Information for New Students
Residence Information for New Students
Living in residence is a great way to connect with all the opportunities available to you at Providence. Our Student Development staff work to ensure that residence is an educational environment that enhances your classroom experience but also gives you the chance to apply what you have learned to your personal life. Living in residence also gives you the opportunity to gain an understanding of yourself and others that is only available by living in community. Living in residence strongly correlates with high academic performance for any student, but at Providence we also believe that residence life helps students to grow as Disciples of Christ. Residence programming provides the opportunity for both academic and personal growth with the help of student leaders and the Resident Directors.
Residence Life Staff
Resident Directors (RDs)
The RDs at Providence are professional, permanent staff who live in residence and oversee residence life for their assigned buildings. These people direct residence programming for students but also serve as mentors and provide pastoral care. RDs are trained in suicide intervention and conflict resolution, and work to ensure that residence is a safe and supportive place for all students. Administrative duties such as room placement also fall to Residence Directors.
Resident Assistants (RAs)
The RAs at Providence are student leaders, selected each year from among those who are interested in serving their community and developing leadership skills. RAs live in residence and organize weekly Care Groups for the other students in their assigned hall. These people are on the front line of residence living, providing support and ensuring that community life is respected and enjoyed by all.
It is normal to feel anxious about meeting your new roommate for the first time. However, be assured that your Resident Director carefully matches roommates based on the personal preferences you have provided in your application package. It is important to these staff that you have a great first year in residence because dorm is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; you will meet people with different views and different ways of doing things, and you will learn more about yourself and the type of person you want to become – all with the support of the wider Providence community. Your roommate is one part of this community, and is likely a little anxious too! Here are a few tips to help your first interactions go smoothly:
1. Know Yourself: Before moving in to dorm, consider what your habits and preferences are. Are you a neat freak, a heavy sleeper, a social butterfly? Perhaps you know you need time to yourself for devotions or you know you need to talk with someone when you’re stressed. Know what you need to be healthy and happy, so that you can speak openly with your roommate about these things. It is your responsibility to ask for what you need, and to voice your expectations.
2. Know Your Roommate: Feel free to ask questions and get to know your roommate as a person. What brought them to Providence? Where are they from? This person probably has many of the same hopes as fears you are feeling. Also ask them what they need or expect in your shared space: do they work best at night or are they a morning person? How tidy is ‘tidy’? Allow your roommate to voice their expectations and needs, just as you have.
3. Be Ready to Compromise: Learning to live with another person requires flexibility and communication (both essential life skills!). Expect that having a roommate will require you to give up some things, while also providing you with some benefits. If you can both talk about what is essential and what can be sacrificed then you can each make accommodations so that everyone is satisfied. Perhaps your roommate likes to listen to music while doing homework but you need absolute silence; as a result of talking this through you may find your roommate is quite willing to use headphones or that you are happy to head to the library when it’s homework time. Open communication and flexibility can solve most roommate struggles.
4. Access Support: Even if things don’t go smoothly right away, you are not alone in this adjustment. It is often helpful to speak with someone who has been through this transition before, and perhaps enlist their help. Your Resident Assistant (RA) is an upper-level student who lives in your residence hall to provide support to residence students. He or she can talk with you about your experience and share some advice from their own first year; resident assistants are trained to provide this kind of personal support, and are eager to help. They are also trained to help with conflict resolution and can connect you with your Resident Director if further help is needed.
Remember that most people are anxious about this transition, but that most people also find they have a lot in common with their roommate and enjoy their experience in residence. In addition, they learn more about themselves and gain valuable life skills. Even though you do not yet know your roommate, you can be preparing for your year together by being aware of what you need, what you can give up, and by priming your communication skills.
Please Note: Room placement information is not provided to any students prior to move-in day.
What to Pack
Below is a list of things that you may like to bring with you to residence. This list does not include items you may require for the classroom (e.g. backpack, pens and paper).
Clothing and Laundry
- Laundry bag or basket
- Laundry detergent, softener, stain remover, etc.
- Loonies and quarters for laundry machines
- Warm outdoor clothes for the winter months
- Slippers or shoes to wear in residence
Bath and Grooming Supplies
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razor etc.)
- Towels and Washcloths
- Hair Dryer, Flat Iron, Shaver, etc.
- Cold medicine, pain relievers, prescribed medications, Band-Aids, sunscreen
- Cleaning products: paper towel, all-purpose cleaner, sponges, baking soda etc. (toilet brushes and plungers are provided)
Bedding and Decorations
- Twin/Single-sized sheets, blankets (Providence mattresses are standard size twin beds, not extra-large twin)
- Pillow and pillow case
- Mattress topper
- Sticky tack for hanging posters, pictures etc (Note: Tape, pins and nails are not permitted)
- Posters, pictures, other decorative items
Appliances and Electronics
- Alarm Clock
- Fan (very helpful if you are a light sleeper)
- Desk lamp (not halogen)
- Laptop, printer, power bar with surge protection, etc.
- Headphones or ear-buds (so your music does not disturb others)
- Small electric kettles are permitted in residence, provided there is no exposed element and the appliance is in good working order
- Small Fridges are permitted in residence, but each hall has a full-sized fridge and freezer available for residents. Keeping a fridge in your bedroom will mean giving up space otherwise used for storage or study – it is wise to wait and discuss this with your roommate.
- Snacks and Drinks
- Basic dishes: bowl, mug, water bottle, cutlery
- Dish soap and cloth
- Ear plugs
What NOT to Pack
The following items are not permitted in residence
- Candles or Incense
- Halogen Lamps
- Space Heaters or Heat Lamps
- Air Conditioners
- Cooking Appliances (other than small, electric kettles)
- Furniture (Providence furniture cannot be removed from your room, so there is little space available for other items from home. Small side tables, shelves or chairs are permitted, provided they are not coming from an environment with bed bugs)
- Illegal Substances or Materials
- Weapons of Any Kind
- It is best to pack your belongings in a duffel bag or something collapsible; there is limited storage space available for suitcases or plastic totes in residence closets.
- Don’t try to bring everything you own, and remember that you can always collect more belongings from home at Christmas break or Reading week.
- Consider purchasing renter’s insurance. Some homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover belongings in a residence hall.