Parents, Families and Guardians

Welcome to the Mason Community!

 

The George Mason University Office of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is excited to welcome your student to our campus! HRL is focused on providing our students with a safe, community-oriented living space while they complete their academic studies at the university.   

For many of our students, HRL staff are the first connections they make when they arrive on campus. We believe all our employees play a key role in creating a transformational residential experience that empowers students to be engaged responsible citizens in the Mason community.  

Our Pledge to Parents, Families and Guardians  

Thriving, supportive and inclusive community 

George Mason University has the largest and most diverse student body in Virgina. Our students are from 130 countries and 50 states. As the most diverse university in Virginia, living on campus allows our students to form meaningful connections and engage in a cultural exchange with support and guidance of well-trained student leaders and professional staff. In this community-based environment, students can foster a sense of belonging to the institution by having a safe place to celebrate and engage in respectful dialogue around their identities on campus. 

Learning in and out of the classroom 

Many of our students come to Mason to take advantage of the robust internship and career opportunities in Washington, DC. We want to make sure that our students receive the skills to be successful scholars and engaged responsible citizens upon graduation. Our residential curriculum provides students with opportunities to engage in programs and events within the residence halls that are centered around personal growth and holistic development.  

Collaboration 

HRL works closely with on campus partners to provide our residents with a wholistic residential experience. By living on campus, students get closer access to offices such as Learning ServicesCenter for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment (CCEE), and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). As parents and guardians, you are key stakeholders in our office's success. We aim to work closely with you to ensure that your students have a positive transition to living on campus, and for most, being on their own for the first time.  

What We Ask of You 

Lean into change. You have worked hard to prepare your student for adulthood and college. Watching your student take a major step into independence is exciting, but it won’t always be easy. Allow them to make mistakes and learn how to advocate for themselves. This is the place for your student to learn how to be resilient. Your students are surrounded enthusiastic student leaders and professional staff, who have chosen to dedicated their time providing your students with continued support and guidance.

Support Resources

Accessibility and Disability Services

Students who have specific housing requirements because of a documented disability should register with Disability Services to submit accommodation requests. Each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis and is reviewed by a special housing committee where staff from Disability Services consults with Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and HRL. Disability Services will make a determination following a special housing committee review of student requests. Disability services also assists students with learning accommodations. Click here to learn more about the Office of Disability Services. 

Activities and Programming

To enhance the campus experience for our students, we have recently redesigned the student experience by implementing a residential curriculum; framed around intentional programming based on well-being, mutual respect, and life skills.  We want every student to develop relationships and get connected to resources by living in community with their peers. It is our hope that students, are given the necessary tools to build resiliency, and life skills, that will allow them to be successful in their endeavors after they graduate from Mason. 

 

Communication

The university utilizes Mason e-mail systems for communicating relevant and important information to its residents. Students are responsible for setting up and checking their official George Mason University e-mail account regularly and will be held accountable for all information communicated by Mason e-mail. Many of our parents use the Mason Housing Facebook page to communicate with each other and stay updated on initiatives happening within the department.  

Emergency Communication: George Mason University maintains an emergency notification system (Mason Alert). Mason Alert allows the University to contact residents during an emergency by sending text messages to their cell phone and email. Delays or campus closures are also announced via Mason Alert. Residents are encouraged to keep their information up to date and accurate on Mason Alert by visiting http://alert.gmu.edu

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Mason Housing and Residence Life is proud to promote a living environment that is not restricted to gender binary options. Students who select to live in gender inclusive housing will be opting to live together regardless of biological sex.  

Gender-inclusive Housing means that students from all gender identities and expressions may choose to live together in a shared suite, apartment and/or bedroom. Housing works to mirror the housing style options for students who opt into gender inclusive housing with the options that are available to the wider student population and as such, students in gender inclusive housing are not guaranteed a single. Gender inclusive housing is available to all student levels and is not recommended for romantically involved couples. Should a space be left available in a gender inclusive space, Housing will fill that space with a student who has opted into gender inclusive housing, regardless of gender identity. 

Learning Communities

As of Fall 2021, all incoming First Year Students are required to live in a Learning Community (LC). Living in a LC gives students the chance to live in community with peers that share similar passions and interests. They also gain access to academic and well-being support resources that will help them thrive during their first year at Mason.  There are 26 LCs for First Year Students to students to choose from! Students can live in a community centered around the following three themes: Academics, Identity and Interest. To learn more about LCs, click here

Meal Plans and Dinning

For more information on dining services, click here

Pets and Animals

Animals are prohibited within residential spaces except for fish in a properly maintained aquarium of 10 gallons or less. 

  • No pets are allowed in the residence halls for visits. 

  • Since pets are prohibited from the residence halls, residents should not be in possession of related items such as litter boxes, leashes, and pet food.  

  • For residents sanctioned with removal of pet, HRL staff will determine an appropriate timeframe.  

  • Residents found violating this policy will be required to remove the animal(s) and have their spaces cleaned at their expense and be responsible for any other charges resulting from possession of a non-approved pet. A follow-up inspection may occur to verify the removal. 

  • Students with service animals are not required to register with Disability Services, though it is recommended as Disability Services provides accommodations related to accessibility for other needs (e.g., testing, classroom).  Service animals are subject to the same local licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.  The handler is responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal (e.g., toileting, feeding, grooming, veterinary care).  Housing and Residence Life are not obligated to supervise or otherwise care for a service animal. 

  • Students who wish to have an emotional support animal must submit that as a special housing accommodation request through Disability Services.  Visit the Office of Disability Services website for additional information. 

Safety and Security

Each residence hall provides: 

  • Residential Communities Staff on-call 24/7 every single day, including holidays and break periods 

  • Two  24-hour desks for students to call if they need assistance  

  • Access to the Department of Police and Public Safety 

  • Residence hall entrance doors secured 24/7. Access is only permitted with Mason ID Card   

  • Security cameras located within most residential areas 

  • Routinely checked fire and life safety systems in each residence hall 

  • Shuttle bus services to escort students across campus late at night 

Important Policies

Alcohol and Drug Policy

HRL maintains policies with regard to alcohol use and illicit drug use/possession. Alcohol possession or consumption is prohibited in any room or suite where all residents assigned to the space by Housing are under the age of 21. This includes the consumption of alcohol by guests over the age of 21. No open containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted outside of residential rooms, suites, apartments, and townhouses regardless of your age. Alcohol is not to be consumed in residential common areas and exterior areas including but not limited to porches, balconies, landings, corridors, study lounges, parking lots, or courtyards. 

If a student chooses to engage in the use of alcohol while under the age of 21, they will be held accountable for possession, use, or impairment as well as the consequences of any behavior that results from this choice. This includes if they choose to drink off campus and return to campus as well if they engage in behaviors that are disruptive to the community. 

For more on our alcohol and drug policy, read our Residential Student Handbook

Noise Policy

It is expected residents will maintain a reasonable noise level during daytime periods. “Courtesy Hours” should be observed 24-7 everyday—all day. Quiet hours will be observed during the following times: 10:00 p.m.-8:00 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 12:00 a.m. (midnight)-10:00 a.m. Friday-Saturday.

Each residential community has study lounges/spaces designated for quiet study. If your student is asked by another resident or staff member to reduce their noise level and vice versa, we expect them to reduce their noise level. 

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted in the residence halls. Possession of these items in the residence halls may represent a violation of the Residential Handbook (PDF), the George Mason University Student Code of Conduct, or both. Please leave these items at home. 

  • Drug-related paraphernalia (e.g. bong, pipe, hookah, etc)
  • Firearms, fireworks, explosives, weapons
  • Fuels or other highly combustible items
  • Beer pong tables, funnels and tubing, common source containers (e.g. kegs), and other alcohol paraphernalia
  • Incense, candles, oil-lamps- lit or unlit
  • Barbecue grills (including charcoal and lighter fluid)
  • Cinder blocks
  • Electrical appliances with an exposed heating element
  • Resident-owned air conditioners
  • Cut trees (live trees potted appropriately are permitted)
  • Extension cords, multiple plugs, multiple plug converters
  • Plug-in air fresheners with or without an additional plug adaptor
  • Pets, except fish in a 10-gallon (or less) tank
  • Halogen lamps, black lights, and octopus/spider lamps
  • Outside antennas and satellite dishes
  • Water-propelling devices, including squirt guns
  • Waterbeds
  • Unauthorized inflatable pools and slip n' slides
  • Refrigerators greater than 118 volts, 60 Hz, and/or that draw more than 1.5 amps or 180 watts
  • Wall-mounted televisions
  • NERF and NERF-style guns and projectiles
  • Airsoft guns and BB guns
  • Non-fire retardant curtains (window or room dividers)
  • Non-university supplied loft beds
  • Vaporizers

Smoking Policy

In according with state law, students under the age of 21 are not permitted to purchase or possess any tobacco products.  

All residence halls are smoke-free.  Smoking is prohibited within all residence halls including stairways balconies, landings, and entrances.  Outdoors, smoking is permitted 25 feet or more beyond a state building, unless it is a hazardous area or if otherwise posted.  Cigarettes butts must be disposed of in designated cigarette urns. If you or your guest are found smoking in a prohibited area you will face disciplinary action. The smoking policy extends to the prohibition of smoking devices including but not limited to hookahs, e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and homemade smoking devices. Electronic smoking devices are not allowed to be stored in any residence hall