Life in the Residence Hall

Benefits of on-campus housing

  • Community: Where else could you live with one or two hundred other people and get to know all their habits and characteristics?
  • Personal Growth: Learn about yourself by living and interacting with others.
  • Programming: Throughout life, you will always learn best through experiential settings.

The Campus Life staff (see descriptions below) will plan activities and informational sessions which will complement the academic workload. These sessions are not only informative, they’re often quite fun!

Who’s who in the residence halls…

Residence Directors (RDs):

Part-time and full-time student life professionals with two or more years experience in Campus Life. RDs supervise Community Advisors (CAs) and students. Student contact occurs primarily through informal counseling, educational and social programs, discipline administration, and friendships with residents. Residence Directors often leave their doors open and seek to build relationships with every member of their residence halls. Every week of the academic year, a Residence Director is on call 24 hours per day to respond to emergencies.

Community Advisors (CAs):

CAs are upper-class students who live on each residence hall floor and who have been through a rigorous selection and training process. They serve as advisors, educators, community builders and friends to all students. CAs are selected for their leadership ability, interpersonal skills, integrity and a desire to enhance community. They assist you with personal and academic concerns and help you find what you need on campus and in the Harrisonburg community. They also plan programs that contribute to the overall education of residents (i.e. speakers, special dinners, or community service).

Custodial, Maintenance and Security Staff:

Each residence hall has at least one custodial worker to oversee the cleanliness and comfort of the hall. EMU Facilities Management workers are prepared to deal quickly and effectively with heating, plumbing, lighting and any significant damage. The safety and security of the residence halls is monitored by several professional security persons.


“I never wanted to live with a roommate. Now my roommate is one of my best friends. I can’t imagine living without [her]!”

This student expressed the sentiment of many students who come to college for the first time. Living in a room with someone whom you hardly know can be an extremely scary experience. But it can also be extremely rewarding when both students adjust to living with someone new. Not all roommates become best friends, but all roommates learn to live together… The key to a roommate relationship is communication. A problem can only be worked out when roommates are willing to talk to each other about it. Conflicts which are kept hidden from the other roommate can seriously damage the relationship. Be honest with each other. Compromising and negotiating skills will be necessary to solve problems. Your CA and RD are available to assist you.

At EMU, every pair of roommates is required to complete a roommate contract which provides a list of issues such as lights out, study times and room arrangement on which roommates should reach an agreement. It will also include a list of personal questions that will help roommates get to know each other much better. Residents are encouraged to resolve conflicts together and to learn from the different lifestyles and living habits of others.

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