Student Housing

Anatomy of a Dorm Room

West Hall

East Hall

Wardrobe Closet
Desk Desk
Dresser  (2 per person) Dresser
Chair  (1 per person) Chair  (1 per person)
Adjustable bed (1 per person) Lofted beds

Packing Lists & FAQ

Tips on what to pack and what NOT to pack for your first year at Olin & an FAQ about living in the residence halls.

Click to learn more

Elsewhere in the dorms

Microfridges, Laundry Cleaning Supplies & Printers


To help keep costs down and provide a safe convenient way for heating up food and storing refrigerated foods, every room and suite in the residence halls has a microfridge unit with a combination refrigerator, freezer and microwave. Each residence hall also has its own kitchen with range, sink, and food prep area. Students bringing appliances to Olin may store them in their room but they can only be used in the community kitchen. For fire safety reasons, appliances other than the microfridge should not be used in personal living spaces.


The residence halls are all equipped with washers and dryers that can be used with coins or your Olin OneCard. If a washer or dryer is not working for any reason, please submit a workorder to that we can see what's going on. 


To help cut down on energy use and curb student printing costs, students have access to community printers in each of the residence halls. If the printer isn't working for any reason, submit a helpdesk ticket so that a technician can check it out.

Cleaning supplies

On each floor of the residence halls are community vacuums and cleaning supplies for your bathrooms. If you ever have a problem with a vacuum or need more cleaning supplies, submit a workorder so that we can check it out. 

A photo of a curved building with trees in the foreground

In Olin's residence halls you'll find a wide range of initiatives that aim to reduce Olin's carbon footprint. For example, every year Olin finishes in the top 20 Recyclemania Contest, a national recycling contest that measures how little (or much) each person is throwing away and how much of that waste is being recycled.

We also use centralized printers to reduce the amount of resources being used to support printing. The college meters each building to monitor energy use and the College's energy management team uses that data to identify areas of improvement. LED lights been installed throughout both residence halls which has helped lower maintenance costs and reduces the amount of CFLs being disposed of at the landfill.

Housing Selection 

All students who are assigned to an Olin campus residence hall are required to electronically sign a Housing and Dining Agreement. This document serves as an agreement that the student has read, and agrees to abide by, the Residential Housing and Dining Policies, and is liable for the rent for both the fall and spring semesters while they are a resident.

An assignment will not be made and is not valid until the student completes the confirmation form and receives confirmation by email. It is the student's responsibility to see that this entire process is completed.

See our 2021-22 Housing Agreement

Housing Agreement FAQ

Yes, any student who will receive housing on campus at Olin college is required to sign a housing agreement to obtain housing 

Housing/Rental agreements in general are a standard in any landlord lessee relationship.  As Olin is the property owner and we have hundreds of students paying rent to stay in our halls each year it is of course a priority that we have such an agreement to protect both the students and the institution.

Once you graduate, and go to look for an apartment you will find that no reputable landlord will rent to you without you signing a rental contract. 

In short... yes, the agreement is for specified dates (one academic year)  For your protection there are end dates in place, therefor a new agreement is needed for each year.

There will be at least minor updates in fields that are designed to change without changing the legal structure of the document primarily contract dates and the housing rates.  That being said, we would always advise you to read any contract you are signing prior to signing it.

Reaching out and talking to the Dean of the College is the first step. However, please keep in mind this is a legal document designed by lawyers to protect both you as a lessee and Olin as a landlord. Verbiage changes will not be made by student committee or due to dislike, if you have a concern with the legality of the agreement we will be happy to explore it. We are also of course willing to discuss concerns and are to open a dialogue, to help in fostering an understanding of why documents like this are vital to an organization like Olin so we can maintain and thrive into the future.

This is in place to protect both you and the institution as realities change around us.  While the concept may seem intimidating, this is in fact the guiding principal of the constitution of the United states and the practice of policy and legislature all throughout the US.  It is never static, and you are always going to be held accountable to things as they change.  Every College, University and business has always had the ability to create policies and procedures just as states and countries are always developing new laws and changing existing ones.  Even if you do not agree with a new speed limit, a new tax, or another new law or policy, you are still subject to abide by it and to face any consequences should you choose not to.   By agreeing to be a student at Olin (or any college),and by participating in the community you are making this commitment whether you live in housing or not.

Yes, This is standard language for most campus housing contracts in general.  Below are a few examples.

MIT-  “MIT reserves the right to revise and amend the Housing Policies, the terms and conditions on the HRS website, and any other MIT policies and procedures, at any time.”

Stanford- “The university reserves the right to make changes to this agreement and supporting policies from time to time without prior notice. The Residence Agreement in the form as it exists online is the governing document, and contains the then-currently applicable policies and information.”

Tufts- “I further agree to abide by the policies, procedures, rules, and regulations that may be established by Residential Life & Learning and by all other policies, rules, regulations, and codes formulated by the University, including, but with limitation to, all academic and social conduct rules and regulations.”

Boston University- “Residents must abide by all the directives, rules, and regulations which may be promulgated and established by the University, in the interests of health, safety, the proper conduct of residents, and the orderly and efficient operation and administration of the residential system.”

We do not plan to make or change rules mid year.  We do however recognize that at times circumstances lead to the necessity to do so, 2019/2020 was a key example of this need.  Due to Covid we, as an institution had to close our residence halls quickly and unexpectedly.  This resulted in a quick, unplanned exodus from the campus, this also resulted in all of us having to adjust policies and expectations, in some cases these were things that felt good, in some cases they didn’t, but in all cases they were done for the safety and benefit of our students.   Here are a few of the rules that were made and changed to address this situation:

-Students were permitted to leave personal belongings and furniture behind when exiting the residence halls. This is against our existing policy which we deemed necessary to change for the protection of people’s possessions.

-Students who had no other place to go were permitted to stay and given new social distancing standards and expectations to protect their safety and the health of those working to provide them meals and cleaning.  These type of policies would never be a part of the rulebook in a normal situation, however it was deemed necessary to make these adjustments for the safety of those still present.

-We were able to change the policy on housing reimbursement to provide a credit to each student account in the amount of $4,218, even for those who had not paid for housing out of pocket to help alleviate costs.

Just like in the real world, if you do not want to agree to the policies of a landlord, an employer or even a state or country… you have the choice not to engage in that relationship.  At Olin we do require a 4 year residency for our students, to be released from this residency requirement (in very rare circumstances) a student must petition with the Dean of Student Affairs.

You are correct that in requiring students to fill out a housing agreement prior to promising housing we are making sure that each student has signed a housing agreement before allowing them to rent a space in housing. Due to liability concerns by our insurance company and our lawyers we do need a housing agreement on file for any student we will be housing.  

Room Change FAQ

  • Community Building: Residence Life values creating and maintaining healthy communities. An important aspect of these communities is stability. Living in your room for the whole year helps this stability and encourages people to rely on each other, develop relationships, and establish ongoing community norms.

  • Problem-solving: Working through challenging situations is an important experience and learning to compromise and communicate is a vital life-skill. We encourage students to put substantial effort into making their living situation work for them and to reference the 'Honor Principle' section of their housing contract when considering housing challenges. 

  • Administrative impact: Changing rooms is not as simple as moving a few bags. Every room change requires work from Res Life staff, R2s, facilities, custodial services, Community Safety, and often other departments as well. If Res Life accepted and processed every room change request that is basically all we would ever have time to do. We'd rather spend our time making your current situation the best possible!

  • "It would be more convenient for me to live on a different floor because it's closer to the gaming lounge and I spend a lot of time there."

  • "My friend just moved out of a room and says I can move there."

  • "All my friends live on 3rd floor so I want to live there too."

  • "My roommate or floormates plays loud music all the time and instead of talking to them I'd rather just move out."

  • "I was wondering if there are any suites available because I'd prefer those."

  • "I have a specific health concern that cannot be accommodated in my current living situation."

  • "I have a roommate conflict that I have been attempting to work through all semester but it's not going to be reconciled. Here are all the ways I've tried:..."

  • Moving is not the norm: Approved room-change requests must be due to extenuating circumstances. Since our philosophy encourages students to stay in their communities, your situation needs to merit an exception.

  • Consider Res Life philosophy: Knowing that we appreciate community and problem-solving, requests that include a visible effort to make a situation work are more likely to be approved that those that do not. Include in your request what you have done to create a good environment for yourself and why is it still not working out.

  • Changes are based on current situation: We approve changes because a current environment is unsuitable for a student, not because the student would prefer a different building or room. Although we may take requests into account when reassigning you, our motivation is never that you prefer the view on the South side of the building or that you know a friend who just moved out of a single in East Hall and you'd like to live there.

  • Moves are generally to a similar room type: If you are currently in a double, you are likely to be placed in a double, triple to triple, etc. unless the room type is one of the reasons you are requesting to move.

  • Room changes take a lot of behind the scenes coordinating, as detailed earlier.

  • Several students may be requesting the same room. If you know of a vacancy, it is likely that others do too.

  • Rooms that are on the vacancy list might not actually be available. We often set aside rooms for people returning from leave, students who need specific accommodations, or we may have already offered it to someone else.

While the number of room change requests we receive each year depends largely on the flux of students and the availability of rooms on campus, we estimate that we receive as many as 50 requests per semester. Typically fewer than 25% of these requests are granted and we do not have the room capacity to grant every request.

We do not accept requests within the first 2 weeks of classes. As per our philosophy, we want students to have made an effort to be a part of their communities and get used to their environment before changing. If you have an extreme situation in which even these 2 weeks are not possible, please talk to your Hall Director ASAP.

  • Any time you change rooms it is considered an official room change and all policies discussed here will apply.

  • Students are always responsible for any damages done to their assigned rooms. If you make an unapproved swap, you are responsible for anything that happens to your original room.

  • Students who make unapproved room swaps will be asked to move back to their original rooms.

Moving Forward with a Request

  • First, read the contents of this page to determine whether or not your request is likely to be approved.

  • Next, fill out the online room change request form  Here   Long Link (

  • Next, Your Hall Director will schedule an appointment with you. Your HD will ask if you have taken steps to address your current concerns.

    • It is helpful to have had conversations with your R2 about your situation beforehand. Talking to your R2 shows you respect your community and have made an effort at problem-solving and sharing your concerns.

    • If you have a roommate concern, try your best to talk with them and work it out before requesting a room change.

    • Think about other campus resources that could help make your situation work for you. Your R2 can help refer you if you need ideas. Sources like the Counseling Services, Disability Resources, the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusive, are often good places to start.

  • The likely outcome of an HD meeting is to develop a plan to support you in your current housing situation. Suggestions may include:

    • Informal mediation between you and your roommate(s) or fellow residents

    • Formal mediation and/or Honor Board support

    • Referrals to on-campus resources

    • Follow-up meetings and/or check-ins from your HD and/or R2

    • Keep in mind that HD's may not be aware of what vacancies are available, and will not be able to discuss particular housing options with you.

  • If it is determined that there are extenuating circumstances, the request may be directed to an Associate Dean for further consideration, keeping in mind that there may or may not be alternate accommodations available.

  • The HD or the Associate Dean will manage the processing of your room change and can explore housing options with you.

  • You will be given a 2-day window to move. You will pick up a new key on the first day and must return yrou current key by the end of the second day. Not returning yrou original key in tiem will result in a recore of that door and associated charges.

  • Your original R2will complete your room inventory once you have finished moving. Please leave your old room in the condition you found it.

  • Make a point to connect with your new R2 and introduce yourself to your new community.

If you would like to break your contract reach out directly to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs