Students and their families tend to view the housing assignment as a significant part of the first-year experience. We have found that students’ residential experiences depend more on the connections they make with other members in their community rather than the assigned residence hall. Students quickly discover that each hall has its own positive attributes, and all provide the ability to make plenty of friends, regardless of the location. The campus is fairly compact, with all of the residences within a five to ten minute walk to any other part of campus. Wherever first-year students are housed, at least half the residents will be from their class.
All students who have roommates are expected to complete a roommate agreement, which provides an opportunity to discuss community versus personal items, visitors, neatness expectations, hours to be able to sleep or study, etc. These forms will be distributed to students by the Resident Advisors during New Student Orientation.
Wesleyan housing stock is very diverse, with multiple room sizes within each building, so it is difficult to provide room dimensions. Every student receives a desk, chair, dresser, bed, bookcase and closet or wardrobe. The furniture is movable, with the exception of some Foss Hill (West College and Nicolson) rooms that have built-in units. Most beds are adjustable in height, so risers are not needed. At its lowest level, the mattress is 15” from the floor. There are shades or vertical blinds on the windows. Bennet, Clark and 200 Church have sheet rock walls, the others are cinder block. Almost all of the rooms have tile floors. Should students bring a rug, we find a 5×7 best fits most spaces. Roommates should coordinate who will bring shared items, such as rugs and refrigerators, so as not to end up with duplicates. We encourage all students to limit what they pack and assess their needs upon arrival. There are a number of stores in the area, including Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Staples, and Bed, Bath and Beyond, so additional items can easily be purchased. All students whose belongings are not covered by a parent’s homeowners insurance should purchase a renter’s insurance policy, such as those offered by National Student Services Inc. at https://www.nssi.com/ or Gallagher Koster at https://www.gallagherkoster.com/.
As parents, you can support your son or daughter’s successful transition to college in a number of ways. You can help them evaluate situations from different perspectives and generate possible solutions, encourage them to address concerns as they arise rather than avoid a situation or have it escalate into a more serious problem, and help them accept responsibility for their actions and learn from the consequences. In addition, a member of the Residential Life staff is always available to assist them or at the least, point them in the right direction.
Wesleyan values the personal growth that the residential experience offers so much that students are required to live on campus throughout their undergraduate career. Residential Life supports this commitment through offering increasingly independent housing options and focusing on five learning outcomes, which include critical thinking, self-empowerment and life skills, effective citizenship, diversity, inclusion and social justice and effective communication. The increasing independence model can be found at https://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/Increasing%20Independence%20Model.pdf, and our learning outcomes at https://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/learning_outcomes.html.
Please refer to our website at https://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/ and our blog at http://reslife.blogs.wesleyan.edu/ for additional information throughout the year, and you can “like us” on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We look forward to welcoming your sons and daughters as they embark on this new, exciting experience.