Campus Life

Residence FAQs

‌‌Who must self-isolate / quarantine in residence? When?

Due to COVID-19, there will be times when individuals need to self-isolate / quarantine. You are required to initiate our self-isolation / quarantine process if:

 

1. You are travelling to campus to move in to residence from outside the approved "travel bubble". (Currently, individuals travelling from within the "Atlantic Bubble" consisting of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador do NOT need to isolate / self-isolate based on travel.)

2. You leave the approved travel bubble and then return to campus at any time during the academic year.

3. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19.

4. You have symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild. 

5. You have had close contact with someone who has a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of COVID-19.

6. You have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

 

How does self-isolation / quarantine in residence work?

If you are required to self-isolate / quarantine upon moving into residence in the Fall based on travel:

If you are required to self-isolate / quarantine upon moving into residence based on travel, we are happy to advise that we are able to accommodate your14-day self-isolation / quarantine period in residence.

 

Please note that ALL incoming residents travelling from outside the approved “travel bubble” are required to initiate our self-isolation / quarantine process IMMEDIATELY upon moving in to residence. (Currently, individuals travelling from within the "Atlantic Bubble" consisting of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador do NOT need to self-isolate / quarantine based on travel.)

 

ALL residents who require a self-isolation / quarantine period based on travel (i.e. those travelling to Nova Scotia from outside the current, approved “Atlantic Bubble”) MUST arrange and confirm their 14-day self-isolation / quarantine IN ADVANCE by contacting the Housing & Residence Office by email at residence.housing@smu.ca no later than December 16, 2020.

Emails MUST include:

1. Student Name

2. Student Number (A#)

3. Expected Arrival Date & Time (January 4, 2021 – onward)

4. Any Dietary Restrictions / Considerations

 

ALL residents required to self-isolate / quarantine will move into a temporary bed space upon arrival and move to their permanent bed space ONLY upon successful completion of their 14-day self-isolation / quarantine period. Meal delivery and garbage pick-up will be provided during the self-isolation / quarantine period. Residents should ensure they have enough clean clothing and linen to complete their self-isolation / quarantine period without using the laundry rooms.

 

ALL residents who are self-isolating / quarantining MUST:

NOT go to any other part of residence other than your assigned room and bathroom.

NOT have any guests; NO guests are permitted during your quarantine period.

NOT attend work or social gatherings until the 14-day period has transpired and you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19.

NOT use common areas of the residence complex, including the laundry rooms.

LIMIT CONTACT as much as possible with others. Stay two metres (six feet) away from others at all times and wear a mask / face covering at all times when you are not alone in your room.

AVOID SHARING items such as drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until your self-isolation / quarantine is complete.

KEEP YOUR SURROUNDINGS CLEAN, such as doorknobs and bathroom surfaces, with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes (supplies will be provided). Wash your hands after cleaning the area.

MONITOR YOURSELF for COVID-19 symptoms.

STAY CONNECTED with friends and family by text, email, and social media.

MONITOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH and wellbeing. If you need support, Residence Life can help connect you to counselling services.

CHECK YOUR EMAIL regularly for updates, resources, and direction from staff.

CONTACT STAFF / the Loyola Residence Desk (902.420.5591) if your condition changes or worsens.

 

If you need to self-isolate / quarantine during the academic year based one of the situations outlined above, you should follow the steps outlined below:

We can help. We have developed a process to manage instances when individuals have to self-isolate / quarantine for 14 days during the academic year. We have resources available to help you through your self-isolation / quarantine period.

 

Step 1: Go to our form and provide the required information, as outlined. This will include your Name, A#, Residence Building, Room #, Contact Information (email and phone), Dietary Restrictions, and Details about why you are isolating / self-isolating.

Housing staff will then contact you via email regarding:

Meal & Hydration Package delivery

Trash collection

Resources and supports for self-isolating individuals

 

Step 2: Stay in your room

Do not go to any other part of residence other than your room and bathroom. (Or the room / bathroom to which you have been assigned / relocated.)

Do not attend work or social gatherings until the 14-day period has transpired and you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19.

Do not use common areas of the residence complex, inclduing the laundry rooms.

Limit contact as much as possible with others. Stay two metres (six feet) away from others at all times and wear a mask / face covering at all times when you not alone in your room.

Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or any other items until you are no longer asked to isolate / self-isolate. 

Keep your surroundings clean, such as doorknobs and bathroom surface, with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes (supplies will be provided). Wash your hands after cleaning the area.

Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Step 3: Stay connected

It is important to stay connected with friends and family by text, email and social media. This will help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Monitor your mental health and wellbeing. If you need support, Residence Life can help connect you to counselling services.

Be sure to check your email regularly for updates, resources, and direction from staff.

Contact staff or the Loyola Residence Desk (902.420.5591) if your condition changes / worsens.

 

 

How will COVID-19 impact residence this year?

We can confirm that based on providing individuals a better ability to appropriately abide by Public Health guidance around social / physical distancing we have eliminated double rooms for the coming (2020-2021) academic year. This means all bed spaces in residence this coming year will be either single or super-single rooms (and will be billed at the associated rate). For example: double rooms in Loyola and Rice will be assigned and charged out as super-singles.

We can also confirm at this time that additional COVID-19-related residence policies and community expectations are in place for the coming year. These new community standards and regulations are still being developed based on Public Health guidance and other information as it becomes available. Initial adjustments residents can expect this fall are listed below:

 

  • All residences will, at the very least, begin the year with a strict “no visitors” / “no guests” policy. This means that individuals who are not living in residence are not permitted to enter or visit.
  • No overnight guests are permitted in residence.
  • Residents are required to wash their hands at handwashing stations located by entrances when entering / returning to their buildings.
  • The number of individuals permitted to use the elevators at any given time in both Rice and Loyola Residences is limited, and masks or face coverings are required while using elevators.
  • In keeping with Public Health guidance, residents are required to wear some form of mask or face covering at all times when in common spaces (i.e. when not in their own rooms) in the residence complex. ALL residents are also required to wear a mask when staff or contractors are entering their room or apartment.
  • Common lounges (such as those in Loyola North) are closed or limited in terms of allowable use and permitted occupancy.
  • ALL residents are required to abide by any and all University, federal and provincial government, Public Health, and NS Health authority COVID-19-related directives, guidelines and regulations at all times.
  • Mandatory meal plans are required for ALL residence spaces, including those in Rice and Loyola South Senior Apartments. Among other things, this ensures ALL residents have access to self-isolation meals through SMU Dining, if required. Residents in Rice and Loyola South will be defaulted to the Easy 100 Plan, but can upgrade to other listed plans. Depending on circumstances, additional meal plan options may be added for the Winter 2021 semester. 

 

How do I apply for residence?

Students attending Saint Mary's for the first time who are interested in living in residence can apply online through our Housing Portal. Learn more on our Apply for Residence page.

Please note: If you are a TLC (The Language Centre) student, you may apply for residence through TLC.

 

What are my residence fees and how do I pay them?

Residence fees get applied to your student account for the fall term in mid- to late-August (mid-December for the winter term) and are paid the same way you would pay for your tuition. The payment options are available on the Service Centre webpage. 

Depending on the type of room / bed space you have been assigned in residence, your room fees will differ. You can locate room fee specifics HERE.

 

Can a first-year student get a single room?

Yes, if a student applies early, their chances of being placed in the residence of their choice (as well as their preferred room type) increases.

 

How many people will be living on my floor?

In Loyola, no more than 23 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is divided into four suites, so you will only share your bathroom with up to five other students.

In Vanier, no more than 18 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is divided into four suites as well, so you will only share your bathroom with a maximum of four other students.

In Rice, no more than 23 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is apartment-style, so you will only share your bathroom with two or three other students.

 

Can I see my residence room before I move in? 

 

*** PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, residence tours are currently suspended and are NOT available at this time. ***

 

Unfortunately, given residence operates throughout the year (including the summer months) and the complex logistics involved in turning over 1000 beds, we are not able to show residents their specifically assigned bed spaces/rooms prior to their assigned check in dates.

However, we do have 2 dedicated tour rooms available for year-round viewing: a Loyola Single and a Vanier Double. Individuals interested in tours / rooms viewings can arrange them through the Centre for New Students. The Centre for New Students can be reached by calling (902) 491-8691, by emailing cns@smu.ca or by stopping by the Centre located in McNally Main Building.

 

How do I do laundry? Do I need coins for the laundry machine?

No. Our laundry machines are card-operated. There are card vending and loading machines in front of the Loyola Residence Desk that allow residents to purchase a loadable laundry card and then add value (money) to their laundry card using a credit or debit card. Residents can also register online through Coinamatic, our laundry provider, to add value online at www.coinamatic.com. Laundry cards are available for purchase during move-in weekend in the fall and the card vending machine allows residents to purchase a replacement card throughout the year.

 

What can I do if I am not getting along with my roommate or suitemates?

Sometimes roommates find it awkward or uncomfortable to speak directly to their roommate about issues that are occurring in their room or on the floor. The mediation process is a great way for roommates to directly and respectfully address their concerns with each other in a safe, structured manner. Residence Assistants (RA's) have received training to facilitate this type of confidential meeting in an unbiased, non-confrontational, and non-judgemental manner. They will also make sure the meeting stays on track and that the meeting guidelines are being followed. Here is a brief overview of a typical mediation session:

  • RA reviews guidelines for meeting (i.e. one person talks at a time, be respectful, no interrupting, no name-calling, tell the truth, etc.).
  • First person states their concerns - RA clarifies and paraphrases.
  • Second person states their concerns - RA clarifies and paraphrases.
  • Both parties agree upon the key issues that need to be addressed.
  • Both parties work together to brainstorm ideas to resolve each issue, one at a time.
  • RA writes up what was agreed upon - roommate contract - and each party signs.
  • Either party can request to re-visit agreement in the future, if it is not working.

 

How do I get a room change?

Residents are expected to occupy the room and bed assigned to them by the Housing & Residence. However, if students are experiencing problems with their particular room assignment they can apply for a room change.

All room changes must be pre-authorized by the Housing & Residence.

Room Change Request Forms are available from the Housing & Residence Office (LR114) two weeks after classes begin. Request for room changes will not be considered before this time. Residents may be required to participate in a mediation session with their roommates or suite (if applicable) before a room change is approved. Room changes are prioritized at the discretion of Housing & Residence, based on the needs of all those who apply (not just on a first come first serve basis). Naturally, all room changes are also subject to the availability of alternate accommodation.

 

What is a Notice of Fine (NOF)?

A NOF is a monetary fine, ranging from $50.00 to $100.00, issued for minor violations of Residence policies and/or community standards (which are outlined in the Residence Code of Conduct in the Residence Handbook). These fines are issued by Residence Staff, Residence Services Officers (RSOs), Residence Assistants (RAs), and/or Residence Coordinators (RCs).

The NOF becomes payable to a student’s account after four (4) business days (and is payable online using self-service banner or in person to the Service Centre).

A student who is issued four NOFs within one Academic year will have their residence status reviewed and may be dismissed from Residence at the discretion of the Director.

 

Can I do anything about a NOF I feel I did not deserved?

If you feel that you are receiving a NOF undeservingly it is in your best interest not to dispute the fact with the Residence Staff issuing the fine. Arguing with the Residence Staff members may result in an additional fine for being uncooperative with Residence Staff.

Once you receive your copy of the NOF, please refer to the appeal instructions noted.

Please review the Residence Handbook, including the Residence Code of Conduct, to find out what your rights and responsibilities are as a resident.

 

Can I have overnight guests in my residence room?

 

*** PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, overnight guests will NOT be permitted in residence for the 2020-2021 academic year.  *** 

 

Normally, yes, you may have overnights guests, however, you must remember that you are responsible for your guest's actions while they are in residence. They are subject to residence Rules and Regulations as well. Any misconduct of your guest will be your responsibility.

It is the basic right of every student to have privacy in his/her assigned room. No student should feel obligated to relinquish this right. In a shared accommodation, overnight guests and visitors are allowed only with the consent of all roommates. Further to this, an overnight guest or visitor may be asked at any time to leave the room in the interest of preserving privacy.

Your guest is allowed in residence for two consecutive nights (assuming you have the consent of all roommates). Should you wish to have them stay longer, you must contact Housing & Residence to gain permission.