St. Mary's College of Maryland

Open Housing at SMCM

What is Open Housing?

Open housing is a progressive housing policy. It is an opportunity that allows students the freedom to choose their roommates independent of gender/sex/sexual orientation. Open housing offers an option for students whose gender identity and expression differs from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth (trans*, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, etc.).

Who is eligible for Open Housing?

Any current resident student that pays the $200 housing deposit and submits the Housing Contract by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 1 is eligible to sign up for Open Housing. New students that pay the $500 housing deposit by May 1 and submit the Housing Contract by June 1 will be eligible to sign up for Open Housing.

Where is Open Housing available?

Suites, townhouses, or apartments PG 1 Left There are 14 beds available on PG 1 Left for returning students. Four beds are being reserved in PG 1 Left for new students.

How do I apply for Open Housing?

  • After paying the deposit (by March 1!) and submitting the Housing Contract (by March 1!), student groups of four, six, or ten will apply for townhouses, suites, and apartments in our new housing software, Residence. The housing applications for townhouses, suites, apartments, and spaces in PG 1 Left will be available starting on March 1. There is no special application for Open Housing. Students that are interested in Open Housing should follow the deadlines noted below. 
  • The deadline for applying for the apartments is March 5; for Townhouses is March 7; for six-person suites is March 20; and for 10-person suites is March 25. 
  • Townhouses, apartments, and suites will be assigned through the room selection process based on the combined earned credits (as of the end of the fall 2012 semester) of the group. 
  • The deadline for submitting an application for PG 1 Left Open Housing is Monday, March 18 at 5 p.m. Roommate pairs that have the highest accumulated amount of credits will be notified after 6 p.m. on March 18 of their selection time to choose a room on PG 1 Left on March 19. Groups that don’t have enough credits will be notified after 6 p.m. on March 18. 
  • After being awarded a unit via the room selection process, all members of the group will sign a roommate agreement including the policy on Open Housing. The roommate agreement process is encouraged for all students at the beginning of each academic year and is designed to assist students in thinking through issues which naturally arise from sharing space, such as cleanliness, use of the space, guests, etc. All students will be encouraged to create their roommate agreement during the spring semester, and then revisit it briefly with their Resident Assistant after moving in the fall.

What happens if my roommate and I develop problems and can no longer live together?

In cases where a vacancy occurs in an open housing suite, townhouse, apartment, or hall, the currently assigned resident(s) have the option to pull in a student to fill the vacancy within five business days. The Office of Residence Life will provide a list (if available) of students that are waitlisted for Open Housing. If a new roommate has not been identified within five days, the Office of Residence Life reserves the right to fill the vacancy, depending on space needs with consideration for willingness to live in open housing and responses from the roommate matching form. The default gender assignment will be same-gender.

Questions? Contact Joanne Goldwater at

For a pdf containing this information, click here.