The Office of Residence Life exists to provide safe and inclusive living communities; promote community engagement, and nurture personal development
Residence Life at the University of Saint Mary will provide premier living communities that are recognized for innovation and excellence
The principles, standards and qualities that serve as the foundation for our service to the campus community are a reflection of the four core values upheld by the University of Saint Mary. Our actions are a clear reflection of these values.
RESIDENCE HALL TEAM
The residence life team assumes overall responsibility for the coordination of the housing environment with all other branches of the university community. Residence Life is responsible for ensuring that the environment is conducive and complimentary to students’ personal, academic, and social development.
Resident assistants (RAs) are undergraduate members of the campus community who are responsible for supporting students on their respective residence hall floors. Resident Assistants exist to serve as a resource to their respective communities, ensure the safety of all residents, facilitate healthy and engaged communities, and hold students accountable to community standards, policies and procedure.
The facilities department employs full-time staff to maintain university assets including residence halls. Facilities staff may enter residents’ rooms to perform routine repairs or improvements during regular university business hours. Facilities staff will not be on residential floors before 10:00 a.m. unless there is an emergency.
AFTER HOURS ASSISTANCE
Resident assistants are on duty from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily and all day Saturday and Sunday while the university is open. If any problem arises, please contact the duty cell phone at (913) 306-0882.
Common areas such as hallways, recreation rooms, lounges, restrooms, stairwells, and kitchens are an integral part of the community life. Keeping these areas clean and in good repair is both appreciated and necessary. Lounge furniture may not be removed from its location. All hallway and stairwell lights must remain illuminated while the hall is occupied for the safety of all residents.
During finals week Quiet Hours are enforced 24-hours a day. This policy is enforced beginning at 10:00 p.m. on the Saturday before finals and extends until 5:00 p.m. on the last day of finals. No alcohol is allowed in Berkel during finals week, This applies to those 21 years of age or older.
The capacity of the electrical system in the residence halls is limited, and overloading these systems can present fire and safety hazards. Only a “power strip” approved by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) that contains its own fuse may be used to obtain additional electrical outlets. The use of an electrical “octopus” (multiple head plugs) is strictly prohibited. The use of extension cords should be kept to a minimum and should never run under carpets or between room furniture. Extension cords must be grounded (three prongs). No household extension cords (2 prongs) are allowed in the residence halls.
Electrical appliances allowed in student rooms are as follows:
The following items are prohibited in student rooms:
open element appliances such as hot plates or toasters, George Foreman grills, broilers, space heaters, immersion heaters, toaster ovens, electric woks, kerosene heaters, sun lamps, outside antennae, rice cookers, griddles, or halogen lights of more than 300 watts as well as any halogen light that does not meet current UL approval that is equipped with a protective cover over the bulb.
devices using an open flame such as candles, camping stoves, grills, fondue pots, incense, hookahs, and gas lanterns are not permitted in or around the residence halls. Containers of flammable liquids or volatile toxic materials like gasoline or kerosene are not permitted in the residence halls.
Non-compliant devices will be confiscated until the student can remove them from campus. The use of small appliances for cooking should be confined to the kitchens
Items, including furniture, may not interfere with access to room doors and windows.
Tampering with any university electrical equipment including breaker boxes and outlets or with electrical equipment of another resident is prohibited.
For fire evacuation information see the Fire Safety and Weather Procedures section of this handbook.
Residents are responsible for maintaining a clean living environment within their assigned living spaces. Cleaning supplies and toiletries are to be self-supplied by occupants of the room. All residential students are responsible for keeping common residential spaces neat and clean. Students may be charged for excessive cleaning in public areas as well as for rooms not properly cleaned.
HOUSING DURING BREAKS
Residence halls remain open during all holidays and break periods that occur within the academic calendar (e.g. when class is in session). Food service is not available during Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring breaks or summer sessions.
HOUSING DURING SUMMER
If students are interested on living on campus during the summer they must contact the Residence Life Office during the preceding Spring Semester. Students rent a room only. Approval for summer housing is at the discretion of the Director of Residence Life. Priority for living space is given to international students and to students participating in summer internships for credit.
Communal kitchens are located in Maria Hall for occasional cooking. These kitchens are neither equipped nor intended for any student’s regular preparation of meals. Residents are responsible for providing their own cooking equipment and dishwashing soap. It is the responsibility of the student to clean the kitchen and utensils following his/her use of the facility. Food placed in the refrigerators in the kitchens must be marked with a student’s name and date. Unmarked food will be discarded. Dishes left in the sink unattended will be discarded. Kitchens are subject to closure if not kept clean.
Washers and dryers are located on the ground floor of Maria Hall and every floor in Berkel Hall. Laundry facilities are for the exclusive use of current residential students. Non-residents who utilize laundry facilities will be prohibited from visiting the halls. Laundry supplies should not be stored in laundry rooms.
All residents are expected to be courteous of other residents and remove laundry from machines in a timely manner. After 15 minutes of completion of cycle, laundry may be removed from a machine and placed on a clean surface so the machine can be used by another resident.
USM is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Residents are encouraged to supervise their laundry while washing and drying. A lost and found box is located in each laundry room. All lost items will be discarded at the end of the semester. Report any machine problems to residence life staff and include the nature of the problem and machine number.
If you are locked out of the hall or your room, please contact a residence life team member. Residents are given two (2) free lock-outs each year. Any lock out after that will result in a $5 fee per lock-out. This includes access to the halls. Residents are not to prop doors or vandalize entrances to gain access to the building. Any student accessing the building by means other than scanning their ID card will be subject to the discipline process.
Students are not permitted to purchase or construct their own lofts in Maria Hall. Loft pieces are provided and must remain in the room with each bed in Berkel Hall.
University mail addressed to resident students is delivered Mondays through Fridays. All residential students are given a USM mailbox. When a student moves, temporarily or permanently, he/she needs to provide the Residence Life Office a forwarding address for delivery of first class mail and periodicals. There are fees associated with replacement of lost keys or necessary mailbox unit lock changes.
Maintenance requests or other room concerns (e.g., lights out, heating/cooling issues, problem with a key/lock, etc.) should be reported to residence life staff in a timely manner. For emergency maintenance concerns, please contact the residence life staff at ext. 6174 during office hours or 913-306-0882 after hours.
If repairs are not completed to your satisfaction (within one week for regular repairs or within one day for emergencies), notify the Residence Life Office at ext. 6174. Maintenance problems should be reported early and with as much detail as possible in order to avoid damage charges.
All students living within the residence halls must participate in a meal plan. The meal plan does not cover Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring recesses or summer sessions. Credit is not given for meals not taken. Students who are absent from a meal because of a university-related activity or program or because of illness may receive a sack meal replacement by notifying Dining Services. All freshmen are required to have the 20-meal plan. Upper classmen have the option of selecting the 14-meal plan. Any changes to the meal plan must be completed during the first two weeks of the semester.
Student with specific dietary needs and/or students who are participating in a cooperative education program (e.g. clinicals or student teaching) required for degree completion may qualify for a meal plan waiver. Those seeking an exemption from the meal plan must complete a Meal Plan Waiver Request Form. This form may be acquired from the Office of Residence Life. The Director will review the Meal Plan Waiver Request along with any supporting documentation and will provide written notification of a decision.
OPENING AND CLOSING OF RESIDENCE HALLS
The residence halls open according to the contract dates specified on the housing contract. The residence halls close after the 24-hour period following the last day of finals week. Graduating seniors and students invited to assist with commencement ceremonies may be allowed to remain in the halls until commencement activities have ended. Students participating in commencement ceremonies will need to receive prior approval from the Office of Residence Life.
Extended Stay/Early Return Housing
University of Saint Mary students wishing to remain on campus after the residence halls close or return to campus before the designated date for a pre-approved reason must obtain approval by planning their extended stay and officially requesting it (or having their sponsor request it). An extended stay is outside of the scheduled class periods or finals schedule.
A student may be working for the university, participate in a school function or participate on an athletic event. For any reason, students must obtain permission by requesting to stay past the closing of or the opening of the residence halls. Students found to be on campus without permission for an approved event or organization will be subject to a $100 per day fine and possible judicial action.
The employment contract end date for Resident Assistants is two days after graduation, so RAs only need to submit a request to stay on campus past the two days post graduation. Students graduating who live in the halls do not need to request to stay unless they need to stay beyond the day of graduation. All graduates must check-out of their housing assignment on or before graduation day. Those with a special circumstance to stay must get prior approval from the Residence Life office.
Students may not store items in a housing assignment while not present or in between summer dates. Students must remove all belongings from a housing assignment unless they are assigned for that period. Spaces will be inspected, abandoned belongings will be discarded, and handling charges will be applied to the student’s account, in addition to a $100 per day fine (for each day without approval) and possible judicial action.
Sponsored students (for USM department sponsorship submission)
Students needing to stay in on-campus housing after the residence hall closing date for official USM business may be requested by a USM department. Examples of students which may be sponsored by a USM department with legitimate reasons include the following:
Athletic teams staying to compete
Students working Commencement ceremony (graduation usher, etc)
Students working for a university department
Students working for the motherhouse
Sponsors must submit their list of students staying and dates to Residence Life AT LEAST two weeks before the expected stay.
There is no housing charge for those sponsored students which are approved for extended stay. Extended stay is outside of the contracted meal plan period. Students remaining on campus during this period of time, or their sponsor, must make dining plans.
Fall Semester Early Arrivals
Students wishing to come to campus early in August will need to obtain approval through the Early Arrival process; these students must be sponsored by a University department and need to arrive early for a legitimate reason. Those without a sponsor with a legitimate reason may request to arrive a couple of days early by submitting an extended stay request (note: there is a $30 per day fee), which will be available to students no sooner than three days before the scheduled start of classes.
Please contact the Office of Residence Life with any questions.
RESIDENCE HALL CONTRACT
All students living in university residence halls are required to sign a housing contract. Any housing outside of the contracted dates will incur nightly rates.
Contract Cancellation & Associated Fees
Students who wish to cancel the housing contract prior to the predetermined contract end date will be subject to cancellation fees.
A student who wishes to cancel his/her contract, and who is subject to the Residency Requirement must first complete an On-Campus Housing Waiver Request form and submit to the Office of Residence Life.
Students who cancel the housing contract prior to the designated contract start day may incur a $100.00 cancellation fee
Students who cancel the housing contract after the designated contract start date may be responsible for 35% of the remaining balance of the contract.
Contract Release Without Cancellation Fees
After the predetermined contract start date, a student may be released from this contract, without penalties, under the following conditions:
No longer attending the university (graduating, transferring, or withdrawing)
Marriage, if the marriage occurs after signing this contract (marriage license required)
Participation in a university sponsored study abroad, co-op, student teaching, or internship program that is 30 or more miles from the University of Saint Mary.
Called for active military service duty
Significant and unforeseen health reason occurring during the contract period
Receipt of an approved contract release by the Office of Residence Life
To be eligible to live in the Residence Halls the resident shall, during the term of this contract, be enrolled and attending the University of Saint Mary and be a student in good standing. Loss of student status at any time during the contract period will result in the termination of this contract and removal from the residence halls within 72 hours of the loss of student status.
Any room changes will not be considered until two weeks after the predetermined move-in date for both the fall and spring semester. After this time, residents who wish to changes rooms should adhere to the following procedure. Students who change rooms without permission may be subject to additional housing charges.
Notify your Resident Assistant. This is especially important when the desire to change rooms is prompted by a roommate dispute. Resident Assistants can assist in resolving conflict between roommates and may aid in avoiding a room changes altogether.
If after notifying your Resident Assistant a room change is still desired, schedule an appointment with the Residence Hall Coordinator to receive approval for your room change request.
Note: Often times, it is helpful to determine a plan of action before meeting with the Residence Hall Coordinator. That is, the Residence Hall Coordinator will work to find the best fit, but cannot guarantee satisfaction with your new living situation. Consider seeking out a new living situation on your own before your meeting.
Students who receive approval for a room changes should adhere to the following procedure:
Contact your new Resident Assistant to schedule a check-in time to your new room
Contact your current Resident Assistant to schedule a check-out time from your current room
Ensure that you complete your room change within 2 business days
Complete a new Roommate Agreement for with your new roommate
The Department of Residential Life may consolidate rooms to full capacity when vacancies occur and may move students to another room when necessary. Students who have not contracted for a designated single occupancy room and who do not have a roommate may be given the following options:
Move to another room assignment with a roommate
Accept a roommate chosen by residential life
If space permits, elect to retain the room as a single by paying the private room charge prorated as of the date the student began occupying the room as a private room (2nd semester freshmen or upper-class students only);
The Office of Residence Life is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. Accordingly, the room assignments are not made on the basis of race or color, sex or gender, national origin or ancestry, disability or handicap, religion or creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, past, present or future membership in the uniformed services including the Reserve and National Guard, citizenship or intending citizenship status.
As a Catholic institution, the university does not condone cohabitation between same sex or opposite sex couples and, as such, students of the opposite sex and same sex partners are not knowingly assigned rooms together.
The Office of Residence Life does not process room assignments until a signed housing contract has been received. Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and are appointed according to the date of receipt of a signed housing contract.
All first-year, first-time freshman are assigned to designated communities within Maria Hall. Upperclassmen are housed primarily within Berkel Hall, but are also provided limited housing options within Maria Hall. The Office of Residence Life provides limited single occupancy rooms, but these spaces are primarily reserved for upperclassmen residents. First-year, first time freshmen are not assigned single rooms during his/her first semester at USM.
RESIDENCE LIFE COMMUNITY
Residence Life serves to develop positive and inclusive communities; and as a member of the Residence Life community, students will have the opportunity to learn about themselves as well as interact with students from a variety of backgrounds. While Residence Life assists in facilitating healthy community environments, students are encouraged to play an active role in his/her community.
Residence Life believes that community is built upon integrity and respect. When problem arise within the community, healthy communication is the first step towards an effective resolution. Engaging in a conversation can often lead to better understanding. If a resolution cannot be agreed upon by community members, Residence Life staff is there to assist when needed.
Community Right & Responsibilities
As a member of a community, students have the right to:
Live in a safety, clean and secure environment
Sleep and study without undue interference or distractions;
Expect that others will respect personal belongings;
Openly address community concerns without fear of retaliation
As a member of a community, students have the responsibility to:
Know and abide by all Residence Life and University policies and procedures
Treat residents and staff members with dignity and respect
Avoid discriminatory actions or language whether direct or covert Ensure that individual actions do not place other communities members at risk of property loss or personal injury
The University of Saint Mary requires students to live within University housing until they are 19 years of age and a junior (60 credit hours) or 21 years of age at the start of his/her first semester at USM. Exceptions to this policy include students who are:
Reside within the primary residence of a parent or legal guardian: or
Parents of dependent children.
Those seeking an exemption from the residency requirement must submit an On-Campus Housing Waiver Request to the Director of Residence Life. The Director will review the On-Campus Housing Waiver Request and supporting documentation and will provide written notification of a decision. The On-Campus Housing Waiver Requests are available at http://www.stmary.edu/Student-Life/Residence-Life/Apply-for-Housing.aspx.
All residence hall rooms are the property of the university and under its custody and control. Accordingly, all rooms are subject to entry by authorized staff with reasonable cause. Access may be made to unlock a bathroom door for a suitemate, to switch a breaker, to shut off a noise originating for a room, to inspect for a believed policy violation, to determine a resident’s safety, maintenance concerns, or any other reasonable need.
Rooms may be entered during break periods by university staff to provide general maintenance, ensure the building is secure and to inspect for health and safety conditions. All visible policy violations will be documented and any prohibited items may be confiscated.
Residents are issued a room key and a student ID card that will enable them to access their residence hall. Room keys and ID cards remain the property of the university and may not be duplicated or modified in any way. For safety reasons, please immediately notify residence life or campus safety and security when you lose/misplace your ID card or keys. Lost keys will result in a lock change and a corresponding charge.
ROOMMATE & SUITEMATES
Students find very soon that they have things in common with their roommate and suitemates. Students find that they have differences as well. USM values community and respect. We encourage residents to talk about differences and if there are disagreements, to work issues out with roommates and suitemates whenever possible. If students require assistance or mediation, please contact a member of the residence life team.
RESIDENCE HALL POLICIES
The following policies as well as ALL policies and regulations listed under the “Non-Academic University Policies and Procedures for All Students” section of this Student Handbook apply to the residence halls, its residents, and its guests.
Students who reside in Maria Hall are not permitted to have alcohol. Maria Hall is a completely dry facility. Even students 21 years of age and older are not permitted to have alcohol beverages. Please note that alcohol and empty alcohol containers are not permitted anywhere in the residence hall. Discovery of such items will lead to sanctioning of the individual and in some cases, of the floor or hall community.
The university, in certain situations, extends to students who are 21 years of age or older the privilege to possess and use alcoholic beverages on campus. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on university property is a privilege that can be and is limited. The privilege can be retained by appropriate behavior and responsible consumption or withdrawn at the discretion of the university. If a student chooses to share a suite with a student who is under the legal drinking age, the entire suite must be alcohol-free until all parties are of legal age and both parties consent to the use of alcohol in the room. This policy applies to tenants in 4-person suites as well as those in 2-person suites.
Students who are 21 years of age or older may responsibly consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their suites or the suites of others of legal age with the permission of all residents of that dwelling. Each person in the dwelling must be 21 years of age, whether he or she are consuming alcohol or not. The alcohol within the room must be for the personal consumption of the residents and their guests. Only current University of Saint Mary residential students 21 years and older may bring alcohol into the residence halls.
Beer “bongs,” beer pong tables or other binge drinking/drinking game items are not allowed in residence hall rooms, no matter what the age of the student.
The university holds the occupants of the room financially responsible for any damage to their assigned space. This includes, but is not limited to, wall marks and door marks, especially from tape of any kind. When a student moves out of a room and there are damaged or missing items, the Residence Life Office assesses the cost or repair of replacement and notify the student of charges (See Appendix A). If unreported damage occurs in public areas, a floor or an entire hall may be assessed a charge. It is the entire hall’s responsibility to care for and maintain their residence.
Although the Residence Life Office appreciates and encourages the expression of individuality in room decorating, university-supplied furniture may not be removed from individual student rooms. Furniture that is attached to a wall or floor may not be moved or removed under any circumstances. Waterbeds are not permitted in resident rooms because of structural concerns and the potential for serious damage from water leakage.
Concern for the safety of residents and guests and damage to residents’ personal and University property requires the following guidelines for decorating rooms:
Alcoholic beverage containers are not acceptable for decorative purposes within residence hall rooms no matter what the age of the student.
Residents are not permitted to hang items from the ceiling, including string lights, posters and similar items;
Double-sided carpet tape must not be used;
Residents are not permitted to put nails, screws, or hooks into woodwork, walls, or ceilings;
The outside of room doors and windows are visible to all members of the community, and as such, decorations should be kept to a minimum. Residents will be asked to remove any materials that place the residents in violation of university policy, the law or are in poor taste. The residence life team may enter rooms and remove such items with or without the permission of the resident;
Decals, bumper stickers, and contact paper may not be affixed to university property;
It is recommended that masking tape be used to hang posters and pictures. Sticky-tack putty can cause significant paint damage and should not be used. Reusable release hooks can be used, but students are responsible for any damaged they cause;
The use of dartboards in rooms often leads to damage to the room and injury to persons and therefore is not permitted;
Live Christmas trees are not permitted in student rooms or common areas of the floors because they create a fire hazard. Christmas lights must be UL approved for indoor use and should be plugged in only when resident(s) are present;
For questions regarding the appropriateness of decorations, please contact a member of the residence life team.
Elevators are provided as an amenity in the halls and residents are expected to use the elevators appropriately. Residents should not hold the door open for an extended period of time causing the alarm to go off. The emergency alarm and call button in the elevator are to be used during emergency situations only. Inappropriate activities include writing, jumping, rough housing, yelling, urinating, disposing of trash and banging around in the elevator. Residents will be held responsible for any damage caused to the elevator and misuse will result in the elevator being taken out of service.
Out of respect for all students and staff, residents should use appropriate language while in the halls. Swearing, vulgar, offensive, and/or inappropriate language is not acceptable in a community environment. While in a resident’s room, voices should be kept to an acceptable level.
Students may not paint their rooms.
Students are not allowed to have pets or any other animals, except freshwater fish, in the residence halls. Fish tank capacity must not exceed ten (10) gallons. During Christmas break, everything in the room, including fish tanks, must be unplugged. If this will create a problem, arrangements should be made ahead of time to remove the fish. The university is not liable for injury or death of any fish in the residence halls. Please contact the Residence Life Office with any questions.
All residents have a right to reasonable peace and quiet during normal hours of rest. Undue noises or disturbances that violate the rights of community members to reasonable peace and quiet are prohibited. During designated quiet hours, particular courtesy should be shown to enable others to concentrate on their studies and get sufficient sleep. Even an isolated outburst of excessive noise can wake someone from a much needed nap or disrupt one's concentration during a study session.
Quiet hours are 10 p.m. - 10 a.m. daily.
Courtesy Hours are in effect 24 hours a day. This means that within a community, members are encouraged to speak up when noise may be disruptive to them. If asked to quiet down, those community members should comply according to Courtesy Hours.
During quiet hours, sound equipment (i.e., stereos, radios, TVs) may be played only while door is fully closed and volume may not be heard in other rooms, hallways, or outside the building. Lobby noise should be kept at a minimum so as not to disturb others.
During final exams, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day.
Stereos are a frequent source of noise disturbance and high-powered stereos (including low frequency speakers and "sub-woofers") are prohibited.
If a noise problem is caused by repeated use of sound equipment, the equipment may be confiscated until time the residents can remove the equipment from campus.
Under no circumstances may speakers be placed so that music is played out of windows.
Members of the floor community in addition to residence life staff will be responsible for maintaining quiet hours and courtesy hours.
ROOFS, LEDGES, WINDOWS, AND ATTICS
Roofs, ledges, windows, and attics of all buildings are off limits. Window screens are not to be removed or tampered with, and windows may not be used to enter or leave the building. Students who damage or remove window screens will be assessed a replacement charge. Throwing or dropping an object from a window or roof of a residence hall is prohibited.
Unauthorized solicitation for business, charity, political, or religious purposes is prohibited within the residence halls. Off campus groups are not permitted to sell products or provide services in the residence halls. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, the direct sale of items, requests for charitable donations, and door-to-door distribution of coupons, business mailings, and political/religious material.
Residents who observe solicitors within the residence hall should notify Campus Safety or a member of Residence Life.
Activities such as skateboarding, riding a scooter, water balloons or fights, water guns, bike riding, throwing Frisbees, playing hacky-sack, throwing, bouncing, hitting or kicking balls, golf, and similar recreational or sport related activities are not permitted in the residence halls. Special care should be taken when engaging in these kinds of activities (as permitted by campus policy) adjacent to any campus building.
VISITATION HOURS & GUEST POLICY
All residents are given the privilege of having guests visit with them in their designated room during certain hours.
Guests are considered:
The designated visitation hours for all guests are:
Male residents/guests may not be on a female floor outside of visitation hours. Female residents/guests may not be on a male floor outside of visitation hours.
The university reserves the right for any university staff member, including any administrator, faculty, residence life staff, campus safety and security staff or other professional staff, or the staff of a contractor of the university acting in the performance of their duties and within the scope of their authority to refuse entry to non-residents or require them to leave the premises when that person’s behavior is contrary to the goals and objectives of the residence hall environment. Failure to comply with the directive of any university staff member, including any administrator, faculty, residence life staff, campus safety and security staff or other professional staff, or the staff of a contractor of the university acting in the performance of their duties and within the scope of their authority may be reason to contact the local police department.
Students with guests will be held responsible for the actions of their guests and will be personally subject to discipline and sanctions.
All guests must be escorted by the host resident at all times within residential facilities. Escorting a guest means walking the guest from room to room, from floor to floor. All guests must present identification upon request and comply with university policies and are subject to all residence hall policies and procedure.
As a Catholic institution, University of Saint Mary does not condone cohabitation between same sex or opposite sex couples.
Residents may host overnight guests providing the resident adheres to the following provisions:
Prior approval is received from the Residence Hall Coordinator 24 hours before the guest arrives
Prior approval is received from the roommate(s) of the host resident
Guests are of the same gender as the host resident
The length of stay is no more than three (3) consecutive nights and does not exceed six (6) nights in any given semester
Revised: 08/05/2014, 08/19/2014, 01/15/2016