Residential Conference Planning

Letter of Confirmation and Contract

  • You will receive a letter of confirmation in September or October with prices for housing and facilities (may change if your plans change.)
  • Contracts are mailed by February with a due date to return the signed contract.
  • A deposit is required when the contract is signed.

Planning Meeting

A pre-conference planning meeting will be scheduled. University staff from various departments supporting your conference will attend. This is good time to firm up food service/catering needs, set up and facility requirements, schedule, housekeeping, etc. Depending on the date for your conference or camp, our preference is to schedule the meeting after mid-May when the summer staff and your conference coordinator can attend the meeting. If you have an early conference, the meeting will be scheduled earlier.

Maps and Directions

Please visit or request maps from Scheduling, Events, and Conferences.

Selected Policies

Please visit

Staying in Touch

There isn't any such thing as too much information about your conference! We want to assist you in making your conference a success. To do that, we need to know as much as you can tell us about what you're doing, your schedule, and planned activities. Please include me on your mailings. Don't hesitate to call or email and ask questions or just to stay in touch.

Residence Halls

  • Residence halls are assigned based on the number of people in your group, dates, other groups that are on campus at the same time, and construction
  • Residence halls are not air conditioned except for the University Apartments and Kaneko Hall. You may want to recommend that participants bring their own small fan.
  • Residence halls (except the University Apartments and Kaneko Hall) do not have elevators. First floor rooms are limited so please assign those rooms to people that have problems with stairs. Please let us know if you do have people with disabilities and we can let help you assign a room.
  • You will receive floor plans and rooming lists for the residence halls you will be using in the spring. When our students are out of the halls in mid-May, the Summer Conference staff will verify room and bed information and let you know of any changes from the rooming lists you already have. If you prefer, we can wait to send the rooming lists until we have verified the room information since it can change from summer to summer.
  • Beds are different heights and we try to make sure that the bed height is included on the rooming list to assist you in making room assignments. Beds are considered "low" (approximately 1 foot from the ground), "high" (approximately 3 feet from the ground), "bunk" (approximately 5 feet from the ground - usually with a dresser or desk underneath), or a traditional bunk bed (approximately 3 feet and 7 feet from the ground.) Please remember that rooms are designed for 18-21 year olds!
  • Please do not flip beds. Give Summer Conferences a call if there is a problem with a bed.
  • Each residence hall (except for the University Apartments) has common living areas for groups to gather.
  • Residence halls have vending machines.
  • All buildings are non-smoking. There are areas to smoke outside of the building.
  • Please do not move furniture, including mattresses. There will be a service charge of $50 for each piece of moved furniture.
  • Rooms are all inventoried before and after your conference. Damages will be billed on the master bill. Blinds are always an issue. Please be extremely careful not to force the blinds open or closed.
  • Restrooms and common areas are cleaned daily, however, rooms are not made up. Please pick up garbage before checking out.

Food Service

  • Bon Appetit is the contracted food service on the Willamette University campus. Meals are "all you can eat" and are served in Goudy Commons. Bon Appetit staff will quote prices. The office number is 503-370-6005. You may contact Marc Marelich directly by email at
  • Bon Appetit catering will work with you to plan banquets, all catered meals, break service, etc. They also provide table skirting or tablecloths for registration or vendor tables. Chris Linn will work with you to arrange catering services. He can be contacted at 503-370-6711.
  • Please let Bon Appetit know if any of your participants have food allergies or other special needs. They always have rice and soy milk available and a vegetarian entree at all meals.

Keys and Scan Cards

  • Summer conference staff will arrange to meet you at a place and time of your choosing to give you room keys and to pick them up at the end of your conference. Keys are on labeled key boards. Unless other arrangements have been made, it will be your responsibility to hand out and collect room keys and place them back on the key boards. All keys MUST be returned when key boards are picked up at the assigned time. Due to the very quick turnover of residence halls, a room is rekeyed immediately when a key is missing. There is a $65 lost key charge. Some groups collect a key deposit check from participants and return it as keys are handed in.
  • All participants, including commuters, must have a Willamette University issued scan card. The card identifies participants as conference attendees, allows access into the residence halls, and is required for any meals. You will receive an "order" form. Cards will be labeled with the name of your conference and do not need to be returned.


  • Parking permits are required for all vehicles parked on University property from Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30. Permits are $2 per day or $5 per week. You may order parking permits to hand out to your participants when you order scan cards.
  • "Reserved" and "Handicapped" designations on parking spaces are in effect at all times.
  • Fire lanes must be kept clear at all times, including when unloading and loading.
  • Participants may park in any lot except for the Matthews lot off of 12th Street.
  • If you do get a citation, it may be paid at the Cashier's Office in Waller Hall during business hours or at the Campus Safety Office between Doney and Lausanne Halls. Summer Conference staff cannot get a citation waived. Citations may be appealed to the Director of Campus Safety by obtaining and submitting an appeal form, available at the Campus Safety Office.


No smoking is allowed in any Willamette University facility.

Fire and Safety Issues

  • Candles or any other burning materials are not allowed in residence halls. Candles are only allowed in other locations by special arrangement with the Director of Scheduling, Events and Conferences and the Director of Campus Safety.
  • If a fire alarm sounds, participants must immediately evacuate the building and not go back in until approved by the Campus Safety officers.
  • For your safety, exterior residence hall doors must not be propped open at any time unless someone is continuously monitoring the door. If the door monitor must step away from the doors, even for a couple of minutes, they must close the door. There is a $50 fine, which is immediately assessed if any Willamette University employee sees a propped door and can enter the building and doesn't see someone monitoring the door.
  • Please close room windows that may provide building access when the room isn't occupied.

Medical or Emergency Situations

  • Willamette University does not have health services available during the summer months. The Salem Hospital Emergency Room is located just south of Willamette University on Winter Street.
  • If there is an emergency, please do not call 911 directly. Call Campus Safety at x6911 from any on campus phone (503-370-6911 from a cell or off campus phone). Emergency services arrive much quicker when Campus Safety calls and gives the dispatcher complete information on where emergency vehicles should access the area.

Responsibilities of Counselors and Staff for Youth Camps

  • If sixty percent or more of the participants using residence halls are under the age of 18, you must provide one adult supervisor for every 10 under-18 participants. Youths must be supervised at all times. They are not allowed in residence halls without supervision. They should also be supervised in Goudy Commons and other University property.
  • All supervisors, counselors, staff, involved with a youth camp must sign a statement certifying that they do not have "past or pending civil, administrative, or criminal action of crimes against persons including, but not limited to, sexual crimes, harassment, assault, or robbery." The camp organizer must also sign a statement certifying that s/he "has taken all means necessary to insure that none of the counselors, staff or employees that supervise or work with youth attending this camp or conference has any record of past or pending civil, administrative, or criminal actions for crimes against persons. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual misconduct, harassment, assault or robbery." Summer Conferences will provide the forms.
  • Campus Safety will provide a safety talk at the beginning of each camp. You may arrange the place and time at the planning meeting or by working with the Summer Conference Coordinator assigned to your camp.


  • Please encourage conference/camp participants to respect the University employees and facilities. Many of the facilities that you use may also have offices, which are open during business hours.
  • All facilities, including outdoor areas, must be scheduled through the Office of Scheduling, Events and Conferences.
  • If you have equipment such as volleyball nets, please move them at least once a week. Slip and Slides must be arranged through the Office of Scheduling, Events and Conferences and Grounds.

What to Bring

  • If you have made arrangements for linens, the beds will be made up with sheets and a lightweight blanket, pillow and pillowcase, towels and washcloth (which may be exchanged daily), a small soap, and a paper bag for trash.
  • If you have not arranged for linens, please ask your group to bring their own bedding or sleeping bags, towels, etc.
  • Clothes hangers
  • A travel alarm
  • An extra blanket if the weather forecast indicates cool nights.
  • A fan if weather is warm.
  • A reading light (most residence hall rooms have only a single overhead light fixture)
  • A means of carrying personal products to bathrooms

Miscellaneous Information

  • Restrooms in residence halls may be either men or women. If you are turning the men's restroom into a women's (or vice versa), please put a sign on the door so Housekeeping knows.
  • Only blue painter tape may be used to put up signs.
  • The Willamette Store is open during the week and has office supplies, campus wear, souvenirs and books. The Montag Store is open most evenings and has snacks, popcorn, etc. The Millstream Market also has candy and snacks, sundries, and periodicals.
  • Summer hours for Willamette University: Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30. Campus Safety is available 24 hours a day. Summer Conference staff will carry an "on call" cell phone.
  • Telephones: It is possible to make local or long distance calls with a calling card from the residence halls. Phone jacks are located in most dorm rooms, however, only a handful of rooms actually possess phones.
  • Willamette University Mail Services is located on the first floor of the Putnam University Center. Mail may be sent to participants and addressed: c/o (Your conference name), Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR, 97301. Mail Services has limited hours in the summer and is closed on the weekend. You will need to go to Mail Services each day and pick up your own mail.
  • Please plan to provide Scheduling, Events and Conferences a cell phone or pager number so you can be contacted, if necessary.
  • All lost and found is taken to Campus Safety between Doney and Lausanne Halls. All items are kept at Campus Safety for a period of 30 days before being donated to a local charity. To claim lost items after your camp/conference, call 503-370-6911.
  • Recreational vehicles cannot be accommodated. The Office of Scheduling, Events and Conferences can provide you with a list of local RV parks.