ResLife Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where can I find a copy of the Student Handbook?

Answer: Right here: Student Handbook

All students are expected to read the Student Handbook each year, as there are often updates from the previous edition. All students are subject to the policies and procedures in this handbook and agree to follow them when matriculating to Western Colorado University.


Question: Do I have to check my Western email?

Answer: Yes. Students are expected to check their Western email at least once per day. Faculty and staff will send you important emails on a regular basis, and you will be held responsible for the content of those messages. 


Question: How do I request to stay during Thanksgiving Break/winter Break/spring Break?

Answer: During Thanksgiving Break, winter Break and spring Break, Residence Life is able to offer to some students the courtesy of remaining on campus. Our ability to do this is based on availability of Residence Life staff and the current standing of each individual student within the Western community, including past issues of policy violation.

  1. All residence halls are closed during Winter break. Only Pinnacles, Chipeta and the Mears Complex will remain open to those students who request and receive permission to stay. Students in the Pinnacles, Chipeta and the Mears Complex can stay with permission because all residents in this area have access to a kitchen. Rare Air Cafe and Mad Jack's are not open over winter Break. Therefore, residents living in Ute Hall and the Escalante Complex are not eligible to apply for winter Break housing. 


Question: How will Western communicate with students in case of an emergency?

Answer: In emergency situations, Western will communicate with the entire university community by sending out Rave alerts through email. Go to to register your phone so that you will receive text messages as well during emergencies. Type in "Western Colorado University" as the site name. All students are encouraged to register their mobile phones if they have one. Further questions about Rave alerts can be directed to the Director of Security Nathan Kubes


Question: Does Western have a live-on requirement?

Answer: Yes. Students are required to live on campus for two years. As part of the live-on requirement, first-year students will experience the Residential Curriculum. For second-year students, there is a Second Year Experience program that focuses on programming surrounding life skills (i.e. cooking, filing taxes, outdoor survival techniques, health and wellness education). Transfer students can opt into living on a Transfer Community or on a second-year floor. 

To see qualifications to appeal to live off campus, please click here


Question: When do I get to select my housing for the next academic year?

Answer: Beginning in the spring semester, students will receive notification about returning housing selection. Students must complete a housing application by the deadline in order to receive a room selection lottery number. Students who do not complete this process but are still under the live-on requirement will have less options to choose from since other students will have selected the majority of the rooms on the first day of room selection. After completing the housing application, students can search for and connect with potential roommates and will later receive a lottery time via their Western email based on class standing. During their housing selection date and time, students can sign on and pick their room and "pull in" potential roommates they have connected with to live with them. Roommates will still need to accept this assignment or choose a new room. All students will then be able to select a meal plan (meal plan requirements are based on where students will be living) and will have to complete the housing agreement. Students who are not required to live on campus but do not complete the housing agreement before the end of the spring semester may lose their housing assignment.

If you have any questions about the housing process, please contact Residence Life at 970.943.2101.


Question: What size are the beds in the residence halls and apartments?

Answer: In the Escalante Complex, the Mears Complex and Ute Hall, all beds are extra-long twin. In Pinnacles and Chipeta, all beds are full size. 


Question: Can I bunk my bed?

Answer: Lofting of beds is not allowed. Residents are allowed to use bed risers but not with a bunk bed setup. 


Question: Can we bunk our beds after move-in? 

Answer: No. You have to sign up for the limited bunk bed program before you arrive. It is a libailbity to have students bunk beds themselves and not permitted at Western.


Question: Can I remove furniture that I do not want in my room?

Answer: Unfortunately not. Residence Life has a limited amount of storage space, so all furniture must remain in your room.


Question: Can I switch my furniture with the furniture in another room?

Answer: The furniture in your room is connected to your Room Condition Contract, so the furniture your room comes with must remain in your room.


Question: Can I bring my own furniture?

Answer: Western maintains a strict outside furniture policy to ensure fire safety and protect the cleanliness of the rooms. Additionally, outside furniture can contribute to pest problems. All rooms are furnished appropriately for its occupants with a desk, dresser and bed.

Outside furniture is prohibited in the residence halls except for the following items:

  • Desk chairs that do not have any fabric or upholstery
  • Blow up air mattresses
  • Blow up couch without velvet on outside
  • Bean bag chairs
  • Memory foam
  • Lamps (only non‐halogen bulbs)
  • ​Media stands, bookcases, or night stands in which the total dimensions of each piece do not exceed 80 inches. Total inches can be calculated by adding the longest width, the longest height, and the longest depth together when fully extended (such as legs or sides).  


Question: Will Residence Life inspect my room?

Answer: Resident Assistants in all residence halls and apartment complexes are scheduled to perform health, safety and fire inspections once per month. These health, safety and fire inspections are to ensure the continued safety of our communities. One week before the inspection occurs, your Resident Director will send an email stating that health, safety and fire inspections will take place the following week. The email does not have to indicate a specific day or time, as that may change with Resident Assistants' schedules. For one week, Resident Assistants will inspect rooms with or without the presence of the residents. Resident Assistants are always accompanied by another Resident Assistant or a professional staff member. If any policy violations are found pertaining to University policy, they will be addressed at that time.


Question: Can I use extension cords in my room?

Answer: Anything that is or can be considered an extension cord is prohibited from the residence halls. This includes outlet multipliers. Only certified surge protectors may be used in residence halls and apartments.


Question: Can I have kitchen appliances in my room/apartment?

Answer: Students in residence halls are permitted to have a standard size micro-fridge, a microwave and any other kitchen appliance that does not have a hot plate. Other kitchen appliances may not be stored or used in the residence halls. This includes toasters, toaster ovens, George Foreman grills, traditional coffee makers, etc. These items are allowed in the Pinnacles and Chipeta Hall but only in the kitchen areas of the apartments. If you really enjoy coffee, we suggest purchasing a single-serve coffee maker, such as a Keurig, that does not have a hot plate.


Question: What happens if I lose my key?

Answer: We take security seriously here at Western. If you lose your key, report to your RA that you lost it and they will immediately submit a work order so that it can be replaced. Keys are typically replaced in one to two business days. New keys can be picked up from the Residence Life Office, University Center 117. Losing your key will result in a standard fee of $50 that is billed to your student account.


Question: Can I have a pet in my room?

Answer: All student may have small fish in up to a 10-gallon tank (one per room). Any other pets (dogs, cats, reptiles, etc.) are prohibited from the residence halls and apartments. Exceptions include service dogs and emotional support animals that have been approved through Disability Services. If a prohibited pet is found, the resident could receive a fine of up to $300.


Question: Can I store my bike in my room?

Answer: All rooms are regularly inspected for safety and fire hazards. You may store your bike in your room as long as it does not pose a threat to the safety of the residents in the space. If you do not store your bike in your room, you must store it on the bike racks located outside. Bikes cannot be stored in communal areas such as stairwells or lounges. You are encouraged to keep your bike locked when not in use and to register your bike with the Gunnison Police Department, which is indeed a free service. 


Question: What happens if I don't get along with my roommate?

Answer: If you are having issues with your roommate, please make sure you speak with your roommate directly. RAs are able to help students prepare for these types of conversations. If an issue escalates beyond the student's control, your Resident Assistant or Resident Director may ask to mediate the conversation.


Question: If I am 21 years of age or older, can I possess and consume alcohol in my apartment/suite/room?

Answer: If you are 21 years of age or older and either have a single room or live with a roommate who is also 21 years of age or older, you may possess and consume alcohol in your room. Alcohol is not to be kept in community spaces and cannot be consumed in the presence of a minor. 


Question: Can I possess and consume tobacco products in my apartment/suite/room?

Answer: Western does not permit any tobacco paraphernalia (i.e. vape pens, hookahs, etc.) to be possessed in residence halls or apartments. We understand that some students do smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, so we do allow students to store cigarettes and chewing tobacco in their rooms, as long as it is stored away from view. Students are still prohibited from smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco in their rooms. Vape pens and hookahs are prohibited because of their potential use with different forms of marijuana products. Confiscated items that violate policy, such as vape pens, hookahs, or other paraphernalia will not be returned to the student. 


Question: Am I required to remove all of my possessions at the end of the fall semester?

Answer: If you are returning to Western after Winter Break and are remaining in the same space, you may leave your belongings (with all electronics unplugged) in your room. You must remove your items after the spring semester, even if you have the exact same room/apartment for the upcoming fall semester. Residence Life hosts numerous conferences over the summer, resulting in the need for as many residence hall rooms and apartments as possible. Any personal items that remain after you have moved out will be donated, recycled, or discarded per the abandonment policy. 


Question: Do all of the residence halls and apartments have Wifi?

Answer: Yes. IT provides wireless internet in all of the residence halls and apartments. If you are experiencing issues with your Wifi, please contact IT at 970.943.3123.


Question: Can I hook up my XBox, Wii, PS3, Apple TV, Roku, 3DS, Kindle, iPad, smartphone, etc. to the wireless network?

Answer: Yes. All of the above devices can be connected to our network. If you are experiencing issues connecting these devices, please contact IT at 970.943.3123.


Question: How do I pay for laundry?

Answer: For your convenience, each complex has coin-operated laundry facilities. Additionally, all laundry machines accept Mountaineer Cash, a declining balance on your Mountaineer Card. For more information on Mountaineer Cash or your Mountaineer Card, click here. 


Question: Can I have a guest stay in my room/apartment with me?

Answer: Students are allowed to have an on-campus or off-campus guest stay with them for up to 48 hours within a two-week period. Students must obtain permission from their roommate(s) before giving the guest entrance to their residence. Student hosts must accompany their off-campus guest while on campus. Students may not share their keys with their guests or leave their guests in their room/apartment unattended.


Question: Can I have mail and packages delivered directly to my residence hall?

Answer: All mail and packages must be delivered to the Mail Center. Please see their Web page for more information.


Question: Can I have food directly delivered to my residence hall?

Answer: Yes! We have many great restaurants here in Gunnison that will deliver to Western's campus. Students must meet the delivery person at the entrance to the hall. Propping doors open is strictly prohibited as it poses a security threat to other residents in the residence halls and apartment buildings.


Question: What are quiet hours, and when are they in effect?

Answer: Quiet hours are times set aside for near-silence in the residence halls and apartments. This is to respect and encourage the healthy sleeping habits of all Western students. Quiet hours are in effect Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and Friday through Saturday from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 8 a.m. Courtesy hours are in effect at all times. During the daytime when quiet hours are not in effect, residents do not have the right to turn a radio, stereo or TV to full volume (inside or outside of the halls) or to yell and shout. Residence Life staff may ask you to close your door or turn down the volume on your TV, radio, stereo, etc., if the noise levels are disruptive to the community.


Question: Can I store edibles (i.e. food with marijuana baked into it) in my room?

Answer: No. Marijuana is not allowed in any shape or form on Western's campus. This includes the storage of marijuana in cars parked in any campus parking lot.


Question: Can I recycle while living on campus?

Answer: Yes. Recycling is encouraged in the residence halls. Each residential area has its own trash and recycling area. Additionally, Western is making strong efforts to eliminate the purchase and use of single-use plastic bags and plastic bottles on campus. Please help us to reach our goal! 


Question: Am I required to have a meal plan?

Answer: All students who live in the residence halls are required to have a meal plan. Students in the apartments may have a meal plan if they like.


Question: Where and when can I change my meal plan?

Answer: You may change your meal plan in the Residence Life Office up to the first Wednesday of the academic year. Students on optional meal plans may continue to purchase these plans throughout the year.


Question: How do I switch my room?

Answer: A campus-wide housing freeze is in effect for the first two weeks and during the spring housing selection period in November and December. If you would like to switch to another room for a non-interpersonal related reason, please connect with your Resident Assistant or Resident Director. If you would like to switch to another room because of an issue with your roommate, you must go through Residence Life's mediation process before this becomes an option. Speak with your Resident Assistant for more details. Switching rooms for a non-emergency will result in a processing fee.


Question: Do I have to pay to park on campus?

Answer: No. Parking on campus is available on a first come, first served basis. Parking is not guaranteed, and there are restrictions placed on particular lots. Security does ticket and tow, so please park in appropriate spaces. When you check in, you MUST register your vehicle and receive a parking sticker in order to be able to park on campus without being ticketed or towed. Only one vehicle per student is permitted.


Question: Does my room come with cable television?

Answer: Unfortunately, Residence Life no longer provides cable television in residence hall rooms.


Question: What should I do if I withdraw from Western? 

Answer: You are responsible for checking out properly. If you leave without following proper procedures, you will have improper check out fines. To properly check out, you need to first stop by the Student Affairs office (Taylor 301) and explain your withdraw plans. You will get a form and will need to get signatures from someone in the Student Affairs office, Financial Aid office, Residence Life office, and Registrar’s office. It’s a courtesy to notify your academic advisor as well in person or via email. After the withdrawal form is completed and you are withdrawn from classes, you need to contact your RA to check out of your room and return your key(s). You have 24-48 hours to check out of your room properly. 



Failure to follow the withdrawal process will result in tuition and student fees for each semester you are registered for until you withdraw or until the semester ends. Failure to check out of your residence hall room or apartment with an RA or RD will result in charges for not returning your key(s), charges for improperly checking out, and charges for cleaning your room.