Information for Parents & Families

Eastern Michigan University views students as young adults and we respect their growing independence and hold them accountable for the decisions and choices they make. Eastern Michigan University and the Office of Housing and Residence Life views parents and guardians as our partners and will collaborate with them to the best of our ability and within the parameters of the law to assist their student. However, it is our priority to work directly with students in order to foster their growth and development.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to continue supporting their student by mentoring and coaching them as they navigate being an independent adult student. We hope that our students and families will agree that our goal is one and the same, to see all of our students living on campus develop personally and professionally both inside and outside of the classroom.

Tips & Ideas To Assist Your Student

  • Billing Expand dropdown

    Charges for housing and dining are typically placed on your student’s account shortly before the semester begins.

    Student Business Services (SBS) dictates all deadlines and due dates; please refer to their website for details on this. SBS has a wealth of information posted for students and parents, including sample billing statements and video tutorials.

    Prepayment for Housing

    Prepayments for housing cannot be waived nor can they be charged to your student’s account. Prior to the start of the semester, the housing deposit will be credited to their student account to help cover any outstanding costs.

    Prepayments should be paid by credit card via our housing application system. Other prepayment options are covered within the application system.

    Understanding the Bill

    Student billing statements are generated and available to view on the E-Bill website on a weekly basis. If changes are made to the student account (courses added, courses dropped, miscellaneous charges added, payments made, etc.) a new billing statement will be generated and an email will be sent to the student’s my.emich email address. Students are responsible for viewing each billing statement and making payments by the due date listed. Failure to make payments on time may result in late fees, registration holds and transcript holds. Questions regarding billing statements can be directed to: [email protected]

    Additional Charges

    Miscellaneous charges may be incurred during a student’s stay in the residence halls or apartments. Common examples included:

    • Replacing lost keys (includes changing key cores for safety)
    • Damages to their room or hall
    • Trash in the hallway/outside of apartments
    • Improper checkout

    When necessary, these miscellaneous charges are posted on a student’s account as a separate item. Usually they occur during the year, but some students incur additional expenses when they check out of their room. For a detailed list of all charges, please refer to the Guide to Campus Living.

  • FERPA Expand dropdown
    We welcome your questions and concerns about your student, but we are limited by the outlines of the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act regarding what we can share. This federal law, also known as FERPA, protects the release of information about students 18 years or older, unless the student gives permission to release the information. Continue to let us know your concerns or your perspectives on a situation regarding your student. While we may not be able to disclose information or updates, we do respond and respect your position.
  • Missing Student Expand dropdown

    Eastern Michigan University is required by law to provide a means for students to voluntarily provide contact information to be used by the Department of Public Safety in the event a student is designated to be missing. Information provided by the student is kept confidential by the institution.

    Under this law, the regulations serving as the basis for providing this mechanism are:

    • If a student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the institution must notify a custodial parent or guardian when the student is missing, as well as any additional contact person designated by the student.
    • In the event a student is determined to be missing, the EMU Police Department will be contacted to investigate or to assist the agency handling the missing person case (if missing from off campus). This information will be shared with the agency investigating the case.

    Confidentially provide your contact information.

    Note: Emergencies should be directed to the Department of Public Safety at 734.487.1222 or 911 if you use a campus line.

  • Emergency Contact Expand dropdown

    Designating an emergency contact is required of all housing applicants; please have a conversation with your student about who this contact should be.

    Make sure your student knows the following information:

    • The full name of their emergency contact
    • Their home phone number with area code (if available)
    • Their cell phone number with area code
    • Their most reliable email address
  • Conduct Process Expand dropdown

    A basic component of living on campus at Eastern Michigan University is that all students are responsible for their actions, both on and off campus, as members of the EMU community. There are natural consequences for inappropriate behavior.

    The Student Conduct Code and University Disciplinary Process is accessible online and applies to all students regardless of class level, place of residence or group affiliation, when they are in or around the residence halls and apartments, and out in the larger community.

    “Documented” is the term many people in the college community use to describe the process that occurs when a Housing & Residence Life staff member witnesses and/or reports an incident that may include a violation of a university or residence hall and apartment rules. In most cases, when observing a student who may be violating a rule, the staff member, usually a resident advisor (RA), will identify themselves, communicate which rule may have been violated and request identification of the student(s) involved.

    A student documented for an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code will meet with a Residence Life or Student Conduct staff member for an official meeting. The meeting is part of the investigation into what allegedly happened. During a meeting, students are informed of their rights, are able to share information about their situation, and are provided with documentation of the outcome when one is reached.


    A student’s conduct file is part of their private, educational record protected by the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act. As such, Residence Life staff members are unable to share details of your student’s conduct file unless a written request for release of information is obtained from the student.

    Parental Notification

    When students are found to be responsible for violating a drug or alcohol related policy, they may have a letter sent home notifying the parent or legal guardian of the situation. This notification is meant as a means of branching communication between the parent/guardian and student, so we encourage you to discuss the situation with your student and explore avenues for positive decision-making in the campus environment.

    Community Living Expectations

    The Guide to Campus Living is Housing & Residence Life’s policy book. It falls under the umbrella policies of the EMU Student Conduct Code and Community Standards. Residents receive a copy and are expected to review it.

  • What to do if... Expand dropdown

    How to Address Common Areas of Concerns with your Student

    Being a parent is different when your child is in college. First-year students are usually excited about their growing sense of independence, but there can be some anxiety.

    Your student will still turn to you when there is a problem, but it may hinder your student’s growing independence if you take an overactive role in resolving the situation.

    Encourage your student to work toward solving their own problems, but know that your student does not have to do it alone. There are staff members throughout the University who can be resources to whom you can direct your student.

    Below are some common situations and general tips you may use to provide guidance. As an individual your student trusts, you may have the ability to present a different perspective.

    In many of these situations, residence hall staff can be an initial resource to help your student. Our staff is actively involved in assisting students as they adjust to Eastern Michigan University. The resident advisors on each floor are trained as peer helpers and are knowledgeable of campus resources. Many times the answer may just be a few doors down the hall.

    • Fitting In Expand dropdown

      “I hate it here and I want to come home…”
      “I don’t know anyone here…”
      “I don’t fit in…”

      Each student adjusts to college at their own pace and may face different challenges. Homesickness is a normal part of the transition. First-year students are undergoing major adjustments in many aspects of their lives, and home represents security, comfort and how things used to be. Calling or sending care packages is one way to ease the transition. It lets your child know they are missed and still a part of the family. However, contacting your student too frequently can be detrimental because it does not encourage the student to venture out or may be interpreted as “smothering.”

      Encourage your student to get involved in campus activities and organizations, attend floor programs and meet people. On a campus of more than 20,000 students, no one will be completely isolated and alone; it may just take time to meet others. If your student does not know where to go to meet people, the resident advisor on the floor can be a great help in facilitating introductions. Students who stay in their room all the time or go home every weekend may actually prolong their adjustment period. Your student needs to give college a chance and allow some time to develop a sense of what it means to be part of EMU.

    • Food Choices Expand dropdown

      “I can’t find anything to eat…”

      Students occasionally “get tired of the same old stuff,” and always going to the same dining facility will create that feeling of redundancy and a desire for variety. Encourage your student to explore the different dining options on campus or participate in the special meals and theme dinners that are offered. If your student is having trouble finding food, they can eat based on health or lifestyle preferences. A dietitian is available in the EMU Dining Services office and they can work with your student to identify vegan, low-sugar and other dietary options.

    • Peer relationships Expand dropdown

      “My roommate and I just don’t get along…”

      Roommate conflicts are a normal part of college life as people learn to adjust to one another. Sharing a room with someone is a new experience for many students. Lack of communication and unrealistic expectations of the relationship are at the root of most conflicts.

      Most conflicts can be resolved by talking things out and learning that there are two sides to every situation. Often one person is hesitant to confront the other due to embarrassment, uncertainty of the other person’s reaction or what to say, or hope that the problem will just go away. The reality is that unless the other person knows that there is a problem, they cannot take corrective action or be a part of developing a compromise.

      If problems continue after roommates have talked, encourage your student to contact the resident advisor. The RA can offer advice on managing the situation, provide a mediation service or inform your student on how to change rooms.

      Tips for a healthy roommate relationship:

      • Spend time together to get to know each other.
      • Discuss concerns immediately before they escalate.
      • Respect each other’s feelings and acknowledge the different perspectives that may exist.
      • Compromise.
      • Keep communication lines open.
      • Be mindful of common courtesy and consideration of others’ belongings and space.
    • Academics Expand dropdown

      “School is too hard, I don’t think I can do this…”

      College is a different environment from high school and requires new ways to study, prepare for exams, take notes and manage time. What came easy in high school may no longer be the case. Part of it takes time and self-discipline to figure out the new set of academic expectations, but help is also available.

      EMU has several academic assistance programs including tutoring, study skills and note taking tips, and writing centers. Most importantly, encourage your student to talk with their professors. The professor can clarify course-specific expectations, offer advice, refer your student to academic assistance centers or work with them individually. Other resources include upper-class students and the resident advisor on your student's floor.

      “It’s never quiet in my room and I can’t study…”

      Quiet hours do exist in the residence halls and individual floor norms regarding noise will be established early on. Students are encouraged to hold each other accountable about noise and respond to peer requests to turn down music, etc. Because the resident advisor is not always around, community members need to be active in shaping their own academic environment. In addition to studying in the room, there are lounges and study rooms in the residence halls and other quiet places on campus, like the library.

      “I don’t know what I want to do but everyone else has a major…”
      “I thought I wanted to be a… but now I don’t…”

      Students sometimes feel pressure to chose a major immediately and place the same value on choosing a major as making decisions that will affect their entire life. The reality is that it is the rare student who knows what he or she wants to do and remains committed to it during a lifetime. Most students will spend their early college years experimenting with different fields of study and career options until they find what genuinely interests them. Taking time with these decisions is recommended, and it is not a sign of failure if someone decides a major is not for them. If your student is struggling with choosing a career path, the University Advising and Career Development Center offers assistance.

    • Finances Expand dropdown

      “Send more money! I’m broke…”

      Budgeting is an important life skill that many learn in college. Assist your student in developing a budget by asking where money is being spent and how frequently. Financial aid and campus jobs are readily accessible should extra income be needed. There are even job opportunities in the residence halls. Students searching for on-campus employment can contact the University Advising and Career Development Center.

      “I need a credit card…”

      Providing your student with a credit card needs to be a family decision. It is important to discuss responsibility, spending above one’s means, developing a credit history and the impact of missed payments. Credit card companies frequent campuses with promotional giveaways to entice students to sign up for a card. Educate your student that signing up just to get a free T-shirt does have strings attached. Your student needs to fully read the information about the card before committing to anything.

  • Safety and Security Expand dropdown

    Housing & Residence Life knows that safety and security are important issues.

    We believe it takes a partnership between Housing & Residence Life procedures, our staff and our students to maintain Eastern Michigan University's reputation as a safe campus.

    Below are highlights of the multiple security measures on our campus and in our housing facilities.

    Department of Public Safety

    EMU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a highly trained, professional and accredited police force of more than 30 officers that is on duty 24/7, 365 days a year.

    As sworn officers, EMU police are empowered to investigate, arrest or take other necessary action to address any criminal or other public infraction.

    EMU officers work closely with local and state agencies, including the City of Ypsilanti Police Department, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan State Police.

    EMU police officers patrol by car, motorcycle, bicycle and foot to maintain high profile, proactive and preventive public safety services.

    A few key things to know:

    • DPS has 700 + security cameras that blanket campus, with a high-tech command center that operates 24/7.
    • DPS publishes daily crime and fire logs, along with an annual security report.
    • There are blue light emergency call stations throughout campus that connect students directly to dispatch.
    • Housing & Residence Life partners with DPS to conduct regular fire drills throughout the academic year.

    Hall Access

    • All residence halls are locked 24/7 and require a student to swipe in using their Eagle One ID card.
    • After 10 p.m., all guests must be signed in at the front desk. All guests must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid government issued picture ID in order to be admitted and signed in.

    Housing & Residence Life Staff

    Residence hall and apartments staff are a great resource for students. A full-time professional complex director runs each building with the support of a graduate assistant. Staff are on duty 365 days a year, responding to emergencies. On each floor is a resident advisor, who is an upper level student there to assist and guide students during the year. They are trained to help with or make referrals for any type of situation.

    • Each hall has a resident advisor on duty every night.
      • During the evening they walk the building to be attentive to safety and security concerns.
    • Each night there is a CD and three graduate staff on duty.
      • They are there to consult with resident advisors on duty and assist with major events.

    Fire safety

    • Each room is equipped with a smoke detector that is checked in August, December and April.
    • Fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations are located in multiple locations in each hall.
    • On the back of each room door is a schematic showing the nearest exit and identifying the reassembly location for residents should they need to evacuate the hall.
    • Unannounced fire drills are conducted eight times per year.
  • Move-In Expand dropdown

    First-Year Students will move in Thursday, August 24 -Friday, August 25. We are doing a staggered move-in this year. Students will be assigned a move-in day and time frame.

    Upperclass residents will move in Friday, August 25-Sunday, August 27. We are doing a staggered move-in this year. Students will be assigned a move-in day and time frame.

    For more inforamtion, visit the Move-in Day Information webpage.