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Residence Life & Housing

 

 

General Information

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A residence hall is more than a place to live it is a place to learn awareness, consideration, acceptance and compromise. Residence halls also provide recreational, educational, spiritual and cultural programs to enhance students' learning experience and to contribute to their overall growth and personal development.

St. Ambrose University requires all full-time first and second year students (defined as those with less than 60 credits) to live in a university residence hall unless the student lives at his/her permanent residence with their parent or legal guardian within 30 miles of campus. Students living on campus must maintain full-time (12 or more undergraduate / 9 or more graduate credits) student status in order to maintain on-campus residence eligibility. Exceptions to this are given when the student is in her/his final semester before graduation.

Students living in the residence halls are expected to maintain a standard of conduct consistent with the educational objectives and priorities of St. Ambrose. Respect and consideration for the rights of others, including needs for study time and rest, must receive priority. The residence hall staff helps create an atmosphere conducive to studying, socializing and learning to live with other individuals. Each resident is expected to respond appropriately to requests from staff and fellow residents concerning behavior which does not honor this priority. Residents are also responsible for the conduct of their guests. Rooms will be inspected or assessed at any time a university official suspects illegal, dangerous or threatening behavior to be occurring in a student's room. 

Consideration for Fellow Students

As part of a residence hall community, students are reminded to be considerate of others'. The following guidelines outline basic rights of residence hall students:

  1. The right to read and to study free from undue interference in one's room. Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit this right.
  2. The right to sleep without undue disturbance from noise, guests of roommates or neighbors.
  3. The right to expect a roommate will respect one's personal belongings.
  4. The right to a clean living environment.
  5. The right to free access to one's room and facilities without pressure from a roommate.
  6. The right to privacy.
  7. The right for redress of grievances. Residence hall staff are available for assistance in settling conflicts.
  8. The right to be free from intimidation, physical and emotional harm.
  9. The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of "room-shared" items (telephone, refrigerator, furniture, etc.) and a commitment to honor agreed upon payment procedures.
  10.  The right to be free from peer pressure or ridicule.

To be a mature adult is to accept responsibility for the welfare of others. Only you can assure you and your roommate enjoy these rights. 

Contract

Resident students pay a housing deposit and sign a residence hall room and board contract which is kept on file in the Residence Life office. This contract details the rights and responsibilities of both students and the university. By signing it, students agree to abide by its terms and conditions. Contracts apply to the entire academic year. Extra copies of the residence hall room and board contract are available from the Residence Life office. It remains the discretion of the university to refund or forfeit the housing deposit when a student leaves university housing (through student cancellation or university termination of contract) prior to the end of the contract period.
SAU assumes no liability for loss or damage to residents' personal property and does not carry insurance on personal property. Residents should determine if their property is covered by parents' homeowner policies and purchase whatever property insurance is desired. 

Food Service

Any member of the university community may participate in the food services program. Resident students are required to participate in one of the five meal plans. Contact the Food or Residence Life offices for prices and registration materials. Students may lower or appeal meal plans only during the first two weeks of each semester.
To gain admissions to the dining room, students need to show their current student ID. Diners are responsible for clearing tables and disposing of all debris and trash. Students who remove food or articles, i.e. dishes, owned by Food Services from the dining room will be charged a minimum of $25 of restorative service plus the replacement cost. Students who do not bus their table may receive a $5 fine, and students who throw food will receive a minimum of $25 of restorative service charge. 

Appealing a Meal Plan

Students wishing to appeal a meal plan must complete the appropriate online form at the bottom of the page. The deadline to submit a meal plan appeal is the two weeks after the first day of class. For the fall, the deadline is 4:30pm on September 4th, 2013. For the spring, the deadline is 4:30pm on January 15th, 2014. Appeals typically fall into two areas of concern: medical or financial hardship. Below are additional guidelines to follow based on the concern warranting the appeal.

• Medical: Appeals based on medical reasons must provide a medical diagnosis to the Office of Health Services with dietary recommendations, restrictions, guidelines from a healthcare provider. After this information is received, the appellant will need to schedule a meeting with the Operations Manager of Sodexo Food Services. Special dietary needs will be reviewed and a recommendation sent back to Health Services. A follow up meeting must then be scheduled with Health Services to discuss the findings. Upon completion, Health Services will then submit a recommendation to the Food Services Committee.

• Financial Hardship: Only students with 90 or more credit hours may submit a financial appeal. Appeals based on financial reasons need to outline a detailed explanation of the financial situation to the Food Services Committee advisor. The appeal must be of an outstanding nature to warrant approval. Given the confidentiality of this appeal and the possible need to gather financial records from the university, a modified committee (comprising the chair, the Assistant Director of Residence Life and the Vice President of Finance or his/her designee) will discuss the financial hardship and make a recommendation.

In previous years, the Food Services Committee accepted appeals based on scheduling difficulties. However, due to expanded hours of operation in the cafeteria, scheduling appeals will no longer be accepted. Please contact Sodexo Food Services at 563-333-6360 to get more information on hours of operation and meal replacement options.

Financial Hardship Appeal

Medical Appeal

Questions? Please give us a call at 563-333-6258 or e-mail us at reslife@sau.edu

Health Concerns and Special Needs

Resident students with a health concern or disability needing special consideration should contact the Health Services or Services for Students with Disabilities offices. Student health insurance information is available at the Health Services or Residence Life offices. 

Housekeeping

The housekeeping staff cleans residence hall bathrooms and public areas as well as bathroom and kitchen areas of townhouses and houses on a weekly basis unless notified otherwise. Residents are responsible for their own rooms and other common area space. Students bear the responsibility for any excessive cleaning costs and/or the repair/replacement of university property damaged by vandalism or carelessness.

Laundry

Washers and dryers are located in all halls (most floors) and most houses. It costs $1.00 per wash and $1.00 per dry cycle. Contact your Hall Director or Assistant Director of Residence Life with concerns and/or to receive refunds. 

Programs

St. Ambrose encourages comprehensive programming encompassing social, spiritual, intellectual, life planning, diversity and physical/emotional health issues. Programs are developed by resident advisors with the help of students. Students are encouraged to help choose the type of programs offered for their residential living area. 

Relocation of Living Space

Students may be moved to a different room, floor or residential facility if it is deemed more appropriate for helping that student achieve his or her academic goals, positive behavioral patterns and to create a more appropriate environment for learning and living. In such cases, billing may be adjusted at the discretion of the adjudicating administrator. 

Removal from Residence Hall

Students may be removed from campus housing at any time if it is determined their behavior is disruptive to university functions; directly or substantially impedes the lawful and rightful activities of others; causes damage to property; or presents a threat of
32 harm to themselves or others. Guests of resident students will be asked to leave if they are involved in any violation of SAU policies. If they are under 18, their guardian will be contacted to come get them. 

Residence Life Staff

Resident Advisors (RA) and Assistant Hall Directors (AHD) are peer advisors trained to assist students with academic, personal or behavioral concerns. RAs and AHDs are students selected because of experience, leadership ability and interest in others. They help residents grow socially and academically by maintaining a close relationship with each student and by fostering an effective living-learning environment. All students are encouraged to get to know their RA or AHD and to ask for assistance whenever needed. The 5 AHDs and 42 RAs are supervised by six Residence Hall Directors and the Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Room Check-In and Check-Out

All students must check into their residence hall space by signing a room condition report with their RA. All students must be checked out of their residence hall space by the RA (or complete an Express Check-out) when moving out. This check-out takes place only after all the student's personal possessions have been removed from the room. Additional charges are assessed if students fail to:

  1. Properly sign and date the room check-out form
  2. Dispose of trash and unwanted articles in a designated area
  3. Dry dust-mop or vacuum the floor of the room and dust/clean all surfaces
  4. Leave the residence hall by designated closing time
  5. Return their room key.

The University requires students to leave the residence halls within 24 hours after their last final exam and, at the latest, 7 p.m. on Friday night of finals week each semester. The university reserves the right to remove students immediately if their action jeopardizes the rights of others to prepare for exams. Personal belongings left behind after moving will be donated to a charity of Residence Life's choice after staff makes attempts to contact the rightful owner. No belongings will be kept longer than 30 days.

Room Condition/Damage Assessment

Residents are responsible for any damage done to their rooms or any other part of the residence hall/townhouse/house and its equipment. Residents should note very carefully not only the inventory of furniture, but also the condition of the room, because they will be charged for any damages not noted on the check-in form. If the damage charges are not paid, action will be taken which may include withholding transcripts and not allowing registration for the next semester.

Residents are responsible for the room to which they are assigned. Simple health habits and respect for roommates, suitemates, housemates and neighbors will promote good living conditions for all residents. In order to help residents keep their rooms neat and attractive, cleaning equipment (mops, brooms, dustpans and vacuums) is available. Trash, dirt and lint are not to be swept into the halls. Students are liable for charges for any unusual housekeeping service, such as cleaning rooms left dirty when moving out. Damage charges are assessed equally against all occupants of a room/townhouse/house unless personal liability can be determined. Damaged furniture may be repaired only by university personnel. Students are responsible for damage caused by tacks or nails as well as adhesives, such as mounting tape, scotch tape or self-adhesive fixtures. Students are also responsible for the condition of their room door.

In addition to the care of their own rooms, residents are responsible for the condition of the hallways and common areas. Hallways, stairways, recreation areas, lobbies, study rooms and bathrooms are to be kept clean and orderly at all times. Although the maintenance staff is responsible for the upkeep of these areas, student cooperation is necessary. The bulletin boards on each floor are to be used to post approved signs, pamphlets and other literature. Such items should not be posted on the walls by anyone except a residence hall staff member.

When students submit their residence hall room and board contract, they pay a $250 housing deposit which is returned upon application for refund when they permanently move, provided no damage exists, no excessive housekeeping is mandated, and the full contract period is fulfilled. Students should report any accidental damage to their RA immediately. Unclaimed damage will be billed to all the residents of a particular floor, house or hall.

Room Changes or Consolidation

Any situation calling for a room change should first be directed to the RA. The university reserves the right to reassign residents in order to make the most effective use of available accommodations. Students in double rooms without roommates will be asked to consolidate with other students. If space is available, students without roommates will be offered the option of keeping their room as a single for the semester at the single room rate. If a house or apartment's occupancy drops below capacity, students may be asked to consolidate into other preferred housing.

Room Entry

The university reserves the right to enter and inspect student rooms for the following reasons: 1) required maintenance and repairs; 2) health and student safety matters; 3) emergency procedures; 4) suspicion of violation of university policies; 5) routine safety checks.

Room Selection

St. Ambrose attempts to accommodate roommate and housing option preferences when assigning rooms to students. Rooms are first assigned to returning students based on a priority point system. Room assignments are made based on total priority points for a group or for an individual. One priority point per semester is earned for full time enrollment in any college, fall/spring semesters only. It is the responsibility of each individual student who has lost priority points through the discipline process to share this information with their group members. Assignments for new students are based upon the date their contract and deposit are received by the Residence Life office. Specific information regarding the housing assignment process for returning students is published during the spring semester. Residence Life reserves the right to assign rooms based on needs of the university.

Vending Refunds

Contact the Dean of Students /Residence Life office within 5 business days with concerns and/or to receive refunds.

Terms and Conditions of the Residence Hall Contract