It’s back to school time! In case you are stressing about what’s already in your room (so you don’t have to pack as much), wondering about washing clothes and keeping your favorite refrigerated snacks nearby (as in an arm-reach from your desk), or worrying about what happens if you accidentally lock yourself out of your room (it happens), this blog is for you. Below are 12 tips from Housing Services to get you prepared for move-in day and the exciting year ahead!
1. The ‘basics’ are provided.
What are the basics?
- a twin extra-long bed
- built-in closet or wardrobe
- desk and desk chair
- trash can
- recycle bin
- cable television hook-up
- wireless or wired internet
- toilet paper, trash bags, vacuum cleaner (just ask your RA!)
(Apartment or suite-style rooms will have additional living room and kitchen furniture.)
2. Definitely pack this stuff.
- clothes (and remember, it gets cold in Pittsburgh … brrr!)
- clothes hangers
- desk lamp
- laundry basket/bag and laundry soap
- mugs, cups, plates, utensils
- reusable water bottle
- storage bins
- toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)
- umbrella (it also rains a lot in Pittsburgh. Despite the rain and snow, we promise Pittsburgh is awesome!)
- surge protector/power strip
- school supplies
- driver’s license or passport
Don’t want to pack sheets and blankets? You don’t have to! The Carnegie Mellon Bookstore partners with the Student Dormitory Council and Bed, Bath, and Beyond to offer a full line of linens (designed to fit extra long mattresses), comforters, towels, blankets, and many other supplies to make your move-in transition smooth and effortless.
Another little tip – start with packing the essentials and then buy more items as needed once you are here. Many stores are just a short shuttle or bus ride away, and the university store has many essential items, too.
3. Easy in, easy out. Inspect your room once you are checked in.
Upon checking in, each student must inspect his or her room, apartment, or house and complete an electronic Living Space Condition Report (eLSCR) as accurately as possible. This report plays an important role in reporting the furniture and conditions of the room at check in.
So, once you are checked in, log into the Housing Portal to click on the inventory tab to complete your Room Condition Report.
4. You can “cook” and cool in your own room.
Microwaves and mini fridges are permitted within the residence halls. Residents may bring their own compact microwaves (under 700 watts) and mini-refrigerators (smaller than 4.5 cubic feet and operate on 110/120 VAC).
If you’d rather not worry about measurements and wattage, you have the convenient option of renting a microwave refrigerator/freezer (all in one compact unit) that will be installed in your room prior to when you move-in, if you order by August 1. To rent one, click here. (These also get removed after move-out in the spring.)
5. Doing laundry is a cinch at CMU.
Laundry services are included for on-campus residents. To wash and dry clothes, simply load up a machine, choose your cycle, and push start. Why can’t all things in life be that simple? To make things even more convenient, use this handy-dandy Laundry Viewer to see if washers and dryers are available before walking to the laundry room.
6. I locked myself out. What do I do?
If you are locked out of your room, there are multiple ways to gain access.
- You can utilize the CBORD Mobile ID app to receive a six-digit temporary lock-out code. You must be close to your lock and logged into the CMU-Secure WiFi on your mobile device to activate the app. Make sure you push the # button on the key pad before entering the six-digit code. View the Housing Services lock video for more information on the mobile ID app.
- If your phone is not available, visit https://access.housing.cmu.edu/ to acquire the one-time use temporary lock-out code.
- Visit the Housing Services office at the Residence on Fifth Monday through Friday during business hours (8:30 am-5:00 pm) to receive a temporary card for that day. We ask that you return the card when finished. Charges may be applied.
- Contact campus police after hours for lock-out access.
Here’s a video that tells you all about housing locks:
7. Don’t suffer in silence … submit a work order!
Housing Services is here to help you with (most) of your facility maintenance needs. All non-emergency requests for maintenance in the residence halls (including furniture requests) should be submitted via the Housing Portal. (Only students who are checked into their room will be able to submit a maintenance request.) When submitting a request, make sure to be as detailed as possible so that we can address the problem in the best way possible.
Our goal is to complete all maintenance requests within seven working days. An exception to this goal is during opening, when maintenance requests come in at a high volume. Please note that maintenance requests (particularly those for lofting or de-lofting) may take up to four weeks after classes start to complete – we appreciate your patience during this very busy time!
8. How and where can I print?
For an on-campus student resident, a personal printer is not needed. Save money on ink and paper by using the campus printing stations, many of which reside in residence halls. Each student receives $40 per semester in printing, just swipe your CMU ID to print.
9. Visit your neighborhood desks.
Each neighborhood has one central desk: The Hill (Donner, open 10 am to 2 am daily), Morewood Corridor (Morewood Gardens, open 10 am to 2 am daily), and Oakland (the Residence on Fifth, open 24/7). The desks offer resources and a variety of equipment available for check-out.
These desks are staffed by students, who are happy to answer any questions you might have!
10. Get involved.
There are many ways to get involved on campus, and getting involved in your residence hall community is one way. The committees below look for feedback from current students about how to improve the Carnegie Mellon residential and student experience. Look for more information on bulletin boards or our social media sites!
- HSAC – Housing Services Advisory Committee
- DSAC – Dining Services Advisory Committee
- Student Dormitory Council
- Becoming an RA or CA
- Community and residence hall events
- Check out The Bridge
- Engage with us on Instagram and Facebook
11. Find a student job on campus.
Are you interested in an on-campus job? If so, start by utilizing Handshake, our campus wide recruiting system. Housing Services posts multiple year-round positions, such as the Desk Services Assistant positions and Office Assistant positions.
12. Start planning for semester breaks.
Depending on the building you live in, your building may close for Winter Break, so be sure to plan travel accordingly. Most buildings close on Tuesday, December 17, at 12:00 pm, for Winter Break, and re-open on Friday, January 10, at 12:00 pm. The buildings that remain open are E-Tower, Morewood Gardens, the Residence on Fifth, Shirley Apartments, Webster Hall Apartments, and Fairfax Apartments.
Thanks for reading and we hope these tips are helpful! Housing Services is anxiously awaiting your arrival!
Call 412-268-2139 or email with any questions you may have.