Residential FAQs for Recently Accepted Students

Is on-campus housing available at WCU? 
Campus housing is available and guaranteed for all freshmen. We also guarantee housing for transfer students who are entering with less than 18 credit hours or are under 21 years of age by February 1 of the initial enrollment year. Housing is available to upperclass students on a space available basis.

Am I required to live on campus?
Freshmen are required to live on campus at Western Carolina University, and the majority of them participate in Western Carolina PEAKS, our transitional living-learning community. This is advantageous because it means you will live in the heart of all the activity on campus and everything will be easily accessible. The freshman residency requirement may be waived if the student is married or lives with parents or legal guardians in Jackson County or any county contiguous to Jackson County provided he/she completes a “Freshman Authorization to Commute Form” and submits it to the Department of Residential Living. More information on this requirement can be found in Policy #96. Transfer students who are entering with less than 18 credit hours or are under 21 years of age by February 1 of the initial enrollment year are also required to live on campus.

Do I have to be a fulltime student to live on campus? 
No, there is no minimum number of enrolled hours required for you to live in the residence halls. Keep in mind, however, that living in the residence halls is intended to encourage your academic success. All residence hall policies must be observed at all times.

How do I apply to live on campus? 
Instructions to apply for campus housing can be found in your acceptance packet or by visiting our online system and clicking on “New Student Instructions.”

How can I cancel my Residence Hall Agreement? 
Please keep in mind that if you are a freshman, you are required to live on campus (see Policy #96).  If you are not considered a freshman under Policy #96, and you wish to cancel your Residence Hall Agreement, you must do so in writing prior to June 1 if you are entering in the fall, and December 1 if you are entering in the spring. 

How is my room assignment made? 
Room assignments are made via our automated system. Our room assignments coordinator makes every attempt to meet the requests of all residents. Assignment priority is determined by the date on which the non-refundable housing deposit is received by OneStop. If you request to live with a particular person, we will make every effort to honor this request provided we have also received a request by the preferred roommate. Both students must request each other on their Residence Hall Agreements if they are freshmen.

When and how will I receive my room assignment? 
Room assignments are made in mid to late July and will be sent to your Catamount email address.

When will I check in to my residence hall room? 
All freshmen are required to check in on Friday, August 15, 2014. You will simply go to the residence hall to which you are assigned. Your residence hall staff will be readily available to assist you. If you are a transfer student, you may also check in on Friday, August 15, or you may wait until Saturday, August 16 if you prefer.

What is there to do on campus? 
There is a wide array of things to do on campus. Residence hall staff and residence life organizations offer an abundance of programs and activities throughout the year. Your RA will provide programs for the residents on your hall. At other times, the RAs will combine to present building-wide programs, and at other times, the RAs will get together and present campus-wide programs. These programs range from social and recreational events, to service and community projects, to educational programs on current topics.  If you have an idea about something particular that you would like to do in your hall, talk to your RA or Resident Director. They are always open to new ideas. 

TV62 is a broadcast group of Student Media and airs 24/7. In addition to operating daily programming and broadcasting movies to the WCU campus, TV62 produces original student programming and television series.  TV62 is open to students of all majors and has a peer-to-peer training program for video production and non-linear editing."

The College of Fine and Performing Arts presents a wide variety of artistic entertainment throughout the year. You can visit the art gallery to view exhibits, or attend numerous concerts and student recitals, plays, musicals, operas, and dance recitals.

For those who love sports, the Athletics Department offers men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and track and field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

Intramural sports include arm wrestling, badminton, basketball, bench press, bowling, cross country, darts, disc golf, dodgeball, field goal kicking, fishing derby, flag football, four square, homerun derby, innertube water polo, kickball, racquetball, indoor soccer, softball, sports trivia, swim meet, table tennis, tennis, track and field, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wiffle ball derby, and wrestling.

Another avenue of entertainment is Base Camp Cullowhee (BCC), which provides a comprehensive array of outdoor program services to the Western community. Students can take part in outdoor recreation trips, or utilize the outdoor equipment rental program. BCC offers all sorts of activities such as kayaking, whitewater rafting, backpacking, caving, hang gliding, skiing, numerous skills clinics, and the indoor climbing spire.

All residents have the opportunity to take part in the government of their residence hall by joining their Residence Hall Council (RHC). The RHC includes elected officers and representatives from each floor or wing and is actively involved in planning and implementing programs and activities of interest to residents, as well as addressing issues affecting the welfare of the residents of the building. RHCs organize the first few weeks of the semester, and meetings are open to all residents. Talk with your residence hall staff regarding your interest, watch for signs and get involved. Residence Hall Council is a great way to meet and make new friends!

The Resident Student Association (RSA) includes representatives from each Residence Hall Council, including the president and vice president. These individuals represent their halls concerning various campus-wide issues and have a direct line of communication with the Director of Residential Living. RSA looks at avenues for improving the quality of residence hall life through policy review and recommendations, planned programs and activities, and service to the campus community. In addition to campus activities, RSA members represent WCU at various state, regional and national residence hall conferences. RSA is highly active and respected on campus, and is committed to positive residence hall living at WCU. Any student interested in residence life activities is welcome to attend RSA meetings. We encourage your interest, ideas, and participation in making WCU residence life the best that it can be.  Contact a staff member  or call the Department of Residential Living  for more information.
 
Who is in charge of my residence hall?
The Resident Director (RD) has responsibility for the operation of his/her area of buildings. Each RD is a full-time professional staff person with a master’s degree in counseling, human services, or related area, and previous experience in Residence Life. The RD lives in one of the buildings for which he/she has responsibility. His or her responsibilities include counseling/advising residents, supervising staff, administering the disciplinary process for in-hall behavior problems, coordinating residence hall programs and activities, promoting community and leadership development, and administering paperwork and reports.

Who is in charge of the floor where I will live? 
Each floor has a Resident Assistant (RA). RAs are upperclass residents who have been through a thorough selection process and an intensive training program. The RA is responsible for developing a community environment among the residents on the floor; providing opportunities for interaction among the residents through programs and activities; being a peer counselor/advisor; and monitoring and reporting behavior problems to the Resident Director. The primary responsibility of the RA is to assist you.

What furnishings and amenities are available in the residence hall?
 The Residence Life Program at WCU offers many opportunities for personal growth and development to residents through various recreational, social, educational, cultural, developmental, and community service activities. In addition, you may take advantage of many other services offered in the residence hall. Each residence hall room is furnished with two loftable or bunkable beds (All beds are extra-long standard size), two desks and desk chairs, two drawer sets and closets, desk lights, overhead lights, window blinds, two Ethernet ports with high-speed internet connection. Digital cable TV also is provided. Located in each residence hall are laundry facilities which operate using CatCard or cash; snack and drink vending machines; study lounges; and public area lounges, equipped with wireless Internet. Read more about each of the residence halls.

Am I allowed to decorate my room?
We encourage you to personalize your room. You may bring small end tables, shelves, television, refrigerator (of no more than 4.6 cubic feet or 5 amps), microwave oven, plants, pillows, rugs/carpet, and wastepaper baskets. You are not permitted to paint your room.

What should I bring to the residence hall? 

  • Computer 
  • Refrigerator (4.5 cubic feet or = 5 amps)
  • Microwave (= 800 watts)
  • Surge protector
  • Television
  • Extra-long twin sheets, mattress pad, pillow and pillow cases
  • Blanket
  • Bedspread
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Bathrobe
  • Soap, toiletries, shower bucket  
  • Alarm clock
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry basket
  • Iron/ironing board 
  • Umbrella
  • Fan
  • Waste basket
  • Small recycling bin
  • Sticky poster mounting gum (look-for-Poster Gum)
  • Study supplies
  • Sewing kit
  • Flashlight
  • Can openers
  • Plants
  • Bookshelf (free standing)
  • Carpet or rug
  • Camera
  • Decorative items (pictures, posters, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies

We recommend that only one of the following items be in each room:

  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • TV
  • VCR
  • Fan
What items are not allowed in the residence halls?
  • Air conditioner
  • Amplifiers
  • Aquariums (larger than 10 gallons)
  • Archery equipment
  • Ceiling fans
  • Cooking appliances with open coils (toaster, toaster oven, coffee maker, hot plate, George Foreman grills, etc.)
  • Darts
  • Duck tape
  • Electric blankets
  • Electrical items that are not U.L. approved
  • Explosives (including gasoline, kerosene, or other combustible substances)
  • Fireworks
  • Halogen or incandescent lights / lamps
  • Indoor grill or broiler
  • Kegs, party balls, funnels, bongs, and other drug paraphernalia
  • Pets (other than fish)
  • Power tools
  • Refrigerators larger than 4.6 cubic or > 5 amps
  • Space heaters (electric, ceramic, or kerosene)
  • Waterbeds
  • Weapons including, but not limited to:  (Knives, BB guns, Air/gas pistols or rifles, Firearms of any type, Pressurized guns, Paint ball guns, Stun guns, Martial arts weapons and Ammunition)
  • Weight lifting equipment
  • Smoke/fog machines

This list is not all-inclusive. If you have questions, please contact the Department of Residential Living at: housingquestions@email.wcu.edu or via phone at: 828-227-7303.

Where will I get my mail? 
U.S. Mail is collected and distributed to the Student Mail Center Monday through Friday, and delivered to each resident's mailbox before 3 p.m. The Mail Center is located on the second floor of Hinds University Center. To ensure that your mail reaches you as quickly as possible, make sure that your correspondents have your correct address as indicated:

Your Name
Western Carolina University
245 Memorial Drive
Suite ________
Cullowhee, NC 28723
If any part of your address is wrong, your mail will take longer to reach you.
May I have guests visit me in my room?
Yes, your guests are welcome to visit you in the residence hall. Guests of the opposite gender are allowed to visit you Sunday – Thursday from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight. On Friday and Saturday, the visitation hours are from 12:00 noon until 2:00 a.m. You must escort any guest of the opposite gender at all times. He or she must use restroom facilities designated for their gender. Public restroom facilities are located in the main lobby of each residence hall. Violation of this policy will result in loss of visitation privileges.

Is the campus a safe place to live? 
In Residential Living, we take your safety very seriously. 

Since residence halls are public buildings that serve as private residences for a large number of students, security is an important concern. All exterior doors remain locked at all times. Electronic access is provided for residents of each building. You are encouraged to always carry your CatCard and room key with you, and to always lock your door when you leave your room. You must also take responsibility for the safety and security of community by assisting with keeping doors locked at all times and never propping doors.

Smoke detectors are located in public areas and fire alarm pull stations on every wing of each residence hall floor. Fire drills are conducted the first of each semester. Your residence hall staff has been trained to assist you with evacuation procedures. AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION, BURNING CANDLES AND INCENSE (or any open flame), OR ANY OPEN-COILED COOKING APPLIANCES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS. As an added safety measure, all residence halls have sprinkler systems.

Your residence hall staff will conduct various safety programs in the residence halls related to theft prevention, self-defense, rape awareness, fire safety, and others. Emergency call boxes are located at the main entrance of each residence hall. University Police Officers patrol the campus and are only a phone call away. They are available to assist you if and when the need arises.  For further information regarding campus safety and security, please visit the University Police website.

 

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