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Guide to Residence Hall Living
Dear Resident Hall Student,
Welcome to Missouri State University-West Plains! The professional staff is excited to have you as a resident and we hope you will find your experiences with residence life to be positive and rewarding. Throughout the year, you will have the opportunity to develop new friendships and become involved in new activities on campus.
The Guide to Residence Hall Living is designed to inform you about the policies, procedures and general information that relates to on-campus housing at Missouri State University-West Plains. This publication is designed to let you know what you can expect from us and what we expect from you as member of a residence hall community.
The Residence Life Team is pleased to welcome you and we will always do our best to make your housing experience enjoyable, safe and educational.
Your Residence Life Staff
- Community Commitments
- Housing Contract
- Safety And Security
- Student Conduct
The University strives to provide an atmosphere for students to learn and pursue their academic and personal goals. In addition, the Residence Life staff is committed to creating a community where residents feel connected, develop new relationships and are actively engaged in campus happenings. Furthermore, we encourage members to share in the creation of a safe and peaceful environment where all residents and property are respected.
Missouri State University-West Plains is a community of people with respect for diversity. The University emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict non-discrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff and students. In accordance with federal law and applicable Missouri statutes, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including ancestry or any other subcategory of national origin recognized by applicable law), religion, sex (including marital status, family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other subcategory of sex recognized by applicable law), age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other basis protected by applicable law in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence and is strictly prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Holding to the policy, the student leaders and residence life staff encourage staff and students to reach out to one another and develop positive relationships.
Residence Life Staff
The housing staff is here to assist you in the development of your academic, personal and social growth. Below is a list of staff positions who are dedicated to providing all residents with an educational, comfortable and safe place to grow and learn together.
Director of Residence Life
The primary administrator of the Housing program who is responsible for all management functions necessary to provide students with a community in which they can live and learn comfortably and effectively. The Director of Residence Life is involved in policy development and implementation and will manage low level judicial infractions. The Director of Residence Life is responsible for implementing and supporting programming in a diverse student population community.
Residence Life Assistant Manager
The live-in administrator of the Housing program, providing oversight to the residence halls, thus maximizing availability to students. The Assistant Residence Life Manager is responsible for promoting an atmosphere conducive to academic and personal growth.
Residence Life Operations Assistant
Assists with various daily operations and other University Housing processes.
Resident Assistants (RAs)
Undergraduate students who have been selected because of their desire and ability to be of service to other students. RAs usually know the answers to your questions and/or can find you the right kind of assistance. Each floor or zone has at least one RA and they are there to help you achieve your personal growth and ultimately help your floor or zone build a sense of community. RAs will help organize and plan various recreational, social and educational activities. RAs are members of the Missouri State University-West Plains staff and are expected to be treated and respected as such.
The Maintenance Staff is responsible for cleaning all public areas of the residence hall including the hallways, laundry room, computer room, community room, elevator and stairwells. Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves in common areas and within their own rooms. Requests for maintenance should be given to an RA and if the RA is unavailable, residents should seek assistance from another Residence Life staff member.
Involvement and Leadership Opportunities
At Missouri State University-West Plains, there are many opportunities for students to get involved inside and outside of the classroom. As a resident, there will be regularly scheduled social and educational programs specifically within the residence halls. Suggested topics for programs of interest are welcome. residents are also strongly encouraged to get involved with other campus events such as Grizzly Athletics, University and Community Programs events, Student Life activities and many more!
Living with others in a community living environment is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences students can have while attending college. However, living on-campus has been proven to increase student success as well as personal growth and development. Residents are expected to demonstrate civility and respect toward others, make mature decisions together, communicate effectively, compromise and take responsibility for themselves and the consequences of their actions.
Complete a Roommate Agreement
Sharing a room with someone else requires trust, respect, communication and a willingness to share and compromise with each other. Completing a roommate agreement can alleviate some concerns up front as well as provide each roommate with the opportunity to define their expectations of the roommate relationship and how to share their common space. Roommates should always keep in mind the "Golden Rule" and strive to treat others as they would like to be treated. If a problem arises, roommates should communicate their concerns in an assertive, but also considerate, way. If residents need further assistance, they should seek help from their RA. If the RA is not available, residents should seek assistance from another Residence Life staff member.
Students living within the residence hall have the opportunity to live in a community environment and are expected to accept the responsibility of respecting each other and the property within the residence hall. Below is a listing of basic policies that have been established to facilitate mutual respect and consideration for all residents.
Air conditioning and heating units are provided for the comfort of the residents. In order to maintain appropriate costs within the residence hall, students are kindly asked to turn off their air conditioners and heaters when the temperatures are between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, air conditioning units can "freeze up" when left operational and windows are open. Do not turn the air conditioning units below 70 degrees, as this could cause water damage and leakage problems.
Due to possibility of breakage and the potential for injury, ball playing is not permitted in the residence hall. Ball bouncing is also not allowed because of noise.
Common Area Damages
In the event there are damages to a common area, including furniture, walls, elevators, doors, windows, and/or excessive cleaning charges, the Director of Residence Life reserves the right to charge all residents for reasonable damage if the responsible person(s) cannot be identified..
- Computer lab resources are to be used only by residents of that particular residence hall.
- Email usage and web browsing for non-academic purposes and game playing is limited to one hour when other students are waiting to use lab equipment.
- The viewing, downloading or printing of pornographic/harassing/illegal materials is prohibited.
- The computer lab is open 24 hours.
Individual Network Connection (in rooms)
- No personal HUBs are permitted in the Grizzly House. Students at the Grizzly Lofts are permitted to have routers in their rooms. Router names are provided at check-in.
- The downloading of non-academic materials that hinders bandwidth usage for others is prohibited, including memory-intensive audio and video files, etc.
- Personal servers that provide illegal access to copyrighted materials to others (on campus or off campus) are not permitted.
- Repeated disregard for adequate virus protection that interferes/infects others will not be tolerated. Free virus protection software is provided by the university for student use. Students at the lofts will continue to have routers based on the fact it is not the same internet provided by the University.
Policy and Ethics for Student Computer Use and Computer Network Use as defined by the University's computer services office: Statement of User Responsibility
- To be an authorized user of Missouri State computer and network resources, users must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing with the University.
- As authorized users, students are responsible for the security and use of their computer accounts. They accept full responsibility for their accounts and all activity performed on University computing resources.
- It is prohibited for any user other than the assigned account owner to use said accounts. Students are responsible for preventing unauthorized use of their computer accounts as well as refraining from using someone else's account.
- Those interested in creating web pages are responsible for adhering to the Missouri State World Wide Web Policies.
Definition of Appropriate Use and Misuse:
- Valid uses of computer and network resources include instructional use in classes, research, administrative support, electronic mail, web page development and resume or vita posting.
- It is a violation of University policy to use university computers for cheating of any kind.
- Copying, sharing, uploading, downloading, sending or receiving copyrighted or service/trademarked materials is strictly prohibited.
- It is a violation of University policy to use the computer for promoting outside business interests. University computer resources shall not be used for private consulting or personal gain. Computer resources may not be used to support or engage in any other conduct prohibited by University policy, including the policies stated in the student conduct system and University catalogs. E-game playing from the University laboratories is strictly prohibited. University computer and network resources are limited; users should respect the needs of others to use these resources for approved activities.
- It is a violation of this policy to examine or attempt to examine, another computer user's private files or mail.
- It is in violation of University policy to send/display defamatory, harassing, pornographic, obscene or patently offensive sexual materials. It is also a violation of University policy to send/display patently offensive sexual materials to minors. These violations are in addition to items prohibited by sections of the Revised Statutes of Missouri or other local, state or federal law.
- Fraudulent use of computer accounts, networks, mail services or other resources is a serious violation. Missouri state law makes unauthorized access and interference with computer systems, computer data and other computer users illegal. Altering electronic communications to hide a student's identity or impersonate another party is prohibited.
The community room is a multipurpose room equipped with a high definition television, couches and tables. The room is open 24 hours and is used for various activities and meetings. The rules of the community room are as follows:
- Clean up your own mess.
- Do not damage any of the equipment.
- Be aware of other's time and share appropriately.
- Do not remove items from the community room.
The Residence Life staff has the authority to lock up the community room if the room is not clean or items are damaged.
Cooking in rooms is strictly prohibited for the following reasons.
- Fire regulations do not permit it.
- It can damage the furniture in the room.
- There are no vents for odors.
- It creates a pest problem.
Residents are allowed to have a microwave (1,000 watts or less) and a refrigerator (3.3 cubic ft. or less) in their room.
Darts and Dartboards
Due to the potential for personal injury and property damage, darts and dartboards are not permitted at any time in the residence hall.
The Residence Life staff has the authority to lock up the community room if the room is not clean or items are damaged.
Students should remain in the presence of their guests at all times, including while traveling in hallways, stairwells, and elevators. The purpose of having escorts is to enhance the security of the facilities and to protect individual privacy. Failure to abide by the escort policy may result in disciplinary action.
Residents of the residence hall may have guests visit them in the hall, provided that the guests do not infringe on another's rights to privacy and/or the quiet to enjoyment of the facilities they have under contract. Furthermore, all residents must obtain permission from all roommates and/or suite mates before inviting guests and to convey continual problems to a Residence Life staff member if approval is not sought after and received each time by all parties involved. If permission is not received and a guest is invited to visit, all future guest privileges may be revoked.
The University prohibits acts of hazing. Hazing includes any act that puts a student in mental, physical, or emotional danger. At not point should a student feel unsafe during any initiation ceremony or at any activity of the University. Students may contact the Office of Student Life and Development for further information about this policy.
Residents are expected to maintain high levels of hygiene both personally and within their living space. Failure to maintain an appropriate level of hygiene can result in referral for disciplinary action.
Washers and dryers are provided and intended for use by residents only. The cost for use, if any, is indicated on the machine. Misuse of abuse of this equipment may result in individual charge(s) or an increase to all residents. The laundry room is open 24 hours and residents are asked to clean up after themselves after use. Residents are responsible for their belongings, and the university holds no responsibility for lost, stolen, or damaged goods while using the laundry facility. Monies that are left on a laundry card. will not be reimbursed to the resident at the point of check out.
University policy states that pets that are under the control of an adult (i.e., 18 years old or older) are permitted on university-property, but are not permitted within university housing. Exception: Fish are permitted if properly maintained in aquariums of 20 gallons of water or less.
The Office of Residence Life, as a reasonable accommodation to a Resident with a disability, will allow a Service Animal or a Emotional Support Animal in the Resident's University Housing pursuant to the University's Emotional Support Animal Policy and Service Animal Policy. University Housing Residents who seek accommodation from the university's pet policies due to a disability must contact the University's Disability Services Coordinator to request such an accommodation.
The Director of Residence Life must approve all posting of signs, bulletins, and promotional materials in the residence halls. Approved materials will then be posted by the Residence Life staff.
Quiet hours are maintained to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to good scholarship and to promote an environment where individuals can learn from the experience of group living. The enforcement of quiet hours is the responsibility of each student, with assistance from Residence Life staff as needed. Each floor must observe the minimum acceptable quiet hours of 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., seven days a week. Exceptions will be permitted only for purposes of vacuuming rooms. Courtesy hours are in effect throughout the residence halls 24 hours a day. Therefore, excessive noise, as determined by affected students, is discouraged at all times.
The University respects a student's right to privacy and will strive to protect and guarantee this privacy. University staff may enter a resident's room for any of the following conditions:
- To provide room maintenance inspections or repair service.
- To conduct periodic trash or health inspections.
- When there is reasonable cause to believe that university regulation or applicable laws are being violated.
- When there is reasonable cause to believe an emergency situation has arisen that requires that the room be entered.
- When a resident permanently vacates the room.
- When a resident vacates a room for a break period.
Illegal materials in plain view may be confiscated if they are noticed in the course of inspections or in response to violation of University or departmental policy. The resident will receive written notification of this action if confiscation is required. Additionally, in the event that illegal materials are confiscated from a student, conduct proceedings may be initiated by the university and/or law enforcement may be notified. Authorized Residence Life staff members who may enter a room include administrative staff members, Coordinator of Student Life and Development, Director of Residence Life, Residence Life Assistant Manager, Residence Life Operations Assistant, Resident Assistants, maintenance and custodial personnel.
Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Living
The use of all tobacco products (both smoking and non-smoking) is expressly forbidden in all areas, including all common areas and individual living units. Any student found responsible for contaminating the smoke-free environment of a room/suite/common area will be charged per incident per living unit for the thorough restoration/cleaning of that area, including carpets, walls, ceilings, draperies, etc. Charges vary and will be based on the cost to restore the living area. Below is a more extensive overview of the University's tobacco policy:
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipes, bongs, hookahs, vaporizers, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff and visitors are prohibited on all Missouri State University-West Plains properties except as set forth herein.
- The use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited at all locations on campus.
- The use of other tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and all other
tobacco products) is prohibited at all times:
- In all interior spaces on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus including leased facilities;
- In all University vehicles, including buses, vans and all other University vehicles and vehicles leased by/to the University;
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products will be allowed only at the following outdoor
- Inside of private vehicles located on university parking lots.
- The University prohibits the sale, distribution or free sampling of tobacco products on campus.
- The University prohibits the campus-controlled advertising of tobacco products on campus.
- Littering the campus with remains of tobacco products or any other disposable product is prohibited.
- Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events and sporting events using University facilities will be required to abide by the university policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees and for enforcing this policy.
Making abusive, harassing or obscene comments online or on social networking websites are violations of University rules and regulations. The Office of Residence Life prohibits the use of this type of behavior and speech. If you should receive annoying, harassing or obscene messages, contact your RA or a Residence Life staff member. Situations involving these types of messages will receive swift and appropriate action. Social media platforms intended to represent the facilities must use official University Channels.
Items that are unclaimed/abandoned will be donated or disposed of after five business days of discovery.
Visitation is a privilege that can facilitate personal and social development and enhance the quality of life on campus. However, some limitations are placed on visitation in order to protect the privacy rights of all students and to encourage an atmosphere appropriate for an academic community. The privilege of having guests hinges on the fulfillment of your responsibilities as a resident of your floor, hall and the university community. The following visitation policy must be observed:
- Sunday-Thursday 8 - 12 a.m.
- Friday-Saturday 24-hour visitation: Begins at 8 a.m. on Friday to 12 a.m. on Sunday
- Sunday-Thursday, all guests must leave the residence hall and all residents in the building must return to their rooms.
- Overnight guests, regardless of gender, may stay once the resident has notified the RA on duty or a Residence Life staff member by 8 p.m. on the first night.
- Overnight guest must be 17 years old or over.
- Visitation to the extent of cohabitation (more than two overnight visits per week) regardless of the guest's gender, is not permitted. The visitation policy also applies to hallways, stairwells and elevators.
Windows and Screens
- Residents may not remove the screens from their room window or other residence hall windows at any time, nor take any action that may tend to damage the window, screens, tracks or closures.
- Residents are instructed not to lean against any window or to stand upon any structure(s) or item(s), such as heating unit, crates or books in front of any window in the residence hall.
- No objects may e thrown, dropped, pushed out of, placed outside of or allowed to fall from any residence hall window.
- No one is permitted on ledges, nor are items to be placed on ledges.
Dining Services (Putnam Student Center and the Sole Café)
The meal plan (19 meals per week) starts with breakfast on the first day of class each semester. Meals are not provided during Thanksgiving, Spring and Semester vacations or four-day vacations. Meals that are served on three-day weekend breaks may have alternative service hours. Information will be posted.
Residents living in the Grizzly House have meals served by Putnam Dining Services, located in the Putnam Student Center. residents of the Grizzly Lofts have meals served in the Sole Café, located within the Grizzly Lofts building. At this time, there is no meal location exchange permitted. residents are expected to utilize the appropriate dining service based on their residence hall location.
Residents are encouraged to invite family or other guests to dine with them in the dining center. Meals for such guests may be purchased on a cash, check or credit card basis.
Misuse of a Meal Plan
Sharing your name card with a friend or family member may lead to cancellation or suspension without reimbursement for the unused portion of the meal plan
Meal Sunday Monday - Friday Saturday Breakfast Not served 7 - 9 a.m. Not served Lunch 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 11 a.m. - 1p.m. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Dinner 5 - 6:30 p.m. 5 - 6:30 p.m. 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Students participating in university sponsored events, including classes, who are unable to dine on the regular schedule can arrange for carry-out meals. Arrangements must be made in advance with the appropriate food services manager.
In accordance with state law, the following minimum standards of dress must be maintained in all dining facilities:
- Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times.
- Sleepwear and swimsuits are not acceptable.
- Students wearing apparel determined to be inappropriate by a staff member will be requested to be appropriately dressed prior to being served.
In addition, no beverage or food (excluding fruit, cookies or ice cream) may be taken from the dining centers. The removal of glasses, dishes or silverware from the dining centers is a violation of residence hall policy. The replacement cost of these items will be charged to the individual who stole the items, unless they are returned in good condition, in the estimation of the University. Consequences for theft of food or dining center materials will be addressed appropriately. Residents and their guests are expected to display appropriate behavior in the dining centers and clean up their own mess. Disruptive, destructive, excessively noisy or injurious behavior will lead to disciplinary action.
The University cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss of property due to fire, power surges, power loss, facility failure, theft, severe weather, etc. Residents are, therefore, encouraged to carry their own homeowners or rental insurance. In addition, the University shall not be liable for injuries that occur in and around residence halls, including laundry rooms, parking lots, etc. Students are encouraged to carry adequate medical insurance.
Bicycles may be stored in residence hall rooms or the designated bicycle storage room. Bicycles cannot be hung from the ceiling, walls or elsewhere. However, students are encouraged to use the bicycle racks provided for their convenience located outside the residence hall. When keeping a bike in one of these racks, the student should always keep it securely locked. Storage of bicycles in hallways is not permitted. Any bicycle stored or chained in an unauthorized area inside or outside the halls will be removed. At no time are motorbikes, hover boards or skateboards permitted anywhere inside the residence halls. The University is not responsible for lost or stolen bicycles.
Cable Television Access
Each residence hall room is equipped with cable TV capability. Expanded-basic cable services are included in residence hall rates and provided in every room. Students are to provide their own television and coaxial cord. If there are any damages to the cable television box, the resident will not be refunded their deposit. In the Grizzly House, the remotes are specific to each room and there will be a charge for a replacement of the remote.
Computer Labs and Technology
The computer lab in the residence hall is for the exclusive use of residents only. All computers in the residence hall lab use the Windows operation system and are able to access the University's network, all library resources, the Internet and have applicable software installed. In addition to University-provided computer workstations, each room has wired Internet access and wireless network access.
A room key, mailbox key and laundry card (for Grizzly Lofts residents only) will be issued to you at the point of check-in. Students are responsible for the keys and laundry card issued to them. Lost keys/cards may be replaced by reporting the loss to the Office of Residence Life. A key request will be completed at that time. Replacement charges for lost keys/cards include:
- Room Key: $25.00
- Mailbox Key: $25.00
- Laundry Card: $5.00
Key/card charges will be refunded if the lost item(s) are returned to the Office of Residence Life within 30 days. When it comes to keys/cards, please remember the following instructions:
- Lock your room whenever you leave and when you are asleep.
- Do not loan your keys/cards to anyone for any reason.
- Report lost keys/cards immediately.
- Do not mark your keys/cards with your room number or any other identifiable markings.
- Never leave your keys/cards unattended.
- Return any lost keys/cards you may find to the Office of Residence Life.
- Keys obtained from sources other than the University are considered unauthorized.
- University keys may only be purchased for the purpose of replacing a lost key.
Residents are responsible for carrying their room keys at all times. In the event a student is locked out of the room, the resident should follow these procedures:
- Attempt to locate the roommate or suite mate(s) to gain entrance into the room.
- If the roommate or suite mate(s) are not available, the RA on Duty should be contacted.
- If the RA on Duty is unavailable, the resident should contact the Operations Assistant, Assistant Manager or Director of Residence Life.
- Any time a staff member unlocks a room, the occurrence will be documented and added to your housing file.
- Each resident is provided with three complimentary lock-outs per semester. Additional lock-outs are considered misuse of this service, resulting in a $5 charge for the fourth lock-out and every lock-out thereafter for the remainder of the semester.
- Lockout fines will be applied to your student account.
This lock-out service should not be used as an alternative to the replacement of a lost key.
Mail is delivered every day to the Physical Plant/Residence Hall. The RA on duty will be responsible for sorting the mail each day into your assigned mailbox. If you are expecting a package from UPS, Fed-Ex or DHL, the carrier will deliver the package to the Physical Plant. Once the package has arrived, residents will be provided with a notification slip. It is the responsibility of each resident to present the notification slip to the Physical Plant staff and pick up their own package.
Mail is delivered every business day to your designated suite's mailbox. If you are expecting a package, it will be delivered to the Grizzly Lofts office. A notification slip will be placed in your mailbox with the other mail. It is the responsibility of each resident to present the notification slip to the Residence Life staff in order to pick up their own package.
Missing Person Policy
In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 2008, all students who reside in on-campus housing may identify an individual who will be contacted by University or law enforcement personnel after it has been determined that the student is missing. If campus officials determine that a student for whom a missing person report has been filed has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the next 24 hours, they must: notify the individual identified by the student to be contacted in this circumstance; notify a parent or guardian if the student is under 18 years old; and notify law enforcement. If at any time foul play is suspected or suspicious circumstances are uncovered, the dean of student services, the director of business and support services and law enforcement officials will be contacted immediately.
To be eligible for residence in University housing, an individual must be enrolled in at least six credit hours as a student at Missouri State University-West Plains and be at least 17 years of age.
Housing Application and Deposit
The process to apply for housing can be found on the University website. In order to secure a reservation, all applications should be turned in with a $100 deposit and meningococcal vaccination record. The housing deposit is refundable under the provisions stated within the housing contract. The Student Housing contract is required for all residents, including RAs and athletes, to have completed and signed prior to move-in day.
As stated in Terms and Conditions on the Student housing Contract, a student contracts for the entire academic year. If an individual is to remain a student at Missouri State University-West Plains, they must obtain prior approval from the Director of Residence Life to cancel their contract. If an individual is permitted to cancel their contract, the following conditions apply:
- If a student withdraws from the university, the individual is no longer authorized to live in university housing and must check out within 24 hours. The deposit will be forfeited and the student will be charged the daily rate until the student has officially checked out.
- If a student is permitted to cancel his/her contract after the opening day of the
residence hall in the fall or spring, the following costs will be incurred:
- the deposit will be forfeited;
- liquidated damage charges will be added to the student's account; and
- meal plans will be prorated to the day of proper check-out of the residence hall.
- If a student will graduate at the end of the fall semester and will not remain a student residing in the halls during the spring semester, the individual will receive a refund of the security deposit following proper checkout procedures.
- The Director of Residence Life's office may cancel a student's contract and forfeit his/her deposit with appropriate notice if, after due process, the student is found in violation of either the rules and regulations as established by this Guide, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities or federal, state or local laws. In such cases, the University may impose a liquidated damage fee.
Every effort is made to honor room, roommate and suitemate requests; however, the University makes these assignments. Students may request to change assignments, but will need approval from the Director of Residence Life. The University does not discriminate in assigning students to housing in accordance with its non-discrimination policy. The University reserves the right to reassign living assignments when deemed necessary. Rooms are assigned based on the housing application date with returning students receiving priority.
Room Selection Process/Housing Termination Form
During the fall and spring semesters, students that intend on living in the residence halls the following semester or academic year, will take part in the housing reservation process. This gives you the opportunity to inform the University if you plan on returning to live in the residence hall or not. If you will not be living in the residence halls the next semester or academic year, you will be required to complete a housing termination form, properly check out of your room and schedule a required check out meeting with the Director of Residence Life.
Residents are not permitted to sublet or assign their rooms or use their rooms for commercial/business purposes. Students are not permitted to remove equipment or furnishings from any room in University housing. Room modifications may be made only in adherence to departmental guidelines as otherwise stated in this Guide.
A Room Condition Report (RCR) showing the status for the room, bathroom and contents is completed when you check into the residence hall. Check the room carefully, as damages which occur during the year will be charged against your account. Notify the Residence Hall Staff of any discrepancy. In the absence of written proof of damage, the room will be judged in excellent condition at the time the student moves in.
Room Care and Inspection
Rooms and bathrooms are expected to be kept neat and orderly at all times. The University reserves the right to enter and inspect all rooms at any time. The purpose of these inspections is for preventive and corrective action. Students will be given at least a 24-hour notice prior to the inspection. If a room does not meet cleanliness standards, according to the Residence Life Staff, the student will be given 24 hours to correct the problem. If the problem is not corrected satisfactorily, a custodian may be asked to clean the room and the resident will be charged a fine on their student account. Rooms are also expected to be reasonably clean for break periods and room furnishings are expected to remain in their assigned room. Health and Safety Inspections are done at least once a semester and specific times are established by the Residence Life staff.
Residents are encouraged to discuss room changes with their roommates first. If issues reach the point that other methods of resolving the conflict have not been successful, there may be an option to request a different room assignment. In this case, the student who is seeking the room change should contact their RA, who will mediate the dispute. If still unresolved, the RA will refer the student to the Residence Life Assistant Manager and finally, Director of Residence Life. Room change requests will only be taken into consideration and reviewed after the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Room change requests that are based on discriminatory reasons will not be granted.
Contract Payments and Refunds
Charges related to the Student Housing Contract will be reflected on the student's account with the University. Students who are eligible to use the My Payment Plan should refer to the Terms and Conditions found at https://wp.missouristate.edu/BusinesOffice/EnrollmentAgreement.htm#Deferred
If a student withdraws from the University, a refund of housing fees will be calculated according to the terms and conditions of the Student Housing Contract. Students will not receive a housing refund if they leave University housing after the last regular class day of the semester. Money owed to a residence hall balance or other departments at the University may be deducted from any refund.
Check-In and Check-Out Procedures
When students move into their rooms, they will be provided a Room Condition Report that includes a completed room inventory. This inventory serves as a record of the contents and conditions of the room and serves as the basis for check-out and assessment of damages when a student moves out.
In order to properly move out of a room, the student must check out with their Resident Assistant. RAs will provide students with sign-up times for check-out the week before finals. These appointments are necessary for the convenience of students and allow RAs to plan in advance if a schedule conflict requires the assistance of another staff member in the check-out process. During check-out, the RA will inspect the room, check for supplied furniture, record any damages on the Room Condition Report (RCR), collect keys, laundry cards and obtain the student's signature on the Room Condition Report, noting the date of check-out. Failure to do any of the above constitutes an improper check-out, resulting in forfeiture of the security deposit. If a student checks out of a room during a vacation period, the student must make arrangements with the Director of Residence Life to check out during normal office hours. The cost of any damages to the room/suite may be collected at the time of check-out, billed to the student and/or deducted from any security deposit refund due to the student.
When checking out of a residence hall, students should follow the following procedures:
- Remove all personal items (i.e. personal furniture, microwaves, posters, tape, etc.). If these items are not removed properly, there will be a charge for removal of belongings by the university.
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Return room furniture to original configuration.
- Clean the sink, closets, shelves, bathroom, etc.
- Arrange time for the Residence Hall staff to check your room.
- Complete Change of Address form and submit to a Residence Life staff member.
- Complete exit survey.
- Submit all keys to Residence Life Staff member who check you out and sign your RCR.
- RCRs will be turned into the Office of Residence Life for review. Improper check out will result in a forfeiture of deposit. Residents must check out in accordance to the Terms and Conditions provided on the back of the housing Contract. Special permission to check out at a later time must be requested by the resident and reviewed for approval by the Director of Residence Life.
Residence Hall Closing
The residence halls will be closed during the following University break periods:
- Thanksgiving Break
- Winter Break
- Spring Break
With the exception of approved athletes, residents will be required to check-out during these times. Requests for late check out can be submitted to the Director of Residence Life for further consideration. For more detailed information on specific check-in and check-out dates, please refer to the Important Dates section towards the end of this Guide.
Safety and Security
Missouri State Alert
"Missouri State Alert" is the University's mass notification system, which uses a variety of methods to contact staff, faculty and students in the event of an emergency or school closing. The system allows you to receive urgent notification in a variety of ways – by text message, phone call or email.
In the event of a fire or similar emergency, all occupants of the residence hall should:
- Evacuate immediately using marked exits; last persons out close all doors;
- Assemble outside to account for all personnel and
- Await further building instructions from building coordinators and/or emergency management personnel.
In the event of a tornado warning, all occupants of the residence hall should take shelter in any of the following locations:
Student Recreation Center/Community Shelter: Located at 323 West Trish Knight Street. Evacuate the building using marked exits.
Secondary Shelter: Community Room 107 on lower level or first floor hallway (Grizzly House) or study rooms (Grizzly Lofts).
Hostile Intruder Procedures
In the event of a hostile intruder or active shooter, immediate action may be required and knowing how to respond may be the difference between safety and harm. In extreme situations, many authorities recommend some variation of the following: "Run if you can. Hide if you can't. Fight if you must." Inform others if possible and always know that help is on the way. Do not resume normal activities until an "All Clear" signal is given.
In the event of an earthquake, drop, cover and hold on! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place (e.g., under a sturdy table or desk). Most injured persons in earthquakes move more than five feet during the shaking. It is very dangerous to try to leave a building during an earthquake because objects can fall on you. Many fatalities occur when people run outside of buildings, only to be injured by falling debris from collapsing walls. In U.S. buildings, you are safer to stay where you are. After the shaking has stopped, if you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.
Call 417-257-9078 for escort services between classrooms and parking lots, for assistance with vehicle trouble or similar needs.
In the event of an emergency, always call 911. If you are feeling harassed or in danger or harassed, please call one of the following numbers:
- West Plains Police Department: 911 or 417-256-2244
- West Plains Fire Department: 417-256-2424
- Missouri State-West Plains Residence Life: 417-256-1870
- Missouri State-West Plains Dean of Student Services: 417-255-7255
- Missouri State-West Plains Student Life and Development: 417-255-7233
- Missouri State-West Plains Physical Plant: 417-255-7268
- Missouri State-West Plains Deputy Title IX Coordinator: 417-255-7966
- Missouri State-West Plains Safety Coordinator: 417-255-7258
- Missouri State University Title IX Coordinator: 417-836-4252
- Ozarks Medical Center: 417-256-9111
- Ozarks Medical Center Behavioral Health Care: 417-257-6762
- MOCARS: 800-356-5395
- Comprehensive Consulting and Counseling LLC: 417-293-3907
In the event of an inconsistency between this Guide and the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities shall control. A primary aim of the Residence Life program is to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to the pursuit of academic goals and personal growth. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to remember that a large number of individuals live together in a residence hall. This situation requires students to accept the responsibility involved with living in a community environment and to make a special effort to be aware of how their actions affect their neighbors and roommates. To this end, policies and community standards for the residence halls have been developed to establish an environment in which a large number of students may live together with maximum freedom while recognizing the rights and safety of fellow residents. Students are encouraged to learn responsible decision making, develop an appreciation of community standards, respect individual rights and property, practice good citizenship, and understand the policies of the University within the context of a community living environment. The student conduct system is an active approach to problems that may arise in a residence hall living environment. The system allows for the growth and development of individual residents, making them accountable for their actions and the consequences of these actions and decisions. When a resident violates the basic standard of community living by endangering the safety of other residents or violating any of the policies outlined by the Office of Residence Life or the University, this behavior is addressed through the residence life and/or the University student conduct system.
Residence Life staff, including student workers, RAs, Operations Assistant, Assistant Manager, Director, Coordinator of Student Life and Development, and other administrative staff are required to confront violations of residence hall policy. An Incident Report is written and filed with a residence life administrator. Residents cited in an Incident Report for an alleged violation of policy receive email communication informing them of the next step in the process to resolve the situation. Residents are asked to respond in a timely fashion to all communications involving student conduct concerns. Failure to do so can result in further conduct action .
Adjudication of Alleged Policy Violations
Information about the conduct process, including student rights, responsibilities, due process, hearing procedures and sanctions, may be found at https://wp.missouristate.edu/StudentServices/student-conduct.htm. A printed copy of the Code can be obtained in the Office of Residence Life located at the Grizzly Lofts.
Policies and Regulations
Any residence hall student who is found to have violated the following community standards or University policies as outlined under Article IV of the University’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is subject to disciplinary sanctions, conditions, and/or restrictions. Residents should review the University Code found at the following link: https://wp.missouristate.edu/StudentLife/code.htm. A printed copy of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities can be obtained in the Office of Residence Life at the Grizzly Lofts. Students will be held responsible for their own behavior. Community standards include, but are not limited to, the following inappropriate behaviors:
- Possession, use, sale, and/or distribution of alcoholic beverages in the residence halls or at any Residence Life sponsored event;
- Possession of alcohol containers including one or more cans, bottles, bongs, kegs and/or flasks within the residence hall room or at any Residence Life sponsored event;
- Intoxication by individuals in the residence halls or at any residence life sponsored event
Narcotics or Drugs (Reference 4.11 of the Code for more information)
- Possession, use, sale, and/or distribution of any narcotic, drug, non-prescribed medicine, chemical compound, or other controlled substance or paraphernalia in the residence halls or at any Residence Life sponsored event, except as expressly permitted by law.
Firearms and Weapons (Reference 4.12 of the Code for more information)
- The possession and/or use of fireworks, firearms, handguns, ammunition, lethal weapons, blowguns, explosives, noxious materials, incendiary devices, and dangerous chemicals in the residence halls. Possession of weapons on University premises even by licensed holders of concealed handguns. Lethal weapons include any object so designed or adapted to be capable of taking a human life. Firearms, a blackjack, a knife with a blade over two inches in length (including pocket, hunting, and collectible knives), a billy (baton), a slingshot, metal knuckles, and a razor have been held to lethal weapons.
- Possession of items such as stun guns, pellet guns, dart guns, darts, paint guns, bows and arrows in the residence hall.
Theft, Damage, or Unauthorized Use (Reference 4.4 of the Code for more information)
- Theft is defined as attempted or actual theft of any property belonging to the University, residence hall students, other members of the University and residence hall community, or University and residence hall visitors.
- Possession of property, knowing it to be stolen, is theft. This includes cable pirating and splitting.
- Damage is defined as attempted or actual damage to property belonging to University, residence hall students, other members of the University and residence hall community, or University and residence hall visitors.
- Defacing, and/or unauthorized removal of University and residence hall property, including public area furniture, is considered damage and/or theft.
- Unauthorized use is defined as attempted or actual use of credit cards, BearPass ID card, and/or personal checks including forgery, alteration, or misrepresentation of any form of identification.
Disorderly Conduct/Harassment(Reference 4.3, 4.16 and 4.19 of the Code for more information)
The following regulations include actions or behavior directed toward either students, faculty, or staff:.
- Physical harm or threat of harm to any person;.
- Intentional, reckless or negligent conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;.
- Unduly disruptive behavior to the University community, lewd, or obscene. Obscene conduct may include conduct that appeals only to a prurient interest and/or depicts/describes sexual acts in a patently offensive way;.
- A breach of peace;.
- Aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored, or participated in, by the University;.
- Unauthorized surveillance: making unauthorized video or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and restrooms. Also prohibited is the intentional or knowing viewing, storing, sharing, and/or other distribution of such unauthorized images by any means;
- Unauthorized distribution of sexually explicit images, sharing, displaying, or otherwise distributing nude or sexually explicit images of another individual without that individual’s consent, even if the image was lawfully made or taken with consent. The knowing or intentionally viewing of an image by a third-party when the third party knows or has reason to know that the subject of the image has not consented to such viewing or distribution is likewise a violation of this section;
- Sexual discrimination (including but not limited to sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault), domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking. Missouri State University-West Plains is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is safe and free from sexual violence and sexual harassment, including sexual assault and stalking. The University will take immediate action to eliminate harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. This policy also prohibits retaliation against an individual who has brought forward a complaint of sexual harassment and/or taken part in a conduct process as a result of a sexual harassment complaint. For definitions and further explanation of University policy, see G1.31 Title IX Policy on Sexual Assault, Stalking and Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct in the University’s online policy library;
- The recommended minimum consequence shall be suspension for one semester (a summer semester does not satisfy this requirement). In addition, other consequences may be enacted as needed, e.g., moving from one residence hall to another or a required change of academic schedule. Note: All instances of alleged violations of this section shall be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the facts and circumstances of each situation. Nothing in this section shall limit the hearing authority from imposing any consequence permitted by the Code.
- Harassment, which is unwelcome conduct toward another person or an identifiable group of persons which is severe or pervasive and has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning, working, or living environment (see section 4.19 for sexual harassment).
Tampering with Fire Equipment (Reference 4.13 of the Code for more information)
- Intentional sounding of a false alarm; sounding emergency exit door alarms; false emergency calls; attempting to ignite and/or the action of igniting a substance on fire; issuing a bomb threat; constructing mock explosive devices; or tampering with, destroying, and/or possession of fire equipment, emergency signs, and sprinklers.
- The fire alarm system, fire extinguishers, exit doors, sprinkler system and lights are installed for the residents’ protection. Tampering with fire equipment including smoke detectors and sprinklers can result in civil prosecution, disciplinary measures and/or possible fines.
- The University regards false fire alarms and arson as serious threats to the well-being of the residence hall community. Reflecting this priority, rewards are paid to individuals assisting in the conviction of persons tampering with the fire alarm system and/or those involved in arson activities.
Unauthorized Entry/Exit, Possession of Use (Reference 4.7 of the Code for more information)
- Unauthorized entry into, or use of Residence Life facilities, including roofs, ledges, mechanical areas, control rooms, unapproved room (changes), etc.
- Unauthorized use and/or possession of keys or unauthorized duplication, processing, production or manufacture of any key for use in the residence hall facility.
- Loaning or giving keys to another person.
- Propping open doors or permitting unauthorized access to the building by persons not in possession of a key.
- Entering/exiting emergency exit doors when alarmed.
Community Living Guidelines (Reference 4.8 of the Code for more information)
- Failure to abide by Courtesy and Quiet Hours as outlined by Quiet Hours policy.
- Failure to abide by the Escort policy.
- Smoking and/or possession of a lit substance, including the possession of candles, incense, and flame-heated potpourri pots, in any residence hall room and/or in any public area including elevators, bathrooms, hallways, lounges, laundry rooms, lobbies, within 50 feet of all entrances and exits of all residence halls, unless otherwise specified. .
- Failure to abide by Visitation Hours and Guest Policies in the residence halls.
- Possession of items not allowed in the residence hall rooms and/or public areas, to include heaters/heating units (except UL-approved heating blankets), halogen torchiere lamps, lamps with narrow plastic shades, lava lamps, ozone machines, waterbeds, mattress toppers and pads over 2" high that are not California fire rated, fog machines, personal washers/dryers or dishwashers, candles (with or without wicks), air conditioners, outside antennae, flammable fluids, incense, alcoholic beverage containers, and personal surveillance systems in public places. Cooking outside of using a microwave is prohibited in all areas. All cooking appliances are prohibited, except traditional blenders, auto-shutoff coffee pots, auto-shutoff electric kettles, toasters (not toaster ovens), and air-popped popcorn makers (intended for in home use).
- Selling and/or solicitation in the residence halls.
- Operation of a bicycle, in-line skates, skateboard, or other recreational devices in the residence halls.
- Participation in any type of sport activity in the hallways and/or public areas of the residence halls.
- Possession and/or care of animals other than fish in properly maintained aquariums of 20 gallons of water or less. No laboratory animals are permitted in the residence halls. (Emotional Support and/or Service Animals are permitted in the Residence Halls if they have been approved through the University process).
- The playing of any musical instruments if heard outside a residence hall room/suite.
- Use of darts and dartboards in any area of the residence halls.
Failure to Comply with the Direction of University Officials (Reference 4.6 of the Code for more information)
- Students must comply with the directions from University staff and faculty members acting in the performance of their duties. This includes meeting with residence hall officials as directed and following sanctions outlined as the result of a student conduct hearing.
Failure to Present BearPass Identification (Reference 4.6 of the Code for more information)
- A student must present BearPass identification on request by University staff or faculty members acting in the performance of their duties.
Providing False Information of Misuse of Records (Reference 4.1 of the Code for more information)
- Dishonest or fraudulent behavior, such as furnishing false information to University staff or faculty members in the performance of their duties either verbally, or through forgery, alteration, or misuse of any residence hall document, record, or instrument of identification.
Vandalism (Reference 4.4 of the Code for more information)
- Malicious destruction, damage, or misuse of University property. This includes residence hall public area furniture and individual room furniture.
Student Housing Contract
- Violating the Terms and Conditions of the Student Housing Contract.
- Nails, screws, double-stick tape, packing tape, or duct tape (or similar products) on or in the walls, furniture, or fixtures is prohibited. Command strips are allowed, but need to be removed properly when checked out. Only adhesives that do not leave residue can be used.
- Missouri law prohibits the removal of traffic or street signs. In the absence of a verifiable bill of sale, all street, traffic, and/or parking signs are prohibited.
- Displaying pictures and other materials that is discriminatory or harassment under other University policies in areas that may be visible outside a residence hall room/suite (including viewed from outside of room through window or door).
- Alcoholic and/or drug related materials are not allowed to be displayed.
- Students must use beds provided by the university and cannot bring additional bed frames or mattresses into University Housing.
- Holiday lights must be UL-approved and low wattage.
- Coniferous plants and other greenery must be artificial.
- Decorations, unless nonflammable, cannot be used to cover entire areas, ceilings, walls, and/or doors due to fire hazard these decorations present. Curtains are permitted if they are not a fire hazard.
As a safety precaution, the following guidelines for room modifications within the room or suite must be followed:
- No University-owned furniture or equipment may be removed from the room or suite.
- No furnishings shall restrict exiting from any portion of the room or be a safety hazard to persons walking around the room.
- Modifications must not include any materials or designs of a hazardous or flammable nature, including suspended flammable fabrics or carpeting applied anywhere except as a floor covering.
- Residents must be prepared to respond to concerns of staff about the hazardous nature of decorative materials and must remove materials that are judged by Residence Life staff to be particularly hazardous.
- Modifications must not block the heating or cooling system, or require the removal or remodeling of electrical fixtures or outlets.
- Modifications must not block a doorway. The door must be able to open perpendicular to the door opening.
- A University-provided light fixture must not be tampered with, and its light bulb must not be removed or switched out with a colored bulb.
- No concrete/cinder blocks/wood platforms are permitted. No furniture may be raised off the floor. Beds at the Grizzly House are allowed to have risers that have been approved by the Residence Hall staff.
- Mattresses must be used with the bedframes and not placed directly on the floor
- Excessively heavy items should not be placed on furniture or shelving provided by the University.
- The University is not responsible for injury resulting from the modifications of a room.
- All public area furniture must remain in the designated location.
Computer Use (Reference 4.17 of the Code for more information)
- Policy and Ethics for Student Computer Use and Computer Network Use as defined by the University’s Information Technology Services office.
General Exceptions (Reference 4.8 and 4.9 of the Code for more information)
- Students are expected to comply with federal, state, and local ordinances and other University regulations as prescribed in this Guide, the Student Housing Contract and other University publications. In addition, all postings, signs, or other forms of communication must be adhered to at all times. Residents are responsible for the acts of others (visitors) in their room/suite.