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Dormitory typically refers in the United States to residence halls, which are sleeping quarters or entire buildings primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people, often boarding school, college or university students. The U.K. equivalent for universities is Hall of residence, although "dormitory" is still used for schools.


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See also

Higher education

Most colleges and universities provide single or multiple occupancy rooms for their students, usually at a cost. These buildings consist of many such rooms, like an apartment building, and the number of rooms varies quite widely from just a few to hundreds.

Many colleges and universities no longer recognize the word "dormitory" and staff are now using the term residence hall (analogous to the United Kingdom "hall of residence") or simply "hall" instead. This is promoted as better describing a living and learning community that is part of the larger academic institution. When the word "dorm" was first adapted for universities and colleges, the atmosphere of the buildings served as places for students to sleep. Often students had a curfew to be in the building for "lights out" and a "dorm mother" was in charge of running the building. This is no longer true as residence halls as of 2007 strive to provide a more inclusive community for residents. Features of life such as cafeterias, academic centers, active and passive programming, resident assistants and hall coordinators have given a new experience to living on campus.

College and university residential rooms vary in size, shape, facilities and number of occupants. Typically, a United States residence hall room holds two students with no toilet. This is usually referred to as a "double". Often, residence halls have communal bathroom facilities. In the United States, residence halls are sometimes segregated by sex, with men living in one group of rooms, and women in another. Some dormitory complexes are single-sex with varying limits on visits by persons of each sex. For example, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana has a long history of Parietals, or mixed visiting hours. Most colleges and universities offer coeducational dorms, where either men and women reside on separate floors but in the same building or where both sexes share a floor but with individual rooms being single-sex. In the early 2000s, dorms that allowed people of opposite sexes to share a room became available in some public universities.[1] Some colleges and university coeducational dormitories also feature coeducational bathrooms.

Most residence halls are much closer to campus than comparable private housing such as apartment buildings. This convenience is a major factor in the choice of where to live since living physically closer to classrooms is often preferred, particularly for first-year students who may not be permitted to park vehicles on campus. Universities may therefore provide priority to first-year students when allocating this accommodation.

Halls located away from university facilities sometimes have extra amenities such as a recreation room or bar. As with campus located residence halls, these off-campus halls commonly also have Internet facilities, either through a network connection in each student room, a central computer cluster room, or Wi-Fi. Catered halls may charge for food by the meal or through a termly subscription. They may also contain basic kitchen facilities for student use outside catering hours. Most halls contain a laundry room.


Staffing

United States

University residence halls are normally staffed by a combination of both students and professional residence life staff. Student staff members or Resident Assistants, act as liaisons, counselors, mediators and policy enforcers. The student staff is supervised by a graduate student or a full-time residence life professional. Staff members frequently arrange programming activities to help residents learn about social and academic life during their college life.

File:Connaught-Hall-24.jpg

United Kingdom

U.K. halls often run a similar setup to that in the U.S., although the resident academic responsible for the hall is known by the terms of "warden" and may be supported by a team of vice-wardens, sub-wardens or senior-members; forming the SCR (Senior Common Room). These are often students or academic staff at the relevant university/college. Many UK halls also have a JCR (Junior Common Room) committee, usually made up of second year students who stayed in that hall during their first year. The facilities in the hall are often managed by an individual termed the Bursar.

Residence Halls typically have housekeeping staff to maintain the cleanliness of common rooms including lobbies and bathrooms. Students are normally required to maintain the cleanliness of their own rooms and private or semi-private bathrooms, where offered.

United States military

Dormitories have replaced barracks at most U.S. military installations. Much new construction includes private bathrooms, but most unaccompanied housing as of 2007Template:Dated maintenance category still features bathrooms between pairs of rooms. Traditional communal shower facilities, typically one per floor, are now considered substandard and are being phased out.

U.S. military dormitory accommodations are generally intended for two junior enlisted single personnel per room, although in most cases this is slowly being phased out in favor of single occupancy in accordance with newer Department of Defense standards.

All branches of the U.S. military except the Air Force still refer to these dormitory-style accommodations as "barracks". The Air Force, in contrast, refers to all unaccompanied housing, including basic training open-bay barracks housing dozens per room as well as unaccompanied housing for senior ranking personnel, which resemble apartments and are only found in a select number of overseas locations, as "dormitories".

Sleeping dormitories

In the U.S., U.K. and Canada, a dormitory has a different meaning, and is used for a room with more than one bed. Examples are found in British boarding schools and many rooming houses such as hostels but have nowadays completely vanished as a type of accommodation in university halls of residence. CADs, or Cold-Air Dormitories, are found in multi-level rooming houses such as fraternities, sororities, and cooperative houses. In CADs and in hostels, the room typically has very few furnishings except for beds. Such rooms can contain anywhere from three to 50 beds (though such very large dormitories are rare except perhaps as military barracks). Such rooms provide little or no privacy for the residents, and very limited storage for personal items in or near the beds.

Company dormitories

Formerly, many companies in the U.S. and elsewhere housed employees in dormitories. This practice has dwindled, but continues in other countries. In the Netherlands the law forbids companies to offer housing to their employees, because the government wants to prevent people who have just lost their job adding to their stressful situation by having to search for new housing.

In Japan, many of the larger companies still offer to their newly graduated freshmen a room in a dormitory. A room in such a dormitory often comes with a communal cook (for the men) or rooms with furnished kitchen blocks (for the women). Usually the employees pay a very small amount of money to enable the men (especially) to save money to buy a house when they get married.

Correctional facilities

Housing units in correctional facilities that house more than the one or two prisoners normally held in cells are referred to as "dormitories" as well. Housing arrangements can vary widely. In some cases, correctional dormitories in low-security institutions may almost resemble their academic counterparts, with the obvious differences of being locked at night, being administered by corrections officers, and subject to stricter institutional rules and fewer amenities. In other institutions, dormitories may be large rooms, often converted from other purposes such as gymnasiums in response to overcrowding, in which hundreds of prisoners have bunks and lockers.

Floating dormitories

A floating dormitory is a water-borne vessel that provides, as its primary function, living quarters for students enrolled at an educational institution. A floating dormitory functions as a conventional land-based dormitory in all respects except that the living quarters are aboard a floating vessel. A floating dormitory is most often moored in place near the host educational facility and is not used for water transport. Dormitory ships may also refer to vessels that provide water-borne housing in support of non-academic enterprises such as off-shore oil drilling operations. Other vessels containing living quarters for students as ancillary support to the vessel's primary function — such as for providing maritime or other training given aboard the vessel — are more appropriately categorized as training ships.

References

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