Residential Community

Resident Advisors (RA)

RAs are specially selected and trained students leaders who provide the first level of service and support to the residential students. These leaders provide information and resource referrals, conflict mediation, peer counseling, assistance in emergencies, and help to shape the development of the community. They also serve on the Community Development Team for their living area. In addition, RAs distribute campus information and plan social and educational programs.

Area Directors (AD)

ADs are upper class students with extensive leadership experience who have been trained to serve as an additional resource to residents and resident assistants of a particular area of campus. ADs are assigned to Woodson, Spencer, and the upper class living areas.

Residence Life Staff

The professional residence life staff is composed of an on-site director and emergency on-call staff. These professionals supervise and train the staff and provide assistance to communities and/or individuals on a case by case basis. In addition, the professional staff provides after-hour emergency on-call services.

New Student Housing Information

Housing Application Process for New Freshmen and Transfers

Congratulations on becoming a part of the Mary Baldwin community! Your first step in making Mary Baldwin your new home is filling out the required housing application. Students planning to commute will also need to fill out the application in order to declare their commuter status. If you have not yet made your commitment to attend Mary Baldwin, you may pay your $300 enrollment deposit. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at 540-887-7019 or

Room Assignment Information

Housing assignments and roommate information will be emailed to you during the first week of August to give you time to prepare for move-in.

Please read and be familiar with the Housing Contract (PDF).

If you need to request special accommodations due to a medical need, please complete the medical exception form with supporting documentation from your medical provider.

Room furnishings

Most freshmen and transfer students are assigned to Spencer or Woodson Residence Halls. The rooms in these halls are furnished with the following items:

  • Single bed with a standard size mattress **
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Built-in closet
  • Built-in chest of drawers
  • Sink and mirror
  • Window covering (blinds)

** Some bed frames have the capability to be bunked (wooden bed frames only).

If you are considering bringing additional furniture, we suggest that you discuss with your roommate(s) how much and what type of extra furniture is desired to avoid duplication and to accommodate space constraints. Also, please be advised that all college-issued furniture must remain in the room. Furniture may not be taken off-site to be stored.

** The “Microfridge” microwave/refrigerator combination appliance is the ONLY college approved microwave allowed in the residence halls. More information on these units, including pricing and rental agreements, can be found on the Microfridge page. (can bring mini fridge if under certain size) Note that microwaves are provided in the common area kitchens in the residence halls.

Amenities in the residence halls

  • Common area lounges for study, small group meetings, and programming. Recent upgrades include the addition of new furniture and large flat-screen TVs in designated lounges
  • Laundry rooms with washers and dryers that are provided free of charge (no coins needed)
  • Common area kitchens equipped with microwaves, refrigerators, and stoves
  • Vending areas for drinks and snacks
  • Housekeeping of residence hall common areas including hall bathrooms
  • Vacuum cleaners for use by students
  • In-room network data, cable TV, and telephone connections
  • Wi-Fi access in all residence halls, houses and apartments


We are unable to accommodate any storage of personal belongings in the residence halls. You should plan to store your luggage and or boxes in your room or have your family take them back home for you. Storage is also not available over the summer between academic years.


The exterior doors to all residence halls remain locked 24 hours a day. Only residents of the building have a key to enter and all guests are to be signed-in and escorted throughout the building. However, your room and its contents are only as safe as you allow them to be. This means that you should always lock your room door, never allow strangers in the building, or give others your building or room key.

Room or roommate concerns

If you are experiencing difficulties with your roommate or accommodations, your first course of action is to make your Resident Advisor (RA) aware of the situation. If the RA is unable help you rectify the situation, you may choose to contact your Area Director or the Office of Residence Life.  It is our goal to resolve all issues quickly so that you are able to feel comfortable in your residence.

Services for Current Students

Room Change Process
Request to Move Off Campus
Special Housing for Medical Needs 
Spring Break Request Form (MSWord)
Roommate Compatibility/Online Housing Application

Other important forms:

Room Change Process

Room changes are permitted throughout the semester (fall and spring) after the first two weeks in order to allow for occupancy of the halls to stabilize. After that time, room change requests are granted freely but are subject to the availability of spaces and rooms.

The first step is to talk with your resident advisor about your room change request.  Often, your RA can be helpful in assisting you in working through conflicts that may arise on the floor or with your roommate.  However, we realize that not all conflicts can be resolved, and we will not force any student to remain in an uncomfortable situation.

Next to facilitate the room change process, submit the Room Change Form to the Office of Residence Life.

 (Important: all room changes must be approved prior to any physical moves taking place.)

Residence Life reserves the right to make changes and place students in vacant spaces/rooms if needed. Students who find themselves in a double or triple room without a roommate or roommates will most likely receive a roommate during the year.

Once your room change is approved, you will go to the Office of Security to pick up the keys to your new room. You will be allowed to keep both your new keys and the keys to your old room for 72 hours while you complete the move. Once your move is finished, return you old keys to the Office of Security.

Request to Move Off Campus

At Mary Baldwin University, the residential environment is a key component of each student’s college experience. Students enrolled in the Residential College for Women are expected to live in on campus housing for the duration of their tenure with the college. Exceptions may be approved for compelling and extenuating circumstances:

  • students who are 21 or older by September 1
  • students who wish to live with their parents and/or extended family within the surrounding Staunton area
  • students who experience a change in life status, such as getting married
  • students with a medical need that cannot be accommodated on campus

A student must be in good standing academically as outlined in the Mary Baldwin Academic Catalog in order to be approved to move off campus.

Moving off campus can have a significant consequence for financial aid packages. Therefore, an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid is required.

In order to initiate the process, submit an Off Campus Housing Request.

Special Housing Requests for Medical Needs

To request special housing, due to medical concerns, fill out a Medical Exemption Form. For example, a student with mobility issues may need to be placed in a residence hall with an elevator, or a student with asthma may require air conditioning. In addition to the form, you must submit documentation from a physician verifying the need for special accommodations.

General Housing Policies and Procedures

Abandoned Property
The college cannot store or safeguard personal belongings left behind when students leave the college. Two weeks after the official withdrawal, leave or absence, or graduation date, items left behind are considered abandoned and will be confiscated and disposed of properly. If items must be removed by Physical Plant staff, charges will apply.

Students and their guests are expected to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding possession and consumption of alcohol.

Common Area Space Use
Common areas such as lounges and kitchens within the residence halls may be reserved for group meetings or events. To make a reservation please contact the Office of Residence Life at x7045.

Fire Safety
Misuse of or tampering with fire safety equipment is strictly prohibited. Students and their guests should always promptly exit the building when a fire alarm sounds.

Guests (non-Mary Baldwin students or Mary Baldwin commuter students) of the same or opposite gender must be registered and signed-in. Guests are to be escorted in the buildings at all times. The length of stay for a guest is 72 hours or three consecutive nights. Guest cannot return any sooner than 24 hours from their time of departure. Additionally, students are responsible for the actions of their guests, including any behaviors that violate residence life or judicial policies. The college reserves the right to request the withdrawal of a guest from college property.

Harassment, Threats, and Intimidation
Verbal or written abuse such as intimidation, coercion, and/or harassment has no place in the residential environment and will not be tolerated. Additionally, students are prohibited from assaulting, striking, or in any other way threatening harm to another member of the Mary Baldwin community.

Health and Safety Inspections
During each semester, an announced residence hall inspection will occur. During this inspection, college officials will look at each residence hall room to make sure the room occupants are in compliance with all health and safety regulations. Inspections will occur with or without the room occupant being present. Any illegal items in plain view in the room will be documented and referrals to the Judicial Board will be made.

Illegal Drugs
Students and their guests are expected to comply with the federal, state, and local laws which prohibit the following with regard to illicit drugs: use, possession, sharing, offering for sale, or manufacture. Additionally, possession of drug paraphernalia (bongs, clips, etc.) is prohibited at Mary Baldwin.

Insurance of Personal Property
The college is not responsible for the loss of or damage to personal property of students. As the college does not provide coverage for personal property, students are strongly encouraged to add coverage of personal property to a family member’s homeowner’s insurance policy.

Each student is issued a room key and a key to the exterior door of her residence hall. For safety reasons these keys should not be labeled and should never be loaned to another person. A student who is locked out of her room or residence hall should contact the Office of Security at x7000. All lost or stolen keys should be reported immediately to the Office of Security. The cost to replace a room key is $25 and the cost to replace an outside door key is $50.

Moving Off Campus
All Residential College for Women students (including VWIL and PEG) are expected to reside in on campus housing for the tenure of their stay at Mary Baldwin. However, there are exceptions. Requests to move off campus may be granted if a student is over the age of 21, is married or has children, has a documented special housing need that cannot be accommodated on campus, or is residing with family in the surrounding area.  Students are also expected to be in good academic standing. Requests are made on the appropriate form and submitted to the director of housing.

To provide emergency assistance, Residence Life staff provides “on-call” coverage after hours. During the weekends, an on-call schedule is posted in every hall detailing the staff members on call. Students seeking assistance may refer to the schedule or contact the Office of Security.

Pets are not allowed in the residence halls with the exception of fish in a small aquarium.

Room Changes
Room changes are permitted throughout the semester by student request and are approved based on availability. There is a freeze on room changes the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters to allow occupancy to stabilize. The Office of Residence Life has the right to make room assignments and roommate changes at anytime based on needs of the college. As a first step, students should work with their resident assistant in resolving conflicts that may arise.

Room Entry
In general, student rooms are considered private; however, the college reserves the right to enter rooms when deemed necessary. When authorized personnel have reason to suspect that a violation of a college regulation, local ordinance, state or federal statute is in progress, and/or for other emergency purposes, they may enter without notice. Additionally, college maintenance personnel have the right to enter rooms to perform maintenance duties and to perform scheduled room inspections.

Room Fees
In addition to the standard room and board fee, there is a room fee for living in a designated single room or college-owned house or apartment. The fee is $320 per year or $160 per semester for a designated single. Students living in King, Woodrow Terrace Apartments, Carriage House, Coalter Street House, and Hawpe House are assessed an additional $300 per year or $150 per semester.

Room Lottery
Returning students select rooms for the following academic year through a lottery. In order to participate in the lottery, students must pay the $300 registration deposit. Dates, procedures, and regulations for the lottery are published in February in advance of the lottery which is held in March.

Room Vacancies
The college reserves the right to use all room spaces. Rooms cannot be “held” for students who are studying abroad or who have taken a leave of absence. When a vacancy occurs, a new student may be assigned without consultation with the remaining occupant.

Quiet Hours
To provide an atmosphere conducive to study and sleep, quiet hours are observed in all residential communities. They are determined by the community at the beginning of the year with the stipulation of lasting 12 hours and starting no later than 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

All residence halls, apartments, and houses are locked 24 hours a day. For the safety of all in the community, please do not prop open exterior doors or allow unauthorized persons to enter the halls. All guests in the building are to be escorted.

Smoking is prohibited in all residential common areas including elevators, stairwells, lounges, and kitchens.

Vacation Periods
The residence halls are closed during Thanksgiving and winter breaks. During this time, no one is allowed to remain in the residence halls, apartments, or houses. All buildings will be locked and secured. Additionally, residence halls close during spring break; however, in certain circumstances students are permitted to remain. Request forms are required for approval.

Students will be held responsible for intentional damage to property belonging to the school, another member of the campus community, or a campus visitor.

Visitation Hours
Freshmen and upper-class housing communities have a variety of visitation options.  Spencer and Woodson halls operate under the freshmen visitation policy. All other residence hall communities have 24/7 visitation, with the exception of Hill Top which operates on the unrestricted weekends policy. International floor in Memorial has no overnight visitation.

Weapons of any kind, including ornamental guns, swords, and knives are strictly prohibited in the residence hall environment.

Residence Hall, Apartments, and Houses Safety Inspection Logistics and Guidelines


All residence hall, apartments, and houses are inspected for compliance with health and safety guidelines.  This will include a visual inspection of residence hall rooms, apartments, and houses, selected randomly.  A detailed listing of what we are looking for during the inspection is listed below.  The main objective is to minimize the risk of fire or other safety issues within the residential community.


Once every semester.  Students will be notified of this schedule.

Campus residential areas in all buildings will be selected for inspection based on a random list of rooms. Inspections will occur between 7:30pm and 11:00pm.  If a student wishes to be present at the inspection she can do so however students are not required to be present at the inspection.


Inspections will be conducted by Resident Assistants, Residence Life staff and Physical Plant staff.  Follow-up for identified problems will be conducted by the Resident Assistant.


During the inspection, the following items will be checked:

Refrigerators, Microwaves, and other Appliances

  • Refrigerators are allowed under 4.0 cubic feet.  Both residents of the room can have a refrigerator if they so desire.
  • Microwaves are not allowed with the exception of the MicroFridge in student rooms.  However, microwaves are allowed in the kitchen areas of the houses and apartments.
  • Appliances with open heating elements or flames are not allowed.  These include but are not limited to hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, space heaters, electric or oil fryers, George Foreman grills, and gas or propane cooking equipment.  Additionally, these items are not allowed to be kept in the residence hall common area kitchens.
  • Hot pots, coffee makers, and rice cookers are approved.

Electrical Wiring

  • Surge protectors with a rating of 15 amps, 125 volts, or UL approved are allowed.
  • UL approved extension cords 16-18 gauge or larger are approved.
  • Power strips that are not surge protectors are not allowed.
  • Surge protectors are to be plugged directly into the wall.
  • Extension cords can only be used for one item and must be plugged directly into the wall outlet or into a surge protector.
  • Outlet extenders are not allowed – i.e. allow for a regular two-plug outlet to be turned into a six-plug outlet.
  • Electrical cords are not to be placed under carpet unless they are contained in a plastic cord protector.  Cable and telephone wires can be placed under carpet without a plastic protector.
  • Electrical cords can be taped to the wall and floor but cannot have any kinks or pinch points.

Candles and Incense

  • Candles and incense are not allowed nor are any open-flame lights, incense, or potpourri pots.
  • Potpourri warmers with enclosed heating elements are allowed.
  • Candles with wicks NOT burned or clipped so they cannot be burned are allowed.


  • Lamps with exposed halogen light bulbs are not allowed.
  • Holiday lights (strings of lights for Halloween, Christmas, etc.) are not allowed.

Items Hanging from Ceilings

  • Hanging sheets, nets, or other materials from the ceiling or light fixtures is not allowed.  Additionally no items can be hung from any fire protection equipment.

Heaters and Outlets

  • All items must be kept four inches away from the heating unit (top and sides) and electrical outlets.


  • Weapons, including ornamental knives, guns, and swords are not allowed.

Lofting of Beds

  • Using cinderblocks for the purpose of lofting a bed is not allowed.  Commercially made bed risers are allowed.  There is NO exception for beds in Kable.
  • Room dividers


  • No animals, birds or other caged pets are allowed.
  • Fish and other “aquatic life” (i.e.- live under water ONLY) are allowed.

What If …

A problem is found in the room during the inspection?

Residents will receive written notification and will be asked to correct the problem within 7 days.  For example if the violation was electrical cords running under a rug, the student has one week to go and purchase a plastic sleeve protector or rearrange the room so this is no longer an issue.

The student’s Resident Assistant will return to the room after the 1-week period to re-check the room and ensure that the problem is corrected.

If a problem persists after the allotted correction period, the residents of the room will be issued a fine of $75.00 for violation of fire safety rules/policies except in the case of the lofting of beds by means of cinderblocks which is a $25.00 fine.

If any judicial code violations are found during the inspection – example weapons, a referral will be made to the Judicial Board.

What can a resident do to make this process run smoothly?

  • Please read the guidelines for your own understanding of the policy.
  • If you have questions, please contact the Office of Residence Life at x7045.
  • Please have your room ready for inspection – meaning clean without a large amount of items all over the floor.
  • Keep in mind that our main objective is to ensure the safety of the residential living areas, not to harass you or make you feel uncomfortable.
The Microfridge

MicroFridgeThe Microfridge ® offers students the convenience of a microwave oven, freezer, and refrigerator all in one compact unit. Its unique electrical system minimizes power consumption, providing the solution to our concerns about available electrical power in many of our residential buildings. We have arranged with the Melvin Corporation to provide these units to you.

Consider the advantage of not having to worry about fitting the unit into your (probably) over-packed vehicle. The unit is delivered to your room at the beginning of the academic year and then picked up at the end of the year. You will also have the convenience of having a microwave oven and refrigerator with freezer in your room. No more waiting for the “common area” appliances.

We do not allow separate microwave units and refrigerators due to the lack of available power in many of our residential areas. If you want the convenience of both in your room, the Microfridge ® is the only approved appliance.

If you are interested, please see the Melvin Corporation website to fill out an online lease agreement. Sales tax is included in the rental fee. If you have any questions, please contact the office at 800-525-7307 or