St. Mary's College of Maryland

Facilities & Services for Waring Commons Apartments and Townhouse Residents

Making Your Apartment or Townhouse Your Home

As you think about your living experience in the apartments or townhouses, you should plan to provide items that would normally fill a new apartment. The College provides basic furniture (that is, loveseat, chairs, coffee and end tables, dining room furniture, bed, chest of drawers, desk, chair, refrigerator, range, window blinds, screens, and cable ports in the living room and bedrooms). The items you will need to supply are listed below. You might also use this list to coordinate items with your housemates:

Linen, bedding, pillows
Alarm clock
Desk light
Plates, silverware
Soap, shampoo, etc.
Broom, dustpan, mop, etc.
UL-approved extension cords
Paper supplies

Table lamps (excluding halogen lamps)
Waste cans
Glasses, cups
Household cleaners
Tools (hammer, wrench, etc.)
Surge protector, power strips
Clothes hangers

Optional items:
Cable TV extension wire
Bathroom accessories
Vacuum cleaner
Charcoal grill (no gas grills)

Your Responsibilities

The apartments and townhouses are a housing option designed to allow students to gain greater independence and autonomy. With additional freedom comes additional responsibility. Your comfort and happiness will depend upon your ability to cooperate with others and complete tasks.

  1. Be considerate of roommates. Learn to negotiate. 
  2. Keep your apartment or townhouse and community neat and clean. 
  3. Get involved! You will get out of the experience what you put into it. 
  4. Greater independence results in greater responsibility. Think about your behavior and how it affects your apartment-mates, housemates, and neighbors.


Operation manuals for all appliances (refrigerator, stove, oven, garbage disposal) should be in each apartment and townhouse and should remain in the unit at check-out. Please do not remove these manuals from the unit.

Bathroom Fans

Bathrooms in each apartment and townhouse are equipped with an exhaust fan. In the Crescent Townhouses, these fans feature an automatic timing mechanism that is preset. When the light switch is turned on, the exhaust fan will turn on. When the light switch is turned off, the fan will continue to run for the pre-set time (approximately 20 minutes) and will be turned off by the timing mechanism. Please do not re-adjust the timing mechanism. Do not “ride” the switch in a middle setting to turn off the fan with the light. This action shorts out the switch and is a potential fire hazard. When appropriate, residents will pay the replacement cost for a shorted-out switch (over $100). These fans and timing mechanisms were installed to prevent the mildew problem inherent in the older townhouses.

Floor Care

The carpeting and tiling in the townhouse and apartment units should be vacuumed or swept regularly. Any spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent staining. To clean the VCT in the townhouses or in the Waring Commons apartments, periodically clean it with warm water and soap or with commercial no-wax cleaners. If staining occurs, please do not attempt to remove it with chlorine bleach. Take care of the carpet and try to avoid tracking in mud, etc. Steam-cleaning machines can be rented at local supermarkets. Please be sure to follow the directions listed on any cleaning product.

Red dyes from fruit punches and powder drink mixes will permanently stain carpeting. Residents may be billed for carpet cleaning or replacement necessitated by excessive dirt and stains.

Cleaning Recommendations

It is recommended that students use a soap scum remover (Tylex Soap Scum Remover or similar product) and a deodorizing cleaner (Lysol or similar product) when cleaning the bathroom. A glass and surface cleaner (Windex or similar product) may be used on all the kitchen countertop surfaces, the refrigerator, and stovetop. A box of baking soda placed in the freezer and in the refrigerator will absorb unwanted odors. Clean your oven regularly to prevent a build-up of grease and dirt that could cause an oven fire. The drip pans on the stove should also be cleaned regularly.

Waring Commons residents should read the Self-Cleaning Radiant Ranges Owner’s Manual very carefully to ensure that proper cleaning is done on the stovetop. Please use the appropriate cleanser (Cerama Bryte) to prevent damage to the cooktop surface. The cooktop is very expensive to replace!

Cleaning these areas will ensure the health and safety of all housemates and protect College property. Unhealthy, dirty conditions will affect not only your apartment or townhouse but your neighbors’ apartments or townhouses as well. Because of the potential for bug infestation in the kitchen area, kitchens will be thoroughly inspected during all health and safety inspections.

Fireplace Operation

Some of the Crescent Townhouse units have working fireplaces. All residents of these townhouses must attend a mandatory fireplace workshop (held in late October or early November) and sign an agreement before being given permission to use the fireplace. Detailed information will be provided at that time. Firewood will be provided by the College and will be available at the “Hammerhead Hearth Area” (near SC 12-13) and in a storage shed near the bleachers. Please take only the amount that you will use over a short period of time. Long-term storage of firewood either in your townhouse or outside on the patio is prohibited. The College will provide fireplace equipment when the outside temperature during evening hours is consistently below 60 degrees. Residents may not use the fireplaces without equipment provided by the College.

  1. Operation of the fireplace:
    It is critical that the damper in your fireplace be open before attempting to start a fire. If you look up inside the chimney you will find a handle that operates the opening and closing of the damper. To open the damper, push the handle forward and up until it engages in the notches on the damper mechanism. Additional details will be provided during the fireplace training.
    Note 1: Failure to open the damper before starting a fire may result in smoke or in a fire spreading throughout the townhouse unit, resulting in serious damage. Should the damper door fall shut during use, it can be pushed up again with a poker.
    Note 2: You will find a fresh air vent on the floor of your fireplace. This vent should be clear of debris and ash at all times. Blockage will result in diminished air flow to the fire. This vent is not to be used as an ash dump. The vent decreases the “draft” you would otherwise feel through your townhouse when the damper is open.
  2. Starting the fire
    1. Push the damper to the “Open” position. 
    2. Place a small amount of paper in the bottom of the fireplace. 
    3. Place small wood pieces on the paper and light the paper. 
    4. After the fire is started, lay larger logs on the grate.
      CAUTION: Under no circumstances should you attempt to start the fire with flammable liquids! Once you start a fire, you must attend it until it is extinguished.

Townhouse Crescent (“Hammerhead”) Fireplace

An outdoor garden and seating area is attached to the Crescent Townhouses. The Hammerhead Hearth Area is located on the end of the Southern Crescent, closest to the Athletic and Recreation Center, and it includes an outdoor fireplace. Lighting can be eliminated from this area for certain types of activities. Keys to access the fireplace may be signed out from the Residence Life Office. Firewood will be provided by the College and will be available near the Hammerhead Hearth Area. Students using the fireplace must remain nearby and make sure any fire in the hearth is properly extinguished before leaving the area.

Townhouse Outdoor Lights

For the safety of Townhouse residents, the outdoor light fixtures provided at the front entrance of the units are controlled by an electric eye and cannot be turned on or off by the residents. Light bulbs are not to be removed. Charges for missing bulbs will be assessed to the residents of the unit. The light over the exterior of the rear patio door is controlled by the switch inside the townhouse, near the door.

Crescent Townhouse Thermostat

Detailed directions for the operation of the thermostat controlling the heating and air conditioning systems are available here.

Townhouse and Waring Commons (WC) Staff

Staff are located in the following units:

  • Boone (TB 6)
  • Morsell (TE 6)
  • Southern Crescent (TG 10)
  • Northern Crescent (TH 1 - Townhouse Coordinator) 
  • Northern Crescent (TH 8) 
  • Northern Crescent (TH 16) 
  • WC #6 (apartment) 
  • WC #21 (apartment) 
  • WC #27 (suite) 
  • WC #35 (suite) 
  • WC #46 (suite) 
  • WC #54 (suite) 
  • WC #62 (suite) 
  • WC #64 (RHC apartment)