Residence Life

residence life girls dorm

Top 20 Questions Parents Ask

Why was my son/daughter placed in Bonaventure vs. Marian?

Student placement in a residence hall is based on date of contract and deposit. The earlier we receive a student's contract and the $100 deposit, the more likely we will be able to place your student in their requested hall. We are not always able to accommodate all student requests, but we do our best. 

What are the residence hall rules?

Just like any campus and housing facility, there are rules on our campus. All university and housing rules can be found in the student handbook each student receives when he/she arrives on campus for the first time.  All students are responsible for knowing the code of conduct. A copy of the our student code of conduct  can also be found online.

Can students loft/bunk their beds? What can't they bring to their room?

Yes. Students can loft/bunk their beds. Some of our beds have the capability of bunking together; all beds have the ability to be lofted. As a convenience to our students, we offer the option of renting a loft.  Information on loft rentals will be mailed with the housing placement information in the beginning of July. Due to safety concerns, we do not allow students to bring/build their own lofts.

What should students NOT bring to their rooms? 

Students can bring most anything that they would need to personalize their living space. For safety reasons, items with an open coil (toaster, hot plate, etc.) are not allowed.  Items that could be considered a fire hazard (candles) are also not permitted in campus housing. Due to wattage issues, we also ask that you not bring a microwave or an air conditioner. We provide a toaster, microwave, stove, and large refrigerator in each of the air-conditioned floor lounges. Students are also asked not to bring items of value. We do not have many problems with theft, but we cannot guarantee the security of valuables.

What about parking on campus?

Parking permits will be awarded on a lottery basis through the business office to senior, junior, and sophomore residents, with seniors receiving priority over juniors, and juniors receiving priority over sophomores. A wait list, based on the results of the lottery, will be maintained for the academic year. First-year transfer student residents and freshman residents are ineligible for these permits. Students without parking permits can park on the street.  Please keep in mind the City of La Crosse follows alternate-side parking rules from October 1 through April 1.  Parking Policies

Are there laundry facilities in the residence halls?

Yes. Laundry facilities are located in the basement or terrace levels of each building. When your student arrives on campus for the first time, he/she will be given a laundry card to which money can be added for use with the laundry machines. The laundry machines on campus do not accept coins.

Are the residence halls open during scheduled breaks?

Residence halls are closed at 6 p.m. on the last day of class before winter and spring break. Residents in Bonaventure and Marian Halls are expected to vacate their rooms during these periods. Exceptions are made only for students whose residences are more than 500 miles away from the university and must be requested in advance via the Office of Student Life.

Is student housing guaranteed for four years?

We cannot guarantee housing; however, we do our best to accommodate every student who is requesting housing. Each March, your student will have the opportunity to go through the housing lottery to determine housing availability on campus.

What is the process to cancel the application?

We understand that your student may choose to cancel his/her contract. Students wishing to cancel their contract before the start of the academic year must inform the Office of Residence Life in writing (can be sent from the student’s Viterbo email account). After the start of the academic year, an appeal must be made to the Assistant Director of Residence Life and charges may apply.  Deposits are refundable only until May 1 prior to the start of an academic year. Please read the housing contract terms and conditions for more details about canceling. 

How safe is campus?

Campus safety personnel are available at Viterbo 24 hours each day, every day, all year. Security officers are trained to handle a variety of calls and complaints from the Viterbo University community. Security officers have the authority to ask individuals for identification, to determine whether those persons have lawful business with the university, and to issue parking tickets billed through the business office. The safety and well-being of the Viterbo campus community is a priority. Many campus and community officials are involved in keeping the campus safe. The university crime report can be found on the Viterbo website. Campus Safety and Security   

Is my son/daughter required to have a meal plan?

Yes. All students living in Viterbo on-campus housing are required to purchase a meal plan. Starting in the fall of 2018, all first-year residents will be required to purchase the 7 Day All Access + $100 V-Hawk Bucks Meal Plan Sophomores, juniors, and seniors have the option to choose the 7 Day All Access Plan, the 15 Meals Per Week Flex Plan, or the 80 Block + $300 V-Hawk Bucks Meal Plan. Your completed housing agreement is all you need to sign up for one of the meal plans. For more information, please visit the Campus Dining website  

What is the food like?

To enhance the dining experience, the Marian Dining Hall (The Caf) offers everything from restaurant-style dining to convenience items. The dining services staff continuously creates new great tastes as they come along, offering traditional American cuisine, international fare, and healthy choices including vegetarian options.  In addition to The Caf, Viterbo also offers the Crossroads POD and Grill in the Student Union and Einstein’s Bros. Bagels at Franny’s near the Library entrance.

Residence Assistants (RAs) work very closely with students in the residence halls. What type of training do these students receive?

The RAs arrive two weeks prior to the halls opening each semester. During these two weeks, the RAs go through intensive training which involves learning about campus resources, emergency procedures, student programming, CPR training, conflict resolution, and much more. The RAs also receive training throughout the year - including an extensive training before spring semester - to keep them refreshed and updated.

What if something breaks in the room or needs to be fixed?

Viterbo University has fantastic maintenance and custodial staff on campus. If something should break in the room or need to be fixed, your student should inform his/her RA so that a maintenance request can be submitted.

What if my son/daughter is homesick?  What if he/she gets sick?

Being homesick at the beginning of the school year is common. We suggest that students stay on campus for the first few weeks of school to learn their way around, get involved in on-campus activities, and make new friends. Sometimes there may be an underlying issue. If you believe this is the case, ask your student to speak to his or her RA, a professional staff member in the Office of Student Life, the school counselor, or the school nurse. Should your student become ill during the school year, he or she will be encouraged to seek medical attention from the school nurse or one of the local hospitals. It is always important that your son/daughter contact their RA and professors when missing classes or going home for a medical condition.      

Are there activities for my son/daughter in which to be involved?

The Office of Student Life includes Campus Activities and Student Engagement (which organizes and oversees events ranging from VU After Dark late night events to diversity activities to club and organization events to leadership opportunities) and the Center for Student Engagement (where students can sign up to volunteer via Service Saturdays, our monthly campus-wide service initiative, or via Ugetconnected, Viterbo's online clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities in the La Crosse area).

What if my student and his/her roommate have a conflict?

Each year we have students complete a roommate success plan to help guide the rules for living together. Should a conflict arise, we always encourage students to talk out problems before going to a Resident Assistant (RA) or a staff member.  If the roommates need some assistance with the issue, have your son/daughter talk with their RA who has access to many resources and can tell them the next steps in solving roommate conflicts. If, in the end, one of the residents would like to move out of the room, he or she will need to talk with a residence life professional staff member to discuss options of available spaces on campus.

What if my son/daughter is having difficulty in school or has special needs?

The Academic Resource Center (located on the 3rd floor of Murphy Center) provides peer tutoring, writing assistance, drop-in tutoring, workshops, math assistance, test accommodations, and much more. These services are available to all Viterbo students. We encourage students to stop at the Academic Resource Center anytime to get help with homework or to ask questions. We also encourage students to talk to their advisor on a regular basis. The Academic Resource Center also offers accommodations for students who are learning disabled or physically challenged.  Residence life staff will work with you and your student to accommodate the needs of your student as he/she transitions to on-campus living.  Academic Resource Center  

What if my son/daughter needs personal counseling? 

Our Counseling Services staff is committed to the mental health and well-being of our Viterbo students. The services they provide are free of charge and foster the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational and physical development of each student. The team is committed to addressing the students’ mental health concerns through direct service to individuals and groups, program planning and policy development. More information can be found on the Counseling Services website .

When should I get involved in problems at school?

The college years are years of growth and maturity for your child. Therefore, as much as possible, we like students to gain experience handling their own affairs in our education-centered, student-centered environment. However, we understand that you know your child best and you know when to step in. We encourage a parent to get involved when they feel that their child needs help or is in danger. As much as we would like to tell you everything that is going on with your child, we do have the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) that prohibits the release of privileged information to anyone except authorized personnel. Your student may authorize you to access his/her privileged information, but they must first complete the release form that can be found in the Office of Student Life.

How much parental involvement is too much?

To refer to the experts: The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up (Free Press) authors Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore classify the following parental involvement as too much:

  • Using the cell phone to provide wake-up calls for their students or to remind them of an upcoming test or paper.
  • Asking for copies of a student's syllabuses in order to provide reminders about due dates.
  • Expecting to hear from their child every day. (And calling the college in a panic if they don't.)
  • Editing their child's college papers and assignments by email.
  • Responding to a child's complaint about a professor by contacting the professor.
  • Becoming overly involved in the ups and downs of a child's social or romantic life.
  • Reading a child's Facebook site constantly and asking personal questions or making judgments about the content.
  • Getting involved in a child's ordinary roommate conflict by contacting the roommate, the roommate's parents, residence assistant, or other housing official.

Who is the point of contact for parents?

With any questions or concerns you may have, please be sure to talk with your student first. If you are still looking for more information, you are always welcome to call or email the Office of Student Life at 608-796-3116 or residencelife@viterbo.edu.