Residence Life PoliciesThe following regulations apply to all MU students living in the residence halls. These policies are not designed to limit personal freedom but to create and promote an environment conducive to study and personal growth. The success of the residential program depends on the willingness of each resident to accept responsibility for themselves and for others in the community.
- Antennas and Appliances
- Bicycles and Hall Sports
- Bunkbeds, Lofts, and Waterbeds
- Consolidation of Vacancies
- Damage Billing
- Door Keys, Locks & Access IDs
- Electrical Power Failure
- Exit Doors
- Extension Cords and Electrical Outlets
- Fire Emergencies
- Floor Meeting
- Guests and Visitation
- Kitchen Facilities and Cooking
- Lock Outs
- Lounges and Furnishings
- Meal Plans
- Medical Single Rooms
- Paint, Washable Paint
- Personal Property
- Quiet Hours, Noise
- Residence Hall Closing Times
- Requirements for On-campus Housing
- Room Changes
- Room Entry/Search
- Room Furnishings and Decorations
- Room Inventory and Inspection (Room Condition Report)
- Windows and Screens
- Residents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
Alcohol is not permitted in McHale Hall or any public area on campus. Alcohol is restricted to use in private rooms by those who are of legal age (21), including guests. Kegs or beer balls are not permitted in the residential facilities. Doors to student rooms must be closed when alcohol is legally being used and all occupants of the room must be 21. Individuals under the age of 21 may not possess, consume or be in the presence of alcohol. Refer to the alcohol policy in the University Policy Manual or the Student Handbook.Top
Antennas and Appliances
Residents are not permitted to install outdoor antennas or other devices on the exterior of any University residence or in adjacent trees or shrubbery. Due to safety concerns, electrical wiring in a room and electrical equipment cannot be altered. This includes splicing cable lines. Fires in student rooms have resulted from electrical defects or careless use of electrical appliances. The following are the only appliances which may be operated in student rooms: clocks, fans, hair dryers, curling irons, electric curlers, clothes irons (with automatic shut-offs), hot pots (must have closed heating elements and auto shut-offs), popcorn poppers, small refrigerators (4.6 cu. ft.)*, small microwaves (.9 cu. ft./700 watts)*, automatic shut-off coffee pots, radios, shavers, stereo equipment, televisions, computers, printers, video game consoles, VCRs/DVDs/Blue Ray players. Electrical appliances not included on this list are not allowed and may be confiscated and stored at the student’s expense. No appliance may have an exposed heating element. All appliances must be UL approved. Halogen lamps and Medusa lights are prohibited because of the risk of fire.
*Note: refrigerators and microwaves are provided in all of our residence halls. If you require an extra refrigerator you must contact the Office of Residence Life to obtain permission for any reason.Top
Bicycles and Hall Sports
For safety reasons, bikes may not be parked or stored in stairwells, lounges, or public areas. Bicycles, scooters/skateboards may not be ridden in the residence halls / houses and sports or sport-like activities of any kind may not be played inside the residential facilities. Hoverboards are not permitted on-campus. Motorcycles and mopeds may not be operated or stored in the University residences. Contact the Campus Safety office for information about registering and parking of bicycles and motor vehicles.Top
Bunkbeds, Lofts, and Waterbeds
Due to safety issues, lofts or bunk beds are not permitted in University residences unless they have been provided by the University. Waterbeds are not permitted because of the danger of water and structural damage due to excessive weight on the floors.Top
The use of candles, potpourri, and incense burners. candle (wax) warmers, Scentsies are not permitted due to fire hazards ad their use is subject to fines:
First Offense: $25 per candle/burner and confiscation of items
Second Offense: $50 per candle and confiscation of candles.
Third and Subsequent Offenses: Referral to the Office of Community Standards. Top
For the health & safety of the community, all students are expected to keep their rooms clean. If University personnel deem a room/suite/townhouse/house unclean or unsanitary, a warning will be issued. If in 24 hours the room is not cleaned, the student will receive a $100 fine. Continued failure to comply with this policy will result in referral to the Office of Community Standards. Warnings are not given at breaks or end of year closing. The student will be fined.Top
Members of the Residence Life staff (Resident Directors and Resident Assistants) are considered to be University officials. All students are expected to respect staff and their directives. Failure to comply will result in referral to the Office of Community Standards.Top
Members of the Residence Life staff (Resident Directors and Resident Assistants) are considered to be University officials. All students are expected to respect staff and their directives. Failure to comply will result in referral to the Office of Community Standards.Top
Consolidation of Vacancies
When vacancies occur in a student room, the remaining student will be given another roommate or be reassigned to another room. The Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life reserves the right to make any necessary changes in roommates and room assignments.Top
Students are asked to take an active part in maintaining their community. Damage to rooms or common areas in the residential facilities beyond normal wear and tear will be charged to the students. If those responsible do not come forward or are not identified, the cost will be equally divided among the roommates and/or those living in the wing, floor, or building. Students responsible for excessive damage will be referred to the Assistant Director of Residence Life. The Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life reserves the right to refuse, revoke, suspend, or reassign housing of a student or group of students based on inappropriate behavior or damages.Top
Door Keys, Locks & Access IDs
As active participants in the safety of the community, students are responsible for the care of the keys/access ID cards that are issued to them by the Office of Residence Life and IT. Lost room keys will be billed to the student at the rate of $50.00. Gildea Hall, MacDowell Hall, the Townhouses and yellow house will be billed $100.00 for lost perimeter keys. Duplicating keys or giving keys / Access IDs to others is a danger to the community and will result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards.
If Access IDs / keys have been temporarily misplaced, students must immediately contact the Residence Life staff. Students will be instructed to go to Campus Safety and a temporary Access ID / set of keys will be issued. If the original keys are not found within three days, new keys will be issued to maintain the safety of the building and the student’s account will be billed.
If a student loses their ID/access card, the Residence Life staff should be notified immediately to protect the safety of the community. The student’s lost card will immediately be deactivated. Students should go to the Help Desk for a new ID/Access card. The student’s account will be charged $20.00 for the replacement of a lost or damaged card. If a student loses their card and the Student Help Desk is closed, Campus Safety will issue a temporary card with the approval of the Residence Life office.Top
Possession, cultivation, sale, distribution and/or use of illegal drugs is prohibited, in accordance with federal, state, and local statutes. The possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal in Pennsylvania. Violation of this policy is a sufficient cause for removal from the residence halls. Refer to the drug policies in this handbook.Top
Electrical Power Failure
In the event of a power failure, emergency hall lights will be activated. Residents are advised to have a flashlight available during a blackout. As in all emergency situations, residents should remain calm. Residence Life staff will give further instructions during an emergency.Top
Exit Doors/Emergency Only Exit Doors
Due to fire and safety regulations, all corridor and exit doors must be kept free of all items. Exit doors should 94 never be blocked or propped open. Doors marked “Emergency Only” may only be used for emergencies. Students who violate this policy will be charged $50.00 per violation and repeated offenses will result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards. In Gildea Hall, the suite doors also act as fire doors and should never be blocked or propped open. In order to protect the community, students should not admit strangers to residential facilities. All guests should be escorted by their hosts.Top
Extension Cords and Electrical Outlets
Residents should not use electrical cords more than eight feet long or use four-way plugs/ outlet extenders in the outlets, as both practices may cause an electrical overload and fire hazard. All electrical extension cords and power strips with built- in surge protectors must be UL listed. Do not plug extension cords into other extension cords or into surge protectors. All extension cords and surge protectors must be plugged directly into the wall sockets to prevent a fire.Top
Fire emergency instructions will be reviewed by the Residence Hall staff at the beginning of the academic year and must be strictly obeyed for the protection of all the residents. Smoke detectors may not be dismantled. When a fire alarm sounds, residents should:
1. Close all windows.
2. Take a towel and wear shoes.
3. Take keys and ID card.
4. Turn lights off.
5. Leave the room and close the door.
6. Proceed to the nearest exit in a calm, orderly manner. If the exit is blocked, remain calm and use the next exit. Residents should become familiar with all emergency exits in their area.
7. All residents must evacuate the building before the fire alarm will be reset. Your Residence Hall staff will give instructions as to when you may re-enter.
8. Report any damage or tampering with fire equipment to your Residence Life staff. Tampering with fire alarms, hoses, extinguishers, and exit lights, or refusing to evacuate during a fire alarm seriously impair the effectiveness of residence hall safety. Such offenses require disciplinary action which includes a $200 fine and suspension from the residence halls. These violations may also be referred to civil authorities. Top
Because of the pertinent information that is distributed at these scheduled meetings, all residents are expected to attend. A student who cannot attend must contact the Resident Director. Failure to attend one floor meeting will result in a verbal warning. Continued missed meetings will result in a referral to the Director / Assistant Director of Residence Life and may impact your lottery number.Top
Guests and Visitation
The right of a student to live in reasonable privacy takes precedence over the right of a roommate to entertain a
guest in the room. In determining when a guest should be invited to the room, common sense and mutual respect
should prevail. Student rooms are for use by the University student assigned to that room and may not be used by other students or by those who are not members of the University community without the prior approval of all their roommates.
Visitation is from 9:00 AM to 2:00 AM Sunday to Saturday.
The University employs Desk Assistants Thursday – Saturday. All guests (MU students included) who do not reside in the buildings must sign in and leave an ID card at the front desk during that time.
***Visitation privileges may be revoked or limited by the Director /Assistant Director of Residence Life.
Rules & Regulations
A guest may stay no more than two consecutive nights and at no time should a roommate be displaced by
visitors. Students are expected to register their guests with a Residence Life staff member at least two days prior
to the visit. Guests must reside with a host or hostess of the same sex and are required to observe the policies of
the residential facilities. Guests may not stay in unoccupied beds, without the consent of the student whose bed is to be used. The host or hostess is responsible for informing the guest of University policies and is also responsible for the conduct and behavior of the guest in the residential facilities at all times. Overnight visitors must be at least 18 years old unless they are visiting through Admissions / Athletics or are a younger sibling participating in a special University event. At no time may a guest sleep in University lounges.
All guests must be registered through the on-line Guest Registration Form found on the Residence Life myMU page. All guests must be approved by the Resident Director.Top
Kitchen Facilities and Cooking
Full kitchen facilities are available in most residences. Students are responsible to clean up after using these facilities. All appliances (stoves, refrigerators, sinks, microwaves, etc.) must also be kept clean. Failure to keep the kitchen areas clean will result in common area billing or the closing of the facility. Kitchen items left more than forty-eight hours will be removed/disposed of.Top
For the safety of the community, students are responsible for carrying their keys / access cards at all times. Students who have been locked out of their rooms should find the RA on duty or another Residence Life staff member. A verbal warning will be given the first time and subsequent offenses will result in the following fines.
First Offense: Verbal Warning Second Offense: $1.00 Third Offense: $2.00 Fourth Offense on: $5.00
All monies collected will go into the Programming budget for the residential community.Top
Lounges and Furnishings
Lounge furnishings are provided for the use of all residents and guests for programs or study. Therefore lounge furniture should not be moved from its location. If lounge furniture is found in a student’s room, a written warning will be given. Further violations of this policy will result in referral to the Assistant Director of Residence Life or the Office of Community Standards.Top
All students living in University housing are required to have a meal plan. Information regarding the various meal plan options will be shared with first year/transfer students prior to their arrival. Returning students’ meal plan options can be found on the Residence Life page on myMU.
Students may change their meal plan selection over the summer until the end of the first week of the Fall semester and from the end of the Fall semester until the end of the first week of the Spring semester.
Residents may add “flex dollars” to their student ID card for purchases at the Cougar’s Den, Café and the Bookstore. Flex dollars can be purchased at the Student Financial Services Office, Room 120 in Mercy Hall. Flex dollars are not lost at the end of a semester and can be carried over.Top
Medical Accommodations/ Medical Single Rooms
Students requesting medical accommodations in the residence halls or medical single rooms (limited numbers available) must have an approved medical reason documented by a professional and on file with the Student Health Center and the Office of Residence Life. The Residence Life Office in conjunction with the Health Center and/or ADA compliance officer, reserves the right to judge whether a specific medical problem warrants special medical accommodations or a medical single room.Top
Paint, Washable Paint
The University regularly paints all university residential areas. Painting of individual rooms (doors, door frames, windows, walls, etc.) by students is not permitted. However, special consideration by the Residence Life Office may be granted for certain pre-approved building beautification projects. Interested student groups must obtain the appropriate paperwork and approval from the Residence Life Office.Top
The University assumes no responsibility for insurance on personal property of students. Any student who wishes to have this kind of protection must make their own arrangements through their own insurance company. The University is not responsible for losses in cases of fire, theft, water damage, and similar occurrences. Students are advised to leave valuable articles at home.Top
For reasons of sanitation, noise, and potential health problems, all pets (including hamsters, aquatic frogs, snakes, turtles, hermit crabs etc.) are not prohibited. Fish in a bowl or aquarium, that does not exceed a 20-gallon capacity, are permitted. If pets are found in a residential area, the pet must be removed in 24 hours. The student will be fined $100 each time a pet is found.Top
Quiet Hours, Noise
To ensure that there is an environment conducive to study, quiet hours are 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM Sunday through Thursday, and midnight to 10:00 AM on Friday and Saturday. During these hours, noise must be kept to a minimum in the residential facilities. However, students should always respect the rights of others who wish to sleep or study as part of our 24-hour-a-day courtesy policy. Stereo speakers may not be directed out of windows. Sound equipment that violates the quiet hours may be removed from the student’s room and stored at the owner’s expense. Residence hall wings/houses may establish additional quiet hours by a two-thirds majority vote. All residential areas are expected to maintain 22-hour quiet during final exam periods. This also includes the University’s designated study day. Relief and break hours are observed daily from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Violations during quiet hours are subject to fines. The fine will not exceed $25 per violation.Top
Residence Hall Closing Times
Students are notified of Opening and Closing dates / times via email or myMU. Students may not check into their rooms early or deliver personal property to their rooms before the residential facilities open. (Exceptions are made to students involved in special programs or season Athletes.) Residential facilities are closed during all University designated vacations and student breaks. No student is permitted to remain during these periods unless permission is granted by the Office of Residence Life for academic and/or athletic related reasons. Opening and Closing dates follow the Academic calendar and can be found on-line and in the Student Handbook. Students who are not able to comply with these instructions are advised to make suitable arrangements elsewhere or with area motels. If transportation problems arise, students must make other arrangements. All students must follow the established check out guidelines and leave by the designated time or be subject to an Improper Check -out fine. At the end of each semester, students are required to leave within 24 hours of their last exam or no later than the closing hour of the halls on the last day of exams, whichever is earlier. Closing instructions and procedures will be given to all residential students at least one week prior to closing. Students who are involved in academic internships, clinical placements, student teaching and/or in season athletes may stay in residence as long as permission is authorized by the Office of Residence Life one week in advance.Top
As in any community, members are expected to know community expectations. Students will be held accountable for knowing and following the rules, regulations and guidelines of the Office of Residence Life (ORL). This includes information found within the Student Handbook, and special informational newsletters and bulletins as distributed by the office at certain times of the year pertaining to such things as housing lottery/room selection, room change period, and semester closing days.Top
Requirements for On-campus Housing
The University has determined that in the best interests of the students, the institution, and the community, that all traditional entering first-year students whose permanent residence is further than a 40 mile radius of the University are required to live in campus housing for a minimum of 2 academic years (4 academic semesters). On-campus housing is provided for full-time undergraduate (12 credits or more) students under the age of 25 who have not earned an undergraduate degree. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis depending on the circumstance and the availability of space; however, students 25 years or older may not reside on campus. Resident students must provide the University with proof of health insurance, meningitis, TB and MMR vaccinations. Failure to provide or maintain this status will result in the loss of housing privileges. On a space available basis, part-time and graduate students may be provided housing at the discretion of the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life.
Each residential student must sign the campus housing agreement. This agreement is binding for the entire fall 70 and spring semesters and states that the student will remain in residence for the duration of this agreement. Any release from this agreement is permitted only under the conditions of academic withdrawal, dismissal, verified medical reasons, or other extreme extenuating circumstances, and only with the approval of the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life. Any request for release must be submitted in writing to the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the University’s sole discretion. A student from the greater Dallas area wishing to leave campus housing and move home with his or her immediate family must petition, in writing, for a release from their campus housing agreement for the spring semester on or before December 1 of the year prior, to the Office of Residence Life. Percentage of refund of room-and-board fees will be determined by the actual date of departure established by officially checking out and returning all keys to the Residence Life Office.Top
The granting of room changes is not automatic and is not viewed as an effective way to resolve conflicts. Students are expected to compromise on any differences in their lifestyles. A formal mediation process is set into action prior to any discussion of room change. Students who fail to follow the guidelines regarding room changes and move without the approval of the Director/Assistant Director of Residence Life will face disciplinary action which will include a $25 charge.
MU reserves the right to room assignments/reassignments for the benefit of the community as determined by MU. Students may be moved to consolidate space.
There are two designated times during the Fall semester when students can apply for room changes or a roommate swap. Dates and times for these processes will be announced by the Office of Residence Life.Top
University officials, including Residence Life staff members, reserve the right to enter a student’s room, locked or unlocked, at any time deemed necessary for rule enforcement, health and safety inspection, maintenance, repairs, illness, hazards, and other emergency situations. University officials and Residence life Staff will attempt to notify the residents in advance of a room entry.Top
Room Furnishings and Decorations
All furniture must remain in the student rooms at all times. Relocation or storage of such furniture is not permitted. Students who violate this policy will be held accountable
.• First Offense – Verbal warning
• Second Offense - $25.00 fine
• Third and Subsequent Offenses – Referral to the Office of Community Standards
When decorating the room, students should note the following:
• Nails, screws, push pins; duct tape or masking tape may not be affixed to the walls.
• Nothing may be put on the exterior window sills or hung out of windows.
• Objects that cover lights, electrical outlets, or fire safety equipment may not be suspended from the ceilings.
• Use only 3M command strips.
The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to deny the addition of any room decoration or furnishing that is deemed inappropriate to the values of the University or violates the health and safety codes of the building
Room Inventory and Inspection (Room Condition Report)
Every residential room is inspected by the Resident Assistants prior to the opening of the halls in the fall term. Residents are expected to review the Room Condition Report (RCR) inventory to make certain that all items and existing conditions are accurately recorded. At check-out (after a room change or at the end of the year), the room will be inspected again by the Resident Assistants to determine the charges, if any, to be assessed to the residents for the repair or replacement of items damaged or lost during their occupancy. When individuals responsible for damage cannot be identified, all the residents of the room/suite/townhouse or house shall be liable. Failure to complete the room inventory and the inspection process shall result in a $50 fine (see Damage Billing section).Top
In an effort to make sure that our community is safe, any activity that endangers one’s self or others will not be tolerated in the residential facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, possession or use of fireworks, firearms, explosives, or weapons; or weapons (refer to the University’s Weapon Policy under the Student code of Conduct); fighting or threats of bodily harm; and tampering with safety equipment or alarms or failing to evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds. This also prohibits the use of barbeque grills (except at the Townhouse Complex, Lake Street houses and the Machell Avenue Residence) live Christmas trees, candles, (including birthday candles), potpourri and incense or candle (wax) burners, Scentsies, any open-coiled heating units, and smoking in non-designated areas. Any safety violation the residence life staff finds to be threatening or dangerous in any way will be documented and students will be expected to rectify the situation within 24 hours. Failure to comply with such requests will result in fines and/or referral to the Office of Community Standards.
o Grills-Personal barbecue grills are not permitted in the Residence Hall areas (Alumnae, Gildea, MacDowell, McGowan and McHale) but are permitted at the Townhouse Complex, Lake St Houses and Machell Ave Residence. Grills at the Townhouses Complex, Lake St Houses, and Machell Ave Residence must be no larger than a small 2 burner single propane tank grill with no attachments on the side (no extra side hotplate). Grills must be kept on the outside of those units and are never permitted inside the Townhouses, Lake St Houses or Machell. When not in use, propane tanks must be turned off and during the winter months it is recommended you take the grill home instead of leaving them outside. Propane tanks must be taken home or returned to local propane re-fueling centers during winter months. If Residence Life Staff or Campus Safety believes the grills and tanks are not being used properly, you can be asked to take grill and tank home immediately.Top
Smoking is not permitted in the residential facilities. Individuals who choose to smoke must do so outside the building in designated areas, at least twenty five feet away, from building entrances and windows. This includes e-cigs and vapor pens. Residents are subject to a $100 fine per violation for smoking within the residential facilities.Top
Solicitation and selling (e.g., selling merchandise, food, magazines) either door-to-door, from a student room, or in a public area is not permitted without authorization from the Student Activities Office. Soliciting by telephone /computer is also not permitted in the residential facilities, and students should not assist vendors who attempt to enlist students by telephone / computers in order to arrange residential facilities canvassing.
Residents should contact Residence Life staff members when unauthorized solicitors are canvassing any of the residential facilities.Top
Due to limited space, the University cannot provide storage facilities for residents. All furnishings must remain in the student's room.Top
Windows and Screens
For health, safety, and maintenance reasons, screens shall not be loosened, propped open, or removed from the windows. Storm windows are not to be removed at any time. Violations are subject to a $100 fine. In addition, decorations or personal items should not be hung outside the window or placed on window sills or ledges.Top
Students who wish to withdraw from residence halls must state their intention in writing to the director of residence life, and are required to officially check out of their room within 24 hours. Refer to the withdrawal process in the academic catalog for refund policy information. Students withdrawing from the University must also go to the vice president of student affairs office to complete an official withdrawal clearance form.Top
Residents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
To foster a spirit of community and to secure the basic rights of individual residents at Misericordia University, a Residents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities has been established by the Office of Residence Life. The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities serves two functions:
- It defines the rights and privileges extended to each resident at the University, and
- It reminds all residents of their responsibility to respect and protect the right