Northern Michigan University...Michigan's ThinkPad University

Housing and Residence Life Office

401 Cohodas Administration Building

Phone:  906-227-2620

Web page


Carl D. Holm


Assistant Director

Melvin J. Matulewicz


Assistant Director

Sarah E. Davy

Undergraduate Bulletin

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Housing and Residence Life




The mission of Housing and Residence Life is to provide on-campus residence hall and apartment facilities for students and to create physical and social climates in those facilities which contribute to their personal development.  In that effort, the staff recognizes and values the personal growth which results when students are also actively involved in the creation and maintenance of the environments in which they live.  Priority is placed, therefore, on meaningful student involvement, effective relationships, support, and communication, personal and group responsibility, cooperation and sensitivity, clean, comfortable, and useful facilities, and fiscal responsibility.  The office strives to ensure that on-campus housing facilities are supervised, well maintained, attractive, and supportive of student success.  The Housing and Residence Life staff provides students with general information, assistance, and guidance, helps students become involved in the development of true learning communities where students have the opportunity to shape their living environment by working together to set expectations, support one another, plan activities, share concerns, and solve problems. In addition, they advise residence hall student government and programming organizations and have the responsibility of enforcing certain minimum behavioral standards, outlined in NMU’s Student Code (see Conduct Program below), to ensure a residence hall environment that is conducive to learning.


Staff and Activities

The Housing and Residence Life staff helps students develop a variety of programs and activities.  Examples are dances, fund raising activities, intramural sports, educational programs, Winfester and Homecoming events, and student organization training sessions of all types.  These activities not only benefit residence hall students in general, but serve to develop interpersonal skills such as communication, planning, decision making, public speaking, and program evaluation for those who organize them.


Each residence hall is under the supervision of a full-time professional staff member (resident director) who is assisted by carefully selected and trained students (resident advisers and academic programming assistants).


Housing Options and Assignments

A variety of housing options are available with Northern Michigan University’s residence halls and apartments. These include single and double rooms, as well as apartments for single students and students with families.  Coed halls, quiet halls, and an upperclassman hall are available.


Residence hall assignments are made by the Housing and Residence Life Office.  The university honors student requests for roommates, rooms and halls whenever possible.  Because of space limitations, however, it is not always possible to grant all requests.  Returning students are given first choice in room and hall requests.


Residence hall contracts for the fall and winter semesters are signed upon checking into the hall; summer contracts are issued separately.  Local telephone service is included as a part of the room and board charge.  Long distance service is extra and can be arranged with the university’s Administrative Information Technology and Support Services Office.  Rates for room and board are established by the university on the basis of prevailing costs and the type of accommodations sought. Residence hall fees are payable by semester or in regular installments. See Housing Applications and Payments below.


Although services are reduced and they may not have visitors, residence hall students may make arrangements to stay in their room during both the Thanksgiving Break and Spring Break.  The residence halls are closed between the fall and winter semesters, with the exception of Spooner Hall.


On-Campus Housing Policy

The university, in its student housing facilities, provides a living environment which facilitates the accomplishments of students’ academic, vocational, and social goals. This objective is implemented through such measures as the availability of advisory assistance, enforcement of various university policies and regulations, encouragement and support for involvement in a wide range of learning opportunities including participatory community development, study groups and competitions, educational,  social, recreational and leadership development activities, and a variety of housing options from which to choose.  The university’s requirements for on-campus residence are thus a part of its effort to ensure an optimum learning environment for students.


Only currently enrolled Northern Michigan University students and/or other persons who have received official housing assignments may live in university residence halls.


Undergraduate Housing Requirement

All single undergraduate students must live in university residence halls while enrolled for classes.  This requirement, however, does not apply to those undergraduates who: (1) have reached junior status (56 or more hours of college credit) prior to registering for classes for the fall semester, or (2) have resided four or more semesters in residence halls or, (3) are 21 years of age or older on or before the last official day of registration for the fall semester, or (4) are residing at home with their parents(s) or legal guardian(s), or (5) are veterans who qualify for veterans’ benefits by virtue of at least one year of active service in the armed forces, or (6) are taking eight or fewer credit hours during the semester of enrollment.


This housing requirement is a condition of enrollment which must be met throughout the academic year, except during summer sessions.


Special Permission for Exception

Students may apply for an exception to the housing requirement for serious medical reasons, critical financial need, and other circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from complying with this requirement.  In some cases (e.g., for a medical circumstance or learning disability) application materials may be forwarded to the university's Health Center or Accommodations Review Committee for review or clarification.


Information on the special permission procedure and specific criteria may be obtained by contacting the Housing and Residence Life Office in 401 Cohodas Administrative Center, 906-227-2620.  Applications for exception will be considered by the Director of Housing and Residence Life or his/her designee.  The burden of proof of proper address and the accuracy of special permission requests rests with the student.  Recommendations from qualified university personnel (e.g., Health Center physician) shall be taken into account with applications for special permission.  The Director of Housing and Residence Life or his/her designee makes the decision on whether or not exceptions will be granted.


Appeals of denials for housing requirement exceptions, in cases where the procedure for requesting special permission has been followed correctly, may be submitted in writing to the Housing Appeals Committee, whose decision is final.



All single undergraduates who do not qualify to live off-campus according to the provisions stated above must reside in a university residence hall or present evidence that an exception to the policy has been granted.  Those students for whom the housing requirement is a condition of enrollment will be asked to verify their adherence to it.  Failure to maintain the required residency will result in termination of enrollment by the Dean of Students.


Housing Contracts

Residence hall contracts obligate the student to pay for room and board for the period stated in the terms of the contract.  All contracts for residence halls are for the fall through winter semester, or from the time of arrival through the winter semester.  All students regardless of age or class standing are obligated by these contract terms and conditions for the duration of the contract unless authorized releases are obtained.  (Applications for release may be made through the resident director.) This regulation applies to all students who enter into a contract for university housing.


Housing Applications and Payments

Applications for housing in residence halls are sent to new students after they are admitted to Northern Michigan University.  In order to reserve a room, the application must be completed and returned with the advance payment, the first room and board payment according to the payment schedule, or a full semester’s room and board payment.  Different rates are charged for single and double occupancies.  Students must make the first payment with their personal funds.  Financial aid will be applied first against tuition and fees; any excess will be applied to the unpaid balance of room and board, apartment rent and any other financial obligations to Northern Michigan University.  Financial aid in excess of these charges will be returned to the student.  Any unpaid balance of room and board must be paid in accordance with the payment schedule.


Advance Payment

An advance payment, which is applied to the total amount due for room and board, is due with the housing application to reserve a space for the student.  A designated portion of the advance payment is refundable if the Housing and Residence Life Office is notified of a cancellation in writing on or before the first room and board payment date (early August).  The remainder will be forfeited.  If notice of cancellation is not received in writing or is received after the first room and board payment date, the entire advance payment is forfeited.


If the student fails to meet a scheduled payment, the university has the following options:

  1. the entire unpaid room and/or board indebtedness may become immediately due and payable; and

  2. enrollment may be summarily terminated.

Dining Services

It is compulsory that all students living in residence halls participate in one of the designated meal plans (meal plans are for the designated student, and cannot be used for guest meals).


Dining Services encourages participants to enjoy food to their full delight, while in the interests of conservationism and cost containment, it is important that students judge carefully what they intend to eat and not waste food.  Each meal plan includes flexible cash value, "dining dollars," which allow students to purchase snacks for late hours and convenience during the day.


Constant Pass

All freshmen students assigned to any residence hall, except those assigned to Spooner Hall, will be required to be on the Constant Meal Pass.  The Constant Pass, our most comprehensive meal plan, allows students unlimited access to dining in The Marketplace and the Wildcat Den. Any NMU student may participate in the Constant Pass meal plan.  Dining dollars (approximately $50/semester) are included with the Constant Pass.  This value may be used at campus convenience stores and Bookbinders Eatery.


In addition, students who have achieved at least sophomore status may elect the "Any-14" or "Any-5" meal plan.


Meal Plans

Each meal plan has a set amount of money (from room and board payments) placed into an account and accessed with a valid NMU identification card.  Students present their valid NMU identification card to a dining services checker to gain entrance to the dining rooms.   Students can use their dining dollars to purchase food items in the Cat Trax convenience store, Bookbinders Eatery and Willy's Snak Shak, and the cash operation of the Wildcat Den.


Dining Services is committed to offering a variety of nutritious foods in an attractive, clean, and friendly atmosphere.  Special meal plans are available for commuter students, university apartment tenants and employees.  Please contact the Dining Services Department, Room 2204 University Center, 906-227-2520.


An 14 Meal Plan

Any 14 Meal Plan - Students who choose this plan may eat any 14 meals per week in either dining room.  This plan includes (approximately $75/semester) in dining dollars which may be used for purchases in any Dining Services facility.


Any 5 Meal Pass

Any 5 Meal Pass - This plan offers students the opportunity to economize, offering 5 meals per week in either dining room or use of dining dollars (approximately $250/semester) for purchases in any facility operated by Dining Services.


Spooner Meal Plan

Spooner Meal Plan - Students assigned to Spooner Hall (upperclassmen and students over 21 years of age) may choose from any of the meal plans listed above, or they may choose the Spooner Hall Meal Plan which is  comprised entirely of dining dollars (approximately $670/semester). Spooner Hall residents who choose this plan may use their dining dollars account in any Dining Services facility.


On-Campus Apartment Housing

The university has 278 one and two-bedroom apartments and 2 three-bedroom apartments for rent to students with families, single students who are at least junior status, over the age of 21, or who have lived on-campus for at least four semesters, and university faculty and staff.  Rental rates, which include utilities, are reviewed and set annually and vary by type of apartment.  Single student apartment rent payments are like those for residence halls and may be paid with a single payment for the year, a payment for each semester, or according to the same schedule as residence hall room and board payments.  Students with families, faculty, and staff make monthly payments (in advance by the first of each month).


Applications must be accompanied by an advance payment, which will be applied to the apartment rent.  The advance payment will be refunded in full if the applicant submits a written request to remove his or her name from the apartment pre-assignment list before an apartment is offered or if the Housing and Residence Life Office is unable to accommodate any of the applicant's preferences or provide a satisfactory alternative.  If an apartment for which the applicant applied is offered and is refused, the entire advance payment will be forfeited.


Students receiving financial aid will have the aid applied first to tuition and the remainder to apartment rent.


Residence Hall Room and Board/Apartment Rent Refunds

If a student moves out of a residence hall or single student apartment during the semester, he or she must complete a Contract Termination Form and pay a termination fee. Charges for room and board or apartment rent until the official date of the contract termination will be calculated and the excess amount paid, minus the termination fee and any other debts to the university, will be refunded. There is no credit if the departure is during the last fourteen days of the semester.


If the student intends to terminate his or her residence hall or single student apartment contract only, he or she must initiate the process with the Housing and Residence Life Office (usually with his or her resident director or the coordinator of apartment services). If the student plans to completely withdraw from the university, thereby terminating his or her residence hall or single student apartment contract, the student must initiate that process with the Dean of Students Office.


A student who lives in a student-family apartment will be refunded the amount that he or she has paid in excess of the rent due through his or her official lease termination date–less the termination fee if applicable, and any other debt to the university. (A student living in a student-family apartment must provide the Housing and Residence Life Office with a minimum of 30 days written notice of his or her intent to vacate and will be responsible for rent for 30 days after giving notice.


Conduct Program

It is the responsibility of every student to become familiar with the content of the NMU Student Handbook, including the Student Code. Copies are made available to all students without cost. The purpose of the Student Code is to inform the Northern Michigan University community about acceptable standards of student behavior, and to inform students of their responsibilities.  The Student Code also fulfills the important objective of protecting students' procedural due process rights.


Standards of behavior are developed by institutions of higher education for the purpose of furthering educational objectives. These student regulations may apply to behavior on campus as well as off campus.  Violations of the regulations set forth by the university may, under certain conditions, result in disciplinary action by NMU and criminal action by civil authorities. Action by the university can result in a warning, probationary status, suspension, or expulsion, depending upon the circumstances.


Attendance at Northern Michigan University is both voluntary and optional.  As such, entrance into the academic community automatically obligates each student to abide by acceptable standards of behavior established by the community. Regulations may not, however, be unreasonable or forbid the exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.  Authority for the enactment of student regulations is vested in the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees.

Registrar's Office, 301 Cohodas Administration Center
1401 Presque Isle Ave | Marquette, MI 49855 | 1-800-682-9797
Technical questions? E-mail
Admissions questions? E-mail

©2003 by the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University
Page created by: Kimber Olli of Northern Michigan University
Northern Michigan University is an AA/EO Institution.

Northern is Michigan's only participant in IBM's ThinkPad University Program. ThinkPad is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation.

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 09, 2003