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 staff 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

    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:

    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, part-time residence director, 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:

    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 accord 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.

      Student Life and Development Coordinator

      Full-time staff member who manages the daily operations of University housing.

      Part-Time Housing Director

      Assists the residence-life manager with daily operations and other duties associated with University housing.

      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 has at least one RA and they are there to help you achieve your personal growth and ultimately help your floor build a sense of community. 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, part-time residence director or residence-life manager.

    4. Involvement and Leadership Opportunities

      At Missouri State University-West Plains, there are many opportunities for students to learn inside and outside of the classroom. As a resident of the residence hall, you are strongly encouraged to get involved within the campus and local community so you feel connected to other students, faculty, staff and community members. For a general overview of some of the ways you can get involved with campus life, browse some of the links at the student life website.

    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, the part-time residence director or residence-life manager.

    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.

      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.
      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.

      Note: 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 hours for the residence hall are:

      Sunday – Thursday 8:00 AM – Midnight
      Friday and Saturday 24-hour visitation

      *Sunday-Thursday, all guests must leave the residence hall and all residents in the building must return to their rooms. During these times guests may be of either gender.

      **Overnight guests, regardless of gender, may stay once the resident has notified the RA on duty or a residence-life staff member by 8:00 PM on the first night.

      *** 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. Exceptions: 1) Service animals that are trained and certified to provide ADA accommodations for persons with disabilities are permitted. Residents who require the assistance of a service animal should make contact with the residence-life staff as soon as possible to receive guidelines for maintaining a service animal in a community environment. Animals must be leashed to the adult responsible for the animal. Animals which are unleashed or leashed and unattended, on University property are subject to impoundment. Animals left unattended in motor vehicles on University property are subject to the same rules and regulations if they become a nuisance or if the welfare of the animal is threatened. 2) Fish are also permitted if properly maintained in aquariums of 20 gallons of water or less.

      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 PM to 10:00 AM, 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.

      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. Masking tape or white putty is permitted for hanging posters and decorations. Command strips are also allowed, but need to be removed properly when checked out.
      • 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:

    7. No University-owned furniture or equipment may be removed from the room or suite.
    8. No furnishings shall restrict exiting from any portion of the room or be a safety hazard to persons walking around the room.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Modifications must not block the heating or cooling system or require the removal or remodeling of electrical fixtures or outlets.
    12. Modifications must not block a doorway. The door must be able to open perpendicular to the door opening.
    13. 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.
    14. No concrete/cinder blocks/wood platforms are permitted. No furniture may be raised off the floor. Beds are allowed to have risers that have been approved by the Residence Hall staff.
    15. Mattresses must be used with the bedframes and not placed directly on the floor.
    16. Personal mattresses are not permitted.
    17. Excessively heavy items should not be placed on furniture or shelving provided by the University.
    18. The University is not responsible for injury resulting from the modifications of a room.
      • 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.
      • 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.