Residence Life & Student Housing

Residential Life for Current Students

Living and Learning in Community

About 3,000 students live on-campus in a Residential Commons or other residential community. However, living on campus is  more than just a convenient place to sleep! SMU is committed to providing an exceptional residential experience of living and learning together. Many factors combine to form this experience, including programs that support student learning and communities that support residents and help them feel more connected to the University. For most students, the Residential Commons is an introduction to group living. This can be a wonderful and rewarding experience that residents value for the rest of their lives.

Community Standards

Living in a community can be rewarding and fun, however, it can also be a challenge. The Residence Hall Community Standards have been established, in conjunction with The Assembly, as fundamental guidelines for group living. These standards seek to balance individual freedoms with rights of the community, to establish communities that recognize and celebrate the dignity and self worth of all community members, and to hold residents accountable when they choose to violate these standards.

Residential Life Staff

Who is "in charge" of the residential communities? Who can residents turn to for help? The Residential Life staff, of course! From Resident Assistants on the floors, to the Residential Community Director, the Assistant Director, and the Facility Manager, residents have many resources for assistance.

  • Resident Assistant: Students who live on most floors in the halls. RAs play a major role in developing a community. They are great resources for questions about life on campus, as well as about important policies and procedures. In residence halls with apartments, the RAs are called Community Assistants.
  • Residential Community Director: RCDs directly supervise the RAs and are responsible for life in the residence hall community, and working closely with the facilities operations staff to make sure the hall is well cared for. RCDs are also a good source for helping students discuss issues. RCDs are full-time staff with a Master's degree.
  • Assistant Director for Residential Life: ADRLs are a part of the administrative staff who directly supervise Residential Community Directors. Each is an experienced residential life professional and has a broad background in residence hall management issues and student development.
  • Facility Manager: Administrative staff members who are responsible for several facilities. They process maintenance requests, supervise utility workers and work with the Physical Plant for building maintenance and improvements.

Get Involved with The Assembly and Community Councils!

The Assembly (formerly the Residence Hall Association) and Community Councils are terrific opportunities to get involved in campus life, meet people, learn how to organize events, tackle issues and gain invaluable leadership experience. Each residence community has a community council which works with the staff to shape the living experience.

The Assembly is the voice of residents to the Department of Residence Life & Student Housing and to the greater campus community. All residents are members of The Assembly by living in a residential community. Leaders and officers are elected representatives from each community.