Chatham University

Residence Life Snapshot
Terms and Conditions

Chatham University's residential philosophy is predicated upon the belief that residence hall living enhances a student's education by contributing to an individual's academic, social, and personal development. In order for such an environment to exist, residential students must accept responsibility for their own actions, as well as the actions of their guests, while acting in a manner which demonstrates respect for the rights and concerns of others and for the property of the University. Therefore, students are required: a) to respect the rights of all residents to cleanliness, security, privacy, space, quiet hours for study and sleep, and generally to an environment conducive to learning and University life; and b) to comply with the rules and regulations relating to appropriate conduct established by the University and/or the Residence Life staff. Violation of these terms and conditions or any other applicable rules, policies, or procedures incorporated by reference herein, or any other official University publication, such as the Student Handbook 2011-2012 (available in the Student Planner ), may subject the student to disciplinary action and/or fines, including but not limited to, termination of the students occupancy in a residence hall room/apartment and/or suspension or expulsion from the University. The Student Handbook is available upon request from the Office of Residence Life.

The on campus living experience is vital to the growth and development of the whole student. All students who have completed less than four semesters of college/university are required to reside in on-campus housing for their first two years on campus. An exception to this is students may live with parent(s) and/or legal guardians in the greater Pittsburgh area (within 30 miles of campus.) Students choosing to live at home may register as a commuter by completing the Commuter Application found on the Forms section of my.chatham. Students found in violation will face disciplinary review and fines up to the cost of housing.

Gateway students may request an exception to the residency requirement by contacting the Office of Residence Life.

TERMS & CONDITIONS are an agreement between Chatham University and the student whose signature appears on the Housing Acknowledgement and Agreement that the occupancy of space. All students will be asked to read and sign the Terms and Conditions upon checking into their housing assignment.


Eligibility and Assignments

Eligibility for residence is limited to full-time Chatham students who have made all required deposits, payments, and are in good academic, conduct and financial standing.

Roommate preference based upon race, color, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical characteristics, or national origin will not be accommodated; in addition, room changes will not be granted for any of the above reasons.

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Policies and Prohibited Items


As with any community, certain standards of behavior and living exist to assure the safety and welfare of all community members. As an educational institution, Chatham is committed to providing a learning environment that respects individuality as well as community purpose. Clearly, the primary purpose shared by all community members is the pursuit of knowledge through education in and out of the classroom.

Chatham University recognizes the value of the residential experience in a college education. Therefore, Chatham prides itself on providing students with an opportunity for personal, academic and professional development in an interesting living and learning environment. Membership in this community has many benefits, which you will come to know through your time at Chatham. One such benefit is the unique balance a residence environment allows for one to express individuality on the one hand while enjoying the camaraderie of a diverse community on the other. Such benefits can only be gained with the cooperation of all members of the community. As with any other community, certain customs, practices and norms have been adopted for the Chatham residence population to ensure a friendly, safe and secure environment, which is conducive to learning. All members of the Chatham community have a responsibility to themselves and to others for upholding the University's policies and procedures.

Below, you will find the outlined practices that are observed by all community members. Students must abide by any and all established Residence Life and University policies. Students will be held accountable for knowing and following the policies, regulations and guidelines of the Office of Residence Life. Violation of these policies will result in either a disciplinary meeting with a professional Residence Life Staff member. An appropriate sanction, may be assigned if the student is found responsible for violating Residence Life Policy.

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Contract Termination and Refunds

The University establishes room charges for the academic year and the housing contract cannot be broken at any point of the academic year, except if the student officially withdraws from the University, is granted a leave of absence, or is granted specific permission to do so from the Director of Residence Life or Vice President of Student Affairs.A non-refundable housing reservation fee of $150.00 must be made to Student Accounts prior to room assignment.

If for any reason the student ceases to be eligible for residence, the student must promptly vacate the assigned space within 48 hours and cancel the housing contract with the Director of Residence Life.

If a student gives the University written notice of withdrawal prior to the first day of the fall semester, the student will be refunded all advance payments of room and board except for the $150.00 housing reservation fee.In the event of a cancelled housing contract after the start of classes, a prorated refund for room and board will be made according to the terms listed in the University refund policy (available in the Course Catalogue).

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Visitation/Guest Policy

A residence hall guest is considered to be any person who is not a resident of that hall. Chatham students not residing in the residence area in question are still considered guests of that residence area.

Visitation hours are as follows:

Guests in the building past 12 midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 AM Friday and Saturday are considered overnight guests.

The following guidelines have been established to ensure a comfortable and safe community environment in the residence halls:

First-Year Student Guest Policy

Fall-term first-year students are not permitted to have overnight guests until the evening of the traditional Chatham Eggnog (the first Friday of December). This includes family members. This policy is firm unless there are unusual circumstances, which are approved by the building's AC or GRD. This includes Chatham students sleeping over in other students' rooms and family members.

Guests of fall term, first-year students must leave the residence hall by midnight on Sunday night through Thursday night and by 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Guests may not return to campus until at least 8:00 a.m. the following day.All other visitation regulations apply to first-year students.

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Pet Policy

Students are not permitted to have pets in the residence halls or apartments with the exception of aquarium fish in an aquarium no larger than 25 gallons. Any pets besides fish are not permitted (this includes turtles, frogs, etc.).

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Fire Safety  & Fire Escape Policy

Unannounced fire evacuation drills will be held regularly throughout the school year in each residence hall.Students who fail to exit the halls, attempt to re-enter the building without the permission of proper authorities or fail to comply with University officials will be subject to disciplinary action and the assessment of fines.

Tampering with fire safety equipment or fire alarms is a violation of state law as well as residence hall policy.Persons found in violation will be subject to disciplinary action.

Fire detection units should not be covered or blocked at any time.

For reasons of fire safety, the following items are not permitted in student rooms:irons (may be used in laundry rooms), space heaters, halogen lamps, non UL rated lamps, any non UL rated decorations requiring electricity, sun lamps/tanning beds, toaster ovens, hot plates, candles with wicks, decorative candles, incense, candle warmers, tart burners, live/cut holiday trees and wreaths.

Unauthorized possession, storage or use of hazardous or dangerous weapons, explosive components or substances including, but not limited to, firearms, fireworks, and chemical materials such as gasoline/fuels, kerosene or compressed gasses/air in residence halls is forbidden and subject to disciplinary action.

The roofs and fire escapes of each building are for emergency purposes only.Under no other conditions should these be used.Failure to comply will lead to disciplinary action.

Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads (Woodland Hall).This will cause damage to the system that will be charged to the occupant(s) of the room.

For reasons of safety, the maximum occupancy may not exceed five (5) guests per resident at any one time for a residence hall room or apartment.

Fire Safety Tips:

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Room Furniture Policies

Rooms are furnished with a single bed, dresser, desk, and desk chair for each occupant. Students may provide their own study lamp (note: halogen lamps are not allowed), wastebasket, and a bookcase if desired. Failure to adhere to the following Furnishings Policies will result in appropriate charges for missing furniture, repair, or replacement.

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Air Conditioner Policy

Students are not permitted to have window air conditioners. If a student requires air conditioning for a medical reason, the student must submit a letter to the Director of Residence Life and documentation from a doctor explaining the medical need.Upon approval for the air conditioning unit, a student requiring an air conditioner for medical reasons must:

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No bicycles may be left in public areas (i.e. lounges, stairwells, etc.) in any residence hall at any time.Bicycles should be stored on bike racks that are available outside of the residence halls on a seasonal basis.If a bicycle is found in a public area it may be immediately confiscated.

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Alcohol Policy

All residents and guests are expected to comply with the alcohol policy as stated in the University Honor Code [PDF].

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For reasons of safety, exterior doors of the residence halls are locked 24 hours.They cannot be propped open at any time.Anyone propping a door is subject to disciplinary action.Students are expected to carry residence hall keys and their ID card at all times.All resident students are reminded that their ID cards will gain them access to the exterior hall doors and should be handled cautiously and responsibly to insure that easy access to the residence halls remains the privilege of resident students only.For reason of safety, lost keys and I.D. cards must be reported to the Office of Residence Life immediately.Students must not lend their ID cards and their room keys to anyone.

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Email Communication

Chatham University email is the official communication for the Office of Residence Life.Students are responsible for regularly accessing their account for messages.The Office of Residence Life relies on this communication as the official way to communicate with resident students.

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Health and Safety Inspections

Upon prior notice, the Office of Residence Life and Public Safety will conduct periodic health and safety inspections of rooms and apartments to help insure that all residents are in compliance with health, fire, and safety guidelines.General room/apartment inspections will indicate violations and will advise students on how to correct violations.Any violations which are found and/or not corrected may result in an applicable fine, confiscation of property, and/or disciplinary action.

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ID Cards

A student’s ID card is their access into the residence halls.Students should keep their ID cards with them at all times.All undergraduate resident students have access to all undergraduate residence halls from 10:00am-10:00pm.Any lost or missing ID cards should be reported to the Office of Residence Life immediately.

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Students are expected to have their room key and ID card with them at all times.Should a student become accidentally locked out, they should contact the RA on duty (schedules are posted on bulletin boards).If the lockout occurs between 9:00am and 5:00pm, students should contact the Office of Residence Life at 412-365-1518.If the lockout occurs between 8:00pm and 8:00am), the student should contact the Upper Campus RA (412-670-6379) or Lower Campus RA (412-670-8818).If the lockout occurs any other time, students should contact Campus Police (412-365-1230)All lockouts result in a $10.00 charge.

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Lounge Furniture

Furniture placed in all common areas in the residence halls must remain in the common area.Students found in possession of common area furniture will be subject to disciplinary action.

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Personal Bathrooms & Kitchens

Rooms and apartments that have a private bathroom or kitchen are a privilege. Students are expected to maintain their own kitchen/ bathroom in an appropriate way throughout the year. Students will be notified during Health and Safety Inspections if the condition of these spaces is unacceptable, and be given the opportunity to rectify the situation. Students are subject to an excess cleaning charge if the kitchen and/or bath area is not maintained appropriately. Students with private kitchens or bathrooms need to provide their own soap/paper products and need to establish expectations for usage with all students with access to the kitchen/bathroom.

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Quiet Hours

As members of a living/learning community, resident students are asked to comply with requests by other residents and/or staff members to maintain reasonable levels of noise within the residence halls and apartments. Specific quiet hours have been established to create an atmosphere conducive to studying and/or sleeping in the residence halls. Each residence hall community with the leadership of the residential staff may elect to designate more restrictive quiet hours than those that have been established. During quiet hours, any noise (e.g., stereos, TVs, radios and verbal interactions) must be kept at a level such that it cannot be heard by neighboring residents. Continual violation of Quiet Hours or Courtesy Hours will result in disciplinary action, including residential fines.

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Courtsey Hours

Courtesy Hours exist at all times. At all times, students are expected to be courteous and to conduct themselves in a way that does not intrude on the rights and privileges of others.

Respectful interactions are expected within the residence hall communities regarding Quiet Hours and Courtesy Hours. Any student who is not respectful to fellow residents and/or residence life staff will need to have a disciplinary meeting regarding the confrontation.

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Residence Life is committed to the Chatham University mission initiative of Sustainability.There are recycling bins located in each residence hall for bottles, cans, and paper.Please dispose of all approved recycling contents in the appropriate containers.

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Residence Hall Meetings

Residence hall meetings provide opportunities for students to gather and learn about the latest happenings on campus or in the hall, to discuss residence hall concerns, etc.Specifically, students will receive information about openings, closings, room selection, etc.Each student is required to attend and may offer support, ideas, and suggestions to other residents and to the hall staff.Each student is responsible for the information introduced and/or decided at the meeting regarding community standards and other areas of student living.Failure to attend or notify the GRD that you cannot attend may result in a fine or disciplinary action.

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Room Changes

Residents who want to change their housing assignment may complete the Room Change Request Form which can be found on my.chatham.Room changes are offered two weeks after the beginning of each semester.Students requesting a room change must have already met with their RA in order for the request to be considered.In the case of a roommate conflict, the RA and/or GRD will require mediation before a room change will be considered.The room change period ends on October 10 for the Fall 2011 semester and February 10th for the Spring 2012 semester.The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to move students as necessary.If a student loses a roommate during the year, Residence Life reserves the right to assign another student to that space without prior notification.The University also has the right to relocate students at any time for any reason.

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Room Keys

Upon arrival, each resident student will be given a room key.If a student should lose a key or fail to return it at the end of the year or other time of checkout, the student will be billed $50.00 for a core change and 2 replacement keys.Students may incur additional charges for each additional key needed for the room (i.e. cost for a triple room would be $100.00).

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Fostering a positive relationship between roommates is an important piece of residential living.Not all roommates are best friends, but it is imperative that they establish a respectful relationship.The Residence Life staff is available to assist students every step of the way.A roommate relationship can bring out social, cultural, and values conflicts.Residents can complete a roommate agreement with their RA in order to help establish communication and to create common guidelines for their room.It is important for roommates to know their expectations for each other.

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Trash Removal

Students are expected to assume responsibility for the disposal of all personal trash.Residents who reside in the traditional residence halls (Woodland, Fickes, Laughlin, and Rea) must put trash in the main bins located in the designated areas of each residence hall.Residents who reside in the apartments must place trash in the dumpsters located in the apartment parking lots.

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Electrical Equipment and Appliances

All electrical appliances must be UL approved and in good working condition.Electrical appliances are that are permitted in resident rooms include a radio, stereo, small portable television, personal computer, clock, portable hair dryer, curling iron or hot curlers, small microwave, a small refrigerator (no larger 4 cubic feet), and a small fan. Also permissible are appliances that have both automatic shut-off buttons and time to brew cycles and do not have warming plates. Such appliances include some brands of hot water dispensers and hot beverage machines new on the market.

Electrical appliances that are NOT permitted in the residence halls include:

Residence hall rooms shall not be used to prepare hot foods. The equipment and appliances used to prepare food are extreme fire safety hazards because of the heat they generate. Heating coils, electric frying pans, broilers, griddles, standard coffee pots, and any other electrical cooking appliances are not allowed. This policy does not apply to apartments, as they are equipped with kitchen facilities.

Students should use surge protectors on appliances such as computers, microwaves, etc.

Refrigerators must be plugged directly into wall electrical sockets. The University has the right to limit or expand use of appliances.

The Office of Residence Life staff has authority to prohibit and/or remove without prior notice all illegal or potentially dangerous appliances/devices for reasons of health and safety.

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Common Kitchen Facilities

Each residence hall contains at least one small kitchen area (some residence halls have a kitchen area on each floor) that contains a sink, microwave, and refrigerator. Laughlin House, Rea House, and Fickes Hall also have stove-tops and ovens in the house kitchens and Woodland Hall has a stove-top available. The use of approved electrical appliances must be restricted to the kitchen area(s). As members of a community, students should remember the following when using a kitchen area:

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Vandalism & Damage to University Property

All campus residents should be concerned with the safety and handling of University property-both in individual rooms and public areas. Residents should do their best to see that University property is not damaged or stolen. Respect for the residential environment is crucial to developing a residence hall community in which members can take pride in their environment.

You and your roommate(s) are responsible for any damage, misuse, or theft of University property that occurs in your residence hall room. You must pay replacement, reassembly, or repair cost for any missing or damaged property.

Individual Room Damage Policy

By taking occupancy of the space, you accept its condition at such time and assume responsibility to maintain the space and any common areas in which assigned space is located in a clean, safe, and undamaged condition at all times.At the beginning of each academic year, a Room Condition Report (RCR) is completed by the RA and given to the residents to review, edit, sign, and turn in.

Residents failing to return their signed RCR within a week of their move-in will be held responsible for any additional damages incurred during their residency. Upon vacating a room, the Residence Life staff will conduct an inspection using the original RCR as a basis for assessing any missing or damaged furnishings or property of the University. Once the inspection has been conducted, the GRD, AC, or AD will forward the completed form to the Director of Residence Life. If it is determined that fines for damages or missing property are to be issued, the resident(s) of the room will be billed accordingly. Damage costs will be split evenly among residents unless specified otherwise by the residents.

Billing for individual room damage is completed after residents move out of their room. Students are responsible for the damage costs that are listed in the Terms and Conditions of Residence Living for each year. The Office of Residence Life must receive any appeals to damage charges in writing within two weeks of the issuance of the bill. After that time, appeals will not be granted.

Common/Public Area Damage Policy

When individual responsibility for damage and loss in public areas (e.g., bathrooms, lounges, etc.) cannot be determined, a charge will be made to all students within a reasonably defined area (e.g., room, floor, building, etc.) If the individual(s) responsible for damaged or stolen property cannot be identified, the cost of damages to any common/public area of a hall will be assessed and divided among the residents as appropriate. The GRD will work with the students and staff in the residence area to determine, if possible, who is responsible for the damage. If the bill is to be divided among residents, the residence life staff will notify those residents of the cost per person that will be charged to their student account. Common area damage may not be appealed.

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The University is not responsible for theft or destruction of personal property. It is highly recommended that valuables are covered by homeowner's insurance policy or renter's insurance.

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Indoor Sports

Due to the potential harm to individual and property, hall sports are not allowed in the residence facilities.Indoor sports infringe on the rights of others, can lead to damage of University property, or may cause harm to oneself or others. Water fights and snowball fights are prohibited inside all residences. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.These behaviors include but are not limited to:riding bikes, rollerblading, Frisbee, any ball related sport, water balloons, wrestling.

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Room & Holiday Decorations

While every person likes to personalize her space in order to feel at home, the residence hall areas are governed by certain local fire safety ordinances. Since your living space is intended to serve not only you and your roommates, but also the residents who live there in the coming years, certain guidelines for personalizing rooms or apartments are necessary. Additionally, certain adhesives and/or other hanging elements often damage walls and other University furnishings. It is necessary for resident students to be aware of the following guidelines in keeping with local safety codes and with University policy:

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Solicitation and Advertising Policy

The University prohibits solicitation, sales or door-to-door canvassing by students or non-students on University property. Solicitation and sales of non-University items are prohibited in the residence halls without approval from the appropriate University official. Residents are not permitted to run private businesses from their campus residence.

Posters and signs which are not offensive to community members and approved through the Office of Student Affairs may be hung in public areas of the campus with the exception of front doors of buildings. The student government requires organizations advertising by chalking to notify the coordinator of student activities in advance of chalking sidewalks. The coordinator of student activities will provide for any group the guidelines for chalking. In addition, in order to keep a clean environment and to promote current events, each community member is asked to remove any signage for her/his event within 48 hours of the event. Failure to do so may result in loss of sign hanging privileges in the residence halls.

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Storage Policy and Procedure

Chatham University does not offer storage to students.The Office of Residence Life has a brochure with contact information for local storage companies available for students. Any items left in University owned housing will be discarded after hall closing.

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Smoking Policy

It has been stipulated by Chapter 617 of the Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance that: The right of smokers to smoke ends where their actions affect the health, well-being, and comfort of others.Smoking is prohibited in all residence areas on campus, including rooms, hallways, lounges, and computer labs. Students and guests who smoke outside the residence areas must be at least twenty five (25) feet away from entry doors while smoking and properly dispose of cigarettes. Students found throwing their cigarette butts on the ground will be fined $25 and possibly face more serious disciplinary action. Cigarette butts contain fibers that are not biodegradable, toxins that are harmful to the environment, and can cause fires. If cigarette smoke drifts into students' rooms/apartment windows and cause a disturbance to residents, the smoker will need to smoke elsewhere to limit the disturbance.

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Work Order Requests

Guidelines for maintenance, housekeeping, and facilities requests for any residence hall area:

In case of a maintenance emergency (e.g. smell of gas, water leaks, or other immediate safety hazard) contact Facilities Management (412.365.1273) during normal working hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). For emergencies that occur during the evening or weekend hours, Public Safety (412.365.1230).

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Articles and Activities Prohibited in the Residence Halls

The following activities and articles are prohibited in or around the residence halls. Failure to comply with these regulations is a violation of residence hall policies. An incident report will be filed against individuals found in violation of such regulations and a residence life disciplinary meeting will be held with a GRD, AC, AD, or DRL to discuss any necessary disciplinary action, including possible residential fines. Residence Life staff members will confiscate any item found to be in violation of these policies. Confiscated items will be returned at the end of the academic term when a student leaves campus upon the student's request. Failure of the student to claim a confiscated item by the end of the term will lead to disposal of the item.

Articles and activities prohibited in the residence halls include:

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Room Charges and Refunds

The University establishes room charges for the academic year and the housing contract cannot be broken at any point of the academic year, except if the student officially withdraws from the University or is granted a leave of absence. A housing fee of $150.00 must be made to Student Accounts prior to a room assignment, unless otherwise arranged by the student with the Director of Residence Life or Vice President of Student Affairs.

If a student gives the University written notice of withdrawal prior to the first day of classes or any time during the term, she will be refunded all advance payments of room and board except for the $150.00 housing fee. In the event of a leave of absence from the residence halls/apartments after the start of classes, a prorated refund for room and board will be made according to the terms listed in the Student Handbook.

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Contract Period Dates

The housing contract begins at the time the student takes occupancy of the assigned space and extends for the academic semesters only.

*These dates are subject to change based on the academic calendar.

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Condition of Premises/Damage

By taking occupancy of the space, the student accepts its condition “as is” at such time and assume responsibility to maintain the space and any common areas in a clean and undamaged condition at all times.Each student will be required to complete a Room Condition Report (RCR) with a Residence Life Staff member at the beginning of the academic year.Any student who fails to complete the RCR within a week of taking occupancy will forfeit the right to document the condition of their room at the time of occupancy. The student further forfeits the right to appeal end of year damage or cleaning charges.At the end of occupancy, each room will be inspected and damage beyond normal wear and tear will be charged accordingly.

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Personal Property: Indemnity

The University will not be liable, either directly or indirectly, for any loss by theft of personal property by residents or their guests or for any damage or destruction of such property by fire, water, or any other cause.The University advises that students insure personal property against loss, damage, or destruction arising from any cause.

Students shall indemnify, defend and save harmless the University from any claim, loss, damage, liability, or expense (including without limitation reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs) arising froma) any breach by student of the University’s terms, conditions, or rules, whether contained or otherwise incorporated by reference in these Terms and Conditions and b) any injury to the student or any other person, including but not limited to any guests of the student, or property occurring in, on or around the residence hall/apartment area.

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Compliance with Applicable Residence

Students are required to comply with federal, state, and local laws as well as all residential policies and procedures established by the University and the Residence Life staff included in this contract, in other official University publications such as the Student Handbook 2011-12 and assumed under this contract by reference.Such policies and procedures are available from the appropriate University offices.Students are responsible for informing themselves of such policies and procedures.

Alcohol and other Drugs

The University prohibits the use, possession or sale of illegal drugs and the possession or purchase of alcohol by any person less than 21 years of age.


The student is responsible for the conduct of any guest(s) at all times.All guests must comply with University policies and procedures.

No co-habitation is permitted; overnight guests are permitted no more than three consecutive nights (First year students may not have overnight guests until December 3rd, 2011). Visitation is only allowed with the consent of any/all roommates.

Fire Safety

No candles and/or incense, decorative, religious, or otherwise, are permitted in student’s residences

Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm and theft, tampering, or improper use of fire fighting, detection and/or alarm equipment is strictly prohibited.

The University prohibits the use or possession of firearms, fireworks, or any type of weapon.


No pets are permitted in student residences in the residence halls/apartments, with the exception of aquarium fish.

As every community is directed by changing needs, policies, and procedures are subject to periodic change.The student agrees that they will abide by all residence hall/apartment policies and regulations as they appear in the Student Handbook and any supplements to the handbook that may be issued.

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Responsibility of the Residence Life Staff

The University has delegated to the staff of each residence hall/apartment building the responsibility for maintaining a living-learning environment in the residence halls/apartments where the students may express individuality while acting as a responsible member of the community. Residence Life staff members will educate the community about residence hall/apartment policies and procedures and will be responsible for enforcing such policies and procedures.

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University Rights of Residence

The University reserves the right to take the necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well being of the residence hall/apartment community.This includes the right to terminate this contract or retake possession of a student’s room should the student fail to maintain themselves as a student in good standing with the University regulations, or fail to comply fully with the terms of this agreement.

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Abandoned Premises

The University will consider the room to be abandoned if the tenant does not reside in the residence hall room/apartment for more than two weeks without notifying the University.In such cases, the University may enter the room without liability and reassign the room for any portion of the term.

The University will make reasonable attempts to contact the student to arrange for the exchange of any possessions left in the room/apartment.In the event that the student cannot be contacted or does not cooperate, the University will treat any possessions left on the premises as abandoned goods and make arrangements to remove said possessions from the abandoned room.The University shall not be obliged to hold the resident’s property longer than 7 (seven) days after determining the room to be abandoned before disposing of it, with no liability to the resident.The resident shall assume the expenses for such removal of property.

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Right to Entry

The university reserves the right to enter any residence area, room or apartment for any of the following reasons: Maintenance; inspection; repair; in cases of clear emergency; to assume compliance with federal, state, and local laws and University policies; where there is cause to believe violation has occurred or is taking place; or, to aid in the responsibility of the University to maintain an educational atmosphere.

Keys and University Identification cards that have been coded for residence hall access may not be used in a negligent manner. Keys may not be duplicated or transferred to anyone other than the resident student who signs for them.

If the University has cause to believe a violation has occurred or is taking place, the University has the right to conduct a room search (most likely in the case of suspected illegal drug and/or alcohol possession and/or use).The University recognizes its responsibility to respect the right of the residential student not to have her privacy disturbed.

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Two Year Residency Policy

The on campus living experience is vital to the growth and development of the whole student.

All students who have completed less than four semesters of college/university are required to reside in on-campus housing for their first two years on campus. An exception to this is students may live with parent(s) and/or legal guardians in the greater Pittsburgh area (within 30 miles of campus.) Students choosing to live at home must register as a commuter and provide documentation to the Office of Residence Life. Students found in violation will face disciplinary review and fines up to the cost of housing. Gateway students may request an exception to the residency requirement by contacting the Office of Residence Life.

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Medical Accommodations

Chatham University students are encouraged to take full advantage of the residential experience by sharing rooms with other Chatham women and first-year students living on campus are required to live with a roommate. However, Chatham does recognize that rare occasions do exist in which students may be faced with extreme conditions in which accommodations are required. In these cases, students can request to be assigned or moved to a single room reserved on campus for students with unique needs, or for other accommodations (i.e. lower floor room, building with an elevator, or exemption from the residency requirement).

Because cases which warrant medical singles are rare and extreme, students will need to follow specific procedures to request a medical single and will need to plan well ahead of their arrival to Chatham University.

The following procedure is in place for students who face life-threatening conditions that require their assignment to a medical single, an exception to the residency requirement, or a release from their yearlong housing contract (Terms and Conditions of Residency) during their study at Chatham University:

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New Students

First year students are matched based on the information self-reported on the roommate questionnaire. By hand matching roommates and not using an automated system like larger schools, we are able to match the reported living styles and to find compatible interests. After their first year, residents find their own roommates and pick their rooms through Room Draw in early April.

Newly admitted students should pay a $150 advanced housing reservation fee shortly after their admission to be assigned to campus housing. After deciding to attend Chatham and paying the initial deposits, students will receive the New Student Information Packet at their mailing address. Students need to complete the Residential Student Survey through the CampusVue portal to be assigned to campus housing. Students submitting their application by June 1st will be assigned a room and roommate by the end of June.

Students are notified of their housing assignment and roommate(s) via email to their Chatham University email account. Students requesting housing after June 1st will be assigned as spaces are available. Any questions about housing assignments should be addressed directly to the Office of Residence Life. Chatham University Residence Life program offers a choice of several campus residential options, each with its own special features. Only full-time registered students are eligible to participate in Room Selection and to live on campus. By participating in room selection and signing a housing contract, students agree to abide by all University policies and procedures. The housing contract extends for the full academic year and cannot be broken at any time. Students not in good financial standing, as determined by the Office of Student Accounts, will have their housing assignments deleted.

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Returning Students

Room selection will occur in the spring semester. Students with fewer than 4 complete undergraduate semesters should plan on participating in room selection to live on campus if they are not living in the Pittsburgh area with a parent or legal guardian. Students unable to attend in person should designate a proxy through the Office of Residence Life to choose their assignment for them.

The housing reservation fee of $150 is due to Student Accounts in order to participate. Afterwards, students should log in to my.chatham to pick a lottery number. Please note: the student's account must be current in order to pick a lottery number.

Chatham University Residence Life program offers a choice of several campus residential options, each with its own special features. Only full-time registered students are eligible to participate in Room Selection and to live on campus. By participating in room selection and signing a housing contract, students agree to abide by all University policies and procedures. The housing contract extends for the full academic year and cannot be broken at any time. Students not in good financial standing, as determined by the Office of Student Accounts, will have their housing assignments deleted.

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Summer Housing

Applications for summer housing are made available in conjunction with room selection for the following academic year. A limited number of spaces are available in Laughlin and Rea Houses to house Chatham students during the summer. Degree-seeking, full-time Chatham students who meet the following criteria qualify for summer housing:

Summer Housing residents move directly from spring into summer housing after the residence halls close for Maymester and move from summer into fall housing during a pre-determined moving date in August. Flexibility outside of these moving dates is NOT possible due to the needs of the Office of Facilities Management, Continuing Education, and Residence Life in May and August.

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Early Arrivals

Students may not return to campus before published move-in dates in August or January without permission of the Office of Residence Life. Students who arrive early without permission will not be issued a key, will not be given access to the room, and will be asked to vacate the premises by University officials. Students and their families are expected to plan work schedules, vacations, etc., around the University move-in dates and times.

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Late Stays

Students are required to vacate their rooms within 24 hours after their last final exam or by the time residence halls close. Failure to leave within this timeframe will result in disciplinary action, fines and being asked to vacate the premises by University officials. Travel plans should be made well in advance. Exceptions will not be made because of poor planning.

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University Break Periods

The University observes several break periods throughout the year. Please refer to the current year Terms and Conditions of Residency for occupancy dates.

Spring Break, Long Weekend, Thanksgiving

The residence halls remain open during these university break periods. Students will be asked to register to stay during this time for the office of residence life to ensure appropriate staffing.

Winter Break

Chatham's residence halls and apartment only close during the academic year during Winter Break. During this time, the residence halls and apartments are closed. Woodland Hall and Laughlin House remain open only to International residents who cannot go home for the break and do not have alternative housing available to them. If you think you may need housing at any time during Winter Break, you should live in one of those buildings for the entire year. Residents in Woodland and Laughlin will be contacted to register for winter housing around Thanksgiving. Failure to request Winter Break housing before students move into fall housing will likely result in future requests being declined due to lack of living space available. Food service and residence life staff may not be available during winter break and students are responsible for making their own provisions.

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Living Learning Communities

Living Learning Communities are special housing options which afford students the opportunity to continue the learning experience outside of the classroom. The purpose of living learning communities is to create an environment where students continue to learn about an area of interest outside of the classroom through the use of specific programming within the house, daily interactions with other residents, and through the exploration of academic and community resources.

The Office of Residence Life-Student Affairs offers three Living Learning Communities:

Intercultural LLC in Laughlin House

Laughlin House is home of the Intercultural Living Learning Community. This special housing option is open to all students who are interested in becoming more culturally and globally aware. The goal of this living learning community is to foster a cultural exchange between all residents of the house. Students, faculty, and staff collaborate to plan activities that will expose the residents to the differences and similarities that exist among cultures. Laughlin houses students in single, double, triple, and quad rooms.

Rachel Carson Environmental LLC in Rea House

Rea House is the home of the Rachel Carson Environmental Community. Named after the 1929 alumnae, Rachel Carson, this is a special housing option is open to all students interested in becoming more environmentally aware. The students who reside in this living learning community share an interest in participating in a environment which focuses upon sustainable and green practices. Students work closely with staff and faculty to plan activities which focus upon different aspects of living a green lifestyle. Rea houses students in single, double, and triple rooms.

First Year Experience LLC in Woodland Hall

The First Year Experience Community is a living learning community located on the 2nd floor of Woodland Hall that will assist first-year students in transitioning to college life.This community will offer additional support in connecting students with the University community. Two upperclass student mentors live in the community, including a Resident Assistant and a Cougar K-Nector. This community is designed especially for our first-year students will offer support, socializing, and fun!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Chatham's residence halls and apartments offer vibrant and unique communities that celebrate all of the things that make our students special. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about living on campus:

Are students required to live on campus?

Chatham has a rich history as and a commitment to the undergraduate residential, liberal arts college. As such, Chatham maintains a two-year campus residency policy. Though the policy allows first and second year students to live at home with parents or legal guardians, most local students choose to live on campus for the community and convenience.

Can I get a tour of my room?

Tours are available on Accepted Student Days only. Due to the heavy summer schedule and limited staff, we are unable to take requests to view specific rooms during the summer.

What about costs? What are the deadlines and fees?

Every student who moves in to campus housing signs to a one year contract through the Residency for the current academic year. This one year contract can only be broken if the student leaves Chatham, or in the most dire circumstances. Housing reservation fees are $150 for any room type and due before the student can be assigned. This $150 is directly applied to the students account.

The tentative standard room rate for 2009-2010 is $2205 per semester; single rooms are $2646 per semester. Spring semester housing includes Maymester, where applicable.

Housing applications are due, via, on May 31st. Housing assignments for new first year students will be sent out on or about July 1st. Applications for housing received after the May 31st deadline will be processed on a rolling basis, and assignments made to what is available. Returning student room draw is held in the spring every year.

Am I required to purchase a meal plan if I live on campus?

Yes, Upper Campus residents (Fickes, Laughlin, Rea and Woodland) are required to choose one of the "Chatham" plans. Undergraduate Lower Campus apartment residents (Chatham and Pelletreau Apartments) are required to have one of the "Cougar" plans. The meal plan options available are:

  • Chatham Gold, which includes 19 meals per week and $55 in flex dollars
  • Chatham Silver, which includes 14 meals per week and $110 in flex dollars
  • Chatham Bronze, which includes 10 meals per week and $220 in flex dollars
  • Cougar Platinum, which includes 5 meals per week and $220 in flex dollars
  • Cougar Gold, which includes 100 meals per semester and $200 in flex dollars
  • Cougar Silver, which includes 50 meals per semester and $200 in flex dollars
  • Cougar Bronze, which includes 25 meals per semester and $200 in flex dollars

What comes with the room?

All student bedrooms come furnished with a single bed, desk and desk chair, dresser and either a closet or a wardrobe. Apartments also come with one set of common area furniture: coffee table, couch, chair, and dinette set. All students have access to the campus network and phone systems. Students living in the apartments may contract for cable through Comcast, however residence hall rooms are not cable-ready.

What size are the beds? Where can I find information about the rooms?

We have both standard and extra long beds on campus. We suggest that you bring extra long sheets or deep pocket twin sheets, since it's better to have sheets that are too large, than not large enough. If you would like to find out more information about your room, please contact the Office of Residence Life via email (

Can a student live in single room?

First year students are eligible for a single room only through the Medical Accommodations Process. Upper-class students are eligible to live in single rooms.

What if a student is having roommate problems?

Most roommate problems are the result of poor communication. All students living in a multiple occupancy space are required to fill out roommate contracts to ease the transition of living together for the first time. There are many situations in which the roommate contract has to be amended and updated throughout the year as the students grow into their new lives as college students.

Most students will, at one point or another, have a disagreement with a roommate. This is part of being in college, and the experience of working it out, either on their own or with staff help, can be a major learning and growth experience. We will always first defer to the students themselves to sort out any problems, next bringing in an RA to facilitate a discussion, and lastly a professional staff person to assess the situation, and in many cases provide additional mediation.

If, after a sincere effort, things aren't working and there is space available we may talk with one or more roommates about a move to another space.

My student called and is upset - what can I do to help?

If your student is sick or injured or is having a mental health crisis they, or you, should immediately call Health Services (412-365-1238) or Counseling Services (412-365-1282) during the day, or Public Safety (412-365-1111) after 5pm.

If your student is having a rough day, the best you can do for them is listen. Help them keep perspective, make a plan, and utilize the resources available to them; the academic advisor, faculty, RAs and professional Student Affairs staff. Give them time to address the situation themselves, and check in on their progress.

I lived on campus for a semester, but now want to commute. Can I do that?

All students who contract for housing do so for the entire academic year. In rare, significant circumstances, a year lease may be broken. These circumstances may be, but are not limited to: medical accommodations (requires documentation), a significant change in financial status (must be documented) that is aided by the student moving in with a parent or legal guardian or if a student leaves Chatham or falls below full-time status. Students wishing to change their residency to commuter must complete the Commuter Application Form found on the document section of my.chatham.

What is an RA?

Resident Assistants (RAs) are student staff members who live in each residence hall and primarily serve as a resource for students living in the building.RAs are there to listen to students’ problems, concerns, and help direct students to the appropriate place to find a resolution.RAs are student leaders that help make living in the residence halls an enjoyable and healthy experience.Students never need a specific reason to see their RA, but here are common items RAs can assist students with:

  • To talk to about anything!RAs are there to listen!
  • To request a work order for something broken in your room or building.
  • To hang out.
  • To help mediate roommate conflicts.
  • To check you in and out of your room.
  • To suggest campus activities to attend.
  • To raise questions, concerns, and comments about anything.
  • To seek assistant in resolving a conflict in your building.
  • To help students meet new friends and get involved on campus.
  • To serve as a resource and guide for referrals.
  • To help establish community standards.
  • To serve as an academic role model and resource for students.

What is a GRD?

The paraprofessional staff members who supervise the RAs and each residence hall are the Graduate Resident Directors (GRDs).The GRDs live in your building and help to facilitate that the community is healthy and enjoyable for everyone.GRDs hold office hours in the Office of Residence Life-Student Affairs and meet with students on first-level violations of residence hall policy.

Who are the Professional Staff Members?

The Area Coordinator (AC) and Assistant Director of Residence Life (AD) are professional staff members who supervise the GRDs, oversee housing, staff training, and meet with students on second-level violations of residence hall policy.Students are welcome to visit the office and see the AC and AD at any time.Here some items they can assist you with:

  • To say hello, to visit, or talk about anything.
  • To suggest campus activities to attend.
  • To ask questions about how to become and RA.
  • To ask questions about the housing selection process.
  • To request a room change.
  • To meet about a residence hall policy violation.
  • To appeal a damage charge.

The Director of Residence Life provides overall leadership for the office, supervises the professional staff, meets with students on high-level violations of residence hall policy, and serves as a resource for all students.Students are always welcome to visit the Director:

  • To say hello, to visit, or talk about anything.
  • To help find a resolution when a concern or issue has not reached a conclusion.
  • To suggest ideas and offer feedback about the residence halls and living on campus.
  • To invite her to a program or residence hall activity.
  • To meet about a higher level residence hall policy violation.

What is my mailing address?

All residential students are assigned a mailbox in the campus post office when they arrive on campus. Your student should go to the post office to obtain this number. The address will be:

Student Name
Woodland Road
Box ###
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

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2011-2012 Office of Residence Life Important Dates

August 25, 2011First-Year students move-in to fall housing
August 27, 2011Upper-class students move-in to fall housing
August 28, 2011All Residents Meeting, AFC,
October 10 - 14, 2011Health and Safety Inspections
November 1, 2011Winter Break Housing Request Forms Available on my.chatham
November 14, 2011RA Applications Available on my.chatham
November 22, 2011Winter Break Housing Request Form Due
November 30, 2011RA Information Session Woodland Hall 8:30pm-9:15pm
December 16, 2011RA Information Session Fickes Hall 8:00pm-9:15pm
December 17, 2011Residence Halls close for Winter Break
December 18, 2011Residence Halls close for graduating seniors
January 3, 2012Residence Halls open for spring housing at 9:00am
January 11, 2012RA Information Session Laughlin House 4:00-5:00pm
January 13, 2012RA Information Session 10:00am-6:30pm Tables on Campus
January 17, 2012RA Info Session Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 4:00pm-5:00pm
January 19, 2012RA Applications Due by 5:00pm to Residence Life
February 6, 2012LLC/UG Apt. Applications/Graduate Housing Intent Forms Available
February 14-17, 2012RA Individual Interviews
February 18, 2012RA Group Process Day & Returning RA Interviews
February 20, 2012LLC/UG Apt. Apps./Grad Housing Intent Forms Due to Res Life by 5:00pm
February 20, 2012Room Selection Event Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 4:00pm-5:00pm
February 27 -
March 1, 2012
Health and Safety Inspections
March 2, 2012LLC Housing Decision Letters
March 12, 2012Room Selection Event Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 11:30am
March 12-15, 2012Maymester Meetings - All Residence Halls
March 13, 2012LLC Room Selection Woodland Student Lounge by Residence Life 5:00pm
March 16, 2012Apartment Housing Decision Letters
March 19, 2012Housing Deposits Accepted
March 23, 2012Maymester Intent Forms Due/Summer Housing Applications Available
March 25 - 30th, 2012Hall Olympics
March 28, 2012Room Selection Information Session
March 30, 2012Housing Deposits Due
April 3, 2012Room Draw Srs. & Jrs. Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 8:00pm
April 4, 2012Room Draw Sophomores Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 8:00pm
April 6, 2012Summer Housing Applications Due
April 14, 2012RA Pre-Service Training
April 25, 2012Residence Halls close for student not enrolled in Maymester
May 16, 2012Residence Halls close for Maymester students
May 20, 2012Residence Halls close for graduating seniors

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Office of Residence Life Documentation Process

Any interaction with a member of the Residence Life Staff (RA, GRD, AC, DRL) regarding residential concerns will result in confidential documentation which describes the concern, individual(s) involved, and steps taken to address the concern. All items which are documented are kept confidential and only reviewed by the professional staff in the Office of Residence Life or the Office of Student Affairs. Upon reviewing the documentation, a student may be contacted via email to request of a meeting between the student and a professional staff member from the Office of Residence Life.

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Office of Residence Life Policy Violation Process

Serious issues or violation of the Residential Student Handbook will result in a meeting with a professional staff member in the Office of Residence Life. The judicial process is a confidential experience for each student; therefore, the Residence Life Staff member will not disclose information about meetings with other individuals who were present at the time of the incident(s). When multiple students have been involved in a potential policy violation, professional staff members will meet with all students on an individual basis. Please note: One concern may contain multiple violations of the Residential Student Handbook, and will be addressed within the one meeting. If the violation(s) include Honor Code Violations, the list of applicable charges is made and referred to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.



All sanctions, which are assigned by professional Residence Life staff members, are fully supported by the Office of Residence Life-Student Affairs and are expected to be upheld and respected. Failure to complete an assigned sanction may result in further disciplinary action and a meeting with the Director of Residence Life. The Office of Residence Life acknowledges that each policy violation is unique and may result in either of the types of sanctions mentioned below or a combination of the two.

Types of Sanctions

Monetary Sanctions
  • Violations resulting in monetary sanctions must be paid in full to the Office of Residence Life by the date indicated in the decision letter. Students may pay monetary sanctions via check or cash. All students will receive a receipt to verify the date the payment was received. Students must make the payment to an Office of Residence Life professional staff member.
  • If a student is unable to pay a sanction by the assigned date, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the professional staff member who hosted the meeting to request an extension of deadline or an alternative sanction.
Educational Sanctions
  • Some policy violations may result in educational sanctions in which the student is expected to complete an assignment based on the policy in question.
  • On-campus community service may be assigned as a result of a policy violation.
  • If a student is unable to complete the assignment by the deadline in the decision letter, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the professional staff member who hosted the meeting to request an extension of deadline or an alternative sanction.

Appealing a Sanction

If a student feels that a sanction is disproportionate to the policy he or she has been found responsible for violating or feels there is other information that would change the decision, he or she is welcome to appeal the decision with the Director of Residence Life. To appeal the sanction, the following must be completed and submitted in writing to the Director of Residence Life within 7 days (including weekends) of the date you received the decision letter. To make an appeal, please complete the following process:

  1. Contact the Director of Residence Life in a formal letter via email or hard copy requesting to meet.
  2. Include the date of the violation, the location of the violation, and a brief synopsis of why the decision is being appealed. As the decision letter indicates, there are three reasons to file for an appeal: new information that was not available at the time of this decision, a violation of procedure, or a decision or sanction that is disproportionate to the violation.
  3. Submit a list of times you are available to meet to discuss the decision.

Please Note: The above procedures are meant to inform the students of the Office of Residence Life’s basic judicial process.The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to amend the process and sanctions as determined necessary by the Office of Residence Life.

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