Archive for the 'Upperclass' Category

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.

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.

The Reapplication process for 12-13 continues

We are now getting new vacancies for the Fall as the Res. Staff makes offers to new Resident Assistants.  This process is expected to create at least 50 vacant spaces all across grounds.  This will enable to us to get that much farther with both future room change requests and with new offers to the waiting list.

I also want to let you know that if you have a space in housing  for next year, but have found something else, depending on where you live, we may be able to grant a release from your contract.  We have a particular need in Johnson, Malone and Weedon, to create more space of incoming Transfer students.  We also have a demand for space in Bice and Lambeth.

I hope that you are enjoying your time away for Spring Break this week.

Housing Application Waiting List

The second round of offers to rising 2nd year students goes out later this afternoon.  There are about 400 offers in this round.  There are also still about 200 rising second year students still on the waiting list.  After that there are about 400 upperclass students waiting to receive offers.

The way the process works, is that we offer out every space that we have available with each set of offers.  What is then available for the next set of offers is the spaces that are not accepted and any other cancellations we receive.   Even though people have been waiting for an offer, if we are not able to give them their first choice, or keep their group together, then they may decide to turn down the offer and move off Grounds.

This year we are experiencing a larger demand, mostly due to the larger size of the first year class.

If you are on the waiting list and know that you want to live in on Grounds Housing, please be patient and stay on the waiting list.  At this point, if you are a member of a 6 person group, it is very unlikely that we will have any spaces for a group that is larger than 2 people.  If we don’t have any group space, we try to keep the group members as close to each other as we can.  Students can then work with each other later to arrange mutual switches, to try to get groups back together -or at least preferred roommate pairs.

If you stay on the waiting list, you will receive an offer.   We don’t ever get to the point where we don’t ever have spaces.  There is always enough change so that we can continue to make offers on a weekly basis.

If you have a question about a specific request or about the process in general, please call the Accommodations Office or stop by and speak with the staff directly.  We welcome the opportunity to help you with your individual or group decision making process.

Thank you for your patience.

Upperclass students – Be aware of Limits on Early Arrivals in some areas.

It is normal for us to have many upperclass students who are a part of different groups on grounds return before Opening for training or to prepare to assist the University in general with all of the activities that are a part of the start of the year.  Before you finalize your plans, please look at the early arrival information on the Housing Division web site.  This year, there are a larger than normal number of projects that will limit how early students will be able to move in in certain facilities.  Lambeth Field, Copeley, Lewis and Hoxton are the areas primarily impacted in upperclass housing.  If  your job or group has you coming back before these facilities are available, you can still return, but you will have to move into temporary housing in Page House of the McCormick Road Area until you are able to move to your permanent assignment.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but it is unavoidable with the short window of time during the summer when we have major renovation projects to start/finish.

Graduation Housing

If you are graduating, you should have received information from the Conference Services Office of the Housing Division.  Having your family members stay in on-Grounds housing for graduation is an affordable alternative to the premium priced, 3 day minimum charged at most local hotels -if space is even available.  Please go to the Conference Services web site  at for information.

Lawn Selection Process

The Lawn Selection Process Steering Committee met last week to update the application, timeline and committee selection process.  Details of that will be coming out soon.  Members of the current 4th year class will receive an e-mail from the Senior Resident of the Lawn, letting them know that they have an opportunity to participate in the process as a member of the selection committee.  Look for that information.   The current members of the 3rd year class will also be receiving an e-mail from the Senior Resident that will give you the information about the application timeline and where to find the application.

A few weeks ago there was a lengthy article in the Cavalier Daily talking about the process and listing the kinds of concerns that students have always had with the process.  I have worked with the process for the past 13 years now and have reviewed the application data each year.  I believe that the process has run well and I have never noticed any patterns in the data that lead me to believe that the process is not fair.  The one variable that we can’t control is the actual decision making process of the individuals who make up the committee.  Having a Committee however that represents each student in several different ways and that has always had at least 35 members reading and voting with equal status is the best protection against any one group being able to unbalance the process.

Please note the information when it comes out and look at how it applies to you or fits with your plans.  The value the student body as a whole places on this process and the willingness to invest time and energy to make sure that the final Lawn community reflects the true diversity of the student body is what makes the process special, unique and a true honor.

Room Change Period Begins on Sept. 7

We still have students arriving to check in.  That will continue for the next few days yet.  In order for us to really be sure that we know who is here and who did not arrive, we ask the Resident Staff members in the halls to contact all of the students to confirm that they are here.  It is important that we have everyone stay put until we can complete that process.

For upperclass students, room changes are done on a first come -first served basis.  If you come to the Accommodations Office in Page House, starting at 8:00 a.m. on September 7th, you will be able to choose from the spaces that are available in the system (except for single room spaces -there is a waiting list for them that you can call and put yourself on now.).  We currently have 95 vacant spaces across grounds, so there is a selection of spaces to choose from.

For First Year students, room change requests are coordinated by the three First Year Area Coordinators.  There are a limited number of spaces available so the ACs have to work with all of the requests they receive and see if it’s possible to meet the requests that they receive.  The first priority however is to get first year student pairs to work through their issues.  One of the primary goals of the first year experience is to help students learn to live with someone who is different from themselves and to help students learn the skills to constructively work through conflicts.

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.


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