What New Wahoo Parents Are Asking the Most on Facebook

August 4, 2023 By Shannan McCance, bma6yg@virginia.edu Shannan McCance, bma6yg@virginia.edu

Coming into the summer with a recently graduated high school senior, it seems as if there’s a wealth of time before that college move-in date.

Then orientation whizzes by and suddenly it’s only a couple of weeks before parents need the furniture, school materials and know-how to send their student off to the University of Virginia.

To help ease the worries, UVA Today checked in with the UVA 2027 parent Facebook site to answer the most frequently asked questions about first-year dorms and dorm life.

Related Story

Q. What are some dorm room shopping tips?

A. The best way to start dorm shopping is to make lists. First, list of all the essential items your student will need for their first year, such as twin-size XL sheets, blankets, and pillows for their bed; clothing for the fall season; and toiletries and shower supplies. Tip: A lot of students bring shower shoes and caddies for the shared bathroom space.

Next, move on to the decorations your student wants for their dorm. Throw pillows, wall posters, fairy lights and pictures of family and friends are some popular decorations.

Remember to keep track of everything you buy. It can help a lot when doing your last-minute shopping and to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything when unloading at UVA in August.

The UVA Bookstore offers value packs for parents wanting to save on dorm linens through the Cav Program website.

Q. What furniture is essential for the dorm? Do I need to buy a headboard for the bed?

A. All UVA undergraduate housing is furnished, so there’s no need to bring any extra furniture to Grounds. The rooms have a bed that can be lofted, a mattress, a desk, a dresser, a wardrobe, and a trash can for each occupant.

You do not need to buy a headboard for your bed. However, some students purchase a memory foam mattress topper to make the bed more comfortable.

If your student is moving into a suite, their common room is also furnished with tables, chairs and a couch.

Q. Do I need to purchase any appliances for my student’s dorm room? For example, should I buy a micro-fridge?

A. Most appliances are not permitted in the dorms, but micro-fridges and microwaves are allowed and can be useful purchases for your student. Students are allowed to share these appliances with their roommate, limiting rooms to having one of each. 

You can rent a micro-fridge from the UVA Bookstore through the Cav Program website as well.

Q. What are we not allowed to bring to the dorms?

A. The full list of what is not permitted in dorms can be found on the UVA Housing website.

Common appliances that aren’t allowed in the dorms are toasters and air fryers. Extension cords are not permitted due to their potential hazard. Speaking of hazards, candles also are not allowed in the room.

Mounting putty is preferred for use on walls over adhesive mounting strips.

On that same note, the popular LED strip lights with adhesive backing are also prohibited in dorm rooms. There are other lighting fixtures and certain types of lamps that are not allowed. These are specified on the UVA Housing website, so make sure you’re purchasing the right lamp for your student when shopping.

Q. What are the dimensions of the residence hall and suite-style dorm rooms?

A. Each room, depending on the location, has somewhat different dimensions. The best way to find out the dimensions of your student’s room is to look on the UVA Housing website.

For example, the Tuttle-Dunnington dorm room dimensions are 17 feet, 10 inches by 11 feet, 8 inches, while the Gooch/Dillard suite rooms are 15 feet, 3 inches by 11 feet, 6 inches.

Q. What is dorm security like?

A. Each residence hall has resident staff members on duty every Friday and Saturday night who work with the University Police. They provide their numbers to students so they can be contacted if someone needs help.

‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan
‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan

The doors to residence halls and dorm rooms lock automatically. Students are instructed to make sure their doors are locked and to always keep their student ID on them so they can access their room.

Q. What opportunities are there for my student to make friends?

A. There are numerous opportunities to make friends. Some are facilitated by their dorm hall’s resident adviser, or RA. Outside of meeting people in classes or dining halls, RAs create events where students of the same dorm hall can get to know one another. Most of these events occur at the beginning of the first semester to help students make connections early on.

Encourage your student to participate in these group events, talk to someone sitting alone at a dining hall, or to sit next to someone new in class. Friends can be found everywhere at UVA.

Media Contact

Mike Mather

Managing Editor University Communications