Residence FAQs

‌‌Who must quarantine or isolate in residence? When?

Due to COVID-19, there will be times when individuals need to quarantine or isolate. You are required to initiate our quarantine or self isolation processes if:


1. You are travelling to campus to move in to residence from outside the approved travel bubble. (More information about travel restrictions is available on the University's Resources for Students page.)

2. You leave the approved travel bubble and then return to campus at any time during the academic year.

3. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19.

4. You have symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild. 

5. You have had close contact with someone who has a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of COVID-19.

6. You have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.


How does travel-related quarantine for residence students work?

If you are a residence student with a confirmed space in residence for Fall 2021 who is required to quarantine upon arrival in Halifax based on travel:


We are able to accommodate your quarantine period, though you will complete the required quarantine period in a designated off-campus hotel  (Hampton Inn - 1960 Brunswick St, Halifax, NS B3J 2G7) and only move into your assigned on-campus residence room once your quarantine period is successfully completed.


You should book an airport pick-up via our Airport Pickup Request Form. This airport pick-up service will take you directly to the designated quarantine hotel where you will check in and begin your quarantine period.


Meal delivery, linen, and garbage pick-up will be provided during the quarantine period by the hotel. You will also have the ability to book daily outdoor time while completing your quarantine period. Once you have successfully completed your quarantine period, upon check out the hotel front desk will call a taxi cab to transport you directly the Saint Mary's University residence complex where you will then check in to your assigned residence room at the Loyola Residence Desk. 


Please note that ALL incoming residents travelling from outside the approved travel bubble are required to initiate our quarantine process and check into the designated quarantine hotel IMMEDIATELY upon arrival. (More information about travel restrictions is available on the University's Resources for Students page.)


ALL residents with a confirmed space in residence for Fall 2021 who require a quarantine period based on travel MUST arrange and confirm their quarantine AT LEAST 7 DAYS IN ADVANCE by contacting Housing & Conference Services by email at

Emails MUST include:

1. Student Name

2. Student Number (A#)

3. Expected Arrival Date & Time

4. Any Dietary Restrictions / Considerations


PLEASE NOTE: Residents whose quarantine periods begin prior to September 4, 2021 (when residence opens) will be subject to additional charges for accommodations and meals. Residents who withdraw from residence early may also be subject to additional fees associated with their quarantine period. 


ALL residents in quarantine MUST:

NOT go to any other part of the designated quarantine hotel other than your assigned room / bathroom and the designated outdoor time location.

ABIDE by all designated quarantine hotel policies and protocols.

NOT have any guests; NO guests are permitted during your quarantine period.

NOT attend work or social gatherings until the quarantine period has transpired and you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19.

LIMIT CONTACT as much as possible with others. Stay two metres (six feet) away from others at all times and wear a mask at all times when you are not alone in your room.

AVOID SHARING items such as drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until your quarantine is complete.

KEEP YOUR SURROUNDINGS (such as doorknobs and bathroom surfaces) CLEAN. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.


STAY CONNECTED with friends and family by text, email, and social media.


CHECK YOUR EMAIL regularly for updates, resources, and direction from staff.

CONTACT HOTEL STAFF if your condition changes or worsens.


What if a residence student needs to isolate during the year?

If you need to isolate during the academic year based one of the situations outlined above, you should follow the steps outlined below:

We can help. We have developed a process to manage instances when individuals have to isolate during the academic year. We have resources available to help you through your isolation period.


Step 1: Go to our form and provide the required information, as outlined. This will include your Name, A#, Residence Building, Room #, Contact Information (email and phone), Dietary Restrictions, and Details about why you are isolating / self-isolating.

Housing staff will then contact you via email regarding:

Meal & Hydration Package delivery

Trash collection

Resources and supports for self-isolating individuals


Step 2: Stay in your room

Do not go to any other part of residence other than your room and bathroom. (Or the room / bathroom to which you have been assigned / relocated.)

Do not attend work or social gatherings until the isolation period has concluded and you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19.

Do not use common areas of the residence complex, including the dining hall, laundry rooms, residence mailroom, or Loyola Residence Desk.

Limit contact as much as possible with others. Stay two metres (six feet) away from others at all times and wear a mask / face covering at all times when you not alone in your room.

Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or any other items until you are no longer asked to isolate / self-isolate. 

Keep your surroundings (such as doorknobs and bathroom surfaces) clean, with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes (supplies will be provided). Wash your hands after cleaning the area.

Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms.


Step 3: Stay connected

It is important to stay connected with friends and family by text, email and social media. This will help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Monitor your mental health and wellbeing. If you need support, Residence Life can help connect you to counselling services.

Be sure to check your email regularly for updates, resources, and direction from staff.

Contact staff or the Loyola Residence Desk (902.420.5591) if your condition changes / worsens.



How will COVID-19 impact residence this year?

We have eliminated double rooms for the 2021-2022 academic year. This means all bed spaces in residence will be either single or super-single rooms (and will be billed at the associated rate). For example: double rooms in Loyola, Vanier, and Rice will be assigned and charged out as super-singles. If you are assigned to a double room, it is actually a super-single (1 resident with the double bedroom  to themselves) and will be billed as such.


PLEASE NOTE: For the 2021-2022 academic year, we are currently planning to accommodate residents in Loyola South, Loyola North, Rice, and sections of Vanier.


COVID-19-related residence policies and community expectations are in place at present and we expect this will also be the case for the 2021-2022 academic year as well. These community standards / regulations will continue to develop based on Public Health guidance and other information as it becomes available. As noted in the Residence Handbook, key COVID-19-related policies in place this year to ensure the safety and wellbeing of community members include:


  • ALL individuals are required to wear a mask at all times when in common spaces (i.e. when not in their own apartment / rooms) in the residence complex.
  • ALL individuals are required to sanitize their hands at stations located by entrances when entering buildings.
  • NO visitors or guests are permitted in residence. This means that individuals who are not living in residence are NOT permitted to enter or visit. This includes couriers and delivery personnel (who should be met in main lobby areas). NO overnight guests are permitted in residence. 
  • Elevator occupancy / usage in both Rice and Loyola Residences is limited, as posted. Masks are required at all times while using elevators.
  • Laundry Room occupancy / usage is limited, as posted. Masks and physical distancing are required at all times.
  • All Public Health / government directives and guidelines should be followed at all times.
  • In the event of a fire alarm / building evacuation, individuals should exit the building as required, while ensuring they are wearing a mask at all times. Isolation / quarantine individuals should ensure they maintain appropriate distancing from others, including when re-entry to residence is allowed and should delay their re-entry to help facilitate this.


Violations of COVID-19 policies will result in outcomes including, but not limited to, Notices of Fine. Any concerns / violations can be reported to the Loyola Residence Desk 24/7.


Mandatory meal plans are required for ALL residence spaces for the 2021-2022 academic year, including those in Rice and Loyola South Senior Apartments. Among other things, this ensures ALL residents have access to isolation meals through SMU Dining, if required. Residents in Rice and Loyola South will be defaulted to the Easy 100 Plan, but can upgrade to other listed plans. Residents of Loyola North and Vanier will be defaulted to the 7 Day All Access Plan.


How do I apply for residence?

Students attending Saint Mary's for the first time who are interested in living in residence can apply online through our Housing Portal. Learn more on our Apply for Residence page.

Please note: If you are a TLC (The Language Centre) student, contact TLC for more information in this regard.


What are my residence fees and how do I pay them?

Residence fees get applied to your student account for the fall term in mid- to late-August (mid-December for the winter term) and are paid the same way you would pay for your tuition. The payment options are available on the Service Centre webpage. 

Depending on the type of room / bed space you have been assigned in residence, your room fees will differ. You can locate room fee specifics HERE.


Can a first-year student get a single room?

Yes, if a student applies early, their chances of being placed in the residence of their choice (as well as their preferred room type) increases. (PLEASE NOTE: this year we have elimnated double rooms due to COVID-19.)


How many people will be living on my floor?

In Loyola, no more than 23 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is divided into four suites, so you will only share your bathroom with up to five other students.

In Vanier, no more than 18 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is divided into four suites as well, so you will only share your bathroom with a maximum of four other students.

In Rice, no more than 23 students will live on your floor. However, this residence is apartment-style, so you will only share your bathroom with two or three other students.


Can I see my residence room before I move in? 

Unfortunately, given residence operates throughout the year (including the summer months) and the complex logistics involved in turning over 1000 beds, we are not able to show residents their specifically assigned bed spaces/rooms prior to their assigned check in dates.

However, we do have 2 dedicated tour rooms available for year-round viewing: a Loyola Single and a Vanier Double. Individuals interested in tours / rooms viewings can arrange them through the Centre for New Students. The Centre for New Students can be reached by calling 902.491.8691, by emailing or by stopping by the Centre located in McNally Main Building.


How do I do laundry? Do I need coins for the laundry machine?

No. Our laundry machines are card-operated. There are card vending and loading machines in front of the Loyola Residence Desk that allow residents to purchase a loadable laundry card and then add value (money) to their laundry card using a credit or debit card. Residents can also register online through Coinamatic, our laundry provider, to add value online at Laundry cards are available for purchase during move-in weekend in the fall and the card vending machine allows residents to purchase a replacement card throughout the year.


What can I do if I am not getting along with my roommate or suitemates?

Sometimes roommates find it awkward or uncomfortable to speak directly to their roommate about issues that are occurring in their room or on the floor. The mediation process is a great way for roommates to directly and respectfully address their concerns with each other in a safe, structured manner. Residence Assistants (RA's) have received training to facilitate this type of confidential meeting in an unbiased, non-confrontational, and non-judgemental manner. They will also make sure the meeting stays on track and that the meeting guidelines are being followed. Here is a brief overview of a typical mediation session:

  • RA reviews guidelines for meeting (i.e. one person talks at a time, be respectful, no interrupting, no name-calling, tell the truth, etc.).
  • First person states their concerns - RA clarifies and paraphrases.
  • Second person states their concerns - RA clarifies and paraphrases.
  • Both parties agree upon the key issues that need to be addressed.
  • Both parties work together to brainstorm ideas to resolve each issue, one at a time.
  • RA writes up what was agreed upon - roommate contract - and each party signs.
  • Either party can request to re-visit agreement in the future, if it is not working.


How do I get a room change?

Residents are expected to occupy the room and bed assigned to them by the Housing & Residence. However, if students are experiencing problems with their particular room assignment they can apply for a room change. 

All room changes must be pre-authorized by the Housing & Residence.

Room Change Request Forms are available from the Housing & Residence Office (LR114) two weeks after classes begin. Request for room changes will not be considered before this time. Residents may be required to participate in a mediation session with their roommates or suite (if applicable) before a room change is approved.

Room changes are prioritized at the discretion of Housing & Residence, based on the needs of all those who apply (not just on a first come first serve basis). Naturally, all room changes are also subject to the availability of alternate accommodation. Unfortunately, not all room change requests are able to be accommodated.


What is a Notice of Fine (NOF)?

A NOF is a monetary fine, ranging from $50.00 to $100.00, issued for minor violations of Residence policies and/or community standards (which are outlined in the Residence Code of Conduct in the Residence Handbook). These fines are issued by Residence Staff, Residence Services Officers (RSOs), Residence Assistants (RAs), and/or Residence Coordinators (RCs).

The NOF becomes payable to a student’s account after four (4) business days (and is payable online using self-service banner or in person to the Service Centre).

A student who is issued four NOFs within one Academic year will have their residence status reviewed and may be dismissed from Residence at the discretion of the Director.


Can I do anything about a NOF I feel I did not deserved?

If you feel that you are receiving a NOF undeservingly it is in your best interest not to dispute the fact with the Residence Staff issuing the fine. Arguing with the Residence Staff members may result in an additional fine for being uncooperative with Residence Staff.

Once you receive your copy of the NOF, please refer to the appeal instructions noted.

Please review the Residence Handbook, including the Residence Code of Conduct, to find out what your rights and responsibilities are as a resident.


Can I have overnight guests in my residence room?


*** PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, overnight guests are currently NOT permitted.  *** 


Normally, yes, you may have overnights guests, however, you must remember that you are responsible for your guest's actions while they are in residence. They are subject to residence Rules and Regulations as well. Any misconduct of your guest will be your responsibility.

It is the basic right of every student to have privacy in his/her assigned room. No student should feel obligated to relinquish this right. In a shared accommodation, overnight guests and visitors are allowed only with the consent of all roommates. Further to this, an overnight guest or visitor may be asked at any time to leave the room in the interest of preserving privacy.

Your guest is allowed in residence for two consecutive nights (assuming you have the consent of all roommates). Should you wish to have them stay longer, you must contact Housing & Residence to gain permission.

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