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Messiah University will be in session this spring with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support. Visit our COVID-19 response website.


Winter Orientation - January

Winter Orientation Logo

Winter Orientation 2021

Tuesday, January 19 - Wednesday, January 20

Winter Orientation is for incoming students (residential and commuting) transferring in to start their journey at Messiah in the spring term. If this describes you, then this two-day orientation is designed to acclimate you to Messiah, allow you to get to know the campus, meet peers and make friends, and participate in activities meant to orient you to the university before classes begin on January 21, 2021. New student check-in day is January 19, 2021.

We’re thrilled you've chosen Messiah University!

All new and transfer students (including commuters) should plan to arrive on Tuesday, January 19, between 10 a.m.–12 p.m. (EDT). When you get to campus, please follow signs to the Larsen Student Union and be prepared to show a photo ID at check-in. Please read the Spring Return Checklist before returning to campus. Click here to view the return checklist.

You will receive a printed version of this orientation schedule when you move in during the check-in process at Larsen Student Union between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Please note the schedules are subject to change.

Click here to view the Winter Orientation 2021 Schedule for in-person students.

Click here to view the Winter Orientation 2021 Schedule for students currently quarantining.

Click here to view the Winter Orientation 2021 Schedule for remote students.

As you're excitedly preparing to come to Messiah, you're likely wondering what you'll need to bring along. Not to worry. Below we've supplied you with a list of items you should bring to campus with you, as well as what you shouldn't bring (and what you absolutely can't bring). For a more complete list, please visit the Office of Residence Life site. Meanwhile, start by working off of these lists:

Things You Should Bring: 

  • Photo ID is required on check-in day to receive your Messiah ID, mailbox key and other items
  • Pillow, bed linens and blankets (extra-long, twin-size sheets are recommended). Visit the Messiah University bookstore site for great bedding value packs!
  • Alarm clock*
  • Study lamp*
  • Waste basket
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Clothes hangers
  • Bathrobe, shower shoes, towels & washcloths
  • Personal toiletry items & small plastic bucket to carry them
  • Laundry basket/bag and detergent
  • Umbrella & rainwear
  • Hair dryer*
  • Coffee mug, drinking cups, dishes & cutlery for snacks
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Personal prescription medications
  • Poster putty for hanging decorations
  • Extension cords* (type "S" or "SJ" or with 14-gauge wire are the minimum permitted; circuit breaker–equipped power strips are recommended)

Please note: You do not need to bring a desk and chair as they are provided for each student.

*All electrical appliances must be: (1) Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed; (2) equipped with thermostatic controls when appropriate; and (3) rated at 700 watts (six AMPS) or less. Extension cords and surge strips and protectors using the new LCDI technology, such as Fire Shield®, are strongly recommended.

You May Want to Bring:

  • Radio, TV, VCR/DVD, CD player*(bringing modern TVs capable of accessing the campus’ digital only channels)
  • Decorative throw rug
  • Small sewing kit
  • Flashlight
  • Bicycle (with a GOOD lock)
  • Sport & recreation equipment
  • Microwave* (no larger than a compact size)
  • Refrigerator* (size not to exceed 3.2 cubic feet)
  • Personal computer* (if bringing a computer and sharing a room with roommate(s), one HUB will be needed)
  • Power strips (must have reset switches; extension cords prohibited)
  • Snack food & beverages
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Ironing board & iron*
  • Deck of cards and board games

*All electrical appliances must be: (1) Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed; (2) equipped with thermostatic controls when appropriate; and (3) rated at 700 watts (six AMPS) or less. Extension cords and surge strips and protectors using the new LCDI technology, such as Fire Shield®, are strongly recommended.

Prohibited—Leave These Things at Home:

To protect the health and safety of everyone living in or visiting the residence halls, we cannot permit some items in the buildings. Such as ...

  • Firearms of any kind and all others items classified as weapons, fireworks, explosives, etc.
  • Combustible liquids
  • Camping stoves
  • Electric open-coil heaters or any appliance with exposed burners
  • Ovens, toaster, stoves, charcoal grills, hot plates & immersion coils for heating water
  • Candles, incense and incense burners
  • Halogen lights/bulbs and lamps
  • Five- or six-arm lamps with plastic lamp shades
  • Waterbeds, lofts
  • Power tools
  • Pets
  • €‹Any other items that are in conflict with the University’s identity or mission (please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete explanation of Residence Life/Housing policies).

Additional Messiah University Fire/General Safety Guidelines:

  • Lamps that have three, five, seven, or more lights are not allowed if they have plastic shades
  • Extension cords are prohibited (power strips with reset switches are allowed)
  • Electrical outlet expanders without a reset button are prohibited
  • Open-coil appliances such as toasters, space heaters, or air-conditioning units are prohibited
  • Walls may not be more than 20-percent covered
  • Lights cannot be covered by cloth, paper, or other cover
  • Christmas lights cannot be covered by cloth or paper
  • Lights may not be hung by metal or coated-metal hooks (however, they may be hung with plastic hooks)
  • Blankets or dividers cannot hang from the ceiling
  • Any damaged or frayed cord is prohibited (tape is not an acceptable fix)
  • Bed risers must be made of high-density polyethylene that hold 1,200 lbs. (the bed cannot be raised more than six inches)

*All electrical appliances must be: (1) Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed; (2) equipped with thermostatic controls when appropriate; and (3) rated at 700 watts (six AMPS) or less. Extension cords and surge strips and protectors using the new LCDI technology, such as Fire Shield®, are strongly recommended.

These are highlights of services offered by Messiah University that students will want to become familiar with early.

Campus Mailbox

Your address at Messiah University will be:

Messiah University
One University Avenue
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


If/when you receive a package, it can be picked up at the campus post office (located in Eisenhower Campus Center) and you will receive notification in your mailbox that there is a package for you.

Computer Access

Messiah University offers both in-room and/or public network jacks. There is a wired-network connection in each room in the residence halls and public jacks are available in the base of the benches located in the hallways of Boyer Hall, Larsen Student Union, and in Falcon Services. For information such as minimum system requirements and connecting to the Messiah network, visit Information Technology Services (ITS).

Campus Wireless Network

Wireless internet access is available in all campus buildings and select outdoor locations. When connecting your computer or smart phone, you will want to choose to connect to the Messiah Secure wireless network. On most devices, you will then simply need to enter your Messiah username and password and accept the security certificate when prompted. Also, when opening your browser for the first time from the residence halls, you will be asked to register your computer on our network. Again, just follow the prompts and enter your Messiah username and password to gain access to the Internet. Additional configuration is required for Windows 7 and Chromebooks to connect. For more complete information on getting connected, please visit the ITS blog.

Cable Television Service

The Office of Media Services provides and monitors the cable television service in the residence halls. It includes channels covering major national networks and local stations, as well as the University's very own cable channel featuring student-produced programming and content. A cable outlet is located in every room. For a listing of channels, please visit the ITS blog.

Campus Parking

New First-Year Students

Parking Applications must be approved before you bring a vehicle to campus. First-year students can apply for a parking permit for the following reasons:

  1. Commuter: any student not living on campus
  2. Transfer:  student transferring into Messiah University as an upper-class student
  3. Non-Traditional: student who is at least 21 years old by the start of the semester
  4. Home Distance from Campus:  student who lives more than 250 miles from Messiah University
  5. Employment: must meet the following employment qualifications
  1. Medical Accommodation:  Student will provide documentation from a physician verifying medical-related issues which absolutely necessitate the use of a vehicle

Transfer Students
Transfer students who will be living on campus will still need to go through the parking application process, and they will be assigned to an available parking space. Transfer students who did not pre-register are given a parking spot in Treona lot.

To apply for a parking permit: Visit the Falcon Exchange's student vehicle registration webpage

Upperclass Students and Returning Students
When returning to campus for the start of the Fall semester, upperclass students are given their parking permits. Those who did not register during the on-line parking registration process or over the summer are issued a parking permit in a lot where space is available on campus.

Parking in the following parking lots are reserved for students living on campus: A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, and TR (overflow residential parking).

Parking for students who are commuting or living off-campus will be assigned to: P (Starry Field parking lot).

Please visit the Student Vehicle Registration page for more information, an FAQ section, or to contact the Falcon Exchange.

Bicycle Registration

All students, faculty, and staff who have a bicycle on campus must register it upon bringing it to campus. Registration of bicycles at the Dispatch window in the Eisenhower Campus Center or register online. There is no fee for registering a bicycle. You will receive a Messiah University Bicycle Identification Sticker that is to be placed on your bicycle. Unlike vehicles, bicycle registration only needs to happen once. For more information, visit the Department of Safety website.

Brand New Commuter Student at Messiah?

As a new student who is commuting to Messiah, you will be involved heavily in New Student Orientation activities, though in a slightly different manner. Special events will take place specifically geared to help you transition to your life as a student. Additionally, we encourage you to attend as many of the programs offered as you can (though sessions that specifically apply to residential students, such as mandatory hall meetings, are not required for commuter students). 

Although we highly recommend you attend all the orientation sessions, you are the one who knows what will best fit into your schedule. If you have any questions about what you should and should not attend, please reach out to Commuter Student Services by emailing JP Edmunds.

Click here to go to the Commuter Services page.

Welcome international, missionary and third culture students and families! International Student Programs is working to make the 2021 Winter Orientation Week an unforgettable one!

To help with your travel planning, International, Missionary and Third-Culture Student Orientation is January 19-20. Please check this site for more details.

If you are arrivng from out of country or you have questions specific to international new student orientation in January 2021, please contact Minoska Villegas, Intercultural Programs Advisor, or Gina Hale, Administrative Assistant to the Intercultural Office.

If you have any additional questions about Winter Orientation, please contact the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Programs at (717) 796-5240 or by emailing