Student Life: Housing and Residential Life

Create Your Home Away From Home

From historic residence halls like Morehouse-James with its antebellum porches to the newer Suites that offer upper-class students an apartment-style environment, almost 1,400 women live on campus in one of Spelman’s 11 residence halls.  First- and second-year students are required to live on campus for various reasons.

“For first year students, it’s primarily a matter of transition, connection and a more vibrant experience because they’re engaged in the out-of-class experience more if they are living on campus,” said housing director Alison Cummings. “For sophomore students, more schools have implemented programs in the residence halls to help keep them connected. 

“The convenience of living in a safe student community is the number one benefit to living on campus as students have immediate access to faculty, staff and a variety of community resources. In addition, there are numerous out-of-class programs and activities on the evening and weekends throughout the Atlanta University Center Consortium.”

Your Safety is Our No. 1 Mission

Safety is indeed a big part of residence life, with Spelman’s public safety staff work to provide a safe and secure  campus community. 

“The professionals in public safety really do set the tone,” said Cummings, “and the staff communicate this commitment and expectation to our students.” 

While freshman are assigned to halls at the discretion of the housing staff, rising sophomores can select where they want to live by entering the school’s lottery system. 

What House Will You Choose?

Students will often make choices based not just on amenities such as fitness facilities and social lounges, but to be close to others who share similar interests. For instance, many students who live at Laura Spelman Hall are science majors.

“We do not assign to Laura Spelman based on the sciences, but students in the sciences gravitate toward it for proximity to their academic classes,” said Cummings.

At Bessie Strong Hall, students experience a living learning community in proximity to Sisters Chapel and WISDOM – Women in Spiritual Discernment of Ministry. Students who live in Bessie Strong work closely with chapel staff and focus on spiritual and ethical development. Students living in MacVicar Hall, which is physically connected to Spelman’s health services, are often interested in health-related fields or health education.  

Think Green

The newest residence hall is The Suites, which houses juniors and seniors.  The residence hall features suites where students share a common living space, bathrooms, and a kitchenette, but have single, private rooms. 

“Upperclass students are better able to navigate the college experience as they are developmentally ready to engage in an independent living experience. They have established themselves in the Spelman community and  are engaged in good academic  performance, campus organizations and other leadership activities,” said Cummings. “Our goal is to make your stay on campus safe, comfortable, engaging and a home away from home.”