Quick clues for living in residence


By Lawrentina D’Souza

On the case of the missing dorm keys

Living in residence might be a  big change for many students, with hurdles as small as getting locked out of your room or as large as learning how to cook. This article focuses on things we all wished we had known in first year (residence) to make our lives easier.

Helpful staff

Residence Life: Residence Life is made up of a variety of full-time and student staff working in and around residence to ensure first-years have a smooth transition to residence life e.g. maintenance, community, support.

RLC/CC: The Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and Community Coordinator (CC) are full-time staff that supervise the dons and provide support to residents.

Dons: Upper-year students who live and work in residence to help answer questions, plan community activities, and uphold residence policies.

FDAs: The Front Desk Assistants (FDA) work at the front desk of all residences to help with things such as mail, printing, and questions about campus.

Peer leaders: Mentors for students in Living-Learning communities that host study sessions and other events for residents in their program(s).

EIRs: Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) are mentors with the Waterloo Entrepreneurship Residence Connection (WERC) that live in residence and host events for students with an interest in Waterloo’s startup ecosystem.


Keys: Don’t forget your keys in your room. FDAs can give you a temporary key to let yourself in, but if it happens a lot, you could get fined.

Roommates: It’s okay to talk to your roommate about ground rules at the start of the term. UW Housing even has a contract template online to refer to.

Scheduling: Create a calendar  as soon as syllabi and exam dates are released so you remember all your deadlines and events ­ during the semester.

Academic help: Make use of the residence study sessions and workshops like Maximize Potential, Science Student Help Team that are often held at the great halls or multipurpose rooms of residences in the evenings.

Residence Council: Council is a good way to get involved and get to know people in your residence outside your program with themed events and socials to be a part of.

Campus transport: Make use of the (CLV) shuttle as it stops at BMH, DC, SCH, SLC during week days from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Money: Make sure to keep some flex dollars on your WatCard for laundry. $1 for washing/drying each and for printing. The cost of printing changes by location; residences charge differently than libraries in main campus or in the colleges.

Exam season: While studying in residence, get some earplugs  at the front desk or use the cafeteria tables or Main Hall to study.

Tunnels: Certain V1 buildings have underground tunnels or above ground links that connect buildings to the main cafeteria. Explore your residence and never get cold again.

Front desk sign outs: You can sign out board games, video games, and movies from any residence front desk for up to 24 hours.

Gym time: There are many opportunities to work out on campus; REV and CMH have their own equipment rooms, V1 is close to Physical Activities Complex, and CLV is down the the road from the Columbia Icefield.


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