Changing Rooms in the Residence Halls: Policies
office of residential life
Although we hope that all living situations are successful ones, we realize at times a change of rooms may be necessary. Please review the following topics that outline how our office assists in the room change process.
Room Changes During the Semester
In the event a student finds their roommate is incompatible, the first step should be to contact the Resident Assistant (RA) or Resident Director (RD). When meeting with the Residential Life staff, students will be offered advice on how to improve the living situation, including mediation between the roommates conducted by the RA or RD. If the situation is still irresolvable, the student will be directed to schedule an appointment with a member of the Residential Life assignments staff to review options for a room change as well as discuss the room change process further.
The student looking for a change will be provided with some vacancies to consider with the instruction to reach out and meet with the current resident(s) of the room. Residential Life will email the current resident(s) of those rooms that another student may be contacting them about the vacancy in the room. Once the student decides on a room they feel will be successful, Residential Life will process the room change. Generally, a minimum of 48 business hours notice is required between the time the student notifies Residential Life of the vacancy they wish to move into and when they can actually begin moving. Additionally, Residential Life will email the resident(s) of the room with the expected arrival date of their new roommate.
Room Changes During Winter Break
During the winter break, the Office of Residential Life experiences a number of vacancies due to students who study abroad, graduate, or take a leave of absence. Additionally, we have students who are returning from leave of absences or from study abroad who will be assigned to these vacancies.
More often than not, fall semester residents are aware there will be one or more vacancies in their room for the spring semester and coordinate with a friend who is returning to campus. In situations like this, Residential Life makes every effort to honor these requests. Other times, residents may be unaware that a vacancy is created in their room during the break period. These vacancies may still be filled, but, unfortunately, due to the short break period and volume of transactions being managed, Residential Life cannot communicate with all parties involved. If students are curious that they may be receiving a new roommate, they can email email@example.com.
Fall semester residents who are interested in changing rooms for the spring semester must email firstname.lastname@example.org before the first Friday of December. If a student knows of an expected spring semester vacancy, they can request to change to this room once the vacancy has been confirmed. Once approved to make the move, the student will be required to coordinate with the current residents and move prior to leaving for the winter break. If the student does not move prior to leaving for break, the approved move will be rescinded. Students who are looking to move but do not know of a specific vacancy they would like to go to will be required to move all of their personal belongings home and check out of their current assignment prior to the break. Over break, the student will receive a new assignment and can move in during the assigned days for spring semester move-in.
Room Changes During Summer Break
Following room selection, all room assignments for returning students are permanent; however, over the course of the summer we may experience some attrition, resulting in vacancies. These vacancies will be filled at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life through students who have registered for final selection and any new admitted residential students.
Due to the high volume of transactions being managed over the course of the summer months, the Office of Residential Life does not contact residents if there has been a change to the students living in their room. It is expected that if a student is leaving campus, they are responsible for informing their roommates. Students with vacancies may email email@example.com after June 13th to find out information on replacement roommates. The Office of Residential Life does not share this information over the telephone.
If students are looking to change their room assignment, the Office of Residential Life does not process room changes over the summer. If students are still interested after the first two weeks of the semester, they can contact their Resident Director.
Room Changes Due to De-tripling
Within the first-year area, relocating students from forced triple* rooms is a high priority. Students living in these rooms are given first preference to change rooms and will be offered a change on a space-available basis. The Office of Residential Life will work to try to solve the most tenuous situations first. Following these situations, the Office of Residential Life will contact all students in forced triples, informing them of the opportunity to move.
When rooms express an interest in being de-tripled, the Office of Residential Life will contact all residents of the room to determine which student would like to relocate. If no one in the room is willing to relocate, the Office of Residential Life will contact another room.
The Office of Residential Life works to de-triple rooms throughout the academic year as vacancies permit.
Emergency Room Changes
At times it becomes necessary to change a student’s location with little or no notice. Although this is not a desired way to move students, situations arise that may require immediate relocation. Examples of this could be a facilities issue affecting a room, administrative moves, or changes to assist students who are in need. The Office of Residential Life makes every effort to inform students when they may receive a new roommate, but sometimes the time line can be very truncated.
In situations like this, we realize it is challenging for both the student moving in and the current residents of the room, but, due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding these moves, the Office of Residential Life expects all parties to be understanding and to cooperate.
Things to Keep in Mind for Room Changes
- At the beginning of each semester, there is a two-week freeze on room changes. After this period ends, please see your Resident Director if you are interested in a room change
- If there is a vacancy in your room, please keep in mind that our Conditions for Residency require that the residents create a welcoming environment to any new student assigned to that room
- If you are changing rooms, please have the courtesy to talk with your roommates
- If you are moving to a different building on campus, there may be a price difference and change in meal plan. Any changes will be pro-rated based on when the room change occurs. Current room and board charges may be found online
- Once you have completed your move, please take the time to introduce yourself to your new Resident Assistant
- Students are responsible for contacting the Campus Mail Center of any change in location to ensure that there are no delays in delivering your mail
- To avoid any fees, when switching rooms make sure you return your room key (if applicable) to the Residential Life central office
* Pursuant to its authority under Chapter II of the Massachusetts Housing Code, minimum standards of fitness for human habitation (105 CMR 410.100), the City of Newton Health and Human Services Department has granted a variance to the minimum square footage requirements (105 CMR 410.400) to allow specific rooms to be used as forced triples.
For a list of rooms, or if you have any questions about the variance, please contact the Office of Residential Life at 617-552-3060.