Jan 16, 2019  
2016-17 Student Handbook 
    
2016-17 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Residence Life Information and Policies


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Residency Requirement

The residency requirement supports the College’s educational philosophy that emphasizes the value of community and close student interactions. In addition, the requirement is in keeping with the College’s policy of maintaining reasonable costs by maximizing occupancy of residential spaces.

All full-time undergraduate students are guaranteed college housing for four years. Students in their fifth year who wish to live on campus are assigned on a space-available basis after other returning and new students have been placed.

Students are required to live on campus for their first three years at the College. Exceptions are made for those who live nearby with their parents, are married, or are over age 24. For transfer students, residency is similarly expected for all except the final year.

Each year in March, just prior to room-draw, the Residence Life office reviews requests for release from the residency requirement submitted by those who do not meet the criteria noted above. Decisions are based on an evaluation of the individual request, the academic and disciplinary record of the individual, as well as consideration of housing capacity compared to projected usage.

 Housing Contract

The Housing Contract is a legally binding document that financially obligates a resident to the end of the contractual period, for most students, the end of the spring semester. Registered students who wish to be released to obtain off-campus accommodations must advise the Office of Residence Life in writing. It is assumed a student will not move out of College housing during a semester. Should withdrawal from College housing become necessary because of prolonged illness or similar unusual circumstance, the following refund policy will prevail:

Room rate refund in the event of withdrawal from College housing:

First week 80%
Second week 60%
Third week 40%
Fourth week 20%
After fourth week no refund

The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to remove any student from College housing at any time who does not fulfill their academic responsibilities, specifically attend class regularly and submit class assignments.  Residential students must also be registered with a full-time course load, or obtain special permission from the Office of Residence Life to live on campus while registered for fewer than 12 credits.

 Security Deposit

A security deposit is required of all resident students. Unpaid charges for damage to a student’s room or prorated charges for damage to general areas of the residences (bathroom, corridors, lounges, etc.) will be deducted from this deposit. The balance of the deposit will be refunded upon termination of housing.

 Housing Deposit

A non-refundable housing deposit is required of all residential students each year. This deposit is credited toward the cost of the room for the next semester. The deposit does not guarantee a specific room. Rather, it reserves a space on campus for the student. If a student does not pay the housing deposit by the designated date, he/she is not permitted to participate in the housing lottery selection process but is assigned to space as it becomes available.

 Room Damages

Room damages are assessed by comparing the condition of a student’s room at check-out with its condition at check-in. Each resident of a room completes a Room Condition Report at the beginning of the occupancy period. Any pre-existing damages and/or missing items should be listed on this report and reported to a RL staff member within 48 hours. Residence Life staff complete these forms again at check-out. Room damage charges are assessed by an Area Coordinator and based on any discrepancies (beyond normal wear and tear) that are listed on the Room Condition Report at check-out that were not listed at check-in. Excessive room damage may result in disciplinary action and/or the termination of a student’s housing contract.

 Common Area Damages

McDaniel College expects resident students will take responsibility for damages to public areas in their living space. Like most other colleges, the College does not raise room rental for all students to pay for damages but assesses those members of a living area (floor, suite, wing, hall) when the responsible individual(s) cannot be determined. It is the responsibility of all residents to exercise their influence in the student community to prevent damage or require responsible individuals to pay.

Greek Housing Note: The cost for any common area damage occurring on a Greek Housing floor will be billed to the Greek Organization itself.  It is the responsibility of the organization to determine how to pay for those damage charges.  Individual students living on the floor will not be billed.    

 Special Housing Requests

On occasion, students have medical or other concerns that may require special room assignments, and/or equipment (including air conditioners – see Air Conditioning). Any student requesting special room accommodations due to specific documented concerns (medical or otherwise) must complete a Special Housing Consideration Request form (available at mcdaniel.orgsync.com/org/officeofresidencelife/FYFAQ#specialhousing). Letters, supporting medical documentation, and completed forms must be submitted by the dates specified on the form.

Letters, documentation, and  forms may be faxed or mailed to the Office of Residence Life. Requests will then be evaluated by the appropriate College office (Wellness Center and/or Student Academic Support Services) and a determination communicated with the student. Although there is no guarantee, every attempt will be made to honor valid requests based on availability of space, and the ability to provide for the needs of the student. One option for meeting such accommodations may be release from the housing requirement.

 Air Conditioning

Some campus housing locations are not air conditioned. Students may request to bring an air conditioner for medical reasons only, specifically asthma. These requests must be evaluated and approved by the Wellness Center staff. The Special Housing Consideration Request forms (available at mcdaniel.orgsync.com/org/officeofresidencelife/FYFAQ#specialhousing) must be submitted and evaluated by the dates specified on the form.

Supporting documentation must also be obtained from your private physician regarding the medical need. Documentation may be faxed or mailed to the Office of Residence Life. Although there is no guarantee, every attempt will be made to honor valid requests based on availability of space, power limitations, and the ability to provide for the needs of the student. Students who receive approval for an air conditioner will be assessed a $175 fee.

 Room Changes

Approval from the Area Coordinator is required before moving, unless the move is mandated by another Student Affairs professional due to an emergent or discipline matter. Students must complete their room change within the time period outlined by the Student Affairs staff when approval is initially given. Each student making an unauthorized room change may be referred to the College Discipline Process.

Please note: This policy applies to apartment, house, and suite style residences as well. Students are not permitted to conduct internal room swaps within these spaces without gaining approval from the Area Coordinator.

The College reserves the right to move residents from one space to another without their consent in order to meet its responsibilities to student health, safety, and well-being; maintain, operate, or renovate facilities; convert rooms for occupancy by the opposite sex; or consolidate residents for reasons of security or closings.

 Under-Utilized Residential Facilities

In the event that a roommate leaves a room or apartment, the remaining student(s) should expect another occupant to be assigned, unless the remaining student(s) can fill the vacancy with a roommate of his/her choice. The remaining student(s) should refrain from using the vacated bed and furniture. Failure to comply with this could result in referral to the College Discipline Process. If a new roommate is discouraged from living in the room or apartment because of noise, harassment, abuse, messiness, etc., the original roommate(s) may be reassigned in campus housing and/or may face disciplinary action.

Access to Assigned Facilities

Residence facilities usually close at an announced hour after the last class or exam and open at noon the day preceding resumption of classes. Students are expected to leave a residence facility within 24 hours after their last exams or by the announced closing time unless an exception is authorized by the Office of Residence Life. Typically, extensions are granted for international students, students with confirmed academic coursework or internships, or students playing on in-season sports teams. All requests to stay beyond the closing time are made by completing a Break Extension Request form, available in the Office of Residence Life. Extensions do not apply for the summer, and McDaniel cannot provide storage for the personal property of residents over the summer or during semesters abroad. Students must vacate college housing within 48 hours of withdrawal, release, or termination of this agreement. All personal property should be removed from the room and the key(s) must be returned. After 48 hours, personal property still in the room will be disposed of by College staff. The College will not replace said property.

 Housekeeping

The common areas of the residences (bathrooms, corridors, lounges, stairwells) are cleaned during the week by the housekeeping staff. Light touch-ups are done on the weekends. Students’ cooperation in putting trash in containers and cleaning up after themselves will help  maintain a desirable living environment in the residence halls. Residents are responsible for keeping their rooms in reasonably neat and clean condition at all times. Vacuums and/or brooms and dustpans, as well as trash bags are available from the RAs.

 Electrical Safety

Extension cords and telephone cords must be approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Any electrical appliance used in the residence halls must be UL approved. Halogen lamps are prohibited.

 Repair and Maintenance

All repair work is completed by members of the Physical Plant staff. Work order requests should be channeled through the RAs, Area Coordinators, or through the Office of Residence Life. Obviously, emergency repairs (clogged toilets, broken windows, heat and hot water problems, etc.) will be completed as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours of notification. An on-call mechanic (OCM) is usually available to handle late night/early morning emergency repairs. The Department of Campus Safety staff can contact the OCM for a student. Generally, other work orders will be completed within five working days. However, there are times when a repair is too complex for the Physical Plant staff or requires parts that are not stocked; please be patient. Note that by placing a work order request, a student gives the Physical Plant permission to enter their room or apartment without notice. Students may reserve the right to be present when work orders are being completed. This request must be made at the time of submitting the work order. Please note that in emergency situations, Physical Plant staff may not be able to wait for the resident(s) of the room to be present before addressing the issue(s).

 Room Inspections

Periodic, announced room inspections by Residence Life staff will take place during the academic year. Inspection of college housing may occur at other times with 24-hour advance notice, except in an emergency (imminent danger of life, safety, health, or property), as required by government officials, or when a student room assignment is changing and residence life staff need to prepare check-in/out paperwork. Failing a room inspection may result in disciplinary action, fines and/or the termination of a student’s housing contract. Students may fail a room inspection as a result of illegal items in the room, other observed policy violations, or unsanitary/unclean conditions in the residence.

 Dining Requirement

With the exception of students living in apartments or houses equipped with kitchens, students residing on campus must board on campus. The College does not make dietary exceptions to this policy. Dining Services will give consideration to the needs of students who require special medical diets validated by a physician and to dietary requirements necessary for religious reasons; however, facilities and time limit the special arrangements that can be made.

Insurance

McDaniel College does not have insurance that covers students or students’ property. Because students are responsible for any loss or damage to personal property, they should carry insurance to cover any possible loss or damage.

 Personal Trash

Students are responsible for emptying their room garbage and recycling into the provided receptacles for their residence hall floor or building. Personal trash should not be disposed of in community bathrooms (except in Blanche Ward Hall) or communal lounge trash cans. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of the recycling containers provided, marked by the use of green plastic can liners.  During residence hall openings/closings there may be additional directions provided by Residence Life and Physical Plant staff regarding the disposing of large trash items directly into contracted dumpsters on campus.

 Residence Hall Policies

1.      Check-in and Check-out: Any time a student moves into a room, apartment, or Pennsylvania Avenue house, whether at the beginning of the academic term or sometime during the year, a Room Condition Report must be completed within 24 hours and returned to the Office of Residence Life. The exact condition of every item should be carefully described on the Room Condition Report. Students who do not plan to live in College housing after the end of the fall semester must officially check out of their rooms through the Office of Residence Life. Students  are officially checked out after they submit a completed Check Out Envelope, turn in their keys and, if appropriate, go through an Exit Interview with a member of the Academic Affairs staff.

2.      Furnishings: All residence facilities are equipped with twin-size beds and/or loft units, desks with chairs, dressers, closets, and mirrors. Some rooms have bookshelves.

Students are responsible for maintaining the condition of the furnishings in their rooms and in any common areas, such as lounges and lobbies. Moving furniture within a room may be done in a reasonable manner, provided that all furniture is returned to its original location upon vacating the room. Furniture may not be moved from one room or apartment to another. Furniture left in corridors will be removed, and replacement and labor charges will be assessed to the students. Furnishings provided for lounges and lobbies may not be moved into students’ rooms. College staff are specifically authorized to return lounge furniture to its proper location. Disciplinary action will be taken, in addition to assessing charges, if unauthorized furniture is found in a student’s room. Furnishings should be used for their created purpose only and be kept inside the residence. Only outdoor furniture may be used on porches of College houses.

Personal Furniture Policy: The College supplies bedroom and common-area furniture respective to each residence. Since the College provides students with furniture, the following personal furniture are examples of what is permitted in college-owned facilities: carpets, desk chairs, shelves, small computer desks, captain’s chairs, camping-style chairs and air furniture. For health and safety reasons, the following personal items are PROHIBITED from college-owned facilities, including but not limited to club rooms, residence halls, apartments and houses: bar, lofts, construction of any kind, upholstered or stuffed furniture, bean-bag chairs, futons, recliners and wicker furniture. Disciplinary action may be taken if prohibited items are found in college-owned facilities, and students will be required to remove the item(s) quickly after being discovered.  If students do not comply with item removal, College staff will remove the items and the residents will be fined.

3.      Health, Fire, & Safety Regulations: Health and safety considerations prohibit the following activities: propping or disabling entrance doors in any way; throwing objects from windows; throwing any object against the buildings; accumulating large quantities of food or beverage containers; attaching antennas to exterior of buildings, trees, or shrubbery.

Fire extinguishers, heat/smoke detectors, fire alarms, pull boxes, and exit lights are located in each building. Smoke detectors and automatic  door closures are provided in all rooms and must remain connected at  all times due to state fire regulations. This equipment should be used only in emergency situations; misuse or tampering with any fire safety equipment is prohibited.

Fire drills are held each fall semester to ensure that all residents are familiar with evacuation procedures. All residents and guests must immediately leave the building whenever a fire alarm is sounded. During an evacuation, residents are to follow emergency procedures and staff instructions.

For fire safety reasons, electrical appliances with open-coil heating elements such as hot plates, hot pots, heat lamps, toaster ovens, coffee makers (unless equipped with an automatic shut off ), skillets, electric woks/frying pans, broilers, hot dog/hamburger cookers, and space heaters may not be used, possessed, or stored anywhere in a residence hall (unless provided by McDaniel College staff for temporary use related to a recognized facilities issue).  Please note that campus housing locations that are equipped with kitchens are allowed an exception to this, and are permitted to have Underwriter Laboratory (UL) approved cooking appliances, such as the ones described above.  This exception does NOT apply to items not related to cooking, and in ALL cases, these appliances must remain in the kitchen area of the apartment/house at all times.

The following UL approved electric appliances are permitted in student rooms: computers, clocks, razors, blankets, radios, televisions, stereos, portable hair dryers, tooth brushes, fans, and non-halogen lamps.  One microfridge unit is supplied by the College for each residence hall room, except in apartments or houses that are equipped with kitchens and full size refrigerators. Additional personal refrigerators and microwave ovens are not permitted in any residential facilities.

Grills, either propane or charcoal, are not permitted for use or storage in any residential facility.  Grills are only allowed outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Houses residential area and must be operated at least ten feet from the buildings or trees at all times.  Grills must be cleaned after each use and any charcoal must be properly disposed of afterward.

The College reserves the right to limit the number, size, or pieces of technical equipment used or stored in student rooms, i.e., stereos, televisions, computers, speaker units, etc.

The College forbids the tampering, splicing, or altering of the wiring in student rooms for their personal use or to hook up additional equipment. Violation of this policy could result in immediate removal of equipment and automatic termination of the Housing Contract.

The College requires that students who use sharps (needles, syringes, auto-infusers, etc.) to manage personal medical conditions properly dispose of the used sharps immediately after use.    Information about the proper disposal of sharps can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/ConsumerProducts/Sharps/default.htm.   Students may direct their questions about the proper disposal of sharps to the Wellness Center Health Services Staff.

4.      Smoking Policy: Smoking of any kind, including e-cigarettes and all other electronic smoking devices, is not permitted in any campus housing location and within 15 feet of any building. This includes individual rooms and the common areas of residence halls, apartments, and houses.

5.      Room Keys & Front Door Keys: Students receive keys at check-in whether at the beginning of the year or when moving during the year. Keys may not be duplicated or lent to friends. Students who lose their keys must report the loss to the Office of Residence Life within 48 hours for safety reasons. Students are required to pay for replacing the keys ($5 per new key cut) and for changing the core lock ($45 per core) to his/her room.

6.      Lockouts: Students’ rooms should be locked at all times, whether or not the student is in the room. Students accidentally locked out of their room should contact a RA or Campus Safety for assistance. If the student is locked out more than twice during an academic year, a $5 fee will be assessed for letting him/her in the room.

7.      Campus Housing Closings/Openings: The schedule for residence hall closings and openings is found on the McDaniel College website. When campus housing is closed, students must vacate the buildings by the time indicated. Travel plans should be made accordingly. Before leaving for break periods, students should:

  1. Dispose of all open and perishable food items.

  2. Unplug all appliances (except microfridges).

  3. Clean out microfridge unit.

  4. Close and lock all windows.

  5. Leave radiators/thermostats on a low setting for breaks during the winter months or off for the summer.

  6. Empty trash properly.

  7. Turn off lights.

  8. Lock all doors.

  9. Take everything you will need over break.

8.      Room Decoration: Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms to create a more personalized atmosphere. However, students are not permitted to hang flags, fish netting or other materials so that they cover the light or smoke detector in the room or block an entrance. When decorating walls, students may only use masking tape or “fun-tak” style reusable adhesives to hang items.  Students will be held responsible for damage to walls at the end of their occupancy if paint is chipped or marred.  Students under the age of 21/and or living in an alcohol-free residential area are not permitted to use empty alcohol containers, packaging or serving glasses as a room decoration.

9.      Room Capacity: For fire safety reasons, there is a limit for room occupancy. Fire Code regulations established by the Fire Marshall restrict occupancy as follows:

a.       Standard double room—five guests plus two residents

b.      Standard single room—three guests plus one resident

c.       Standard triple/quad room—seven guests plus residents

d.      Garden Apartment, North Village and Pennsylvania Avenue house—21 guests plus residents

e.       Albert Norman Ward & Daniel MacLea (1st-2nd floor) suites—12 guests plus residents

f.       Daniel MacLea suites (3rd floor)—21 guests plus residents

g.      Residence Hall Lounges—49 people

10. Quiet Hours: Students are expected to respect the right of others to live, study, and sleep in a quiet environment. During the hours of 10 p.m. through 10 a.m. the next morning, Sundays through Thursdays and 1 a.m. through 10 a.m. the next morning, Fridays and Saturdays, the residence hall/apartment/house environment should be quiet, free from noise, and conducive to study or sleep. Residential communities may agree to expand quiet hours. During final exams, 24-hour quiet hours will be enforced.

11. Courtesy Hours: When Quiet Hours are not in effect, students are expected to maintain reasonable quiet at all other times. Reasonable quiet includes, but is not limited to, containing most noise to a student’s own room. If approached by another student and asked to lower the volume in one’s room, it is expected that residents will respond respectfully.

12. Candles and Incense: Candles and incense are prohibited in residence facilities.

13. Pets: With the exception of service animals and non-carnivorous fish, NO pets are permitted in the residence halls. Fish tanks larger than 20 gallons are prohibited.

14. Hall Games/Sports: No athletic equipment may be used in campus housing (i.e. hockey equipment, skateboards, roller blades, dart boards, frisbees, lacrosse equipment, basketballs, volleyballs, skates, electric exercise equipment, etc.). Running, wrestling, and other “rough housing” are not permitted in the residence halls.

15. Bicycles: Students who wish to bring bicycles may store them only in their rooms and in outdoor bicycle racks. Bicycles may not be stored in public areas within the residence halls, nor may they be ridden inside any building.

16. Roofs: Students are not permitted to use the roofs and/or balconies of any of the residences or any ledge area at any time.

17. Guests and Visitation: Students are responsible for the conduct of their guests on campus at all times. Students whose guests violate College policies will be held accountable through the College Discipline Process. Guests of students are expected to abide by all policies and procedures outlined in this handbook. Visitors of the opposite sex to a floor are not permitted to use the bathroom facilities on that floor; they should go to a same-sex floor to use the facilities. Students whose guests cause damage will be held responsible both financially and disciplinarily. In the process of enforcing College policy, College personnel may require guests to leave campus.

McDaniel College has attempted to develop a flexible visitation policy within campus housing to accommodate varying lifestyles. Because some prefer a restricted visitation policy and others desire a greater degree of choice in entertaining guests, students in the various residential  areas determine the limitations of group living. With the agreement of roommates, students are permitted to have overnight guests no more than three nights in a 30-day period. Although the hours of visitation differ, the following general policies are in effect throughout the campus:

a.       Open visitation hours are not to be construed as permission for members of the opposite sex to sleep overnight in a student’s room or conduct themselves in such a way as to invade another individual’s privacy. Should such behavior come to the attention of residence life staff or the Office of Student Affairs, disciplinary action may be taken.

b.      Should visitation arrangements lead to problems between roommates, they should feel free, after trying to resolve the problem privately, to ask the residence life staff to assist. The staff in turn will participate in the resolution of the problem.

c.       Residents will be held responsible for escorting guests within the building. Guests are expected to make arrangements for an escort when visiting. Individuals without an escort may be found in violation of the escort policy and may be asked to leave the building and/or campus.

18. Posting in the Residence Halls: Any postings need to be approved by the Office of Residence Life and stamped with a mark of approval prior to posting. 

19. Loitering: Because large crowds of individuals congregating in common areas can impair egress in emergency situations, students and their guests should not loiter in hallways, lobbies, other common areas not designated for that purpose, and public areas outside campus housing.

20. Musical Instruments: Due to the nature of the noise that electronically amplified instruments and drums create, they may not be played in campus housing, including clubrooms.