General Questions

Are first year students required to live in the residence halls?
Yes, as an incoming first year student, you are required to live on campus. Living on campus will provide you with an opportunity to make friendships with people from many places, which is an important part of your college experience. Living within the residence halls also allows you the convenience of utilizing the services provided at SMSU. Many of the students who live in our halls feel they have a greater knowledge of what is occurring on campus than if they were to live off-campus. Programs and opportunities are also offered to our residents who live on campus and this added benefit assists in the development of our students. Studies have shown that students who live in residence halls have higher graduation rates and higher GPAs. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact the Office of Admission at 507-537-6286.
Important terms to know:

  • Residence Hall: a traditional housing option where students live in a building by floor and our new residence hall has three floors with approximately 75 residents per floor
  • Complex: the building in which you live; 4 houses  are joined together; the house unit you live in within your building
  • House: one of four housing units in a complex
  • Foundation Residence Apartments: apartment style housing that is managed through the Department of Residence Life but is owned by the SMSU Foundation
  • Living & Learning Communities:  living communities that are centered around either an academic interest such as Culinology, Fine Arts, Exercises Science, or Agriculture; or a special interest such as AOS or Mustang Traditions
  • Residential Dining: the main dining room meals are served in -- located in the Student Center lower level
  • Food Court: also located in the Student Center lower level, features Caliente, Papa John's, Grille Works, and Erberts and Gerberts, along with other snack options
  • Dining Dollars:  Flexible spending money that is part of your meal plan and can be used in the Residential Dining, the Food Court, the Coffee House at SMSU, and the Mustang Express
  • Commons: The Commons buildings (East, Central and West) are buildings centrally located that offer a variety of amenities such as computer labs and laundry facilities.
  • Area Coordinator: A professional staff member that works with the student staff to serve the residential campus community.
  • Resident Assistant (RA): the student staff member that lives in your house/floor and is a resource for residents
  • Apartments Manager: the student staff member that lives in the Foundation Resident Apartments that is a resource for residents
  • Living & Learning Program Assistant (LLPA): a student staff member hired in the capacity as a peer mentor that will assist the RA in the Living & Learning Communities as is a resource for residents
  • Residence Hall Association (RHA): the governing body that advocates for residents living on campus.  This student organization provides opportunities for students to develop their leadership potential while providing services and amenities to on campus residents.


What activities happen in the Residence Halls? 
So many programs happen every year in your own house and complex. Each house/floor implements programming in the areas of Community Development, Athletic/Recreational Development, Faith, Spirituality, and Personal Values Development, Fine Arts Awareness, Diversity in our World, Community Service, Civic Engagement, World Citizenship, and Environmental Stewardship/Sustainability, Academic and Career Development, Healthy Living & Wellness as well as Current Issues & Events each semester. You are also able to participate in campus-wide programs and RHA programs. Almost all of the Residence Life programs are free to you and conveniently located.

A wide range of activities is available to our residents. You will have the opportunity to participate in social, recreational, diversity, service, and educational programs. Many students keep busy with house councils, the Residence Hall Association (RHA), house & complex programs as well as weekly entertainment provided by the Student Activities Committee (SAC) in the form of comedians, musicians, and specialty acts. Intramurals, movies, dances and game shows are a few more activities frequently available. There are many other campus activities to become involved with.

Is it affordable to live on campus?
Consider all that is included in your room and board: rent, electricity/heat, water, cable television, meals, and unlimited high speed internet (wired and wireless). SMSU has excellent housing facilities and the convenient location saves you valuable time. Our clean, comfortable and friendly facilities will help save you money because: you will not need to drive to campus every day, meals are very economical and easy to access, and computer labs around campus save you from the printing on your own printer. Commuting, parking, laundry, food preparation, and accessing campus resources all take time, and your time in college is very valuable. The current room and board rates are available under the New & Prospective Resident and Current Resident tabs along the left side of this page.

What does it cost to live in a residence hall for a year?
Costs vary according to room type and the meal plan you choose. The current room and board rates are available under the New & Prospective Resident and Current Resident tabs along the left side of this page.

If I do not get my house, room, and/or roommate preferences, what can I do?
Assignments are made in the order of the date that we receive the contract and deposit. The earlier you turn in your housing contract and pay the $100 prepayment, the greater your chances of being assigned to a house and room of your preference. If a roommate request is not submitted by both roommates at the time of assignment, the request will not be met.
We honor roommate requests whenever possible. If we are not able to match you with your roommate preference or assign you to your house preference, there are opportunities throughout the year to do a room change when space becomes available.
It should be noted that we strongly discourage new incoming students to room with an individual from their hometown. Statistically speaking, this usually results in a room change during the year.

How do I pay for my room and board?
Semester room and board payments are due at the onset of both fall and spring terms. Students who would like to pay in installments must make these arrangements with the Cashier's Window. Any questions regarding payments, including installments should be directed to the Cashier's Window in the IL Building or by calling 507-537-7117.

What is provided in my room?
Each room is provided with blinds, carpet,  individual thermostat, smoke detector, cable and high speed internet outlets. Furnishings per resident include a bed, mattress, desk, desk chair and lamp, built-in closet and mirror, and waste basket.  All of the furniture are free standing and can be moved within the room to suit your decorating preferences.

Is telephone service available in student rooms?
No. Due to a recent change in the SMSU phone system, landline phone activation will no longer be available.

Are there vacuums, brooms, and other supplies available for cleaning? Yes, equipment (like sponges, brooms, buckets) for cleaning your room is available in your house. A vacuum cleaner may be checked out free of charge from the Residence Life Office using your Mustang ID.

Is recreational equipment available to use or do I need to bring my own?
Recreational, kitchen, tools, bikes, and camping equipment is available in the Residence Life Office for free use by residents using their Mustang ID. 

How does mail delivery work?
There is daily mail delivery at each residence hall (except Sunday and holidays). Mail is delivered by 5:00 p.m. You and your roommate will share a mailbox. The box opens up with your room key. In order to receive mail, you should have it addressed as follows:

Click here for your mailing address

If you receive a mail package, you will receive a slip in your mailbox requesting you to go to the Residence Life Office to pick it up. You will need to present the receptionist working at the Residence Life Office with your student ID and the package slip in order to receive your package.

Can I have guests stay with me?
Yes, you can. Guests are allowed to stay in our facilities for two visits per semester. A visit is defined as two consecutive nights by the Residence Hall Guidebook. Roommate approval must be granted first, however.

Where do I get my visitors a guest parking permit?
You may obtain a visitor's parking permit at the Information Desk located on the first floor of Founders Hall (FH).

How do new students get involved with activities on campus?
New students can get involved in a variety of ways. Resident Assistants are a good start to getting active. Each RA has a number of options to relay and can point students in the right direction. You can also check out the near 80 clubs and organizations SMSU has to offer at the link below.

Student Activities Link

What is an RA/CA?
Resident Assistants are student leaders who are ready, willing and able to be resources to their peers. They are selected each spring and receive training in the fall and throughout the year. We also have our Area Coordinators, who are two open and energetic staff members on campus readily available to assist students as well as RAs with a multitude of concerns.

How will I know if classes are canceled because of inclement weather? You have several ways of knowing. You may sign up for our SMSU Alert system.  The SMSU Alert System will send a text message to your cell phone and let you know if classes are cancelled or if there is another type of emergency on campus.  This is a service that you must sign up for. You may check the SMSU Website at www.smsu.edu . You should also listen to WCCO 830 (AM), KKCK 99.7 (FM) or KARL 105.1 (FM).

What happens if I lose my keys ?
You may receive a temporary key at the Residence Life Office (Naoutha). The key will be issued to you for five class days. However, at the end of the five day period if you have still not found your keys, a core change will be done on your room. When the core change is completed a note is placed on your door. The total charge for both keys is fifty dollars ($50). To make sure you have enough time to pick up your new keys in the Residence Life Office, core changes are generally completed Monday - Wednesday mornings.

What should I do if I lose something other than my keys?
You should contact the Mustang Card Center located on the second floor of the Student Center. This is where the University's Lost and Found is located. You may also want to check with the Residence Life and Public Safety offices. 

Where can I do laundry and what does it cost?
Laundry facilities are available in four separate areas on campus. Commons East, Central, West and Sweetland Hall have laundry facilities. The cost is one dollar to wash and seventy five cents to dry. If you reside in the Foundation Residence Apartments, your laundry is free. You will need to bring laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Our machines accept quarters, but for convenience you may also swipe your ID card and use Mustang Money . We also have change machines in Commons Central and Sweetland Hall. 

Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Please feel free to call the Department of Residence Life Office at 507-537-6136 or 1-800-642-0684 extension 6136.

Last Modified: 11/7/17 3:18 PM