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.
Living in one of the 11 on-campus Residential Commons during your time at SMU, you'll find it's easier to make friends and transition smoothly to university life in a supportive environment. Living and interacting with students from across the United States and the world enriches you and prepares you to be a world changer in today's global society. Our residential communities thrive on the individual perspectives, skills and talents of every student resident.
The Commons brings live-in faculty and staff members, resident assistants and other student leaders together to create communities of support. Faculty members associated with each commons will have the opportunity to interact informally and mentor students.
Each commons has developed unique traditions, gatherings and meaningful activities that build community and long-term bonds among residents. Each student will have a close-knit, living and learning environment where a rich intellectual, social, and community life can flourish.
University life in your Res Commons is centered on your personal growth and exploration, expanding your view of the world and your place in it. You'll be challenged by new experiences and learn more about yourself, others and the world around you.
Upper Division Housing (UDH)
UDH is reserved for sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students. UDH includes traditional residence halls, apartment communities and house communities, including the SMU Service House (SMUSH).
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 Housing Unification Board (The HUB), 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 Leadership
Residents have many resources for assistance while living on-campus.
- Faculty in Residence: The FiR role is a cornerstone of the residential life experience that creates opportunities for students to informally interact with faculty members living amongst them. The FiR program strives to create opportunities for students to know faculty members outside of the classroom to emphasize a culture of mentorship, intellectual discourse, and community that are cultivated in all aspects of the collegiate experience inside and outside of the classroom.
- 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.
- 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.
- Peer Leaders: There are three types of peer leaders.
- The Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) work directly with first and second year residents, empowering them to take ownership of their collegiate careers through mentorship and educational programming.
- The University Honors Mentor works to build relationships with first-year Honors students and strengthen the overall Honors community among all the UHP residents in each Residential Commons.
- Student Wellness Champions facilitate both residential commons-specific programs as well as broader community outreach programs designed to deliver relevant health information to students.
- The HUB: The Housing Unification Board (HUB) is a governing body of all residential communities and is open to all affiliated with a Residential Commons. The objectives of The HUB are: to be the voice of 3,000 students living on campus; to promote Commons Councils and leadership opportunities within the Residential Commons and Upper Division Housing; to communicate and present suggestions and concerns to Residence Life & Student Housing leadership; to provide programming and activities to the on-campus students and to represent SMU on the Regional and National levels.
- Community Councils: Community Councils are a group of student leaders within each community who work to organize community events and create a positive environment for all students.
- 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.
Get Involved with The HUB and Community Councils!
The HUB (Housing Unification Board) 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 HUB is the voice of residents to the Department of Residence Life & Student Housing and to the greater campus community. Leaders and officers are elected representatives from each community.