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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
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.
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.
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 residence life manager is involved in policy development and implementation and will manage low level judicial infractions. The residence life manager is responsible for implementing and supporting programming in a diverse student population community.
The live-in administrator of the housing program, providing oversight to the residence halls, thus maximizing availability to students. The assistant manager is responsible for promoting an atmosphere conducive to academic and personal growth.
Assists with various daily operations and other university housing processes.
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.
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/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.
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.
In the event there are damages to a common area, including furniture, fixtures, walls, elevators, doors, windows and/or excessive cleaning charges, the residence life manager reserves the right to charge all residents for reasonable damage if the responsible person(s) cannot be identified.
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.
Washers and dryers are provided and intended for use by residents only. The cost for use, if any, is indicated on the machine. Misuse or 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.
Due to the 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.
Due to the potential for personal injury and property damage, darts and dartboards are not permitted at any time in the residence hall.
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:
The residence life staff has the authority to lock up the community room if the room is not clean or items are damaged.
Residents of the residence hall may have guests visit them in the hall, provided that the guests do not infringe on another's right 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 suitemates before inviting guests to visit. In addition, it is each resident's responsibility to communicate disapproval of 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.
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:
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 an 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 residence life manager 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.
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.
Cooking in rooms is strictly prohibited for the following reasons:
Residents are allowed to have a microwave (1,000 watts or less) and a refrigerator (3.3 cubic ft. or less) in their room.
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.
As a safety precaution, the following guidelines for room modifications within the room or suite must be followed:
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:
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, residence life manager, residence life assistant manager, residence life operations assistant, resident assistants, maintenance and custodial personnel.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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. 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.
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. The complete policy is available from the Office of Student Life and Development, Putnam Student Center, Missouri State University-West Plains, (417) 255-7233. The policy is also available on the web.
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.
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 residence life manager to cancel their contract. If an individual is permitted to cancel their contract, the following conditions apply:
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 residence life manager. 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.
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 residence life manager.
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.
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, residence life manager. 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.
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.
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.
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 residence life manager 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:
The residence halls will be closed during the following university break periods:
With the exception of approved athletes, residents will be required to check-out during these times. 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.
"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:
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).
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:
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, the Code for Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or the housing contract, this behavior is addressed through the residence life and/or the university student conduct system.
Any resident found to have committed any of the following misconduct is subject to the consequences outlined in Section 5.2, below. The university cannot develop a list of acts of misconduct that can accurately describe or anticipate every possible act of a student. The authority to determine if a specific act is subject to consequences shall be left to the hearing authority working with the specific case.
The following regulations include actions or behavior directed toward either students or staff:
The university prohibits acts of hazing. Hazing includes any act that puts a student in mental, physical or emotional danger. At no 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.
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.
Any member of the residence life community may file a complaint against any resident for misconduct. The complaint may be prepared in writing or notice given in another manner directly to the residence life manager or coordinator of student life and development. A complaint deemed to be a violation of the Title IX Policy will be referred to the Title IX office for processing.
Except with respect to possible Title IX violations that are referred to the Title IX office, the residence life manager and/or coordinator of student life and development will promptly investigate complaints or allegations of policy violations to determine if there is a reasonable cause to charge the accused resident with policy violations pursuant to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The residence life manager and/or coordinator of student life and development may take appropriate steps to resolve the situation using an informal resolution and the disposition will be final and there will be no subsequent proceedings.
All charges shall be presented to the resident in written form. The university primarily uses university email for notification. The written notice of charges will contain the following:
A resident accused of violating residence life policy or the Code and disposition cannot be resolved informally, will be referred to meet with the coordinator of student life and development or designee by the deadline assigned in the letter of charges. At this meeting the following matters will be decided:
When a formal hearing becomes necessary, the residence life process will follow the hearing guidelines provided in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Article 6 Section 6.
The following educational consequences may be imposed upon any resident found to have violated this Guide. More than one of the consequences may be assigned for any single violation.
In cases where there is a potential endangerment of persons or property, the coordinator of student life and development is empowered to impose temporary or provisional directives. A student receiving a temporary or provisional directive may seek relief from the dean of student services, in writing. Upon review, the dean of student services can amend the conditions of the order or remove the order. Interim Suspension may be imposed only:
Within five (5) university business days of the initial decision letter, the resident may appeal the conduct decision by submitting a written request for appeal to the dean of student services that is signed by the appealing party, dated and explains the reason for appeal.
Appeals are limited to a review of any new information about the situation, the initial hearing information and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
The appealing authority reviewing the appeal may do any of the following:
The chancellor of the university may, at his/her discretion, review the decision of the appealing authority and has the full range of responses outlined above.