Housing and Residence Life

Guidelines for Community Living

The following guidelines have been established in order to support the mission of the Department of Housing and Residence Life at Valdosta State University. These community guidelines ensure that all students residing in the residence halls and their guests are aware of the expectations for all members of the residential communities. All residents and guests are expected to follow these guidelines and assist in the effort to create residential communities where all community members feel safe and comfortable, can study and focus on academics, while growing and developing personal skill sets. Any residents who do not follow these guidelines may be documented and asked to go through the student conduct hearing process.

The Guidelines for Community Living are in addition to the Student Code of Conduct . All residents, visitors of residents, guests, and staff are expected to abide by both the Student Code of Conduct and the Guidelines for Community Living. The Guidelines for Community Living are intended to create a standard for behavior that promotes positive relationships with others in an environment that is welcoming and conducive to studying.

1.01 Appliances

1.02 Solicitation

1.03 Hall Sports

1.04 Courtesy Hours

1.05 Visitation

1.06 Decorations

1.07 Roommate Agreement

1.08 Keys/Student ID Cards

2.01 Alcohol

2.02 Quiet Hours

2.03 Overnight Visitors

2.04 Building Access

2.05 Fire Hazards

2.06 Smoking

2.07 Pets

2.08 Furniture

2.09 Gambling

2.10 Windows

3.01 Locks

3.02 Ammunition

3.03 Room Changes

3.04 Room Condition

3.05 Trash

 

1.01 Appliances Students may use only UL approved surge protectors (no more than 2 surge protectors are permitted per room) that contain their own fuse to increase their number of outlets. Any device you plug another device into must have a surge protector. Appliances not permitted in traditional and suite style halls include open element appliances, appliances that glow red and appliances with a heated surface. Examples of permitted appliances: Computers, radios / stereos, televisions, VCR’s/DVD players, desk lamps, 4-cup coffee makers and Keurig coffee makers, small refrigerators (must not exceed 5.0 cubic feet or 1.5 amps), and electric blankets. Examples of appliances not permitted: Open element appliances and/or appliances that glow red - i.e. toasters, hot plates, broilers, space heaters, kerosene heaters, toaster ovens, electric grills (George Foreman type), electric fry pans/skillets. Electrical Appliances in Apartments - In addition to appliances permitted above, residents of apartments may have kitchen appliances like George Foreman Grills and toaster/toaster ovens.

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1.02 Solicitation Solicitation for purchase of goods or services except by Valdosta State University students who have received prior written approval from the Vice President for Finance and Administration is prohibited. All fliers and publicity hung in the building must have the prior approval of the Residence Hall Director. All campaigning, distribution of literature, conducting of research and surveys, and other activities where residents are approached door to door, via personal approach or distribution of materials, must be approved by the Director of Housing and Residence Life and can only take place daily between 12:00pm and 7:00pm. All door to door activities may be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students office for a space reservation, in accordance with the VSU General Public Forum Venue Policy.

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1.03 Hall Sports Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, Segways, skates and skateboarding are not to be ridden or used in Housing facilities. Bicycles are to be secured to racks outside the facility and may be confiscated if found secured to any other objects. A student may store a bicycle in his/her room, if his/her roommate provides permission first. If a bicycle is stored in the room, it may not block the path of egress from the room. Running, participating in any form of rough housing, or sports in hallways or public areas is prohibited. Darts and dart boards are not permitted in the residence halls.

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1.04 Courtesy Hours Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students are expected to respect the rights of others by refraining from the production of loud volumes of noise (e.g. stereos playing out the windows, excessive noise from within a suite/room, slamming of doors, etc.). Students are expected to comply with reasonable requests from other members of the community. Residents may be asked to remove any items producing large amounts of noise such as stereos, musical instruments, etc.

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1.05 Visitation a. Visitation Hours: Visitation Hours for freshmen designated halls (Brown, Langdale, Patterson, Reade & Georgia) are 10:00am-12:00am Sunday through Thursday and 10:00am-2:00am Friday and Saturday. Visitation Hours for upperclassmen designated halls (Centennial, Converse, Hopper and Lowndes) are 24 hours daily. Visitation privileges may be revoked for a period in response to a behavioral issue prior to a hearing. During visitation hours, visitors and residents from other rooms may visit a resident in his/her room as long as visitors are following the expectations highlighted below. b. Visitation Expectations: When a visitor signs in, the visitor will be required to surrender his/her residency card or will be given a visitation pass, depending upon the visitor's status. If the visitor is a resident from another residence hall on the VSU campus, he/she will be asked to present photo ID and to give his/her residency card to the front desk staff for the time of his/her visitation. The resident guest will also be asked to present photo ID at the time of check-out in order to collect the same residency card. If the visitor does not live in a VSU residence hall or is a non-VSU student, the visitor will be given a visitation pass and must keep this pass in his/her possession at all times and the pass may not be removed from the building. There will be a $15 charge placed on the host student's account for a lost visitor's pass. Apartment style (Centennial and Converse): Visitors are not required to sign in and out. However, visitors must be escorted at all times. Suite style (Georgia and Hopper): Anyone who does not reside in the hall is required to sign in as a visitor and must be escorted at all times. During non-visitation hours, anyone who does not reside in the hall may only visit a resident in the lobby. Traditional style (Brown, Langdale, Lowndes, Patterson, and Reade): Anyone who does not reside in the hall is required to sign in and must be escorted at all times. In addition anyone who visits an area in the hall, where the opposite gender resides, must sign in and be escorted by a host who resides in that area. During non-visitation hours, non-residents may only visit a resident of that hall in the lobby. During non-visitation hours, residents who would like to visit a resident of the opposite gender may only do so in the lobby. Residents are not permitted to have visitors in their rooms outside of the designated visitation hours. Residents may host up to two visitors at a time during designated visitation hours. Paramount to the goals of a residential community is the right of the individual to privacy and the opportunity to sleep and study in one’s room. The right to privacy outweighs another’s right to visitor privileges. The hosting of a visitor must not interfere with the roommate’s use of the room. If the presence of a visitor is at any time an invasion of the roommate’s privacy, the visitor must leave. Roommates will decide upon a roommate agreement at the beginning of each semester which includes the visitation rules for that room. Visitation will not be permitted until a signed roommate contract is on file with the Residence Hall Director. Hosts must escort any visitor whom they signed in at all times including in the hallways, bedrooms and common areas. Hosts are required to escort their guests to and from the front desk. Hosts are responsible for the actions of their visitors. It is the host’s responsibility to inform the guest of residence hall and university processes and procedures, such as the Community Guidelines and Student Code of Conduct. Visitors to the residence halls are expected to abide by all University and Housing processes and procedures; failure to follow the standards will result in a conduct hearing for both the host and visitor/guest. Persons under 18 years of age have to be accompanied by a legal guardian at all times while in the residence hall. Babysitting/childcare for any length of time is not permitted in the residence halls. Men must use restrooms designated for males and women must use restrooms designated for females. Under no circumstance are visitors to utilize the showering facilities of the opposite gender. From Dead Day until the last final exam scheduled by VSU, only VSU students are permitted as visitors or guests. The only exception is if the visitor or guest is helping a resident to move out. Non-residents are not required to check in if they remain in the lobby with their hosts. Non-residents may be asked to leave the hall if they are causing a disruption.

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1.06 Decorations We recognize students may wish to decorate their rooms and other areas of the residence halls for a variety of reasons including holiday celebrations. The following standards must be met to prevent fires or other safety hazards and to ensure that the room condition is maintained. Damage caused by decorations may result in a fee. Residents must remove all holiday decorations one week after the holiday or before each hall closing (whichever comes first). Cords, lights, paper streamers, etc. may not cross doorways at any height or be placed under carpet. Natural Christmas trees are prohibited. No items may be hung from the ceiling and sprinkler system in any way. Flammable items such as sheets, cloth, and netting should not be hung or draped on the walls. Light fixtures should not be covered with any flammable materials such as cloth, paper, or cellophane. The painting of any walls, windows, or surfaces in the room or any furniture belonging to VSU is not allowed. Any type of painting or spray painting for arts and craft projects must be completed outside in areas that will not create permanent damage (e.g. grassy areas or areas of dirt). A few small potted plants are allowed per room but students should not plant any flower beds or gardens in their rooms. Only easily removable adhesive materials should be used to adhere items to the walls. Any materials that will cause damage to the walls should not be used. This includes but is not limited to: nails, screws, Scotch tape, duct tape, and stickers. Any adhesive materials should be used at your own risk as fees may be assessed for any damage, regardless of which adhesive materials were used. Only 20% of each door and wall should be covered in combustible materials as required by the Environmental and Occupational Safety office.

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1.07 Roommate Agreement Roommates will agree on a roommate agreement each time there is a new roommate in the room. This roommate agreement will be kept on file with the Residence Hall Director of the building. Visitation will not be permitted until a signed roommate agreement is on file with the Residence Hall Director. Any violations of the roommate agreement may result in disciplinary action. It is the responsibility of the residents to report any infractions of their roommate agreement. Violations of the roommate agreement may result in the student going through a conduct hearing. Possible sanctions include a mediation, creating a new roommate agreement, reflection & research papers (on topics such as conflict resolutions), and in severe situations, a student may be reassigned to another room (room to be determined by the hearing officer). Both students may be moved temporarily before a hearing process. Before a student is moved permanently, there must be a conduct hearing. Moving a student is reserved for extreme situations.

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1.08 Keys/Student ID Cards Residents are responsible for the security of their rooms and their residence hall. The resident will be issued a room key and/or electronic access to his/her assigned hall and room. Residents should carry their room key, residency cards and student ID cards at all times. If a student is locked out, a staff member can assist him/her in gaining access to the assigned room. If the resident requests a lock out code for a Persona (card access) lock (Centennial, Georgia, Hopper & Reade) or if a resident requests for a staff member to open the door, Housing reserves the right to assess a fee for each lock out using the following fee schedule: 1st lock out: Free 2nd lock out: $10 3rd lock out: $15 4th lock out: $25 5th lock out: $50 Housing may change the lock at any time if it is believed that the key has been lost. In suite style (Hopper & Georgia) and traditional style (Brown, Langdale, Lowndes, Patterson, Reade) halls, residents must show their residency card each time they seek to walk pass the front desk to residents’ rooms. It is the residents’ responsibility to show their residency cards, whether or not asked to do so. If a resident does not have his/her residency card, a resident should stop at the desk so the Front Desk Worker can verify that he/she lives in that hall. A lost residency card should be reported to the Hall Director. The fee for a new residency card is $15. Each resident is issued a key to his/her room. For the safety of the resident and the roommate, lost keys should be reported to a Housing staff member at the Front Desk. The fee for a lost key is $50. Loss of this key or failure to return the key at the time of check-out will result in a charge being assessed for a lost key/and or lock change.

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2.01 Alcohol The full University alcohol policy is printed in the Student Handbook (Student Code of Conduct). These are some additional considerations and regulations for the residence halls. Students that are not of legal drinking age cannot possess or consume alcohol in the residence halls. Underage students found to be in possession of alcohol will be asked to dispose of the alcohol in the presence of Housing staff members. The possession of empty alcohol containers may also be considered as a violation of this policy and students found in possession of empty alcohol containers may also be asked to dispose of them or remove them from the building. Students of legal drinking age may consume alcohol in their rooms with the door closed. If a student of legal drinking age lives with students who are underage, alcohol cannot be stored or consumed in any areas that are shared or accessible by the underage roommates. Kegs, beer balls, and other large size containers of alcohol (larger than 40 oz.) --whether empty or full-- are prohibited in the residence halls. Large quantities of assorted and/or mixed alcohol are prohibited. No student shall knowingly be present during the illegal use of alcohol. Alcohol containers are allowed in the residence halls for decorations only if the student is of legal age and if the containers are completely empty and filled with a solid substance (sand, etc.). Alcohol containers and alcohol paraphernalia for decorations cannot be displayed in public viewing. Alcohol containers include any bottles that originally contained alcohol and any type of container designed specifically to hold alcohol such as wine glasses, flasks, shot glasses, martini glasses, beer mugs, pilsners, and champagne glasses.

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2.02 Quiet Hours Quiet hours are designated to be 10pm-8am Sunday through Thursday, 12am-10am Friday through Saturday. Noise during quiet hours should be at a level that cannot be heard two doors down from your room when standing in the hallway. Noise should not be heard through walls. The areas surrounding the residence halls and apartments have been designated as quiet zones from 7pm until 10am daily. During this time period, students and guests are expected to respect the residence hall and apartment residents' right to a quiet environment.

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2.03 Overnight Visitors No overnight visitors are allowed in the freshmen designated halls. This includes residents of the same hall that are not currently assigned to that specific room. Residents in the upper class designated halls (Centennial, Converse, Hopper and Lowndes) may host a same gender visitor for a maximum of two consecutive nights (a night is considered any five hour period between the hours of midnight and 10:00am). The hosting resident will be responsible for the conduct of the visitor at all times. Overnight visitors are subject to all residence hall and/or University regulations. Residents in upper class designated halls (Centennial, Converse, Hopper and Lowndes) are only permitted to have overnight visitors a maximum of 6 nights in any one month period. From Dead Day until the last final exam scheduled by VSU, no overnight visitors will be permitted. Cohabitation is not allowed in any residence hall. Cohabitation is defined as any person who is not currently assigned to that room staying more than the time permitted for overnight visitors.

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2.04 Building Access All emergency doors are alarmed and should never be propped open. All emergency doors are labeled as such. Do not use emergency doors unless it is an emergency. Propping of fire doors (any door that separate portions of hallways, hallways from stairwells, or hallways from a lobby) is also prohibited. Anyone entering the residence hall must do so by entering through a designated entrance. No one may enter through an emergency exit. No one is allowed to enter/exit the residence hall through a window.

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2.05 Fire Hazards Burning of any materials is not permitted in the residence halls or apartments due to the danger of fire. The possession of candles, incense, Sterno, potpourri burners, hookahs, other flammable liquids, and fireworks and other explosives in the residence halls is not allowed. Only cigarette lighters are allowed and should not be used inside the residence halls. Items should not be left in any hall, stairwell, or any other community space. Any items found in the halls, stairwells, and public spaces may be confiscated by Housing staff. This is due to fire safety concerns. Residents should refer to the VSU Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct for all other fire safety related policies.

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2.06 Smoking Smoking of any type is strictly prohibited in the residence halls and within a 25 feet radius of the building. Hookahs are not allowed to be used or stored in the residence halls, regardless of the material that is being used in the hookah.

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2.07 Pets Non-carnivorous fish are the only pets allowed in the facilities and only in aquariums that do not exceed 10 gallons. The only exception to the rule is service animals as per federal law.

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2.08 Furniture VSU provided each room and apartment with basic furnishings. Students may be assessed a fee for violating the furniture policy. Removal of furniture or appliances from a room or apartment is prohibited. Furniture may not be removed from community spaces (such as lobbies, study rooms, etc.) and individual apartments. Water filled furniture is prohibited. Only lofts constructed from University provided equipment are allowed. Lofts are not allowed in Langdale and Converse. All other bed raising equipment is not permitted.

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2.09 Gambling Conducting, organizing, or participating in any activity involving games of chance or skill for money or other items of value is prohibited.

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2.10 Windows Window screens must not be unfastened or removed. A fee may be assessed if window screens are removed or unfastened. Throwing or dropping items out of the window is prohibited. Window air conditioning units are not permitted.

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3.01 Locks Installing personal locks or chains on doors or windows is prohibited. Any altering or tampering with existing locks is also prohibited. Due to fire safety and for the safety of the residents and their property, all students are encouraged to keep their doors locked. Students should not prop any door leading to the hallway from their living space, such as room doors, suite doors, or apartment doors. Students will be held responsible for the cost of repairing the damages caused from propping their door open.

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3.02 Weapons and Ammunition In addition to weapons, ammunition is not permitted in the residence halls. For a detailed weapons policy, please refer to the Student Code of Conduct.

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3.03 Room Changes When a student requests a room change, a student is required to move to his/her new room within the timeline given. If a student is unable to move within that timeline or no longer desires to move, permission to stay in the current room must be obtained from the Contracts and Assignments Coordinator. If permission is granted by the Contracts and Assignments Coordinator, the resident will be charged a $100 administrative fee. Room change requests are to be made by the resident to their Complex Director. The Complex Director will decide if a referral to mediation is appropriate before sending to the Office of Housing and Residence Life. For further information on the process, please visit the Central Housing Office located in Hopper Hall. Room changes may not be made without the approval of the resident’s Complex Director. Illegal room changes will result in a $100 fee assessment.

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3.04 Room Condition Residents are expected to keep their rooms, suites, or apartments clean. This includes the cleaning of common spaces in suite style and apartment style rooms. Housing staff members will conduct room inspections on a monthly basis. A fee may be assessed for not complying with this policy. Residents may also be asked to address any cleanliness issues that may cause health concerns for themselves and others in the community (e.g. food items that may attract insects, strong smells, etc.). Residents are expected to report any and all maintenance concerns including, but not limited to electrical problems, plumbing problems, and/or life safety concerns (e.g. smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc.) in a timely manner.

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3.05 Trash All trash should be disposed of in the proper space. Room trash is not to be disposed of by leaving it in the hall, stairwell, community bathroom, or any other community space. No food items should be left in the community bathroom trash or disposed of in the community bathroom sinks. Room trash, personal items, and all other large collections of trash and/or larger trash items such as boxes should be disposed of in the dumpsters, located outside of each residence hall. Trash should not be swept out into the hallway. Students who violate this policy may be assessed a fee. VSU also encourages students to recycle when possible.

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