What's dorm life like? Students tend to describe it as "living with your friends." Your best friend might be a few doors down or could be your roommate. All of the cadets look out for each other, hang out together, and celebrate (and yes, sometimes complain) together.
The students are roomed by flight; those students who live together on the same hallway are also in the "military flights" together, along with day students who are assigned to the various flights. These flights gather together during formations and compete as a team in room inspections and uniform inspections, games, grades, community service activities and drill.
Every dorm hall has an adult leader, called a Cadet Life Supervisor (CLS), who is in charge of the students on his or her hall. The student leaders, known as "cadre," are responsible for assisting the CLS in his or her responsibilities. These juniors and seniors are assigned specific tasks to help their fellow students make the most of their dorm experience.
The dormitory buildings are comfortable and safe. All dorm rooms have the hotel-style card swipe system in place. Each room has heat and air conditioning and internet capabilities. Because most students now have their own cell phones, there are no land lines in the dorm. Students without cell phones may see their Cadet Life Supervisors to call home on a school cell phone. Students with cell phones may use them only during designated times.
Sonner-Payne Hall: Male Dorm
Most male cadets live two students to a room in Sonner-Payne Hall. The male dorms have "community" lavatory facilities on each end of every hallway. There is a sink in each room. Our male cadets often meet in the communal Student Services area where there are two wide-screen televisions, tables and chairs, comfortable couches, a ping pong table, and vending machines. There are also televisions on each hallway that are brought out on the weekends for cadets to enjoy.
Sonner-Payne stands on the site of the original building erected in 1892. The current building was built in 1927 and renovated in 1996. The main floor houses the administration offices. The top three floors are the boys' dorm. Many of the rooms provide gorgeous views of the town of Front Royal, the northern Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Turner Hall: Female Dorm
Female cadets live in suite-style dormitories in Turner Hall with adjoining bathrooms. There are two young women to each room; therefore each bathroom (with toilet, shower, and two sinks) is shared between up to four girls.
This building was constructed in the early 1990's, and features a private lounge for the girls with a television, pool table, drink machines, ironing facilities, workout room, and meeting space. The girls' dorm occupies the top two floors of Turner Hall, while the ground floor houses the dining hall.
For more information about dormitories at R-MA, please contact the Assistant to the Commandant, Al Price.