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Residence Life Policies

The following regulations apply to all MU students living in the residence halls. These policies are not designed to limit personal freedom but to create and promote an environment conducive to study and personal growth. The success of the residential program depends on the willingness of each resident to accept responsibility for themselves and for others in the community.Top

Alcohol

Alcohol is not permitted in McHale Hall or any public area on campus. Alcohol is restricted to use in private rooms by those who are of legal age (21). Kegs or beer balls are not permitted in residence hall rooms. Admission may not be charged for parties serving alcohol nor may alcohol be freely distributed without charge. Those hosting parties are responsible for the behavior of their guests and the enforcement of the University alcohol policy. Doors to student rooms must be closed when alcohol is legally being used. The possession or consumption of alcohol may not occur in the presence of minors. Underage individuals may not be in locations where alcohol is present or being consumed by those of age. Refer to the alcohol policy in this handbook.Top

Antennas and Appliances

Residents are not permitted to install outdoor antennas or other devices on the exterior of any University residence or in adjacent trees or shrubbery. Under no circumstances should the electrical wiring in a room be altered. Installation or alteration of electrical equipment and/or splicing cable lines is prohibited. Fires in student rooms have resulted from electrical defects or careless use of electrical appliances. The following are the ONLY appliances which may be operated in student rooms: clocks, fans, hair dryers, curling irons, electric curlers, hot pots (must have closed heating elements and auto-shut offs), popcorn poppers, small refrigerators (4.6 cu. ft.), small microwaves (.9 cu. ft.), radios, shavers, stereo equipment, televisions, computers, printers, VCRs, and answering machines. Electrical appliances not included on this list are not allowed and may be confiscated and stored at the student's expense. No appliance may have an exposed heating element. All appliances must be UL approved. Halogen lamps and Medusa Lights are strictly prohibited.Top

Bicycles and Hall Sports

For safety reasons, bikes may not be parked or stored in stairwells, lounges, or public areas. Bicycles may not be ridden in the residence halls and sports or sport-like activities of any kind are strictly prohibited from being played inside the residence halls. Motorcycles and mopeds may not be operated or stored in the University residences. Contact the University safety office for information on the registration and parking of bicycles and motor vehicles.Top

Bunkbeds, Lofts, and Waterbeds

Due to safety issues, lofts or bunkbeds are not permitted in University residences unless they have been provided by the University. The danger of water damage and structural damage due to excessive weight on the floors prohibits waterbeds.Top

Candles

The use of candles, potpourri, and incense burners are not permitted due to the danger of open flame. Violations are subject to fines:

First Offense:

$25 per candle and confiscation of candles

Second Offense:

$50 per candle and confiscation of candlesTop

Cleanliness

All students are expected to keep their rooms clean. If the university personnel deem a room/suite/townhouse/house unclean or unsanitary, a warning will be issued. If in 24 hours the room is not cleaned, the student will receive a $100 fine. Warnings do not apply at breaks or end of year closing.Top

Cohabitation

Cohabitation (members of the opposite sex living together) within the residence halls is strictly prohibited. There are no housing facilities available for married students on campus.Top

Compliance

Members of the residence life staff (RDs and RAs) are considered to be University officials. As such, failure to comply with their directives will be just cause for disciplinary measures to be taken.Top

Consolidation of Vacancies

When vacancies occur in a student room, the remaining student is required to accept another roommate or be reassigned to another room. Students in suites of townhouses must maintain the stated minimum occupancy or may be removed from the area. The Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life reserves the right to make any necessary changes in roommates and room assignments.Top

Damage Billing

Damage to rooms or common areas in the residence halls beyond normal wear and tear will be charged to the students. If those responsible are not determined, then the cost will be equally divided among the roommates and/or those living in the wing, floor, or building. Students responsible for excessive damage will be subject to severe disciplinary action. The director of residence life reserves the right to refuse, revoke, suspend, or reassign housing of a student or group of students based on inappropriate behavior or damages.Top

Door Keys, Locks & Access IDs

Students are responsible for the care of the keys/access ID cards that are issued to them by the Office of Residence Life. Lost keys will be billed to the student at the rate of $50.00 for a room key. The Townhouse and Lake St. houses will be billed $100.00 for lost keys.

Hallway and elevator keys in McHale Hall will be charged to the students at the rate of $600.00 due to the fact that all new keys would have to be issued to the students and all key cores would have to be replaced.

Trying to duplicate keys or giving keys to others is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

If keys have been temporarily misplaced, students must immediately contact Residence Life Staff. Students will be instructed to go to Campus Safety and a temporary set of keys will be issued for three days. If the original keys are not found within three days, new keys will be issued and charged will be billed to the student's account.

If a student loses their ID/access card, the Residence Life staff must be notified immiedately and they must also report their lost card to the Student Help Desk during their designated hours. The student's lost card will immediately be deactivated and a new card will be issued. If a student loses their card and the Student Help Desk is closed, Campus Safety will issue a temporary card with the approval of the Residence Life Office.Top

Drugs

Possession, cultivation, sale, distribution and/or use of illegal drugs is prohibited, in accordance with federal, state, and local statutes. The possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal in Pennsylvania. Violation of this policy is a sufficient cause for removal from the residence halls. Refer to the drug policies in this handbook.Top

Electrical Power Failure

In the event of a power failure, emergency hallway lights will be activated. Residents are advised to have a flashlight available during a blackout. As in all emergency situations, residents should remain calm. Residence hall staff will give further instructions during an emergency.Top

Exit Doors/Emergency Only Exit Doors

All corridor and exit doors must be kept free of all items. Exit doors should never be blocked or propped open. Students found responsible will be subject to fines. Emergency Only Exit Doors may only be used for emergencies. Students found n violation will be charged $50.00. This is in keeping with insurance underwriters' and state fire inspection regulations. In Gildea Hall, the suite doors also act as fire doors and should never be blocked or propped open. For safety purposes, students should not allow strangers to enter the residence halls. Guests may use phones at the front door to gain admittance.Top

Extension Cords and Electrical Outlets

Residents should not use electrical extension cords more than eight feet long or use four-way plugs in the outlets, as both practices may cause an electrical overload and fire hazard. All electrical extension cords and power strips with built in surge protectors must be UL listed. Students may not plug extension cords into other extension cords or into surge protectors. All extension cords and surge protectors MUST be plugged directly into the wall sockets.Top

Floor Meetings

Because of the pertinent information that is distributed at these scheduled meetings, all residents are required to attend them. Missed meetings will result in a verbal warning, community service and/or failure to comply sanction.

The RD must be contacted for any exceptions.Top

Guests and Visitation

A guest may stay no more than two consecutive weekend nights and at no time should a roommate be displaced by visitors. Students are expected to register their guests with a residence life staff member at least two days prior to visit. Guests must reside with a host or hostess of the same sex and are required to observe the policies of the residence hall. The host or hostess is responsible for informing the guest of University policies and is also responsible for the conduct and behavior of the guest in the residence hall. Visitation is from 9:00 am to 2:00 am to assure the privacy of the occupants of the room outside of this time period.

All guests who do not reside in the buildings must sign in and leave an ID card with the front desk assistant on Thursday-Saturday. If any of these policies are abused, visitation privileges may be revoked or limited by the Director/Assistatn Director of Residence Life Overnight visitors must be at least 16 years old unless they are attending a special University-wide event that younger siblings are encouraged to attend.Top

Kitchen Facilities and Cooking

Full kitchen facilities are available in most residences. Students are responsible to clean up after using these facilities. All appliances (stoves, refrigerators, sinks, microwaves, etc.) must also be kept clean. Failure to keep the kitchen areas clean will result in common area billing or the closing of the facility. Kitchen items left more than forty-eight hours will be removed/disposed of.Top

Lock Outs

Students are responsible for carrying their keys/access cards at all times. Students needing access to their rooms are subject to:

First Offense: Verbal Warning                Second Offense: $1.00            Third Offense: $2.00            Fourth Offense on: $5.00

All monies collected will go into the Programming budget for the residential community.Top

Lounges and Furnishings

Lounge furnishings are provided for the use of all residents and guests for programs or study. Residents must not move lounge furniture from its location in the residence halls. The taking of such furniture is considered theft and will result in disciplinary action.Top

Meal Plans

It is the policy of the University that all resident students must be on the meal program.

Information regarding the various meal plan options are mailed to all incoming freshmen/transfer students prior to their arrival.  Returning students' meal plan options can be found on e-MU/Campus Life tab, the Residential Life general information section.

Students can change their meal plan selection only within the first two weeks of each semester. No exceptions will be made.

Residents may add flex dollars to their student ID card for purchases at the Cougar's Den, Cafe and the Bookstore.  Flex dollars can be purchased at the Student Financial Services Office, Room 120 in Mercy Hall.Top

Medical Accommodations/ Medical Single Rooms

Students requesting medical accommodations in the residence halls or medical single rooms (limited numbers available) must have an approved medical reason documented by a professional and on file with the Student Health Center and the Office of Residence Life. The Residence Life Office in conjunction with the Health Center and/or ADA compliance officer, reserves the right to judge whether a specific medical problem warrants special medical accommodations or a medical single room.Top

Paint, Washable Paint

Painting of individual rooms (doors, door frames, windows, walls, etc.) is not permitted. However, special consideration by the residence life office may be granted for certain pre-approved building beautification projects. Interested student groups must obtain the appropriate paperwork and approval from the Residence Life office.Top

Personal Property

The University assumes no responsibility for insurance on personal property of students. Any student who wishes to have this kind of protection must make his/her own arrangements. Under no circumstances is the University responsible for losses in cases of fire, theft, water damage, and similar occurrences. Students are advised to leave valuable articles at home.Top

Pets

For reasons of sanitation, noise, and potential health problems, all pets (including hamsters, aquatic frogs, turtles, etc.) are strictly prohibited. Fish in a bowl or aquarium, which cannot exceed a 20-gallon capacity, are permitted. All prohibited pets brought onto campus must be removed within 24 hours and the room will be fined $100.Top

Quiet Hours, Noise

Quiet hours are 10:00pm to 8:00am Sunday through Thursday, and midnight to 10:00am on Friday and Saturday. During these hours, noise must be kept to a minimum in the residence halls. However, students should always respect the rights of others who wish to sleep or study as part of our 24-hour-a-day consideration policy. Stereo speakers may not be directed out of windows. Sound equipment that violates the quiet hours may be removed from the student's room and stored at the owner's expense. Residence hall wings may establish additional quiet hours by a two-thirds majority vote. All residential areas are expected to maintain 22-hour quiet during final exam periods. Violations during quiet hours are subject to fines. The fine will not exceed $25 per violation.Top

Residence Hall Closing Times

Opening and closing dates and times for room occupancy are specified on special postings and must be observed. Therefore, students are reminded that they may not check into their residence hall rooms early, nor will they be allowed to deliver personal property to their rooms before the residence halls open.

Residence halls are closed during vacations and no student is permitted to remain in the residence halls during these periods. Students who are not able to comply with these instructions are advised to make suitable arrangements elsewhere or with area motels. If transportation problems arise, students must make other arrangements. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE, and all students must leave by the required time. Students must follow the established check-out guidelines or a fine will be assessed for non-compliance.

At the end of each semester, students are required to leave within 24 hours of their last exam or no later than the closing hour of the halls on the last day of exams, whichever is earlier. Exceptions may be made for athletes participating in seasonal sports and current student teachers. Exceptions must be authorized at least one week in advance. Closing expectations and procedures will be given to all residential students at least one week prior to closing.

Students who fail to comply with these procedures are subject to fines.Top

Responsibility

Students will be held accountable for knowing and following the rules, regulations and guidelines of the Office of Residence Life (ORL). This includes information found within the Student Handbook, and special informational newsletters and bulletins as distributed by the office at certain times of the year pertaining to such things as housing lottery/ room selection, room change period, and semester closing. Violation of policies will be dealt with through the University disciplinary process.Top

Requirements for On-campus Housing

On-campus housing is provided for full-time undergraduate (12 credits or more) students under the age of 25 who have not earned an undergraduate degree. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis depending on the circumstances and the availability of space; however, students 25 years or older may not reside on-campus.

Resident students must be in good academic and social standing and provide the University with proof of health insurance, meningitis, TB and MMR vaccinations. Failure to provide or maintain this status will result in the loss of housing privileges. On a space-available basis, part-time and graduate students may be provided housing at the discretion of the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Each residential student must sign the campus housing agreement. This agreement is binding for the entire Fall and Spring semesters and states that the student will remain in residence for the duration of this agreement. Any release from this agreement is permitted only under the conditions of academic withdrawal, dismissal, verified medical reasons, or other extreme extenuating circumstances, and only with the written approval of the director of residence life. Any request for release must be submitted in writing to the director of residence life and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the University's sole discretion. A student from the greater Dallas area wishing to leave campus housing and move home with his or her immediate family must petition, in writing, for a release from their campus housing agreement for the spring semester on or before December 1 of the year prior, to the Office of Residence Life. Percentage of refund of room-and-board fees will be determined by the actual date of departure established by officially checking out and returning all keys to the Residence Life office.Top

Room Changes

The granting of room changes is not automatic and is not viewed as an effective way to resolve conflicts. Students are expected to compromise on any differences in their lifestyles. A formal mediation process is set into action prior to any discussion of room change. There is a standard room change process each November for the following semester. Students who fail to follow these guidelines and move without the approval of the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life will face disciplinary action which will include a $25 charge. Therefore, room changes will only be conducted at specified times and follow a specified process as instructed by the Office of Residence Life. Generally changes do not occur past the first two weeks of each semester and are primarily for consolidation.Top

Room Entry/Search

University officials, including Residence Life staff members, reserve the right to enter a student's room, locked or unlocked, at any time deemed necessary for rule enforcement, health and safety inspection, maintenance, repairs, illness, hazards, and other similar emergency situations. University officials and residence hall staff will attempt to notify the residents in advance. Consent to search a student's room will not be given to law enforcement officers from outside the University unless campus safety and the vice president of student affairs have been notified and a proper warrant is presented. University officials also reserve the right to search the room and/or belongings of any resident upon reasonable belief that violations of federal, state, or local laws have occurred.Top

Room Furnishings and Decorations

All furniture must remain in the student rooms at all times. Relocation or storage of such furniture is not permitted and will result in a $25.00 fine.

 When decorating the room, students should note the following:

  • Nails, screws, push pins, duct tape or masking tape may not be affixed to the walls 
  • Nothing may be put on the exterior window sills or hung out of the windows.
  • Objects that cover lights, electrical outlets, or fire safety equipment may not be suspended from the ceilings.

The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to deny the addition of any room decoration or furnishing that is deemed inappropriate to the values of the University or violates the health and safety codes of the building.Top

Room Inventory and Inspection (Room Condition Report)

Each residence hall room is inspected by the resident assistants prior to the opening of the halls in the fall term. Residents are expected to review the Room Condition Report (RCR) inventory to make certain that all items and existing conditions are accurately recorded. At check-out (after a room change or at the end of the year), the room will be inspected again by the resident assistants to determine the charges, if any, to be assessed to the residents for the repair or replacement of items damaged or lost during their occupancy. When individuals responsible for damage cannot be identified, all the residents of the room shall be liable. Failure to complete the room inventory and the inspection process shall result in a $50 fine (see Damage Billing section).Top

Safety

Any activity that endangers one's self or others will not be tolerated in the residence halls. This includes, but is not limited to, possession or use of fireworks, firearms, explosives, or weapons; fighting or threats of bodily harm; and tampering with safety equipment or alarms or failing to evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds. This also prohibits the use of barbeque grills (except at the townhouse complex,Lake Street houses & the Machell Avenue Residence), live Christmas trees, candles, including birthday candles, potpourri and incense burners, any open-coiled heating units, and smoking in non-designated areas. Any safety violation the residence life staff finds to be threatening or dangerous in any way will be documented and students will be expected to rectify the situation within 24 hours. Failure to comply with such requests will result in fines and/or disciplinary action.Top

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in the residence halls. Individuals who choose to smoke must do so outside the building in designated areas, at least twenty five feet away, from building entrances and windows. Residents are subject to a $100 fine per violation for smoking within the residence halls.Top

Solicitation

Solicitation and selling (e.g., selling merchandise, food, magazines) either door-to-door, from a student room, or in a public area is not permitted without authorization from the Student Activities Office. Soliciting by telephone/computer is also not permitted in the residence halls, and students should not assist vendors who attempt to enlist students by telephone/computers in order to arrange residence-hall canvassing any of the residential facilities.

Residents should contact Residence Life staff members when unauthorized solicitors are canvassing the residence halls.Top

Storage

Due to limited space, the University cannot provide storage facilities for residents. All furnishings must remain in the student's room.Top

Windows and Screens

For health, safety, and maintenance reasons, screens shall not be loosened, propped open, or removed from the windows. Storm windows are not to be removed at any time. Violations are subject to a $100 fine. In addition, decorations or personal items should not be hung outside the window or placed on window sills or ledges.Top

Withdrawals

Students who wish to withdraw from residence halls must state their intention in writing to the director of residence life, and are required to officially check out of their room within 24 hours. Refer to the withdrawal process in the academic catalog for refund policy information. Students withdrawing from the University must also go to the vice president of student affairs office to complete an official withdrawal clearance form.Top

Residents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

To foster a spirit of community and to secure the basic rights of individual residents at Misericordia University, a Residents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities has been established by the Office of Residence Life. The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities serves two functions:

  1. It defines the rights and privileges extended to each resident at the University, and
  2. It reminds all residents of their responsibility to respect and protect the right