on the Lawn are Ash trees.  The Emerald Ash Borer is now in the Washington DC area.  The quarantine on fire wood extends as close as Fredericksburg.

What we ask is that you do not bring any firewood for use in your room with you from home! Please plan to purchase it locally after you have arrived.  The University may provide you with information on approved local providers following the Fall Semester Opening.

Again, please do not transport any fire wood from home to Grounds….

Thank you.

What About Lofts

10-20 years ago, lofts were a very popular item in student rooms.  That fad has ended and today there are very few and all of the small companies that used to make them and sell them to students locally are long gone.  Many parents who were in college when lofts were popular still haven’t gotten the memo on that….

In our buildings where we have captain’s beds – beds with the dresser drawers built in to the base, we discourage lofting because you aren’t allowed to elevate that kind of bed…. which is the primary reason for lofting.  We have captain’s beds in the halls in the McCormick Road Area, Hereford College, Johnson, Malone and Weedon, Brown College and Shea House.

In the other buildings/complexes, the general bed, is an adjustable, bunkable bed that we leave on the top setting so that there is almost 2′ of storage space underneath each bed.  That is a lot of room and seems to meet the need most students have for storage.  Having these kind of beds has also helped eliminate the need for lofts.

Due to Fire Marshall Restrictions, we do not allow lofts in buildings that have sprinkler systems in the rooms.  This includes the Hereford Complex, Shea House, Woody, Cauthen and Kellogg.

If you feel compelled to have a loft, please contact the Housing Divison Facilities Office for guidelines that all lofts have to meet.

My advice, if you are thinking about/want a loft, is to wait until after opening to reevaluate your need and to then build one when you have lots of friends who are free to assist you.  In most cases, I think that you’ll find that it’s more work/trouble and expense than it’s worth.


Wireless Routers

Student Council’s Technology Committee has been investigating issues related to internet connectivity in on Grounds Housing areas and has discovered that the main problem is residents’ use of private wireless routers, which interrupt the University’s wireless network signal.  We will be adding notes to the Housing web page and newsletters to emphasize that University policy does not allow the use of private wireless routers in on Grounds Housing.  I assume that students who use them believe that they will enhance the speed of their computers…  It doesn’t appear that the routers are able to do that.  The bigger issue however is that the use of the routers interfere’s with other students ability to receive the University’s wireless network signal. 

Over the past several years, the University has made a large investment, installing wireless network technology throughout grounds.  There was a point in time when having a private router may have been necessary to pick up the signal in some locations… those days are gone. 

Please do not bring or use your own router.  This has been a particular issue in Bice and Lambeth this past year.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Room Swaps are not allowed in First Year Housing

We’re already started receiving a few requests from students and parents asking if students can change their assignments if they can find someone else who is willing to switch rooms with them.  Please don’t pursue that avenue.  The intent of the First Year Experience is to have students randomly distributed throughout the First Year Housing Areas.  If we were to allow everyone to start switching places, it would subvert the intent of the process.  We receive a lot of requests that are really code for people wanting to work the system to arrange their assignment so that it’s in a place where they believe other people who are like them might be living.  All of those traditions and beliefs held by parents and older siblings about how things were in a particular location are no longer applicable and should not be believed (or even repeated).  They are not a true reflection of the current state.   All of the students living in first year areas are new.  The community that develops each year is entirely dependent on the students that live there now…  There is no carry over from one year to the next.  The community will be what you make of it.

I’m sure that it’s easy for you to find someone who will also want to trade spaces with you – no matter where you are.  Please…. don’t call and ask for that.  We are not able to accommodate those requests.

First Year Assignments Update

In the last week, the size of the First Year Class has grown.  At this point in time, with the assignments being posted at the end of the day today, we will currently have more male students than FY bed space.  As a result, a small number  of first year men have been assigned to upperclass spaces in Hereford College that were vacant and we have created 16 triple rooms in the Alderman Road Complex.  While this was necessary to assign all students, the hope is still that all students will be in permanent room assignments before Opening in August.  Between now and then we hope that we will have enough male cancellations so that we won’t have to have anyone actually move into a triple room assignment.  How that goes will depend on whether any additional students are admitted and how many cancellations we receive.  We normally receive more male than female cancellations during the course of the summer so if things follow the normal pattern this will work itself out.

If you find that you are one of the men that has been assigned to a triple room, please relax and we will be in touch with additional information.


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