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Frequently Asked Housing Questions

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Check out answers to some of students’ most common questions below.
I am a first-year student. When can I move in? How does new student arrival work?
You can always check the academic calendar for the official arrival and move-in days for both new and incoming students. On arrival day, all vehicles will be directed to park on Whitnall Field. Move-in day schedules can be gathered at Reid Athletic Center across Broad Street. Your belongings will be loaded into moving trucks by student volunteers and transported to the first-year halls. You will check in outside your hall as your belongings are moved into your room by additional volunteers.
I am a returning student. When can I move in?
You can always check the academic calendar for the official arrival and move-in days for both new and incoming students. Arrival for returning students is usually on the Saturday (8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) before the start of classes. Keys will be distributed from our office, located in Drake Hall (campus map). Please be sure to bring a photo ID for identification purposes. Please notify our office if you have an issue with arriving during our posted hours at 315-228-7367.
When will I know where I will be living?
Housing assignments, including the building/room where you will be living and your roommates’ names and contact information, will be sent to you in early July. Included with your assignment will be descriptions of the building and community that you will be joining.
What if I need to move in before my arrival date?
If you were granted permission to return to campus prior to your official arrival date, please follow the instructions provided to you by your sponsor and/or Residential Life. Arrivals that occur during the week (Monday - Friday) should make every effort to check-in between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. Arrivals on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) are limited from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Please notify our office if you have an issue with arriving during our posted hours at 315-228-7367.
Do early decision students receive housing priority?
No. All new first-year students are placed at the same time. Our students are housed based on the First-Year Housing Preference Form, not their building or room style preference.
Can I choose my roommate?
Yes. On your preference form, please tell us whom you would like to live with and we will do our best to make sure you are assigned a room together. We will only assign mutually requested roommates.
Can I choose my residence hall?
All housing assignments for first-year students are made by the residential life staff. As an incoming first-year student, you will receive our housing preference form in May. This form will ask questions that allow us to match you with roommates along critical similarities. To best maintain the integrity of this process, you are not able to indicate a residence hall preference.

Students in later class years may choose their residence hall, depending on availability and ability to fill rooms. A random lottery system determines the order in which students make their selections.
How are housing assignments made?
Housing assignments are made by the Office of Residential Life using the First-Year Housing Preference Form mailed in May. Our staff carefully reviews each application and places students by their preferences and interests. Although not all preferences can be met, we believe that having our staff place students by hand is more effective than random assignments or computer matches.
What if I have a special need relating to my housing?
If you have a specific housing need, please visit the special accommodations page for detailed instructions.
What is the Harlem Renaissance Center (HRC)?
The HRC is a community learning center and home designed for sophomore, junior, and senior students who are interested in the culture and heritage of Africans and African Americans. The HRC was established with two goals in mind: to provide students with an educational atmosphere about the culture and heritage of Pan-African ways of life and to educate the Colgate community about African American culture.
What is Wellness Living?
Wellness Living is a community for students who make decisions based on a holistic attitude about wellness and make a conscious effort to maintain their health. Students who choose wellness living have an interest in substance-free housing and choose not to bring alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs into their community. Wellness living communities have a partnership with the Shaw Wellness Institute for programming, resources, outreach, and education.

All residents of wellness living communities agree not to use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs in their living area, or to let these impact their residential community. Students sign a substance-free contract in order to participate in these communities. NOTE: All first-year halls are substance-free in accordance with both federal and New York state laws.
Is off-campus housing available?
We are a residential campus, meaning that each student is required to live in campus housing. However, the Neighbor to Neighbor program is a collaborative effort between the Village of Hamilton and the Colgate community that grants off-campus housing for 250 senior students. Those 250 students are approved through an off-campus lottery, which takes place in the fall of a student's junior year. Since you must be approved to live off-campus, we strongly advise that you do not sign a lease until you are certain of your status.
What does it mean to be "smoke-free"?
In accordance with the New York State Clean Air Act, it is illegal to smoke in any and all indoor spaces on campus (residential and non-residential). This means residents are not allowed to smoke in their individual rooms, common areas, bathrooms, or any other area.
What is a suite?
A suite may consist of 3-6 students whose rooms are connected by a common living area or bathroom. Each bedroom has its own door for privacy. Bedrooms within suites hold one to four students.
I'm an incoming first-year – how does Arrival Day work?
On Arrival Day, all vehicles will be directed to park on Whitnall Field. Information can be gathered at Reid Athletic Center across Broad Street. Your belongings will be loaded into moving trucks by student volunteers and transported to the first-year halls. You will check in outside your hall (and obtain your room key) as your belongings are moved into your room by additional volunteers.
How does my meal plan work? When does it begin? When are the dining facilities open?
Your meal plan begins the last Saturday before classes begin (see the academic calendar). All first-year students are required to have the Premier Unlimited Meal Plan. See more details about meal plans.
Please visit the dining services web page for more information regarding dining locations, menus, and hours of operation. NOTE: All sophomore students are required to have a meal plan (Premier Unlimited, Classic Unlimited, or the 14 Meal Plan) regardless of their housing assignment.
Are there any Residential Life policies of which I should be aware?
Yes, here are a few:
  • We must abide by New York State Law, and so the use of alcohol by those under the age of 21 is strictly prohibited.
  • Drugs and other illegal substances are not permitted.
  • We want students to live in an environment that is conducive to sleep and study, so we ask that students abide by quiet hours, which begin at a specific time each night.
  • 24-hour courtesy hours are always in effect.
  • We ask that all students treat each other with respect and civility, and that they live by a mutually acceptable set of community standards.
Further, a student's residential experience is an important complement to his or her academic experience at Colgate. The Office of Residential Life encourages students to actively and positively address both individual and community issues.
What is a community leader?
Community leaders are trained students employed by residential life as community organizers. They provide leadership and coaching in the residence halls. They are knowledgeable resources who are also trained in conflict resolution and crisis management. Community leaders also uphold community standards and policies and are on call nightly for emergencies.
Are residents permitted to stay on campus during breaks?
Colgate residences close for the semester breaks (beginning in December and May). Students who are required to stay throughout a break or to return earlier/stay later than closing dates published on the academic calendar should contact the Office of Residential Life.
What facilities do the residence halls offer?
Each residence hall has a recreational area with a TV and DVD player, couches, and study tables. Some residence halls also offer game equipment such as ping pong and pool tables, where space permits. Laundry facilities and study lounges can also be found in each hall. Also, there are small kitchenettes that include a sink, microwave, and small refrigerator in each hall.

The Harlem Renaissance Center (HRC) in Crawshaw Hall, part of the Bryan Complex, has a library dedicated to African and African-American studies. East Hall is home to the Center for Women's Studies.
Are there laundry facilities in each residence hall? How much do they cost?
Yes. It costs $1.25 per load to wash and $1.25 per load to dry. The machines only accept payment via 'Gate Card, which is a swipe-card system through your student ID. You can manage your 'Gate Card account online.
How many people share the bathrooms?
The number of students sharing a bathroom depends on the living area, ranging from 20 to 40 students on a floor. In the Harlem Renaissance Center, 4-6 students in a suite share a common bathroom.
Are the bathrooms single-sex or co-ed?
None of the bathrooms in the residence halls are co-ed. On co-ed floors, men and women each have separate bathrooms. On single-gender floors, there is one bathroom for the students on each floor.
Do I have to clean my own bathroom?
Students who live in suite-style rooms with bathrooms (Bryan and Cutten complexes), apartments, and the townhouse complex are all responsible for cleaning their own bathrooms. Bathrooms in all other Colgate residences are cleaned by Facilities staff.
What kind of furniture will I have in my room?
Each residence hall room has one bed, desk, chair, dresser, closet or wardrobe, and data port for each student living there. The type of furniture varies between residence halls. Some rooms have beds that may be adjusted, others do not. Some beds are bunked, some are not. All university furniture needs to remain in the rooms, and may not be switched with another room. Each residence hall room has a set of windows with window treatments, and each residence hall room has an individual door key and a door lock.
Can I have university furniture removed from my room?
No. You are required to keep the furniture that is provided in your room. You are also responsible for the condition and location of the furniture that you were provided.
What should I bring to Colgate?
Remember, you may not have room for everything you want to bring, but listed below are a few things you might want to have on hand. You should discuss with your roommate(s) what items each of you might bring.
  • Heavy jacket, water repellent boots, raincoat, umbrella, gloves, scarf, long underwear
  • Suit, ties, formal dress, dress shoes
  • Bathing suit (indoor pool available)
  • Bathrobe, slippers, shower sandals
  • Athletic equipment
  • Media player, television, personal computer, printer
  • Small, two-cubic foot refrigerator (rentals available - one per room)
  • Extra long bedding (80" twin sheets), pillow, mattress cover, blankets or duvet
  • Alarm clock, shower caddie, towels
  • Cellular phone
  • Small study lamp (no halogen lamps)
  • Backpack
  • Memo/note board for outside of your door
  • Surge-protectors, power strips
  • Clothes hangers, iron, ironing board
  • Laundry basket or bag, detergent, fabric softener
  • Posters and poster putty (the use of nails, thumb tacks, and/or tape is not permitted and will cause a student to be assessed damage fees at the end of the semester or year)
  • Can opener, cups, coffee mugs, travel mug, silverware
What should I leave behind?
For a variety of reasons, we ask that you leave the following items at home. If found, you will be asked to remove these items from your room:
  • Candles, halogen lamps, fireworks, neon signs, incense (also will incur a fine from Campus Safety for a fire safety violation)
  • Appliances that require excessive currents (air conditioners, large refrigerators) or appliances that have open coils or do not have an automatic shut-off device
  • Appliances with an open heat source (toasters, hot plates, sandwich makers)
  • Charcoal or propane grills
  • Space heaters
  • Pets
  • Cinder blocks
  • Guns, knives, other weapons

How do I store things on campus?
Storage rooms are available for students in some residence halls. During the academic, year students may store footlockers, trunks, and empty boxes. During the summer, students may store some boxed belongings that they are unable to transport home in the hall where they resided that academic year.

Any belongings kept on campus are stored at the student's own risk. The university does not accept responsibility for lost, damaged, or stolen property. Campus Safety manages all storage areas and can provide additional information about university storage areas.

What safety measures are in place?
Although Hamilton is a safe community, we strongly encourage students to be aware of their personal safety and security and to use common sense. For your safety, the front doors of each residence hall are always locked, and campus safety patrols campus regularly, 24 hours a day. To avoid theft, students should lock their individual room or suite doors at all times, even when going to the bathroom down the hall.

Do I need property insurance for my personal belongings?
We encourage students to talk to their parents/guardians about property insurance. For those without such insurance, information regarding property insurance will be sent in a separate mailing over the summer. Please note that the university is not responsible for loss of property.

What do I do if I lose my key?
According to university policy, the loss of a room key requires the replacement of the lock mechanism as well as the cutting of new keys. Students who lose their keys will be charged $75 for these services. If you should lose your key, please visit the Office of Residential Life in Drake Hall (campus map). Upon checking out from a university residence, the key(s) must be returned to a Residential Life staff member. Failure to return keys will result in lock replacement charges.

What do I do if something is broken?
The Facilities Department is responsible for power or plumbing failures as well as any general repairs. Any damage or malfunction in a student room or common area should be reported immediately to your community leader. If your community leader cannot be located and it is an emergency, please call the Facilities Department at 315-228-7130.

What do I do if my cable does not work?
Time Warner is the cable provider for all of the residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses, college houses, and apartments. All problems with cable service should be directed to Time Warner at 1-866-339-8225. This is also the number to call for upgrades.

What do I do if my ethernet/wireless does not work?
If your wired ethernet connection is not working, or if you are experiencing wireless connection problems, you should contact your Residential Computing Consultant (RCC) or call the Helpline at 315-228-7111, and select option 3.