Housing & Residence Life

Housing Lingo

What did they say?

Sometimes the language we use to talk about our campus and our activities is hard to figure out.  We’ve put together a little guide of some of the things you may see or hear us talk about, and an explanation of some of our acronyms.  We hope it will make things a little easier!


  • Housing Office and Staff

    HRLHousing & Residence Life.  You’ll often see us condense this to initials, just to save some space.

    RD – Assistants to the Director / Resident Directors.  These are the professional staff responsible for the day-to-day management of the residence halls.  They are all college graduates, most with their master’s degrees. People may also call your RD the “Hall Director”, which is another term used at colleges around the country.

    Central Office – Often referred to as the Housing Office, this is where the administrative offices for the department host the director, the director for residential programs & staff, the associate director for operations, and the department’s secretary.  The Central Office is currently located in Pinney Hall C21.

    Housing – Often, our department’s name is shortened to simply “housing”.  Whether you call us Housing or HRL or Housing & Residence Life, we’re here to work with you to provide you with an excellent campus experience that enhances your college years.

  • Student Staff

    RAResident Assistants (RAs) are peer students who help with the oversight of the building, and provide service to smaller groups of students within the halls.  RAs usually oversee a section or floor of the building, and provide leadership, community-building, socialization, and development programs. 

    ARMAcademic Resource Mentors (ARMs) are peer students who serve as academic coaches to help students who are struggling, or who simply want to improve their academic performance.  They do this through individual meetings, group study sessions, programs on academic skills (like time management or note-taking), interactions with professors, and access to campus resources.  Each building has one or two ARMs available who live in the hall.

    SAAStudent Administrative Assistants (SAAs) assist the RD with administrative tasks, such as logging maintenance requests, entering priority points, etc.  The SAA also helps to supervise and schedule the Info Desk staff.

    Info Desk Staff – student workers (including the building’s RA staff) are hired to work at each building’s info desk, helping to assure those entering the building are residents.  They are also responsible for distributing mail, as well as checking out games and other equipment available to residents of the building.   

    Senior Community Assistant - the SCA is an experienced RA or graduate student who provides leadership and community development within a residence hall. Working under the supervision of the RD, the SCA focuses on the day-to-day operation of the hall, assisting with Info Desk operations, maintenance issues, student conduct and conflict resolution, and other issues.

  • Leadership

    Hall Council – each residence hall has a hall council, which is comprised of volunteer students who plan programs and assist RAs and ARMs with programs intended for students in the hall.  Hall Councils also may do community service, review damage billing, and other tasks.  Any student in the hall may participate in hall council, including running for Exec. Board offices.

    IRHA – is the Inter-Residence Hall Association.  Made up of representatives from each residence hall, IRHA provides campus-wide programs, as well as funding to support Hall Council, RA, or ARM programs from time to time.  IRHA is a conduit for comments between students and food service, meeting each semester with Sodexo management for feedback.  They also provide feedback to the HRL staff about the student residential experience on campus.

    PASS – students who’ve been on campus at least one semester, and whose grade point average is above a 3.0, may wish to join PASS, the Peer Academic Support Services team.  PASS volunteers may opt to offer tutoring assistance to fellow residents in subjects they excel in. (*There is also a PASS program offered through the EA2P program, which is different than this program.)  PASS members are identified within the building by special door decs which indicate their subject matter(s) of focus.

  • Building Specific

    Midtown – the campus located in downtown Danbury on White Street.  It is home to 3 residence halls (see abbreviations below) , along with White Hall, Warner Hall, Haas Library, Berkshire Hall, Higgins Hall, the Student Center, Old Main, University Hall, the Science Building, the Kathwari Honors House, Campus Police, 190 White Street warehouse, and the White Street and 5th Ave. parking garages.

    • FH – abbreviation for Fairfield Hall
    • LH – abbreviation for Litchfield Hall
    • NH – abbreviation for Newbury Hal

    Westside – the Westside Campus is located on Danbury’s Westside.  It is home to 3 more residence halls (see abbreviations below), along with the Centennial parking garage, the Campus Center, the Westside Classroom building, the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC), the Westside Athletic Complex (WAC), the O’Neill Center, the Ives Center for the Performing Arts, and a variety of athletic fields and trails, including the Westside Nature Preserve.

    • CH – abbreviation for Centennial Hall
    • GH – abbreviation for Grasso Hall
    • PH – abbreviation for Pinney Hal

    Info Desk – the Info Desks are welcoming areas at the entrance to each hall.  Everyone entering the hall must pass by the info desks.  Residents of the building are required to show their IDs, for which they receive a sticker indicating that they live in that building. 

    Residence Halls vs. Dorms – it’s rare that we’ll call our buildings ‘dorms’, because we don’t consider them that way – sleepy, 1950’s buildings ruled by housemothers through demerits and punishment.  Instead, we hope you’ll find that they’re vibrant communities planned to provide opportunities to learn from our fellow students, learn about living in community, understand and explore diversity, and create hubs for academic success.  It’s really why we’re here!

  • Programs

    CULTURETM – CULTURETM is our overarching program to provide a well-rounded on-campus experience that supports student’s personal growth and academic success.  Through a variety of programs designed to help build students’ strengths and provide support and resources, CULTURETM delivers opportunities for all students, Creating Undergraduate Learning Through Unique Residential Experiences

    The Handout – A newsletter that is published to your university email 3 times each semester, with articles contributed by the Academic Resource Mentor (ARM) staff.  The Handout offers tips and tricks to build one’s academic and life skills, resources to find help at WCSU, and a variety of health and fun tips for students.

    Gab & GROW – a podcast hosted by our director for residential programs and staff that focuses on campus resources, life skills, scholarly advice, and student to student tips about finding success at WCSU.

    OJR – each fall, the HRL department sponsors Operation Jungle Red, a series of programs focused on violence and violence prevention.  Generally, these programs are held in October in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

  • Procedures

    Housing Application – Housing applications are now available via the Housing Portal after you have paid a housing deposit.  Once you’ve paid your deposit (and waited approx. 6 hours for the process to run that shows a paid deposit), you can enter the Housing Portal to complete an application.  Your application must be fully completed, meaning any question that is marked with an asterisk (*) must be filled in.  We ask you a lot of information on the application, but it makes things much easier for you when it’s time to select roommates and choose your rooms and meal plans.  Please be sure to read information or watch the helpful videos you’ll find on the Housing Portal pages for tips!

    Deposit – there is a non-refundable, $250.00 housing deposit required EACH YEAR a student lives on campus.  The deposit deadline for new students in order to guarantee a space on campus is May 1st.  Returning students have a earlier deadline, usually in mid- to late-March, in order to be eligible to participate in room selection.

    RIF – This is the Room Inventory Form.  When you arrive on campus, you’ll need to complete this form (now done electronically in the Housing Portal), indicating the condition of your room, suite, or apartment and its contents.  Be sure to take 5-10 minutes to complete this form thoroughly – it is used to compare the room’s condition when you check-out, and will be used for damage billing purposes. 

    SAP – is Satisfactory Academic Progress.  There are other offices and activities which use SAP regulations (such as Financial Aid and athletics).  For Housing, SAP means that students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher, and complete 12 or more credits per semester, in order to remain eligible to live in on-campus housing.  If you are worried about your status, please speak to your RD.

    Judicial/Code of Conduct – the University has a Code of Conduct, which are rules and regulations students must follow to be allowed to remain a member of the WCSU community. You may read through the Code hereopens PDF file . The Code of Conduct is administered by the University Judicial Affairs Office.  Often, violations of residence hall policies are investigated and adjudicated by the Resident Directors of your building.

    Documented – when you are alleged to have violated a university or residence hall rule or regulation, staff members document that via an Incident Report (IR) that is filed with Judicial Affairs.

    Early Arrival – when possible, HRL will allow for selected students to return to campus prior to the official check-in date.  If this option is available, posting will be announcedand a form will be available on the Housing Portal which will need to be completed before permission is given.

    Room Selection – each semester, students returning to live on campus for the following semester will need to indicate where and with whom they intend to live for the next semester, and/or participate in this process to secure that space.  Information about the selection process will be posted online, in the halls, and emailed to your campus emails.

    Withdrawal – if you are leaving housing, whether you are leaving WCSU or just the residence halls, you need to inform HRL via email and by completing a Contract Cancellation Request Form, which can be found on the Housing Portal. Please see information in the Year Long Contract regarding withdrawal and costs.

    Intersession – the period of time between the Fall and Spring semesters.  Campus is usually closed for intersession, but there may be housing available at an additional cost in specific buildings.  If intersession housing is available, applications and information will be posted on the Announcements & Events page and the FORMS page.

    Breaks – There is one “break” period each semester: Thanksgiving Break in the Fall, and Spring Break in the Spring.  The residence halls and dining services close during these breaks, but students who wish to may opt to stay on campus.  Forms will be available at your building’s info desk for you to apply to stay (there is no extra charge for these two breaks). Forms will be available on the Housing Portal approximately 3 weeks prior to the break period.

    Gender Neutral Housing – most of the housing offered at WCSU is assigned according to the legal gender of the student (males with males, females with females).  We also offer an option for students living on the Westside Campus who, for a variety of reasons, may not care or wish to be placed with students without regard to gender or sexuality.  These students may opt to select Gender Neutral Housing when completing their applications in the Housing Portal

  • Forms

    Guest Visit Parental Permission – when students wish to have a guest visit campus who is between the ages of 14 and 18, the visiting student’s parent MUST complete this form in order to allow that guest to visit the resident student.  Permission may be granted for one of two options:  a one-time only permission (check box for ONE TIME), or for the entire semester (check box for SEMESTER).  We require the forms to be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of the visit, and for weekend visits (Saturday and Sunday) forms must be received no later than noon on the preceding Friday, as our offices and email are not covered during the weekend. 

    (*athletic recruits coming to campus who will be visiting the halls/staying over with a teammate will need to complete the Student Athlete Visitation Form, which is available from the coach of your team).

    Disability Housing Accommodations – if you believe you qualify for special accommodations for housing due to a disability, you must complete this formopens PDF file and submit it to the AccessAbilities Services office.  They will review the request and, in conjunction with HRL, Counseling, and Health Service, determine what, if any, accommodations are to be offered.

    Housing Contract Cancellation Request (HCCR) – any time you are leaving housing (moving out), you must complete a Housing Contract Cancellation Request, and you should email housing@wcsu.educreate new email to notify the office as well.  The HCCR informs us of your intention to withdraw from housing, and it allows you to request the cancellation of your contract for the remainder of the year.  Please see information in the Year Long Housing Contract page regarding due dates and associated costs.

    Maintenance Request Form – when you have a maintenance issue in your room, suite, or apartment (overhead light burned out, kitchen sink clogged), you should complete a Maintenance Request Form, which asks the nature and location of your issue.  You’ll be asked to provide 3 times that the maintenance staff might be able to come to the room to evaluate and repair the issue.  Once you submit the form, it’s delivered to your RD, who then contacts maintenance. (It is NOT a 24-hour open service, so if it’s an emergency, please contact the RA on duty).

    Credit Exception Form – students living in Westside buildings must meet certain age or credit requirements to be eligible for specific buildings (CH – 19 years old or 9+ credits; GH – 20 years old or 24+ credits; or PH – 21 years old or 57+ credits).  If you are not of age yet are within 3 credits of the requirement (6 credits, 21 credits, or 54 credits), you may request for an exception to be able to participate.  This form will be made available on our FORMS page during selection.

  • Miscellaneous

    Housing Deposits – Housing deposits can be paid at www.wcsu.edu/deposit.

    CaRRT – the University has a Campus Resource and Response Team who responds to issues of alleged sexual assault and interpersonal violence.  You can find out more information about CaRRT and the resources and assistance available to you here.

    Microfridge – due to energy constraints in the midtown residence halls, personal microwaves may not be used.  However, students may opt to rent a Microfridge from our partner vendor, Campus Specialties.  Microfridges are refrigerator/freezer units which have an attached microwave.  When the microwave powers on, the fridge momentarily powers off to control energy usage.  Find out more about the Microfridge here.

    Dormify – Campus Linens – WCSU has also partnered with Dormify to offer linens and other room gadgets and decorations. If you want to choose from their packages, please take a look here

    TalkCampus – TalkCampus is an app where you can talk with other students from around the world 24/7 if you’re struggling and worried about your mental health. Your student email address will give you free access, just download TalkCampus from the app store. It’s a place just for you, no staff, no fear of judgment, just instant ongoing support. For more information: TalkCampus.