Resident Student Handbook Contents
Facilities & Services: A-I
Facilities and Services
St. Mary’s provides many facilities and services for all students. Some apply only to those students who live in the residence halls or suites, some apply to those in the townhouses and apartments, and some apply to all students in College-sponsored housing. These services and facilities are outlined below:
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 involuntarily placed into expanded triples, then to students in the study rooms.
Extermination services are available through Maintenance. Requests for extermination of pests should be given to your RA or RHC. Normally, these requests will be handled within a two-week period. Here are a few hints for discouraging pests. • Keep food and other perishable items in containers with lids that seal tightly. • Roaches are attracted to newspapers and brown paper bags. Do not keep piles of paper or bags in your room, suite, or townhouse. • Ants are attracted to beverage spills, etc. Clean spills immediately with soap and hot water.
Returning students complete the room and meal plan selection process in March for the following fall semester. New students are matched with roommates and assigned to housing in June for the fall semester, and late December/early January for the spring term.
Returning students must submit a $200 housing deposit (electronically, or in-person at the Business Office) and a signed housing contract (electronically, or by submitting a hard copy at the Office of Residence Life) in order to be eligible for housing for the next academic year. Housing contracts are available online through the Portal, in the Office of Residence Life, and from Residence Life staff members. Applications for suites, apartments, townhouses, and single rooms, as well as special housing request forms, are available online.
All contracts and applications for townhouses, apartments, single rooms, special housing requests, and suite applications for fall 2013 must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life (electronically via the Portal) as follows.
|Deposit and housing contract||March 1, 2013 (due in the Business Office by 5:00 p.m. or online by midnight)|
|Apartment Applications||March 5 (notification by March 6)|
|Special Housing Requests||March 4 (notification by March 5)|
|Townhouse Applications||March 6 (notification by March 7)|
|Six-Person Suite Applications||March 20 (notification by March 21)|
|Ten-Person Suite Applications||March 25 (notification by March 26)|
|Convenience Single Applications||March 5 (notification by March 6)|
|Regular double, triple, quad rooms||March 28 (notification by April 2)|
Students who submit the deposit and contract but are not assigned to housing by the end of March will be assigned to whatever space is available beginning on April 1. More information about the room selection process will be available in late January 2013.
Housing: Guidelines for Continuous Housing
Purpose: To prevent students from moving off-campus for one year and then moving back on-campus.
Rationale: In recent years, a number of students have moved off-campus during the sophomore or junior year simply because they could not get assigned to a townhouse or single room. They live off-campus until they can obtain a townhouse or single room. Those students who live on-campus throughout their first three years should have priority for apartment or townhouse spaces or single rooms over students who live on-campus, then off-campus, then on-campus again.
- Room selection for returning students (for the next academic year) takes place in March. Students currently living on-campus or who are participating in an approved College-sponsored, off-campus program (Study Abroad, NSE, distant internship) may select housing during this room-selection period.
- Only current resident students or those exceptions noted above will be allowed to submit housing contract, housing deposit, and applications online via the Portal. This information will be verified by the Office of Residence Life. Applications which include a commuting student may not participate in the room selection process.
- Newly admitted students have the next priority for housing. Their assignments are made in June.
- Commuting students may request to be wait-listed for spaces that become available during the summer, after new students have been housed.
- Commuting students may submit a special request to obtain housing with returning students for special, extenuating circumstances. Such requests must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life by February 25 for the fall semester and October 31 for the spring term. A staff member will notify students of the decisions granting or denying the request in early March or November.
- Appeals of the decisions made by the Assistant Director of Residence Life may be sent to the associate dean of students within seven days of the notification of the decision. The Housing Contract Release/Extension Committee will review appeals and make a recommendation to the associate dean, who will notify the student of the results.
- All decisions by the associate dean of students are final.
- The College reserves the right to temporarily suspend this policy when warranted by housing demands.
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 liquidated damages as noted below. A committee made up of faculty, staff, and a student representative will usually 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.
Written requests to be released from the Housing Contract are due in the Office of Residence Life according to the following schedule:
For release for the spring 2013 semester:
November 1: no financial penalties
November 2 - December 1: assessed 10 % of semester housing cost
December 1 – January 13: assessed 20% of semester housing cost
January 14 and beyond: assessed full-semester cost of the room
For release for the fall 2013 semester:
May 1: no financial penalties
May 2 – July 1: assessed 10% of semester housing cost
July 2 – August 25: assessed 20% of semester housing cost
Aug. 26 and beyond: assessed full-semester cost of the room
Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw after classes begin are subject to the standard refund policy (refer to the College Catalog for more information). Students who decide to move off-campus after classes begin are assessed the full semester cost for their room.
Students 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.
A $200.00 non-refundable deposit for housing is due before students are assigned to campus housing. The deposit is due Friday, March 1, 2013, for the 2013-2014 academic year. The deposit can be submitted online via the Portal system, or cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards (except Visa) will be accepted at the Business Office. The deposit is credited toward the next year’s housing fee.
Housing: Ninth-Semester Policy
Purpose: To guarantee students on-campus housing for eight semesters.
Rationale: In recent years, the number of bed spaces for new, incoming students has been reduced due to the increased number of ninth-semester (and more) students continuing to live on-campus. The residential experience is designed to move students developmentally to living more independent and responsible lifestyles. It is assumed that new, traditional-aged students would benefit more from living on-campus than older students. The apartments and townhouses were designed to be a transitional living unit, preparing students to move off-campus. They were not designed for the same students to live in for two or three years. By guaranteeing space for only eight semesters, more apartment and townhouse spaces are available to more students, thus opening up spaces in the residence halls for an increased number of younger students.
- Returning students are guaranteed on-campus housing, pending the submission of a housing deposit and Housing Contract by the published date in early March. All new students are guaranteed on-campus housing, pending the submission of the College deposit by May 1.
- For any returning student signing up for on-campus housing, the number of semesters he/she has lived on-campus will be verified by the Office of Residence Life.
- A student is guaranteed on-campus housing for a total of eight semesters, beginning with the first completed semester in which he/she is registered and enrolled as a full-time student.
- Students who transfer into the College or who enroll in College housing after their first semester as a student will have their housing residency pro-rated.
- Students wanting to live on-campus after the eighth semester will be eligible to get on the housing wait list for spaces that open up during the summer, after newly admitted students are housed.
- Students who plan to stay an extra (ninth) semester due to double majoring, student-teaching, etc., are not guaranteed on-campus housing for their ninth semester, and may not apply for housing in March.
- Students may submit a written request to be allowed to sign up for housing in March due to special, extenuating circumstances. The request should be submitted to the Office of Residence Life by February 15 for the fall semester, and October 31 for the spring term. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A staff member will notify the student of the decision that grants or denies the request.
- An appeal of the decision made by the Associate Director of Residence Life may be sent to the Associate Dean of Students. The Housing Contract Release/Extension Committee will review the appeal and make a recommendation to the associate dean, who will contact the students with the results.
- The decisions rendered by the associate dean are final.
- The College reserves the right to temporarily suspend this policy when warranted by housing demands.
Housing: Requests from Students Participating in Study Abroad, Distant Internships, National Student Exchange, or Returning from a Leave of Absence
Students who are not living on campus for the above reasons may request housing for the semester they return to SMCM. To apply for housing, students must submit their housing deposit and Housing Contract by the following dates:
Spring 2013 occupancy: October 15, 2012
For Fall 2013 occupancy: March 1, 2013
Each student should contact the Office of Residence Life with the name of the person who will be selecting a room in his or her absence (a proxy) or let the office know of his or her housing preferences by the above dates. Housing preferences cannot be guaranteed; however, every effort will be made to honor requests submitted by the deadlines. Please note that housing is usually very limited; therefore, it is important that students returning to SMCM submit their deposits and contracts by the above deadline. Failure to do so forfeits any guarantee for housing. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the deposit and contract prior to leaving campus.
Housing: Room Changes
Room changes are permitted after the first two weeks of the semester and after roommates have participated in a mediation process with their Resident Assistant, Residence Hall Coordinator, or professional member of the Residence Life staff. Students must submit a Request for Room Change form to the Office of Residence Life before moving into a new room. The request must be approved in writing before the room change can be started. Once approved, the student must complete a check-out inspection of the room being vacated, and a check-in inspection of the room into which he/she is moving. These inspections are to be completed within seven days of the request being approved. Students who change rooms without authorization may be required to return to their original room and may be subject to judicial action.
Housing: Apartment and Townhouse Assignments
The apartments and townhouses are designed to provide a transition opportunity for upperclass students. Hence, students living in the apartments and townhouses must have at least junior class standing. Exceptions are made for students who must be accommodated through ADA compliance (as recommended by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services), for non-traditional-age students, and for new, incoming transfer students who are at least 20 years old.
Housing: Wait List
Students interested in moving into a different room, suite, apartment, or townhouse, commuters desiring on-campus housing, and students with special requests are encouraged to contact the Office of Residence Life to be put on the Housing Wait List. Students will be taken off the Wait List as space becomes available. Students already assigned to College housing who want to switch rooms and new students who are guaranteed space have priority for housing over commuters.