Frequently asked questions

The Murray State University Housing Office welcomes you to the on-campus living experience.  The information below is designed for you, the parent or guardian of a soon-to-be student at Murray State, and is provided to our parents at Summer Orientations and Racer Days. It is designed to help you get a better understanding of Housing and Residence Life. Murray State University is committed to making the Residential College environment a positive learning experience for your son or daughter.

During the many years we have worked with parents, we have compiled a list of questions that parents have asked. We hope that through these questions that other parents posed, you can find the answers to your most-asked questions.

We are excited your son/daughter has chosen Murray State University . We are proud he/she will be living in our colleges. If there are other questions you have or if you need additional information concerning our facilities, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and can be reached at 270.809.2310 or toll free at 1.877.551.7774 or e-mail us at msu.housing@murraystate.edu.

 

Housing FAQs

 How do I apply for on campus housing?

Students must have a university issued M# (ID#) before they can begin the online application process.  The online application is accessible through myGate. Click here for instructions on how to apply for housing online.


 

How much is the housing deposit? Do scholarships cover it?

No. All students who live in a residence hall must pay the $150 housing deposit.  We also cannot waive this fee.  This deposit is a security/damage deposit for the room.  The deposit must be paid by credit/debit card or electronic check as part of the online housing application process.  The deposit is refundable upon students’ leaving the residence hall and cancelling their reservation online - http://www.murraystate.edu/campus/Housing/index.aspx (click on the forms tab).


 

When will my son/daughter receive his/her room assignment?

Possibly during Summer Orientation, depending on the date of the application.  Our office will begin making our housing assignments for our new applicants for the fall semester towards the end of May; however, our assignment process is fluid throughout the summer months.  Housing assignments will not be finalized until the end of July.  You should expect to receive notice of your specific room assignment and roommate contact information towards the end of the third week in July.

 

What if my son/daughter does not receive one of their requested colleges or roommate?

We will do our best to place your son/daughter in one of the choices listed on their application. Due to factors such as the date we receive applications, changes in original preferences, and changes in roommate choices, we cannot guarantee that we can grant their requests. If, however, we are unable to grant that request before school begins, we will conduct more than 600 room changes after the start of the semester. PLEASE NOTE: We cannot guarantee building preference or roommate preference for students applying after January 1st .

 

What if my son/daughter wants to room with someone they met at Summer O?

We cannot make any changes unless both students have a deposit and application on file. Both students need to put the request in writing to us. We will strive to grant the request before August and the opening of school, but because of space limitations, we may not be able to grant this request. If we are unable to grant that request before school begins, we will conduct over 600 room changes after the start of the semester.

 

Are all the colleges/buildings coed and what does that mean?

All colleges are coed except Springer College, which is an all female building. At Murray State University, coed living is defined as a situation where men and women live in the same building but on different floors. On our campus, in six buildings, the males live on the lower floors and the females live on the upper floors.  In Lee Clark and James H. Richmond, the buildings are co-ed by wings.  This means that, for example, on the 1st floor, one wing of the building will house women and the other wing on the first floor will house men. 

 

What can my son/daughter do to decorate the room?

We encourage students to personalize their rooms. There are many ways to make residential college rooms more like a home away from home. One of the first steps is for both roommates to take time to decide how they would like their room to look. Coordinating bedspreads, rugs, throw pillows and plants are ways to begin. There are a variety of ways to arrange the furniture in the room; creativity may be used.  All rooms in Murray State University's residential colleges are painted on an as needed basis, with the Office of Facilities Management making the decision of where to paint. Students who think that their room needs painting may contact the Residence Director. Each room is furnished with beds, desks, closets, drawer space and study lamps. You can add approved furniture to your room, BUT YOU CANNOT REMOVE FURNITURE FROM YOUR ROOM. Students are charged the replacement value for any items missing from their room when they check out. If you would like more information about room sizes and floor plans or decorating examples, check out the Residence Hall Details links from the Housing Office Home Page.

Can I loft my bed?

Yes! Murray State University partners with Bedloft.com to provide students with a loft rental program.  This in the ONLY approved loft allowed at Murray State.  Renting a loft is an easy, affordable way to create additional living space in your room.  Students may pre-order a loft at Bedloft.com for easy pick-up on move-in day.  Lofts may also be rented on move-in day, but quantities will be limited.  Futons are also available through Bedloft.com.  To place your order today, visit www.bedloft.com.

What are the standard bed sizes?

The mattress size in all the colleges, except Elizabeth, Hester, Lee Clark and James H. Richmond is a standard 75" long.  These beds will accommodate the regular size twin and bunk fitted sheets.  Elizabeth, Hester, Lee Clark and James H. Richmond have 80" mattresses.

How does my son/daughter receive mail?

All students receive a Murray State e-mail address when they come to school.   If you have access to e-mail, this is an excellent way to communicate with your son or daughter.  Mailrooms are located in each residential college. Mailbox assignments and combinations will be given out when students check into the building.  To send a letter or package to a student, please address it in the following manner: Line 1) Student's Name, Line 2) Box Number, College (building) Name, Line 3) Murray, KY 42071 

What about telephones?

Each room has a modular phone jack, but residents must supply their own touch-tone phone.  There is one phone line per room. Local service is provided; cost is covered in the room rent. If long distance service is required, students must contract with any of the long distance carriers and obtain an access number. Bills for long distance service will be sent to the address provided by the student. Another option is calling collect. Students will receive their phone numbers when checking into their rooms.  Residents may use cell phones in the residential colleges; however, we cannot guarantee the quality of reception.

 

Can my son/daughter cook in his/her room?

No. We are concerned with fire safety. The fire codes are very strict. We do have kitchenettes in each building and allow one microwave per room. Microwave ovens no larger than 700 watts, coffee makers and popcorn poppers with enclosed heating elements are allowed in the rooms.  Appliances with exposed heating elements (i.e., hot plates) are not permitted. Please note that only one microwave is permitted per room.

Why can’t we have two microwaves per room?

Unfortunately, the delivery system for electricity to each room is the same now as when the buildings were first built.  At that time students did not bring anywhere near the amount of electrical appliances that they do today.  In most cases, there are two rooms that are on a 20 amp breaker, which means that if the total amps used at any time exceeds 20, the breaker trips and leaves both rooms without power.  A 700 watt microwave uses approximately 5 amps, while a 1200 watt hair dryer uses approximately 10 amps.  A computer with printer uses between 7 and 9 amps and a TV or stereo can use between 1 and 1½ amps.   For example if room A is using the computer and printer while listening to the stereo (for an approximate total of 10 amps in use), and room B has the computer on without the printer and has the TV on (for an approximate total of 8 amps in use), the room is okay, but if room A or B turns on the microwave, the breaker will trip.  This is why we have limits on the electrical items used in the buildings.

What about refrigerators in the rooms?

Refrigerators are permitted in the rooms. However the refrigerator cannot exceed 4.6cubic feet.  Please note that only one refrigerator per room is allowed. 

What about TV and cable?

Basic television service (approximately 22 channels) and expanded service (approximately 50 additional channels) are included in the housing fee.  We currently have a contract with Timer Warner Cable (TWC) for our cable service.  They will have a distribution center on campus during Great Beginnings and for the first week of school.  You can also visit the TWC office in Murray.  TVs are provided in a lounge in each building.

May my son/daughter bring a computer and what about internet service (RESNET)?

Yes, but you may wish to contact your son's or daughter's academic department for more specific guidelines. Please make sure that your homeowners policy covers loss or theft of this equipment, as MSU cannot accept responsibility. Computer labs are available in some of the residential colleges and on campus for those individuals who do not have a computer.  RESNET is the computer network that brings Ethernet-based computer connections to residents residing in the residential colleges of MSU. Every student who lives in the Residential Colleges has an outlet to connect their computer equipment for Internet access. Student computers will need to have a Network Interface Card and a patch cable to connect to the Internet.

Does the heating and A/C work like my system at home?

No.  We have what is called a two pipe system in all of our residence halls with the exception of Lee Clark and James H. Richmond.  This two pipe system means that the entire building can either have heat or a/c.  Each individual room can control the amount of heat or a/c delivered to the room, but the room can only receive the type of air provided to the entire building.   However, residents of Lee Clark and James H. Richmond do have the ability to control their own heat and a/c.  NOTE:  Because of the temperatures in our area, we usually convert the buildings to heat in mid to late October and we usually convert the buildings to a/c in mid-April.

May my son/daughter bring a car to campus?

Yes. All students must purchase a parking tag.  Freshman residents must park in the stadium parking lot unless they live in Regents Hall or White Hall, where residents are allowed to park in the lots adjacent to these buildings . Please encourage your son or daughter to lock his/her car.

Can my son/daughter bring pets?

No. The only pets allowed are fish in an enclosed aquarium. Considering health, safety and comfort of all the residents, pets found will be removed immediately at the expense of the resident. However, residents who have a documented medical condition that would require a service, assistance or comfort animal are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Disability Services, 423 Wells Hall.

How can my son/daughter apply for a reasonable housing accommodation?

Housing Disability Assignments Process - A student with a documented disability or a parent or advocate on behalf of the student and with the student’s permission may make a written request for reasonable housing accommodation(s) or a housing exemption. Said request should include appropriate documentation of the student’s disability. Written requests for reasonable housing accommodation(s) can be made by completing the appropriate sections of the online housing application.  The exemption form will be available on-line or in the Housing Office.  The request form shall be forwarded to the ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee, 423 Wells Hall, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071, for a determination. The decision of the ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee will then be mailed by the Office of Student Disability Services to the student. Please note that the resulting housing assignment, if any, will be made available on the student's myGate account. It should be noted that requests for accommodations can be initiated at any time. However, it is recommended that requests for the fall semesters be received by May 31st, for spring semesters by December 15th and for summer terms, one month prior to the first day of class. Requests for accommodations or a housing exemption made after the start of any semester or term shall be processed in like manner. A determination shall be made as soon as possible but no later than two (2) weeks following the date the request is received.

How can my son/daughter appeal the decision on their reasonable accommodation request?

A student (or the student’s parent or advocate on behalf of the student) who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Subcommittee as to the requested accommodation(s) or housing exemption (i.e. does not believe that the housing assignment or denial of exemption accommodates the student’s disability or in some way endangers the student’s safety or health) may file a written appeal to the Office of Institutional Diversity Equity & Access (IDEA), 103 Wells Hall, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071, along with any supporting documentation.   Said appeal shall be filed in the Office of IDEA within ten (10) days from the date of receipt of the original decision by the Subcommittee as to the request for reasonable accommodation(s)/housing exemption. No one involved in the initial decision by the Subcommittee shall be involved in the determination on appeal which shall be made by the Office of IDEA. The Office of IDEA shall make a written determination within thirty (30) days from the date it received the appeal. The decision of the Office of IDEA shall be final.

May my son or daughter have visitors of the opposite sex in his or her room?

Yes.  In accordance with the visitation guidelines established for the residential college in which your son or daughter resides.  The policy can be found in the Student Life Handbook.  Guests must be signed in and escorted at all times.

If my son/daughter has a roommate conflict, what are his/her options?

If your son or daughter has a roommate conflict, staff personnel are available to assist. Your son or daughter should first contact either the Resident Advisor or Residence Director, who will then arrange a meeting between the roommates. The goal of this meeting will be to have the students’ identify the issues and to move toward resolving them. If the issues cannot be resolved, then steps will be taken to enact a room change by one or both individuals.

 

Who is responsible for my son’s/daughter’s personal property?

Your son or daughter. Although precautions are taken to maintain adequate security, the University cannot assume the responsibility for the loss or damage to student possessions. We encourage you to check your homeowner's insurance policy for coverage on rental proprieties.  There are companies which also offer insurance specifically for colleges and universities.  Information on these companies will be provided during the August check-in.

What about insurance for my son’s/daughter’s belongings?

The university cannot purchase insurance for the students’ personal belongings. Check your homeowners insurance policy for coverage on rental proprieties. There are companies which offer insurance specifically for colleges and universities. Information on these companies will be provided during the August check-in.

 

Can I bring my favorite candle from home?

The use of candles and incense is prohibited in the buildings. Students may possess candles for decorative purposes only if the wicks have been cut out or if the candles remain in the original cellophane wrap. Candles that do not meet this criteria are removed from the student’s room.  Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is not allowed in the buildings.  Please visit the housing office website (What to bring/What NOT to bring to college) for a list of items that are not allowed in the halls.

What is the residency requirement?

Students are required to live on campus their freshman and sophomore years.  Students can request an exemption from this requirement.  Please visit our website for specific information on this process.

Is there a residency requirement associated with receiving regional tuition?

All students who come from the regional tuition counties of Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee are required to rent a residence hall room not only during their freshman and sophomore years, but also during their junior year if they wish to receive the regional tuition rate.

What is liquidation?

Students who have accumulated at least 60 earned hours of academic credit (junior status) may LIQUIDATE their housing contracts at the end of the fall semester for the spring semester by agreeing to pay 25 percent of the current room rate or receiving a refund of 75 percent of the prepaid rent for the spring semester. This option is not available after the resident signs in or moves in for the spring semester. The liquidation option is only available for the spring semester.

 

More commonly requested information

The Residential College System

Residential Colleges are the center of Murray State University . The Residential College System at Murray State University redefines collegiate living and educational experiences for undergraduate students. Every undergraduate student belongs to one of the Residential Colleges. At the heart of each is the Residential College . The Residential College provides the focal point for all Residential College activities. Each Residential College is composed of students from a variety of academic majors, grade classifications, ethnic backgrounds and extracurricular interests. Residential Colleges are designed to celebrate the rich diversity of Murray State University students, staff and faculty. Each offer a stimulating living-learning environment for students.

Residential Colleges provide students with opportunities to interact with faculty on a daily basis outside of the classroom. The small community atmosphere allows students a chance to establish a sense of pride and common purpose. After being assigned to a Residential College, students are connected with that community throughout their undergraduate years. Students, staff and faculty establish enduring friendships through the experience. The Residential College develops traditions and lasting bonds that remain with students years after graduation.

Residential College Activities

Residential Colleges are places for the exchange of ideas, experiences, feelings and interests. Thus, the development and implementation of programs and activities are important aspects of the Residential College experience.

Residential College Council

The Residential College Council is a group of students who represent the interests of an individual Residential College. Composed of students elected by students living on each floor or in the college, this group plans programs and activities for its Residential College. Officers are elected each Spring for the Residential College Council. While the organization of the governing body varies from college to college, each group's purposes are similar. Each college council implements programs and activities that meet the needs of the residents as well as represent the residents on issues that affect their living environment. Activities that college councils have sponsored in the past include Welcome Week activities, intramural teams, Homecoming and Parent's Weekend receptions, and end-of-the year cookouts.

Residential College Association

The Residential College Association (RCA), a coordinating body among the Residential Colleges and their communities, consists of one representative per Residential College . Each college is responsible for choosing its representatives. RCA works with housing staff and residents in facility modification, distribution of publications, addressing areas of concerns for residents and planning activities and programs for the Residential College community.

Murray State University Housing Staff

The Department of Housing employs approximately 10 full-time staff members. In addition, there are 8 College Heads, 10 Residence Directors, 83 Resident Advisors, and approximately 45 Night Clerks, and 30 Day Clerks. Several other students hold part-time positions in the Residential Colleges. Together, these staff members have responsibility for various aspects of residence life-physical facilities, staffing, programming, room assignments, policy formation and student group advising. All of these individuals are committed to helping your son or daughter have a positive residential college living experience.

Resident Advisors (RAs) live with the residents on each floor or wing. They are student staff members selected on the basis of their skills, interests, and activities that enable them to assist and advise students in obtaining the most from their experience at Murray State University. Each Resident Advisor is trained in student referrals with academic and personal concerns. This is the most important staff member for your son or daughter to get to know.

Residence Directors perform a wide range of functions in providing leadership for the Residential College . They are the initiators-energizers who help set the tone for the Residential College. Their role is manager and educator. The Residence Director is responsible for student personnel, management operations, facility maintenance, staff development, and fiscal management.

College Heads are tenured professors who spend half of their time in the Residential College. They each have an office in their Residential College and they are available to assist students. College Heads work with the Residence Directors, RAs and Residential College Council to provide overall leadership and direction for the Residential Colleges.

Night Clerks are the personnel responsible for working the front desk during the overnight hours. These student employees work from midnight to 8 a.m. They check student IDs, make rounds in the Residential Colleges, check outside doors and respond to calls.

Along with these staff members, the central staff strives to provide a standard of service that meets the needs of our students. The five full-time professional staff members include the Associate Director of Housing for Administrative Services, Assistant Director of Resident Services, Assistant Director for Residence Education, Coordinator of Housing Operations, and the Director of Housing/Residence Life. If there are ways that they can assist you, please let them know. (Housing Staff)

Private Rooms

Due to a high demand for on-campus housing, students are unable to request private rooms to begin the fall semester.  Students will have the opportunity to request a private room after the fall semester begins.  If you have a documented medical condition that would necessitate you having a private room you will need to submit your request for a private room by completing the Request for Reasonable Accommodation section of the online housing application.

Consolidation

Consolidation is the process of moving together residents who are paying for double occupancy but for some reason are in a room without a roommate.  Students will be notified via email and will be provided a list of names of same gender residents who are also without a roommate.  Residents who may find themselves in this situation should consider this process as an opportunity to find someone that they would like to have as a roommate.  Our goal is not to inconvenience our residents; rather encourage our students to find someone that they would feel comfortable sharing a room with.  This ultimately creates a better living environment and fosters academic achievement.