Guidelines for Community Living

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. The Guidelines for Community Living are supplemental to the Student Code of Conduct & Housing Contract. All residents, visitors of residents, guests, and staff are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct, the Housing Contract, 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. Further details to some guidelines can be found as cited.

 

The Blazer Creed:

Valdosta State University is a learning environment based on trust and mutual respect in which open dialogue, vigorous debate, and the free exchange of ideas are welcome. The University is equally dedicated to the core values of community, including a commitment to practice civility, integrity, and citizenship. As members of this community, and proud Blazers, we will strive to uphold these core values for the advancement of the University.

 

Civility – A Blazer shows courtesy and compassion as well as respect for the dignity of every human being.

Integrity – Each Blazer is responsible for his or her own actions, and our community is stronger when we contemplate the context of our decisions and uphold the principles of trust and honesty.

Citizenship – Every Blazer has an interest in the well-being of the community, and, therefore, a duty to stay informed, to make positive contributions, and to offer support to those who need help.

 

As a Blazer, I pledge to uphold the core principles of Civility, Integrity, and Citizenship. 

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

1.09 Alcohol

1.10 Quiet Hours

2.01 Building Access

2.02 Fire Hazards

2.03 Furniture

2.04 Gambling

2.05 Windows

2.06 Locks/Propping Doors

2.07 Weapons & Ammunition

2.08 Room Changes

3.01 Room Condition

3.02 Trash

3.03 Checkouts

3.04 Community Spaces

 

1.01 Appliances

a.  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 that is plugged into another device must have a surge protector.

b.  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, Digital multimedia receiver/video game systems, Blu-ray/DVD players, desk lamps, coffee makers and Keurig coffee makers, small refrigerators (must not exceed 5.0 cubic feet or 1.5 amps), microwaves of 1000 watts or less, and electric blankets.

Examples of appliances not permitted:

Open element appliances and/or appliances that glow red – e.g. toasters, hot plates, broilers, space heaters, kerosene heaters, griddles, toaster ovens, electric grills (George Foreman type), and electric fry pans/skillets and 2.4 GHz phones.

Electrical appliances in apartments ­ In addition to appliances permitted above, residents of apartments may have kitchen appliances like George Foreman Grills and toasters/toaster ovens.

    c.   See Housing Contract XIV.C. for further details

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1.02 Solicitation

  1. Solicitation for purchase of goods or services occurring within the residence halls and/or utilizing the residence halls, is prohibited. This restriction is established for the security and safety of residents and to create a more comfortable environment for residents.  Solicitation also includes any word of mouth advertising and any advertising through social media and other online formats that utilizes the residence halls.
  2.  See Housing Contract XIV.G. for further details.

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1.03 Hall Sports

a.  Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, Segways, skates and skateboards are not to be ridden or used in Housing facilities.

b.  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.

c.  Running, participating in any form of rough­housing, the use of any balls or other sports equipment in hallways or public areas is prohibited. (Exceptions are made for proper use of Housing provided lobby game equipment)

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1.04 Courtesy Hours

  1. 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, yelling or talking through windows etc.).  Students are expected to comply with reasonable requests from other members of the community when asked to lower the volume. 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/Overnight Visitors

Valdosta State University

 Residence Hall Visitation Process

A "visitor" is defined as a guest, present in a particular residence hall, apartment or residence hall room with the consent of the “host”.

The host is a resident of that hall, apartment, or room.

 

1)         The Host assumes responsibility for their visitor, both behaviorally and financially, upon the visitor’s arrival at a residence hall.

2)       Visitors within or around a residential facility must abide by the Housing Contract, all Student Code of Conduct, and Housing Guidelines for Community Living.

3)       Visitors must be escorted within the confines of the residence halls at all times.

4)       Visitation will not begin until an agreed upon and signed roommate contract is on file with the hall staff. Once visitation is permitted, visitors will be permitted, unless specifically excluded in the Roommate Contract, or until the visitor or host loses visitation privileges due to failing to follow the Housing Contract, Student Code of Conduct, and/or the              Guidelines to Community Living, or if a person assigned to the same living space issues a complaint and requests for an amendment to the roommate contract so that visitor is no longer permitted.

5)       Any visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a legal guardian and must not be in the halls between 8 PM­ 8 AM. No babysitting or watching of minor children is ever permitted in the residence halls at any time.

6)       Each resident can have no more than 2 visitors checked in at a time.

7)       “Overnight Guests” are visitors who are present in the building during these hours:

 

First Year

Students

Upperclassmen

Monday­Friday

12:30am­8am

3am­8am

Saturday­ Sunday

3am­8am

3am­8am

 

*Normal visitation hours start at 8am everyday

8)       All residents are allowed to have opposite gender overnights.

9)       First year students cannot check in visitors between the hours of 12:30am to 8am on Monday­-Friday and 3am to 8am on

Saturday and ­Sunday.

10)     No Overnight guest can stay within the residence hall for more than 3 consecutive nights, nor can a host have any visitor staying

3 nights consecutively.

11)     Hosts can have 12 nights to host an overnight guest each semester.  Similarly, any visitor can only stay in any residence hall space for a total of 12 nights a semester.

12)     Visitors or Overnight guests involved in an incident or policy violation may be asked to immediately leave the residence hall by

Housing staff or University Police at any time, and may lose visitation privileges completely.

Visitation and Overnight guest hosting is a privilege, not a right. Each Valdosta State University on­campus resident has a reasonable expectation for the following:

To live in a clean environment.

To personal privacy.

To sleep with as little disturbance as possible. To have your personal belongings respected.

To have free access to your room and facilities without interference.

To study and feel comfortable, which supersedes the right to have guests.

To veto a roommate’s/suitemate’s/apartment mate’s guest(s) for justifiable reasons. To be free of intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm.

To seek reasonable cooperation from your roommate/suitemates/apartment mates.

To speak out openly and constructively on ideas, opinions and grievances.

Any visitor or overnight guest which compromises these expectations for our residents will not be permitted to remain in the residence halls. See Housing Contract X.

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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.

  1. Cords, lights, paper streamers, etc. may not cross doorways at any height or be placed under carpet. Natural Christmas trees are prohibited.

b.    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. If there is an immediate fire safety concern, Housing staff members may ask residents to remove these decorations immediately or may personally remove the decorations and leave them in the room of the residents if the residents are not present.

c.   The painting of any walls, windows, or surfaces in the room or any furniture belonging to VSU is not allowed unless written permission by Housing is obtained. 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) or designated project rooms. A few small potted plants are allowed per room but students should not plant any flower beds or gardens in their rooms. Residents will be fiscally responsible for any paint damage or change in paint color.

d.  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, regardless of who provides the materials and which materials are used, as fees may be assessed for any damage.

e.  Only 20% of each door and wall should be covered in combustible materials as required by the Environmental and Occupational

Safety office.

f.   See Housing Contract VIII.

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1.07 Roommate Agreement

a.  Roommates will establish 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.

b.  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.  

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1.08 Keys/Student ID Cards

a.  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 keys, residency cards and student ID cards at all times.

b.  Students are not to be in possession of residency cards that were not originally issued to them. Anyone found to be in possession of a residency card not in that student’s name and/or originally issued to that student will be asked to forfeit the card to a Housing staff member. Anyone found to be in possession of a OneCard not in that student’s name and/or originally issued to that student will be asked to forfeit the card to a UPD officer or the OneCard office. Students should not attempt to use any residency cards not originally issued to them in order to illegally gain access to a residence hall. Any residency cards that are found by another student should be immediately given to a Housing staff member and any OneCards that are found by another student should be immediately returned to the OneCard office or UPD.

c.  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: $15

3rd lock out: $25

4th lock out: $50 with an automatic lock change (for hard keys)

*Housing may change the lock at any time if it is believed that the key has been lost.

d. 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.

e.  A lost residency card should be reported to the Hall Director.  The fee for a new residency card is $15.

f.  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.

g.  See Housing Contract XIV.E.

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1.09 Alcohol

The full University alcohol policy is printed in the Student Handbook (See Student Code of Conduct A.) These are some additional considerations and regulations for the residence halls:

a.  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. If the student(s) is not present, Housing staff members may still dispose of the alcohol.

b.  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.

c.  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. Residents found to be in possession of large amounts of alcohol, violating this policy, will be asked to remove the alcohol from the hall immediately or dispose of the alcohol in the presence of Housing staff members.

d.  No student shall knowingly be present during the illegal use of alcohol.

e.  Alcohol containers are allowed in the residence halls for decorations only 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.

f.  See Housing Contract XIV.B.

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1.10 Quiet Hours

a.  Quiet hours are designated to be from 10:00pm­8:00am Sunday through Thursday and 12:00am­10:00am 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.

  1. The areas surrounding the residence halls and apartments have been designated as quiet zones from 7:00pm until 10:00am 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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2.01 Building Access

a.  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.  Emergency exits, doors exiting to the exterior of the building, and doors connecting to lobby and stairwell areas should never be propped or left open due to safety concerns.

b.  Anyone entering the residence hall must do so by entering through a designated entrance. Students may not enter or exit through doors that may be closed during certain hours of the day and are properly labeled as such.  No one is allowed to enter/exit the residence hall through a window.

c.   See Housing Contract XIV.B.

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2.02 Fire Hazards

  1. 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.
  1. Only cigarette lighters are allowed and should not be used inside the residence halls. Wax warming units are allowed, only if they do not contain any type of wick and do not overheat of cause any significant chance of starting a fire.
  1. See Housing Contract XIV.B.

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2.03 Furniture

VSU provides each room and apartment with basic furnishings. Students may be assessed a fee for violating the furniture policy.

  1. Only lofts constructed from University provided equipment are allowed. All other bed raising equipment is not permitted.
  2. See Housing Contract XIV.H.

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2.04 Gambling

  1. 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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2.05 Windows

  1. Window screens must not be unfastened or removed.  A fee may be assessed if window screens are removed or unfastened.
  2. Throwing or dropping items out of the window is prohibited. See Housing Contract XIV.C.

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2.06 Locks/Propping Doors

a. Installing personal locks or chains on doors or windows is prohibited. Any altering or tampering with existing locks is also

prohibited.

b. All students are required to keep their doors locked when not in use. Room and suite doors are not be propped with the assistance of the deadbolt or by tampering with the lock. Housing staff members will properly close any open room or suite doors found to be propped.  Students will be held responsible for the cost of repairing the damages caused from propping their doors open without the appropriate use of a door stop at the bottom of the door.

c. See Housing Contract XIV.E.

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2.07 Weapons and Ammunition

In addition to weapons, ammunition is not permitted in the residence halls. The University Police Department will be contacted to collect any weapons or ammunition found in the residence halls and residents will have to inquire about the collection of those items at the UPD office.

See Housing Code of Conduct I. & Housing Contract XIV.B.

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2.08 Room Changes

a.  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.

b . Outside of the two scheduled room change request weeks each semester, room change requests are to be made by the resident to their Area Coordinator.  Room changes may not be made without the approval of the resident’s Area Coordinator.  Unauthorized room changes will result in a $100 fee assessment.

  1. Residents that do not currently have a roommate and/or have an empty bed space in their rooms are to keep all personal belongings on their designated side of the room. All open bed spaces are to remain ready for new residents to move into without any prior notice being given. If a resident is utilizing more than the space or side assigned to that resident, without purchasing the space as a single from Housing, the resident will be charged the current rate of a double as a single in that building.

c. See Housing Contract XIV.I.

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3.01 Room Condition

a.  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 routine 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.).

b.  All rooms, suites, and common areas should be clean and the trash should be removed during any time that the buildings are closed for breaks. Housing staff members will enter and check each room, suite, and common space during the beginning of the break periods. Any trash and other items of health and safety concern will be removed and residents of that space will be assessed a fee and/or may face judicial procedures.

c.  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 to the work management system online.

d. All heating and air conditioning units, vents, and rooms with access to the heating and air conditioning units should not be blocked or covered in any manner. Any items that are prohibiting or hindering air flow and/or access to maintain the units will be moved to another place in the same room by the appropriate VSU staff member.

e. See Housing Contract XIV.O.

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3.02 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, laundry room, 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. Students who violate this policy may be assessed a fee. VSU also encourages students to recycle when possible. See Housing Contract XIV.D.

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3.03 Checkouts

a.  All residents are required to properly check in and check out with a Housing staff member. When checking into a room, the resident should complete the necessary information and review a copy of the Physical Inventory and receive the appropriate room key or OneCard access and residency card from a Housing staff member. When a resident is leaving his or her assigned room, whether moving to another residence hall room or leaving the room permanently, the resident must contact a Housing staff member to schedule and conduct a checkout. During a proper checkout, the Housing staff member will review the physical condition of the room and update the information on the Physical Inventory. The resident will then receive a copy of the updated Physical Inventory and will return any room keys and residency cards that were issued to that resident during the year. The act of returning a room key and/or residency card to the front desk and leaving does not constitute a proper checkout. All steps in the check­in and checkout processes must be completed. Failure to complete all steps in the check­in and checkout processes may result in illegal room change charges and fees. An improper checkout will result in an automatic $100 fee.

b.  If a resident fails to collect all personal belongings and items when leaving a room, regardless of whether the checkout was proper or improper, Housing staff members will collect and store the items or dispose of any items that are considered to be trash. Housing staff members will attempt to contact the resident believed to own the items. If no effort is made on behalf of the resident to contact the Housing staff members about collecting the items from thirty (30) days of their departure, then the items will be donated to a local charitable organization or properly disposed of. No one from the Office of Housing and Residence Life or any other member of the VSU staff will be responsible for the safety and security of the items while in storage. Additional fees may be charged to the student if a large number of items have to be packed and stored.

*This policy also applies to any items found in common spaces. Any items remaining in the lost and found areas will be donated after 30 days of being unclaimed. OneCards and other items of value may be transferred to other offices on campus for collection.

c.  See Housing Contract XIV.I. & J.

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3.04 Community spaces 

a.  All residents assigned to that particular residence hall are responsible for the condition of all the community and common spaces in that hall. Residents are encouraged to keep these spaces clean and undamaged. Residents are also encouraged to ask their guests to do the same. The cost of repairing or cleaning any damages that have occurred in the common spaces may be divided and charged to a certain physical area of residents or the residents of the entire hall if the person(s) responsible for the damage are not identified.

b.  See Housing Contract VII.

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