Thousands of questions about how to do that college thing normally remain unanswered when a student moves into his or her residence hall. After all, a good portion of the college experience is learning to figure things out for yourself, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading because we at SOCIETY19 have compiled a cheat sheet, created by a Bobcat who’s been there, for you to use as your resource to answer important questions about Ohio University housing!
1. How does the selection process work, anyway?
You see, many people compare Ohio University’s housing selection process to a raffle. In a way, it kind of is, except you have much more of a chance of getting what you want.
If you’re a first year student, you will receive a notification from the university about your room selection time and date, which is the exact time you can begin selecting a room. Don’t worry, if you miss this time, you will be able to select a room at any other time that day.
Tip #1: Check with your roommate to see if he or she has an earlier selection time than yo. If so, he or she should attempt to select the room you both agreed upon prior to your selection dates.
Tip #2: MyHousing is your BFF in this process. It allows you to see which dorms on campus fulfill the requirements of everyone in your housing group.
2. What’s the difference between a suite and a room?
A suite, unlike a room, has a shared area of some sort. Sometimes it’s a “living room,” other times it’s just a bathroom. Regardless, by living in a suite, you are agreeing to share space with another set of people. Certain residence halls, such as Bromley, have only suites, others, like Voigt, have only rooms.
Tip: Depending on how much privacy you and your roommate want, a suite may be a wonderful idea. If you do not plan on spending a ton of time in your residence hall, though, a room may be more practical.
3. Some objects are banned from dorms, but seem useful in college life. How likely am I to get away with bringing them to campus?
A lot of key factors play into this answer.
What type of item do you have in mind?
A small toaster, for instance, could work. A hot tub, (don’t roll your eyes-someone actually tried to do this once) will not work.
Can the item be easily concealed?
If the item could easily be hid under your bed, or in a drawer you will most likely be able to get away with it being there.
Fun Fact: RAs cannot check your drawers, lift blankets, or move items during their inspections.
Tip #1: Pay careful attention to your emails. Inspection notifications are given about a week before they happen, but they can happen anytime during inspection week.
Tip #2: Hide any potentially “suspicious” items (panini presses, grills, toasters, space heaters, etc) before the week of inspection.
Tip #3: I would not suggest owning furniture made out of alcohol containers, though. That fancy lamp made out of a vodka bottle will be confiscated if seen by an RA, even though it has no alcohol in it. Rules are rules.
4. What do I do if something in my room breaks?
It could happen. I remember a time during my sophomore year when I was sitting in my room on a Sunday night, typing away on my laptop, when all of a sudden, I was surrounded by darkness. My light bulb must have blew out!
Tip #1: Inspect the information board in your hall. I quickly ran over to the handy-dandy information board on my hall and contacted maintenance to fix the issue. They came roughly 30 minutes later and ended up having to replace the entire lighting unit.
Moral of the Story: Things happen, but OU pays people to fix the things that happen.
To Report An Issue: Go to the Ohio University Housing page, then click on the “Report an Issue” tab on the top of the page. Select “Create a Work Order” under the”Room Issues” column, sign in, and report the issue.
5. How much room space do I have to work with here?
This all depends on the hall in which you are living.
Floor plans for Ohio University housing are provided on the Residence Life page, complete with measurements and a list of all things the room includes. Obviously, if you’re living in a single, you’ll have less room, but more room to yourself. If you’re living in a double, triple, or quad, you’ll have more room, but that also means you have more room to share.
WARNING: Not all halls have air conditioning. Bring a small fan.
6. How often will I interact with my RA?
Part of this is on you, part of this is on your RA. Although Ohio University housing RAs are required to coordinate events on a weekly basis, you are not required to go to them.
Tip #1: I recommend going to a few, though, at least at the start of the year. They normally include free food, so why not…
Around certain times of the year mandatory meetings between you and your RA are held. These usually occur close to when you first move in or when students have winter, spring, and summer breaks. Your RA may reach out to you; then again, he or she may not.
Tip #2: At least make the effort at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself to your RA and get on good terms with them. You may have to put in effort if you wish to get to know your RA, but it could help you to do so in the long run. Think: You’re locked out of your room at 1 am, etc. Just remember that they’re students, too, with schedules and other commitments that have nothing to do with you.
7. What if I want to bring my own furniture (i.e., desk, dresser, nightstand, chair) to put in my room?
If you can comfortably fit a chair into your room, and it doesn’t interfere with your roommate’s space, go for it. Leave the other stuff at home, though. Most dressers are built into the room, nightstands are unnecessary, and you can’t remove university-owned furniture from your living space: thus, the desk has to stay.
8. How much can I decorate my room the way I want?
Although Ohio University housing totally gets that you want to make your living space all your own, there are some restrictions on what you can do to make that happen, and those are listed in the tips below.
Tip #1: Avoid duct tape. At all costs. It will only tear away the paint on your wall when you have to move out, and you will get fined for any damage you do to your room.
Tip #2: Invest in wall puddy (the play dough looking stuff used for posters and wall art) and command strips to secure things to your walls. Simple bulletin board tacks work surprisingly well also and leave holes that are usually unnoticeable. (Think for twinkle lights, etc.)
Tip #3: Leave your ceiling as it is. Don’t put anything on your ceiling (tapestries, etc.,) this is considered a fire hazard.
Tip #4: Only 25% of your wall(s) may be covered. (Ohio University housing considers this a fire hazard.)
What you are allowed to do:
DIY photo collages, paintings and posters, twinkle lights, framed pictures.
What you are NOT allowed to do:
Paint your room, drill nails into the walls, install elaborate shelving units, etc.
What other questions do you have about Ohio University housing? Comment below and hopefully we can help! Share this article with friends!
Featured Image Source: buzzfeed.com, hgtv.com
Sydney Dawes is an Ohio University student studying journalism. Her passions include writing, social media, Netflix, Pokemon, the color yellow, and betta fish. After earning her degree, Sydney plans on becoming a foreign correspondent for Middle Eastern affairs. Or going to law school. She really doesn’t know. Twitter: @sydneydawes_95, Instagram: @syd_the_kid1995