Move-In Details

Move-In Day is just around the corner, and we are so excited to welcome you back for the Fall 2020 Semester! As you begin to make your plans, we wanted to provide details and updates about our Move-In process to ensure the safety of all Mustangs and their guests. To welcome you and share expectations, here’s a message from our Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing, Melinda Carlson. 

All students with an active booking received an e-mail from housing@smu.edu on August 5 containing the following Move-In details:  

 

Before you arrive  

Before you arrive at the Hilltop, there are a few things to do and know. Should you need to confirm your move-in timeslot, you can log into the SMU Housing Portal to ensure you arrive on the correct day at the correct time. It is imperative that you arrive during your assigned time in order to maintain a safe and healthy move-in process!  

You and your move-in guests are required to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor your temperature prior to coming to campus. Should you or any of your guests assisting you with move-in show symptoms or have a fever, please do not come to campus and contact RLSH as soon as possible.   

It’s always good to prepare for the weather and moving conditions for your move-in day; August in Texas can be very hot at times with the heat index reaching over 100°F some days! Please be sure to bring water to stay hydrated and wear comfortable clothing to move your belongings. Some locations do not have parking readily available nearby, so prepare to be outside moving items in. RLSH will provide 1 moving bin per student to help with this process.  While many universities are limiting the amount of items students may bring for Fall 2020, we are simply encouraging you to pack smart.  Remember that you will likely not need to bring any winter clothing this Fall.  For returning students who used a moving company in the Spring 2020 Semester, if you have not done so already, please contact your moving company letting them know you will be returning to campus as soon as possible! 

Finally, it is always helpful to contact and coordinate with your roommate on what to bring for your room. Each room is allowed one small refrigerator (no larger than 3.1 cubic feet) and one microwave (under 800 Watts). We are sure you’ll have other items to make your home at SMU comfortable, so best to plan ahead! If you are interested in renting a refrigerator or microwave, click here for more information. 

 

Day of Move-In  

When you arrive to campus, you will go to your designated parking location. Parking locations are pre-determined based upon your residential community. Please find your residential community and click below to find your pre-determined parking locations:  

To maintain a safe and healthy move-in process, we are asking that you arrive to your check-in location during your assigned timeslot. Your timeslot is 2 hours long, meaning you will have access to a moving bin and the elevators for that time. We highly encourage you to move all of your items into your room within that timeslot, and then begin to unpack and set up your room after returning your bin to make the most of your time. Each student will be allowed 2 guests to be in the building with them at any given time, and each person will be required to wear an assigned sticker for that day provided at check-in. Individuals not wearing a sticker will be escorted out of the building. Similarly, face masks or coverings are required throughout the entire move-in process, and must be worn both inside and outside of the buildings. You can remove them while in the individual student room. We also ask that you follow all social distancing guidelines during move-in by following signage both outside and in our buildings, as well as floor stickers in our hallways and elevators.  

  • Card & Pin – New students in the Southeast Area Residential Commons (Armstrong, Crum, Kathy Crow, Ware, and Loyd) and Daniel House Apartments, please follow the instructions provided by SMU ID Card Services on the Manage my Card tab.  

 

Damages  

  • When you first arrive in your room, it is essential that you complete your room inventory on your SMU Housing Portal. If there is something that needs repair, you will submit a work request through our Facilities page. Completion of your room inventory will also help you avoid any damage charges at the conclusion of the year that were in your room prior to your arrival.   
  • The deadline to submit a bed loft was July 31 to ensure that your loft is completed by your arrival to campus. If there are issues with your loft, it is essential that you notify your Residential Community Director. Do not attempt to loft your own bed. This can be very dangerous and may result in a damage charge. If you need to request to have your bed lowered, you will be able to submit a request via the SMU Housing Portal to do so. Requests will be accepted starting August 17 and will be completed the following week.  
  • If you have requested a ladder, it is important that your ladder remain in your room for the entire academic year. Removing or discarding the ladder will result in a charge.   
  • It is critical that you do not remove your guardrail. Upon final room inspections, a charge will be assessed if your guardrail is not attached. The guardrail is for your safety and must remain installed.  
  • For a detailed breakdown of all estimated damage charges, click here!  

 

Helpful Tips  

  • For move in, we recommend bringing gloves, sanitizing products, cleaning supplies, and any other cleaning materials or personal protective equipment.  
  • Face coverings will be required for all students and guests during move in  
  • The Texas heat is for real! We recommend that you wear comfortable and cool clothes, as well as bring water and sun screen. Comfortable shoes are a must!  
  • Select your area to see our recommendations of what to pack and guidance on what not to pack:   
  • More questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page  
  • And don’t forget, when in doubt, ask a RLSH staff person!  

Here is a helpful list to remember when you arrive:  

  1. Self Screen for COVID-19  
  2. Park (see map)  
  3. Walk to check in location (see map)  
  4. Check in using cell phone (directions given at check in location)  
  5. Get move-in stickers for student and two guests  
  6. Borrow bin from check in location (as available)  
  7. Move items into room  
  8. Return Bin  
  9. Unpack  

 

Be sure to regularly check the Move-In and FAQs webpages for more information!

Roommates, Microwaves, and Answers to So Many Questions

On Monday, July 27, residents were notified via their SMU email that the much-anticipated roommate information was available. Residents are able to log into the SMU Housing Portal and view their roommate information under the Fall 2020 Move-In section.  

 

If a resident living in a double room did not have a mutual roommate request, the Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) assignments team matched roommates based on profile questions answered in the 2020-2021 on-campus housing application.  

 

RLSH included the following FAQs and reminders to residents in this communication:  

 

Room and Roommate FAQs 

Can I request a new building or different assignment?  No.  We are fully occupied for Fall 2020, and are not accepting new room or building requests.  Residents who are interested in applying for a room change may do so beginning Tuesday, September 1, by contacting their respective RCD. 

 

I received my roommate information and am not comfortable with their social distancing.  We will not be accepting any new roommate, room or building requests at this time. We encourage all roommates to speak to each other regarding what is appropriate in their living space. To assist with this process, the resident assistant will help coordinate a roommate agreement between both residents. The Residential Commons Director (RCD) will also assist residents with their concerns. Residents who are interested in applying for a room change may do so beginning Tuesday, September 1, by contacting their respective RCD.  

 

I requested a 1-term single room, when will I know if I get one? 

We expect to be able to offer a limited number of singles for fall semester, and will begin making single assignments in August. Students will receive an email if they are offered a single. 

 

Can I still request a 1-term single room? 

We are still accepting requests for 1-term singles in the Healthy at SMU section of the Housing Portal. 

 

Answers to Many Questions 

There is a new FAQ webpage on the Residence Life and Student Housing that contains additional information about Move In, processes related to positive COVID-19, and more. 

 

Microwaves 

We are excited to announce that residents may have a microwave that is under 800 watts in their room for 2020-21. Please check in with your roommate about this. Only one microwave is allowed per bedroom. 

 

Bed Loft Request Information 

The Loft Request form is now live on the SMU Housing Portal. The deadline to submit a request is Friday, July 31. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, only requests to have beds lowered will be accepted after the July 31 deadline. If you request to have your bed lowered, specific details will be sent to you regarding what needs to take place in your room before our staff enter. 

 

Fall Exemption Policy Deadline Extended 

To best support our students, the University is providing two additional residential options for fall. 

  1. A one-semester exemption for the fall semester to the requirement that all first- and second-year students live in on-campus housing. 
  1. A one-semester request for a single room for the fall semester. 

Students can make their request under the “Healthy Fall at SMU” section of the SMU Housing Portal. This option will remain open until July 31. Students who are comfortable with their housing application preferences do not need to do anything at this time. Specific details about these exemption requirements can be found on your housing portal under the “Healthy at SMU” tab. 

 

August Move-in and Arrival 

We are excited to welcome you to the Hilltop for Fall 2020. If you have not already done so, please sign up for a Fall Move-In timeslot on the SMU Housing Portal before July 31. To maintain safety capacities in buildings, some move-in timeslots may need to be adjusted to help spread out activity. If necessary, we will reach out to families about rescheduling their times, but we understand that families make plans for that date so we will work to limit changes as much as possible. Students without a timeslot will not be able to move in. 

 

Returning students who had items moved and stored by SMU-arranged movers during Spring 2020 must reach out to their moving company to let them know that you are living on campus during the fall semester. The movers will return items to campus between August 5-12 so belongings will be in student rooms prior to Fall Move-In. Should you have any questions after you have moved in about your items, please then contact the your moving company.  

 

Request to Change Meal Plan 

Meal plans are managed through Dining Services. If you wish to change your plan in order to adjust your Flex dollars, you may complete the request by using this link before 5 PM on the fifth class day of the semester. For more information about meal plans, please contact Dining Services. 

 

If you have other questions regarding living in the residential communities on campus, we encourage you to take a look at our website. 

Updates and Reminders for Fall 2020

Residence Life and Student Housing is eagerly awaiting and preparing for the return of student to campus in August. The following updates and reminders were sent to residential students and their emergency contacts on July 14.  

 

We are looking forward to having you on the Hilltop this August. Fall Move-In will look and feel a little different than in years past because the University has implemented new processes and procedures to enable a healthier campus. Click here to find more detailed information about our enhanced safety policies and procedures. 

Fall Exemption Policy Deadline Extended 

To best support our students, the University is providing two additional residential options for fall. 

  1. A one-semester exemption for the fall semester to the requirement that all first- and second-year students live in on-campus housing. 
  1. A one-semester request for a single room for the fall semester. 

Students can make their request under the “Healthy Fall at SMU” section of the SMU Housing Portal. This option will remain open until July 31. Students who are comfortable with their housing application preferences do not need to do anything at this time. Specific details about these exemption requirements can be found on your housing portal under the “Healthy at SMU” tab. 

Reminder to Sign Up for a Move in Time for Fall Semester 

If you haven’t already done so, please log in to the SMU Housing Portal and sign up for a move-in time.  You must sign up for a fall move-in timeslot before July 31. Students without a timeslot will not be able to move in. 

In preparation, for Fall Move-In, here are some basic reminders: 

  • The Move-In webpage  will be updated before August with additional instructions.   
  • Each student will have a two-hour time slot to move in. 
  • Students may bring up to two family members or guests to help them move in.  
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, SMU is unable to provide volunteers to help students move their belongings. 
  • Students may borrow moving bins from their check-in location .  Check in locations will be sent to students in early August, and will generally be in a tent near their assigned community. 
  • Students and guests or family members are expected to perform a COVID-19 self-screen prior to arriving on campus. 
  • Family members who are at a high risk for severe illness should not attend Fall Move-In. 

Loft Request Information and Planning 

Loft requests will start being accepted on Thursday, July 16, via the SMU Housing Portal. The deadline to submit a request is Friday, July 31. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, only requests to have beds lowered will be accepted after the July 31 deadline. If you request to have your bed lowered, specific details will be sent to you regarding what needs to take place in your room before our staff enter. 

Mail Central Information 

Each student living on campus will be assigned a mailbox at Mail Central, located at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Students will receive their post office box number via their SMU email address from Mail Central in July.  

Residential Cleaning Efforts 

SMU put in place enhanced cleaning protocols for residence halls designed to keep University students healthy while on campus. Enhancements include a 94% increase in hand sanitizer availability, a 10% surge in custodial staff hiring, and an increased emphasis on disinfecting high-touch areas such as light switches and door knobs. Additional measures, including the use of hospital-grade disinfectants, are outlined here. 

Helpful Links to Consider 

As you prepare for your arrival on the Hilltop, here are some helpful links to consider. 

You probably have many questions about what you will experience this fall. Be sure to check your email regularly so you don’t miss important information. Be on the lookout for a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to the RLSH website so you can check for updates and resources. 

Returning Students: 

Returning students who had items moved and stored by SMU-arranged movers during Spring 2020 must reach out to their moving company to let them know that you are living on campus during the fall semester. The movers will return items to campus between August 5-12 so belongings will be in student rooms prior to Fall Move-In. 

 

We look forward to seeing you on campus in a few weeks!   

Students Notified of Residential Assignment  

On July 16, Residence Life and Student Housing sent out notification to all new students about their Residential Commons. The Residential Commons are the foundation of our students’ journey at SMU, and a student’s Residential Commons is intended to be a point of pride and a place to call home. Students were encouraged to learn more about their Residential Commons by visiting our websites. Links to learn more about each Residential Commons can be found here. If you or your student are assigned to a Residential Commons, we encourage you to follow that community on Instagram 

There were a handful of new residents who were notified that their residential commons assignment will take a bit longer than anticipated.  This delay is due to the timing of the student’s application being completed and space available during our early assignment efforts.  These residents will receive their community assignment via email in early August. 

Additionally, all of returning and transfer student received e-mails about their residential community assignments whether that be in one of our Residential Commons or in Upper Division Housing. Students who are assigned to Upper-Division Communities can learn more about their residence halls here 

Students who received an assignment were notified of their specific room type, the total cost for their fall semester room space and the specific bathroom type to which they were assigned.  

The residential community assignment e-mail to students also included the following reminders:  

Bed Loft Request Information 

The Loft Request form is now live on the SMU Housing Portal. The deadline to submit a request is Friday, July 31. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, only requests to have beds lowered will be accepted after the July 31 deadline. If you request to have your bed lowered, specific details will be sent to you regarding what needs to take place in your room before our staff enter. 

August Move-in and Arrival 

We are excited to welcome you to the Hilltop for Fall 2020. As you make plans, we wanted to let you know that Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) is implementing an updated move-in process to help keep our SMU students and families healthy. Fall Move-In will take place over several days to allow students, along with their families, to have increased space to settle into their community. 

If you have not already done so, please sign up for a Fall Move-In timeslot on the SMU Housing Portal before July 31. 

You will receive more information about the Fall 2020 Move-In process in the first week of August, and additional information will be posted to our website soon. 

Roommate Information 

Roommate information will be available on the housing portal in early August.   We do not give any assignment information over the phone. Your specific room assignment is released when you check-in. 

Request to Change Meal Plan 

Meal plans are managed through Dining Services. If you wish to change your plan in order to adjust your Flex dollars, you may complete the request by using this link before 5 PM on the fifth-class day of the semester. For more information about meal plans, please contact Dining Services. 

 

 

Healthy fall housing details for new and returning students

We recognize that our 2020 fall semester may look a little different than other semesters at SMU.

Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) is committed to providing a great residential experience while also supporting student health and wellness.  We are looking forward to having you on the Hilltop this Fall!

The University has implemented new processes and procedures to best support the health of our students, including enhanced cleaning, the wearing of face coverings, modified programs to allow students to engage with their community safely, and extended move-in dates for residence halls to give everyone a bit more space (information coming in late-June). You can read more about SMU’s “big picture” fall plans here.

Given the dynamic nature of this time, we recognize some students may face unique situations. To best support our students, the University is providing two additional residential options for Fall 2020.

  1. A one-semester exemption for the fall semester to the requirement that all first- and second-year students live in on-campus housing.
  2. A one-semester request for a single room for the fall semester.

Students will make their request under the “Healthy Fall at SMU” section of the SMU Housing Portal. This new portion of the Housing Portal opens on June 17 and will close on June 30.   These are optional processes, and students who are comfortable with the preferences in their housing application do not need to do anything at this time.

Fall Semester Housing Exemptions:

Students may request a “one semester only” housing exemption from one of three categories.  Approved exemptions will be for fall 2020 only.  Students granted this exemption will be expected to live on-campus for spring 2021.  Decisions related to possible exemption extension requests for spring 2021 will be made during the fall semester.

For students with a Financial Aid Indicator:  Please note, our records show that your financial aid may be impacted by a housing exemption.  Prior to completing an exemption request, we recommend reaching out to your Financial Aid advisor for specific details to your aid package. (link).

  • Local Students: Students who wish to continue living with their parents, guardians, aunts/uncles or grandparents at a residence within 45 miles of the SMU Dallas campus, can apply for this exemption.  Decisions will be made based on the home’s location from campus, the living arrangement identified, and the student’s academic course load.
    • Local students exempted from housing for a semester will be required to purchase a modified meal plan from Dining Services. The meal plan includes a Block 25 package and 750 Flex Dollars for $1012.50.
  • Remote Students: SMU will offer a process for students to request a fully remote academic semester to students away from the Dallas area who are unable to travel to campus (such as those constrained by international travel restrictions) or who have significant personal hardship concerns.  More information on the process to request this academic option will be announced by SMU on Friday, June 19.  Students who wish to attend class remotely should complete both the RLSH “Healthy Fall at SMU” exemption process within the SMU Housing Portal AND the request for a fully remote academic experience.  Both processes need to be complete by June 30.  Decisions on this exemption will be made based on the University’s approval of enrolling in the SMU Remote program.
  • Disability Accommodation: Students with disabilities related to Covid-19 (such as severe asthma or who are immunocompromised), who would otherwise be able to live on campus, can apply for a one-semester exemption. Students pursuing this one-semester exemption must complete both the RLSH “Healthy Fall at SMU” exemption process AND request a Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies (DASS) accommodation (link to DASS).  Students should reach out to DASS immediately, to begin the intake process. Decisions will be made based on the recommendations from DASS.

Fall Semester Single Room Assignment:

Due to increased exemptions, RLSH may have additional converted single rooms available for students who request increased space to support social distancing.

Returning Students:

Students who request a Fall single in a one-semester converted single (a room which normally is occupied by two students), must acknowledge that the single room is for one semester.  Students will be placed in any single room available on-campus, and may not be assigned to their current community.   We expect that most singles will be in spaces with community restrooms.  Students will be assigned to single spaces as space allows.

Prior to the beginning of the spring 2021 semester, students in these converted single spaces will be expected to either move to a new room or be joined by a roommate in their space.  Information about this process will be provided towards the end of the fall semester. Final determinations about students moving or getting a new roommate will be made based on space availability and Residential Commons affiliation.

New Students:

Students who previously indicated a preference for a single room on their housing application will be considered for our standard single occupancy rooms when assignments are made for new students.  Standard singles are in high demand, and few first years are normally assigned to a single.  For fall semester, new students have the option to request a one-semester converted single (a room which normally is occupied by two students).  Students may request a one-semester converted single, regardless if they preferenced a double or a single on their housing application.  Students will be assigned to single spaces as space allows.

Prior to beginning of the spring semester, students in these converted single spaces will be expected to either move to a different room or have a roommate move in to their space.  Information about this process will be provided towards the end of the fall semester. Final determinations about students moving or getting a new roommate will be made based on space availability and Residential Commons affiliation.

Students can complete the “Healthy Fall at SMU” Covid-19 Exemption Process and the One-Semester Single Process through June 30, 2020.  Students should complete all supplemental documentation (DASS and Remote Courses) by June 30, 2020.  Both processes can be accessed through the Housing Portal (link).

RLSH staff will work to make decisions by mid-July, and will notify new students of their assignment at the conclusion of that process.

 

 

Things are a bit different on the Hilltop – check out our Summer II Welcome Back Packet

Returning to campus for July Term? Things are a bit different on the Hilltop.

Check out our Welcome Back Packet, a resource to help you transition back into life on The Hilltop. We invite you to read this packet to familiarize yourself with the basics of COVID-19, learn how SMU is preparing our campus services for your return, and discover new policies and operations. Check out housing-specific info on page seven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A video of gratitude and celebration

To the Residence Life and Student Housing student staff, we regret not being able to celebrate with you in person, but please accept our sincerest “THANK YOU!” for the phenomenal work that you have done this year and the incredible ways that you have served our department.

Each of you has contributed in significant ways to our department, and we want you to know that your efforts did not go unnoticed.

To the Class of 2020, congratulations for a job well done! You managed to balance jobs, extracurricular activities, internships, volunteering, class assignments, and a social life at the same time.

We hope that you reflect on the experiences lived on the Hilltop and allow them to propel you into your future. Dr Suess said it best:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

And no matter where that is, always remember, you made a significant contribution to the Residence Life & Student Housing department and you hold a special place in our hearts.

RLSH unveils new, enhanced website

Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) unveiled a new website May 15 made with a more personable, user-friendly format and updated features. 

 

 

On the website, prospective and currently-enrolled students will find new 360 room tours and new photos.

 

Additionally, the site’s renovation combined 15 previously separate sites into one domain for more clear and easy access to helpful resources pertaining to campus life and RLSH services. 

 

For new website

 

Dean of Residence Life and Student Housing and Assistant VP of Student Affairs, Melinda Carlson, believes the new RLSH site better aligns with the mission and goals of the department, which “fosters the foundational SMU experience where every student belongs, learns, and connects through their residential community.”

“With this new site, students and staff will be able to gain better access to information concerning RLSH,” Carlson said. “By making the site up-to-date and easier to use, we hope to foster the connection, belonging, and engagement between students and the university and show that their needs are our top priority.”

Building virtual communities

The Residential Commons (RCs) are doing what they do best: keeping communities together. While they are unable to meet in-person, Residential Community Directors (RCDs) and Commons leadership teams are utilizing technology – including communication servers, newsletters, and social media takeovers – in order to keep everyone engaged and involved in their communities.  

 

Armstrong Commons sends out a weekly newsletter filled with academic information, tips for mental health, and fun facts for their residents.

 

“In McElvaney Commons, our Leadership Team has come together to provide McResidents with multiple opportunities for engagement and interaction as well as resources for making it through this difficult time,” said McElvaney RCD Maya Reeves. “To date, the efforts have included newsletters centered around finding balance, creation of a McElvaney Discord server to enable further communication, and Instagram takeovers led by our student leaders.”

 

Commons are sharing mental health tips to help residents cope with the social distancing and quarantine measures taking place.

 

 

Newsletters have been an integral part in maintaining community connections for the Residential Commons. In addition to keeping students updated with important information, the newsletters have been revamped to incorporate fun interactive elements as well.  

 

“The biggest change we have made in our efforts to connect with residents virtually is through our weekly newsletter,” said Assistant UDH RCD Cody Dumas. “Instead of promoting upcoming events and programs, we have shifted to make our newsletter much more interactive. For example, we are sending out quizzes we find online and we are asking our residents to share their results. We plan to send out the Pottermore quiz so we can see where our UDH residents land in the Hogwarts Houses!”

 

Boaz FiR, the Sons, send out recipes for their residents to recreate at home and encourage them to post the results on Boaz social media sites.

 

 

Supplementing the newsletters are other online events – a popular option being Instagram takeovers.

 

“The Commons Council Exec members, plus some RAs, have been doing Instagram takeovers fairly frequently,” Virginia-Snider resident Ashley Gans said. 

Maintaining as much of a normal schedule is key, and many are accomplishing this by still holding their regular meetings. 

 

“We are still hosting commons council,” said Boaz RA Laura Bell, “Heidi and David are hosting “Sonday Night Chats” via Zoom, where they chat with students.”

 

Commons are also continuing their cooking clubs and traditions online, using social media to share recipes and results.

 

 

“Since we aren’t able to have Cockrell Eats and Cockrell Culinary Club, FIR Sandy [Duhe] is sharing emails every Sunday instead from previous Cockrell Eats,” Cockrell RCD Sarah Ballman said. “We will also be hosting a “who made Sandy’s Red Velvet Cupcakes Best” contest.” 

 

Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) also incorporated a new team of students in order to provide more outreach and community connections within SMU. 

 

 

“Led by Dustin Grabsch, Brittany Wright [RCD for MHPS Commons] and I, we are eager to jumpstart a small team of talented and excited SMU students to help bring our housing community together,” Ware RCD Maria Schoppa said. “This team will develop blog posts on the RLSH website, publish creative RLSH marketing pieces, and kickstart some creative social media accounts/campaigns for our stakeholders.”

 

The Street Team includes Isabel Costian (Boaz Commons), Grace Inthathirath (Armstrong Commons), Wren Lee (Ware Commons), Luke Tanner (Armstrong/Cockrell-McIntosh Commons), and Madi Tedrow (McElvaney Commons). 

 

Stay tuned in and stay connected with Residential Commons communities when we kick-off again in fall.

 

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