Archive for the 'First Year' Category

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.

Semester Break Housing for December. 2012

One change for this next year that everyone needs to plan around is that we will not be to provide housing to any first year students for the first 2 weeks of the Semester Break in December-January.  The Halls close on Wednesday, December 19th.  For the safety of students, because we do not have staff in place and most services are shut down, we will not be able to provide housing until January 2nd, when the J Term Session begins.

For first year students who may not have other options, we have made an arrangement for students to rent rooms at the Cavalier Inn, at a reduced rate during that time period.

If you live in one of the Residential Colleges, you are in upperclass housing, which does not close during the break.


Changes to First Year Applications ends on June 1st

In the last week we’ve had several hundred contacts from students who wanted to change something in the application they submitted.  Most often it’s been for a new roommate choice.  Some of the requests have also been for things like “I wanted to choose ________ complex”.  The selection of a complex is not one of the options.

After the June 1st deadline, we can no longer make those kind of changes so that we can begin working on making assignments.

Get your applications completed and in if you haven’t already.


Advice from Alums and Older Siblings

If you are lucky enough to have older siblings or parents who attended UVa, please listen to them and follow the advice they give you.  You also need to make your own independent assessment of how things work when you arrive.

Student Life at UVa is constantly evolving and that is particularly true in Housing and Residence Life.  We often receive questions or requests that are based on information that is no longer applicable.

The most common requests we hear involve being in a particular complex.  That’s no longer a choice that we offer you.  Please don’t call and ask to be made an exception to the process that is in place now.  The University wants to insure that the FY class is randomly distributed so that you are not living with people who are only just like you.

Old stereotypes of who lives in each complex are no longer accurate or appropriate.  Once you move in and make some friends, where ever you are assigned will become the best place to live.

We also get many calls based on location – and distance to class.  It’s a little hard for me to believe that people want to believe that having a 5 minute longer walk 2x/day will change anything in the kind of activities you can participate in, or create a special hardship for anyone who does not have medical needs.  A good percentage of students take the bus to class — it’s the same bus line that goes by all of the first year areas..  If you don’t want to walk, you don’t have to.

Everyone has their own unique first year experience….

Roommate Requests -Change for this year

For the first year this year, we will not be able to guarantee that we can honor all roommate requests.  We will still do our best to keep all roommate pairs together, if they are submitted by the June 1st initial deadline.

The reason for the change is due to the number of facebook roommate pairs.  In the past, it was typical to have 25% of the class request roommates.  Last year that percentage was up to 50% of the class.  We were able to almost honor every request last year, but we can’t predict what will happen this year and we don’t want to promise something that we can’t deliver on.

Take care,


First Year Housing Assignment Options and Process

If you look at the information on the Housing and Residence Life web page, you will see that there are several housing complexes that are exclusively for first year students:  Alderman Road, McCormick Road and Gooch-Dillard.  This is where most of you will be living next year.  Within these three complexes, the assignment process is random.  There is no first-come, first-served element to the process.  You cannot select which of these complexes you want to live in.  You are able to request a roommate and you can select whether you are interested in a double room or a single room.  If you select that you want a single room, you should know that there are a small number of “stairwell” single rooms in the McCormick Road complex, but almost all of the first year rooms available to you are in the Gooch-Dillard Complex.  This complex was constructed primarly with 6 single rooms in a suite with a common bathroom and a lounge.

In addition, as a first year student, you are also offered the choice to apply to live in one of three Residential College programs. Each of these programs are in complexes where 20% of the students are first year students and the rest of the community is made up of upperclass students.  Each of the three communities, Brown College, Hereford College and the International Residential College, have a focus that has been selected by the students living in the program.  Brown College focuses on creativity,  Hereford College focuses on sustainability and the International Residential College focuses on International Issues.  I’ll give you more information about the structure of the Residential Colleges in another posting.  Please also look at the photos and information available on the web page.

Welcome and Congratulations Class of 2016!

We’re thrilled that you have chosen to attend the University of Virginia.  As a first year student, you will be living in an on Grounds residence hall for your first year.  Over the next several weeks, I will add a new posting each day to cover specific topics related to the kinds of questions we usually receive from students and parents.  In the past, I did this with one very long post.  I won’t do that to you again.  Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to find the information you need when you think of questions.

Congratulations again.


Change in Semester Break Housing for 2012-13

When the SARS outbreak hit in Asia years ago, we began allowing First Year International Students who were unable to leave, the option of staying in on Grounds housing for the entire break period.  We have continued that practice until now.  At the end of the Fall, 2012 semester, all first year housing (Alderman Road, Gooch-Dillard and McCormick Road) will be closed.  No students will be allowed to remain in the buildings after closing and no one will be allowed to return before Jan. 2nd.  January 2nd is when the J-term begins.  The only students that will be allowed to return during that time are international students, athletes in practice (coordinated by the Coaches, not the students), and students enrolled in J-term classes.

Upperclass Housing never closes, this just applies to the three first year areas.  FY students living in the Residential Colleges are able to remain in their rooms over the break.  If you are an incoming FY student and think that you will need to stay over this time period, you might want to consider applying to live in one the residential colleges.

Location, Location, Location

Another frequent question that we receive from both parents and students is about being assigned to a facility that is “too far” from classes.  For some reason we hear this most from “engineers”, even though their classes are the closest to almost all of the first year housing, no matter where they live….  To the student body here location is a big deal throughout their career here.   We understand that.  That said, one of the facts of life is that not every building can be in the same location.

The University intentionally does not assign first year students based on their intended major.  The assignment process is based on the University’s belief and core value that for the first year, students should be assigned randomly, so that everyone gets the experience of living in a diverse community – and that includes people with different academic interests.

The general daily routine for students is that they go to the center or grounds when their classes start and return when they are finished for the day.  No matter where they live, the same bus route goes past all of the first year housing and the buses come by every 15 minutes or less – you are even able to go on-line if you have the appropriate iPhone kind of app. and it will show you exactly where all the buses are on their routes so that you can go to the bus stop when you know the bus is about to arrive..  If you live in father from the center of grounds, it is more likely that you will use the bus, but if you choose to walk, it’s still less  and 1 mile and you can probably walk it faster than taking the bus.  This is a beautiful University, the walk is pretty and it’s a good way to wake yourself up before starting class.  This is not an urban area where the traffic discourages walking.  Bikes are also an option.  If you live in Hereford or Kellogg, you can get a good downhill run on the way to class if you want.  It’s really not a big hardship and the distances aren’t enough that it is an issue unless you have a medical/mobility limitation.   Even if you lived off Grounds, there isn’t any parking on the center of grounds.  most students walk or take the bus wherever they live.  As first years you are closer, in general, than most other students are.


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