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Housing and Residence Life

Residence Life at EMU

Spring 2021 Guidelines and Expectations

What: Creating and maintaining a safe, healthy, caring, and just residential community at EMU during Spring 2021.


  • Learn about signs, symptoms, and treatment options for Covid-19 - and apply that learning to how we live and interact together. There are signs in many locations in residence halls and around campus - read the signs and follow best practices!
  • Correctly wear a face covering/mask (it must cover mouth AND nose) at all times when NOT in your household group space.
  • Maintain at least 6’ of physical distance between you and those who are not part of your household. 
  • Maintaining social connections in all the ways that are still possible - (make use of GroupMe, Instagram, Zoom, Google Chat, Text Msg, - all the things!) 
  • Disinfect surfaces that you can, that others may use after you (bathroom surfaces, lounge furniture, kitchen surfaces)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.
  • Participating in regular self-screening and reporting any symptoms that develop. Symptom reporting or any COVID related questions happens through calling the EMU COVID Hotline - 540-421-3406 or email
  • Thinking twice about travel outside of Harrisonburg while classes are in session. Self-reporting and self-quarantining if travel outside of Harrisonburg is necessary. 
  • Being accountable, and holding others accountable (“hey, shouldn’t you be wearing a mask right now?”) to our expectations of living together. 

Why: Because what we do personally impacts the community - now more than ever. Because we don’t want anyone to get sick because of our failure to adhere to guidelines. Because we care for/about each other. 

Building community is still a priority at EMU, but how we do that in common spaces looks different. We have taken many steps to prioritize health and safety, including single occupancy rooms for many students. 

Our housing model for all undergraduate students is a “Household Group” model. Household Groups are constituted by who shares a bathroom and range in size from 1*-20+ depending on residential location. *If you are a Household Group of 1 - contact your RD if you are interested in joining with another HG to combat loneliness. 

  • Parkwoods, Hillside, Redmond, Bridge: Each suite/apartment/house is a HG.
  • Northlawn, Elmwood, Maplewood - ½ halls are HGs.
  • Cedarwood - each pod is a HG.

Household Groups exist so that you have a place to be together without all the health protocols: When you are inside your HG space (suite, apartment, house, ½ hall, etc.) with others of your HG, you do not NEED to wear a face covering/mask, physically distance, etc. 

When you are outside of your HG space - even if you are (only) with other members of your HG -  wear your face covering and maintain physical distance. 

No guests are allowed inside the residence hall/suite/apartment/house. A guest is anyone who is not a member of your household (even an EMU student who lives in a different building).

Cafeteria and Dining

At the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester, the EMU Cafeteria is open for Carry-Out meals only. Students are invited to go to the cafeteria, get their food, and then leave the cafeteria.

- EMU Residential students may eat in their living spaces or at University Commons tables outside of the Student Life Suite and the Den.

- Meal times should maintain distancing and mask wearing when not actively consuming food.
- To maintain cleanliness in campus spaces (whether student living spaces or campus common areas), dispose of trash appropriately.

Community Living


Life on a college campus can be exciting and transformative, AND it is a big change for most incoming students.  While you may be excited to grow more independent away from home, you may be nervous about living with a roommate and other people you've never met before. That is okay!  We hope that in a short time, you will find belonging at EMU We believe that classroom learning is just one aspect of the unique educational experience provided by living on campus. Life together at EMU offers a chance to:

  • live and participate in a caring community
  • build lifelong relationships with students and staff
  • engage in programs that support college learning
  • live in a community of mutual accountability
  • develop your ethical framework for life beyond EMU

Read more about our Life Together at EMU here

Staff You Can Rely On

At EMU, you’ll find a campus community of caring people working to create a space of welcome as you move from one home to another. The Residence Life department’s mission statement is:

Building and enhancing a campus residential community that is welcoming and supportive of all, and that enhances the dignity and well-being of each member.

In addition to a university-wide Director of Residence Life, each residence hall has a Residence Director, who lives within the residence hall with their family, on hand to help in many ways. RDs are live-in, professional staff, sometimes enrolled in graduate programs. They provide counsel and opportunities to grow and learn, hold you accountable to community life standards, and help you adjust to this new place.

In most residence halls, you’ll find the RDs in the apartment(s) located on the main floor of the residence hall. Learn more about our staff.

Student Leaders Trained to Help

RDs work with several Community Advisors, or CAs, student staff who have been through a rigorous selection and training process, equipping them to serve as peer leaders and facilitators. Each residence hall is divided into units with student CAs as leaders, so there is always someone to turn to with questions or just to connect in friendship.

If you are interested in serving as a CA , Please complete the 2021-2022 CA Application.

Living Together, Learning Together

EMU is a Christian residential college committed to the education of the whole person. Here students face the challenges of personal growth and group sharing as they respond to the invitation to understand and respect each other. As students share, they learn about each other and grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

To support this learning, the office of Residence Life has developed several learning outcomes for our Life Together: 

  •  Applying New Knowledge - Connect new knowledge to lived experience and lived experience to academic engagement 
  • Balanced Living - Integrate personal identities and values that inform choices and support wholistic success
  • Conflict Transformation - Analyze and transform everyday conflict and relationships in a restorative way
  •  Dignity and Difference - Actively engage diversity with humility and respect; recognize the dignity of all races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, and neurodiversity
  • Enjoying Healthy Relationships - Pursue sustainable and safe relationships with self, others, and communities that promote thriving for all
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