Residence FAQ

Sections

 

Room & Building

  • What is the difference between traditional, apartment and suite-style residences?
    • Traditional residences are different than apartment and suite-style residences because they have single, double or triple rooms, with lounges, washrooms, kitchenettes, laundry and meeting facilities that are shared by everyone on the floor, wing, or house. All of the residences on campus, excluding Bates and Mary E. Keyes, are traditional style. The Department of Hospitality Services requires all residence students to purchase a Meal Plan.
 
  • What is a co-ed building?
    • Your roommate will be the same sex, but you might live next door to, or down the hall from someone of the opposite sex. There are designated washrooms for men and women.
 
  • What type of computer do I need to connect to the Internet?
    • Any internet-ready computer should work on our network. All you need is a computer with an Ethernet (RJ-45) port, an RJ-45 ethernet cable and an installed web browser. While there are some wireless areas on campus, there is no wireless within residence rooms.
 
  • How do I set up my computer?
 
  • Can I have a fridge in my room?
    • Effective September 2011 students will not be permitted to bring personal refrigerators into the residence buildings.
    • You (and your roommate) may rent a small fridge from Coldex. The cost of an 8-month lease from Coldex ranges from $125 to $140, plus a $25 refundable cleaning deposit. The fridge is delivered to your room and picked up after you move out in April.
    • For more information see Refrigerator Policy.
 
  • How do I open my window all the way?
    • Your window has a stopper that prevents it from opening all the way for safety reasons. Please do not tamper with your window stoppers or you may be charged for damages.
 
  • Where do I put my garbage?
    • Full garbage bags or cans can be emptied in the garbage room located on each floor of your residence hall. The custodial staff will clear these rooms on a regular basis
    • Bates/Mary E. Keyes residents – you can dispose of your garbage using the garbage chutes located on your floor. Please take your garbage out regularly and be sure the chute is not plugged. Report plugged chutes to the Service Centre immediately.
 
  • What about recycling?
    • With need for conservation of land and water as a priority, it is important to send less waste to landfill sites, therefore, we encourage recycling.
    • McMaster University Residence Facilities in partnership with WSI (Waste Services Inc.) and a team of custodians work cooperatively together to remove recyclable products out of our residence buildings every week.
    • Recycling pick up is as follows:
      • Tuesday – Edwards, Whidden, McKay, Brandon, Woodstock, Hedden and Les Prince
      • Thursday – Keyes, Wallingford, Bates, Moulton and Matthews.
 
  • Is bicycle storage available?
    • Bikes can be stored in designated storage areas inside your building (where available). Keys will be available to sign out for the academic year from your Service Centre. You can’t leave your bike in any common room, hallway, stairwell, study or other public area because of Fire Code regulations.
 
  • Who cleans my room and the rest of the building?
    • It’s YOUR responsibility to clean your room. Vacuums can be signed out from the Service Centres. The custodial staff, who are in the building every day from 7 a.m to 3:30 p.m, take care of the basic cleaning of floor washrooms and common areas (but they don’t do dishes!) It is everyone’s responsibility to keep common areas and hallways clean and comfortable for others. Respect and take pride in your residence!
 
  • How do I let my family and friends into my residence?
    • Please make arrangements to meet your family and friends at the main building door so that you may escort them into the building.
 
  • Can I rearrange furniture in my room?
    • Yes, you may as long as you and your roommate agree, and you return the room to its original condition when you move out in April.
 
  • Can I decorate my room?
    • Decorating is important in making your room feel like home. You are not permitted to damage or alter any part of your room by drilling holes, nailing, painting, etc.
    • TIP: Sticky tabs work well for hanging posters and pictures. Don’t use Scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape or thumb tacks as they damage the paint on the walls and you are responsbile for all damages. Use the sticky tabs provided at Move-In! The Service Centres can provide additional sticky tabs to students if necessary.
 
  • Can I cook in my room?
    • No. You may use the kitchenette on your floor to make snacks as long as you provide your own cooking and eating utensils. Everyone has to work together to keep the kitchen clean; any food, utensils, dishes or containers left behind may be thrown out by the cleaning staff. Housing and Conference Services can’t be held responsible if this happens, so remember to wash up!
 
  • Can I have guests over?
    • Yes! The residence in which you live is your home. It is also the home to others, so respecting the rights of those around you is paramount to successful community living. Please refer to the Residence Guest/Escort Policy to learn more about your roles and responsibilities for guests.
 
  • Can my guests stay overnight?
    • Overnight guests are permitted in residence, as long as you’ve talked with your roommate and he/she agrees, but there are restrictions on the number of nights. For more information, please refer to the Residence Guest/Escort Policy.
 
  • Is there a curfew in residence?
    • There are no curfews in residence, however there are quiet hours.
 

Room Assignments

  • How do I find out about my room assignment?
    • You will receive confirmation of your room assignment via email in July. Once you have been contacted, you can log-in to your residence application and view your room assignment under ‘Application Status’.
 
  • How does the residence lottery work?
    • A computerized lottery is used to determine the order in which residence rooms are assigned. This process takes into consideration, but does not guarantee the preferences you list on your application.
    • As each student is assigned, the computer checks to see if the first preference listed on the application form is available. If so, the student is assigned to that room. If not, the computer checks the next preference. This continues until the student is either assigned to one of their preferences, or in the event that none of the preferences are available, assigned to another bed space.
    • During this process, the computer also checks to see if the student has applied for any lifestyle-themes (i.e substance-free) and/or whether they requested a roommate.
    • Your profile question responses on the online application are also used to determine your placement with other students.
 
  • Can I change my room assignment?
    • To be fair to everyone, it is not possible to change your assignment. Many residence students who initially express disappointment with their building assignment find that after living in their building for a week or two, they wouldn’t want to trade residences even if given the option! Every year students remind us that it’s not the building that makes residence home, it’s the people!
 
  • How do I request a single room?
    • Students can request a single room as one of their room type preferences on their application. However, since students are assigned using a random lottery process we cannot guarantee room preferences. If you have a medical request that necessitates your having a private room, you must indicate this on the “Residence Accommodation Request” portion of your online application and complete the required sections which includes an explanation of the student’s situation and documentation from an attesting professional.
 
  • Can I contact my roommate(s) before I move in?
    • You can view your roommate’s first name by visiting your application status page of the online Residence Portal. You can email a message to them by clicking on the Send Message button. Be sure to include your contact information so they can reply to you directly.
 
  • Why didn’t I get assigned to the room type I requested?
    • You were assigned to your building using a lottery system that takes into consideration, but doesn’t guarantee, the room type preferences you put on your residence application.
 
 
  • I asked to room with a friend but we weren’t assigned as roommates. Why not?
    • First Year Students wishing to room with a friend will be placed as roommates as long as both have:
      • received guaranteed residence offers
      • met the residence application and deposit deadline
      • ranked their preferences identically, and
      • requested each other as roommates
      • A valid roommate request WILL over-ride requests for single bed-space room types (i.e. if you have a valid roommate request, you will be assigned together; single room requests will not be considered).
    • Upper-Year Students:
      • Your room preference type WILL override your roommate request (i.e. if your preference is for a single room and it is available through the lottery – you will be assigned to that room type over being placed with a roommate)
    • If you did not get your requested roommate, then one of these requirements was not met.
 
  • What if I have a conflict with my roommate?
    • We emphasize a living environment that promotes mutual respect, healthy relationship development and academic support. Our capable (live-in) staff assists students in working through roommate conflicts.
Service Centres
  • What if my light bulb burns out?
 
  • What do I do if I’m locked out of my room?
    • If you are locked out of your room, go to your Service Centre and request a lock out key and access card. A Housing Assistant will check the photo ID on the Residence Portal before signing out a key and access card. This security check will ensure that a lock-out key is only issued to a resident who can prove s/he is an occupant of the locked room. You cannot authorize or send someone else to sign out a key for you. You will have 20 minutes to unlock your room, grab your keys and return the lock-out key and access card to the Service Centre. (If you have lost your room key, mailbox key and/or access card see Lost Keys).
 
  • How do I receive a package sent to me?
    • Your Housing and Conference Service Centre will contact you at your McMaster e-mail address to let you know when a package has arrived. Bring your Student ID to the Service Centre to pick it up. Sorry, we do not accept packages or items dropped off by family members or friends.
 
  • How do people send me a fax?
    • Faxes can be sent to (905) 529-3319 at the North Quad Service Centre (Commons) or (905) 527-8861 at the West Quad Service Centre (Mary E. Keyes). Make sure the sender clearly writes your name and phone number on the first page. All incoming faxes can be picked up at the appropriate Housing and Conference Service Centre.
    • The cost for incoming faxes is 50 cents for every page received.
 
  • How can I send a fax?
    • Faxes can be sent from the Service Centres. The price depends on the fax’s destination. Please call your Quad Service Centre at ext. 27222 (North Quad) or 24898 (West Quad) for more information.
 
  • Where do I pick up my mail?
    • You and your roommate(s) share a mailbox. Both of you will be given a key for your mailbox on Move-In Day.
    • Please note that all residents have a mailbox number that differs from their room number. Remember to check your mailbox regularly. Although Housing and Conference Services and other McMaster departments will distribute most of their important information to your McMaster e-mail address, you may receive some on-campus mail via your mailbox during the school year.
    • BUILDING

      MAILBOX LOCATION

      Bates Mary E. Keyes Matthews Moulton Wallingford Mailbox is located beside the Service Centre in Mary E. Keyes Residence
      Brandon Edwards Hedden Les Prince McKay Whidden Woodstock Mailbox is located in the basement of the Commons Building, Room B101E
    • Mail Delivery takes place nightly Monday to Friday.
 
  • Where do I go to send mail in residence?
    • Stamped mail can be sent from the outgoing mailbox located in your mailroom. The North Quad mailroom is located in the Commons Building basement and the West Quad mailroom is located at the end of the hall past the Mary E. Keyes Service Centre.
 
  • How can I initiate a maintenance request for my Residence Room?
    • Visit the Residence Portal in order to fill out a maintenance request. Click on Maintenance on the upper left menu bar.
 

Where can I find…?

  • McMaster Campus Partners and Resources
    • You can find a list of campus partners and resources here.