Parent Handbook Contents
- Message from the Interim Dean of Students
- What You Should Know About:
- Parenting a College Student
- Family Education & Rights to Privacy Act
- Campus Resources & Services
- Selected College Policies & Regulations
- Conduct Process
- Fee Information
- Whom to Contact to Get Questions Answered
Selected College Policies & Regulations: Residence Hall Regulations
Students will be held financially responsible for any damage caused by them or their guests. Any existing damages must be listed on the “Room Condition Report” or “Townhouse Condition Report” and should be reported to the Residence Life Staff. Students are held responsible for damages to their rooms and their contents and for damages to public areas in the residences. The College will not raise room rent for all students in order to pay for damages in common areas (stairwells, hallways, bathrooms, lobby, rec. room). Rather, it will assess those members of a living area (wing, floor, building) when the responsible individual(s) is not identified.
It is the responsibility of all residents to exercise their influence in the student community to prevent damage or require responsible individuals to pay. Excessive damages to rooms or areas may result in disciplinary action and possible non-renewal of the housing contract.
If students have incurred a damage charge, they will receive a statement from the Business Office. Bills must be paid within 30 days. The one-hour minimum labor charge on any damage call is $26.00. Student costs for damage repair equal the cost of materials plus the cost of labor ($26.00/hour).
If damages are discovered during check-out at the end of the semester, billing will take place then, and the amount billed will be subtracted from the pre-paid damage deposit. Unused damage deposit funds will be credited to the next year’s damage deposit or refunded to students who are not returning to College housing.
To accommodate all students who are guaranteed housing, there are times when the College will use “expanded housing.” When necessary, study rooms will be converted to accommodate up to four students, and larger double rooms will be converted into temporary triples. Students assigned to these spaces will be provided with the usual furniture: bed, dresser, desk, and chair. In study rooms, wardrobes will also be provided. Students will be reassigned to standard residence hall spaces as soon as space becomes available. Priority for reassignments goes to students in expanded triples, then to students in the study rooms.
Guests (Also see “Visitation”)
A resident’s guest may stay no more than four days in a given month and at no time should a roommate be displaced. Residents are responsible for informing their guests of College policies and are also responsible for the behavior of guests while on campus. Guests who are in violation of College policies may be asked to leave the campus, and hosts may face disciplinary action.
Housing Contract Release Requests
Students requesting to be released from the Housing Contract due to participation in a College-approved program (for example, internship site outside of St. Mary’s County, study abroad, NSE), or who are graduating, are automatically approved with no financial penalties. Housing deposits will be transferred to the semester in which the student returns to the College. Students who transfer or withdraw from the College are released from the contract and must pay a housing contract release fee as noted below. A committee has been established (made up of faculty, staff, and a student representative) to review requests from students who want to be released from the Housing Contract in order to live off campus, based on medical or financial need.
To be released from the contract, a resident must submit a timely written request to the Office of Residence Life. (See the Housing Contract.) The deadline for such request for release for the fall semester is May 1.The deadline for such request release for the spring semester is November 1. If a resident files a late request that is after the deadline but by July 1 (fall) or December 1 (spring), the student will be charged ten percent (10%) of the assigned housing rate for the type of housing assigned for that semester. If the request is filed after July 1 (fall) or December 1 (spring) but before classes begin, the student will be charged twenty percent (20%) of the assigned housing rate for the type of housing assigned for that semester. If a student is academically dismissed prior to the start of the fall semester, the housing deposit will be refunded. If a student is dismissed at any other time, cancels his or her registration and housing, or decides to transfer, withdraw, or take a leave of absence, the charges and deadlines noted above will be enforced. Students who elect to move off-campus without prior written approval from the Office of Residence Life or who notify the College after classes begin that they will not be living on campus will be financially liable for the full amount of the semester’s housing fee.
Students and parents must remember that it is the College’s goal to be at 100% occupancy. The College budget is built, in part, on having a certain number of students living on-campus throughout the academic year. The College has financial obligations that must be met (for example, payment to contractors, salaries, equipment purchases), and must therefore hold students liable for their financial responsibilities. At the same time, there are occasional extenuating circumstances, beyond a student’s control, that may have an impact on his/her ability to live on campus.
The College exercises all reasonable effort to protect the personal property of students. However, the College is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property. Students should record descriptions and serial numbers of valuable possessions and have personal property insurance.
The following items are prohibited in the residence halls, suites, apartments, and townhouses. This list is not all-inclusive. The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to prohibit items and practices which may not appear on the list but which are deemed hazardous or unsanitary.
- Firearms or weapons of any kind—including guns, BB guns, air pistols, bows and arrows, and knives with a blade of 3" or longer except for kitchen use in the townhouses and apartments
- Explosives or fireworks of any kind
- Volatile liquids including, but not limited to, propane gas fuel, paint, paint thinner, and turpentine
- Non-UL-approved multi-outlet plugs
- Beer kegs and “party balls”
- Gasoline motors, including motorcycles and mopeds
- Open burning elements, including cigarettes, pipes, candles, and incense
- Waterbeds, hot tubs (including homemade tubs), and saunas
- Electric heaters
- Gas grills
- Air conditioner (without prior written permission from Health Services and Residence Life)
- Flammable or non-UL-approved decorations, including live Christmas trees
- Unsanitary items, including dead animals
- Major weight-lifting equipment
- Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Objects placed on window ledges or dangerously hung from windows
- Appliances which exceed the rated outlet capacity of 110V, 15 amp, or are considered fire hazards including, but not limited to, the following: crock pots, hotplates, toaster ovens, electric frying pans, toasters, immersible heating coils, microwave ovens, and halogen lamps
Quiet Hours (Noise in and around the living areas)
Quiet hours are 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday and on weekends (Friday and Saturday), from 1:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. During these hours, noise must be kept to a minimum in and around the living areas (including DPC). However, residents should respect the rights of others who wish to sleep or study whenever a request is made (known as “courtesy hours”). Due to the special nature of Calvert Hall (faculty and administrative offices, and residence hall spaces), students residing there are required to keep noise to a minimum during working hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), as well as during regular quiet hours. Quiet hours are in effect for 23 hours during final exams, (the one-hour “study break” is 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. nightly).
Residence Hall Opening and Closing Times
Opening and closing dates and times for room occupancy are specified on the College calendar and must be observed. Therefore, students may not check into their residence hall rooms early nor will they be allowed to deliver personal property to their rooms before the residence halls and townhouses officially open. Residence halls are closed during vacations. All students must leave by the appointed time. If transportation problems arise, students must make other arrangements. Students who remain in their residence without prior permission to stay after closing will be fined $25 for the first 15 minutes, and $15 for every 15 minutes thereafter.
Students must check out of their residence hall or townhouse in the presence of a staff member following established check-out guidelines. Failure to do so will result in a $50 improper check-out fine and loss of the right to appeal damage charges. Additional fines will be assessed for students not complying with dates and times for closings.
Due to limited space, the College cannot provide storage facilities for residents. However, several self-storage facilities are available in Lexington Park. In the townhouses, HVAC closets and attic crawl spaces may not be used for storage.
Students may not stay in any residence hall during the period of a vacation or break. Suite, apartment, and townhouse residents may remain in their units during Thanksgiving vacation and Spring Break. When necessary, residence hall students may stay in a suite, apartment or townhouse space, provided all residents of a unit are in agreement. If this option is necessary, students are responsible for identifying and making the appropriate arrangements and following posted procedures concerning campus living during a break. Only those students who are approved through the Office of Residence Life to remain on campus during a break may do so. The registration and approval process during the past few years has decreased undesirable activity on campus, thus reducing incidents such as break-ins and theft. Residents will be billed for electricity during break periods.
The residence facilities will close and reopen during the 2012 – 2013 academic year as listed below:
|Close Tuesday, November 20 at 10:00 p.m.||Reopen Sunday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m.|
|Close Friday, December 14 at noon.||Reopen Sunday, January 13 at 10:00 a.m.|
|Close Friday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m.||Reopen Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.|
End-of-year closing schedule for 2013:
Tuesday, May 7 at 5:00 p.m. for non-graduating students
Saturday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. for graduating residence hall and suite residents
Saturday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. for graduating townhouse and apartment residents
Visitation (Also See "Guests")
St. Mary’s has developed a visitation policy that provides for a degree of flexibility to accommodate varying lifestyles. Because some students prefer a restricted visitation policy and others desire a greater degree of choice in entertaining guests in their rooms, roommates must determine their own limitations.
Our visitation policy is based on our confidence in the ability and inclination of SMCM students to make mature decisions about their social behavior. We also believe that no individual has the right to infringe upon another’s freedom, privacy, happiness, and safety, and that students are willing to accept both the rights and responsibilities of such a policy.
Open visitation hours are not to be construed as permission for students or guests to sleep overnight in another’s room or to conduct themselves in such a way as to invade a roommate’s privacy and full use of the room. Should such behavior come to the attention of Residence Life staff, disciplinary action may be taken.
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, which might include, among other things, a change in housing assignments.
Residents are responsible for escorting guests within the building. The College recommends that male guests use the bathrooms on a male wing and female guests use the bathrooms on a female wing. Some buildings have bathrooms for guest use in the lobby.