Frequently Asked Questions
From what to pack, to how we place roommates—we’re sure you have lots of questions. Plus, moving away from home for the first time can be a big step! We’ve put together a few FAQs for you to review before coming to Residence. Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch with us.
Am I eligible for Residence?
To be eligible for residence, you must be a single student without dependents who has been admitted for full-time studies at Western's main campus. Students who accept an academic offer from Brescia, Huron or King's are not eligible to live in our residences.
Am I guaranteed a spot in Residence?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, are coming directly from high school, and received an academic offer to attend Western for first-year full time studies, you will automatically receive a guaranteed residence offer. You will have the opportunity to rank your residence buildings, indicate Living-Learning Community preferences, make meal plan selections, and note other lifestyle preferences. Please note that, while we do our best to accommodate your requests, we are unable to guarantee that you will be placed accordingly. However, if you work hard at your studies and take advantage of the many opportunities for academic support in residence, you will enjoy a successful experience in any of our residences.
If your final admission average for university is 90% or higher and you live in residence in your first year, you will be guaranteed on-campus accommodation for your second year as long as you submit your request by the deadline indicated via email.
How do I get into Residence after my first year?
All students who are single and studying full time on Main Campus are welcome to apply to live in Residence after first year. Applications are available online in mid-November via the myHousing Portal, and the placement is first-come, first-served. Returning students are guaranteed placement in a single room in either an upper-year or first-year building, even if you are not a student leader.
Married students or students with families are not eligible for residence and should contact Platt's Lane Estates.
How do I pay my residence fees?
Residence and Tuition fees will be provided on one Statement of Account in your Student Center. Payments toward your Statement of Account should be made to the Office of the Registrar. Please follow the payment methods listed on the Office of the Registrar’s website.
When do I pay my residence fees?
The first instalment deadline of Residence and Tuition fees can be found on your Statement of Account in your Student Center. If your first instalment is not received by the deadline, your accommodation may be cancelled. For more information regarding payments and instalments, please visit the Registrar’s website.
Where can I check my residence fees?
You can view your residence fees by logging into your Student Center and viewing your Statement of Account. You will need your Western Identity (Western user ID and password) to log in. Please note that the balance reflects transactions processed as of the previous business day, and this information may not be available until after building assignments are announced. Transactions that have not yet been processed by the Residence Admissions Office will not be reflected on the statement, and as such, it may not be an up-to-date balance at the time of viewing.
Do I receive a tax receipt for living in residence?
The Residence Admissions Office does not produce tax receipts for students living in residence as per CRA Guidelines. Ontario students may claim an Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit of $25 on Form ON-BEN. No receipt is required for this claim. For more information on the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Finance website.
Residence Refunds & Withdrawals
How do I withdraw from residence?
Withdrawal will be contingent on your assuming financial responsibility for your full fee (including meal plan overhead costs) until a replacement, acceptable to the Division of Housing and Ancillary Services, has taken up residence and has assumed financial responsibility for the remainder of the full residence fee. Prior to leaving, you are also required to fill out a withdrawal form, which is available at your Residence front desk.
Is there a fee for withdrawing from residence?
All students who withdraw from residence or are required to withdraw for any reason whatsoever, or who have had their residence contracts terminated, will be assessed a withdrawal fee, not as a penalty but as liquidated damages to cover the Division of Housing and Ancillary Services' costs. As all residents are required to be full-time students of Western University, if you withdraw from the University, you will be required to withdraw from residence, and will be assessed the withdrawal fee. In addition, if the withdrawal is the result of a contract termination, the University reserves the right to charge any remaining residence room and meal plan overhead charges.
What if I decide to cancel my residence offer before September?
If you decide to cancel your residence offer before the academic year commences, half of your residence prepayment will be refunded to you if your written notice of cancellation is received by the Residence Admissions Office by the deadline. If you cancel your residence offer after that date, you will forfeit your entire residence prepayment. If you are an upper-year student, and are not deemed full-time or are not academically admissible according to the Registrar, your residence contract will be cancelled and your residence prepayment will be refunded.
What if I decide to transfer to an affiliated college of the University?
If, after accepting residence accommodation in main campus residence, you elect to transfer to one of the affiliated colleges (Brescia, Huron, or King's) your residence prepayment fee will be forfeited, and you will be subject to all applicable charges and withdrawal regulations.
What if I decide to transfer to University Apartments or Platts Lane Estates?
No transfer of your prepayment will be permitted from the residence halls to Platt’s Lane Estates or University Apartments and vice-versa.
I'm an upper-year student. What if I'm not accepted into my program?
If you are not accepted to a limited admission program (e.g. law, medicine, dentistry, etc.) at Western, but have been admitted to the same program at another university, you will be refunded the full residence prepayment on the condition that you submit a written request with supporting documentation for the refund within the current academic year.
What options are available to me if I have money left on my meal plan at the end of the academic year?
The food credit portion of your meal plan is refundable. The overhead cost is non-refundable. If your remaining combined balance of residence and flex dollars is more than $50, you can request a refund with a processing fee of $40 that will be deducted from your remaining residence meal plan balance; otherwise, any remaining balance will be automatically transferred to the Campus Meal Plan. You will be able to request a meal plan refund via the myHousing Portal in April until the deadline. If you do not submit a request for a refund by the deadline, your meal plan balance will be automatically transferred to the Campus Meal Plan.
Can I continue to use my residence dollars or flex dollars after I have submitted the Request for Refund form?
You can continue to use your residence dollars and flex dollars until the refund process is initiated. The amount refunded will be based on your remaining balance at the point the refund process is initiated less the processing fee.
When will my account be accessible to me if my funds are transferred to the Campus Meal Plan?
If your account is transferred, your funds will likely be accessible to you in the summer. Therefore, if you remain in London over the summer, you can access the account if you wish to make purchases on Main Campus or from off-campus partners.
For more information, or if you decide you would like a refund after your fees are transferred, please contact Campus Meal Plan Office to arrange for a refund.
If I return to residence in the Fall for my upper years, will my money be transferred to my residence account?
Yes. Remaining funds at the end of the summer will be transferred to your flex dollar account. This transfer takes place a few days prior to move-in day.
How am I assigned to a Residence building?
After you’ve submitted your Residence Placement Questionnaire, and received your Residence prepayment confirmation email, you will be assigned a random computer-generated number in our system. When your number is drawn, we will assign you to your first choice residence building, if it is not yet at capacity. If your first choice building is full, we will assign you to your second choice, and so on. We cannot not disclose your number ranking, but assure you that we take your lifestyle preferences into consideration when placing you.
The program considers the information that you provide in the online Residence Placement Questionnaire, including lifestyle, building and roommate preferences, as well as other information you tell us about yourself.
We reserve the right to assign rooms based on availability, including combining multiple residents into rooms, within reasonable limits of safety and comfort, should situations of high-demand arise. Although you are given an option to tell us where you prefer to be placed, we are unable to guarantee that you will be placed in a building that is among your preferred choices. Placement in the building of your last choice is a possibility based on situations of high demand.
Do my marks impact my Residence building placement?
If you are a President's or Faculty Entrance Scholarship recipient, we will accommodate you in your first choice of residence in a single room, unless you request a double room. If you have a 95% or higher entering average based on your mid-term marks, you will be accommodated in one of your top three residence choices. For 95% or higher residence placements, a double- or single-room assignment is dependent on your random computer-generated number.
Any student who enters university with a final admission average of 90% or higher, and lives in residence for their first year, will be guaranteed a space in residence for their second year.
Does completing my Residence Placement Questionnaire and submitting my prepayment early give me an advantage in the building-selection process?
Completing your Residence Placement Questionnaire and submitting your prepayment earlier than the deadline does not give you an advantage in the building selection process. However, we do recommend submitting early, as it allows time for you to change your choices, purchase tenant insurance, as well as familiarize yourself with the questions and Residence expectations.
When will I know my room assignment?
You will find out your room assignment and your roommate's name when you arrive. We are unable to inform you of either your room location or your roommate's name until that time because we will be assigning rooms right up until move-in day.
Can I move to a different Residence building if it’s not the one I want?
We understand that not getting your first choice building may be disappointing, but we assure you, we work very hard to ensure the Residence experience and amenities are equal across all buildings. Regardless of what building you are in, fostering academic success is our priority. Residence student leaders live alongside you to facilitate academic programming and connect you to exclusive resources.
There are generally no vacancies in residence for the first academic quarter. Therefore, building and room changes are only considered (or required) after Thanksgiving. These switches occur at the discretion of the Residence Life Management Team under exceptional circumstances. You will be charged or credited accordingly for any differences in room or meal plan rates between residence rooms and/or buildings. Roommate mediation will always be the first choice of resolution to any requests for change due to a roommate dispute.
Can I live in a single room?
Suite-style residences are all single rooms and there are a limited number of single rooms in the traditional- and hybrid-style residences. While most of these hybrid- and traditional-style single rooms are assigned to upper-year students, there may be some available for first-year students. Single rooms are assigned on factors such as specific needs, age, and computer generated number, etc. If you require priority placement due to health concerns or other factors, you must submit a Residence Priority Consideration Form.
In some cases, students who requested a single room but were placed in a double room may still be moved if a suitable vacancy occurs. If you are moved from double- to single-room accommodation prior to your move-in day, you will be notified through your Western provided e-mail, and your residence fees will be adjusted accordingly. Any moves from double- to single-room accommodation after move-in day will be at the discretion of the Residence Life Management Team.
If you are moved from a double to a single room, you will be responsible for paying the single-room rate, which will be prorated from the time the offer of single-room accommodation is accepted.
How are roommates assigned?
Our roommate-matching process has received many compliments from students over the years. We make every effort to match people with similar lifestyle habits, such as whether they study with or without music, whether they prefer to go to bed early, how tidy they prefer their surroundings, and more. We recommend you fill out your Residence Placement Questionnaire honestly so we can match you accurately.
Can I request a roommate?
You may request one roommate in any style of building (first-year students). You will be placed with a requested roommate provided that:
- You both receive residence offers, submit your Residence prepayment and complete your Residence Placement Questionnaires before the deadline.
- You both join the same roommate group in the myHousing Portal.
- You both rank your preferences identically. Please note: You and your requested roommate must be in the same faculty/program in order to be placed together on a faculty-based Living-Learning Community floor.
Many students do not choose a roommate and are matched with a roommate based on the applicable information they provide. Roommate requests are given the highest priority above all other requests.
What if I don't know anyone to request as my roommate?
Many students do not choose a roommate and are matched with a roommate based on the applicable information they provide on the Residence Placement Questionnaire. Don't worry, we've received many compliments about our roommate-matching process!
Can I request suitemates if I live in hybrid- and suite-style buildings?
Once you know your residence building assignment, if you and your requested roommate are placed in a suite-style or hybrid-style residence ( Elgin Hall, Essex Hall, Ontario Hall, or Perth Hall) and you wish to share a suite/hybrid double room with two others who have also been placed in the same residence, all of you must forward a request to our office. Requests for three roommates will not be accepted except for in London Hall where three-bedroom suites are available for upper-year students.
When do I find out who my roommate is?
If you have requested a roommate and have both followed the directions above, you are guaranteed to be placed together. If you have not requested a roommate, you’ll meet your roommate on move-in day.
What if my roommate and I don’t get along?
Sharing a room is just like any other relationship: it requires openness, flexibility, and respect to be effective. It's important to communicate openly with your roommate right from the start and constructively work through disagreements.
Residence Staff Members are there to support both of you, and will help mediate disagreements. Room changes are arranged by Residence Managers only as a last resort after all other options have been exhausted as there is little to no room availability to make switches for the first month or so of the academic year. Thankfully, mediation is successful in the majority of roommate disputes, when it comes to this. While getting along may not always be easy, it's certainly worthwhile.
Does my roommate have to be the same gender as me?
As part of our Commitment to Diversity, we are pleased to offer both single-gender and mixed-gender housing options, enhancing flexibility so all students feel comfortable in the place they call home.
If a student chooses the 'mixed-gender housing' option when completing the online Residence Placement Questionnaire, we will not consider their gender identity when placing them in a room or suite with other student(s). They will be matched with someone else based on their lifestyle preferences (tidiness, study habits, bedtime, etc.). As a result, they may be assigned a roommate or suitemate(s) who identifies as the same gender, or with someone whose gender identity is different than theirs. Mixed-gender housing is an opt-in process, and accommodations will be available based on demand.
Why are mixed-gender rooms and/or suites offered in Residence at Western?
Mixed-gender rooms allows students of any gender identity to live in the same residence room or suite, just as they would be able to do off campus. Since 2006, Western has offered mixed-gender options for upper-year students as the result of student interest. New in September 2018, all residence students can choose to opt in to a mixed-gender room or suite, offering greater freedom to choose the person(s) with whom they wish to live.
How will washrooms work in mixed-gender suites or rooms?
Shared washrooms in traditional-style residences will continue to be single gender with additional all-gender washrooms available in some communities.
Students who live together in hybrid- or suite-style residences will determine how washrooms are to be shared in the suite.
Can students live with someone with whom they are in a romantic relationship?
We strongly discourage students from living with someone with whom they are in a romantic relationship. Due to high demand, vacancies in the residences are rare and we will likely be unable to accommodate requests for room changes should romantic partners who choose to live in residence together decide to part ways.
Will students participating in a Living-Learning Community have the option to live in mixed-gender rooms?
Students interested in living in mixed-gender while participating in a Living-Learning Community are encouraged to contact us.
Does mixed-gender room(s) guarantee me my first choice of residence building or room type?
Choosing to live in a mixed-gender room or suite will not enhance your chances of being offered a particular residence building or room type. Residence placements are determined based on a computer-generated random number, and all rooms will be assigned (including mixed-gender rooms or suites) after building placements are set.
Please do not select a mixed-gender housing option if you are not genuinely interested in it, as we are typically unable to make changes once rooms have been assigned.
If a vacancy becomes available in my room/suite, how will this space be filled?
Should a vacancy arise in a mixed-gender room or suite, the remaining occupants of the suite would be consulted regarding whether they wish their suite to remain mixed-gender. Housing will fill whatever vacancies may exist with suitable candidates.
Is a mixed-gender room/suite guaranteed if I select it as an option?
Should you select this option, your roommate or suitemate(s) will be assigned regardless of sex or gender. You may be assigned a roommate or suitemate(s) of the same gender, or with someone whose gender identity is different than yours. These accommodations will be available based on demand. As such, we cannot guarantee placement in a mixed-gender room or suite, nor can we guarantee balanced genders in your room or suite.
Will I be assigned a mixed-gender room or suite even if I haven't asked for one?
No—mixed-gender is an opt-in process and will be available based on demand.
Can I choose my own roommate in a mixed-gender room or suite?
Yes, the same procedure we always use is available for roommate selection. However, we strongly discourage students from living with someone with whom they are in a romantic relationship.
What resources are available on campus for me to learn more about this topic?
Western is proud to offer several resources to students interested in learning more about gender, gender-identity, and their relation to Housing offerings:
Equity & Human Rights Services
Somerville House Room 2319
The Wellness Education Centre
University Community Centre 76
Ontario Hall 3C10
The Office of Residence Education
Ontario Hall Room 3C10
Peer Support Centre
University Community Centre 256
Definitions adapted from the Ontario Human Rights Commission's publication, "Policy on preventing discrimination because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression"
Gender Binary: a social system whereby people are thought to have either one of two genders: man or woman. These genders are expected to correspond to birth sex. The gender binary system is rigid and restrictive for many people who feel that their birth sex does not match up with their gender or that their gender is fluid and not fixed.
Gender Identity: is each person's internal or individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from their birth-assigned sex. Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.
Gender Expression: is how a person publicly presents their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person's chosen name and pronoun are also common ways of expressing gender.
Sex: is the classification of people as male, female or intersex. Sex is usually assigned at birth and is based on an assessment of a person's reproductive systems, hormones, chromosomes and other physical characteristics.
What can I have in my Residence room?
Refer to our Move-In Planning Guide for information on what to bring on move-in day.
Is Residence safe?
At Western, safety is important to us. You should feel comfortable knowing that we go to great lengths to provide a safe residence environment. The front doors of each residence are locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access is by student card, and you will always have access to a front desk. Read more about Safety & Security in Residence.
Are there rules in Residence?
While living or visiting Residence, it is a requirement for everyone to contribute to the maintenance of an atmosphere conducive to community, study and sleep. Consideration for others will be shown at all times and you must abide by the Residence Contract.
Is cable provided in Residence?
Cable is available in all Residence floor lounges. In the suite-style residences, cable television and telephone connections are available which can be activated by contacting a local service provider. In the traditional- and hybrid-style residences, cable is not provided in the bedrooms. Splicing of TV cables is not permitted and may result in disciplinary sanctions.
Can I store my bike in Residence?
You may have a bicycle on campus, but be aware that only some of the residences have bicycle storage areas. Always lock your bike. If you keep your bike in your room, you may not put bike hooks in the walls or ceilings, and you will be billed for any damage to the room or furniture resulting from storing the bicycle. You may not chain your bicycle to stair railings, pipes or other fixtures in common areas. If you store a bicycle in an unauthorized area, it will be removed.
Can I park my car at my Residence?
Parking is very limited, and only available in designated lots across campus, not at Residences. Unless you park at a meter you must register with Parking Services.
Public transportation is available on campus. London Transit Commission bus passes are available at no additional cost to all full-time undergraduate students.
Are laundry machines available in Residence?
Yes, card-activated laundry facilities are available in every Residence building. To add to your laundry account, please see the card reload list posted in your laundry room. Irons and ironing boards are available for your use as well at the Residence front desk.
Do the caretaking staff clean my room for me?
Yes, but the caretaking staff is responsible for general housekeeping only. Responsibility for the neatness and cleanliness of the residence is shared by all residents, but we do provide light caretaking (vacuuming, garbage removal, wiping counters, cleaning toilets, etc.) if the students’ belongings are tidy and not in the way.
Traditional-Style washrooms are cleaned daily, and rooms receive light caretaking approximately every two weeks. Hybrid-Style washrooms, as well as rooms receive light caretaking approximately every three weeks. Suite-Style washrooms, suites and rooms receive light caretaking approximately every four weeks.
Charges for clean-up of extraordinary waste or mess will be billed to the resident(s) responsible if they have not completed it themselves within a reasonable length of time. Vacuum cleaners are available at the Front Desk and may be signed out on a short-term basis.
What if something in my room needs repairing?
Facilities Management has a maintenance staff of electricians, carpenters, trades workers, plumbers and painters who work to maintain a safe and attractive living environment for students. If you have a room maintenance request, including concerns with extreme heat or cold, please contact your front desk personnel. They will direct your request to the appropriate maintenance personnel for their consideration. We will do our best to try to contact you to arrange a suitable time to complete any necessary repairs. Occasionally, it may be necessary for maintenance personnel to enter your room to do the work whether or not you are present.
Can I get mail delivered to Residence?
At the beginning of the semester, you will be assigned a mailbox. You must use your full name that you used when filling out your information on the myHousing Portal. To retrieve your package you must provide identification. For building addresses, view our Contact Us page.
Where do I go if I have questions while I’m living here?
A great place to start is to call or go in person to your Residence front desk. Front Desk Staff Members are trained to answer your inquiries, or connect you with someone who can. Residence Sophs and Staff Members also have experience living in Residence and can direct you to resources or give you advice. Still have questions? Contact us at the Housing Office!
Note: This information is subject to change. If there is any discrepancy between the content on this website and stated policy of Housing and Ancillary Services, the content in the Residence Contract will be deemed as correct. The Board of Governors of Western University and the Division of Housing and Ancillary Services may change the information in this Contract without prior notice.