Random Snippets from Housing

October 3rd, 2013

In this post are some random bits of information lumped together. Read on to learn about:
A change for housing sign-ups (coming in Spring 2014)
Fall Break, Thanksgiving & Christmas Break info
Heating & Cooling in the Complexes


It’s early to be thinking about housing sign-ups, but we want to make sure you are as prepared as possible when spring time comes. If you have a balance greater than $100 you will be not be allowed to register for classes or housing. If you have a balance between $100 – $1000 please meet with someone in Student Financial Services to communicate your payment plan so that your hold can be lifted before housing sign-ups begin. Please do all you can to make sure you have your bill paid by the end of Spring Break so that you can sign up for housing with the friends you hope to live with next year


One of the best aspects of being in school is that you work like crazy for a time and then you get an extended break. Things are a little different on campus during these breaks, so read on to make sure you’re prepared.

All on-campus residences will be open. Normal visitation hours will apply.
Here are the dining hall (Lottie) hours

Wednesday, October 9 -Dinner 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.;

Thursday-Saturday, October 10-12
Breakfast: 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Lunch: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Dinner: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 13
Breakfast: 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Lunch: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Dinner: 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Union will close at 4:30 on Wednesday, October 9 and re-open at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 13.

The Falcon will close at 4:30 on Wednesday, October 9 and re-open at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, October 14.

All on-campus residences will be open. Normal visitation hours will apply.The dining hall will close at 6 p.m. after the evening meal on Tuesday and will re-open at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. The Union will close at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26 and re-open at 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 1.

The Falcon will be open on Wednesday, November 27 from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and will be closed November 28 – December 1st. Normal hours will resume on Monday, December 2.

All campus residences will be closed from noon on December 20th through 8:00 a.m. January 8th. Do NOT return before January 7th. You will be charged for additional nights if you return before January 7th.

The last meal of the fall semester ends at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 19. Meal plans begin on Tuesday, January 7. The Union & Falcon will close at 4:30 on Thursday, December 19th. The Falcon will be open Friday, December 20th from 7:30 – 11:00 a.m. and Monday, December 23 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

You will be asked to unplug everything in your room/apartment and empty your fridge before you leave for this break. Many more details will be coming about this as we get closer to December.

A few athletic teams will be arriving on campus early for games and practices. In order to be good stewards and minimize the number of buildings that need to be heated these athletes will be housed in Naugle and one or two apartment buildings. This may require students to share their room or apartment with another student who lives elsewhere.


The North & South Complex have a “two pipe” heating/cooling system. This means that the same water is used for both cooling and heating. In the fall when the days are warm and the nights are cool the system flip flops, calling for heat at night and cooling during the day. When that happens the water temperatures are cooled to around 40 degrees during the day and then heated back up to 120 degrees during the night. It takes a significant amount of energy to heat and cool the water each day. When the temperature is consistently below 65 degrees during the day the system will switch from cooling to heating and on April 30 the system will be reset to provide air conditioning.

You’ve probably noticed the thermostats in your rooms and may have wondered how they affect this system. While you don’t have complete control over the temperature in your room, you can vary the temperature by a few degrees, making a difference in your comfort level.

Here is how it works: if the air conditioning is on, then chilled water is running through the pipes. If the room is too cool you can make it warmer in your room by adjusting your thermostat. This stops the flow of chilled water to the unit in your room. If you adjust it to be colder, more cool water will run through to the unit in your room. Similarly, if you turn the thermostat down you can cut off the water flow to the unit in your room which will allow the temperature in your room to drop by a few degrees. If you turn it up, more hot water will run through the unit in your room and the temperature will rise.

Bugs in your living environment

September 25th, 2013

It’s not uncommon for bugs to invade living spaces and our campus is no exception. Here are some really basic facts about the different insects you may see in your living area. If you are experiencing bites from an insect please contact one of the people as soon as possible – your RD, the Engle Center or the assistant director of residence life – housing (Rhonda King) if you are experiencing bites from an insect.Some bugs have distinct habits that tell us which bug it is, but most bug bites look the same, so we will need to do some investigating to find the cause of your discomfort.

Stink Bugs

Photo from http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/brown-marmorated-stink-bug

The stink bug has only been in Pennsylvania for 12-15 years. It comes to the U.S. from countries in Asia and is an agricultural pest. Stink bugs are harmless to humans, although they can have an unpleasant odor when crushed. The best way to treat for these bugs is to suck them up with a vacuum cleaner hose (your RD can provide this).

Box Elder Bugs

Photo Credit: Martin LaBar

photo credit to Martin LaBar

Box Elder bugs are another common bug on our campus. They are harmless to humans, but are a nuisance. Box Elder bugs are best removed with a vacuum or dustpan. Also, wiping surfaces with dishwater will deter the bugs.

Lice are other pests that can spread easily in a community setting. Head lice attach their eggs (called nits) to the hair shaft and hatch and grow into full size adults. To treat lice all clothing and bedding should be washed and dried. The hair should be treated with lice shampoo and the nits are to be combed out with a fine tooth comb. The Engle Center can diagnose lice and will advise in the treatment of lice.

Scabies are a tiny mite (less than a millimeter) that burrow under the skin and create a rash. They are spread by skin to skin contact. Scabies have a relatively simple treatment. A cream is applied and left on overnight and then washed off. Sheets and clothes are to be washed and dried.


Photo from www.bed-bugs.info/bed-bugs-pictures.html

Bedbugs have made a recent comeback in the U.S. The bugs are the size and shape of an apple seed. They are not known to transmit disease, but they are a nuisance and are difficult to get rid of. The bites looks similar to mosquito bites, although some will react with hives. Evidence of a bedbug infestation includes empty exoskeletons, blood spots on sheets and black specks of waste in the seams of a mattress. Treatment includes replacing the mattress, washing and drying all clothing & linens, spraying the room and re-spraying again a few weeks later.

If you come in contact with any of these pests, please know that they are not a result of being unsanitary. They’re all looking for a live host to feast on, and good or bad hygiene does not attract or deter them. If you believe that you are experiencing lice or bed bugs please contact the Engle Center, the assistant director of residence life – housing (Rhonda King) or your RA (if after office hours) IMMEDIATELY to obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment.


This year I’ve heard about a number of people (starting first with the RDs) getting chiggers while doing the low ropes course this year, so I thought I’d include a bit about chiggers this year. Chiggers don’t like hot (99+ degrees) so the fact that this August was more mild may be the reason we’re seeing more chigger bites this fall.
Chiggers are a mite that live in plants close to the ground. Chiggers aren’t microscopic like scabies are, but they are barely visible (1/150th of an inch). Unlike scabies chiggers do not burrow into the skin. They do bite and especially like areas where the skin is thinner (ankles, crotch, armpits, etc.) They are also hindered by tight clothing, so will cluster around waistbands and socklines.

Chigger bites itch – a lot! The bites will be red and may look like a small blister. Chigger bites can be treated with anti-itch creams and Benadryl. After being in the woods washing with soap and water and washing the clothes worn while in the woods can help prevent the spread of chigger bites on your own skin.
This info about chiggers summarized from http://www.medicinenet.com/chiggers_bites/article.htm

New RD Staff

July 22nd, 2013

As promised, here’s a quick overview of the new RDs that have been hired. We are thrilled that our new hires come to us with RD experience, but more importantly we are impressed with these women and look forward to the impact they will have on our campus.

Tera Dent is the new RD for Grantham & Smith. Tera grew up in a small town in northwest Ohio, began her college education at Bluffton University, then transferred to Calvin College where she graduated in 2005. Tera comes to Messiah after working as an RD at Calvin College. Tera is married to Jon, who also has worked as an RD and they have a 17 month old daughter, Elana. For a more complete bio on Tera please check out the Res Life webpage.

In Witmer Paula Hoffman comes to us from Southeastern University where she worked as an RD. She graduated from Southeastern University and married a Messiah graduate, Rusty Hoffman. Rusty also worked as an RD and recently began working as an Admissions Counselor for Messiah College. For the top ten things you should know about Paula please check-out her bio on our webpage.

As some of you may have heard, Michael Warari has been hired as the Head Field Hockey Coach at Vassar College. We are thrilled with the way the Lord has led Michael to this new position. Michael has been an excellent RD for the past seven years and we mourn his leaving even as we rejoice with him in this new adventure. To read more about Michael’s new position please check out the Vassar field hockey webpage.

With Michael’s recent departure we are working fervently to find a new Miller and Fry RD. We have some excellent candidates and hope to making a decision on that position in the next two weeks.

Early Arrivals

July 17th, 2013

Every year there are oodles of students who want to arrive early and by arriving early I mean first year and transfer students who wish to arrive before Thursday, August 29 and returning students who wish to arrive before Sunday, September 1. Here are the details on arriving early:

1. You can only come back early if you have a college related reason and a faculty/staff member is overseeing your activity/reason for your return. If you don’t have a college related reason and sponsor and you choose to come back early you’ll be charged $75/night. Students who are athletes, RAs, or involved college organizations with training programs led by an employee are most likely already approved because your advisor or coach has already submitted your names.

2. If you live more than 300 miles away, you may apply to return ONE DAY early.

3. Dropping off your stuff is considered an early arrival, even if you don’t stay in your room or apartment and will only be approved if you have a college related reason to be here.

4. If you have a sibling who is approved to arrive early (or is a first year student) and you live over 50 miles away you may be approved for an early arrival, but you must apply.

5. Personal scheduling conflicts because of work or vacation are not reasons for an early arrival.

6. Move in for returning students is over Labor Day this year, so please plan accordingly.

With all that said, if you wish to request an early arrival the early arrival form needs to be filled out before Friday, August 2.


June 27th, 2013

Beginning July 1st, there will be some slight changes among the staff of our current department.  And we’re looking forward to the two new RDs that will start August 1st.  Tera Dent will be the RD in Grantham and Smith and Paula Hoffman will be the RD in Witmer.  More details on those two in another post.

We're sad to say goodby to Katie Rousopolous and Mandy Hoffman who are both moving to Indiana (for separate adventures).

Tim Ferret, who has served as the RD in Grantham and Smith for the last two years will be moving over to Bittner Hall and he will serve as the Assistant Director for Residence Life - First Year Experience.

Dave Downey isn't going anywhere, but his role has been expanded and renamed. He will now serve as the Assistant Director of Residence Life - Upper Class Experience.

And I (Rhonda King) have a slightly modified position and a new title, Assistant Director of Residence Life - Housing. I'll be working a few less hours each week as my husband and I prepare for the adoption of a baby in the few (or several) months!

Touching Base – June 24, 2013

June 24th, 2013

It’s summer!  The summer brings a more relaxed schedule in the Residence Life Office, but there still is lots to do in order to prepare for your return to campus at the end of August.  Some of you are assigned to a room or apartment and are looking forward to a great year ahead.  Others of you are are on the waiting list and your stress level may be increasing as we draw closer to August.  We are diligently working to reduce the waiting list and are committed to keeping you updated on progress that is made.

And about 700 of you are anxiously awaiting your first Messiah College housing and roommate assignment.  Those assignments will be on Housebook at least by Monday, July 15, but I’m hoping to get them out a few days earlier.  We are working hard to get things in place for you to have a good year.

If you are a returning student, a new student or a transfer student and you  have any questions about your housing please contact us at housing@messiah.edu or (717)796-5239