VCU offers a variety of residence hall styles for incoming freshmen. Brandt Hall, located at 710 W. Franklin Street, is a suite-style hall that features 4- and 8-person suites and more private bathrooms. Many incoming students request to move in to Brandt Hall, and approximately 625 are chosen to live there each year. Here are a few things you need to know before moving in to Brandt Hall.
Pay attention to events in the Community Room
Downstairs across from the elevators and the vending/laundry room is the Brandt Community Room. Resident advisors will often host events here to keep the residents informed and entertained. Most events are catered with pizza or other local restaurants that are not included on the meal plan. Events in the Community Room are a great way to interact with other people living in your building and provide free entertainment.
Be kind to employees in the building
Many of the employees working the front desk or in the mail room are fellow students. They, along with the externally-hired custodial staff, work hard to ensure that the building is safe and pleasant to live in. Dealing with over 600 different students can be exhausting and irritating at times, so be sure to make an extra effort to be patient and kind with them. In addition, you will continue to see these staff members on a daily basis, so try to work towards establishing a relationship with them because they can be a good resource for you during your first year.
Do NOT expect a comfortable shower
One of the most notable benefits of living in Brandt Hall compared to a traditional style is the more private bathrooms. While the showers will be much cleaner when only being shared between four people, it is still highly recommended that you wear shower shoes; the communal spirit of the building allows for a greater flow of bacteria that can still cause fungal diseases more commonly found in traditional-style bathrooms. In addition, many students experience multiple problems with the water being either too cold or too hot for comfort. If you run into these issues, ask your RA about filing a work order in order to get a maintenance crew in to fix the issue soon.
Laundry room etiquette
Despite housing such a large amount of students, there are only about 20 washing machines and 20 dryers in the laundry room downstairs. These machines are for communal use; that means that all students and all RA’s living in the building can use these machines. Due to a high volume of students moving through this utility room, it is important that you remember to switch your clothes around when the timer is done. If you are too slow and machines are in high demand, people might remove your clothes from the machine and leave them on the floor. You can check the timer on your laundry machines using the RAMSLaundry app, which will send you notifications when your clothes are finished and can even tell you which of the machines are available at the time.
Have patience with the mailroom
Brandt Hall is large in and of itself; there are over 600 students to process mail for. In addition, the mailroom for Brandt is shared with the connected dorm next door, Rhoads Hall. This means that the staff in the mailroom are working hard to sort and supply mail to over 1,300 students. Obviously, this can cause some delivery delays, so remember to be patient with the employees when you check on the status of your package.
Overall, Brandt Hall is one of the most coveted freshmen residence halls. With these tips in mind, living at Brandt Hall during your freshman year will be a great part of your overall VCU experience.