USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Resident Life

Due to budget cuts, USF was not allocated money to build dorms on campus when it was founded. University administrators were not going to let that minor detail stop them. In 1959, Tampa residents organized a fundraiser called “Dollars for Dorms.” The first residence halls on campus were Alpha, Gamma, and Beta halls. Strict curfew policies for females and limitations on all guests were enforced. Residents were required to clock in and out of the building every time they entered or exited. Eventually, the rights of students were recognized and the policies were loosened. Not long after those initial halls were built it became obvious that USF was in need of more residence halls. Not only were all buildings at capacity, but some residents were forced to live in common areas such as kitchens or lounges. Overcrowding of the residence halls led to more being built. Changes were constantly being made to ensure that the on campus homes were safe. Up until 1979, anyone could walk into a dormitory from the outside, but USF created a new key system. Smoke detectors were not placed inside dorms until the late '80s. Also, up until 1993, smoking was allowed inside the dorms. 


Residence halls also provided many conveniences and amenities for students. In the late '70s and early '80s, communal television sets were added to the dorms. The phones seen outside older residence halls today were once used by visitors to call their friend in the building to let them in. Today, different styles of residential living offered on campus including traditional, suites, and apartments. Also, first-year students are required to live in the residence halls and students find it is a great way to meet others with similar interests.