Residence Hall Living

Welcome Week

Housing and University Police want to make your arrival on campus a smooth one. Before coming to campus, go to for maps and instructions on how to get to the unloading zone for your residence hall. Once you reach the unloading zone, check in and remove personal belongings from your vehicle and then immediately move your vehicle to a long-term parking lot.

Residence hall food services will be available during Welcome Week. Parents and family members can dine in any open dining commons during Welcome Week for $7 per person.

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Living in the Penn State Community

When you live in the residence halls, you live in a community—one that encourages involvement and growth, promotes an appreciation of differences, and requires mutual respect and consideration of others. Your experience in the residence hall community will not be limited to academics. You'll be exploring new avenues of your life—making new friends, meeting diverse people from around the world, gaining more independence, and juggling many activities.

Living with a Roommate

Living with a roommate is an important part of a new student's college experience. While this may raise some anxiety, it is also an opportunity to learn more about yourself and others—and learn how to communicate effectively. Information about roommate relationships and other residence hall topics will be discussed during Welcome Week, and can be found on the Residence Life website at

Making Yourself at Home

Residence hall rooms are furnished with all the basics you'll need. Each residence area provides additional amenities to make your stay complete—dining and laundry facilities; study and social lounges; computer labs; and a commons desk where you can pick up mail and packages, send and receive faxes, and obtain a temporary Penn State id+ card if needed. We encourage you to bring personal items such as decorations and music to help you feel at home in your room. Go to for more information on what to bring and what to leave behind.  

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Settling In

You'll find many academic and social programs to help with your transition to the University, beginning with Welcome Week activities. You'll learn about academic opportunities during academic department meetings and programs, take a campus tour, catch the latest movie with your new friends, and hang out at LateNight at the HUB-Robeson Center, which offers alcohol-free activities every weekend.

Getting Involved

Residence Life provides a variety of programs and activities in the residence areas throughout the academic year. Cultural Lounges are centrally located in each area for the convenience of students who wish to attend programs and events dedicated to issues of diversity, and many opportunities exist for those who want to get involved in student organizations. Each residence area has a government that represents student concerns to Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life.

Staying Safe

Penn State has established a number of security measures in the residence halls. Each residence hall on campus has a card access system that is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week whenever the halls are occupied. Students have access only to the building in which they live. In addition, the Residence Hall Security Unit checks for propped doors, monitors activities in the commons areas, and assists students with the card access system.

Residents must also do their part to maintain a secure living environment by following certain guidelines, such as keeping room doors locked at all times and not using flammable items. Candles, incense, and the smoking of cigarettes are prohibited in the residence halls. Resident safety will be discussed in greater detail during Welcome Week. To review the residence hall community safety guidelines, see the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations found in the Housing Contract packet and at

Exploring Your Dining Options

Each residence area features a variety of dining options prepared by a professional staff. You'll find bountiful selections at the all-you-care-to-eat dining commons, à la carte options in the commons and campus restaurants, and grab 'n go items in the snack bars, convenience stores, and coffee venues. Each dining commons offers choices for healthy and vegetarian diets, and food items are labeled with nutrition information.

Special dinners are held in the dining commons throughout the semester to add excitement with diverse menu offerings, decorations, and entertainment. The dining commons also partner with the Office of Physical Plant and the College of Agricultural Sciences in a comprehensive composting program; you can simply toss your soiled paper napkins into the labeled barrels to take an active role.

Making purchases is easy with the convenience of the Campus Meal Plan, which you'll access through your id+ card. For more information about dining on campus visit