Welcome to the Residence Halls!

These pages are designed to help you make a smooth transition to campus life. Use the bookmarks to the right to help navigate through this page and to locate more useful information about moving in to the residence halls. The Move-in Checklist provides a summary of each of these steps to assist with the move-in process.

Moving In

Find out where to go and what to expect when you get here on our Residence Hall Move-in Guide.

Learn more about living in the residence halls

Paying for housing

Quarterly statements are emailed about a month before you move in. You can pay online, by check or in person.

Information about paying for housing can be found on our Financial Information page.

Email Communication

You are responsible for reading information sent to your mailbox, posted on your room door and/or sent by electronic communication to your UW email account by HFS. HFS will send most correspondence to applicants and residents via their UW email accounts. Please note that if you forward your UW email to a different account, it may be filtered, refused or treated as spam. HFS is not responsible for emails not received. To ensure delivery of emails from HFS to your email inbox, add hfsinfo@u.washington.edu and wrproc@hfs.washington.edu to your email address book or list of approved senders.

What to bring/What not to bring 

We recommend that you coordinate with your roommate(s) so that you do not bring duplicates of larger items. The less you bring, the more space you will have in your room.

Your room has You should bring
Blinds or draperies Bed pad and bedsheets (extra-long twin)
Beds Pillows and pillowcases
Desks Blankets or comforter
Bookcases Towels
Chairs Alarm clock
Dressers Study lamp (CFL or LED)
Closets or wardrobes  


Tip: Bring a tablespoon measure. The laundry machines in the halls are high-efficiency and use only two tablespoons of detergent per load.

West Campus—Cleaning Supplies

Most west campus apartments and rooms have private bathrooms and/or kitchens that residents are responsible for cleaning. We recommend you bring or purchase after your arrival the following furnishings and cleaning supplies:

Bathroom supplies to bring or buy Kitchen supplies to bring or buy
All-purpose cleaner for toilet, sink, shower and mirror Pots, pans, dishes, silverware, cups, glasses
Sponges, towels, rags Cooking utensils (can opener, spatula, etc.)
Toilet brush Dish soap, dishwasher detergent, all-purpose cleaner
Mop, dust mop, broom, dust pan Sponges, dish rags, dish towels, paper towels

Many appliances are prohibited in the residence halls due to fire-safety concerns and confined space. 

Appliances allowed Appliances prohibited
Refrigerators of less than 4.4 cubic feet (Energy Star-certified preferred) Halogen lamps
Blenders and mixers Space heaters
Hot-air popcorn poppers Air conditioners
Hot pots and coffeepots when placed on noncombustible surfaces such as ceramic tile All open-flame of open-coil appliances (e.g., toasters, toaster ovens, fondue pots)
Rice cookers Full-size appliances
Enclosed coil grills (Panini sandwich-type)  5-light floor lamps
One microwave oven per room with a 700-watt maximum and no other appliance on the same circuit (Energy Star-certified preferred) Multiple appliances that exceed the usage limits of your room


Note: For the protection of your electrical appliances and equipment, it is recommended that only Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-approved power strips with built-in surge protectors or circuit breakers be used.

Refrigerators and microwave ovens

You may rent a small micro-fridge (microwave oven and refrigerator) from Collegiate Concepts, Inc. (CCI). The cost for a micro-fridge is $209 for the academic year. Arrangements for payment and delivery may be made directly with CCI. Complete information is provided on their website. Alternatively, you may choose to bring your own refrigerator (4.4 cubic feet or less) or microwave oven (700 watt maximum).

There are no micro-fridge rental options for residents living with us during Early Fall Start.

Mercer Court and Stevens Court apartments are already furnished with a full-size refrigerator and microwave oven within each unit. (Studio units may be furnished with efficiency-sized appliances.) Residents in these apartments may not bring in additional refrigerators or microwave ovens.


Residence hall beds are extra-long, and XL twin sheets fit best. The Resident Community Student Association (RCSA) has partnered with Residence Hall Linens (RHL) to make sure our students have an easy to find, affordable way to purchase any bedding and campus living needs. Bedding items available through this program will also fit standard twin beds. Please visit RHL for more information, and to place an order.

Obtain personal property insurance

You are encouraged to insure your personal belongings. Check with your family’s insurance policy to see if your possessions are covered under that policy or if you can get renters insurance added. If not, you may wish to purchase insurance offered to UW students by an independent company.

Dining options

Ensure that you have chosen a dining level that meets your needs. Review information about the dining account and download the Dining Level Selection Guide. You may change your dining level through the day before move-in for each quarter.

Husky Card information

UW students are issued an identification card (Husky Card) that has many uses including building access and library privileges. It is also the card you use to access your dining account funds. If you don't get your Husky Card during your Advising & Orientation Session, you will need to get it from the Husky Card Account & ID Center during regular business hours.

A separate account, called the Husky Card Account, will have a $36 balance when you move in, which is automatically renewed at the beginning of each quarter. You, your parents, or anyone who knows your student number may add money to your Husky Card Account at any time. Money in this account may be used in the residence hall laundry facilities (except 2104 House), at the University Book Store, for on-campus parking, and as a back-up for you in case you run out of Resident Dining Account funds. The Husky Card Account funds are fully refundable.

How to add funds to your Husky Card Account
Online Use your credit card (Visa or MasterCard) to add funds
In person with cash Use the Card System Value Terminals in the Allen Library, Odegaard Undergraduate Library and Health Sciences Library
In person with cash or check

 1. Husky Card Account & ID Center (ground floor of Odegaard Undergraduate Library)

2. Residence hall front desks

3. Student Services Office (210 Lander Hall)


Note: When you make purchases at on-campus food venues, funds will be drawn from your Resident Dining Account until it is empty, then they will be drawn from your Husky Card Account.


Differences between the Dining Account and the Husky Card Account
Dining Account Husky Card Account
Use it in HFS restaurants, cafés, express markets and most campus vending machines Use it for campus services including laundry machines, parking, copy services and the University Book Store
  If your dining account funds are exhausted, you may use it HFS restaurants, etc.


Note: Go to the Online Card Office to deposit funds, suspend your account, check your balance or view recent transactions.

Authorize release of your information (FERPA release)

The Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents us from releasing your information (including how much you owe on your housing account) to anyone other than yourself without your authorization. You may authorize HFS to release information about your housing account (e.g., to your parents/guardians) by supplying their names on your HFS Student Profile.

Note: HFS will not release room numbers to any unauthorized person including friends, relatives and parents.

Shipping items prior to move-in

You may ship trunks and luggage prepaid to yourself using the package address for your room. Please do not ship items to arrive more than one week before you move in. All shipped items will be stored until residents retrieve them during the check-in period. The UW does not assume financial responsibility for such items.

Unfortunately, we are not able hold luggage dropped off at the desk in person.

Transportation & parking options

During move-in, once you have unloaded your car you will be directed to the nearest gatehouse to purchase parking for the remainder of the day. Parking garage locations and rates can be found on the Commuter Services website.

There are lots of ways to get around the campus and the city. Some of your options are:

The U-PASS Program

U-PASS benefits include:

  • Unlimited rides on King County Metro, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, or Everett Transit bus services and on Sound Transit’s Link light rail and Sounder commuter trains
  • Discounted carpool parking
  • Vanpool subsidies
  • Low membership rate for Zipcar
  • Discounts and special offers at more than 30 local merchants
  • Discounts on helmets, lights, pedometers and more at Hall Health (Wellness Resource Center)


Many students prefer to bring their bicycles campus. If you do, be sure to also have a good lock.

Car and Motorcycle Parking

A limited number of parking spaces on campus are reserved for residence hall students. If you must bring a vehicle to campus, you may apply for a parking space with the UW Commuter Services Office.

Living with a roommate

The transition process will be much smoother if you and your roommate(s) discuss boundaries and logistics up front. Your Resident Adviser will provide you and your roommate with a Roommate Agreement to help you start off on a good foot; they will keep it for reference, in the event a conflict arises. The questions you will be asked on the Roommate Agreement are:

The roommate relationship

What are your expectations of your roommate(s) with respect to your relationship? Do you want to be the best of friends or simply people who live together well? Keep in mind that it is natural for good friendships to develop between students who may not be roommates, and some people come to college with previously-formed friendships.

Problem solving

Do you agree to communicate with each other when there is a problem? How?


How often? How many? Use of the room and posses­sions? Advance warning? Significant other? The 9-Month Housing Agreement states that you cannot have guests for more than three consecutive nights or a total of seven days in an academic year, and guests must be escorted by their host at all times while in the residential areas of the building.

Safety concerns

How will you ensure each other’s safety and the safety of your property? (Locking the door, notifying each other if staying out late or not returning to the room, etc.)

Sleeping/waking arrangements

Light/heavy sleeper? Early/late night? Early/late morning?

Study habits

When? Where? Visitors in room/cluster/apartment? Quiet?

Cleaning the room and/or cluster

How often? What areas? Who does the cleaning?

Phone use

Phone use hours? (For instance, asking people not to call after a set time to accommodate sleep schedules.)

Tip: Honesty is the best policy. Trying to be too nice could lead to bigger issues later.

As you are thinking about these questions, keep in mind these roommate etiquette tips:

 Be considerate. Expect consideration in return.

 Be flexible. How you think about something may change. Expect contradictions, and be flexible with yourself and others.

 Be respectful. Don’t assume or expect that your roommate(s) and neighbors will view things as you do. Work to understand differ­ences in attitudes and in people.

 Cooperate with others. Compromise. Living with other people challenges you to find ways in which all involved can be win­ners, but this does not mean you have to be less than satisfied.

 Experiment. Along with your academic endeavors, living with someone is an educa­tional experience. Experimenting will mean trying new approaches and testing ideas.

 Be independent. Being a good roommate does not mean agreeing with everything your roommate(s) suggests; on the other hand, it doesn’t mean being disagreeable or getting your own way all the time. With experience and practice, you’ll learn to find a balance. Independence also means devel­oping outside interests and friendships.

 Be aware of rights and responsibilities. In exercising your individual rights, do not exceed responsible boundaries or infringe on the rights of your roommate(s) or others in the residence halls.

Living in a community

Living on campus offers you a unique and exciting opportunity to learn about people and their cultures and lifestyles. Share your experiences with others; there are few times in our lives when we have the chance to live closely with so many different people.

A note on difference

The UW and the city of Seattle are places of great diversity. Each person is unique, from a particular place in the broad spectrum of society. Strive to understand the individual characteristics of those around you, especially your roommate(s). As you engage in daily activities and interactions, challenge yourself to learn from others. Give to others the respect and tolerance that you desire. Remember that while each of us has the right to our own beliefs, these beliefs in no way give anyone the right to denigrate others on the basis of national origin, gender, race, religious affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression or age.

Good communication

Good communication is the basis for positive relationships, especially with people who live in the same room or community. Talking with your roommate(s) about your communication hab­its will help you develop and sustain a good relationship. Talk about your expectations of one another right away. It is important that you agree on how you will live together. Don’t wait until conflict arises to begin talking about how you want to share the room.

Ask for assistance

If you need help solving a problem involv­ing your roommate(s), neighbors or clustermates, you can talk to your Resident Adviser or Resident Director. They will assist you in finding a solution on your own or, if necessary, will intervene when a situation cannot be resolved by dialogue and communication.

Privacy and safety

Resident safety is one of the UW’s highest priorities. Our safety policy was developed in conjunction with UW regulations and Washington state statutes regarding student privacy. HFS will not, under any circumstances, release room numbers or telephone numbers to any unauthorized person including friends, rela­tives and parents. Although this policy may seem inconvenient at times, it provides residents protection and a secure living environment within the UW. We encour­age students to make sure their families and friends have their address, as well as room and telephone numbers.

Policy: HFS uses email to communicate with residents. Please check your UW email account frequently, and add our address (hfsinfo@hfs.washington.edu) to your list of safe senders.

Sustainability in the halls

Ultimately it is up to all of us to take positive action to reduce our impact on the environment. With your help, the UW and HFS are working to create a culture of sustainability. Students living in the residence halls are encouraged to participate in sustainable practices, reducing both their carbon footprint and their day-to-day environmental impact.

We are careful to conserve both energy and water, and we encourage you to do the same. 

  • Students and staff work together to replace wasteful bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
  • Everyone can do their part by monitoring how much water they use and by turning off electronics devices, appliances and lights when not in use.

 Other HFS efforts include:

  • We use local and sustainably-grown foods to provide you with dining options that are healthy, not just for you but for the planet too.
  • Everyone in HFS participates in the UW Dining composting program, which reduces waste (food scraps and to-go containers and utensils) and saves money.
  • We provide washable service ware in all of our dining areas for those who want to eat in.

 HFS works hard to be ecologically responsible, and you have an important part to play. Consider the following:

  • Carefully assess what you need to bring, and talk to your roommates about what can be shared.
  • If possible, leave your car at home. Students and staff bike, walk and take the bus, and the U-PASS is the best transportation deal in Seattle!
  • Choose Energy Star-certified products to ensure energy efficiency when purchasing appliances, lighting and electronics.
  • Use CFLs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in your lamps and task lights.
  • Carry a reusable mug for coffee; many merchants (including campus cafés and espresso bars) offer a discount to customers who have their own cups.

If you want to get more involved with sustainability in the residence halls, visit a Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) meeting.

Diversity in the halls

You have decided to join a new community, one that very much values the diversity of its members. With more than 5,000 students, the on-campus residential community boasts an array of values, beliefs, perspectives and abilities. This rich diversity is one of the reasons living in residence is such a valuable and worthwhile experience!

HFS strives to create an environment of mutual respect. In addition to offering many programs and services that support this goal, HFS works collaboratively with numerous offices on campus to advise and support our work and our students, including the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, the Ethnic Cultural Center/Theatre, the UW Women’s Center, Hillel, the Office of International Education, the Q Center, the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) and Disability Resources for Students.

Whether it is through our collaboration with other offices, special event programming in the residence halls or a social on your residence hall floor, HFS staff strive to ensure that residents get to know each other and gain a better understanding of others. We ask that you do your part by respecting others’ traditions and beliefs. We set this expectation for you with the following statement:

Everyone who chooses to live in or visit our residential communities has their own beliefs and must understand that acts that denigrate an individual’s national origin, race, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, heritage, culture, religion, disability or age have no place in our community. Strive to understand the individual differences of those around you, especially your roommate and neighbors. As you engage in daily activities and interactions, challenge yourself to learn from others. Give others the respect and tolerance that you desire.

If you become aware of any situation or incident where this community standard of mutual respect has been violated, please discuss it with a Residential Life staff member. You may wish to talk with a staff member about the following circumstances: homophobic comments, ethnic or racial slurs, any action or situation involving physical or mental abuse, threats to a person’s health or welfare, offensive displays and pranks. Though some of these acts may be subtle in nature, it is important that staff members are made aware so they can appropriately address the situation. You may wish to contact your Resident Adviser or speak to your Resident Director in the Residential Life Office (1–6 pm, Monday through Friday, or by appointment). All communications will be handled with sensitivity and discretion.

Setting this standard for our residential community and having high expectations of our residents ensures that students can have a productive, meaningful and personally-rewarding experience while living on campus.

“My experience in the residence halls has truly been a life-changing one. I have learned so much about diversity, and it has really opened my mind about this forever-changing world. I have been challenged to learn how to live with others, and I know that I am a better roommate and person because of it. Not only that, I have made some amazing friends from all different backgrounds who I could never have met otherwise!”
—Beth G., Senior


In order to live on campus, you must provide HFS with your cell phone number. The number you provide will be considered your Primary Phone Number, and will be used in the event of an emergency.

Some residents may use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services through their personal computers using private carriers. The UW cannot guarantee the quality of the VoIP connection because it depends on the varying bandwidth availability throughout the day.

Courtesy telephones are located on every residence hall floor. These telephones may be used for outgoing local calls or toll-free calls only. They are not programmed to receive calls. In emergency situations, the residence hall front desk can take a brief message.

The Red Emergency Backpack

 New residents will be issued emergency kits when they check in. The kit will include a three-day supply of food bars and water, a blanket, a whistle and an illuminating device. Plan to keep your kit intact in your room for as long as you are in residence.

 If you have lived on campus in the past, you were issued an emergency kit when you checked in for the first time. The kit is meant to be kept in your room, and you are expected to bring it with you when you return to campus.

Room Condition Report and Condition of Premises Form

When you move in to your room, you are expected to review the Inspection Report for your room and apartment or cluster, if applicable. A copy will be left in your room. This form may be titled a “Room Condition Report”, a “Condition of Premises Form” (Mercer Court or Stevens Court), and if you live in McMahon, a “Cluster Lounge and Bathroom Report” will be found in your cluster lounge. The reports provide you with information about any existing damage to furniture, surfaces and fixtures, or items missing from your room, apartment or cluster. You should inspect your room/apartment/cluster upon arrival and review the report for any errors or missing information about the condition of the space and furnishings. If there is any undocumented damage or items that are missing requiring updates on the report, update the report and turn it in to your Resident Adviser.

When you vacate, housing staff will use the report to determine if there are additional damages or missing items. Any damages not declared on the report will be your responsibility and will be charged to your account when you vacate.

Dealing with bedbugs

Infestations of bedbugs are rare at the UW. Here are the ways you can prevent their appearance and spread.

Get involved in your residence hall community

You go to class. You study. You have fun with new friends in your residence hall. You attend programs and activities that your Resident Adviser organizes. How about getting involved in your residence hall community?

Benefits of being involved
  • Meet more people
  • Gain leadership experience
  • Learn about other opportunities on campus
  • Expand your resume; companies and organizations are looking for people who have both academic knowledge as well as leadership skills
  • Create yourself; college years are a time of exploration
  • Test yourself; move beyond your comfort zone
How to get involved

 Apply for positions on your Hall Council! There are many different opportunities, depending on your interest and availability:

  • Become a member of the Executive Board, and help improve the quality of life in the residence halls
  • Join or chair a committee to put on hall events
  • Represent the other members of your community in organizations like RCSA, ASUW or SEED
  • Voice your opinions about life or food in the residence halls
  • Be a part of making changes that improve the quality of life in the residence halls

Become involved with the  Residential Community Student Association (RCSA)  and its committees:

  • Be the first to hear about changes being made in the residence halls and across campus
  • Plan campus-wide events
  • Provide valuable input and feedback to UW Dining and housing facilities
  • Voice concerns or questions you have about life on campus, and get answers!

Consider the  National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) :

  • NRHH is an honor society for students living in the residence halls that focuses on recognition, community service, leadership and academics

Join Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED):

  • SEED’s purpose is to raise awareness of and promote environmentally-sustainable practices
  • SEED was instrumental in bringing recycling and composting programs to the residence halls

Resource: The Residential Life Leadership Office & Resource Center, located in Poplar Hall, is available for students involved in any of the organizations listed above. It is also the place to ask questions regarding involvement opportunities.

Apply to work for HFS

Our Desk Services, UW Dining and Residential Life units have job opportunities for students in the residence halls and throughout campus. Apply before moving on campus! Students are paid an hourly wage and receive valuable training and experience. Positions fill quickly, so apply ASAP!

The UW is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.