St. Mary's College of Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions

Activities | Furniture | Housing | Insurance | Off-Campus Housing | Parking | Policies | Room Dimensions | Roommates | Staff Selection | Visitation

Activities: Are there any fraternities on campus?

We do not have social fraternities or sororities at SMCM. We have over 90 clubs and organizations, varsity athletics, club sports, and departmental activities that students can join to be with others who share common interests and to build friendships.

Activities: The campus is remote - what activities are at the College to help prevent boredom after classes? I have heard there are a lot of parties with alcohol involved. What other activities are available to students that do not want to get involved in these types of parties? Are there movies, dances, etc.?

While the campus is remote, we have a large number and variety of programs, events, and activities scheduled throughout the year. Many clubs and organizations sponsor related programs (e.g. the Mountain Biking Club sponsors bike rides; the men's and women's a cappella groups have concerts, the Black Student Union sponsors mentor/mentee programs with the local schools; community service projects occur throughout the year). We have over 90 active clubs and organizations on campus to meet the interests of our students. The school newspaper is always looking for students to work for them. The Student Government Association Programs Board is responsible for providing a number of large-scale, campus-wide programs, for example, World Carnival. The Office of Student Activities sponsors many campus-wide programs, including bus trips to Washington, D.C. and NYC to go to plays, shopping, museums, etc. They'll bring in comedians, movies, coffeehouses, hypnotists, etc. Our varsity athletics, intramurals, and club sports programs are all quite active and have many home games/matches for students to attend. The Residence Life staff plan and implement programs of interest for their residents. There are dance performances, theatre performances, and/or concerts sponsored by the Theater and Music Departments every few months. We have regular poetry readings, lectures, and colloquia scheduled throughout the year. Our students are also known to create their own fun with their friends (going on hikes, going shopping, kayaking or sailing on the river, wandering through Historic St. Mary's City, etc.). Despite our small size, we do have lots to do around here. There are parties, especially on the weekends in the Townhouses, but we have other activities for those who choose not to attend.

Furniture: My son will be living in Dorchester. Both he and his roommate have purchased mini-fridges. Are two allowed?

Thanks for checking on this! We only permit one refrigerator per room. Students assigned to quads can bring two refrigerators per room. Given that there are a limited number of outlets and limited wattage available, they will need to decide which one of them will bring the fridge. We strongly encourage roommates to communicate with each other as to who is bringing what items. There really is no need, for example, for both roommates to bring TVs. A good roommate relationship starts during the summer with this type of communication.

Furniture: My daughter will be in Queen Anne and she and her roommate want to put curtains on the window. Are there curtain rods already in place? If not, what do the students usually do?

We provide window shades in the traditional halls (Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, and Queen Anne) and blinds in Lewis Quad, the Townhouses, and Waring Commons. We do not provide curtain rods. To be honest, very, very few of our students put up curtains. The rods tend to damage the walls and the students end up having to pay for the repairs. Most students use pictures, posters, and tapestries on their walls to decorate and give their room a "homey" feeling.

Furniture: My son has a room in Dorchester. Would you please explain what the lofting kit does? Does it raise the bed high enough to put a desk underneath? Is it something we need to arrange ahead of time?

A lofting kit raises the bed using an extension of the headboard and footboard. The bed can be raised high enough for the dresser and/or desk to be placed beneath the bed, thus allowing more open floor space in the room. Beds in Dorchester, Lewis Quad, Queen Anne, Waring Commons, and certain Townhouses can be lofted or bunked. Beds in Calvert, Caroline, Prince George, and other Townhouses can be bunked, but not lofted.

Once a student arrives on campus in August, the student can request a lofting kit through an RA or RHC. Our maintenance staff will bring the lofting kit to the room within a few days. Students are not permitted to bring risers, homemade lofts, or raise their beds by putting them on top of furniture.

Housing: When does housing close this semester for Winter Break?

Students are required to leave campus within 24 hours after their last final exam. The residences close on Friday, December 19th at noon for Winter Break. The residences will re-open on January 18th at 10 a.m. Students do not have to move out of their rooms at the end of the fall semester unless they are not returning to the College for the spring semester or they are changing rooms for the spring semester. 

Housing: How are room assignments made?

Room assignments are made by our housing software system using the information provided on the roommate matching profile. The system pairs roommates that appear to be the “best fit.” It is imperative that students be as honest as possible about your personal study and lifestyle habits.

Housing: I am going to be a first-year at St. Mary’s next year and on my tuition sheet it says I will be living in a quad but I have been unable to find out exactly what that is. Could you tell me what quad facilities are like?

We have two types of quads. Quads in Calvert Hall (CH) are considered "natural quads". This means that these rooms were designed and built to accommodate up to four residents (we also have some natural triples in Calvert). Each resident gets his or her own desk, desk chair, wardrobe, bed, and dresser. There are two phone lines per room and four voice mailboxes (one per resident). Most CH quads have at least two, if not three, windows and lots of floor space. The beds can be bunked once residents arrive to create even more floor space, if desired. These rooms are considered standard rooms; hence, there is no special priority to move students out of these spaces because they are used as student bedrooms all year. Quads in the other buildings (Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, and Queen Anne) are study rooms that have been converted into bedrooms to accommodate up to four students when we are over-enrolled. They are designed to be temporary housing until space opens up in standard double rooms. Students assigned to these rooms usually have top priority for being moved into standard rooms in order to regain the use of the room as a study lounge. Again, each student has a desk, desk chair, wardrobe, dresser, and bed. The beds are typically bunked or lofted before the students arrive. There are at least two, usually three, windows, in these rooms. There are also two phone lines per room as noted above.

Housing: Are we allowed to put up posters in our rooms to liven them up?

Yes, you are allowed to put up posters on the walls. We encourage students to personalize their rooms (within reason!). We ask that you use the 3M Poster Mounts that we will provide or some other removable substance (not duct tape, nails, etc.) so as to avoid damaging the paint and the walls.

Housing: When will we find out about our room assignment and who our roommate is?

Housing confirmations are emailed to all resident students' SMCM email accounts in July. Housing confirmations for new spring admits are emailed in early January. The housing confirmation will contain your room assignment, Campus Center mailbox assignment, your campus phone extension, and the name(s), address(es), phone number(s), and e-mail address(es) of your roommate(s). We strongly encourage you to contact your roommate ASAP in order to get to know each other, determine who will bring what to your shared room, etc.

Housing: Can I bring my cat or dog to live with me on campus?

Non-venomous reptiles, non-meat-eating fish, certified service dogs (e.g. for the blind or deaf), and approved emotional comfort/therapy animals are the only animals permitted in our residences. We have a number of students, staff, and faculty who are afraid of or allergic to cats and other fur-bearing animals. This is an issue for our union employees who may have to do work in student rooms (e.g. maintenance work). Being an animal lover myself, a residence hall room is hardly appropriate for any animal. They need space in which to roam and play.

Housing: What am I not allowed to bring to school?

Air conditioner, electric fry pans, crock pots, other cooking appliances, firearms, weapons, knives, fireworks, air pistols, halogen lamps and bulbs, hot plate, microwave ovens (except for Lewis Quad, and Waring Commons, and the Townhouses where one microwave per unit is permitted), pets (except non-meat-eating fish and non-venomous reptiles in 20 gal. or less tanks), portable heater, refrigerators taller than 33", toaster and toaster oven, water beds. Window air conditioners are permitted ONLY for students with approved medical reasons who have received prior written permission from the Health Center and the Associate Dean of Students. The College will lease air conditioners to students who have approval for one. Please contact our office for details.

Housing: What can I bring to school?

Blanket, clothes hangers, linens (extra-long), pillow, towels, washcloths, wastebasket, personal care and toiletry items, clock, radio, desk lamp, fan, hair dryer, personal care equipment, hot pot, iron, plants, popcorn popper, one refrigerator per room (not to exceed 33"), rug, small vacuum cleaner, stereo, TV, VCR, surge protector, telephone, typewriter, computer, printer, coffeemaker with auto shut-off, and answering machine. In addition, students should bring a landline phone, because none are provided. In Lewis Quad and Waring Commons suites, one microwave is allowed per suite in the common room.

Housing: Can I get a single room?

Single rooms are available on a limited basis and are usually reserved for upperclass students, students with extenuating medical or mental health circumstances, students with certain physical or learning disabilities, and non-traditional students. If you have an extenuating medical or mental health situation and want to request a single, appropriate documentation must be sent to the Health or Counseling Center for approval. If you have a physical or learning disability, appropriate documentation must be sent to the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services for approval. If any singles are left, they will be assigned to students who request them based on credit (the more credits you have, the better your chance to get a single).

Housing: Does a student have to pay extra money for single bedrooms in the Waring Commons apartments?

The single-bedroom apartments cost a little more than the double-bedroom apartments in Waring Commons. The complex is the newest housing we have and has lots of amenities that the residence halls do not have. If you would like more information on room and board costs, please go to our Web page at

Housing: Do any of the residence halls have study rooms?

Most of the residences have at least one study room available for the students (the exception is in the Townhouses where there is no common study room available). On occasion, we have to use the study rooms in the traditional halls (Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, and Queen Anne) as temporary bedrooms in the event that we are overcrowded, but we try to empty those rooms as quickly as possible, and we can usually leave at least one open in each traditional residence hall in order to provide study space for the students.

Housing: Does St. Mary’s College of Maryland have a JROTC program?

St. Mary's College of Maryland does not have a JROTC program.

How many students share a room?

Most of our residence hall rooms are doubles. We have a limited number of singles available in the traditional halls. Calvert Hall has natural triples and quads (the rooms are enormous!) as well as doubles and a few singles. When necessary, we convert study rooms in the traditional halls into temporary quads to accommodate overcrowding (again, the rooms are very large). The suites contain double rooms. The Waring Commons apartments have mostly single bedrooms with a few units having doubles. The Townhouses are all double bedrooms.

Housing: How big are the single rooms in the Waring Commons apartments? Also - what appliances do the apartments come with besides a fridge and stove?

The single bedrooms in Waring Commons are approximately 10' x 13'. The College does not provide any other appliances in the apartment kitchens except the full-size refrigerator, stove, and cabinets. We also provide the dining room table, chairs, and loveseat. Students have to provide their own cooking equipment (pots, pans, a microwave), utensils, plates, glasses, etc. You should discuss this with your housemates in advance so all four of you don't bring microwaves, utensils, etc.

Housing: What will be provided in my room? In the apartment/suite?

Each bedroom is furnished with a bed frame, mattress, dresser, closet or wardrobe, a desk and chair. A sofa, two chairs, and a dining room table and chairs are provided in the apartments and townhouses. The kitchen area in all apartments and townhouses is equipped with a full- size refrigerator, stove, oven, and sink. Suites in the Lewis Quad and Waring Commons areas are equipped with a microwave in the common area.

Housing: Who cleans my room?

Students are expected to clean their own rooms. Housekeeping staff clean the rooms before the students move in. They also clean the public areas: (lounges, hallways, lobbies and common bathrooms) during the week.

Housing: Where can I do my laundry? How much does it cost?

Laundry facilities are located on the first floor of Prince George, Dorchester, Caroline, and Queen Anne Halls. Facilities are located on the second floor of Calvert Hall. Laundry facilities for Lewis Quad are located in the front building, next door to the RHC apartment. Laundry facilities for the Townhouses are located in DPC. Laundry facilities for Waring Commons are located under WC 25. Laundry costs are included in the housing fee. A free service called Laundryview is provided to alert you when machines are available or when your laundry cycle is complete.

Housing: Do the apartments/suites have cable TV service?

Yes. All bedrooms on campus have a cable jack. Each bedroom and the living room in each apartment has a cable connection which is operational upon student move-in.

Housing: Does the College store my stuff over the summer?

No. The College does not provide storage for residents' personal belongings. All items must be removed at the end of the academic year. Items left in the living units will be discarded. There are numerous self-storage vendors in town. Many of our students share a unit during the summer.

Insurance: Does the school have insurance for my property?

The College does not have insurance to cover student's personal belongings due to theft or damages, so please have your parents check their homeowner's insurance to make sure your possessions are adequately covered (computer, clothing, electronics, jewelry, bicycle, etc.). While you're at it, make sure you have health insurance, too!

Off-Campus Housing: Can I live off-campus?

Students are permitted to live off-campus. SMCM does not have a residency requirement. There is a listing of off-campus rental properties available in the Office of Residence Life. We strongly suggest that first-year students live on-campus to promote class unity and to aid in their transition to the College environment. Students who live on-campus generally have a higher G.P.A., get more involved in school activities and study groups, tend to persist to graduation as well as graduate on time, and usually have a higher satisfaction with their collegiate experience. By the way, campus housing is guaranteed for eight semesters (housing is guaranteed for transfer students on a pro-rated basis).

Parking / Parking Appeals: Can I have a car on campus?

Students are permitted to have cars, as long as they purchase a parking sticker ($100). A parking lot for first-year students (“Guam”) is located near the Physical Plant building. Because SMCM is a small college, students get to know each other in a short period of time, and most students carpool to town.

Policies: Can I study in my room?

Quiet hours are enforced Sundays through Thursdays from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the next morning. On the weekends, quiet hours begin at 1:00 a.m. nightly. During exam week, 23-hour quiet hours are in effect from Reading Day through the last day of exams. Calvert Hall has extended quiet hours from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mondays – Fridays when staff are working in the offices on the first floor of the building.

Policies: Do first-years have a curfew?

Students at St. Mary's College of Maryland (including first-year students) do not have a curfew. We do not have staff keeping tabs on when students leave the buildings and when they return, nor do we have residents sign-in and -out when going into and out of the residences. We expect our students to behave maturely and responsibly. Part of the college experience is learning how to take care of oneself. We provide guidance and support to our residents, but we do not monitor their moment-to-moment comings and goings.

Policies: Can I smoke in the buildings?

No. All buildings on the St. Mary’s campus are smoke-free.

Policies: How do I know what the policies are?

Housing policies are briefly outlined in your housing contract. All residents are expected to attend floor meetings at the beginning of the academic year, during which some of the policies will be explained in greater detail. We strongly encourage you to read and become familiar with the information contained in To the Point, the student handbook, which is online. Students are also expected to know and adhere to the policies that are in the Resident Student Guide, located on the Residence Life Web page.

Room Dimensions: How big are the rooms and how long are the mattresses?

  • Standard double rooms are approximately 16' x 11'.
  • Window dimensions for Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, Queen Anne: 84"(L) x 42"(W).
  • Mattresses in all of our residential areas are extra-long: 80” (L) x 36” (W)

Roommates: What happens if I do not like my roommate?

We hope that you will get along with your roommate. The first few weeks of school are important to building a good roommate relationship. You will receive information on how to do that when you arrive in August. Open communication is the key to this relationship. If, however, you are unhappy, you will need to contact the Residence Life staff in your building. Mediation and conflict resolution services are available. If absolutely necessary, roommate changes will be considered after the first two weeks of school.

Safety: Are the residence halls secure?

All residences are locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students are issued a cardkey which operates the outside entry doors and a key to their assigned room. Students assigned to the Townhouses, Lewis Quad, or Waring Commons will be issued a key for their entry door and their bedroom door. We strongly encourage students to keep their room doors and entry doors locked all the time.

Staff Selection: Can you be an RA your first year? How do you get chosen to be an RA?

I'm glad to hear that you are interested in an RA position! You need to know though, that we do not allow first-year students to be RAs. That is because the transition to college is tough enough without having the added pressure of having a major student leadership position and going through the very extensive training process. Students need to be familiar with College policies & procedures and need to have a fairly good understanding of the College before they can become RAs. That takes some time. We do allow first-year students to apply in the spring for RA positions for their sophomore year (the following academic year). Students interested in applying for RA positions submit a written application, have a personal interview with our professional staff, participate in Group Interaction Day, have a group interview with our Residence Hall Coordinators, and participate in a "desk duty observation" experience (where they shadow a current RA while on duty to get a feel for what desk duty is like). Information about the selection process is available near the end of the fall semester and as soon as students return from Winter Break because the applications are due before the end of January.

Visitation: What is the visiting policy?

SMCM has attempted to develop a degree of flexibility to accommodate varying lifestyles. As a result, we have an open visiting policy. We have confidence in the ability and inclination of SMCM students to make mature decisions about their social behavior. We also believe that no individual has the right to infringe upon another's freedom, privacy, and safety, and that students are willing to accept both the rights and responsibilities of such a policy. Our policy should not be construed as permission for members of the opposite sex to sleep overnight or to conduct themselves in such a way as to invade another individual's privacy. Students are permitted to have overnight guests for a maximum of four nights in a given month. Students are held responsible for the actions of their guests. SMCM does not have curfew