Some of our most asked questions about housing and dining are answered here!
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 the Launch Pad. Click on “Residential Life and Housing Portal” and then select the “2023-2024 Housing Home Page” and the “Apply Now!” button.
If you are a new incoming student, you 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.
Once the housing application is open, housing recruitment letters are emailed in batches to newly accepted students who indicated “Resident” on their application to USM. 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.
Can I cancel my housing contract? How does that work?
The answers are different, depending on the date you cancel, and if you are just leaving housing, or leaving USM classes, too.
If you request to withdraw from your room and meal plan but NOT classes:
- All cancellations of the application/contract or housing and meal plan assignments must be made in writing (email is considered written notification) to Residential Life. If the cancellation is after the date of move-in, the written cancellation process includes completing any applicable check-out forms and move-out.
- For incoming first-year students:
- Withdrawing from the room and board contract before June 1st, 2023 will be at no cost. Withdrawing from the room and board plan after June 1, 2023 and prior to August 15, 2023 will result in a forfeit of the $75.00 deposit paid. For students with a Spring 2024 only housing contract, withdrawing before January 1, 2024 will be at no cost. For students with a Spring only housing contract, cancellation after January 1, 2024 but prior to January 15, 2024 will result in a forfeit of the $75.00 deposit paid.
- For returning students who self-select a room during the annual room selection process, there is a $75 cancellation fee effective immediately if they cancel their room. If they are assigned a space manually by Residential Life, the student can cancel within 48 hours of the assignment email being sent at no penalty as long as they have not moved in or used their meal plan.
- For returning USM students who are applying for housing after being off-campus, withdrawing from the room and board plan after June 1, 2023 and prior to August 15, 2023 will result in a $75 cancellation fee. For students with a Spring only housing contract, cancellation after January 1, 2024 but prior to January 15, 2024 will result in a $75 cancellation fee.
- For both new and returning students, withdrawing from housing on or after August 15th, 2023 will incur a charge of 10% of the remaining academic year housing charges as of the date the written cancellation is received and/or the check-out process is completed. From August 15th until the day before the first day of classes, the fee would be 10% of the full room charge.
- After the start of the semester, the fee will be a prorated charge for the time the room was occupied, plus 10% of the remaining academic year housing charges.
- Residents removed from University housing for disciplinary reasons are ineligible for room refunds.
- Board Cancellation: Meal plan refunds will be based on the week of last meal eaten, meal plan dollar amount remaining, and proper room check-out. Failure to check-out properly will incur additional meal plan charges dating from week of the last meal eaten to the date Residential Life is notified of the resident’s departure. The provisions above hold true unless the student is released from the contract in writing by the Office of Residential Life. Meal plans for students assigned to apartments must be cancelled before the first day meal plans begin to receive a full credit. If the meal plan is cancelled in the first two weeks of the Fall board period, they will receive a 90% refund, and after the second week meal plans cannot be cancelled. If a student moves into an apartment after the first week, they have a one week window to cancel their meal plan. If meal plans are cancelled between Fall and Spring semester, any remaining meal plan dollars received as part of the Fall meal plan will be forfeited and will not carry over to Spring semester.
If you are withdrawing from your room and meal plans AND withdrawing from all classes:
- 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.
RETURNING USM STUDENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: No initial $75.00 deposit required with the application.
Cancellations must be made in writing: E-mail email@example.com, mail to Residential Life, 37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038, or faxed to 207-780-5597.
How are meal plans refunded?
The meal plan will be prorated 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 first year 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, see the First Year Housing process page.
A new housing application/contract must be submitted each year. For returning students going through the annual Housing Selection process to choose a room, the application has a deadline for completion in order to be admitted to the housing portal to select your space.
When will I find out about my room assignment?
Fall housing assignments will be emailed beginning in mid-July. Spring housing assignments will be emailed beginning in December.
How much will it cost to live on campus?
Room & Board rates include streaming cable service (students will need streaming-enabled devices), laundry, and high-speed wireless internet access.
Do I have to be a full-time student to live on campus?
You must be matriculated at USM and enrolled in 6 or more 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 solely 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, and we offer graduate and law student housing in Portland Commons . 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?
Move-in times are assigned, and will be indicated in your assignment letter. Your specific move-in date and time will be based on whether you are a new or returning student, and in which building you are placed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-780-5240 or read more at Gender Inclusive Housing.
How can I contact an RA in my building?
Each building has a duty board in the lobby with Resident Assistant names and room numbers if you are looking to find an RA in person. You can also email your RA using your USM email – if you search their name in your email, you likely have a welcome email or other email from them already! If it is during duty hours (7:00 pm to 7:00 am) you can call the RA on duty line for your residence hall to get in touch with whichever RA is on duty that night. Here are those contact numbers:
Anderson & Woodward Hall – 207-228-8110
Philippi Hall – 207-280-5966
Robie Andrews Hall – 207-228-8109
Upperclass Hall – 207-780-5683
Upton Hastings Hall – 207-780-5283
How can I contact the RD of my building?
The contact information for each Resident Director can be found here.
How will you match me up with a roommate?
We use the roommate matching and lifestyle questions on your housing application to match you with a roommate. In addition, for first year students, we look at the COR 101 class you are enrolled in, and assign you and roommates to the same Living Learning Community. Depending on our applicant pool, we match preferences as closely as we can.
Can I request a particular roommate(s)?
You may request a roommate on your housing application by forming a roommate group. You can invite a friend to a roommate group after they have filled out a housing application. If they haven’t filled out an application, you will not be able to invite them.
Complete roommate requests through your housing portal. After completing a housing application, create a roommate group through the “Update My Application” button. More information on how to access the portal and apply can be found here. Once you click the “Update My Application” link, you can form a roommate group, accept invitations into a group that you have been invited to, or leave a roommate group.
First year students: As we make assignments, we will take these roommate groups into consideration as long as all students in the group choose the same LLC when you select classes. Some LLCs have multiple sections of the same topic, such as Health and Creativity; others only have one section. Make sure you discuss your plans with your roommate groups, as we will not be able to keep groups together if individuals select into different COR topics. If you do not select a roommate group, our housing staff will do our best to match you with roommate(s) with similar preferences based on the responses to the Roommate Matching information on each of your housing applications.
How can I see updates to my roommate assignments?
You can view your current room booking and roommate information in your Residential Life and Housing portal under the “2023-2024 Home Page” button.
What if my roommate and I cannot get along?
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. Our first course of action is mediation with your RA, and your Resident Director can also mediate conversations.
How big are the residence hall rooms?
While room sizes vary to some extent, many of the double rooms are approximately 12′ by 15′.
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 their own bathroom, shared by roommates.
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?
Yes, there are lounges in the halls, which make great common study areas.
Is cable television available in the residence halls?
USM has 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. 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 “email@example.com“ 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?
For all buildings except Upperclass Hall: Each mailbox has a Unit #, designated by a letter and a 3 digit number. You can find your Unit # and combination by logging in to your Residential Life and Housing portal and clicking on the Mailbox Information button. These mailboxes are located in the basement of Upton Hall. Mail Services has more information about package pickup, hours, etc. on their MyUSM internal page for students.
These unit numbers are not the same as your room number.
Please write your address as:
USM Unit #
37 College Ave.
Gorham, ME 04038
Upperclass Hall residents receive their mail in Upperclass Hall mailboxes. Please write your address as:
USM Upperclass Hall Box #
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?
Yes, the halls remain open, and there is no fee. For the longer breaks such as that between semesters, students must request access through their housing portal and meet other criteria to stay on campus.
Dining Services offers 3 residential meal plans. All new first year students will be assigned to the Unlimited plan for their first semester on campus, but may change their meal plan for their following semester.
Residential Way: 10 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $300.00 Flex dollars
Husky Drive: 14 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & 175.00 Flex dollars
Unlimited: Enjoy unlimited all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $100.00 Flex dollars (this meal plan option costs a little more per semester compared to the other plans).
How and where can I use my meal plan?
All weekly meals can be used in Gorham (Brooks Dining Hall, Husky Hideaway), Portland (Hungry Huskies Food Truck, Luther Bonney Café, Maine Law Café, and Library Starbucks location), and Lewiston (LAC Café) during any meal period. Students wishing to use a residential weekly board meal swipe in Portland or LAC Café will be given a meal exchange, which consists of an entrée, side, dessert and beverage option. They will need to inform the cashier they are using a meal exchange, and not meal plan/flex dollars or Husky Bucks.
Even easier, download and use the new Everyday App (previously called Bite) and it calls out exactly what a meal is, and it can be preordered. Lastly, Dining Services will have their Kiwibot robots delivering meals all around campus in Portland and Gorham. Guests would just need to order their meal through the Everyday App and select the Kiwibot delivery and the robot will bring it to the front door of the building they are in. Check out the Kiwibots video.
Meal plan dollars may be used at any dining location, snack bar, or kiosk on any campus. Please note the different meal plan costs.
For more information, 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 Housing Selection or on the housing application.
Students (other than first years assigned to the Unlimited meal plan) may change their meal plan prior to the end of the second week of classes each semester.
Meal plans are optional for residents in apartments but must be canceled in writing (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, declining balance dollars, or a combination. Please visit Dining Services for complete plan details and to purchase a plan.
What can I bring with me?
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, Anderson Hall and Upton Hastings Hall have extra long mattresses.
Upperclass Hall and Philippi Hall beds have regular twin size mattresses.
Sheets and pillowcase
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, microwave, or freezer to school.
We recommend Energy Star rated appliances in accordance with our sustainability philosophy.
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
Iron w/automatic shutoff
Hairdryer, curling iron, etc.
Keurig machine or comparable machine using a similar brewing mechanism
Automatic shut-off tea kettle
Portland Commons ONLY:
Minifridge up to 3.1 cubic ft
Microwave up to 0.7 cubic ft and 700 wattage
Two original documents to prove your identity for an I9 form if you are applying for jobs
Headphones with a microphone (in case you and your roommate are attending separate virtual events, meetings, etc.)
Camp chairs to be with people outside
Several face coverings
Shower shoes or flip flops, shower caddy
First aid kit, thermometer, personal medications
Closet curtains for all halls except Robie Andrews
Posters affixed w/poster putty or blue painter’s tape (no other tapes, 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
Pencils, pens, highlighters, sharpies
Scissors, tape, ruler
Stapler and staples
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
Basic kitchen supplies for common kitchen use
Utensils, cups, plates, and bowls for your room
Sports equipment – must be kept in your room
Toilet paper for apartments and suites
Plunger for apartment and suites
If you plan to have a car on campus in the winter, we encourage you to bring a snow shovel or get one during the fall break.
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, air fryers
George Foreman grills, charcoal or gas grills
Coffee makers (except Keurig machines or those with similar brewing mechanism)
Weapons of any kind
Darts and dart boards
Animals, except fish, or service animals as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, subject to DSC approval
Fry Daddy’s, electric frying pans
Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, halogen lamps, medusa lamps
Ceiling hangings, ceiling fans
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.
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 on the Gorham campus at no charge. 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 and freezers are prohibited on the Gorham campus.
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 an aquarium (one aquarium only, up 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. The University is not responsible for the loss or harm to any fish due to interruptions in power services.
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, 24 hour parking is available for any resident student who applies for a parking permit through USM Parking Services. We have assigned parking with the parking permit according to your 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 Services for more information on parking and parking permits. They are located in the USM Parking Garage, as you enter and to the left in the lobby, on the Portland campus. You may call them at 207-780-4718, email them at email@example.com, or visit Parking Services.
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.
Where do I go to move in?
Detailed information will be emailed to each student after assignments have been made.
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 halls that allow alcohol, which currently include Philippi, Robie Andrews, Anderson, Upton Hastings, and Upperclass residence halls. Please see the Policy Guide for Campus Living for details.
May I have guests in my residence hall room?
Yes! Review the guest policies and processes in the Policy Guide for Campus Living.
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.