2020-2021 RESIDENTIAL LIVING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The development of a successful residential community depends on all members working to make the community a pleasant, fair, and enjoyable place to live. To ensure an environment that supports a diverse community of students, the Office of Residence Life has developed policies, procedures and expectations governing residential living at Saint Joseph’s University. While some of these policies are also included in the Saint Joseph’s University Student Handbook, this document serves as a comprehensive review of residential policies, expectations, and procedures. Residential students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these expectations, and students in violation of these policies, procedures, and regulations may be subject to residential fines and/or disciplinary action under the Community Standards. Questions concerning these policies and expectations should be directed to any member of the Residence Life staff. These policies may be amended during the course of the academic year as needed, and students will be notified of any additional changes. Please also refer to the Housing Agreement for specific terms of the housing agreement.
First and Second Year Residency Requirement
Residential living is a valuable part of a student’s social and educational experience; therefore, first and second year students are required to live in University housing. In cases of extraordinary financial or medical need, requests for exemptions to this requirement will be reviewed on a case-by case basis. Students granted an exemption must live with a parent or legal guardian. Requests for an exemption must be submitted in writing to the Housing Review Committee, c/o the Office of Residence Life, with included supporting documentation. Written requests for an exemption must be received no later than April 1, prior to the start of the fall semester. Requests for the spring semester must be received no later than December 1. Late requests will only be reviewed in extraordinary circumstances.
Housing assignments and placements are the exclusive responsibility of the Office of Residence Life. Residence Life reserves the right to change or modify housing assignments and fill housing vacancies as necessary for reasons of health, safety, discipline, or consolidation purposes. Students may not change assignments without authorization. Attempts to manipulate the housing assignment process may result in disciplinary action.
Cancellation of Housing Agreement
If you have already signed your housing agreement and later find yourself in a situation that requires it to be considered for cancellation, you should submit your request, in writing, to the Housing Review Committee c/o the Office of Residence Life. Written requests for an agreement release must be received no later than April 1, prior to the start of the fall semester. Requests for an agreement release for the spring semester must be received no later than December 1. Late requests will only be reviewed in extraordinary circumstances. Students granted a release may be charged a $650 Release Fee. The University reserves the right to cancel a housing agreement and remove a student from residence for failure to meet financial obligations to the University.
Move In/Move Out
To create the smoothest flow possible with minimal disruption to SJU’s neighbors and surrounding community, the Office of Residence Life establishes and regulates move-in and move-out dates, times, and procedures. Students must move-in/move-out according to these dates and times. Failure to do so may result in a $100 fine.
There are limited instances when the Office of Residence Life might permit students to access their residence hall room or apartment prior to scheduled move-in dates or remain in their room beyond scheduled move-out dates. Students approved for early arrival and/or extension requests may be charged an additional daily rate, unless affiliated with an approved University group or activity. If a student is participating in a University-sponsored event or activity, the sponsoring staff or faculty member must request, in writing, permission for the student’s accommodation. In other extraordinary circumstances, students are encouraged to speak directly with their Residential Area Manager.
Terms of Occupancy
In signing a University Housing Agreement, students consent to move into the space they have been assigned on or after the date specified by Residence Life and to move out of their residence hall space within 24 hours of their last examination for the semester, graduation, suspension, withdrawal, leave of absence, termination of full-time student status, or by the date and time of residence hall closing. Upon move-out, students are expected to return the space to its original, clean condition. Additionally, all keys must also be returned to Residence Life within 24 hours after moving out of a space.
Break Periods/University Holidays
Although residence hall operations are closed when the University is not in session, Residence Life attempts to accommodate students who cannot leave campus, need to return early, or stay late during break and vacation periods. Depending on the length of the break period and the demand for housing, students may either be permitted to remain in their regular rooms or will be asked to consolidate into another building for reasons of safety and security. All requests to remain on campus for a particular break or to return early must be submitted in accordance with the process outlined by the Office of Residence Life by the publicized due date. Students staying the residence halls longer than the housing agreement term may be charged a daily rate.
The dates and times the halls will close and re-open are available on the Office of Residence Life web site. Students who fail to notify Residence Life or follow proper break housing procedures are in violation of the Community Standards and may face sanctions and/or fines. Students who receive permission to remain on campus when the University is closed are still subject to all University policies. Students who violate campus policy while on campus during a University break may be asked to find other off campus accommodations for the remainder of the break period, and may not be permitted to stay on campus during subsequent break periods. Students with permission to remain in the residence halls over a closed period will not be permitted to have guests during the break (excluding students with 12-month housing agreements). Guest privileges will resume when the residence halls reopen for the general resident population.
Students are not permitted to make a room change without prior approval from the Office of Residence Life. An unauthorized room change may result in a fine of $50 per student and possible disciplinary action. No student, under any circumstances, can force another student to move out of their assigned space. Any such efforts will be referred for disciplinary action. During the first weeks of each semester, the Office of Residence Life may consolidate rooms when necessary.
All residential students are strongly encouraged to complete a room condition report (RCR) form at move-in. The online RCR form is used to compare the condition of the room at move-out to the original condition of the room. Students should note any room damages, missing furniture or discrepancies on the RCR. Students are responsible for any damage in the room that was not noted at the time the room condition report was first submitted. Unless a specific resident(s) accepts responsibility for particular damage, all occupants of the room/suite/floor will share equally the cost of repair or replacement for damaged items. Upon move-in, if a room condition report is not signed and submitted to Residence Life by the publicized due date, Residence Life will assume that the room was without damage at move-in. If damages are discovered upon move-out, the students residing in the room will be charged for all repairs. Residents who change rooms during the course of the year are reminded to complete an RCR for the new room.
Students accept responsibility for all University-provided room furnishings. Room furniture (including bed frames) may not be stored, moved to another room or taken from the residence halls. If furniture is removed from the resident room, the student moving the furniture will be fined, billed for any damage or loss, and may be referred to the Office of Community Standards for theft of University property. All furniture in the student’s room at the time that the student moves in must remain in the room and be in the same condition upon check-out. In certain extended housing placements, lofts are provided by the University. Only these University-provided lofts are permitted in the residence halls.
Condition of Common Area and Common Area Furniture
So that all students have a common area in which to gather, the Office of Residence Life supplies common area lounge furniture. This furniture cannot be moved to individual student rooms. Students who move lounge or study furniture into their rooms from common areas will pay a $100 fine and will be required to return the furniture to its proper location. Subsequent violations will result in further disciplinary actions. The residents of a hall are responsible for the condition of University owned furnishings and property in their public areas. Damaged or missing University property will be billed to the residents of that particular suite, hall, or building.
Students are required to maintain a level of cleanliness and safety in their rooms. All personal room space and private bathrooms are to be cleaned by the residents of the space. Although custodial service is provided for public areas, students are also expected to assist in keeping those areas clean. In situations where areas are excessively dirty, the residents of that space or hall will be charged for the necessary cleaning, unless the area is returned to a reasonable order by a specified time. Typically, excessive cleaning charges range from $50 to $175 per resident. Residents are prohibited from placing their trash cans or bags outside of their room doors. All trash is to be carried to the trash room or external dumpster. Failure to adhere to these procedures will result in fines or further sanctions.
Facilities and Maintenance
Vandalism and Damage Billing
The cost of any repairs as a result of normal wear will be covered by the University. Repairs that are required because of vandalism will be billed to the individual responsible for the damage. In the event that the individual at fault is not identified, the building, suite, floor, or hall will share the cost of repairing the damage. In order to reduce general damage charges, all students are encouraged to confront peers who damage University property and report any incidents. Students will receive an e-mail when their student account is billed for any damage. Students are encouraged to contact their Residential Area Manager with questions regarding any damage charge. Additional instructions for an appeal process may be included in the notification email.
Facility Repairs/Work Requests and Related Procedures
SJU maintains a trained facilities management department, which is responsible for repairing, maintaining and assessing University equipment. If there is a non-emergency malfunction related to SJU equipment, students should contact maintenance by using one of the following:
- Phone: 610-660-3000 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm.) After hours and on weekend, please call Public Safety at x1111 and they will dispatch someone to the emergency.
- Log onto The Nest. Select the “School Services” tab at the top of the page. Click on the SchoolDude option located in the lower right-hand corner of the School Services page. Login using your SJU e-mail address and the initial password “newuser”. Enter your work order request and save. After placing a work order request through SchoolDude a secondary password will be requested. This password is “fixit”.
-Pennbrook Apartment residents (only) should submit a work request through the AppFolio platform. Pennbrook residents are emailed account setup information at move-in.
Routine repairs that should be brought to the attention of Facilities Management personnel include but are not limited to:
- Room lighting issues
- General wear and tear of university furniture
- Improper operation of heating and air conditioning systems
- Broken washers and dryers
- Pest control issues (Facilities Management additionally provides pest control services on a regularly scheduled basis.)
Telephone, data line, and cable TV issues should be directed to Information Technology. Students can submit a request utilizing the IT service catalog at sju.edu/it or can call 610-660-2920.
Emergency service work is that which is needed to address hazards to life, health, property or interruption of utilities (electric, water, gas, etc.), and also hazards that would cause sufficient disruption to scheduled activities. This work is normally completed the same day as it is requested.
-Emergency work requests are received from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by contacting Facilities Management at 610-660-3000 or at Room 110 Moore Hall.
-After hours and on holidays, emergency service may be requested through Public Safety and Security, 610- 660-1111.
-For Pennbrook, please call 267-969-7441 (dial extension 3 for maintenance emergency service).
If a student’s personal items are damaged by a building facility issue such as a flood, fire, etc., the University may cover facility-related damage in an amount not to exceed $250 per student per incident. Replacement costs for personal item(s) exceeding this amount are expected to be covered by students’ homeowner/renter’s insurance.
Health and Safety Inspections
At the beginning of each break period, Residence Life staff will conduct formal Health and Safety Inspections to ensure the safety of students’ personal belongings and University property. Guidelines for Health and Safety Inspections will be distributed by the Residence Life Staff and are available on the main Residence Life website. Failure of a Health and Safety Inspection can result in a fine of $25 per resident and/or other educational sanctions.
In addition to formal inspections, unannounced health, fire, safety or maintenance inspections may be made of residence halls or residence rooms by University personnel or health officials. Maintenance personnel may enter student rooms throughout the year to make necessary repairs. Upon completion of the academic year, Residence Life and Facilities Management personnel will inspect student rooms and common areas for damages.
As in many communities, SJU operates on an “honor” code. When that code is violated (as in the case of vandalism), the University may impose fines to help offset the cost of damages or repairs. The Office of Residence Life publishes and ultimately levies certain fines in order to deter students from dangerous and negative behavior in our residential communities. Fines may be imposed singularly or in conjunction with other disciplinary sanctions. All money collected from student fines is put back into the residential communities through hall improvements and community programs and initiatives.
Some residence halls and apartments are air-conditioned with either central air conditioning or window units. Students may not install any type of air conditioning in buildings that are not already equipped with university air conditioning. A full listing of residence halls with AC is available on the Residence Life website under the Housing Information link. Students who have a documented need for air conditioning will be assigned to an air-conditioned residence hall or apartment. Medical conditions do not guarantee the selection of a specific room assignment, but only an assignment that meets the specific needs. The actual room assignment will be made by the Office of Residence Life.
Living in community requires sensitivity toward and respect for the needs of others. SJU is an educational institution comprised of people from all backgrounds and belief systems, with differing expectations for community living. To protect the right of each student to a pleasant and fair living environment, civil behavior is expected by all community members. Students are encouraged to respectfully confront inappropriate or disruptive behavior and to seek out the assistance of student and professional Residence Life staff members.
Postings in Public Facing Areas To aid in the development of a civil, respectful, and inclusive environment within the residence halls, students are prohibited from posting personal dry erase boards, bulletin boards, or message boards on their external facing doors, outside their residence hall or apartment rooms, or in public-facing windows. Additionally, due to the University’s tax-exempt status, students are prohibited from posting items in support of a political candidate, political party or PAC on these same public-facing areas.
Academic Atmosphere/Quiet Hours
University residences are centers for a complete living/ learning experience. To facilitate this process, the residence hall environment must be a place where students have the opportunity to excel academically. Therefore, it is important to establish specific times when students can be assured of having a quiet study atmosphere. In consideration of those who wish to sleep or study, all students are expected to maintain a quiet environment between 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and between midnight and 9:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. During quiet hours, there should be no excessive noise (such as a stereo that can be heard in the hallway) in rooms, suites, or hallways. During exams, 24 hour quiet hours are in effect. Consideration hours are in effect within the residence halls 24 hours a day. Students are encouraged to speak directly with their neighbors about any noise concerns.
The University reserves the right to reassign or revoke on campus housing or take other necessary action, without a formal hearing, for those students whose behavior is considered disruptive or potentially detrimental to the well-being of the individual, roommates, and/or others in the residential community.
Alcohol Policy in Residence Halls
Members of the residence hall community must abide by the University’s alcohol policy. The misuse of alcohol often has a negative impact on individuals and entire communities. Through education and enforcement, the Office of Residence Life seeks to encourage resident students’ adherence to the law and to University policy. The Office of Residence Life further expects students over the age of 21 who choose to drink alcohol to do so responsibly and with no disruption to the residential community. In accordance with the law and with the University’s alcohol policy, the following regulations apply to possession and/or use of alcohol in the residence halls:
- Residents who are 21 or older may possess a limited and reasonable quantity of alcoholic beverages for their own personal consumption. Amounts over this may be confiscated by University personnel.
- Residents who are 21 or older may not possess an open alcohol container or consume alcohol in the presence of anyone under 21. This includes roommates and guests.
– Residents 21 years old or older who share a living environment with an underage student(s) may not store alcohol in common area locations such as kitchens or living rooms.
- Possession of alcohol containers by persons under age 21 is prohibited.
– Non-SJU guests of underage residents are not permitted to possess alcohol in residence halls.
- Alcohol containers cannot be displayed or used as decoration.
- Regardless of age, resident students and guests are prohibited from possessing or using drinking game paraphernalia.
* Please note that resident students are encouraged to reference the University Alcohol Policy for a full discussion of behavioral expectations.
For the health and well-being of the community, drug paraphernalia (including but not limited to bongs, pipes, hookahs, drug vaporizers, rolling papers, filter tubes, etc.) of any kind is prohibited in the residence halls. Any student found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Fire Safety Precaution
Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. Carelessness affects not only one student’s safety, but, that of every resident of the building. All residents should actively avoid creating fire hazards. Resident students are not permitted to:
- Possess or use hoverboards, self-balancing scooters, hands-free segways, and similar devices.
- Smoke anywhere in University residential buildings. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes.
- Possess or use candles, incense or oil lamps.
- Possess a non-university issued mattress.
- Cover exterior of room door with flammable decorations.
- Use non-fire retardant window coverings.
- Hang items from fire sprinkler heads, pipes, heat detectors, or smoke detectors.
- Cover or tamper with smoke detectors.
- Hang items from lights or ceilings.
- Hang lights out of windows or over top of window coverings.
- Hang or post paper, posters, decorations, or signs on externally facing windows.
- Use Medusa lamps with plastic shades, halogen lamps, holiday/decorative lamps, (rope lighting), or electrical decorations that are not UL approved.
- Overload electrical outlets (MUST use surge protectors).
- Run electrical cords under carpets or furniture.
- Bring in live Christmas trees.
- Put anything in front of, on top of, or against heating vents or radiators.
- Store excessive trash, paper, or flammable items (paint, fuel, propane tanks, etc.).
- Have explosive devices (fireworks, firearms and weapons).
- Use open flames or heating elements inside/outside the buildings, including gas and barbecue grills.
- Use toaster ovens, hot plates, sandwich makers, waffle irons, traditional coffee makers with exposed heat plates, or “George Foreman” type cooking apparatuses (not applicable in Campus Apartments).
This list is not all inclusive. Additional items may be added as deemed necessary by University personnel or as outlined in the University’s Housing Agreement. Violating the aforementioned is considered a violation of the Community Standards and can carry heavy fines ranging from $50 to $200. Students should immediately report any observed fire hazard to Public Safety or Residence Life Staff.
Fire Safety Regulations
Alarms: The University holds routine fire safety drills in accordance with Pennsylvania State Law, and all residents are expected to participate. Some fire drills are fully supervised by residential staff and involve accessing individual student spaces. Students may not disregard a fire alarm or refuse to evacuate a building in which an alarm is sounding, regardless of its nature (drill, false alarm, or actual alert). Residents who fail to evacuate a building in a voluntary and timely manner will be subject to disciplinary action and possible change or removal of University housing. Initiating a false fire alarm is a clear violation of Community Standards and can be sanctioned with a fine up to $500.
Equipment: Tampering with or misuse of fire safety equipment (extinguishers, smoke detectors, alarms, sprinklers, exit signs) is considered to be exceptionally dangerous behavior in a residential community. Such behavior represents a serious violation of the Community Standards and can result in fines up to $200 in addition to any resulting costs for necessary repairs/inspection of equipment.
Indoor Athletic Activities
To avoid personal injury and/or damage to the halls and the sensitive sprinkler systems, playing of athletic games is prohibited within the residence halls.
Any group which is not affiliated with the University and seeks to solicit in residence halls must be approved by the Director of Residence Life. Any campus organization or residence hall group wishing to sell items for fund raising purposes must also have the approval of the Office of Residence Life. Students may not use their residence hall rooms as a principal place of business. Any student who suspects that an individual or a group is soliciting illegally should contact a Residence Life staff member immediately and/or contact Public Safety and Security at 610-660-1111. Students should refer to the University’s policy regarding commercial solicitation on campus.
Any flyers or advertisements to be hung in the residence halls must be approved by the Residential Area Manager or the Office of Residence Life and must bear the Student Leadership and Activities stamp per the University’s Campus Posting Guidelines. Advertisements must be posted by the Resident Assistant staff on bulletin boards and cannot be posted on windows, doors, elevators, etc. If an individual or a group posts information improperly, the advertisement will be removed and the individual or group will be charged to repair any damage to the building surfaces. Flyers advertising alcohol or flyers that are in any way offensive will not be permitted.
Release of Information Policy
Periodically, individuals and companies contact the Office of Residence Life seeking the addresses and telephone numbers of resident students. The Office of Residence Life will not release the campus addresses and telephone numbers or the home addresses and telephone numbers of any resident student except for room/roommate assignment purposes.
Due to health concerns associated with animals living in the residence halls, the only pets that are permitted for students are fish kept in tanks less than 10 gallons. Violation of this policy may result in a fine per student in addition to cleaning fees and any other costs associated with damages (i.e. pest control if necessary), for the first violation. A second infraction of this nature will result in an increased fine, and further disciplinary actions. Certified service animals and emotional support animals are not considered pets and may be permitted to live in the residence halls when accompanied by appropriate medical documentation and authorized by the Office of Student Disability Services. Only one emotional support animal is allowed per student and one emotional support animal is allowed per housing unit.
Residence Hall Security
The Residence Life staff and Public Safety and Security work constantly to ensure the safety of all residents. The most secure facilities, however, are those in which residents exercise common sense and have a genuine concern for other residents.
For the safety and security of all residents and their personal property, Saint Joseph’s University stations an attendant at the front lobby desk of each residence center and apartment building. All students are required to carry their SJU identification card on their person and must manually swipe their card at the entrance and at the security desk of their residence hall. Only authorized individuals are permitted in the University’s residence halls. Students are expected to report any unauthorized persons to the Office of Public Safety and Security (610-660-1111) and/or a Residence Life staff member. Desk staff may ask to inspect students’/guests’ bags, backpacks, parcels, etc. when entering residential buildings. It is expected that all residents and guests comply with this request. Students and guests may refuse a bag check; if a bag check is refused, the individual may be denied entry to the building. Public Safety officers and student Resident Assistants will make regular rounds through all residence halls. For security reasons, exterior and suite doors are designed to lock automatically upon closing. Residents may not prop open fire exit doors or hallway/suite doors and may not loan keys or swipe cards so that others may gain access to the buildings. These safety violations may result in disciplinary action and/or fines.
Each student receives a key to his/her room at the time of check-in to the residence halls. Students may not duplicate their room key under any circumstances. All students are reminded to lock their doors at all times and to carry their keys on their person. When keys are lost or stolen, students should request a new key or lock change immediately to ensure personal safety and security of belongings. Lost keys will be billed at a charge of $75 for the first core and $25 for each additional core. Please note most lock changes necessitate more than one core change (i.e. room door, mailbox and/or apartment door). Should a key break off in a lock or stop working, the student will not be charged for a new key. The student must, however, bring the pieces of the key (or the inoperative key) to the Office of Residence Life. Otherwise, the student will be billed for a lost or stolen key. Students must return their keys to the Office of Residence Life prior to leaving the campus at the end of the school year, when changing rooms, or when leaving the institution permanently. Students will be billed for a key at check-out if no key is turned in.
In emergencies, loan keys are available for students who are locked out of their own room. Resident students should refer to the following procedure:
- Weekday hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: students must come to the Office of Residence Life on the ground floor of LaFarge Residence Center in order to checkout a loaner key
- Weekday hours of 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: students can contact Public Safety for assistance (610-660-1111)
- Weekday hours of 7:00 p.m. – 12midnight: students can contact the RA on duty in their area for lockout assistance
- Weekday hours of midnight – 9:00 a.m.: students can contact Public Safety
- Weekend hours 7:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.: students can contact the RA on duty in their area
- Weekend hours 2:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.: students can contact Public Safety
Resident students who come to the Office of Residence Life must show picture identification or provide their student ID number. Only residents of the room will be permitted to check-out a loan key. The student will sign the loan key log acknowledging receipt of key and consequences for non-return of loan key. All loan keys must be returned within 24 hours of when they are checked out. A $25 fee may be assessed to the student’s account if a key is not returned by this time. If the key is not returned within 24 hours, in addition to the $25 fee, a lock change will be initiated. Note: Loss of a loan key will result in an automatic core charge ($75 for the first core and $25 for each additional core). When a loan key is returned, the student must show his/her room key to verify possession. Note: Once a core charge has been placed on a student account, it is not reversible.
* Guests are currently not permitted in campus housing. The University will continue to monitor federal, state, and local recommendations in evaluating the reinstatement of this privilege. *
Keeping our community as safe as possible is a priority. Guest privileges are suspended for at least the Fall 2020 semester. This impacts both external guests AND visitation among SJU students from building to building. Students within individual buildings can visit each other, provided they can physically distance and are mindful of wearing masks in all locations. Given physical-distancing requirements, overnight guests in residential facilities are not permitted.
Room Access/Search Policy
To assure individuals of reasonable privacy and to protect the well-being of the community, the Office of Residence Life has adopted the following procedures regarding access/search of University rooms occupied by students:
Room Access: In all emergency situations which could affect the health and welfare of an individual or the community, or if there is a reasonable suspicion of a violation of University policy, federal or state law, rooms may be entered by Security and/or Residence Life staff. Rooms may be entered for maintenance, repairs or safety inspections. Staff members will announce themselves before entry. Discovery of any prohibited items by University personnel while conducting maintenance or safety inspections may be cause for disciplinary action. Any illegal substance or material will be turned over to Public Safety or to the police.
Room Searches: If there is a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity, rooms may be searched by a team of Security and Residence Life supervisors. Searches must be requested by the Director of Public Safety and Security or the Director of Residence Life (or their designees). These searches must be authorized by the Vice President for Student Life or designee. A reasonable attempt shall be made to notify the student of the search and/or to have the student present for the search.
Personal Medical and Property Insurance
The University cannot and does not assume responsibility for personal accident, injury, or illness sustained by residents, guest or visitors nor for any damage, theft, fire or loss of any property belonging to residents, guests, visitors or others. The University does not provide or endorse the sale of any insurance products; however, we recommend that students secure adequate insurance through their parents’ medical policy, and/or homeowners insurance policies or similar products.