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Department of Housing and Residence Life

FAQs

Assignments

 

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is committed to providing students with a comprehensive educational experience. USM recognizes the educational and social benefits students receive from residing on campus their first year, as compared to living off campus. Ample research across the United States over the last 30 years has provided compelling evidence that students who live in university-provided housing perform better academically, and enjoy a higher degree of satisfaction with their college experience, than students who live off-campus or commute. In recognition of the value of the living-learning experience associated with on-campus living, the USM Department of Housing and Residence will begin a freshman residency program effective Fall Semester 2022 for the Hattiesburg campus. This program would require all new first-time full-time freshman students to live on campus their first year at USM.  This is also consistent with the other state institutions in Mississippi, who have had first year residency requirements for a number of years.

Can I be exempt from the 2022 First Year Live on Requirement?
Students can be exempt from this requirement for the following reasons:
The student is 20 years of age prior to the first day of classes of the student's first semester. A copy of the certificate of birth or passport must be submitted.
The student is married. A copy of the certificate of marriage must be submitted.
The student has custody of dependent children. A copy of the certificate of birth and copy of your federal tax return, verifying child is your dependent, must be submitted.
The student is a veteran who has completed 2 years of active military service. A copy of certificate of release/discharge from active duty must be submitted. 
The student lives with parent(s)/guardian(s) whose current permanent primary place of residence is not more than 50 miles driving distance from USM. A completed parent/guardian verification statement must be submitted. 
The student is a transfer student and USM has accepted at least 24 semester credit hours. A copy of unofficial transcript must be submitted. 
The student is enrolled part-time (less than 12 hours per semester). A copy of class schedule must be submitted. 
The student has a compelling circumstance. A letter concisely and fully describing the circumstance and any supporting documentation must be submitted.

Yes, you need to be fully admitted to the university with a student ID number to apply for housing. As soon as you have an ID number and have been admitted to the university, you will be able to apply for housing. This number will be given to you by the Office of Admissions.

Click on the "Enter Housing Portal" link on the homepage of the website, and then login with your SOAR ID/password. Then, click on the "Applications and Assignments" tab and then click "Apply Now". Select which term you are applying for. 

Please note: In order for your housing application to be considered complete, you must have submitted the Housing Contract Lease Agreement, and gone through all the steps of the application until you receive a final confirmation. If not a current student continuing from the previous semester, the non-refundable processing fee must also be paid.

The application and processing fee can be submitted at any time; however, the earlier your application is complete (application submitted and non-refundable processing fee paid) the better chance you have of securing a space in campus housing. Also, students applying by February 15th, the priority deadline, will have an application fee rate of $75. After February 15, the non-refundable processing fee returns to its normal rate of $150.
The non-refundable processing fee is assessed to students for the process of reviewing applications and making assignments. The processing fee can be paid online using a VISA or MasterCard. Students may also pay using a money order mailed to the Department of Housing and Residence Life or turned in to the front office located in Hickman Hall. Students should note their name and student ID number on the money order.
Students who cancel their application through the housing portal prior to June 1 for the following fall/spring terms will be released without any financial penalty. Students who cancel after June 1, but prior to August 1, will be charged a $500 cancellation fee. Beginning August 1, students will be held to the terms of their contract lease agreement. Students charged either the cancellation fee or the full contract fee may appeal at any time throughout the next academic year. Appeal forms and information can be found in the housing portal under the "Miscellaneous Forms and Requests" tab. 
 
Housing is processed based on completed application date (the date that the contract lease agreement is executed online, application, non-refundable processing fee).

Students who do not know anyone coming to Southern Miss will be assigned a roommate. These assignments are based on a matching system in which preferences are reviewed and students are matched based on the highest compatibility listed on their application.

Students may also use the "Southern Miss Roommate Connection" program. This program allows students to create a profile and search others who have similar profiles. It also allows for students to email one another so that they can communicate and determine if they would be compatible roommates. 

It is a requirement that freshmen students live with other freshmen students. In addition, students who receive certain scholarships may be required to live with students of the same scholarship/live-learn community. These guidelines are determined by the scholarship/live-learn community program administrators and noted within the particular scholarship guidelines. Members of live-learn communities may request a non live-learn roommate as long as approval is given by the respective scholarship program/live-learn community. We encourage incoming students who find a roommate or have a preference to ensure they have received a roommate pin number to share with their preferred roommate. Both students must have a completed application in order to receive a roommate pin number via email within the initial housing application confirmation email. In the event a student needs to reset their roommate pin number, please contact the Housing and Residence Life front office. Once the student’s online room selection window has opened only one student will need to complete the room selection process for themselves and the roommate. The student who does the room selection process will be prompted to enter their preferred roommate’s pin number and pull them into the room booking. Each student will receive an assignment confirmation email once a room has been selected and the process is completed. For students who are applying for living learning communities, you will need to adjust roommate preferences within that particular LLC’s portal. Those portals will become available as soon as offers are sent out (typically around March 1st). ACES, Honors College, and Luckyday residents are required to live with other members of their communities.
The Department of Housing and Residence Life works to meet the needs of all students. Students needing special accommodations should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 601.266.5024 or sasFREEMississippi
Students who have a completed application prior to February 15th, will complete their online room selection process by the end of May. Students who apply after the priority deadline, will receive the room assignment in June or July dependent on application completion date and space availability. 
  When can I move into my room? May I move in early?  All assignment information (including room selection information) is communicated to students via their USM email address.  Please be checking your USM email address for information. Students who apply for campus housing before February 15 will typically be notified by June 1. Students who apply after February 15 will typically receive their housing assignments by July 1. Students select rooms themselves during their room selection period. If you do not select a room during your selection period, Housing and Residence Life will place you in a space, as space is available. Preferences DO NOT guarantee you a space in that building. Assignments and selection periods are based on completed application date. Students may submit room change requests as Housing and Residence Life opens up room change request periods based on availability and cancellations. This typically occurs once or twice a summer. The room change request form can be found at usm.edu/housing.

 

Residence Halls

 

Smoking, or the use of any tobacco product including e-cigarettes, vapes, etc. is prohibited within the residence halls, Sorority and Fraternity housing, and Cedarbrook II apartments. For more information about The University of Southern Mississippi Tobacco-Free policy, please visit the Student Health Services website.

Pets are defined as any animal except harmless aquatic life (fish). Dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, snakes, birds, lab/research animals or any other animals are not permitted in the residence halls, Sorority and Fraternity houses, and Cedarbrook II apartments. Properly registered service animals and emotional support animals are allowed. In regard to service animals and emotional support animals, students are responsible for said animals and must uphold all policies and procedures associated with them. Small aquarium fish are the only pets allowed (aquarium size is limited to a maximum of 15 gallons). Visitors must be informed to leave their animals and pets elsewhere. Residents or visitors who violate this policy could be fined $100 as well as subject to judicial action. NOTE: Residence Life professional staff members are permitted to keep small dogs or cats in their apartment.  

Emotional Support Animals and Special Housing Accommodations 

Residents who are registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) must complete documentation with Housing and Residence Life. For further details, see page 19 in the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.

Cooking appliances, such as toasters and hot plates, are not allowed in student rooms. George Foreman grills or similar products are also not permitted. Any item that has a heating element cannot be kept in a residence hall room. Single-cup coffee makers with automatic shut-off functions, such as Keurig, are permitted in rooms. For further details, see page 17 in the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
Please review the "What to Bring" list located here: What to Bring/What Not to Bring
TVs: Resident's personal television MUST be able to receive a digital signal in order to view the Xfinity on Campus cable programming provided by Housing and Residence Life. In addition, the resident will need to bring the "thread" or "screw on" type cable wire with them to connect to the cable outlet in their room. iTech has advised that the "push on" type connection cables do not always work.
Residents are not allowed to have visitors of the opposite sex stay overnight. All residents and guests must follow the guidelines on page 18 (page 20 for full visitation policy) of the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.  What is the overnight visitation policy? On occasion, residents are permitted to have a guest of the same sex stay overnight
in their rooms, if the guest is registered with the hall supervisor at least 24 hours
(USM student) or 48 hours (off-campus guest) prior to the guest’s requested
overnight stay. Residents must submit an Overnight Guest Form, available in the Student
Housing Portal. 
Overnight stays are contingent upon the following:
A 24-hour notice is required for overnight guests who are enrolled at Southern
Miss. Requests for Friday-Sunday nights must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Overnight stays for guests not enrolled at Southern Miss require a 48-hour
notice with proper identification (see department handbook for acceptable 
IDs). Overnight guests not enrolled at Southern Miss are limited to Friday and
Saturday nights ONLY. Approval is contingent upon agreement by the roommate and may or may not be given. Guests are to stay no longer than two nights, and only one guest is permitted
per room per night. Overnight requests for same sex siblings between ages 14 and 17 must receive approval five business days prior to the requested stay. The Overnight Guest 
Form for Minors is available in your Housing Portal and at the front desk of your
residence hall. Minor siblings are limited to Friday and Saturday nights ONLY. Students with non-registered guests will be subject to disciplinary action and assessed a charge of $20 per night.
Students should not bring their own refrigerator or microwave. All rooms are equipped with either a micro-fridge (refrigerator, freezer, microwave combination unit) or a compact refrigerator/freezer. For further details, see page 17 in the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
If you have a problem with your room, contact your Resident Assistant or any other staff member in your hall. If it is a maintenance request, you may enter the Student Housing Portal from our website to submit the "Maintenance Request" form or call 601.266.5404 during business hours to speak to a maintenance representative. 

 

General

All of the beds in the residence halls are extra-long twins (mattresses are 80 inches long).
*NOTE: Sorority houses (excluding Scholarship Hall) and duplex buildings contain full-size 80 inch mattresses.
The beds cannot be bunked and bed risers are not allowed, however, the height between the headboard and footboard may be raised or lowered. For assistance, residents should submit an online maintenance request form.
For safety reasons, beds cannot be lofted.

Yes, students are encouraged to decorate their room so that they feel at home. However, in order to help maintain the condition of the rooms, certain rules must be observed when decorating. The use of tape, nails, staples, or glue on walls is prohibited. 3M poster and/or picture hanging strips should be used to attach posters and pictures to the walls. When vacating the room, remove the poster/picture and leave the strip on the wall for maintenance to remove to avoid possible damage. Permanent adhesives (double-sided masking tape, contact paper, etc.) should not be used. Wall borders, removable wallpaper and/or adhesive light strips are not permitted. For further details concerning this policy, see page 9 of the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook

The residence halls now remain open during holiday breaks. Students who plan on staying in their residence hall during holiday breaks must sign up and be approved for Break Housing. Students will be charged a break housing rate.
If you lock yourself out of your room, you should report your hall’s front desk to locate a staff member (i.e., Residence Life Coordinator, Senior Resident Assistant or Resident Assistant) of your hall to let you into your room or issue you a temporary access card. 
Students wishing to have telephone service in their room should contact iTech at 601.266.4357.
Students experiencing wireless issues should contact iTech at 601.266.4357.
Parking is allowed on campus. Students must register their vehicles and purchase a parking decal from the Department of Parking Management located in McLemore Hall. Residents must park in the residential parking zones.
All resident students are issued a post office box and will need to visit the Post Office located on the ground level of the Thad Cochran Center to receive their box assignment and code.
Yes, if you reside in campus housing you will be required to have a meal plan. Learn more about the meal plan options from Eagle Dining. All residents are given the Golden Eagle Pass meal plan, but may change to a different residential meal plan during the first two weeks of the semester, if desired.

Contact Us

Department%20of%20Housing%20and%20Residence%20Life
Hattiesburg Hall
118 College Dr. #5064
Hattiesburg, Ms 39406-0001

Campus Map

Email 
reslifeFREEMississippi

Main Office Phone
601.266.4783

Maintenance Office Phone
601.266.5404