Student Life & Athletics FAQs
- What are the housing options available to residential students?
Residential students are required to live in University housing for their first two years. Approximately 91% of first-year students reside in on-campus housing facilities, specifically Merton Hall, Seton Hall, and Roncalli Hall. Merton and Seton offer a full, shared kitchen; several bathroom facilities and a laundry room on each floor. These “traditional-style” halls have bedrooms with central heat and air conditioning, campus cable television and a micro-fridge in each bedroom. Roncalli Hall includes suite-style accommodations with a shared kitchenette, laundry, common area and quiet study lounge. After freshman year, students live in a variety of upperclass housing options including apartment and townhouse-style accommodations.
- Can I choose my roommate?
Yes. Incoming freshmen may select a roommate through a roommate-matching system called “RoomSync,” a restricted app that is available online. Of course, many students opt to be assigned a roommate by the Residential Life staff based on the information gathered from their housing applications.
- What is a Living-Learning Community (LLC)?
A Living-Learning Community, or LLC, is a way for students with shared interests such as Business, Health & Wellness, Gaming & Technology or Community Service to live together on campus. Participation also includes taking a related, creditbearing academic course and engaging in out-of-the-classroom experiences. Professors, Student Life staff and upper-class mentors are at each student’s disposal to challenge and support them in this unique learning environment.
- What does SHU do to keep the campus safe?
The Department of Public Safety is entrusted with fostering and maintaining a safe and secure environment for the University. Students utilize the SHU Safe App to make medical information instantly available in case of emergency, connect directly to campus security, pinpoint their location to emergency personnel and set up “safety checks” with their contacts. Students learn about SHU’s many safety programs and services such as the Personal Safety Escort Program, Emergency Management Plan, Silent Witness Program, Bystander Intervention Program, selfdefense training and more during the annual SHU Safety Week.
- Can freshmen bring cars to campus? Is there alternative transportation available?
First-year students are not permitted to bring cars to campus. The Student Union at SHU runs a shuttle service to just about anywhere you could need or want to go including off-campus SHU athletic events, the mall, grocery store, movie theater and nearby restaurants. You can also take advantage of special trips to professional sporting events, the beach or local cities such as New Haven. The University Shuttle system runs Monday through Friday, 7am to 11pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 11pm.
For holidays, University breaks or the occasional weekend trip home, the Transit Shuttle provides students with rides to the Bridgeport Transit Station that offers access to Amtrak or Metro North trains, the Long Island Ferry or buses to countless other locations. The University is also located in proximity to several major airports, including JFK, LaGuardia and Bradley.
- How do the meal plans work?
First-year students are enrolled in SHU’s Big Red meal plan which offers 130 meals and 850 dining dollars per semester. Meal swipes may be used for all-you-can-eat meals at 63’s Pioneer Food Court in the Main Academic Center and for bundled meals at Linda’s (the McMahon Commons Food Court), while dining dollars may be used at Linda’s, Outtakes and Einstein’s Bagels or in 63’s in lieu of a meal swipe. In addition, students may add SHU Flexible Dollars to their SHU Card and use these dollars at the above locations as well as at the Sacred Heart University Bookstore, all vending machines on campus and at approximately 50 locations off campus.
- Is it easy to get involved in clubs or organizations on campus?
You will get to know students and staff at SHU who are involved with various organizations and activities on campus throughout the application and enrollment process. At Orientation you will also have the opportunity to meet other students who share your interests during group sessions. If you are unsure of exactly how you’d like to get involved, or if you’d like to broaden your interests, you’ll want to attend the “Just SHU It!” activity fair during the first week of classes to learn about the more than 80 clubs and organizations on campus and speak directly to students who are involved in them. At any time, staff in the Student Life office will meet individually with students to discuss life outside the classroom and develop a plan to get involved.
- If I commute to SHU, can I still get involved in campus life?
Yes! Every student is encouraged to participate in all clubs and organizations, Greek life, intramurals and club sports as well as social activities on campus. Be sure to check the SHU News & Events on the homepage for ‘Today’s Events’ and visit www.sacredheart.edu/weeklyevents to keep up with current happenings on campus. If you have any questions or need assistance becoming involved on campus, our Director of Student Activities will work with you individually to ensure that you realize your vision of campus life at SHU.
- Is SHU a dry campus?
No. Alcohol is served at Red’s in the Student Commons and at select events throughout the year for students who are at least 21 years of age. All incoming students complete a course entitled AlcoholEdu for College, which uses sciencebased research to educate students about alcohol and its effects. Whether you drink or not, the course will help you make informed decisions about alcohol and cope more effectively with drinking behavior that may occur around you. SHU enforces Connecticut alcohol laws regarding legal age and open container.
- How does a student become part of a Division I athletic team? Are there other options to play sports if I’m not recruited as a varsity athlete?
If you are interested in being considered for a Division I athletic team, please notify your admissions counselor, complete an online recruiting form at sacredheartpioneers.com or contact the team coach directly. If Division I is not right for you, you can still compete as part of SHU’s extensive Club Sports program which currently includes 29 different teams. SHU Club Sports teams compete against colleges and universities throughout the Northeast. Some club sports, such as men’s rugby, are open to students without prior experience with the sport. In addition, an array of intramural sports (SHU students vs. SHU students) such as badminton, flag football, floor hockey and basketball are offered in both the fall and spring.
- Is there Greek Life on campus?
The University is proud of its vibrant Greek community which currently includes fourteen national Greek organizations and has over 1,300 students involved. Each organization within the SHU Greek community chooses a specific philanthropic or social awareness cause to which the fraternity or sorority is devoted.
- What role does religion play in student life at Sacred Heart?
As a Catholic institution, SHU is committed to the spiritual growth of all students, regardless of their religious affiliations, and interfaith programming and celebrations take place throughout campus. As such, there is no “requirement” to participate in specific religious activities however a variety of opportunities exist for students to learn and grow in their Catholic faith. Students participating in Campus Ministry at Sacred Heart may take part in liturgical ministries, attend a retreat or prayer group, or participate in service projects in the community while making friends who share their desire to experience and celebrate the Catholic tradition.
- What happens if I get sick while on campus?
Student Health Services at SHU offers evaluation and treatment of acute illnesses and injuries as part of the Health and Wellness Center which is on campus, within a short walk from the freshman residence halls. For after-hours or emergency medical care, the Wellness Center has a collaborative relationship with St. Vincent’s Urgent Care Center (UCC) and with St. Vincent’s Health Services. The University’s Public Safety department is also available 24/7 for any emergency situations.
- Will I have access to mental health care?
Services offered by the Counseling Center for full-time undergraduates include:
- Free, confidential individual and group counseling services
- Assistance for every individual regardless of race, religion, sexual identity or ethnicity around developmental, transitional, emotional, psychological and other mental health issues
- Outreach and psycho-educational programs on topics such as depression, anxiety, suicide, gender identity, healthy relationships, cultural sensitivity, date rape and sexual assault, stress management and eating disorders
- Online self-help resources in the forms of workshops, virtual pamphlets and links to useful mental health-oriented websites.
In addition to certified counselors, a psychiatric nurse practitioner is also on staff (part-time), and the entire team is experienced in working with medical doctors, psychiatrists or therapists from home, should the need occur.
- Are there any pre-fall programs available for incoming freshmen?
Members of the fall 2017 freshman class participated in ten different pre-fall programs in areas such as Theatre, Community Service, Communications, Business, Leadership, Academic Success Strategies, Dance and Wellness and even a course at our campus in Ireland. Programs for the year ahead are announced each spring.
- Has there been any recent building on campus, or are new facilities planned for the near future?
Yes! Our campus growth and enhancements are one of the most exciting aspects of a SHU education. We recently opened both the Martire Business & Communications Center; a beautiful new sophomore residence hall, Bergoglio Hall; and, in fall 2017, the state-of-the-art Center for Healthcare Education featuring a medical gym, audiology suite, motion analysis and human performance labs, outpatient and home care suites, a human anatomy lab and a multi-professional educational clinic that will allow future students to collaborate on cases with students in other health professional disciplines to ensure they are prepared for the kind of interactions they will experience when they begin to work in professional health-care settings.
Construction is underway on a new athletics and recreation center; our latest oncampus food destination for students, JP’s Diner; and another new residence hall, Toussaint Hall, which opens for spring 2017 and is part of SHU’s new 15-acre “upper quad.” The campus also significantly expanded recently with SHU’s acquisition of the former GE world headquarters. Located only a quarter mile from the main campus and dubbed “West Campus,” this site will support growth in programs across the University such as those in STEM fields and Business and will serve as an innovation center for SHU and our corporate and community partners.