Top 20 Questions Parents Ask About Living On Campus
Q. When should I get involved in problems at school?
A. 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 that prohibits the release of privileged information to anyone except authorized personnel. A student may authorize you to access privileged information, but they must first complete the release form that can be found in the Office of Residence Life.
Q. What if my son/daughter has special needs?
A. The Academic Resource Center on campus 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.
Q. What if my student does not get along with his/her roommate?
A. We always encourage students to talk out problems before going to a Resident Assistant (RA) or a staff member. Each year we have students complete a roommate contract to help guide rules and regulations among roommates. If the roommates still are not getting along, have your son/daughter talk with their RA. The RA has access to many resources and can tell them the next steps in solving roommate conflicts. If one of the residents would like to move out of the room, he or she will need to talk with a residence life staff member to discuss options of available spaces on campus.
Q. What if my son/daughter gets sick? Or Homesick?
A. Students who get sick on campus are encouraged to seek medical attention from the school nurse or one of the local hospitals. We also encourage students to go home so that they can get healthy and do not infect others in the community. It is always important that your son/daughter contact their RA and professors when missing classes or going home for a medical condition. If your child is homesick, try to find out what the problem is. Most of the time there is an underlying issue, such as roommates, school, friends, etc. We also have resources on campus for students such as RAs, professional staff members, counseling services, and the school registered nurse.
Q. Why was my son/daughter placed in Bonaventure vs. Marian?
Student placement in a residence hall is based on date of contract. The earlier we receive a student's contract and the $100 deposit, the more likely we are to place them into their requested hall. Sometimes we cannot accommodate all students' requests, but we do our best.
Q. What are the residence hall rules?
A. 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 a handbook when he/she arrives for the first time. A copy of the rules and regulations can also be found on the Viterbo website.
Q. Can students loft/bunk their beds? What can't they bring to their room?
A. Yes. Students can loft/bunk their beds. Most of our beds already have the capability of bunking together. We also have lofted beds in some of the three-person rooms. If you choose to bring your own loft, it must be secure and free standing. Students can bring most anything that they would need to personalize their living space. For safety reasons, we ask that you not bring anything that has an open coil (toaster, hot plate, etc.). And, due to wattage issues, we also ask that you not bring a microwave. We provide a toaster, microwave, stove, and large refrigerator in each of the 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.
Q. What is the food like?
A. To enhance the dining experience, the cafeteria offers everything from restaurant-style dining to convenience items. The dining services staff continuously create new great tastes as they come along—offering traditional American cuisine, international fare, and healthy choices including vegetarian options.
Q. Is my son/daughter required to have a meal plan?
A. Yes. All students living on the Viterbo campus are required to carry a meal plan. All freshman residents are required to be on one of the "19" or "14" plans. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors have the option to choose any meal plan. Your completed housing agreement is all you need to sign up for one of the meal plans.
Q. What about parking on campus?
A. Guaranteed permits will be awarded on a lottery basis to senior, junior, and sophomore residents, with seniors receiving priority over juniors, and juniors receiving priority over sophomores. A waiting 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. An unlimited number of hunting permits will be sold to resident students who desire parking, but either were not awarded, or are not interested in, a guaranteed parking permit. These hunting permits will be sold on a first come, first served basis to senior, junior, and sophomore residents. Freshman residents are ineligible for these permits.
Q. How safe is campus?
A. Campus safety personnel are available at Viterbo 24 hours each 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 office hours for the director of campus safety are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. 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. Still, a truly safe campus is achieved only with the cooperation of the entire campus community. The university crime report can be found on the Viterbo website.
Q. What if my son/daughter is having difficulty in school or needs personal counseling?
A. The Academic Resource Center on campus 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. If your son/daughter needs personal counseling for any reason, there is a campus counselor who is a senior-level administrator with a master's degree in counseling and 33 years of experience working with college students. In addition, we have campus ministry, academic counseling, and career services on campus for any of your student's needs.
Q. Are there activities for my son/daughter in which to be involved?
A. The Office of Campus Activities and Orientation organizes and oversees events ranging from VU After Dark late night events to diversity activities to club and organization events to leadership opportunities. The Office of Campus Activities and Orientation provides Viterbo students with a variety of entertainment.
Q. Who is the point of contact for parents?
A. We would encourage you to talk with your student first. If you are still looking for more information, you are always welcome to call the Office of Residence Life at 608-796-3116.
Q. Residence Assistants (RAs) work very closely with students in the residence halls. What type of training do these students receive?
A. 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, and much more. The RAs also receive training throughout the year to keep them refreshed and updated.
Q. Are there laundry facilities in the residence halls?
A. 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 to use for the laundry machines. The laundry machines on campus do not accept coins.
Q. Is student housing guaranteed for four years?
A. 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.
Q. What is the process to cancel the application?
A. 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 need to inform the Office of Residence Life in writing. After the start of the academic year, an appeal must be made to the director of residence life. Read the housing contract terms and conditions for more details about canceling.
Q. Are the residence halls open during scheduled breaks?
A. 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 those periods. Exceptions are made only for students whose residences are more than 1,000 miles away from the university.
Q. What if something breaks in the room or needs to be fixed?
A. We have awesome maintenance and custodial personnel 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.
Q. How much parental involvement is too much?
A. From The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up (Free Press), Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore, the following parental involvement is too much:
- Using the cell phone to provide wake-up calls for their kids 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.