Frequently Asked Questions
Who Should I Contact?
Contact the Office of Student Engagement about:
Contact Campus Safety about:
Contact Buildings & Grounds about:
Contact the Deans about:
What can I bring?
Each student is provided with a desk, chair, dresser, closet or wardrobe and bed, as well as window shades. Because campus storage space is limited, you will not be permitted to remove these furnishings from your room.
You may use posters, pictures, and other decorations to make your room feel like home. Please note that materials that damage the walls, such as transparent tape, adhesive stick-on cork board, nails, and screws, are not permitted when hanging pictures and posters. Poster putty and masking tape are acceptable. Please note: Tapestries are prohibited as they are a fire safety hazard.
- alarm clock
- athletic clothes or equipment
- bulletin board
- chargers (phone, laptop, etc.)
- clothes hangers
- desk supplies (tape, stapler, etc.)
- dictionary and thesaurus
- flashlight and batteries
- lamps - no halogen lamps
- laundry bag or basket & detergent
- mugs, glasses, cups, silverware
- pencil sharpener
- pictures, posters or decorations
- pillows and pillowcases
- poster putty
- power cord for computer
- radio or stereo
- sheets, blankets and comforters
- single-serve coffeemaker (like Keurig brand)
- stationery and envelopes
- surge protectors
- toiletries basket or bucket
- trash bin
- winter clothes (scarves, hats, gloves, boots, coats)
Click here for an additional list of environmentally friendly items to consider bringing to campus.
What can't I bring?
Due to safety concerns, the following items are prohibited on campus:
- Candles/open flame devices
- Extension cords/ Octopus plugs
- Multi-plug adapters
- Cooking appliances (toaster ovens, hot pots, coffee pots, Foreman grills)
- Microwave ovens (except for HWS approved MicroFridges)
- Large refrigerators (above 3 cubic feet)
- Building lofts and other wood structures
- Firearms and/or weapons (including air guns, bb guns, paintball guns, pistols, knives, etc.)
- Hard liquor
- Marijuana or other illicit substances, as well as drug paraphernalia
What do I do if I lost my keys or am locked out of my room?
If you lost your keys, please login to MyHousing and submit a Lost Key Replacement Request. For your safety and the safety of your roommate(s), the locks will be changed, and your student account will be charged. The fee for a lost key: $45 for a lock change, and $5 per new key
If you are locked out of your room, please call Campus Safety to be let back in. The first unlock of the semester is free, after that a $25 fee is charged per unlock.
Can I loft my bed?
Students may not loft beds themselves but may request Buildings and Grounds to loft their bed for them after the first two weeks of the semester. Please see the Resources tab for more information on bed lofting.
What if I need something in my room repaired or the laundry is not working?
Please contact Buildings and grounds at (315) 781-3660 or at email@example.com to request assistance. Or you may submit a work order request here.
May I bring a pet to campus?
Pets of any kind are not permitted on campus, with the exception of fish in up to a 10 gallon tank.
Service animals must be approved prior to them being brought to campus. Find more information regarding service animals in the Resources tab.
What furniture is in each residence hall room?
Each room has a bed, dresser, desk, desk chair, either a wardrobe or a closet, and a light source. In addition, each room has a telephone and Ethernet jack. Students will need to provide their own phones and/or televisions to access these utilities.
How does housing work for students? If my friend is also attending HWS, can we room together?
In an effort to bridge the gap between the classroom and the residence halls, first-year students are housed according to their First-Year Seminars (FSEMs). We believe that college is a time to grow and encounter new experiences, so we try not to house first-year students with another student from the same high school. We are not always able to take preferences for single-sex or co-ed living environments due to FSEM placements (e.g. Learning Community FSEMs are co-ed).
Returning students select their roommates and rooms during a housing lottery process that happens during the spring semester.
Should I bring regular sheets or extra long sheets?
At this point, the majority of the residences on campus are extra-long twin (80") beds. A good rule of thumb: extra-long sheets will always fit on a standard bed, but standard sheets will not fit on an XL bed without creating a few rips.
How can I contact my student?
Phone: Each residence hall room is equipped with a telephone line that offers free intra-campus and local calling services. Students will need to provide their own telephones to connect. Phone numbers are provided at the beginning of each year.
(Box #) Scandling Center
Geneva, NY 14456-3381
What happens when there are roommate conflicts?
For most of our students, this is either the first time sharing a room or the first time living away from home, or both! Even though our office works hard to match roommates with similar sleeping/smoking/study habits, some degree of conflict is natural and often can be healthy for roommates to establish expectations for life in the room, as well as learn skills in conflict resolution and mediation. These types of difficult conversations may be a new experience and your student will likely seek your advice on the matter. Encouraging your student to have an open conversation with his/her roommate is the first step in resolving conflicts. Community Assistants are also available to help facilitate these conversations and serve as mediators. In most cases, changing roommates is not the best solution and your support can help your student resolve the conflict!
No room changes are permitted during the first two-weeks of each semester.
Can I live off-campus?
We are a residential campus with a four-year resident requirement. First-year, sophomore, junior, and senior students must reside on campus. All students are required to live in on-campus housing because the residential experience is so integral to the liberal arts education at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Exceptions to this include graduate students, married couples, life-long learners and other exclusions that are considered on an individual basis.
When do the residence halls open and close?
In general, residence halls open the day before classes begin. First-year and transfer students are invited to campus the Friday before classes begin in the fall semester in order to participate in new student orientation. At the end of each semester, students are expected to leave campus 24 hours after their last exam and the halls close at noon the day after exams end. Students may stay on campus during fall recess, Thanksgiving recess, and spring break. Information about returning to campus early or staying on campus past closing is distributed to students each semester, and is limited to students with on-campus commitments. For more information on opening and closing procedures, please see the Opening/Closing Procedures tab.
Are meal plans required? What is the process for changing meal plans? What are the different meal plans?
All students living on campus are required to participate in a meal plan. Students are able to increase or decrease their meal plans during the first two weeks of each semester. Beginning in the third week of the semester students may only change their meal plans if they are upgrading to a higher plan.
For more detailed information on types of meal plans and information on meal plan requirements, please visit the Dining Services meal plan website.
What if I forget to select a room during housing selection?
As an upperclassmen, if you do not select a room during housing selection, we will assign you to a space after all other students have selected a space. You will have the opportunity to place yourself on a waiting list for your preferred housing type following the end of housing selection.
Please note that not participating in housing selection does not mean students may reside off campus.
What happens if my roommate does not return for the fall, moves out in the middle of a semester, or does not plan to return for the spring?
Over the summer, if your roommate decides not to return to HWS for any reason, the vacant space within the bedroom will be assigned to a new transfer student or someone interested in a room change. We will utilize the rooming preferences you provided during housing selection and notification will occur via MyHousing and e-mail.
Mid-semester, if your roommate moves out, a vacant space will available in the bedroom. You will be notified of this change via email, and given the opportunity to request to pull in another student. Room changes must be approved by Student Engagement prior to moving. If you do not request to pull in another student, the space may be assigned to someone requesting a room change. Student Engagement will make attempts to involve you in the process; however, it is the decision of the student moving to select a space.
If your roommate plans not to return to HWS for the Spring (i.e. is studying abroad, is taking a leave of absence, graduating early, etc.), we will notify you in November of the vacancy and you will have the opportunity to complete a Cosign Form. This form allows you to pull someone abroad during the Fall into the space for the Spring semester. Under certain circumstances, such as vacancies within suites or apartments, Student Engagement may permit students to pull in students currently in alternate housing. If you fail to pull someone into your space, the space will be assigned by Student Engagement.
Where can I find extra-long bedding?
Having trouble finding extra-long bedding to fit the mattresses in our halls? The Office of Student Engagement has partnered with Residence Hall Linens to provide a convenient option for ordering all of your campus living needs, from extra-long twin sheets and comforters, to matching towels, and storage items. Shipping is free for all Value Pak orders, and there are more than 40 color combinations available. Plus, linens can be delivered to your home during the summer so you don't have to worry about waiting in line at the store.
What is Gender Inclusive Housing?
The Colleges recognize that for some students, living with a student of the same biological sex may limit their comfort and success on our campus. As a residential campus, we understand the importance of having a safe living environment and feeling comfortable in your own bedroom.
The Colleges' offer co-ed living arrangements, including co-ed residence halls, apartments and suites, and single room options on floors with single-stall, gender neutral bathrooms. In addition to this, Gender Inclusive Housing allows students to reside with any member of the Colleges community, regardless of biological sex. This is meant for platonic friends who feel that Gender Inclusive Housing will allow them to feel safe and comfortable in their room. Gender Inclusive Housing is not available in all locations on campus, students hoping to utilize Gender Inclusive Housing will be able to select from Gender Inclusive locations on campus after forming their roommate groups during housing selection.
As always, students may confidentially contact Student Engagement to discuss alternative housing options and options related to Gender Inclusive Housing.
What is the cable lineup?
All student residences offer cable television through SpectrumU. Students can access SpectrumU on campus and at home online or using the SpectrumU app on a streaming device like Roku. Students will login to SpectrumU with their HWS credentials.