Residence Hall Survival Guide

Aug 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Features, Personal Features

Welcome fellow students of Missouri State University. As an expert of living in residence halls – yes, residence hall (your home away from home isn’t a dorm) – I’m here to tell you a few secrets about your “res hall”.

Missouri State University provides more comforts than you can possibly imagine, and has more rules too. To help you get through the first few weeks, I’ve made of list the most important things I’m sure you may not know about:


A girl who survived her first year of college at MSU

Part 1: The Basics

1. Turn in your room condition report to your Resident Assistant.

a. When you move in, you’ll get this long piece of paper with a bunch of little boxes for check marks and comments. Go to your room, fill it out and turn it back in!

2. Make sure you have a Zip card! You need it for almost everything. This new piece of plastic with your lovely face on it does the following:

a. Lets you eat. You have to swipe your card in order to get into the dining halls. The only other way is cash, and it’s five dollars.

b. Lets you check out stuff. Missouri State wants you to be cozy and clean, and you can check out tons of stuff like vacuums, pots and pans, movies, games, carts, fitness keys, and tools at the front desk of your residence hall.

c. Lets you check out books at the library. Whether you are a book worm or need to get extra materials for class, you need your zip card for the library (We have more than one on campus; go to for more info).

d. Lets you use the Plaster Sports Complex Fitness Center: at the PSC, the building right behind the track and on the second floor at the very end of the hall, you will find a fitness room just for students. You need to swipe your zip card to use it.

3. Your Access card and keys: treat those babies as if they are diamonds!

a. All Residence Halls lock at 7 p.m., and unless you bang on the door and show identification, you aren’t getting in.

b. Misplacing your access card costs you money. It is fifteen dollars to replace a lost access card and no, you can’t just go without one (if you lose your access card, go to your front desk of your res hall immediately!) If you have to replace your access card, the charges are billed to your account, so don’t try to pay at the front desk.

c. Losing a key is like pulling teeth. The residence hall has to have a professional come and do a core change and you are charged $10 for the key and $25 for the core change.

4. Information about your room:

a. You should have an internet jack just for you (you need an Ethernet cord for the jack. Don’t try to bring telephone wire).

b. That green box in your room is not for trash. People recycle here on campus, so fill it up and ask your RA were to dump it.

5. Read those lovely fliers and signs your RA has taken the time to hang up.

a. The fliers provide information about everything from mandatory floor meetings to yoga classes and free activities taking place on campus.

Part 2: The Rules

1. Your RA is not a monster!

a. Notice the door in your hallway covered with a million decorations? Unless there is a creepy person who loves to make name tags of themselves in bright colors and hang them on a random door, the person with a ton of door decks is most likely your RA and they are trained to assist you.

b. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they have answers.

c. They have lived on campus for over a year and are familiar with many buildings and resources you need.

2. Know the rules, so you can avoid trouble.

a. Just because you’re new here, doesn’t mean you can’t become familiar with the policies, and some of them have harsh consequences if violated.

b. Don’t bring alcohol on campus. Not bringing alcohol on campus will save you a headache and the university a bunch of paperwork.

c. If you can’t fight that urge to slurp your beer in your suite, you should know the consequences:

i. First Violation: You will have to take a four-hour class that costs you money; $45.00, which goes towards alcohol education programs run by the Judicial Programs.

ii. Violation number two lands you a conference and a fine of $90.00.

iii. Violation number three hurts you more than you know. You will be put under probation and have to pay a fine of $135.00.

iv. Violation number four: kiss living in the residence halls goodbye. “You’re out of here!” for a semester.

3. Read the Guide to Residence Hall Living if you live on campus. Your RA will give you this lovely spiral book at your first floor meeting.

4. Have fun! We are here to learn, to live, to dream and to rock out our years while we can. Know the rules and stay safe.

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