LIFE ON THE RANGE

LIFE ON THE RANGE

The Range Community is the representative body for all graduate students who live on the Range in the historic Academical Village at UVA, which was designed and built by Thomas Jefferson. 

The Range is for single graduate students (no additional family members). The move-in date is the Friday before undergraduate move-in weekend in August, and the move-out date is the Tuesday after Final Exercises the following May. If you would also like to be considered for other graduate housing options, you may preference them on the housing application

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Selection Process

Does the Range have a selection process?
How competitive is the selection process?
What does the Selection Committee look for?
What can I do to improve my chances?
Does the Selection Committee have predetermined quotas (e.g., for certain academic fields)?
I'm applying to a graduate program at UVA, but I haven't been accepted yet. Can I apply for a Range room?
I'm a UVA undergrad who's applying to a UVA graduate program.  Can I apply for a Range room?
I'm in a combined Bachelor's/Master's degree program.  Can I apply for a Range room?
Can medical residents apply for a Range room?
Why aren't undergraduates allowed to live on the Range?
The application deadline has passed - is it too late to apply?

Practical Questions

How are Range rooms assigned?  Do I get to choose my room?
How much does a Range room cost?
How long is the contract?  Can I cancel it at any time?
How big are the rooms?
Do the rooms come with furniture?  How about a phone, Internet, etc.?
Where are the bathrooms (i.e., I hear you have to go outdoors)?
Do the rooms get hot or cold?
Do the fireplaces work?  How much does wood cost?  Where can I deposit my ashes?
Can you have appliances in your room?
What about meals?  How do you fix food?
Is there parking nearby?
Are there laundry facilities on the Range?
Is crime a problem on the Range?
What about fire safety?
Is privacy a problem?  What about all the tourists?

Random Questions

Why do they call it "the Range," when there are actually two Ranges (East and West)?
Which is better to live on - the East Range or the West Range?
Can you live on the Range for more than one year?
What is the Crackerbox?  Is it part of the Range?
What is the PKA room?
What do those numbers after everyone's name mean?
Can I find out who used to live in my Range room?
Is the Academical Village haunted?
I still have questions - who do I talk to?

 

1) Does the Range have a selection process?

Yes, we have a Selection Committee composed of current residents who review applications in the spring. We place more emphasis on personal interaction with our applicants, and very much encourage prospective residents to attend an Open House or contact the Range Executive Committee (therange@virginia.edu) directly. We will also examine your application essays, experience outside the University, and academic honors.

 

2) How competitive is the selection process?

We sometimes have as many as twice as many applicants as rooms. We strongly encourage you to attend an Open House and submit an application if you're interested.

 

3) What does the Selection Committee look for?

The Selection Committee is interested in two things. First, we look at how you will contribute to the Community - i.e., are you likely to participate actively in Range events, hang out with your neighbors, and get along with everyone? In short, will you be an engaged member of Mr. Jefferson's Academical Village? Second, we like to see a record of achievement and leadership in your academic field or profession, since we want our members to represent the "best and brightest" at UVA. Ultimately, the Range is best suited for graduate students who - while pursuing their chosen discipline - also want to be part of a community and make friends in other programs. If you're only interested in a place to live, then the Range may not be a good fit for you.

 

4) What can I do to improve my chances?

We strongly recommend that you attend one of our virtual open house events in the spring, since the members of the Selection Committee like to get to know each applicant personally. Even though attendance isn't strictly mandatory, you will deprive the committee members of an important perspective in their deliberations if you choose not to participate. Therefore, if you can't join us, you should make a point of contacting a member of the Range Executive Committee.

Another tip: since you're applying for a Range room, we already know that you love UVA, the Academical Village, the Jeffersonian vision for learning, and so forth.  Please take advantage of the application as an opportunity for originality and for the committee to get to know you better.

 

5) Does the Selection Committee have predetermined quotas (e.g., for certain academic fields)?

The Selection Committee doesn't have any quotas to fill when it chooses residents, and we don't reserve any rooms for specific groups.  Every application is judged on its own merits, and we encourage you to talk in your application about what makes you different.

 

6) I'm applying to a graduate program at UVA, but I haven't been accepted yet. Can I apply for a Range room?

Yes, but any offer to live on the Range is contingent on your full-time enrollment in a degree-granting graduate program at UVA. Your completed graduate school application must be submitted to your prospective school typically no later than April 1.

If you will not be matriculating at UVA in the fall, despite having submitted a Range application, we ask that you notify the Range Executive Committee (therange@virginia.edu) immediately.

 

7) I'm a UVA undergraduate who's applying to a UVA graduate program.  Can I apply for a Range room?

We welcome applications from current undergraduates, but we encourage you to learn more about our community first since it is quite a bit different from the Lawn.

 

8) I'm in a combined Bachelor's/Master's degree program.  Can I apply for a Range room?

You must be enrolled as a graduate student before you can become a Range resident.  In most cases, this means you must have a bachelor's degree (or the equivalent) by the time you take up residence.

Fourth years in the Curry School of Education's five-year B.A.-M.T. program can apply to live on the Range for their fifth year, if they can demonstrate that they will have achieved graduate student status by the time they move in.  Keep in mind that such "fifth-year" applicants may not apply to both the Lawn and the Range at the same time. The same applies for the fifth-year programs with the McIntire School of Commerce and the Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy. In addition, as the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program is not degree-granting, students in this program may not apply to live on the Range.

 

9) Can medical residents apply for a Range room?

Medical residents are not eligible to live on the Range, because the University classifies medical residents as "Housestaff" employees rather than students.

 

10) Why aren't undergraduates allowed to live on the Range?

The purpose of the Range Community is to provide UVA's graduate students with their own community in Mr. Jefferson's original buildings.

 

11) The application deadline has passed - is it too late to apply?

We don't refuse late applications, but we have to put them on the waiting list (no matter how promising the applicant is).  So make sure you submit everything on time.

If you missed the deadline, we recommend that you contact the Range Executive Committee at therange@virginia.edu about room availability before submitting an application for university graduate housing. Sometimes one or more rooms will open up at the last minute.

 

12) How are Range rooms assigned?  Do I get to choose my room?

The room selection process will take place after all incoming residents have been selected. Numbers are drawn randomly to determine who gets to choose first, second, etc.  You are free to swap your room with another resident - however, you must have your room choice finalized within a week after the room selection meeting.

 

13) How much does a Range room cost?

Rates are set by Housing & Residence Life and approved by the Board of Visitors in the spring for the upcoming academic year.  By default, Housing charges are billed once a semester via student account (SIS). If you would prefer to pay with a credit card on a monthly basis through the housing portal, you can request to change your payment method. Email your request to housingassignments@virginia.edu no later than 24 hours after you accept the assignment. Once you have requested to change your payment method, the method you have chosen will remain in place for the rest of the academic year. For information on the cost of a room, visit the Housing & Residence Life Rates page. All utilities (electricity, water, heat) are included.

 

14) How long is the contract?  Can I cancel it at any time?

The Housing Agreement is from mid-August (two Fridays before classes begin), until the Tuesday after Final Exercises in May.  Housing agreements are a binding contract for the entire term of the agreement.  If graduating or withdrawing from the University, you must give Housing & Residence Life timely notice, and an early termination fee equal to one month's rent will be charged.

 

15) How big are the rooms?

Range rooms are larger than the average dormitory room, but still smaller than an apartment.  A floor plan is available on the Housing & Residence Life Range page.  The high ceilings make the rooms feel spacious.

 

16) Do the rooms come with furniture?  How about WIFI?

All rooms are furnished with a lofted twin bed with a sofa-like mattress at the bottom and a regular mattress at the top, a desk and chair, a hutch containing a refrigerator with freezer and microwave, a wastebasket, an ash holder, a fire poker set, and a rocking chair (which is great for sitting outside your room and studying).  Each room also has wireless internet (Jefferson would approve).

 

17) Where are the bathrooms (i.e., I hear you have to go outdoors)?

There are two bathrooms on each Range - one male and one female - which are kept locked and off-limits to non-residents.  These bathrooms are located in the basements of Hotels B, C, and F, and in a retrofitted Range room near Hotel E (next to the Garden Room and West Range Cafe).

Keep in mind that each room has a closet equipped with a sink, running water, and a mirror, so you won't need to leave your room to brush your teeth, comb your hair, etc.  You'll quickly get used to going outside to use the bathrooms - they aren't as much of an inconvenience as many people assume.

 

18) Do the rooms get hot or cold?

Every Range room has a radiator, which is more than enough to keep your room warm during the winter.  Since the Range was built using brick, it retains heat well.

However, this insulation can also cause Range rooms to get warm in the summer months. Since air conditioners aren't allowed (unless you have a medical condition), you'll have to rely on the breeze to keep cool (i.e., turn on the ceiling fan, open your window, or even keep your door open but close the shutters for privacy).

 

19) Do the fireplaces work?  How much does wood cost?

The fireplaces are fully functional. Contrary to popular rumor, the wood is not free; a stack costs approximately $35-$40.  Firewood is sold by third-party vendors who will come door-to-door in the fall. You are welcome to seek out your own firewood, but it must be acquired locally due to concerns about spreading the Emerald Ash Borer. Fireplace ashes may be deposited in the ash bin provided by the University. One bin is located inside the brick shed at the end of Colonnade Alley, behind the Garden Room faculty dining joint on the south end of the West Range. On the East Range, they are located near the trash cans in the main alleyway.

Having a fireplace is one of the best parts of being a Range resident.

 

20) Can you have appliances in your room?

Because of the limited electrical wiring on the Range, high-wattage appliances aren't allowed.  The fire code and decoration policies also prohibit appliances that have exposed heating elements, such as toaster ovens and hot plates.  However, the room contains a mini-refrigerator with a freezer and a microwave. 

 

21) What about meals?  How do you fix food?

The rooms come with a mini-fridge and microwave. Most residents fix at least some of their meals in their rooms using a microwave. Some residents get around this problem by signing up for a meal plan - more information is available from UVA Dining (one of their facilities is just across the street in Newcomb Hall).  The Corner is also right next door and offers a selection of restaurants and convenience stores.

 

22) Is there parking nearby?

The closest place where Range residents can park is in the Emmet/Ivy garage.  Information on permits and costs is available from UVA Parking & Transportation.

Although there are driveways between the West Range buildings and behind the East Range, these roads are considered fire lanes.  If you park your car near your room for any length of time, it will be ticketed and/or towed.

 

23) Are there laundry facilities on the Range?

We share a laundry facility with the Lawn that has several washers and dryers.  The machines accept Cavalier Advantage which are funds loaded onto your university ID card that you can swipe.

 

24) Is crime a problem on the Range?

The Range is a relatively safe place - after all, we're right in the middle of Grounds, and the arcades are well-lit at night.  The worst problem that we have to deal with is petty theft, usually of stuff that people leave outside their rooms. However, as long as you use common sense (e.g., lock your door when you leave), you'll probably be fine. They are security ambassadors that patrol grounds 24 hours a day.

 

25) What about fire safety?

Fire safety is a big concern on the Range.  Because the Academical Village is a UNESCO Heritage Site as well as student housing, the University has worked hard to make it compliant with the fire code.  All Range rooms are equipped with networked temperature sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and each room has a fire extinguisher.

A number of potentially dangerous items are prohibited in Range rooms - for example: extension cords, halogen lights, candles, curtains or wall hangings, space heaters, and certain kitchen appliances.  See the prohibited items list for more information.  The Fire Marshal conducts random inspections to verify compliance.

 

26) Is privacy a problem?  What about all the tourists?

Privacy really isn't a problem.  People will walk past your room on a regular basis, but you won't notice them unless you leave your door open.  Tourists are a bigger problem on the Lawn than on the Range - at worst, you'll get an occasional question or curious glance in your room (again, only if you leave your door open).

 

27) Which is better to live on - the East Range or the West Range?

It depends on who you ask.  The West Range is closer to Alderman and the bus stop, whereas East Rangers tend to enjoy being away from all the activity along McCormick Road.  It's a matter of taste.

 

28) Can you live on the Range for more than one year?

Yes, under most circumstances.  Returning residents help us maintain continuity from one year to the next, but we also need to make sure that plenty of rooms are available for new applicants.  Therefore, all returning residents must submit an application detailing their contributions to the Range Community.  Most residents only live on the Range for a year or two, but residents may remain for as long as four years.

 

29) What is the Crackerbox?  Is it part of the Range?

The Crackerbox is the small building behind Hotel F that contains two student rooms (one on top of the other).  It was originally built in the mid-19th century as a kitchen, but it was later remodeled to house students and is now considered part of the Range.

 

30) What is the PKA room?

The PKA room is home to the only undergraduate student living on the Range.  Each year the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity selects one of its members to live in 47 West Range, which is where their fraternity was founded in 1868. This room is considered part of the Lawn community.

 

31) What do those numbers after everyone's name mean?

Lawn and Range residents often write their room numbers after their names (e.g., 38ER for "38 East Range").  Your room number becomes part of your identity - years later, many people will still remember what "their room" was.  You may get visits from nostalgic former residents - be nice to them, because someday you'll be one too.

 

32) Can I find out who used to live in my Range room?

Take a look at this page - it has a searchable database of everyone who has ever lived on the Lawn or the Range from 1895 onward.  Click on "Lawn Directory" at the top, select either "East Range" or "West Range" from the pull-down menu, and then enter a room number.

 

33) Is the Academical Village haunted?

Not that we're aware of, although the "spirit of Jefferson" does pervade the place.  If you spot the ghost of Jefferson, Cabell, Poe, etc. in any of the gardens or walkways late at night, let us know.

 

34) I still have questions - who do I talk to?

Feel free to contact therange@virginia.edu or housing@virginia.edu