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Living @ UNH

Assigned to a Built Up Lounge?

After waiting anxiously, your housing assignment letter is finally here! You rip open the envelope and read where you’ll be living and it says….built up lounge?!? What does that mean? Don’t fear – below we’ve got answers to your questions. We hope this page will leave you feeling informed and ready for your housing experience.

Q. What is a built up lounge?

A.UNH has a policy of housing all first year students who request to live on campus. When requests exceed available space, we convert some of our study lounges into residential spaces housing 1-5 people. These spaces (combined with built up triples and quads) house approximately one third of the first year students on campus as well as many upperclass students. You are not alone!

Q. Why was I assigned to a built up lounge?

A. Rooms are assigned by an automated assignment process which places all first year students who have submitted their application by the deadline. The process incorporates your individual preferences, but with thousands of students all promised a space on campus, we can’t always give everyone their top choices.

Q. What does the room look like?

A. Because our halls are unique, built up lounges differ from hall to hall. While the look and style of each room differs, every room will have a desk, chair, bureau, and bed for each person living there. Each student also has their own internet connection. Students share wardrobe space. Our Photo Gallery has pictures of some typical built-up configurations in our residence halls.

Q. Will it be cramped in the room?

A. Well…maybe – how much stuff are you bringing? The rooms were all evaluated to ensure that the furnishings would fit in the available space, but if you are planning on bringing a big screen TV, puffy chair, and futon, you might find the space a bit limiting. Storage space is limited to the shared closet and under the beds, so we recommend bringing only what you need. If UNH isn’t far from home, bring what you need for one season at a time (you won’t need your snow boots in August). Get in touch with your roommates before move in to talk about who is bringing a TV, fridge, etc, to avoid duplicates.
The furniture can be moved, so you can customize your space. There is no additional storage space in the halls and all furniture must remain in the room. Below are some creative ways students have maximized the floor space:
• Bunk the beds. Decide before coming who will get which bed to eliminate the “first come, first serve” rush.
• If you decide not to bunk the beds, bed risers are another way to gain extra storage. Some refrigerators or dressers will then fit underneath.
• Bring storage drawers or boxes that fit under your bed
• Use shelving units or stacking bins to use vertical space
• Make an ‘L’ formation with two beds or dressers or desks
• Make use of all flat surfaces (tops of desks, dressers, refrigerators, etc.)
• Move dresser or shelves into your closet
• Hang a shoe or sweater organizer in the closet to fit more items

Q. Does it cost extra to live in a lounge?

A. No – students living in converted lounges are not charged more than the regular room rate. In fact, in some of the built up lounges, students are charged a lower rate. Check your housing bill to see your exact rate – maybe you’ll be enjoying some extra pocket change!

Q. I looked my roommates up on Facebook – what if I know I won’t get along with them?

A. How can you know – you haven’t met them yet! I know it can be tempting to guess whether or not your roommates are a good match for you before you move in, but being good roommates is not always about shared interests. You can’t predict what your roommate relationships will be. Facebook profiles are not the same as people and, even if they were, people change – and quickly. If you have issues with your roommates after you move in, your resident assistant will be able to talk with you and help you find solutions. For now – breathe, keep an open mind, and stay positive…you might be very pleasantly surprised!

Q. How will I be able to study and sleep in a lounge?

A. This is a concern for all new college students, but with three of you sharing a room it is definitely crucial to be open and honest with one another. We encourage roommates to have open communication about any issues, even before they arrive. Take the time early on to talk to your roommates about important issues such as visitors, quiet time, sleep schedule, etc. Your resident assistant (RA) will be available to prompt discussion of these issues with all residents of the room. The RA will help resolve any difficulties that may come up during the semester. As with any shared living situation, there will definitely be compromises, but if you work together you’ll be more likely to have a positive experience.

Q. How long do I have to live in a built up lounge? Can I change rooms?

A. While the high number of incoming first year students has required us to turn lounges into student rooms (like yours), the goal is to return the room to a lounge for community use as quickly as possible. We can’t predict when we will have vacancies open, but as space becomes available you will be moved. Lots of students who were initially concerned about living in a built-up lounge ended up loving them, so you may be more reluctant to leave than you think! Though we will ask you to move to a new space as it becomes open, we don’t want to uproot you; we will never ask you to move out of your assigned hall (unless you want to). Because there is no way to predict when vacancies will open, there is no way for us to know how long you might be living in a built up lounge, though we do know the highest number of spaces tend to open at the semester break. If you want to talk to an assignments specialist before arriving on campus, please call our office at 603.862.2120. Once you move on campus, each hall has a Residence Hall Director who will work with you to seek another available space. Check in with your RHD to get information about switching rooms.

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