Residential Life Handbook

Welcome to life on campus at Southwestern Christian University.

We are so thrilled that you have chosen to attend SCU and be a part of our on campus community.  We truly seek to serve you as residents and to educate you as students.  As you read the SCU Residential Life Mission Statement, we are not only interested in seeing you grow from an academic perspective but from a whole person perspective.  Please let us know how we can meet your needs.

SCU Residential Life Staff.

SCU Resident Life Handbook

 

SCU believes in a total educational experience that encompasses learning that takes place outside the formal classroom setting. The residence halls are an integral part of the learning process designed to provide a challenging and supportive environment. Residence hall programs, staff and policies are all intended to promote personal and social growth, as well as support the pursuit of academic goals.

 

Residency Requirements

Students under the age of 21 are required to live in resident housing unless they are married or living with their parents or legal guardians. Resident students must be full-time and maintain full-time status (enrolled in 12 or more hours) throughout the semester.

 Request for exception to the residency policy must be submitted to the VPSL no later than three weeks prior to the start of the semester. The VPSL office will review and approve any recommended exceptions.

 

Director of Residential  and Student  Life

The Director of Residential and Student Life is Cassandra Camp and she is the administrative member of the SCU staff concerned with the management of all aspects of the resident living areas. The Director of Residential and Student Life supervises all day-to-day activities on campus and within the residence halls, including the resident assistances and resident chaplains when appropriate. The Director of Residential and Student Life lives in one of the resident halls.

Resident Assistant (RA)

Resident Assistants live within each residence hall for behavioral role modeling, encouraging faith development, building community, acting as a student advocate and resource, and confronting individuals who exhibit behavior that is contrary to the community standards. Resident Assistants will typically assume more community responsibilities than Resident Chaplains.

 Resident Chaplains (RC)

Resident Chaplains support the Office of Spiritual Life on SCU’s campus. Other Resident Chaplain responsibilities include: live within each residence hall for behavioral role modeling, encouraging faith development, building community, acting as a student advocate and resource, and confronting individuals who exhibit behavior that is contrary to the community standards.

 

DORM ROOM INFORMATION

 Room Assignments

Rooms and roommates will not be assigned until a housing application and a non-refundable room fee are received.

 When a student is assigned a room, the student is responsible for completing a Check In/Out Form and having it approved and signed by the Director of Residential and Student Life before moving into the residence hall. Existing conditions of the room are listed on the Check In/Out form. If damages occur to the room during occupancy, the occupant(s) assigned to the room are assessed damage repair or replacement and cleaning costs.

 When a student leaves at the end of a school term, the room (including bathroom) must be cleaned, with bureau drawers and closets empty. The student must return the room key to the Director of Residential and Student Life and pass inspection by one of the university representatives or Resident Director. Failure to check out properly with the appropriate university personnel may result in the student being assessed checkout charges. Another room fee may be required before a future room reservation or assignment will be made.

 Students must remove their personal property when vacating the residence hall at the close of a school term. The university is not responsible for items left in the residence hall. Students are encouraged to purchase renter’s insurance.

 Room Check In/Check Out

Resident’s rooms are expected to be left in the same condition in which they were found upon arrival. A cleaning charge will be assessed to the occupants of any room left unclean or who have not removed personal property from the room. Additional charges will be made for damaged or missing items. Other details regarding the checkout process will be made available from the residence hall staff at the end of the academic year unless alternate arrangements are specified. Failure to properly check out with a residence life staff person will result in a fee being assessed to the student.

 Room Changes

During the first two weeks of the semester, room changes are not allowed. If a student wishes to change rooms, he/she and all individuals involved should discuss the reasons for the change with the Director of Residential and Student Life. If a student moves without permission, he/she will be required to return to the original room. All room changes must be recommended by the Director of Residential and Student Life and approved by the VPSL. There will be a $25 charge for approved room changes and a $50 fine for unauthorized room changes.

 Room Prohibited Items/Actions:

The following items/actions are prohibited in SCU residence halls, rooms, and common spaces. Items found in rooms that are in violation of school policy are subject to confiscation by school officials.

•    Alcoholic beverages, containers, and promotional items

•    Antennas attached to windows or outside of buildings

•    Athletic activities including running, throwing, bouncing, or kicking of objects; and the use of golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, footballs, etc.

•    Children are not permitted as permanent residents of the residence halls. Baby-sitting is not allowed in the residence halls.  

•    No pets are allowed in the residence halls, with the exception of fish in a container, which must be pre-approved by the Director of Residential and Student Life.

•    Blocking and/or propping open entrance and/or exit doors.

•    Ceiling alterations such as ceiling fans, mounting light fixtures, removal of ceiling tiles, etc.

•    Cooking appliances designed for frying or with open heating elements such as toaster ovens, electric skillets, hot plates, waffle makers, etc.

•    Construction of any kind

•    Controlled substances, designer drugs, or prescription drugs written for another individual

•    Fighting

•    Fire-arms, ammunition and other weapons

•    Fireworks of any kind

•    Exiting or entering a room through a window (except when exiting in the event of an emergency)

•    Mopeds, motorcycles, flammable fuel, gas engines

•    Open flames such as candles, incense, matches, lighters, etc.

•    Paint or painting, other than art supplies

•    Students should use discretion when viewing TV, movies, or on-line material and listening to music. Video games with T [Teen] are acceptable; those with M [Mature] must use discretion. Sexually explicit or inappropriate material, including but not limited to movies, posters, print materials, music, art, displays of profanity, or other potentially offensive, insulting, or provoking materials that are not consistent with the general spirit and message of SCU are not permitted.

•    Smoking

•    Space heaters

•    Throwing anything off of a roof or out of a window

•    Small portable refrigerators (not to exceed 1.5 cubic feet), microwave ovens, etc., are permitted provided they are registered with the Director of Residential and Student Life.

•    Any other item deemed inappropriate by the Director of Residential and Student Life, Vice President for Student Affairs or any other university Official.

•    The Director of Residential and Student Life and/or VPSL reserve the right to make alterations to this list.

 Room Sign-out (Overnight & Weekend)

Overnight checkouts are a privilege, not a right. Students wishing to check out on the weekend or a weeknight must sign-out with the RA assigned to their floor. Sign-outs should be completed and approved by 10 p.m. on the day of departure. Students under the age of 18 are required to notify their RA of their destination when leaving the campus after 10 p.m. Contact with the RA should take place upon return to campus.

 Rules & Expectations:

•      Freshman are allowed to sign-out during the week (Sun – Wed) to parents home only.

•    Sophomore, juniors, and senior students are allowed unlimited checkouts but are asked to use discretion.

•    Resident students may sign-out to go home during the week and weekend.

 •    Any resident student on academic, disciplinary, or spiritual life probation will not be allowed overnight stays without the approval of the VPSL with the exception of weekends and holidays.

•    Weekend privileges apply to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Sunday is considered a weeknight.

•    SCU does not permit students to spend the night in the company of members of the opposite sex.

 Abuse of these privileges may result in disciplinary action and/or loss of privileges. The Director of Residential and Student Life and/or Resident Assistants reserves the right to deny or limit sign-out requests.

 Room inspection

The university staff reserves the right to enter and inspect a student’s room at any time. Such inspections may be made for safety, maintenance, management, sanitation, welfare and/or conduct in violation of university regulations, local, state or federal laws, or other cause deemed necessary by proper school officials.

 Room Cleanliness

Rooms must be reasonably clean and orderly at all times, not just for routine room inspections. University personnel may visit rooms at any time to check for orderliness. Trash must not be put in the hallway. Weekly routine room inspection will be held on designated days. The inspection must meet the list of checkpoints posted in the residence hall. (The repeated offense policy may be in effect until the room has been cleaned.) Clean bed sheets and clothing are expected as part of good hygiene. SCU reserves the right to dismiss a student from living in the dorm if the student is unable to meet room cleanliness expectations.

 Room Displays

Residents are free to display posters and other appropriate items in their room. Possessions or displays, which are inconsistent with the SCU Vision, Mission, and Values Statement (i.e. Alcohol advertising, pornography, etc.), and/or which violate accepted campus standards should not be displayed. Some room displays in public view may constitute a violation of university policies regarding racial or sexual harassment. Check with the Director of Residential and Student Life if you have any questions about what may or may not be appropriate.

 Room Use Policy

In order to maintain an environment conducive to receiving a high quality education and to protect the resident’s rights to privacy and safety, the following policy has been put into place:

Commercial use of your room or solicitation (phone, door-to-door, advertisement postings etc.) anywhere on the premises is strictly forbidden.  This includes commercial use of the SCU Network computer connections. Nor is it permitted to publicly list Residence Hall room numbers or phone numbers in commercial ads or other business announcements. Specific exceptions for approved student concessions in Residence Halls must be authorized in writing by the VPSL.

 

Room Safety and Security

While the residence hall staff makes regular rounds through the residence halls, the ultimate responsibility for the security of a student’s room lies with the student, and the security of the hall rests upon the community. Students are urged to keep their room doors locked at all times and not to prop any exterior doors open. Students are also encouraged to report any strangers in the building to the residence hall staff or to Campus Security immediately. The University does not assume responsibility for damage to or loss of personal belongings, including as a result of theft or burglary. Students are encouraged to obtain their own insurance coverage if their parents or guardians homeowners’ policy does not cover the student’s personal campus belongings.

 Housing Contracts

Student housing contracts are for the full academic year. A student who occupies a room in university housing will be held responsible for that room and for stipulated charges until the end of the academic year unless the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee expressly releases the student from the contract. Each student must sign a Housing Agreement before receiving his/her room assignment. The agreement should be read carefully as students will be held responsible for the terms and conditions stated in the agreement. Any exceptions to the instructions stated regarding Housing Contracts will be viewed on a case by case basis.

 Cohabitation

Students may not cohabitate on-campus. Cohabitation is defined as spending the night together with romantically involved partners. “Spending the night” is also a violation of visitation hours.

 Curfew

Sunday through Wednesday, all students must be in their respective residence halls by 1:00 a.m. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday all students must be in their respective residence buildings by 1:00 a.m. The common areas are open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for an additional hour following curfew (2:00 am).  All rooms are subject to room check at curfew. Action regarding curfew violations will be dealt with on an individual basis. If a student has not reached his/her room within one hour after curfew, the Director of Residential and Student Life will be notified, and the parents will be contacted.

 Curfew Grace Passes

Each student is granted curfew grace passes according to their academic standing. In order to use a grace pass, the student must notify the Director of Residential and Student Life no later than 1 hour before curfew. The grace pass is only valid for up to 59 minutes after curfew. The grace passes are distributed each semester according to classification: Freshmen – 1, Sophomore – 2, Junior – 3 and Senior – 4. Curfew Grace Passes can only be utilized on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights or any school holiday up to the last day before classes start.

 Curfew extensions

Curfew extensions are not allowed except in cases of emergency. In such cases, the student must notify the RD or RA as soon as possible. Should there be an extenuating need for a curfew extension, the RD or RA must approve it by curfew.

  Laundry and Linen

The university does not provide laundry or linen services. Laundry facilities are available in each dorm area. The university is not responsible for articles left in laundry rooms, and students are urged to pick up clothes as soon as they are dry. Failure to keep the laundry facilities neat and orderly may result in the closure of campus laundry facilities.

 Painting

Rooms are to be painted by designated university staff only. Residents will be charged for repairs and/or replacement, and disciplinary action may occur for unauthorized painting of rooms.

 Trash Collection

Trash collected in the individual rooms may not be deposited in the trash receptacles located in the laundry rooms or in any other part of the building. Trash must be taken to the dumpster provided outside.

 Residence Hall Meetings and Devotionals

Regularly scheduled meetings are held for resident students, either as one body or within the separate halls. Dorm residents are required to attend all hall meetings and devotionals.  Schedules for resident hall meetings will be posted at the beginning of each semester. All meetings must be approved by the Director of Residential and Student Life who will be in attendance at all such gatherings. All SCU students are welcome to attend the hall devotionals.

 Resident Hall Social Functions

All resident hall social functions (not including meetings) must be scheduled to end no later than curfew, unless otherwise approved by the Director of Residential and Student Life and/or VPSL.

 Dorm and/or Overnight Guests

Students may invite guests to visit them on campus. It is the student’s responsibility to see that their guest abides by the rules and regulations of the university while visiting on campus. All guests must leave the campus before curfew. An overnight guest is defined as any person who is not a resident. Permission to entertain overnight guests must be obtained by curfew from the Director of Residential and Student Life prior to curfew. Guest requests must be signed by all occupants assigned to the room where the guest will be staying. A stay of more than two nights must be approved by the Director of Residential and Student Life. Guests staying in the residence hall more than two nights will be subject to a $20 per night fee.

 Privacy rights

In a resident community, privacy and respect for others is of great concern. Therefore, the following guidelines are necessary:

 •    No one is permitted to enter another’s room without first being granted permission to do so. This does not apply to routine room inspection or a university official entering for a legitimate reason.

 •    Items should never be taken from another room unless permission has been granted to do so.

 •    Students are expected to obtain room keys from the Director of Residential and Student Life and should lock their rooms when planning to be away from the residence hall area.

 Noise control

In order to develop a pleasant atmosphere, students must exercise noise control at all hours of the day and night. When music, singing, or an extreme level of noise is heard outside a student’s room, other residents are being denied the right of privacy. Therefore, the following guidelines will be enforced in regulating noise control:

 •    Room doors and windows must be closed when music is being played.

Repeated violation of this guideline may result in loss of privilege of having the device in one’s room or removal from campus housing (if student is of age to live off-campus).

 •    Stereos, radios and televisions must be turned off when a student is absent from his/her room.

 •    A moderate level of volume must be used when operating stereos and televisions. This applies to both the lobby and residence hall rooms.

 •    Lights, stereos, televisions, etc., must not be left on, or unattended, for an extended period of time.

 •    Quiet/study time will be from 11 p.m. - 8 a.m. All talking, music, etc., must be at a reasonable volume and confined to individual dorm rooms.

 •      The common areas should be a place where students can congregate to talk, etc., without being overly concerned with noise level. Pillow fights, wrestling, rowdiness, excessive noise, etc. are not allowed in the commons areas. All hours other than those designated as quiet/study time are considered to be courtesy hours. Any student who confronts other residents regarding bothersome noise or activity should do so in a respectful manner and expect the cooperation from the student(s) in resolving the issue. During finals week, specific quiet hours will begin on dead day and end on the last day of finals.

 Off limits

Students are expected to protect their Christian integrity by the choices they make and the places they go both on and off campus. All Men’s Housing (including area outside of windows) is OFF LIMITS to female students. All Women’s Housing (including area around outside of windows) is OFF LIMITS to male students. Approval must be obtained in advance from the Director of Residential and Student Life or an official of the university, for a student to bring guests of the opposite sex into their rooms/housing.

Furniture

SCU provides each resident with a bed frame, mattress, and dresser. Each resident provides his or her own linens, blankets, bedspreads, pillows, study lamps, wastebasket, small items of furniture, small area rugs, etc. Students are responsible for proper use of furniture provided by the university. Mattresses must remain on bed frames and may not be placed on the floor. Dressers may not be stacked or used as supports for other items. Any damage that results from improper use of furniture will be charged to the resident(s). Beds may not be placed on other furniture. University-supplied room furniture is not to be removed from rooms for any reason.

 Care of furniture, building, etc...

Students are expected to maintain the residence buildings and all items found therein in the same condition as they were found at the beginning of the semester. Students are expected to clean up after themselves and throw all trash away immediately. Student Center furniture should not be taken to the residence hall rooms. No one is allowed to move furniture or furnishings from the rooms without permission from the VPSL Residential and Student Life. Students damaging or placing excessive wear on furniture will be in violation of school policy. Movies and games that are viewed in the common areas must be approved by a member of Residential Life.

 Nails, screws, and types of tape that may damage walls may not be used to hang objects on the wall in your room or in the hallway. If students wish to hang items, products designed to not damage surfaces or remove paint may be used.  If there is a question regarding a certain product being permitted, please discuss this with the Director of Residential and Student Life.

 Room damage/furniture/building costs

Listed below are some approximate damage costs to students. SCU university officials have the right to determine cost damages to be assessed to students.

 •    Broken door $200

•    Broken window $250

•    Drawer replacement $50

•    Un-cleaned room $25 per hour

•    Painting door $20

•    Broken bed $200

•    Chest defacement $100

•    Screens $40

•    Wallpaper replacement $20 per hour

 Damage costs will be billed to the student’s financial account. All costs must be satisfied prior to a student receiving his or her grades, transcript, or reenrolling in the university for a subsequent semester.

 Cosmetic Changes

The residence halls are designed for the use of students over several years. Certain personal cosmetic changes by the students (contact paper, hooks, wallpaper, etc.) require unnecessary repairs by the University. Therefore, unauthorized alterations to the rooms may not be made. Residents will be charged for repairs and/or replacement, and disciplinary action may follow unauthorized alterations of rooms.

Hallways

Hallways are not to be used for congregating or studying. Hallways are to be kept clean and clear at all times. Items may pose a hazard as obstacles in the event of a fire or other emergency.

 Windows and screens

No person should use windows as a room entry/exit. Screens must not be removed from windows except in the case of fire or emergency. Violations will be subject to disciplinary action.

 Fire drills

Fire drills will be held at various times throughout the year.  Instructions for the evacuation of the halls in the event of a fire or emergency are provided in student rooms and on hall bulletin boards. Residence will also be instructed of proper fire procedures during the first week of school.

 All residents must evacuate the residence hall if a fire alarm is activated, whether for the purpose of a drill or in the case of an actual fire. Disciplinary action may be taken if a student does not evacuate.

 Smoking, the use of candles or incense, or any open flame is strictly prohibited in the residence halls or in the commons areas. Flammable materials (gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc.) are not permitted inside buildings.

 NOTICE-Tampering with fire alarms or activating smoke/fire alarms for reasons other than an emergency is considered a criminal offense and will be treated as such. Any student caught in violation may be subject to criminal and SCU disciplinary action. The emergency exits of the residence halls are only for use in emergencies.

IN CASE OF FIRE, Call 911.

 Threatening weather conditions

When threatening weather is imminent, the Director of Residential and Student

Life or Resident Assistant shall monitor certified meteorological broadcast for current information. (KTOK Radio - 1000 KHZ or television channels 4, 5, or 9). Any storm warning affecting western Oklahoma County or eastern Canadian County shall be monitored closely by the Director of Residential and Student Life. In the event of a tornado warning, the Director of Residential and Student Life along with the RA’s shall immediately notify campus residents.

 Residents shall take cover in the hallway of each wing, preferably in the library away from glass. Other campus residents shall take cover in a small room/closet toward the center of the building and away from glass or windows.

 Forfeiture of Residence Hall Privileges

Living in the SCU dorms is a privilege, not a right.  A student may be asked to move out of the residence hall without warning for any reason deemed necessary by the Director of Residential and Student Life or VPSL. The following are examples that may warrant removal from the residence halls:

 •    Abusive behavior (including continued disrespect) to people or property

•    Any serious violation of the housing contract, including violations of stated or implied university policy

•    Any behavior deemed inappropriate by the Director of Residential and Student Life or Vice President for Student Affairs

 Example:  If a student  is caught drinking, using drugs, in possession of a dangerous weapon, in the room of the opposite sex, sneaking out of dorms after curfew, etc., that student  is subject to dismissal from the dorms and the university.

 Note:  Due to safety concerns, the parents of students being dismissed from the dorms will be notified.

 If a student is asked to move out of the dorms, they will not be allowed to stay that night. Every reasonable effort will be made by SCU officials to accommodate the student removing their belongings. If a student is asked to move out and does not comply with those instructions could be subject to removal from campus by the Bethany Police Department.

 University Breaks/Resident Hall Closures

SCU residence halls will be officially closed during extended breaks. Resident students are responsible for securing accommodations off-campus during university breaks. Food services are not provided during university breaks.