Residence Life

More than three-quarters of the Moravian student body is residential, living in one of the residence units of the College. Residential status provides an opportunity for students to take advantage of residence-hall community and facilities and to participate in as many campus activities and opportunities as they wish. The goal of the residence-hall staff is to provide an environment that is physically comfortable and encouraging to individual growth and involvement. The opportunities can allow students to pursue existing interests or be introduced to new experiences.

General Information

The setting of the residence halls provides residents with opportunities to learn from one another as well as about themselves. Living in a residence hall helps students realize the effect of their actions on those around them, develop a sensitivity to their society, practice self-discipline, and enhance skills in interpersonal relationships.

Residence Life Philosophy

At Moravian, the basic philosophy of residence living is that lessons to be learned and benefits to be derived from this experience are best reached when each member of the community assumes an active role and a sense of responsibility in the processes that take place within the residence halls. While structure has been provided in the form of various residence-hall regulations and policies, the burden of responsibility for a challenging and productive experience rests with the residents. This commitment to individual participation and knowledge of self, in part by coming to know others, is evidenced by the undergraduate staffing system employed, as well as the organizational units that function within the halls. These groups and, more important, the actions of students within the halls, can make the residence experience a positive force in the development of each member of the community.

Since it is felt that the residential experience can be an important force in bringing about student growth and development, all full-time students except those living with parents or a legal guardian within a 50-mile radius of the College are required to live in a residence facility.

All resident and commuter students are expected to participate in a board plan of the College.Exceptions to the board-plan requirements for health reasons or off-campus work schedules may be granted by the associate director of residence life for housing. Such requests must be received in writing and must be supported either by a physician's opinion or a work schedule from the employer. Specific meal plan descriptions are available on the Residence Life website.

Residence at the College is available only to full-time students at the institution, unless otherwise determined by the Office of Student Affairs.

Housing Options

The majority of Moravian's residence halls are located on the Main Street Campus in a residential section of the community. To accommodate a range of lifestyle preferences, the housing units vary from larger, conventional residence halls to small living units, fraternity and sorority houses, and apartment and townhouse units. Men presently reside in Rau/Hassler Hall, Bernhardt/Wilhelm Hall, the Anna Nitschmann and August Spangenberg Houses, Beck and de Schweinitz Halls, the Townhouses, Hillsides, and three fraternity houses. Women's housing is provided in Rau/Hassler Hall, Bernhardt/Wilhelm Hall, Jo Smith Hall, the Anna Nitschmann and August Spangenberg Houses, Beck and de Schweinitz Halls, the Townhouses, Hillsides, and four sorority houses.

Additionally, the College provides the option of applying for special-interest housing on a year-to-year basis. Fraternity- and sorority-house spaces are open only to members of the respective organizations.

Residential facilities for all students are available on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus, with Main Hall as a residence for women, and Clewell Hall for men. Dining facilities for this campus are Clewell Dining Hall in South Hall and the Root Cellar Café in the HILL. The buildings of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus reflect the charm and architectural genius of colonial Bethlehem and the early Moravian community and are equipped with contemporary facilities for the comfort and convenience of the residents. Residents enjoy proximity to the downtown shopping area. Though students are within walking distance of the Main Street Campus, the College provides shuttle transportation between the two campuses.

Housing agreements and room assignments are made for the full academic year, except for students who are graduating at mid-year, spending time abroad or at a College-approved program off campus, changing to part-time status, or withdrawing. When students move into their room, its condition becomes the responsibility of the occupants. At the end of the year, residents are expected to leave the room in the condition received, with the exception of normal wear and tear. Those assigned to a room will be held responsible for all costs of returning the room to its original condition, including the repair of damage and anything deemed extraordinary wear and tear. Abuse of the living space may be grounds for removal from residence or other disciplinary action.

Resident students who withdraw from the College during the course of a term will forfeit any remaining room rent for that term. Board refunds will be granted in accordance with the College's overall refund policy. Resident students who are removed from the halls by disciplinary action also receive no refund, except for a pro-rated board refund, unless required by federal, state, or other regulation.

The College does not have provisions for married couples or single parents with children within the residence system, nor does it allow students to have guests or relatives stay for periods of time in excess of 48 hours.

Residence Life Staff

The undergraduate residence-hall staff is composed of eight senior resident advisors, five community advisors. five head residents, and 34 resident advisors. All are drawn from the student population. The undergraduate staff is supported in performing their responsibilities by the associate dean of students, assistant dean for residence life, Greek life, and first-year programs, the associate director of residence life for housing, and the assistant directors of residence life, which are all professional-level appointments. Undergraduate appointments are made for an academic year, with selection taking place during the spring term of the preceding year. Positions are under the immediate oversight of the assistant dean for residence life, Greek life, and first-year programs. The staff has primary responsibility for operation of the halls in areas that include community development, programming, counseling, policy enforcement, and reporting of maintenance problems and conditions.

Applications for staff appointments are available in November for SRA positions and in January for CA, HR, and RA positions. Following receipt of the written application, interviews with representatives of the Office of Student Affairs are held and final appointments made. Any student meeting the academic, campus residency, and disciplinary-record requirements of the position is encouraged to apply.

The residence-hall staff is supervised by two assistant directors of residence life, who live on campus. The assistant directors of residence life have administrative, supervisory, and community-development responsibilities designed to bring a professional presence to the residential experience. These professionals provide a living environment that challenges students while providing opportunities to develop leadership abilities, examine contemporary life issues, and support academic proficiency.

Each residence hall or area is assigned a senior resident advisor, an undergraduate student with prior RA experience who is available to staff and residents as an extra measure of support. All SRAs maintain general operation of the units to which they are assigned, assist and advise students, assist in planning and coordinating of residence-hall programs, and respond appropriately to violations of College regulations and residence-hall policies.

Each floor community is supported by a resident advisor. Students residing in the Hillside community are assigned a community advisor. Each fraternity and sorority house is supported by a head resident. Responsibilities for each include serving as a catalyst in community development and a resource or referral point for students with academic, social, or personal concerns, and to provide leadership in the promotion and maintenance of standards of good taste and community-living considerations. In accordance with College policies and regulations, RAs and CAs are responsible for confronting unacceptable student behavior and enforcing College policy.

Housing Agreements

Moravian College requires the acknowledgement of a specific housing agreement. The policies outlined in this handbook, in the room contract itself, and in any other official publications of the institution are binding on all residents. All room contracts are for the full academic year, though payments are made on a per-term basis. Contracts cannot be broken during the year, except under extreme circumstances as determined by the Office of Student Affairs. The request for a rooming assignment constitutes acceptance of all residence-hall rules and regulations outlined in this handbook and agreement to follow them. Failure to abide by regulations will be referred to disciplinary processes and can lead to removal from the institution.

Receipt of the $400 registration deposit along with the electronic housing preference form from new students constitutes a request for a housing assignment and an agreement to abide by established housing policies and regulations.

First-year and transfer students are assigned rooms and roommates for their initial year on the basis of space available. Upperclass room assignments for the coming year are made during spring term of the current year, with options available for choosing roommates and rooming location on a seniority basis.

Fraternities and sororities retain chapter houses if no concerns persist during the previous academic year. Fraternities and sororities are expected to identify and fill their respective houses in the timeline set forth by the Office of Student Affairs. Continued use of any fraternity or sorority house by the organization is dependent on full occupancy of the unit as well as the discretion of the College.

To be eligible to select a room for the next academic year, returning students must participate in the housing selection process facilitated in the spring semester. If a student fails to participate in the process, the student will be assigned a room by the Office of Student Affairs within the residential system.

In light of uncertainties in projecting admissions patterns and other factors influencing space needs, the College reserves the right to change room assignments after the upperclass housing selection process.

Moravian College Housing Point System

The allocation of housing points is based on the following criteria:

  • One point is awarded for each semester (only fall or spring semesters) an individual has been a full-time student at Moravian College or at another institution, including the semester during which housing selection occurs. Semesters spent abroad or on other campuses in approved full-time academic programs will also be included in this point allocation system.
  • An extra point per semester will be awarded for the junior year (fifth and sixth semesters as a full-time student).
  • No points will be given for any semester, either at Moravian or another institution, where less than a full-time college load was carried or where performance did not contribute to making progress towards a degree (i.e., no courses were passed).
  • The maximum number of housing points a student can earn, regardless of number of years as a full-time student, is eight.
  • There is no scenario in which anyone can earn additional/bonus housing points.
  • A student with discipline points will still earn all of his/her housing points, but he/she will not be given a “lottery #” for use in the housing selection process.  More information about the housing selection process is available each academic year through the Office of Residence Life.

Summer Housing Policy

Moravian College receives many requests each year from individuals and groups with regard to on-campus housing during the summer months. Ultimately, the College's top priorities must be, first, accommodating Moravian College students who must live on campus to take a May term, summer session I, or summer session II course at the College, engage in SOAR research, or work in a College office, and, second, using the summer months to refurbish and repair the residences prior to the fall return of all Moravian College resident students. Moravian clusters summer residents and assigns housing in accordance with scheduled work on residence units.

Summer housing for individuals is limited to Moravian College students

  • who are enrolled in a May term, summer session I, or summer session II course at Moravian College, with housing limited to the weeks that the course is in session
  • who have been selected for a summer SOAR project, with housing limited to the weeks that the project is underway
  • who have been hired by a campus office for summer employment and who demonstrate an inability to commute from home, with housing limited to the weeks of employment
  • who are international students participating in an academic-related program

Moravian and the Broader Community

Moravian College benefits from being a part of the broader community of Bethlehem and considers itself a partner in that community. All residents of campus are responsible for conducting themselves in a way that reflects positively on the institution, its students, staff, and faculty. It is incumbent on all students to acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of everyone living within a residential community. It is expected that students adhere to the laws of the land, respect the property and privacy rights of other members of the community, ensure the general peace of the community, and treat everyone with respect.

Moravian College holds its standing within the broader community as an important piece of its tradition and essential to its future. Students whose actions fail to demonstrate respect for the broader community, whether by individual or group conduct, such as behavior at social events, should understand that they will be held accountable and will be subject to institutional disciplinary action. Additionally, Moravian supports local authorities and encourages them to press charges through the local court system when local, state, or federal statutes are violated.