Resident Student Handbook Contents
On-Campus Housing Policies
Students needing special housing accommodations due to ADA requests must have the condition documented and approved by the Director of Counseling Services. The Director of Counseling Services, in conjunction with the Associate Dean of Students, reserves the right to judge whether a specific condition warrants a special housing assignment. Please complete the special housing needs request form to start this evaluation process.
Air-conditioned residences are Caroline Hall, Lewis Quadrangle, Prince George Hall, Waring Commons, and the Townhouses. The air conditioning in campus buildings is turned on in early May, when the outside temperature is consistently above 75 - 80 degrees. The air conditioning is turned off on campus in late September or early October, when the outside temperature at night is consistently below 65 degrees and the daytime temperature is consistently below 80 degrees.
Students with asthma or moderate/severe persistent allergies requiring prescription medication usage:
If a student living in a traditional hall (Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, or Queen Anne) needs air conditioning because of asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies that require prescription medication, the student may request to have a window air conditioning unit. Students requesting air conditioning in the traditional halls due to asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies must submit their request and appropriate medical documentation to the Health Center for review. Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis following consultation with the student's health care provider. Deadlines for submitting the documentation are as follows:
|For 2012-2013||For 2013-2014:|
|Returning Students||February 28, 2012
||February 28, 2013|
|New Admits||June 1, 2012||June 1, 2013|
There is a $100 fee for submitting a request after the deadline. There is no guarantee that an air conditioning unit will be provided for any requests received after August 1. If the request is approved by Health Services, the student will be permitted to have one provided by the College for an additional fee of $200 per year. Only students whose requests are approved are permitted to have an air conditioner. The Office of Residence Life will notify the student of the status of his or her request. The Maintenance staff will install the air conditioner for the student. In Queen Anne, Dorchester, and Calvert Halls installation will usually occur prior to the student's arrival in August, to ensure that it is properly installed and will not fall out of the window. In Caroline and Prince George Halls, the units will be installed in September (please read the information below). The unit is to stay in the window for the entire year (Maintenance does not take it out for the winter and then reinstall it in the spring). Students should refrain from running the air conditioners during the winter months since this tends to cause the units to freeze up and break.
Caroline and Prince George Halls Air Conditioning Guidelines
These buildings are equipped with central air conditioning systems. The building air conditioning systems cannot be operated at times when heating is needed, requiring the buildings to be either in cooling mode or heating mode. Therefore, the air conditioning in these buildings is turned on in early May, when the outside temperature is consistently above 75 - 80 degrees. The air conditioning is turned off in late September or early October, when the outside temperature at night is consistently below 65 degrees and the daytime temperature is consistently below 80 degrees.
Students living in Prince George and Caroline Halls with asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies that require prescription medication may request to have the college install window air conditioners to provide cooling when the building air conditioning systems are off. (See the information above). Environmental and mechanical engineering consultants have recommended that window air conditioners operated at the same time as the building air conditioning systems can create conditions for mold growth due to excessive condensation created by over-cooling. Therefore, window air conditioners will be installed in late September just prior to our shift to heating (on or about October 1st). In addition to this process, all window air conditioners will be locked out when the college shifts to cooling on or about May 1st of each year. Students should refrain from running the air conditioners during the winter months since this tends to cause the units to freeze up and break.
Lewis Quad and Waring Commons Air Conditioning Policy
Lewis Quad and Waring Commons have climate control systems that maintain a temperature range of 68ºF to 75ºF throughout the year. Window AC units are not allowed in Lewis Quad or Waring Commons. The College will maintain a comfort range of between 68 to 75 degrees. Students with allergy problems would be better served by purchasing an air purifier with a HEPA filter for their room.
Students living in townhouses are responsible for controlling their own air conditioning use so the housemates need to discuss climate control issues among themselves. Window AC units are not allowed.
Students with Mild Persistent or Seasonal Allergies
Students with mild persistent or seasonal allergies will not automatically receive a window air conditioner, regardless of the building. Our window air conditioners do not contain air purifiers and therefore, bring outside air with the allergens into the rooms. Those students diagnosed with allergies are strongly encouraged to bring a personal, portable, air-purifying system that can also circulate the air within their room. Only specific particulate filtering devices such as HEPA filtration/HEPA air cleaners are approved for the residences. Some examples can be found on the websites listed below.
Antenna, Electrical Wiring, Fire Safety, and Appliances
Residents are not permitted to install outdoor antennas or other devices on the exterior of any residence hall, suite, apartment, or townhouse or in adjacent trees or shrubbery. Under no circumstances may the electrical wiring in a room be altered. Installation or alteration of electrical equipment is prohibited. Fires in student rooms have resulted from electrical defects or careless use of electrical appliances. The following are appliances which may be operated in student rooms: answering machine, clock, computer and printer, curling iron, electric blanket (with heat control), electric curlers, fan, hair dryer, hot pot (must have closed heating element), iron, lamp (except halogen*), popcorn popper, refrigerator (less than 5 cubic feet capacity, only one per room), radio, sewing machine, shaver, stereo equipment, television, typewriter, VCR, DVD player.
Students living in the suites, apartments, or townhouses are permitted to have one microwave oven per suite, apartment, or townhouse unit. Students in traditional residence halls are not permitted to have a microwave in their rooms. One is provided in the common area kitchen.
Electrical appliances not included on this list are not allowed and may be confiscated and stored at the student's expense. No appliances may have an exposed heating element. All appliances must be UL-approved. Candles and incense are not permitted due to the danger of open flame and unattended heat sources. Window air conditioners are permitted only for those students with approved medical reasons who have received written permission from the Health Center and the Associate Dean of Students.
* Halogen lamps have been responsible for a number of housing fires across the country. Halogen bulbs burn three times as hot as incandescent bulbs. They are not permitted at SMCM.
Bicycles, Mopeds, and Motorcycles
Bicycles may be parked in any of the bicycle racks, stored in the bicycle room located on the ground floor of each residence hall (except Calvert Hall), or at the "bike barns" at Lewis Quadrangle or the breezeways of Waring Commons. For safety reasons, bikes may not be parked or stored in stairwells, hallways, lounges, or public rooms. Bicycles are not to be attached to light poles, benches, or railings on handicap access ramps. Bicycles attached to these items may be confiscated. Bicycles may not be ridden in the residence halls. Motorcycles and mopeds may not be operated or stored in the residence halls, suites, apartments, or townhouses because of the hazards. Contact the Office of Public Safety for information on the registration and parking of bicycles and motor vehicles.
in the residence halls is monitored by both Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff. All residences are locked 24 hours a day. Each student has a cardkey (the student’s ID card) which unlocks his/her living area.
To gain access to these residence halls, students must use their ID cards at the proximity readers located near the front door and one or two of the side doors. Students may get into their own building anytime using the cardkey system. Visiting students with a valid student ID can get into a building using the cardkey system until midnight. The front doors of Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, Queen Anne, and the side door of Calvert have a combination lock that can be used in the event of a power failure or a problem with the proximity readers. In those instances, residence life staff will provide the residents with the combination. It will be changed immediately after the proximity readers are enabled. Students living in the traditional residence halls are issued a key which opens their individual room door. Students living in Lewis Quad will be issued a key that operates the outside suite entry door as well as the student’s assigned bedroom.
Students living in the Townhouses will be issued a key that operates the outside front and back entry doors. Students living in Waring Commons will be issued a key that operates the door to the student’s assigned apartment or suite and the student’s assigned bedroom door. The outside entry doors at Waring Commons can be accessed with the cardkey system or the key. Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff ensure after-hours safety in these areas. Please immediately report lost keys to your RA or the Office of Residence Life in order to ensure the security of your living area. Students should immediately report any problems with combinations or the proximity readers by calling Public Safety or contacting a member of the Residence Life staff. Residents should not copy or give their key out to anyone. Students will be charged for lost keys. Residents are encouraged to lock their doors at all times.
It is your responsibility to keep your room, suite, apartment, or townhouse clean. Obtain any supplies that you will need to keep your home-away-from-home clean. The housekeeping staff is responsible for cleaning rooms prior to occupancy in August and for daily cleaning in the common areas of the traditional residence halls. Personal items should not be left in the common areas (bathrooms, corridors, common rooms, laundry rooms, recreation rooms) as this makes it much more difficult for the housekeeping staff to complete their work. On weekends, only a light touch-up is done in the buildings. RAs will take note of cleanliness issues while on their nightly rounds. RAs will notify at least one person in the hallway or suite of the following problems (this list is not exhaustive): excess pizza boxes, newspapers, magazines piling up, garbage not taken to the dumpster, dishes or personal belongings left in the bathroom sinks, on the countertops, or on the floor. The residents will need to correct the problem immediately.
Housekeeping staff will go into the suites (Lewis Quad and Waring Commons) twice a week to clean the common bathrooms as long as the bathroom area is accessible (personal items should not be left on the countertops, in the showers, on the floor, in the toilet stalls, etc.). Please note: residents are responsible for cleaning the private bathrooms in the LQ suites. In order to ensure that the housekeepers can adequately do their jobs, residents will be held accountable for cleanliness in their suites, particularly for cleaning the common living room area. Housekeeping staff will not clean this area. It is the responsibility of all members of each suite to ensure that the common areas in the suite (study room, bathroom, and stairwell, if appropriate) are clean, sanitary, and safe for the occupants. If a resident notices an unsafe condition, it should be reported to Maintenance or to an RA in a timely manner. Continuing problems with cleanliness issues in the suites may result in:
- Regular, unannounced inspections
- Students (not housekeepers) being held accountable for cleaning the common areas of the suites
- Billing suite residents for excessive trash removal
- Judicial action
Cohabitation (members of the opposite sex living together in the same room) within the residence halls and Crescent townhouses is prohibited. Married students may not live together on campus. Members of the opposite sex may share a suite, townhouse, or apartment - but not bedrooms - in Lewis Quadrangle, Waring Commons, and the old townhouses (on the Greens).
Consolidation of Vacancies
When vacancies occur in a student room, the remaining student may be required to accept another roommate or be reassigned to another room.
Construction and Modification to Residences
Any structural modification, alteration, or addition to the interior or exterior of rooms or townhouses is strictly prohibited without written authorization from the Office of Residence Life and the director of Physical Plant. Residents are not permitted to extend or hang objects from the windows or doors. Residents are also prohibited from making any alteration to their room or townhouse that could result in a fire hazard, fire code violation, or other dangerous situation.
We recommend that residents use the poster mounts or tacks, provided by the Office of Residence Life, on their walls. Repairs resulting from damages caused by using other devices will be charged to the residents in the room or unit.
All residents should avoid using duct tape and double-sided foam tape to hang pictures on painted or wooden surfaces. The residue left when the tape is removed is impossible to eliminate and will add significant costs to damage billings. In order to avoid chipping the paint and causing other damages, use removable mounting tabs (for example, Magic Removable Mounts, available in the CampusStore) to put up posters, etc. on the walls.
Students may decorate their rooms and hallways for holidays.
- All decorations must be UL-approved and marked "flame resistant" or "flame retardant."
- Live trees and greenery, and decorations containing crepe paper or pyroxylin plastics may not be used.
- Nothing should be attached to or touch the ceilings or floors, especially in the hallways (exception: decorations with a stand securely placed on the floor).
- Open flames are not permitted.
- Twinkle lights may be strung along the walls.
- One extension cord per outlet is permitted, with only one device plugged into the cord (that is, the cord is NOT there to provide additional outlets) and is only temporary, not stretched across doors, floors, under rugs, etc.
- Nothing should block a light fixture or smoke detector at any time.
- Students are not permitted to decorate exit doors, door handles, electrical equipment (including lights, panels, and switches), fire protection equipment (including alarms, extinguishers, lights, panels, or smoke detectors), stairs, stairwells, and windows.
Due to fire safety regulations, students are not permitted to block light fixtures or smoke detectors with tapestries or other material. Because windows and doors must be accessible in the event of a fire, students may not hang material in a manner so as to block easy access to these egress points.
This is defined as failure to comply with directions given by a Residence Life staff member or other College official, or to use any type of harassment or abusive language toward any Residence Life staff member or College official in the performance of assigned responsibilities. Such conduct is subject to referral for disciplinary action.
Extension Cords, Electrical Outlets
Residents may not use electrical extension cords more than eight feet in length or four-way plugs in the outlets; both these practices may cause an electrical overload and fire hazard. All electrical extension cords must be UL-listed.
St. Mary's adheres to fire codes as noted in the NFPA Inspection Manual (seventh edition). As such, personal property cannot be left in corridors as "All paths of travel from any part of the building must allow the occupants to travel safely without obstructions to the exits. Corridors and passageways must be at least 44 inches wide and completely clear of obstructions." (NFPA, p. 351).
Furniture from suites, apartments, townhouses, residence halls, DPC, or other College buildings must remain indoors and not be moved to other locations (for example, for seating on the track or on Townhouse Green). Lounge furnishings are provided for the use of all residents and guests. Students must not move lounge furniture from its location in the residence halls. Students who violate this policy will be subject to a furniture removal charge and additional disciplinary action.
Graduating seniors, residence life staff, ushers, summer employees, food service, and maintenance personnel who are resident students are the only individuals permitted to remain in housing just prior to Commencement. Seniors who are returning to SMCM in order to participate in Commencement exercises should contact the Office of Residence Life by May 1 to obtain College housing for Senior Week. The residence halls and suites close at 3:00 p.m. on Commencement Day, and the Townhouses and Apartments close at 5:00 p.m.
A resident's guest (whether a student from another area, commuter, or someone not affiliated with SMCM) may stay no more than four days in a given month and at no time should a roommate be displaced. (Refer to the Cohabitation policy listed in the "On Campus Housing Policies" section.) 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 not members of the SMCM College community and who are in violation of College policies may be asked to leave the campus, and hosts may face disciplinary action.
In the interest of safety and damage reduction, hall sports are prohibited. Please refrain from throwing balls, frisbees, or other items in the building. Additionally, students should not do the following: wrestle, box, hit or putt golf balls, bowl, play hacky-sack, hockey, or soccer, engage in water fights or water slides, skateboard, rollerblade, ride bicycles within the buildings, or engage in any sporting activity that threatens the safety of others or the destruction of property.
Health and Safety (H & S) Inspections
Residence Life staff will conduct health and safety inspections when we close for Thanksgiving Break (November), Winter Break (December), and Spring Break (March). We will focus on fire safety concerns, health & safety issues, and use these inspections in an effort to reduce end-of-the-year damage billing. If we catch potential problems earlier than May, that will help with the transition from academic year to summer-housing use, thus reducing the amount of time we spend on room inspections and damage billing.
Staff members will post notification flyers at least three days prior to each H&S inspection. Staff will write in the specific date and time of the inspection (residents do not need to be present). Staff will do a visual inspection of the room and will not open drawers or closets. Staff will be checking for:
- General cleanliness (especially in the apartment and townhouse kitchens and bathrooms)
- Disabled smoke detectors
- Overloaded electrical outlets
- Tapestries blocking lights, smoke detectors, doors, windows
- Excessive trash
- Evidence of pets, smoking, candles, incense
- Unauthorized appliances or lofts
- Obvious damage to College property
- Belongings improperly stored in HVAC closets (Townhouses only)
- Condition of the carpet (Townhouses only)
- Properly charged fire extinguishers (Apartments and Townhouses only)
RAs will note issues and concerns initially, share this information with residents, give the residents at least one week to correct the problems and then re-inspect. While residents may not make repairs to holes, etc., they must remove all other problems cited, such as tapestries, microwave, pets, etc. If the corrections are not completed, the RA will submit an incident report for follow-up.
The inspections will take place as follows:
- Tuesday, November 20 (Thanksgiving Closing)
- Friday, December 14 (Winter Break Closing)
- Friday, March 8 (Spring Break Closing)
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 via the Portal) in order to be eligible for housing for the next academic year. Housing contracts are available online through the Portal system, 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 2012 must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life (electronically or hard copies) as follows.
Deposit and housing contract
Friday, March 1, 2013 (due in the Business Office by 5:00 p.m. or online by midnight)
Apartment and convenience single applications
March 5 (notification by March 6)
Special Housing Requests
March 4 (notification by March 5)
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 and 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.
- All forms for housing (townhouse, special housing request, single room, room draw) will include a space for each applicant to indicate his/her current on-campus housing assignment. 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:
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 2012 semester:
No financial penalties
May 2 - July 1:
Assessed 10% of semester housing cost
July 2 - August 26:
Assessed 20% of semester housing cost
August 27 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 PolicyPurpose: 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
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
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 disciplinary 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.
Property: SMCM is not responsible for theft, loss, or damage to students' personal property. Many families have homeowner policies that may cover personal belongings while students are attending college. Be sure to check with your family to see if your property is covered. While incidents of theft do occur, most involve rooms left unlocked by a student or an outer door propped open.
Health: All students should have health insurance. Many families carry health insurance that provides coverage to dependents while full-time college students. While St. Mary's College does not contract with any health insurance provider to offer policies for students, there are five companies interested in selling policies to our students. If you have a need for student health insurance, please click here for information on these companies.
Cooking is not permitted in student rooms; please use the kitchen facilities. A limited supply of cooking utensils can be signed out from the residence hall staff. Be sure to clean up after using the kitchen and its utensils.
Lofts and Bunk beds
Due to safety problems, homemade and/or privately purchased lofts and bunk beds are not permitted in the residence halls, suites, apartments, and townhouses. Bed frames in Dorchester, Lewis Quad, Queen Anne, and Waring Commons suites can be lofted using College-provided lofting kits, or bunked. Bed frames in Calvert, Caroline, Prince George, and the Townhouses can be bunked. Mattresses and bed frames should not be elevated unless using a College-issued lofting kit or bunk bed pegs. (For example, bed frames are not to be raised up on cement blocks, placed on top of dressers, desks, or wardrobes, etc.) Resting a mattress directly on top of the two-drawer dresser units in Caroline and Prince George Halls (instead of putting the dresser unit under the bedframe where it is designed to go) can cause damage to the two-drawer dresser unit. Please keep the drawers beneath the bed frame.
Each year a resident must pay a non-refundable maintenance fee of $50. The maintenance fee includes, but is not limited to, costs for any breakage, damage, loss of College property, default on townhouse utility payments, and any other financial obligation owed to the College. Students are responsible for damages that occur in public areas of their residence unless the damage can be attributed to specific individuals or groups. Students receive itemized statements of any charges assessed to their accounts. If these charges exceed the maintenance fee, the student will be billed the difference. Students who cause excessive room or common-area damage (in the residence halls, $150 or more; suites, townhouses, and apartments, in excess of $300) may have their Housing Contract revoked and face additional disciplinary action.
Meal Plan Exceptions
Students living in the residence halls and suites are required to participate in one of the A or B meal plans. Medical reasons for meal plan exceptions must be documented and approved by the Office of Health Services. The Associate Dean of Students, in conjunction with the director of Health Services, reserves the right to determine whether a specific medical problem warrants a reduced meal plan or a full meal plan waiver.
Painting of the hallways and individual rooms is not permitted. However, door painting, wing projects, and recreation room murals in the traditional halls (Caroline, Calvert, Dorchester, Prince George, and Queen Anne) may be considered by the Office of Residence Life in conjunction with the Physical Plant Department and the Office of Conferences and Events. All requests should be submitted (along with a detailed design and color scheme) to the Associate Directpr of Residence Life.
In order to live in campus housing, students are required to be full-time, degree-seeking students in good standing. Students who drop below full-time credit (12 hours) must submit a written request to the Associate Dean of Students to remain in College housing. Last-semester seniors who need fewer than 12 credits to graduate must also submit a written request. If permission is granted (based on the reason for the request and past behavior), the student will have to continue to pay the full-time tuition rate, remain registered for at least eight (8) credits, and maintain exemplary behavior or face the loss of housing privileges.
Before dropping below 12 credits, students are strongly advised to discuss this matter with their parents to ensure that health, dental, and homeowner insurance policies will not be affected. Some insurance companies will provide coverage only if the student is registered as a full-time student. Please keep this information in mind and plan accordingly.
Due to fire regulations, the number of people permitted in a room (including the suites in Lewis Quad and Waring Commons), apartment, or townhouse is limited as follows:
|Residence hall single:||3 guests plus 1 resident|
|Residence hall double:||5 guests plus 2 residents|
|Residence hall triple/quad:||7 guests plus 2 residents|
|Six-person suite:||15 guests plus 6 residents|
|Eight-person suite:||20 guest plus 8 residents|
|10-person suite:||20 guests plus 10 residents|
|14-person suite:||20 guests plus 14 residents|
|Apartment/Townhouse:||30 guests plus 4 residents or 5 residents|
A party is considered to be a gathering of 10 or more persons. Throughout the party, all guests with alcohol must be at least 21 years old and must remain behind closed doors (within the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse). Individuals are not permitted to drink in the stairwells or common areas of the suites in Lewis Quad or Waring Commons. The noise level should be kept to a minimum so as not to disturb neighboring rooms, suites, apartments, or townhouses. Unacceptable noise levels will be determined by Residence Life and Public Safety staff. All College rules, regulations, and policies must be upheld. The hosts (residents of the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse) will be held responsible for the behavior of their guests, invited or not invited, and any violations of policy. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the party. If problems develop with invited or uninvited guests, the hosts should contact a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member for assistance.
The following are reasons, either in combination or by themselves, for a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member to request that the residents of a room, suite, apartment, or townhouse disperse their guests and end a party:
- The number of guests is determined to be in violation of fire and safety code standards.
- It is determined that guests are being charged for attending the party or for the alcohol that is being provided.
- It is determined that there is a keg or multi-liter container in or around the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse.
- It is determined that there are underage guests who are consuming alcohol.
- Damage has been caused and can be attributed to guests at the party.
- The noise level is determined to be disruptive, either by complaints from neighboring rooms, suites,apartments, or townhouses, or by a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member.
It is expected that the hosts of a party will help facilitate its disbursement, with the assistance of Public Safety or Residence Life staff members. It is expected that all guests will leave in an orderly fashion.
The College shall exercise 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. Personal items such as bicycles and electronic equipment may be registered with Public Safety.
Personal Responsibility for Residence Hall Rooms and Other Spaces
Students are responsible for ensuring that the condition of and activities occurring within their assigned residence rooms are in compliance with all conduct standards and other expectations outlined in To The Point, the Resident Student Handbook, the College web page, and the Housing Contract. Residents will be held accountable for any disciplinary infractions occurring within the confines of their designated living space, regardless of whether or not they were present at the time of the incident, if it can be established that their action(s), or lack thereof, contributed directly or indirectly to a violation and or it is reasonable that they would know a violation is occurring. This responsibility also applies to other areas that include, but are not limited to, adjacent living spaces, shared room/floor spaces, lounges, residence entrances, and the residence community in general. Students should, therefore, remember to lock their doors in order to prevent unwanted, prohibited, or illegal intrusions, visitors, events, or incidents; avoid giving their personal room key and/or ID card to others; avoid allowing anyone who should not be in the residence to enter; report all suspicious activities and/or security liabilities such as lost keys, propped doors, broken windows, etc.; and ensure that guests/visitors understand and abide by all St. Mary’s College conduct standards, policies, and regulations outlined in the documents noted above.
In order to provide a safe and a healthy environment for members of the campus community to study, work and live, to comply with local animal ordinances, and to ensure public safety, it is the policy of the College to restrict animals from all campus buildings. One of the areas of concern for the College is the continuing presence of unauthorized pets on campus. Current College policy states that pets and other animals are not permitted in any College building because of health and safety concerns for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Animals as pets are not permitted in any campus building, including residence halls, classrooms, and public spaces. Animals in buildings may present health problems very different from those encountered in the home. The influence of these animals on the comfort and health of others should be a matter of concern to all in the campus community, and should be considered above the personal satisfaction of keeping a pet. Many persons are deathly afraid of pet animals, especially dogs, and when they enter a residence hall, office, lab, or classroom it should be their right not to have to encounter a dog or other pet in the foyer, lounge areas, or a corridor. Abandonment of pets, especially cats, continues to be a problem. This usually occurs just before long vacations or at the end of a semester.
Exemptions are granted for service animals which assist people with disabilities, are used in education or research projects, or for full-time, live-on professional staff who have been given written permission by the associate dean of students/director of Residence Life. Resident students are permitted to have non-meat-eating fish and non-venomous reptiles in closed aquariums in their assigned room. Animals that are temporarily on the grounds must be licensed and under the control of the owner (leashed) at all times. Pets should not be left in cars (due to the potential of problems from heat or cold), and are not permitted to be “tied up” outside of buildings. Pets found tied up or running loose on campus may be taken by Animal Control. Faculty, students, and staff must also ensure that their visitors abide by the College’s pet policy. It has become necessary to strictly enforce this policy for all students, faculty, and staff in order to be in compliance with state laws and regulations, and the College’s policy.
Therapy, Companion or Comfort Animals – These are animals that have been prescribed as treatment and, while they may be an integral part of therapy, they generally do not assist the individual in the activities of daily living. They may or may not be trained and certified. They are not considered to be service animals and do not have the rights of service animals. Students that wish to have a Therapy, Companion, or Comfort Animal in housing should contact the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life (or designee) prior to bringing the animal to campus. Policy information, procedures, and the request form can be found on the Residence Life web page (www.smcm.edu/residencelife).
Athletic Events: St. Mary's College of Maryland is concerned for the health, well-being, and comfort of all fans attending NCAA athletic events as well as all student athletes, coaches, and officials participating in NCAA athletic events. Pets and other animals are prohibited at St. Mary's College of Maryland athletic events. Any person found with an animal or pet at a St. Mary's College of Maryland NCAA athletic event will be asked to leave the premises. This excludes service animals, which are allowed per College policy, with proper documentation.
Minimum Expected Sanctions:
Commuting Students: Students may not bring their pets to campus while attending classes, except as noted above. Pet owners may face a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, community service hours, and/or education project. Repeat offenders face disciplinary probation and residence hall facility restriction or suspension.
Resident Students: The owner of the pet faces a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, community service hours, and/or education project. Repeat offenders will face loss of housing, disciplinary probation, and/or suspension. Residents who permit unauthorized pets in their room, suite, townhouse, or apartment face community service hours after their first offense and repeat offenders face disciplinary probation.
Your cooperation in following this policy is appreciated and will help to create better working conditions for our employees and reduce concerns about personal safety and problems and inconveniences associated with allergies, fleas, odors, and damages.
The older Townhouses (Townhouse Green) have flat surfaces, porticos, above the front door. For safety reasons, Townhouse residents are not to sit, stand, lie upon, or place items on the porticos. Stay off the porticos!
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 guns, bows and arrows, and knives with a blade of 3" or longer
- 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), 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
- 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, submergible heating coils, microwave ovens, and halogen lamps
Quiet Hours, Noise (in and around the living areas, including DPC)
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, courtesy hours are always in effect, and residents should respect the rights of others who wish to sleep or study. Stereo speakers may not be directed out the windows due to the possibility of disrupting classes. Amplified music is not permitted in the near vicinity of the residences (for example, on Townhouse Green, inside Lewis Quad, within the Waring Commons complex, or adjacent to a residence hall). Sound equipment that violates the quiet hours policy may be removed from the resident's room. Residence hall wings may establish additional quiet hours by a two-thirds majority vote.
Bands, amplifiers, and/or amplified music are not permitted in the traditional residence halls. These areas are not suited for this type of activity. Arrangements for more appropriate performance space can be discussed with the Music Department or the Office of Student Activities.
Student bands are allowed to rehearse in the suites, apartments, and townhouses Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Due to the special nature of Calvert Hall (faculty and administrative staff offices, and residence hall spaces), students living 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.
In all residence units, 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.
Students with quiet-hour complaints should do the following:
- Work out the concern with those involved. Ask them to please keep the noise down and explain why it is important to you to have a quiet atmosphere.
- If that fails to solve the problem, talk to a resident assistant or the RHC. He/she will intervene to reduce the conflict and address the concern.
- If necessary, the staff member will file an Incident Report. Disciplinary action may follow.
Residence Hall Closing Time (See also "Vacation Periods")
Opening and closing dates and times for room occupancy are specified on the College calendar and must be observed. Therefore, residents are reminded that they 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, suites, apartments, and townhouses officially open. Residence halls are closed during vacations and no student is permitted to remain in them during these periods. All students must leave by the appointed time. If transportation problems arise, students must make other arrangements. Students must check out of their residence hall, suite, apartment, 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.
College officials, including Residence Life staff members, reserve the right to enter a student's room, locked or unlocked, at any time it is deemed necessary, for policy enforcement, monthly health & safety inspections, maintenance and repairs, concerns about fire safety and well-being, and other similar emergencies. College officials and Residence Life staff will attempt to notify residents in advance.
Room Inventory (Room Condition Reports and Townhouse Condition Reports)
Each residence hall room and townhouse is inspected by the Residence Life staff for major repairs prior to the opening of the halls in the fall term. Residents are expected to inspect their room/suite/apartment/townhouse for any and all damages and fill out a Room Condition Report (RCR) accordingly. Failure to fill out an RCR will result in an administrative hold being placed on the resident's account and a blank RCR being placed in the student's file. Residents may not make any repairs to College property.
At check-out (after a room change or at the end of the year), the room will be inspected again by the Residence Life staff to determine the charges, if any, to be assessed to the residents for repair or replacement of items damaged or lost during their occupancy. Except for normal wear and tear, items noted at check-out that were not noted at check-in will be billed back to the assigned residents. When individuals responsible for damages cannot be identified, all the residents of the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse will be held liable. Failure to complete a "Room Condition Report" or "Townhouse Condition Report" and the inspection process will result in a $50 fine. Personal belongings left in any room, suite, apartment, or townhouse after the space has been vacated will be discarded.
For students officially withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the College, a refund schedule for tuition, room, and board is available. Students who withdraw from housing but remain enrolled in the College are also eligible for refunds based on the College's established refund schedule. Please refer to the College Catalog for more information.
There is no room refund for students who are removed from housing due to a housing contract violation or judicial sanction (housing revocation, suspension, or expulsion). The meal plan charges will be prorated on a weekly basis based on the official date of departure from housing or the effective date of the restriction, suspension, or expulsion as noted by the student conduct officer. For more information, please review the housing contract and the College Catalog.
A limited number of single rooms are available in each residence hall. Singles are assigned first on a medical or psychological basis or ADA compliance, then by seniority based on earned credits. Medical reasons must be documented and approved by the Health Center. Psychological reasons must be documented and approved by the Counseling Center. ADA reasons must be documented and approved by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services. The Associate Dean of Students, in conjunction with the director of Health Services, director of Counseling Services, or the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, reserves the right to judge whether a specific medical or psychological problem or ADA reason warrants a single room.
In the resident facilities, solicitation and selling (for example, merchandise, food, magazines) door-to-door, from a student room, or in a public area is not permitted without authorization from the Office of Residence Life. Soliciting by telephone or by using the all-student e-mail system is also not permitted, and students should not assist vendors who attempt to enlist students by telephone or e-mail to arrange campus canvassing. Residents should contact Residence Life staff members when unauthorized solicitors are canvassing in College housing, including people selling pizzas, perfume, candy, T-shirts, magazines, etc.
The College has no storage space for personal belongings. No room furnishings can be placed in storage. All College furniture must remain in the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse. Be sure to lock your doors to guard against theft of personal property. Also, make sure you or your family has adequate insurance to cover loss or damage to personal property. Several self-storage facilities are available in Lexington Park.
Each townhouse unit contains one storage closet. HVAC closets and attic crawl spaces must NOT be used for storage. In Waring Commons, hot water heater rooms, mechanical rooms, and attic spaces must NOT be used for storage.
Study rooms are available in each residence hall and are to be used for study purposes only (except for overcrowding situations). These rooms are not intended for socializing or recreation. Students are expected to respect the needs of fellow students using the room for study.
All residence hall students should put their trash directly into the dumpsters, located near their residence hall as noted below: Calvert: Anne Arundel Hall: east parking lot Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George: Parking lot behind Caroline and Prince George Lewis Quadrangle: Entrance to the fire lane near suite 24 Queen Anne: Queen Anne parking lot Townhouses: DPC parking lot, near Trueschler 6, near the entrance to Lot R Waring Commons: Centrally located between units 25 - 26 Lewis Quad and Waring Commons residents should not leave trash or personal items in the stairwells at any time due to fire codes. Due to our concern for the health and safety of our students, as well as for College property, students are not permitted to throw trash in the janitor closets. Dumpsters will be located outside some of the buildings during check-in in August and during exam week in May to assist in trash removal. We ask that you assist the Office of Residence Life and the housekeeping staff in maintaining a clean and sanitary living environment. Students found discarding their trash improperly will be billed for trash removal. Students are encouraged to use the recycling bins located in the laundry rooms or at some of the dumpster pads. Trash Removal Residents in the Townhouses and Waring Commons are responsible for trash disposal. Students may keep a trashcan and their recycling unit on their back patio (Townhouses) provided it is emptied on a regular basis. Waring Commons residents should not leave trash or personal items in the stairwell at any time due to fire codes. The Maintenance Department will remove (at $40 per incident) any trash left in front of townhouses, disposed of improperly, or attractive to animals. Five dumpsters are located in the townhouse area, each surrounded by a wooden fence. Trash and recycling bins are centrally located for the residents of Waring Commons (between units 25 – 26). Students are to put their trash into one of the dumpsters. Residents, especially those in the Southern Crescent, should not use the garbage cans in the Schaefer Hall parking lot for trash disposal. Remember, it is your community. PLEASE KEEP IT CLEAN!
Trash must not be kept in the HVAC mechanical closet or the hot water heater closet.
In the Townhouses, the air intake for the heat and air conditioning is located in this closet, and, therefore, odors will be drawn throughout the entire unit.
Containers for recycling aluminum cans and glass are available at designated dumpster sites. Please recycle!
Vacation Periods (See also "Residence Hall Closing Time")
Students may not stay in any residence hall during the period of a vacation or break. Residents in the suites, apartments, or townhouses may remain in their units during Thanksgiving vacation and Spring Break with approval from the Office of Residence Life. Except in highly unusual circumstances, residents may not remain in campus housing during the December-January break.
When necessary, residence hall students may stay in a suite, apartment, or townhouse unit, provided all residents of the unit are in agreement. If this option is chosen, students are responsible for identifying and making the appropriate arrangements. When you have identified a space, you will need to follow the posted closing procedures pertaining to remaining on campus 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 should be aware that the Residence Life staff is not available during College breaks (Thanksgiving, December-January, and Spring), and the College assumes no responsibility. During the breaks, the dining hall will be closed. In case of emergencies, contact the Public Safety Office at ext. 4911.
The residence facilities will open and close during the 2012 - 2013 academic year as listed below:
- Open for new students/Orientation Thursday, August 23 at 9:00 a.m.
- Open for returning students Aug. 25 & 26 at 10 a.m.
- 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 January 12 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 2012-2013:
- 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 apartment and townhouse residents
Specific information will be provided before each closing. Please be sure to read and follow the closing procedures.
NOTE: When leaving during College breaks, townhouse residents should never turn the thermostat below 55° (lowering the temperature may cause the water pipes to freeze and burst).
SMCM 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 located in the lobby for guest use.
For health, safety, and maintenance reasons, screens should not be loosened, propped open, or removed from the windows. Storm windows are not to be removed at any time.
Firearms, knives of any kind with a blade of 3 inches or longer, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other illegal weapons are strictly prohibited on College premises. If found, the items will be confiscated and the student will be addressed through the conduct system.