Guide to Residence Hall Living

Welcome

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.

Sincerely,

Your residence life staff

  1. Community Commitments
    1. Community Building
    2. Valuing Diversity
    3. Residence Life Staff
    4. Involvement And Leadership Opportunities
    5. Community Living
    6. Community Standards
  2. Services
    1. Dining Services
    2. Insurance Coverage
    3. Bicycle Storage
    4. Cable Television Access
    5. Computer Labs And Technology
    6. Keys
    7. Lock-Outs
    8. Mail
    9. Missing Person Policy
  3. Housing Contract
    1. Eligibility
    2. Housing Application And Deposit
    3. Room Assignments
    4. Room Selection Process/Housing Termination Form
    5. Room Use
    6. Room Inventory
    7. Room Care and Inspection
    8. Room Changes
    9. Contract Payments and Refunds
    10. Check-In and Check-Out Procedures
    11. Residence Hall Closing
  4. Safety And Security
    1. Emergency Procedures
  5. Student Conduct
    1. Proscribed Conduct
    2. Residence Life Conduct Procedures
  1. Community Commitments

    1. Community Building

      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.

    2. Valuing Diversity

      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.

    3. 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.

      Residence Life Manager

      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.

      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 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.

      Maintenance Staff

      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.

    4. 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/community programs events, student life activities and many more!

    5. Community Living

      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.

    6. Community Standards

      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.

      Common Area Damages

      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 Conditioners

      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.

      Laundry Room

      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.

      Balls

      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.

      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.

      Computer Usage

      Computer Lab
      1. Computer lab resources are to be used only by residents of that particular residence hall.
      2. 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.
      3. The viewing, downloading or printing of pornographic/harassing/illegal materials is prohibited.
      4. The computer lab is open 24 hours.
      Individual Network Connection (in rooms)
      1. No personal HUBs are permitted in the Grizzly House. Students at the Grizzly Lofts are permitted to have routers in their rooms.
      2. The downloading of non-academic materials that hinders bandwidth usage for others is prohibited, including memory-intensive audio and video files, etc.
      3. Personal servers that provide illegal access to copyrighted materials to others (on campus or off campus) are not permitted.
      4. 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
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
      4. Those interested in creating web pages are responsible for adhering to the Missouri State World Wide Web Policies.
      Definition of Appropriate Use and Misuse:
      1. 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.
      2. It is a violation of university policy to use university computers for cheating of any kind.
      3. Copying, sharing, uploading, downloading, sending or receiving copyrighted or service/trademarked materials is strictly prohibited.
      4. 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.
      5. It is a violation of this policy to examine or attempt to examine, another computer user's private files or mail.
      6. 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.
      7. 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.

      Community Room

      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:

      1. Clean up your own mess.
      2. Do not damage any of the equipment.
      3. Be aware of other's time and share appropriately.
      4. 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.

      Guests

      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

      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.

      Pets

      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.

      Posting

      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

      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.

      Social Media

      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

      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.

      Hygiene

      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.

      Room Decorations

      • 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.
      • Pictures and other materials that could be considered pornographic, harassing or illegal are not to be displayed in areas that may be visible outside a student's room (including viewed from outside of room through windows or doors).
      • 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.
      • Candles or objects that expose an open flame are not permitted.

      Room Modifications

      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.
      • Personal mattresses are not permitted.
      • 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.

      Room Entry

      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, residence life manager, 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 locations:
        • 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.
  2. Services

    1. Dining Services (Putnam and the Sole Café)

      Meal Plan

      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.

      Guest Meals

      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

      Dining Schedule

      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.

      Carry-Out Service

      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.

      Appropriate Behavior

      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.

      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.

    2. Insurance Coverage

      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.

    3. Bicycle Storage

      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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. Keys

      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.

    7. Lock-Outs

      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 suitemate(s) to gain entrance into the room.
      • If the roommate or suitemate(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 manager.
      • 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.

    8. Mail

      Grizzly House

      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.

      Grizzly Lofts

      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.

    9. 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. 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.

  3. Housing Contract

    1. Eligibility

      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.

    2. 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.

      Cancellation Policy

      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:

      1. 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.
      2. 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:
        1. the deposit will be forfeited;
        2. liquidated damage charges will be added to the student's account; and
        3. meal plans will be prorated to the day of proper check-out of the residence hall.
      3. 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.
      4. The residence life manager'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.
    3. Room Assignments

      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.

    4. 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 residence life manager.

    5. Room Use

      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.

    6. Room Inventory

      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.

    7. 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.

    8. Room Changes

      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.

    9. Contract Payments and Refunds

      Payments

      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.

      Refunds

      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.

    10. Check-In and Check-Out Procedures

      Check-In

      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.

      Check-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:

      1. 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.
      2. Sweep and mop floors.
      3. Return room furniture to original configuration.
      4. Clean the sink, closets, shelves, bathroom, etc.
      5. Arrange time for the residence hall staff to check your room.
      6. Complete forwarding address form.
      7. Complete exit survey.
      8. Submit all keys to residence life staff member who check you out and sign your RCR.
      9. 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 residence life manager.
    11. 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. 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.

  4. Safety and Security

    1. Emergency Procedures

      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.

      Fire Procedures

      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.

      Tornado Procedures

      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.

      Earthquake Procedures

      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.

      Campus Assistance

      Call 417-257-9078 for escort services between classrooms and parking lots, for assistance with vehicle trouble or similar needs.

      Important Numbers

      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: 417-836-8506
      • Ozarks Medical Center: 417-256-9111
      • Ozarks Medical Center Behavioral Health Care: 800-356-5395
      • Comprehensive Consulting and Counseling LLC: 417-293-3907
  5. Student Conduct

    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.

    1. Proscribed Conduct

      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.

      Alcoholic Beverages

      • 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 kegs, bongs, bottles and/or cans 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

      • Possession, use, sale and/or distribution of any narcotic, drug, non-prescribed medicine, chemical compound or other controlled substance or paraphernalia in the residence hall or at any residence life sponsored event, except as expressly permitted by law.

      Firearms and Weapons

      • 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 (other than a handgun when concealed in a locked vehicle). Lethal weapons include any object so designed or adapted to be capable of taking a human life.
      • 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

      • 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 the 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.

      Disorderly Conduct/Harassment

      The following regulations include actions or behavior directed toward either students 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;
      • Disruptive or offensive behavior; lewd, indecent or obscene conduct, dress or communication (written or verbal);
      • Harassment, including sexual harassment, acts or communications (including phone calls and email) that are intended to intimidate or humiliate any person.

      Tampering with Fire Equipment

      • 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.
      • Falsely pulling a fire alarm or causing a fire alarm to go off without a real threat of danger, will result in a charge of $500.
      • A $100 reward shall be paid to an individual(s) providing information that leads to the conviction in the campus judiciary system or in a court of law of a person(s) guilty of turning in a false fire alarm or activating the sprinkler system on the university campus.
      • A $100 reward shall be paid to an individual(s) that leads to the conviction in the campus judiciary system or in a court of law of an individual(s) responsible for arson activities on the university campus.

      Unauthorized Entry/Exit, Possession or Use

      • Unauthorized entry into or use of residence life facilities, including roofs, ledges, laundry facilities, 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.

      Hazing

      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.

      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 be 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.

      Escort 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.

    2. Residence Life Conduct Procedures

      Complaints

      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.

      Investigation

      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.

      Charges

      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:

      1. The sections of this Guide or other university policies allegedly violated;
      2. Date, time and place of alleged violation;
      3. A concise summary of the alleged violation;
      4. A list of witnesses (to be supplemented later if necessary); and
      5. A date, time and location for the resident to meet with the residence life manager and/or coordinator of student life and development. The decision to alter the meeting time and date is at the discretion of the residence life manager and/or coordinator of student life and development but all efforts will be made to avoid conflict with the resident's class schedule.

      Conduct Meeting

      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:

      1. The coordinator of student life and development or designee will review the charges and give a summary of the information to be presented as to allow preparation of refutation (Note: in situations involving alleged Title IX violations, case a thorough investigation will have been conducted by the Title IX office and summarized in a written report prior to the Conduct Meeting, such that the purpose of the Conduct Meeting is to share the investigative results with the resident);
      2. The coordinator of student life and development or designee will answer any questions and provide any necessary clarification of the Guide and/or its procedures;
      3. The resident may provide any information they find to be relevant in determining responsibility. He/she shall have an opportunity to present their story, ask questions, give information, present records or documentation pertaining to the incident, present witnesses and provide explanations to the coordinator of student life and development or designee.
      4. The coordinator of student life and development or designee and the resident will discuss the resident's level of responsibility in the conduct situation and attempt to reach an agreement regarding responsibility (or no responsibility) and consequences as necessary. If an agreement is reached, an outcomes form will be completed by the coordinator of student life and development or designee.
      5. In cases where the coordinator of student life and development or designee and the respondent are unable to come to an agreement on responsibility and/or consequence or the respondent fails to appear for the Conduct Meeting and the coordinator of student life and development or designee's chosen consequence does not include any separation between the student and the university, then the finding of the coordinator of student life and development or designee will be applicable, unless the respondent submits an appeal pursuant to appeals process outlined in this Guide.
      6. In cases where the coordinator of student life and development and the respondent are unable to come to an agreement on responsibility and/or consequences and the coordinator of student life and development's chosen consequence includes a sanction separating the student from university housing, the respondent shall have the right to request a hearing in front of the dean of student services (or his/her designee).
      7. In cases where the respondent fails to appear for the conduct meeting and the recommended consequences includes separation between the student and university housing, the coordinator of student life and development will designate an entry of "not responsible" and set up a hearing with the dean of student services (or his/her designee) as the hearing authority.

      Hearings

      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.

      Consequences

      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.

      1. Warning – A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations;
      2. Loss of Privileges – Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time;
      3. Fines – Fines may be imposed;
      4. Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement;
      5. Discretionary Consequences – Work assignments, service to the university or other related discretionary assignments which may include, but are not limited to, an apology, restriction upon privileges, a research paper or written statement, a referral for counseling, evaluation for alcohol/drug abuse, a psychiatric evaluation or other consequences deemed appropriate;
      6. Denial of Privilege to Re-enroll – The student is denied access to live in university owned or controlled facilities. A hold is placed on the student's records;
      7. Residence Hall Probation – Probation is for a specified period of time and includes the probability of suspension or expulsion from residence hall living if the student is found to be in violation of residence life policies during the probationary period;
      8. Parental Notification – The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits an institution of higher education to disclose to parents or legal guardians the results of conduct hearings if the student is less than 21 years of age and has been found responsible for violating campus rules regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. Parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 will be notified of all violations of university narcotic or other controlled substance policies and those alcohol violations that result in an assessment for chemical dependency, residence hall probation or a more severe consequence, as allowed under FERPA regulations;
      9. Residence Hall Suspension – Separation of the student from the residence hall for a defined period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. The student may be denied access to the residence hall during the suspension. A permanent conduct record is maintained.
      10. Residence Hall Expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the residence hall. The student shall be permanently denied access to the residence hall. A permanent conduct record is maintained.

      Interim Suspension

      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:

      1. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the residence life community or preservation of residence life property;
      2. To ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being;
      3. If the student has violated a provisional order put into effect to ensure the safety and well-being of member of the residence life community or preservation of residence life property;
      4. If the student poses a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the university residence life program.

      Appeals

      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:

      1. Procedural Error: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented.
      2. Unsupported Conclusion: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based upon a preponderance of evidence.
      3. Disproportionate Consequence: To determine whether the consequences assigned were appropriate for the violation(s) of the Guide which the resident was found to have committed.
      4. New Information: Any new information that is now available which was unavailable during the original hearing which could impact the conclusion.

      The appealing authority reviewing the appeal may do any of the following:

      1. Remand the matter to the original hearing authority for re-opening of the hearing to allow consideration of the original determination and/or consequence(s);
      2. Affirm the finding of responsibility or no responsibility;
      3. Reverse the finding of responsibility or no responsibility;
      4. Modify the consequences that have been assigned;
      5. Deny the appeal because it does not fall within the parameters of or comply with the requirements set forth in this Guide or
      6. If a finding of responsibility or no responsibility is reversed on appeal or if an appeal is dismissed, the matter shall be considered resolved and the decision by the person deciding the appeal shall be considered final and binding upon all involved unless the chancellor of the university decides to review the decision.

      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.

Important Dates During 2018-2019 Academic Year

  • August 18 - Residence halls open at 10 a.m.
  • August 20 - Meal plans begin with Breakfast. Fall classes begin
  • September 3 - Labor Day (No classes/offices closed)
  • October 10 - Fall 2018 Mid-Semester
  • October 11-14 - Fall Break (No classes/offices open). No meals served.
  • November 20 to November 25 - Thanksgiving Break. Residence halls close at 7:00 pm on November 20 and re-open at 10 a.m. on November 25. No meals will be served starting November 21, 2018 (Breakfast, lunch and sack dinner will be served on November 20)
  • December 10 to December 13 - Final Exam Period
  • December 13 - Residence halls close at 7 p.m. (Breakfast, lunch and sack dinner will be served on December 13)
  • January 12 - Residence halls open at 10 a.m.
  • January 14 - Meal Plans begin with Breakfast. Spring classes begin.
  • January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No classes/offices closed)
  • February 18 - Presidents Day (No classes/offices closed)
  • March 6 - Spring 2019 Mid-Semester
  • March 11 to March 15 - Spring Break (No classes/offices open). Residence halls close at 7 p.m. on March 8 and re-open at 10 a.m. on March 17. Meals resume on March 18.
  • April 18 - Spring Holiday (No classes/offices open). No meals served.
  • April 19 - 21 Spring Holiday (No classes/offices closed). No meals served.
  • May 13 to May 16 - Spring 2019 Final Exam Period
  • May 16 - Residence halls close at 7 p.m. for non-graduating residents. Breakfast, lunch and sack dinner last meal. *Residents required to participate in graduation may stay through 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

Notes: