About Residential Life
The Residential Life Program at Sewanee involves a very high percentage of the student body. Over 95% of undergraduates live in the dormitories and as a result these facilities have been consistently filled near capacity for the past few years. Housing options for undergraduate students currently include: 11 coeducational dorms, three all male dorms, three all female dorms, a women's center, five language houses, two special halls for student emergency personnel (EMTs and firefighters), theme housing (Community Engagement House, Green House) and sorority houses. The dorms are configured in a variety of arrangements, ranging from traditional doubles and singles to an assortment of suite setups.
Ecce Quam Bonum
"Behold How Good!" is the short form of the official University Latin motto taken from Psalm 133: 1: "Ecce Quam Bonum Et Quam Iucundum Habitare Fratres In Unum." or "Behold How Good and Joyful a Thing it is for Brethren to Dwell Together in Unity." This motto is the principle upon which Residential Life at Sewanee is built.
Students are not assigned to dormitories according to class, fraternity or sorority affiliation, athletics, academics, or other groups or organizations. A mix of classes exists in all residence halls and houses. All undergraduate housing assignments are made through the Residential Life Office. Upperclassmen seeking a dormitory room go through a lottery process, with priority based on seniority and membership to the academic honor society, the Order of Gownsmen. Roommates for incoming first year students and transfer students are carefully chosen and housed based on the responses to the dormitory preference questionnaire. Upperclassmen may choose to remain with their roommates or they may change roommates at the end of the year. Under normal circumstances all assignments are considered to be a year-long commitment. Housing assignment changes are made at the discretion of the Assistant Director of Residential for Housing and Programming.
There is also an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of the residents and the security of student and University property. As a result, the dormitories are staffed daily beginning at 9:30 p.m. and dormitory doors are locked at a scheduled time each night. Call boxes, located on the exterior of certain dorms, provide instant emergency connection to the police and add more security to the dormitories. To better secure the dormitories during closed breaks, a system of interchangeable locks are installed.
Damages and Repairs
To maintain and to improve the physical living environment of the residence halls, the Residential Life Office oversees the reporting and follow through of maintenance problems in the dormitory facilities. With the help of Head Residents, the Residential Life Office also participates in thorough inspection at the close and start of the school year. This end of the year inspection permits the University to collect fines for damage to or loss of dormitory furnishings. The Residential Life Office is also involved in ongoing discussions with the University's Physical Plant Services to improve the maintenance services to the dormitories.