HOUSING RULES AND REGULATIONS
Residence Life Information, Polices, and Procedures
The following information consists of important policies, procedures, and information that will be helpful as residents reside in university housing. Please review the information and continue to use it as a resource throughout the academic year.
The policies contained in the Guide to Residence Living have been written in an effort to provide a living environment that is supportive of the resident’s academic pursuits. The policies also reflect a need to be supportive of local, state, and federal laws. The residential living experience is designed to enhance academic success, provide a general feeling of satisfaction, and a total residential experience that balances comfortable facilities, comprehensive programs, and services. While structured policies are part of community living, the ideal community will be governed by behavior that considers respect for self, others, and facilities. In addition to knowing the USAO Res Life policies and procedures, residents are encouraged to become familiar with the USAO Student Handbook. Disregard for others or USAO policies, procedures, or regulations, may result in a referral to the University Judicial Officer
RIGHTS OF PRIVACY
As a student you have these rights of privacy. Entry into your room is authorized only:
- By your permission.
- By your roommate’s permission.
- For repairs, room inspections or maintenance after reasonable notice has been given or you requested the service.
- To turn off unattended loud stereos or radios, persistently sounding alarm clocks or telephones, or other noise-producing devices, after unsuccessfully attempting to contact you.
- During fire drills or alarms.
- During emergencies
- Where danger to life, safety, health or property is reasonably feared
- Upon authority of a search warrant issued by a university official pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct or by a court jurisdiction.
- For inspections during all closings.
LIVING IN A COMMUNITY
Housing staff works jointly with residents to provide a pleasant and safe community for all. Each member of the community has a responsibility to be courteous and respectful, cleanliness and observe basic safety practices. Students who feel community expectations are not being met should make those concerns known to the Housing Director.
Residents are expected to be aware of and adhere to the rules for his/her well-being as well as the residential community. Residents, including his or her roommates and guests, are fully responsible for all activities that occur in the room. The rules and regulations of the University and the residence hall are clearly explained in this manual and the Student Handbook.
Each resident is expected to take pride in the housing community by cleaning up after themselves in common areas and discarding trash in appropriate receptacles. If common areas are unclean or unsanitary, please let the Housing Director know immediately.
Involvement in the Community
Treat people well
In a community where people are respectful, kind and interested in one another, a sense of pride builds naturally. Treat people as you would like to be treated, and your actions will come full circle. As a student and member of the USAO residence hall community, you are free to be yourself. However, issues of human dignity, equality and safety are non-negotiable. Refrain from and discourage behaviors that threaten the safety, freedom, and comfort of others. USAO promotes both academic and personal growth. Take pride in the housing community and the USAO campus. Get involved whenever the opportunity arises.
Help us to keep USAO beautiful
Simple actions like picking up litter when you see it and recycling your waste are contagious. Our communities and campus will look better, and you will be doing something important for the environment.
When you see something in need of repair or improving, inform your RA or housing director. Do not expect someone else to do it.
If something is not working properly, report it. Help campus staff by reporting all things no matter how small you think it is.
Residence Life is committed to diversity among its students. The community is expected to demonstrate consideration for other students and their values at all times.
Residents are responsible for contacting their RA if they have any concerns, questions, or complaints. The RA may decide that it is necessary for a Hall Director to intervene. In situations where residents feel uncomfortable approaching their RA, they may take their concerns directly to the Hall Director. The resident should make an appointment with the appropriate Director by contacting him/her by email or phone. Residents who are still dissatisfied with the response may then make an appointment with Student Services. These appointments can be made by calling 405-574-1278. The concern will need to be briefly described.
Courtesy and Quiet Hours
Each member of the community is expected to constructively confront noise that is considered disruptive prior to contacting a residence life staff member for assistance. If a resident has a problem with the noise level of a neighbor, talk to them first and try to work it out.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY
All residents are responsible for checking their mailbox and USAO email account frequently. This is how Housing will contact residents for official business throughout the academic year. Failure to check these university-issued communication sites does not exempt a student from any information delivered to them. Furthermore, mandatory floor and hall meetings are held at the beginning of each semester and periodically throughout the year. These meetings are for the residents’ benefit, and as a member of the community each resident is responsible for any and all information discussed at these meetings.
Room Maintenance Expectations
Furniture, including mattresses, may not be moved from any room and must remain indoors at all times. Any damage beyond normal wear and tear will be billed to the resident. It is the resident’s responsibility to report damage when it occurs. Due to safety concerns, if furniture is moved around in the room there must always easy access to both the front door and the restroom door.
University equipment (i.e. routers) located in your room or apartment may not be removed or altered.
Students who remove such items are subject to disciplinary sanctions and fines. Any damage to the equipment will be billed to the resident.
Room decorations are allowed, but please consider the following:
- You are prohibited from painting any surface in your room, including the walls, any wooden or metal surface, the ceiling, room and bath room doors, and air-conditioning/heating units.
- The use of nails, screws, tacks, double-sided tape, paste, glue, fasteners, contact paper, etc., on doors, windows, ceilings, walls, bureau drawers and bookshelves is strictly prohibited. Using any items that damage surface finishes will result in charges at the end of the year for damages to the permanent furnishings. Residents are encouraged to use Command Brand Damage Free Hanging Products or similar when hanging items in rooms. Be advised that you will be held responsible for any damage caused by the improper removal of the hanging product.
- If you have a special need for personal items, please apply for special accommodations through the Dean of Students.
- Due to fire code, hanging paper, fabric or other flammable substances on the outside of your room door is strictly prohibited. Please limit door decorations to of your door.
- Light strands hung in hallways or from the ceiling in your room are prohibited.
- Your room must be returned to its original condition upon vacating.
- Spray painting is not permitted in the residence halls, even for class projects. If you need a location to spray paint, please contact the director.
Public areas are defined as areas within residence halls that are open and available to all residents (i.e. hallways, lounges, theater room, and lobby). Please keep public areas clean. Personal belongings are not to be left in public areas due to health and safety regulations. Any personal items found in these areas shall be removed. The University is not responsible for items left in public areas.
Pest Control comes the second Tuesday of every month to spray the buildings. Residents must have floors and surfaces cleared.
Fish are allowed in campus housing. Aquarium size must be 10 gallons or less. Guests may not bring dogs, cats or other pets to the area while visiting.
Assistance Animals in University Housing
Federal law allows individuals with disabilities the presence of a broader range of animals (“assistance animals”) in University housing as compared with the campus as a whole. By law, an assistance animal means any service animal, as defined above, as well as an animal needed for emotional support. An individual may keep an assistance animal as accommodation in University housing if: (1) the individual has a disability; (2) the animal is necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; and (3) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.
Maintenance Work Order Requests
Routine work orders may be submitted online at http://usao.edu/current-students/maintenance_requests. You can fill out the required information. In the event of a maintenance emergency contact the RA or the Director immediately. Emergency calls between 2am and 8am must be made to Security. Residents should provide their name, a clear description of the problem, and the location (including floor and room). A maintenance emergency is defined as follows:
- Overflowing water from water heater, sink, shower/tub, or toilet.
- Complete power outage.\Smoking or sparking appliances.
- Sewer problems indicated by a toilet not flushing or a sink or shower not draining.
- Unsecured or broken entry door or completely broken window depending upon extent and location of damage.
- No hot water.
NOTE: Please be aware the maintenance staff will enter your room/apartment to address the work order.
A work order request is needed when an item in the resident’s room, suite, or apartment requires repairs or maintenance; please report the problem directly to the residence life staff. The university reserves the right to allow staff members to enter rooms/suites/apartments to examine, inspect, and maintain all of the facilities. Residents are not allowed to perform their own repair work or hire outside contractors.
Damages that arise from failure to turn in maintenance issues will be your financial responsibility. Please contact the director with concerns.
The Mail Room is located on the first floor of the Lawson Clubhouse at Lawson. Residents who wish to receive mail on campus will need to sign up for box in the mail room located in the Lawson Clubhouse. Mail is delivered and posted by 11am daily, except on Sunday and legal holidays. University mail room is open Monday-Friday 9am-12noon and 1pm-3pm. You may check your mail anytime between 7 am and midnight. If a student receives a package too large to place in the post office box a package slip is placed in the box. You must check out through the post office and return your key upon leaving university housing. Charges will be applied to your account if you do not check out properly.
Residents are responsible for their guests and their guests’ actions. Non-residents are expected to abide by the stipulated visitation policies governing that resident hall. Non-residents must be escorted at all times. As a guest’s host, residents should make their guests aware of university and residence hall policies. You as well as your guest will be held accountable and liable for any university infractions or building damage done by your guest. Disregard for university regulations will result in the eviction of the guests from the premises and possible permanent banning from campus housing.
- Clean up after use (this includes dryer sheets).
- Remove lint from trap and discard properly.
- Never remove anyone’s items.
- Report any items left for more than 24 hours to the RA on duty or the Resident Director. After hours, contact security.
- Report any maintenance or malfunction issues to the RA or Housing Director immediately.
- Follow all manufacturer instructions on machines.
- Do not overload the washers and dryers. Leave 5” between laundry and top of barrel.
- Use proper amounts of liquid detergent, softener and bleach.
- Powder detergent is not allowed.
- USAO is not responsible for any missing clothing that is left unattended.
- Do not put objects other than clothing in washers and dryers. Cycle will be stopped and items will be removed.
- Card machine takes $5 and $10.
Salon and Tanning Beds (located at the Lawson Clubhouse)
The salon is leased to an outside company. Hours and policies are subject to change. Hours are posted in the Lawson Clubhouse. Salon and tanning fees are at the patrons expense.
Each residence hall has a movie theater room. Residents may reserve the movie theater at any time on the sign up calendar located next to the theater’s entrance. Please limit your sign ups to no more than 2 consecutive days or no more than 2 times per month. When your reservation time has come, call the RA cell phone to have it unlocked. It is your responsibility to make sure the door is locked when you leave. The theater must be inspected by the RA before the next reservation. Damages that occur will be your financial responsibility. RA’s will set up your movie for you; please do not make any adjustments to our systems without the assistance of the RA.
Television, Stereos, Musical Instruments and Equipment
You must not disturb other residents. If they are played too loudly, as judged by the Residence Life Staff, the offender shall be required to resolve the disturbance. Failure to comply when notified by the Residence Life Staff may result in removal and storage by the University until it is convenient for the owner to take it home and/or fines are paid.
Standard cable is provided to residents in the residential areas. Additional cable cord and televisions are not provided.
If you cannot get cable channels to show up on your television, it may be that your TV is not compatible with the digital signal. Conversion boxes are available at the local Sudden Link office. There is a monetary deposit that must be paid to Sudden Link, but will be returned when you return the converter. There are a very limited number of landlines available. You request a landline in Student Services and they are not guaranteed because it is based off a first come, first served basis. Only request a landline if it is absolutely necessary.
Your trash is your responsibility to remove properly and often. Trash creates odor and attracts bugs. Trash is prohibited on the balconies, even for a short period of time. Trash receptacles are located in the southeast parking lot behind Lawson and behind the Student Center. Trash must be placed in the receptacle, leaving items next to the receptacles is prohibited. Bags of trash from your apartment or room are not to be placed in the small receptacles in the courtyard or in the buildings. Trash is not allowed to be stored in your room or apartment. Once your trash receptacle is full, it must be discarded properly.
All appliances must meet Underwriters Laboratory Safety Standards. Appliances with fully enclosed heating elements and/or electrical wiring are permitted. Hot plates, halogen lamps, open coil appliances, electric space heaters, air conditioners, and appliances that could melt or overheat if left unattended constitute a fire hazard and are prohibited. Use of multiple socket plugs, running cords under carpeting and direct splicing in the electrical outlet is prohibited. The use of surge protection strips is acceptable and recommended. Microwaves 1200 watts or less and refrigerators 5 cubic feet or less are allowed in student housing. Res Life does not reimburse for spoiled food or damages to personal property due to appliance issues. Residents should purchase renter’s insurance (see Renter’s Insurance).
Roommate relationships are the foundations for community development. It is not necessary to be best friends or share every aspect of college life together, but it is important that roommates respect each other’s rights. Developing a positive relationship is a process; it does not happen overnight and takes effort. Listed below are some proactive steps that can help develop a successful roommate relationship.
- Get to know your roommate
- Begin communicating right away
- Talk about expectations
- Ask questions
- Set some guidelines for living in the same room/apartment
- Be open with your needs and be willing to compromise
Students wishing to change rooms must consult the RA or the Housing Director for assistance. If the room change is an emergency, contact the Housing Director immediately. Students who are assigned a double room, but who do not have a roommate, may be assigned a roommate at any time.
For roommate conflicts, if the roommates cannot reach a solution, the first step is assistance from a RA. If the problem is not resolved, the next step is to ask the Residence Director for help or mediation. Moving a resident is only used after other methods of resolving conflicts have been attempted. Moves are granted at the discretion of the Director and are based on space availability.
Summer storage on campus is not guaranteed and will be evaluated on an annual basis. Summer storage will depend on availability as determined by the Dean of Students. A charge will be assessed for all storage. The only allowable storage items are those located in boxes and/or rubber containers. * Storage is not temperature controlled. Electronic items are not recommended to be stored.
It is up to the Housing Director to determine the storage schedule with regard to when storage items will begin being received, when storage items will no longer be accepted, and when the Housing Personnel will be available to unlock the storage area.
All items must be enclosed in boxes or rubber containers. Each box or container placed in storage must be labeled with the following information:
- Complete Name
- Permanent Home Address and Phone Number
- Summer Address and Phone Number (if different from home address)
- Month/Year student will return to campus
Students who wish to store items over the summer should complete a Summer Storage Policy and Agreement and return it to Housing. The Resident Director will sign the storage agreement and give a copy to the resident.
The university will not be responsible for articles lost, stolen, or damaged while in storage. Therefore, students should carry their own insurance on the items they store. Some may already have coverage through an insurance policy. Items of special value to students should not be stored with Housing during the summer.
Claiming Storage Items
Students should claim their storage items after fall check-in by contacting the Resident Director. Students must reclaim their storage items no later than 5:00 p.m. on the second Monday of classes. Property not claimed by 5:00 p.m. of the third Monday of classes will be declared abandoned. Abandoned property becomes the property of Housing and students will be charged a disposal fee.
Late Storage Requests
Storage requests must be made and approved before the day of check-out. Any storage requests made and approved after the deadline set forth by the Dean of Students will be assessed a $100.00 fee. This fee will be charged to your student account. The Housing Director and Dean of Students are the only agents who can approve or reject late storage requests.
KEYS AND CAMPUS ACCESS
The University issues you a Drover Card. This card is your campus ID, your access to your meal plan, and your access to the residence halls, campus events and various on-campus facilities. For Drover Card questions contact Student Services at (405) 574-1278. If you lose your Drover Card, replacements can be made in Student Services located on the third floor in the Student Center, Monday-Friday, 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
Each student also is issued a key for his or her room when he/she checks into the residence hall. Keys are the property of the University and may not be duplicated or shared. Each resident is responsible for carrying his/her room key and university ID at all times. Any tampering with or propping of the security doors or locking mechanisms is strictly prohibited.
If you are locked out of your apartment or room at any time, call security first. Please be prepared to show identification for security purposes.
Lost or Stolen Key
A missing room key, whether lost, stolen or misplaced, should be reported to the housing director immediately. Report the theft of a room key to your housing director and campus security. Failure to report the loss or theft of a key promptly or loaning your key to an individual not on the contract for your room is a violation of housing regulations and may result in disciplinary action.
Return of a Room Key
Upon a proper checkout, the room and/or apartment keys are returned. Failure to return the original room key will result in an automatic lock recombination and charge.
Please Review Emergency Quick Reference Guides Located in Each Room. If you do not have an Emergency Quick Reference Guide please notify an RA or Housing Director.
- Sparks Hall Residents will Shelter in Station 82 located in the basement of the Student Center.
- Lawson Court Residents will Shelter in Nash Library basement.
- Sparks Hall Residents will gather in the Oval
- Lawson Court Resident will gather in the Oval
Evacuation for Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities are responsible for selecting at least two other students willing to assist them on their individual floor or building to assist them in an emergency evacuation. Each of the designated student aides will serve as a back-up should one or the other be unavailable to assist the student with a disability. Upon evacuation, the student with a disability
and student aide will vacate the building. In the event the stairwell is in use by others, the student with a disability will wait on the landing while the student aide will evacuate the building and notify security of the presence of a person with a disability in need of evacuation assistance. For further information on disability considerations, please contact Disability Services 405-574-1326.
USAO Security is located in Troutt Hall and can be contacted at 405-222-8066.
Crime Reporting Procedures
All crimes should immediately be reported to Security. If a resident is a victim of a crime, he/she should call Security or stop by Troutt Hall to initiate a written report of the incident.
Security provides an escort service for members of the university community.
In the event of a fire or drill, all residents are required to immediately evacuate the buildings. Smoke detectors are not to be removed at any time. Removal of detectors will result in fines and disciplinary action. Do not tamper with sprinkler heads. They are not to be removed at any time. If your smoke detector is beeping, contact an RA to have the battery replaced.
Portable grills, candles, incense, open flame decorations, and propane/butane torches are fire hazards and therefore prohibited. All appliances used in your room must meet Underwriters Laboratories safety standards and/or have a Factory Mutual Label.
The University respects the privacy of each resident, but reserves the right to enter Student Housing in order to meet emergency situations, to make routine maintenance or fire hazard inspections, to maintain health and safety standards, and to enforce regulations.
Health and Safety Checks
Resident Directors and the Resident Assistants conduct Health and Safety Room Inspections of each student room once a month. This is to insure that safety issues such as overloaded electrical outlets, extension cords, major electrical appliances and other health and safety concerns or violations are discussed with residents. This allows the resident to become aware of safety issues within the room, suite or apartment. Health and Safety checks include visual checks of the entire room and/or suite. The purpose of checking these areas is not to invade a student‘s privacy but to ensure health and safety hazards are not present.
If violations are found, residents are given a written Official Request/Warning describing the violation and requesting that said violation is removed or corrected. Residents will have 24 hours to comply with the request(s). Failure to comply with such requests will result in disciplinary action.
When performing Health and Safety checks, staff will:
- Post notification for the community.
- Knock and announce themselves before entering.Inspect only items that are in plain view (no closets, drawers, or refrigerators will be opened).
- Look for unsafe cord placement (over doors, across door jams), unclean environment (rotting food, mold, offensive odor), doorway obstruction, electrical outlet overloading, maintenance concerns, pests, and paper covering more than 1/3 of door/walls.
- Document any policy violations
Housing staff may confiscate items that are deemed illegal, in violation of USAO Housing and/or Student Handbook policy or deemed unsafe. In instances when Housing staff has confiscated an item, a notice will be left in the room in question and the residents of that room should expect to receive further notification from their Housing Director.
Your Safety and Security
Tips for keeping yourself (and your belongings) safe:
- Keep your room door and car doors locked at all times.
- Keep windows locked.
- Report all window and doors that do not lock properly.
- Do not store valuables in your car.
- There is safety in numbers. Walk in pairs or groups. Contact Security if you need an escort.
- If you suspect a break in, do not enter your apartment, call Security immediately.
- Please use the marked crosswalks when walking across campus.
Missing Persons Policy \
The purpose of this policy is to define the procedures for USAO’s response to reports of missing students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The policy applies to students who reside in University Housing. This includes the residence halls and university-owned apartments.
For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered a “missing person” when he or she is absent from the university for more than 24 hours without any known reason.
Security cameras have been installed in several locations throughout residence housing. These cameras, which are monitored by Security, the Housing Director, and the Dean of Students, are designed to deter theft, vandals, and other crimes. Report any incidents that may be viewed on camera immediately.
The University is not responsible for personal property that is lost, stolen, or damaged on the USAO campus.
Any missing items should be reported immediately to USAO security (405-222-8066) and/or Student Services (405-574-1278)
USAO assumes no financial responsibility for damages to, or loss of, the personal property of students. USAO recommends that students check their parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy to see if their personal items would be covered in the event of damage while living in a residence hall or an on-campus apartment at USAO. If a student is not covered by his or her parents’ homeowners insurance or if they wish to purchase additional coverage exclusively for the student, he or she may check with any general insurance agency for details on securing such insurance. These companies can be located by checking your local phone book. Other options are listed below in no particular order and without any implied recommendation by USAO. We have no “preferred” vendor.”
CSI Insurance Agency Inc.
316 Maxwell Road, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Next Generation Insurance
5080 N. 40th Street, Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc.
231 Salina Meadows Parkway
Syracuse, NY 13221-4743
National Student Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 2137
Stillwater, OK 74076
Parking is permitted only in designated areas. Residents are not permitted to park in Visitor, Director, or Salon Parking. Decals must be displayed in the proper place for all motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles. We suggest that your keep your vehicle locked at all times and your windows up to deter theft.
Handicap parking is only for vehicles with state issued plates or tags. Tickets may be issued by the University and by city/county/state officials for misuse of handicap parking.
Parking is provided for visitors without USAO decals. Visitor vehicles may park in the designated areas for no more than a 24 hour period. Vehicles displaying a USAO decal are not permitted in this area.
Parking for any amount of time, loading, and unloading is prohibited on the fire lanes or sidewalks. These lanes are to be used only in emergency situations by emergency professionals or for approved university operational use.
Here are some things to remember about having a bike on campus:
- Bicycles are not permitted within the residence halls or apartments even when residents are gone for breaks (Thanksgiving, winter, spring break). Bicycles are also not to be stored under the stairwells or in the breezeways.Bicycle racks are located outside of each residence hall and apartment building.
- Any bicycle operated on campus shall be registered with Security. This requirement applies regardless of whether the owner is a student, faculty, or staff member. Registration is at no cost.
- Always lock your bicycle when unattended.
- Do not secure a bicycle to a tree, sign post or handrail. Bicycles that block stairways, breezeways, stairwells, ramps or other pedestrian or emergency access, or are secured to a tree, sign post or handrail are subject to impoundment, and the owner may be fined.
- After the end of the spring semester, any unregistered bicycle left around the residence halls without a summer permit will be considered abandoned property and will be confiscated by USAO Security. The University will not reimburse owners for locks or chains removed during this operation. Summer residents will receive a tag for their bicycle to denote that they are living in the residence halls.
- All motor vehicles, except mopeds, are prohibited from parking in bicycle racks.
CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR
Even if a resident is not actively involved in a violation, he or she may be held responsible, if present or has given others access to the room. It is the responsibility of the resident to put an end to any violation that occurs in his or her room, and to call University Housing staff and/or University Security. Residents should always lock their doors when leaving.
Students are responsible for acquainting themselves with the information contained in this publication and educating themselves on the Student Code of Conduct, and for abiding by campus behavior standards. The rules and regulations encourage a standard of conduct that is necessary for academic growth and personal development. Should you violate any policy, you may be issued a citation, referred to the Dean of Students, referred to criminal prosecution if the incident violates university standards and/or law. All students are responsible and accountable for their actions. Selected policies and rules are outlined here for your convenience.
Dean of Students
The Dean of Students is responsible for the administration of the university discipline system. This includes handling all violations of the Student Code of Conduct (including disciplinary referrals) that occur on-campus, off-campus, and in the residence halls. The Dean of Students may be reached at 405-574-1330. The office of the Dean of Students is located on the third floor of the Student Center in Student Services.
The responsibility for enforcement of the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct within and surrounding the residence halls lies with you, as well as the residence hall staff. Any member of the university community may report violations to Student Code of Conduct for review. Referrals to the Dean of Students and/or citations may be issued for violations of the Student Code of Conduct or policies outlined in this guide that occur inside the residence halls, at residence hall-sponsored activities, the dining locations, and/or surrounding residence hall property and premises, to include but not limited to parking lots, sidewalks, laundry facilities, basketball and volleyball courts, etc. Charges of alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct should be reported immediately to an RA, a Housing Director, or the Dean of Students. If disciplinary charges are initiated against you, you will receive notification via your assigned mailbox, USAO email account, or telephone from the Dean of Students office within 7 class days. You will be required to schedule an appointment within two class days of the date that the notification was sent. At your scheduled meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss the incident with the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students either will support the charges and issue sanctions or dismiss the charges depending on the totality of the information available.
USAO does not discriminate in its educational or employment benefits, activities or programs on the basis of gender pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Please familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of the University’s Sexual Assault, Discrimination and Harassment Policy located in the Student Handbook. Should you experience any sexual assault, harassment or discrimination, please contact Student Services 405-574-1278 to file a complaint.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) grants you the right of privacy toward your records, both academic and disciplinary.
Absolutely no tobacco use is allowed on campus. Fines and disciplinary action will be taken if seen in violation. For further information, USAO’s policy is publicly available online at https://usao.edu/other/tobacco-free-campus-policy.
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Illegal use of drugs and alcohol is in direct violation of local, state and federal laws as well as University policies included in this policy, and the Student Code of Conduct. University policy strictly prohibits the illegal use, possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances in the workplace, on its premises, or as part of any University sponsored activities.
University policy prohibits the possession or use of alcoholic beverages above 3.2% alcohol content on the USAO campus. Students 21 years of age or older may have 3.2% or less alcohol content beverages within the confines of their Lawson Court apartment or Sparks Hall room. Open containers are prohibited within the halls or balcony areas of student housing. No kegs, party balls, etc. are allowed in Student Housing.
There are several actions that are permissible in university housing in dealing with alcohol violations:
- Names and photo identification will be taken from all residents in any room/apartment where a staff member believes a violation has taken place. This also includes serving alcohol to underage persons on university housing premises.
- Under federal legislation adopted in 1998, the university may notify parents or guardians of residents under the age of twenty one who are found guilty of an alcohol or other drug violation. Notification of parents is required when residence life staff believes it will help the resident. When practical, conversations may be held with the resident before contact is made with parents to determine whether such contact is the best course of action.
Throwing or depositing refuse in public to include but not limited to back stairwells, hallways, lounges, exterior grounds, etc.) and/or private areas rather than disposing of trash in appropriately designated trash receptacles, to include trash cans and trash chutes, is prohibited. For the safety of our residents water balloons are not allowed on campus, unless prior approval is granted from Student Services.
Residents of a room are held responsible for all associated costs related to damage beyond normal wear to the room or its furnishings. Residents may not change the residence hall facilities nor remove or replace furniture supplied with the room. Repair and maintenance issues are made only by university-authorized personnel. These individuals have access to all rooms for health, safety, maintenance, and custodial purposes. Resident shall not disconnect, cover up, intentionally damage or remove the battery from a smoke detector. Resident may be subject to damages, civil penalties, and attorney fees for not complying with this requirement. Damages or excessive cleaning in public areas on the floor and stairwell (restrooms, lounges, study rooms) that are not attributable or chargeable to a specific individual or group shall be equally shared by the residents of the living area where those damages occur. The assessment of such damages is payable upon demand.
Students are advised to purchase renter's insurance concerning personal coverage. The university is not responsible for any loss of or damage to the personal property of the student, nor will the university be responsible for any injury or damages to the student's person or property while the student is a resident.
Defacement of University Property
Writing, drawing or marking of any kind upon any permanent interior or exterior wall, sign or similar vertical surface, furniture, hallways, sidewalk, mall, patio, terrace, or street is prohibited. Defacement also includes any spitting of saliva or any tobacco products, etc., on aforementioned items.
Firearms, Explosives, or Any Other Dangerous Weapons
The use or possession of firearms (including BB, air and pellet guns), explosives, firecrackers, ammunition and other dangerous weapons is prohibited.
Institutional Property Misuse
To include but not limited to fire alarms and fire equipment (extinguishers, hoses, sprinklers, smoke and fire detectors, etc.), elevators, security systems and devices. Knowingly submitting a false fire alarm, including any intentional activation of a fire alarm for malicious purposes, is a felony and may be prosecuted as such.
No resident is to use his or her room or permit it to be used for any commercial purposes, except for incidental commercial use such as receipt of telephone solicitations of sales orders. Commercial soliciting in the building or on the grounds is forbidden.
Entry by any individual into a room and/or community other than one’s own past established visitation hours is prohibited. This also includes entering or residing in a room not officially contracted to you, or allowing others access to an empty room or suite. In addition, you are not to allow another individual not contracted to the room to remain in your room unattended. It also is a violation to avoid a visitation violation by hiding in a suitemate’s room. Furthermore, unauthorized entry includes but is not limited to access to restricted areas, ledges and roofs.
Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with lawful directions of institution officials acting in performance of their duties. Violations include failure to provide to a university official (to include but not limited to University Security officials, resident assistants and all Housing and Food Services staff, housekeepers, etc.) upon demand a student ID or legitimate form of identification. Providing false information to a university official acting in performance of duties may result in additional disciplinary charges.
HOUSING CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS
All the materials contained herein become and shall be an integral and binding part of all residential facility agreements at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with all sections of this agreement. These terms and conditions are not intended to provide the general or specific residential facility information of a non-contractual nature, which is contained in the Residential Living Handbook and distributed when students check into the residential facility. University regulations and policies affecting residential facility agreements are subject to change. Such changes shall be officially announced. This announcement shall constitute actual notice to residents. The changes shall become effective and binding at the date of the official announcement.
University Housing Policy:
Eligibility and On Campus Residency Requirement
- All single first time freshmen under twenty-one (21) years of age are required to live on campus in a residence hall. Exceptions may be granted by the university for extreme circumstances that prevent the individual from living on campus and for individuals who reside in their parent’s or legal guardian’s permanent home if the home is located within a 30 mile radius from campus.
- To be eligible to live in a University Housing Facility, a person must be a student enrolled in and attending at least twelve (12) undergraduate hours for credit for fall and spring and six (6) in the summer trimester on campus at USAO. If space is available, exceptions to the minimum credit hour requirement may be made on a trimester-by-trimester basis for students who are completing degree requirements, upon written request to Student Services with confirmation of their status by the Registrar’s office.
- The University reserves the right not to contract with persons who are currently violating or have previously violated the terms and conditions of a housing contract or other University rules or regulations, or who have a past due balance with the University.
- All residents of University Housing are required to attend a mandatory meeting upon move-in.
- The period of this contract begins the Sunday prior to the first day of classes in the fall and ends the Saturday after the close of spring trimester examinations. For contracts that are fall only, the contract period begins the Sunday prior to the first day of classes in the fall and ends the Saturday following finals of the fall trimester. For contracts that are spring only, the contract period begins the day before classes start for the spring term and end the Saturday following finals of the spring trimester.
- If the student contracts after the first day of classes, the student will be charged from the date the contract is signed.
- Students granted permission to check in before the beginning of the academic year (as defined above) are subject to the terms of this contract and will be subject to an additional charge.
- Meal service will begin with dinner on the evening before classes start and end with dinner on the last day of final exams for each trimester. Meal service will not be available during Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and during certain university closures. Any other changes to the food services schedule will be announced and posted.
- The contract period for Sparks Hall does not include winter break. Residents are required to turn in their keys to designated housing staff by the Saturday after finals in the fall trimester and they will not have access to the building until the move in day for the spring trimester. Limited housing during these breaks may be available at Lawson Court for an additional charge. The University cannot guarantee that housing will be available.
- Lawson Court is open for currently enrolled students to reside in their residences during the trimester break period. If a student is not enrolled for the following trimester, he/she must complete a proper checkout by the last day of that trimester. (As noted in section 2d, no meal service is available during these periods)
Any student who has not checked into their assigned residential space by 5:00 P.M. of the official check-in date (See Academic Calendar) or has not called Student Services to guarantee a late arrival will be declared a no-show and the space will be released for assignment to another and their deposit will be forfeited. Any student who has not pre-registered (full-time status) for classes by August 1 will forfeit their room assignment and will be placed on a Waitlist.
- Housing contract deposit: Submission of a housing contract does not guarantee housing. A $200.00 deposit must accompany each USAO Housing Contract before it can be processed and a room assignment can be made.
- Estimated Room and Board Rates can be found on the USAO website and are subject to change. See Current Fee Schedule at http://usao.edu/current-students/residence-life
- Room and board payments may be made at one time for each trimester or as arranged through the University Business Office. Payment in full for each trimester or the first installment payment must be received by the due date as designated on the University Billing Statement. Students are responsible for paying all room and board charges for the entire term of the contract. Payment of room and board charges are not contingent upon whether or not a student receives financial aid or loans. If a student chooses to not be reassigned during the consolidation period, he/she will be charged the full room rate starting the date that reassignment was made by housing staff. Anyone whose bill is not fully paid with the business office is not allowed to refuse reassignment.
- Students must comply with the administrative checkout procedure whenever they checkout of their Student Assignment. Improper checkouts result in automatic loss of deposit. Therefore damages and fines (if applicable) will be assessed above the deposit amount.
- Charges may be assessed for damage to or loss of University property both in student spaces and in public areas. Charges for damage to public areas may be prorated to all residents of the hall or area. Charges may be assessed for damage to student spaces that is discovered within two (2 weeks) after the student has checked out, provided the space has not been occupied.
The University will provide the following:
- A single twin size extra -long bed with mattress, dresser, desk chair and desk.
- Room Key(s). Each resident for Sparks receives one room key. If the room key is lost during the year, you must pay for the re-coring of the room lock and new keys. Keys shall not be duplicated other than by University officials. All keys must be surrendered to Housing or designated area upon termination of this contract.
- TV lounges, study lounge, laundry facilities and other amenities exist for residents’ use within Residence Facilities.
- A full size bed with mattress, dresser, desk chair, desk, sofa, chair, and a table with 4 chairs.
- Room key(s). Each resident for Lawson receives one room key and one apartment key. If the room key is lost during the year, you must pay for the re-coring of the room lock and new keys. Keys shall not be duplicated other than by University officials. All keys must be surrendered to Housing or designated area upon termination of this contract.
- TV lounges, study lounge, laundry facilities and other amenities exist for residents’ use within Residence Facilities.
General Terms and Conditions:
Room Security Deposit:
A $200 security deposit is required in order to contract for USAO housing. This contract does not guarantee availability of rooms. If a balance remains on your USAO account upon move out, your deposit will automatically be applied to this debt. Following check-out, any remaining deposit will be forfeited after 18 months of inactivity on your business office account. The student shall forfeit his/her deposit if the contract is cancelled or broken or if upon checkout, there is damage to the room and/or university property in the room. The apartment/room, including interior window surfaces, furniture, bathrooms and kitchen appliances, must be cleaned thoroughly prior to completely a proper checkout. Move-out cleaning instructions shall be followed. If resident fails to clean in accordance with the instructions, resident shall be liable for reasonable charges to complete such cleaning and odor removal. This includes charges for cleaning carpets, window treatments, furniture, walls, etc., which are soiled beyond reasonable wear.
The University reserves the right to make and alter the Student Assignment and roommate assignments, to consolidate vacancies and to require a student to move from one room or residential facility to another. Race, national origin, disability, religion or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law shall not be considered in making roommate assignments. Student Services will attempt to recognize mutual roommate preferences insofar as regular residential facility space is available. When necessary, the University reserves the right to assign the contractee to alternate housing (whether short-term or long-term) at either an on-campus or off-campus location(s). The University further reserves the right to require a student to vacate the residential facilities on a temporary or permanent basis for failure to meet financial obligation to the University, exhibiting behavior not conducive to the living-Learning environment established in the residential facilities, or failure to remain in good standing with the University. Residents who withdraw from the University are required to vacate the residential facilities upon withdrawal.
Students may submit a written request for a room and/or roommate change within their current hall to the Housing Director. These requests will be considered and the Housing Director will notify residents in writing within two weeks of the request submission if the request was granted or denied. Appeals to the Housing Director’s decision may be made in writing to the Dean of Students.
A roommate's full name, address and telephone number are required on the application in order to process a roommate preference. For roommate preferences to be honored, applications must be submitted at the same time and space must be available in the facility requested
If Special Accommodations are needed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a letter of explanation needs to be attached to the application. Requests for special accommodations must be received at least one month prior to the anticipated occupancy. We recommend that students who require special accommodations also contact the Office of Disability Services (405)574-1326.
Contract Termination by the University:
Upon reasonable notice and for good cause, the university reserves the right to terminate this contract at any time. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to: 1) failure to make payment of required charges by announced deadlines; 2) a change in student status, including academic or disciplinary suspension; 3) failure to attend classes; 4) failure to comply with state or federal law; residential facilities policies and regulations; and/or rules and regulations as described in the most current issues of the Student Handbook and Residential Living Handbook , this contract and/or its terms; or any other published rule and regulation of the university; 5) failure to admit an officer or agent for reasonable inspection of the room for health, safety or sanitation standards; 6) failure to comply with the direction or order issued by and with the authority of any officer of the university; 7) possession, sale or use of drugs; 8) weapons possession; 9)tampering with life safety equipment or otherwise endangering the safety and/or security of other residents; 10) failure to occupy the assigned space before the established deadlines for each trimester; 11) failure to stay registered. Students who use and/or possess illegal drugs or weapons in any residential facility will have their room contract terminated without financial refund. All provisions, rules and regulations contained in the Student Handbook and Residential Living Handbook are hereby incorporated by reference and are considered to be a binding and agreed part of this contract. Should this contract be terminated, the student may be required to vacate the residential facility immediately unless special permission, in writing, has been obtained from the Dean of Students or a designee of the department. In the event the student does not vacate within the allowed time period, the room lock will be changed at the student’s expense and any property of the student remaining in the residential facility room or building will be treated as abandoned property. All charges for removal and disposal will be assessed to the student.
Termination of any of the above conditions will result in the student being liable for all charges assessed during the term of this agreement and not receiving any refund for current trimester room and board fees; forfeiting his/her room reservation. Students will also be financially responsible for any room damages and unreturned keys and/or access cards and failure to properly check out with a residential facility staff member.
The university reserves the right, at its discretion, to determine that past behavior and/or criminal activity is such that the interests of the university, the student and/or other students would be best served by alterations or cancellation of the contract. If the university becomes aware that a student has a record of criminal conviction(s) or other actions indicating behavior that would pose a risk to person or property and/or could be injurious or disruptive to the residential facility community or the living-learning environment, the university may not accept or may cancel the contract.
Any student who is evicted from the residence halls for disciplinary reasons will be responsible for the remainder of the contract. Students who are suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons are not entitled to a refund of any deposits or fees paid. Students who are asked to vacate their residence hall room as a result of disciplinary actions (but who are allowed to continue classes) are not eligible for a refund on any portion of any fee charged.
Oklahoma Law requires all new students living in campus housing be provided with information about Meningococcal disease and the availability of a vaccine that may prevent meningitis. As part of the housing contract, the student – or parent in the case of a minor – will attest that he/she has either received the vaccine or chosen not to be immunized against meningitis and signed a waiver. No additional documentation of this vaccination is required. This requirement is part of the housing contract and must be met when you move into campus housing. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in removal from university housing.
Contract Termination by the Student:
Under certain circumstances, the Dean of Students may grant a student the right to terminate this contract. If the student has occupied the assigned space and the request for termination has been approved, he/she must follow proper check-out procedures published in the Residential Living Handbook. Occupancy is defined by the issuance of a key and/or access card to the student for a specified room and does not require actual physical presence by the student and/or his/her possessions. The student must contact Student Services directly to initiate the process to terminate his/her contract.
- Release From or Termination of Contract: Once the contract becomes binding, the student will be released from this contract only for the following reasons:
- Not attending the university (graduation, withdrawal, transfer);
- Marriage, if living with spouse in the community (marriage certificate required for verification);
- Participation in an academically sponsored study abroad, co-op, student teaching, or internship program out of the Chickasha area;
- Called to active duty for military service;
- Significant and unforeseen health or financial reason occurring after the contract binding date. A request for release for this reason must be documented by the student and reviewed and approved by Student Services; or
- Disciplinary eviction from the residence halls.
- Releases based on the criteria outlined in items i, ii, iii, and iv are granted upon verification and receipt of the student's written cancellation at Student Services. Release based on the criteria outlined in item v is a special circumstance and will require a petition for contract release to Student Services.
- In the event that a release is approved, the student is entitled to a refund of room and board charges in accordance with the refund policy. The student's university bill will be credited on a prorated basis according to the date the Dean of Students approves cancellation or the date of official room checkout, whichever is later. No room and board credit will be given for cancelations effective two (2) weeks before the close of each final examination week. However, a student will not be returned their deposit when breaking the contract even if cancellation is approved.
- If a contract release is not approved, the student is eligible to cancel his or her contract upon payment of 80 percent of the remaining room and board costs.
- A student who has a residence hall contract for the academic year and cancels his or her room and board contract due to not attending the University but subsequently registers for any part of the remainder of the academic year will be bound to the remainder of the contractual obligation.
- A student must vacate an assigned space within 24 hours after his or her withdrawal or eviction from the university/residence halls, or as directed by University Housing.
- A student who is evicted from the residence halls for disciplinary reasons will be responsible for payment of the remainder of the contract. Students who are suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons are not entitled to a refund of any deposits or fees paid. Students who are asked to vacate their residence hall room as a result of disciplinary actions (but who are allowed to continue classes) are not eligible for a refund on any portion of any fee charged.
In cases where applications exceed the number of bed spaces available and Housing calculates that a limited number of students can be released from their Agreements without resulting in empty beds during the applicable term, students may apply to be released without breach of agreement penalties, after the Binding Date on a first-come, first-served basis. These students may be placed on a cancellation waiting list until such time that the Housing Office determines whether or not projected occupancy warrants their release. Students who are placed on the cancellation waiting list should not assume that they will automatically be released or released without breach of agreement penalties. Students who have requested release and subsequently change their mind must notify Housing Office, in writing.
Consolidation of Residential Facilities Spaces:
Students in double occupancy rooms who have not contracted for single occupancy and do not have a roommate must pay either a single room rate, obtain a roommate, or change rooms. Students who had assigned roommates and the roommate did not occupy their assigned space or withdrew from campus housing within a month of the end of registration for a term must also adhere to the Room Consolidation requirements. Any room changes must be approved in writing by the Director of Housing and be completed within 48 hours after notification to consolidate. If the consolidation has not occurred within the 48 hour period after official notification by the Residence Director, the student will automatically be charged and legally obligated to pay for his or her room on a prorated basis at a single room rate. The student may only contract for a double occupancy room as a single for the remainder of the current trimester and is not guaranteed a single room for the next trimester.
Meal Plan/Drover Card:
Meal plans are personal, non-transferable and non-assignable. All residence hall occupants are required to have a meal plan. Students not marking a meal plan choice above or choosing “None” will be placed on the least expensive meal plan. All students living on campus must purchase a meal plan, regardless of their housing assignment. There is no refund for missed meals or carry-overs to another trimester during the meal contract period. For a medical disability or employment meal reduction, contact Student Services for required documentation. Special dietary needs will be considered. Resident meal plans are refunded on a prorated basis to students who do not stay in housing the entire trimester. Meal plan changes can only be made through the fifth (5th) day of classes each trimester. Requests must be made in writing and signed by the student. Meals missed because of late move-in, special diets, religious beliefs and activities, employment, or classes scheduled during the meal hours are not refundable.
This housing agreement shall not be transferred or assigned to any person other than the person as named therein. It is hereby mutually agreed that all provisions of the Student Handbook, Residential Living Handbook, all provisions and policies of Housing and Food Services, all University regulations, all Federal, State, and local laws, are binding upon the contract .
Casualty or Emergency:
All reasonable efforts are made to protect University Housing Facilities and residents from fire, theft, or other major casualty. However, the University is not responsible for loss or damage to students’ personal property for any cause or reason. Moreover, the University is not responsible for any injuries, including but not limited to death to residents or guests, or damage to their property that may result from misuse of the premises or arising from any act that violates this contract or University policy. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain renters’ insurance to insure their property. If the Student’s Assignment should become uninhabitable due to fire or other casualty, the University will attempt to relocate the student in University housing if available. If the University is unable to relocate the student to other University housing, then the University may terminate this agreement. The University shall not be responsible for any failure to provide housing or meals in the event conditions arise which are not wholly within its control (i.e. acts of God, fire, strike, lockouts, terrorism, riots, etc.).
Policies and Procedures
Sparks Hall Closings
Winter Break: December 5, 2014 – January 7, 2015. All residents are required to turn in their keys.
- Sunday- Thursday: 10:00pm-10:00am
- Friday-Saturday: 12:00am-10:00am
- Finals Week: 24 hour quiet period
Your thermostat controls the temperature of the heat and the a/c when the heat or a/c is on. The fan controls the speed of the air. You do not control when the heat or a/c needs to be on. If you decide to open your window, you must turn the fan off.
- Overnight guest requests must be of the same sex and the Housing Director must be contacted via email 24 hours prior to their visit.
- Guests may not stay for more than 2 consecutive days, and no guest may stay for more than 4 nights in any 1 trimester. Abuse of the visitation policy will result in fines and administrative action.
- Due to laws governing fire occupancy, the number of guests that a single resident may have in their room at any given time are 2 guests per resident.
- Guests must be 18 years of age or older, even for short visits. (Some exceptions may apply, please contact the director for details.)
- You are responsible for your guest.
- Any damages or violations that your guest is involved in will be your responsibility.
- Guests are not permitted in Sparks Hall without you.
Checking-in Your Guests
- All guests are to enter and exit the building through the main entrance.
- Guests must be escorted throughout the building at all times.
- Guests must be checked-in at the front desk after 8:00pm. Your ID and your guest’s ID must be handed to the housing staff member at the front desk.
- Guests must be escorted out by 12:00 am Monday-Thursday and by 2:00 am Friday-Saturday.
LAWSON COURT APARTMENTS
Policies and Procedures
Lawson residents are not required to move off campus or turn in keys for university breaks while under contract.
- Do not set your thermostat below 72 degrees. Any lower setting will cause the unit to freeze, which will keep you from having air conditioning for an extended period of time. Leaving apartment windows and doors open while the unit is running will also cause the unit to freeze.
- Do not put any non-food item in the garbage disposal. This includes fish tank rocks, discarded bones, plastic, or any inorganic material that cannot be broken down by the disposal. If your door beeps more than once when you open it, there is an indication that the battery is about to expire. Report the beeping door immediately using the maintenance request form online.
- Please keep pathways to your apartment clean and clutter free.
- USAO will pay all utilities, local telephone and Internet service in bedrooms and basic cable in all bedrooms and the living area. Utilities shall be used for normal household purposes and not wasted.
- Outdoor grills, smokers, and fire pits are not permitted to be used or stored outside or inside your apartment. A charcoal grill is available for your use at the pool. You are responsible for supplying charcoal.
- Overnight guest requests must be sent to the director via email 24 hours prior to their visit.
- Guests may not stay for more than 2 consecutive days, and no guest may stay for more than 4 nights in any 1 trimester. Abuse of the visitation policy will result in fines and administrative action.
All Guests (day visitors or overnight visitors):
- Guests must be 18 years of age or older, even for short visits. (Some exceptions may apply, please contact the director for details.)
- You are responsible for your guests.
- Any damages or violations that your guest is involved in will be your responsibility.
- Guests are not permitted in your apartment or in the clubhouse without you.
- Due to laws governing fire occupancy, the number of guests that a single resident may have in an apartment at any given time are:
- 2 bedroom residents may have up to 4 guests each
- 4 bedroom residents may have up to 3 guests each
- Any resident found over the occupancy rate will be fined for each over limit guest.
Open 9am to 11pm
- Only two guest per resident of Lawson Court. Guests must be 18 or older. Children are not permitted without the Director’s consent.
- Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
- If lightning is sighted, evacuation of the pool area is mandatory.
- It is your responsibility read all posted signs.
Open 9am to 11pm, available on a first come, first served basis. Reservations cannot be made without director approval. Volleyballs may be checked out by contacting the RA during on duty hours or the Resident Director between 9am and 7pm. You will be required to leave your student ID. Failure to return checked out items or if returned items are damaged, charges will be applied.