Office of Residential Life

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of these answers have been modified for Fall 2020/Spring 2021. Please also see our Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Housing Information page for much more information and additional policies. 

Housing Contract, Assignments & Move-In

How can I request more information and a housing contract?
* Can I cancel my housing contract and receive a refund of the $75.00 deposit?
* Can I cancel my housing contract after I move in?
* How are meal plans refunded?
* What if I want to move out after the fall semester?
* Will I be guaranteed housing while I'm a student at USM?
* When will I find out about my room assignment?
* How much will it cost to live on campus?
* Do I have to be a full-time student to live on campus?
* Do I have to be matriculated to live on campus?
* Do you have graduate student housing?
* When do I move in?
What is Gender Inclusive Housing?

Roommates

* How will you match me up with a roommate?
* Can I request a particular roommate(s)?
*
How can I see updates to my roommate assignment?
* What if my roommate and I cannot get along?

Facilities and Amenities

* What size are the residence hall rooms?
* How many people share a bathroom?
* Are there facilities for washing and drying clothes?
* Are there lounges available for me to study in?
* Is cable t.v. available in the residence halls?
* What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?
* Is telephone service provided by the University?
* Is internet service provided by the University?
* How will I receive US mail while I am living on campus?
* Do the residence halls stay open during official USM breaks?

Dining

* What meal plans are provided?
* Do I have to have a meal plan?
* Are vegetarian dishes offered in the dining center?
* If I live off-campus, can I still eat in the dining center?

What to bring, what to leave at home

* What can I bring with me?
* May I bring a computer?
* What are MicroFridges, and what is your policy regarding other units?
* May I bring my own furniture with me?
* May I bring or build a loft in my residence hall room?
* Are pets allowed in the residence halls?

Parking and Transportation

* Can anyone bring a car to campus?
* Is there parking available on campus?
* Is there a way to travel between campuses without a car?
* Where do I go for move in?

Miscellaneous Policies

* What is the alcohol policy?
* May I have guests in my residence hall room?
* Can I smoke cigarettes or vape in my room?

* What if none of my questions were answered here?


Housing Contract, Assignments & Move-In

How do I apply for housing?
Complete the housing application in your Mercury housing portal. Go to your MyUSM campus portal (https://my.usm.maine.edu) and choose USM Quick Links on the left under all of the little square icons. Click on "Residential Life and Housing Portal" and then select "Apply for Fall 2020/Spring 2021 campus housing."

If you are a new incoming student, will not see the USM Quick Links until you have paid your admission fee to matriculate at USM. It takes 48 hours or more after payment for the USM Quick Links to appear in your portal.

Housing recruitment letters and brochures are mailed in weekly batches to newly accepted students who indicated "Resident" on their USM application. Your letter will include instructions for applying for on-campus housing through the online application. If you have not received a housing recruitment letter within a few weeks of being accepted to USM, please notify our office. If you are a matriculated student at USM and currently commuting, you may apply for housing through the online housing application.
Questions? Call us at 207.780.5240, or e-mail usm.reslife@maine.edu


Can I cancel my housing contract and receive a refund of the $75.00 deposit?

FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS: If you are applying for Spring 2021, you may cancel your housing contract on or before January 1, 2021 in writing and we will issue a refund request to Student Accounts. If you have a zero balance on your account, Student Accounts will issue a refund check.

Withdrawing after January 1st but before move-in will incur a charge of 10% of the Spring housing charge. 

Withdrawing from housing after move-in will incur a charge of both a daily rate for the number of days in housing, plus 10% of the remaining Spring housing charge as of the date the written cancellation is received and/or the check-out process is completed. The check-out process includes written notification of the intention to withdraw from housing and (if after the date of move-in) completion of check-out forms and move-out.

RETURNING USM STUDENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: No initial $75.00 deposit required.  

For returning students, cancellations after December 15th but before move-in will incur a charge of 10% of the Spring room charge.

Withdrawing from housing after Spring move-in will incur a charge of both a daily rate for the number of days in housing, plus 10% of the remaining Spring housing charge as of the date the written cancellation is received and/or the check-out process is completed. The check-out process includes written notification of the intention to withdraw from housing and (if after the date of move-in) completion of check-out forms and move-out.

Cancellations must be made in writing: E-mail usm.reslife@maine.edu, mail to Residential Life, 37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038, or faxed to 207.780.5597. 


Can I cancel my housing contract after I move in?

Yes, but please refer to the Residence Hall and Board Contract Terms and Conditions, specifically section B., Refund Information, for more information. By saving and submitting the online housing application, you are bound by the terms and conditions of the contract. The refunds vary greatly depending on whether you withdraw JUST from the residence halls (see contract), or from all of USM (see below).  


If you WITHDRAW from the RESIDENCE HALLS and ALL classes at USM, the following room refund schedule applies.

Withdrawal prior to the end of the second week (14 days) 100% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the fourth week (28 days) 75% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the sixth week (42 days) 50% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the eighth week (56 days) 25% room refund
Withdrawal after the eighth week (57 days and after) 0% room refund


These provisions hold true unless the student is released from the contract in writing by Residential Life.

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact the Residential Life office at 207.780.5240 or usm.reslife@maine.edu.


How are meal plans refunded?

The meal plan will be pro-rated according to the date of the last meal eaten, the number of meal plan dollars used, and the week the meal plan is canceled. For more information, please contact us


 

Will I be guaranteed housing for the whole time I'm a USM student?
Assignments are made each year for new students according to the Living Learning Community (LLC) COR course you have registered for, so the earlier you are registered for classes AND get your housing application in, the better your chances of receiving a housing assignment. 

For questions regarding this process, please email us at usm.reslife@maine.edu or call us at 207.780.5240

A new contract must be submitted each year, even if you go through the Room Selection process as a returning resident. 


When will I find out about my room assignment?
Spring 2021 semester assignments have been emailed to students, and any new applications will be assigned and notices emailed on a rolling basis.  


How much will it cost to live on campus?
You can find housing and meal plan costs at the Room & Board Rates page. Posted rates include streaming cable service (students will need streaming-enabled devices), laundry, and high-speed internet access. 


Do I have to be a full-time student to live on campus?
You must be matriculated at USM and enrolled in 12 credits per semester in order to live on campus. Any exceptions must be approved by Residential Life. Graduate and law students must be matriculated and enrolled in 6 credits per semester.


Do I have to be a matriculated student to live on campus?
Yes, you do.


Do you have graduate student housing?
While we do not have separate housing for graduate students, we are happy to accommodate graduate students in our residence halls. Graduate students may find our two upper-class residences, Upperclass Hall and Philippi Hall, more suited to their needs. Please note that we do not have family housing available, and all residents must be matriculated, enrolled USM students to live on campus.


When do I move into my room?
Spring 2021 move in is Tuesday, January 19th. Move-in times are assigned and indicated in each student's assignment letter.


 What is Gender Inclusive Housing?

Gender Inclusive means that spaces or restrooms are available to anyone, and are not limited to a certain population. This is inclusive of any gender identity and/or gender expression. For residence hall restrooms, this means anyone, regardless of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation, can use that restroom. For residence hall spaces (rooms, suites, and apartments), this means that with the consent of all occupants, Residential Life will make assignments to rooms, suites, and apartments inclusive of all genders and gender expressions.

When it comes to single-gender restrooms, the University of Maine System does not discriminate based on sex or sexual orientation, which includes gender identity and expression. All students, employees, and campus visitors are welcome to use the restrooms that best fit their gender.


At USM we are proud to offer a variety of housing options for our students. All of our communities, unless specifically noted, have the option for students to opt into a gender-inclusive room, which can be assigned by the Office of Residential Life. We also have gender-inclusive restrooms in each of our residence halls, as well as single-gender restrooms or single-stall restrooms. Each restroom will be labeled clearly for ease of access. All of our common restrooms have individual stalls for both the toilets and showers with either locking doors or privacy curtains. A full breakdown of our housing options is detailed below. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Residential Life at usm.reslife@maine.edu or 207-780-5240 or read more at Gender Inclusive Housing.


Roommates

How will you match me up with a roommate?
For Spring 2021, first year students will be assigned to single rooms at the double room rate. 


Can I request a particular roommate(s)?
For Spring 2021, first year students are assigned to singles and will not have roommates. Upperclass students may request a roommate, though these preferences are not guaranteed. 


How can I see updates to my roommate assignments?
You can view your room booking and roommate information in your housing portal under "View My Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Assignment".


What if my roommate and I cannot get along?
Due to Covid-19, de-densifying our residence halls, and trying to prevent the spread of disease, room changes will not be allowed. We hope that you and your assigned roommate will find a way to work through any issues! It may help to meet with your Resident Assistant together to complete a roommate agreement, which clarifies roommates' expectations or needs. Your Resident Director can also mediate conversations. 


Facilities and Amenities

How big are the residence hall rooms?
While room sizes vary to some extent, many of the double rooms are approximately 12' by 15'. Please contact usm.reslife@maine.edu for more specific information if needed. Regular double rooms will be used as single rooms for Fall 2020 (this does not apply to double rooms within suites or four person double apartments).


How many people share a bathroom?
In most of our residence halls, except for Upperclass Hall and parts of Philippi Hall, we have common bathrooms. A whole floor or section shares one large bathroom, usually with 3-4 showers and 3-4 toilets. In Philippi Hall, there are wings with traditional doubles and singles, which share common, single-user bathrooms. Suites and apartments have private bathrooms shared by 3-4 people.


Are there facilities for washing and drying clothes?
There are washers and dryers in all of the halls. There is no charge to residential students to use the machines - free laundry! Our washers are high efficiency (HE) machines and require HE laundry detergent.


Are there lounges available for me to study in?
For Spring 2021, common areas in the halls will be unavailable for study or socializing. Restrictions may or may not loosen depending on the status of the pandemic on campus. 


Is cable television available in the residence halls?
USM has moved to a streaming cable service called Apogee


What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?
Normal wear-and-tear housekeeping services are provided on a daily basis for public areas and public bathrooms only, with enhanced cleaning protocols during Spring 2021. You are responsible for cleaning your bedroom and any appliances supplied with the room. If you live in a suite or apartment, you are also responsible for cleaning your living room, bathroom, and kitchen, and supplying your own toilet paper. 


Is telephone service provided by the University?
Telephone service is not provided.


Is internet service provided by the University?
Yes, all residence hall rooms have wireless internet access. Please do not use wireless routers, modems, or hubs, as they interfere with university systems.

Follow these simple steps to register a device to the “eduroam” WiFi network

1. Connect your device to the "eduroam-setup" Wi-Fi SSID.
If nothing appears, open a web browser and go to http://maine.edu (don't use https://).

2. You will be redirected to the eduroam-setup device onboarding portal.

3. Login using your "@maine.edu" credentials to begin the process.

Note: Because eduroam is a global system, you need to enter the username in “username@maine.edu“ form.

4. Follow the instructions on each page carefully and wait for each step to complete.

5. Most devices require an app to install client certificates and modify network settings for the “eduroam” profile on your device; it can be deleted once complete. For Windows and macOS it will download directly from the portal; for Android you must click a play store link, then install and open the Cisco Network Setup Assistant app.

6. Windows, macOS, and Android users will automatically switch to the “eduroam” SSID. Apple does not allow iOS to be automatically switched to the SSID, so iOS users will see a message instead that asks them to open Settings and switch to the “eduroam” SSID.

You can now use the eduroam SSID at UMS campuses or remote participating institutions globally for a period of up to 5 years.

Residential networking questions may be directed to the Technology Support Center at 207.780.4029.


How will I receive US mail while I am living on campus?
IMPORTANT: to consolidate functions for Spring 2021, all residence hall student mail will be delivered to individual mailboxes in the basement of Upton Hall. 

Each box has a Unit #, designated by a letter and a 3 digit number. You can pick find your Unit # and combination by logging in to your Residential Life and Housing portal and clicking on the Mailbox Information button. 

These unit numbers are not the same as your room number.

Please write your address as:

Student Name
USM Unit # x-xxx (this will be a letter and 3 number combination)
37 College Ave.
Gorham, ME 04038

Outgoing stamped mail may be dropped off at Mail Services in the basement of Upton Hall.

Always remember to CLOSE your mailbox and SPIN the combination lock to secure your mailbox.


Do the residence halls stay open during official University breaks?
Since the halls will close on November 25th, breaks may look different from previous years. See the Spring Intent Form and
Semester Break Information on our website.


Dining

What meal plans are provided?
Dining Services offers 3 residential meal plans. For Spring 2021, all new first year students will be assigned to the 19 All-inclusive plan. 

Residential Way: 10 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $300.00 meal plan dollars
Husky Drive: 14 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & 175.00 meal plan dollars
All-inclusive: 19 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $50.00 meal plan dollars (this meal plan option costs a little more per semester compared to the other plans)

For more Dining Service information, including descriptions of the various meal plans and how they work, please visit the Dining Services page or call Dining Services at 207.780.5420.


Do I have to have a meal plan?
Unless assigned to an apartment (not a suite) in Upperclass Hall, all residential students are required to have a meal plan as part of the room and board contract. Initially, all residents, including those in apartments, are automatically assigned a default meal plan or to the meal plan they chose during Room Selection or on the housing application.

For Spring 2021, students OTHER than first years assigned to the 19 meal plan may change their meal plan prior to the end of the second week of classes each semester. More instructions will be forthcoming.  

Meal plans are optional for residents in apartments but must be canceled IN WRITING (e-mail is acceptable to usm.reslife@maine.edu) before the first day the meal plan goes into effect in order to receive a full refund. If the meal plan is canceled in the first two weeks of the Fall board period, they will receive a 90% refund, and after the second week meal plans for students in apartments cannot be canceled.

If a student moves into an apartment after the first week, they have a one week window to cancel their meal plan. There are financial implications to canceling the meal plan once the plan has been used; speak with Residential Life for specifics.


 Are vegetarian dishes offered in the dining center?
Yes. Vegetarian entrees are offered at each meal. Vegan options are also available. Please speak with Dining Services staff at 207.780.5420 if you have other special dietary needs, i.e. gluten-free, allergies, etc., and they will be happy to work with you. 


If I live off-campus, can I still eat in the dining center?
Yes! Commuters can purchase a commuter/voluntary meal plan of block meals, dining dollars, or a combination. Please see the Dining Services web page for complete plan details and to purchase a plan.


What to bring, what to leave at home

What can I bring with me?

For Spring 2021, we suggest you pack lightly, as no helpers will be allowed in the residence halls on move-in day.  In the case we must close the halls earlier, it would be best to keep belongings to a reasonable amount that could be shifted quickly.

Below are some thoughts. Check with roommate(s) before moving in to avoid duplication.

FOR YOUR BED - note our different mattress sizes!
Robie Andrews Hall, Woodward Hall, and Anderson Hall have extra long mattresses
Upperclass, Philippi, and Upton Hastings beds have regular twin size mattresses
Sheets and pillowcase 
Mattress pad
Pillow
Blanket
Bedspread or comforter

ELECTRICAL ITEMS ALLOWED
All rooms come with a MicroFridge unit, with the exception of apartments, which come with a full-sized refrigerator. The Microfridge units are designed to save energy and are very convenient (combined refrigerator, freezer and microwave).

Please do not bring a refrigerator or microwave to school.

We recommend Energy Star rated appliances in accordance with our sustainability philosophy.
Computer
Printer and accessories
Power strip with surge protector - extension cords are NOT allowed
Study lamp with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs
Low power stereo (less than 800 watts)
Streaming compatible TV
DVD, Blu-ray player
Gaming systems
Fan
Iron w/automatic shutoff
Hairdryer, curling iron, etc.
Keurig machine or comparable machine using a similar brewing mechanism
Automatic shut off tea kettle

PERSONAL ITEMS
Clothes, shoes
Shower shoes or flip flops, shower caddy
Towels
Toiletries
Umbrella
Jacket, raincoat
First aid kit, thermometer, personal medications

ROOM DECORATIONS
Area rug
Closet curtains for all halls except Robie Andrews
Posters affixed w/poster putty (no tape, tacks or nails. (Command strips may be used as long as they are used correctly! If they are just pulled off the wall, the paint will come off and charges will be assessed.)
Pictures of family and friends
Plants

SCHOOL SUPPLIES
Three-ring binders, notebook paper
Composition books
Pencils, pens, highlighters, sharpies
Personal organizer/calendar
Thumb drives
Scissors, tape, ruler
Paper clips
Stapler and staples
Folders
Backpack

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Cell phone - in-room jacks may be activated for local calls for a fee through Telecom
Clock
Storage boxes/space organizers
Trashcan and trash bags
Broom and basic cleaning supplies
Laundry basket, detergent
Warm winter boots and possibly ice grippers for boots
Clothes hangers
Flashlight
Basic kitchen supplies for common kitchen use
Utensils, cups, plates, bowls
Ironing board
Sports equipment - must be kept in your room

Toilet paper for apartments and suites

If you plan to have a car on campus, we encourage you to bring a snow shovel.

PLEASE DO NOT BRING
Hoverboards - Recent information has revealed that the batteries in the devices are dangerous and prone to explosion, creating a safety and fire risk. Our priority is the safety of the members of our community, and until a time that the safety standards of these devices are improved, Residential Life has prohibited these devices from being in all residential buildings. Should these devices be found in the halls, students will be asked to remove them from the building by appropriate staff (Resident Assistant, Resident Director, etc.).

Such violations will be referred through the student conduct process.

Incandescent light bulbs - please use compact fluorescents and LEDs, which save energy
Candles, incense, oil-burning lamps
Toaster ovens, toasters, hot plates
George Foreman grills, charcoal or gas grills
Coffee makers (except Keurig machines or those with similar brewing mechanism)
Extension cords
Weapons of any kind
Animals, except fish or service animals as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, subject to approval
Fry Daddy's, electric frying pans
Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, halogen lamps, medusa lamps
Ceiling hangings, ceiling fans
Alcohol paraphernalia


May I bring a computer?
Yes. Just remember that as with all personal property, you are responsible for its security. Wireless internet access is in all residence hall rooms and common areas. Networking questions should be directed to the Technology Support Center at 207-780-4029.


What are MicroFridges, and what is your policy regarding other units?
* One University-owned MicroFridge unit will be provided for each designed double or single. A second University-owned MicroFridge unit will be provided for designed triples or 4 person rooms or suites (without kitchens). All other microwaves and/or refrigerators are prohibited.

* Microfridge units must be left clean, dry, unplugged, and with the refrigerator and freezer doors open when all occupants check out of the room. MicroFridge units that require cleaning by custodial staff will incur a cleaning fee, billed to the occupant(s) of the room/suite. Occupant(s) will also be billed for unit(s) that are damaged or missing parts.


May I bring my own furniture with me?
All residence hall rooms are fully furnished with a bed, a desk, a chair, bureau space and a closet available to each resident. Please note that all furniture assigned to a room must stay in the room - it will not be moved or stored to make room for your own. You may bring any furniture that you might like to have in your room, (with the exception of waterbeds and lofts), but you should consider what your roommate(s) may also be bringing; talk to them before you make any final decisions. Useful items might be a small bedside table, floor lamp, television stand, small rug and so forth.


May I bring or build a loft in my residence hall room?
No, we do not allow lofts in student rooms. Some beds in some halls are already semi-lofted.

For beds that are not semi-lofted, you may use plastic bed risers for a bit more under-bed storage. 


Are pets allowed in the residence halls?
No pets or animals of any kind may be kept in the residence halls, with the exception of non-poisonous, non-walking fish in aquariums (aquarium size limited to 10 gallons), service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments 2008, or approved assistance animals. 

Prior approval of an assistance animal is required by the Disability Services Center. For more information and request for documentation guidelines, please contact 207-780-4706. The University is not responsible for the loss or harm to any fish due to interruptions in power services.


Parking and Transportation

Can anyone bring a car to campus?
Yes, students may bring their own vehicle to campus, including first-year students. 


Is there parking available on campus?
On the Gorham campus, parking is available for any resident student who applies for a parking decal through the USM Public Safety office, located in the USM parking garage in Portland, 207.780.4718 or at the dispatch desk at 28 Husky Drive, Gorham. Please see the Parking and Transportation page for details.

We have zoned parking according to building assignments/academic level. Since our campus is designed with residences and academic buildings clustered in the center to make it more accessible, parking will mostly be toward the edges of campus. Please contact Parking and Transportation for more information.


Is there a way to travel between campuses without my own car?
Yes, USM has an arrangement with Metro, and the Husky Line provides service between our Portland and Gorham campuses, in addition to other routes. The trip between campuses takes about 25 minutes.  The Metro will still run for Spring 2021.


Where do I go for move in?
Detailed information will be emailed to each student with their housing assignment. All residential students will be tested for Covid-19 before checking in to their hall on January 19th, 2021. 


Miscellaneous Policies

What is the alcohol policy?
Alcohol is not allowed in any public area, including lounges, bathrooms and hallways by any person, regardless of age, in any residence halls.

Any resident who is of legal drinking age (21) may consume alcohol in the privacy of his/her room or suite in Philippi, Robie Andrews, Anderson, and Upperclass residence halls only. No under-age person is allowed to have alcohol or alcohol containers in their possession, or in their room, at any time in any of USM's residence halls. Please see the Residence Hall Policies for details.


May I have guests in my residence hall room?
In order to limit the spread of Covid-19, it is necessary to limit contact between people, particularly in the residence halls, which have high density. Two guests are allowed in a room, suite, or apartment at one time, and they must be residents from within the same residence hall. Students living in shared suites/apartments must have the permission of their roommates before inviting guests to visit.

Absolutely no guests from outside the university, and no USM students who live off-campus or in other buildings, will be allowed in on-campus residential spaces. This includes common areas in the residence halls such as classrooms and hallways, as well as individual student rooms. Residence halls will only be accessible to those students assigned to that specific building and to authorized university officials. This is necessary because the density of the residence halls needs to be carefully maintained to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Students are encouraged to work on group projects, socialize, and otherwise spend time together in socially distanced groups of less than 10 by reserving classrooms, going to Brooks Student Center or Woodbury Campus Center or the Library, and spending time outdoors.


Can I smoke cigarettes or vape in my room?
No, USM is a tobacco-free campus. No tobacco use of any kind is allowed on campus, for the comfort and health of all.


What if none of my questions were answered here?
Please contact us, either by phone at 207.780.5240, or by writing to Office of Residential Life, 37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038, or by e-mailing usm.reslife@maine.edu. We're happy to answer your questions!