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Frequently Asked QUestions


About Galipatia

Why should I do Galipatia?

This answer is honestly different for for many of our students. 

Are you looking to meet a diverse group of students with lots of different interests and backgrounds? 

Are you looking for a community of support to transition to your first year on campus?

Are you looking for a maker space to use for personal and group projects? 

Are you looking for the opportunity to connect with corporate partners and faculty in unique and meaningful ways? 

Are you looking for connections to upper class engineering students to help guide and support you in your transition to college?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then Galipatia is the community for you! 

What we know about the success of our community is that:

- Galipatians have an average of a 99-100% retention rate in the College of Engineering from freshmen to Sophomore year

- Galipatians on average have a 10% higher graduation rate then their peers who do not do this program

Quotes from our students:

"Galipatia is a great community for students in engineering to gain great personal and professional skills, to join a family to live and learn with, and to have fun!" 

"Being a member of Galipatia really helps with the transition to college as you have a mentor who can help you adjust to college."

"The class is genuinely helpful. It prepares you for professional challenges like resume writing and the engineering career fair - while also giving you a nice GPA boost." 

"Galipatia gives you ample leadership opportunities as committee members and mentors after your first year." 

What do you do in the first-year Galipatia class? 

         Many of first-year students find that what worked to make them successful high school students may not work as a college student.           The first-semester college experience is a huge life transition, and the Galileo and Hypatia required course is designed to help                 make that transition as easy as possible.

Company recruiters tell us they need engineers who know their academics but also know how to work in teams, communicate effectively, deal with conflict, and sell their ideas. The course is also designed to aid in polishing those skills and begin to develop their professional formation as engineers

In the course, students will:

Polish their resume for Engineering Expo which takes place each September -  yes, it is possible for freshmen to receive internship offers

Learn to write cover letters and thank you notes to interviewers

Learn methods of tracking grades in order to have a successful semester from the beginning

Participate in a one on one meeting with their instructor at mid semester to evaluate their academic progress

Participate in community events led by upper class committees

Complete 10 hours of community service during fall semester and spring semester for a total of 20 hours, following the motto of the university of Ut Prosim – That I May Serve

Explore topics of diversity that relate to their professional formation as engineers in interactive workshops


This is a two credit course that meets once a week in the fall semester during most weeks. Some weeks will also have a Tuesday night component where we host workshops, academic advising sessions for spring course request, etc.  

The grade for the course is held with an incomplete at the end of the fall semester, as there is still one more spring assignment to complete. The grade for the course is released at the end of the fall semester and retroactively changes the fall GPA. 

What are committees / upper-class leaders?

A committee in Galipatia is a team (<15 usually) of passionate individuals who are focused on continuing the legacy of Galipatia and improving it further beyond what they experienced. We call these individuals upper-class leaders. They're students who have already spent their freshman year as a Galipatian. There are some on every floor in Hoge; say hi! At the moment, we have nine committees, not including SMILE. All of them are created to enhance tho Galipatia experience.


Each committee serves its unique role in the community, but generally, the committees create the events that freshmen attend. The social events, academic help hours, professional development events, and more are planned to perfection by our committees. We also have committees that handle the newsletters, this very website, the events system, design competitions, studio trainings, and other things!

What are mentors?

Mentors are upper class engineering students who live with you in Hoge. They serve as a source of advice on classes, homework, social activities, and more. A mentor guides you through the process of college and helps you adjust to the many differences from high school. You can think of a mentor as a big brother/sister in some ways. They even take you and your peers out to a free dinner every now and then!

You will meet with your mentor each week for the first ten weeks of the fall semester. You will of course still have them as a resource since they live right there in the building with you all year but after the first ten weeks of the fall semester, you no longer are required to meet each week. 

Do I have to commit to live there for two years?

No, you can choose to apply for a leadership position your second year. Even though it's not required, it is highly recommended for improving your leadership skills.


What is the building layout? Which floors are Hypatia / Galileo?

Hypatia is on the ground floor, 1st and 2nd floors. The 3rd, 4th and 5th floors are co-ed. Galileo is on the  6th and 7th floors. Every floor has two bathrooms, one on each end. The bathrooms all have 8 showers and 6 stalls. Each floor also has three lounges with tables, couches, white boards and TVs.

The second floor has a large lounge with a full kitchen, study room, and tables and couches for studying and socializing. On the second floor there are also two studios. Studio 1 has power tools and hand tools, cameras, laser cutters, 3D printers, and many more tools that are available for you to use whenever you want. Studio 2 has desks, a whiteboard,  and a TV to hold meetings in. 

How do coed floors work?

Coed floors are essentially the same as other floors. The biggest change is that the bathrooms on one side are for ladies and on the other side it's for guys with the rooms split of half-and-half down the hall to accommodate this.

Can I choose my roommate? / How do I choose my roommate?
Yes, you can choose your roommate. They have to be accepted into the community just like you, though. You choose your roommate by talking with other accepted members through the Facebook group or GroupMe channel. After you've found a roommate you both go into Starrez and follow the instructions for choosing a room together. If you decide to chose a "random" roommate, you simply pick a room and then reach out to your new roommate to start to get to know each other.

How big are the rooms in Hoge Hall? What furniture is included in them?

Rooms are approximately 12 ft x 14 ft. The furniture included in the room is as follows: twin beds, two desks, two chairs, two closets combined into one unit, a sink, and mirror.


What common areas are in the dorm?

We have lounges on every floor. They consist of whiteboards, tables, couches, and chairs. They are smaller lounges compared to the one on the 2nd floor. The lounge on the 2nd floor is set up for a lot more activities besides studying. It has a kitchen set with fridges, a microwave, sink, electric stovetop, and oven. The kitchen also comes with an island set-up. The lounge has a lot more tables and chairs, along with a private room made for group work. There are two TVs and a ping-pong table, too.


Hoge Hall has a laundry room on the 1st and ground floor, one on each side. There're over 20 washers/dryers in total. Lastly, you can also use two studios on the 2nd floor! One set for academic hours/group work in a larger setting with individual desks. The other is set up for personal projects and has a 3D printer, laser engraver, and wood-working tools! 

What are the studios? How do I use them?

The studios are two spaces located on the 2nd floor that look like super-enhanced lounges. Studio 1 is a space that allows you to mix creativity and engineering. It's a design space where you can build projects or prototypes with a 3D printer, laser cutter, power tools, and hand tools. 

Studio 2 is a space dedicated to collaborative work. It is also used as a space to receive personalized homework help from upper-class leaders in the community. You can use it by just going to the 2nd floor during the times that it's open, so be sure to check the calendar. There is also a poster plotter printer you can use for printing large presentation posters for your classes. 

Does it cost extra to live in Hoge Hall?

No - it is  one of the least expensive residence hall on campus ( Residential Life does give the community $50 per semester per bed to be used for student programming and upkeep of the maker space.

What should I bring to college?

You can think of your room like a hotel, it's filled with only the bare essentials and even less than that. You'll want to bring your own toiletries, bed linens, pillows, clothes, and snacks. Everything from classroom supplies to fridges, microwaves, poster hanging materials, the whole lot. Dishes, garbage bags with a garbage can, and things to wash your laundry are a good start. The list is pretty long and it's easy to forget something, all things considered. You should go here to make sure you don't forget anything:

Also, if you like having coffee or tea, a Keurig is a good investment. The chairs in the dorms are similar to rocking chairs (I couldn't tell you why) so if you want something that spins and rolls, that chair isn't it. A lockbox is also a great investment for securing highly valuable belongings in your room. 

What am I not allowed to bring?

You cannot bring specific items because they violate our fire policies! Some of these items include candles, plug-in air fresheners, incense, halogen lamps, air conditioning units, electric blankets, electric stoves, George Forman-type grills, toasters or toaster ovens, space heaters, hot plates, and any open-coiled appliance. Do not bring flammable items, such as fuel, or items that require an open flame, operate on fuel, or produce heat. Extension cords are not allowed, either. Refer here for more details:

Campus Life


Will I be isolated from other campus experiences and Non Galipatia students if I live in Hoge Hall?  

By no means, no. You will never be isolated from anything on campus just because you live in Hoge Hall. Hoge Hall is your new home away from home. You can go out and hang with people who aren't from Galipatia, and you'll likely meet some if you get involved with clubs and organizations and take classes not engineering-related (i.e. minors)! You will also still be in the loop for campus experiences because Virginia Tech sends out emails about the big things going on around campus and by simply chatting with other students you'll get know what campus experiences are going on for the day. There's one every day!


I also like a lot of non-engineering hobbies. Will I have anything in common with other Galipatia students?

Students in the community have a wide variety of hobbies and interests. There are over 800 people in our community so the chance of you meeting people with similar interests are very good. However you can also meet people with very different interests from you to branch out and learn new things! 

*Periodically Updated 

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