Residence Life Policies and Affairs

Housing & Lease Information

HSU has a MANDATORY on campus residency requirement. This means that all single, full-time students attending the university under the age of 21, who have completed 59 or fewer hours prior to the first day of classes for the term and are not living with a parent or guardian within a 60 mile radius of the university are required to live in university housing facilities and participate in a meal plan. Attaining the age requirement does not void contractual agreements made for university housing; and further provided that a student under 21 who satisfactorily completes 60 or more hours during the first semester may be released from the second semester of the housing contract. If you are planning to live at home with a parent or guardian you must have a Permission to Live Off Campus form on file with the Department of Residence Life prior to the start of the semester. Students who fail to provide a copy of the Permission to live off campus form to the Residence Life office will be subject to housing and meal plan charges being placed on their student account. 

All residents should keep a copy of their lease and read it carefully. Each resident, by signing a housing lease, is bound for a year and agrees to abide by all housing rules and regulations. It is your responsibility to become knowledgeable about the rules and regulations detailed in this handbook and the Henderson State University Student Guide.

Any non resident found living in university housing without permission will face disciplinary action.

Cancellation of Lease

A. Before the lease has become binding, a student may cancel the lease by providing written notice to the Dept. of Residence Life if postmarked 30 days prior to the first day of the fall semester.

B. After 30 days prior to the first day of the fall semester, a student may request that they be released from this contract based on one of the following reasons: unanticipated financial hardship ensuing after the start of the semester; a medical condition documented by a physician that prohibits the student from living in the residence halls; academic intern¬ship or student teaching experience more than 60 miles from HSU; a change in marital or custodial status. Students should submit their request for release from the contract to the Dept. of Residence Life in writing and provide supporting documentation of the reason for their request.

Petition for Release from Contract

The lease may be canceled if the resident demonstrates meeting one of the following criteria: unanticipated financial hardship ensuing after the start of the semester; medical reasons necessitating a lease release as documented by a physician; academic internship or student teaching experience more than 60 miles from Henderson; employment requiring live-in status; and/or a change in marital or custodial status.

Renters Insurance

The university will not be responsible for damaged or stolen items. All residents are strongly encouraged to purchase renters insurance. Additionally, all residents are encouraged to keep a list of all serial numbers on any electronic devices. If anything is stolen, these serial numbers will help the University police track down or identify these items.

Withdrawal from Henderson

If a resident is not a Henderson student, either because of withdrawal from the university or dismissal, he/she must vacate the room within 24 hours of dismissal (24 hours after hall opens following a break if dismissed during a break). Proper check-out procedures must be followed to avoid charges. Meal plans are automatically dropped when you move from university housing.

Class Requirement

To reside in Henderson State University residence halls or apartment complexes, priority is given to students maintaining a minimum of 12 hours. Approval may be given from the Director or Assistant Director for Residence Life for exceptions.

Room Assignment

New students are assigned to a room based on application information and space availability. If a specific roommate is desired, both residents must request each other on their application via the housing portal. Roommate requests are granted whenever possible.

Occupancy

A resident who does not check into the residence halls by 5 p.m. on the first day of class of any semester for which their housing contract is in effect will be considered a “No Show.” The university has the right to reassign the resident to another room.

Registered Residents: "No shows" who are registered for classes and who decide to reside in a place other than the residence halls, without canceling their housing contract 30 days prior to the start of the semester, will be financially obligated for the full portion of the lease.

Residents whose accounts are delinquent will be flagged from meal service. Charges continue during the delinquent period and arrangements must be made with the business office before the meal flag is released.

Room Changes

Residents are permitted to make a room change no sooner than the 11th class day of the semester. Changes may then be conducted throughout the semester up until two weeks before finals. A resident may make one room transfer per year with no charge. Any additional room change made at the resident’s request will require a $25 administrative charge. This charge will be levied on any room change or change of account, except where the individual chooses to keep his/her current room assignment at the single room rate.

The room change form must be completed before the room change can proceed (this includes getting keys for your new room). Failure to do this may result in additional charges that will be billed to your account. Room change forms are only available at the Residence Life Office.

Priority Signup

During the spring semester, current residents will have the opportunity to reserve a room for the fall semester. During this priority signup period, the $50 non-refundable application fee will be waived. If the resident returns to the residence halls in the fall semester without participating in priority signup, she/he will be required to post another $50 non-refundable application fee and room assignment will be based on availability.

Residents who signed up for a room during priority signup are not guaranteed the room they requested. Residents who request a double room and have no roommate will be consolidated with residents in the same situation. This consolidation process will occur over the summer and the resident will be notified before the assigned move-in date.

Room Inventory/Damage

As a student checks into an assigned room, he/she accepts responsibility for its condition and must thoroughly fill out the inventory on the check-in form found on the housing portal. This becomes a record for the condition of the room when occupancy began. This record is compared to the condition of the room at check-out and any discrepancies become the financial responsibility of the resident. Therefore, to protect yourself, be sure to complete your check-in/check-out forms thoroughly. Failure to complete them, leaves no alternative but to assume that the room was in good condition when you checked in, and you and your roommate will be charged for any and all damages. If you leave before the other resident(s) of your room, be certain to assure that thorough cleaning is performed. All residents will be held responsible and share charges for the final condition of the room at the check-out inspection. Please see Check-Out Procedure for more information.

Residence Life staff members will inspect each student’s room and determine charges if necessary. Protests or appeals related to these charges must be received within 30 days of the billing date to receive consideration.

Consolidation & Double Rooms as Singles

If one resident, occupying or having reserved a double room, for any reason vacates or fails to occupy his/her room, the remaining student must choose one of the following options:

1. Move into another room being occupied by one resident.

2. Permit another resident to be moved into his/her room.

3. If space is available, remain as a single and pay the additional charge.

If you do not have a roommate after the first week, you will be assigned a roommate by the Residence Life Office. Which resident moves is based on contract date. The first person contracted moves last. Any time a move is made, a room change form must be completed in advance. These forms are available in the Residence Life Office.

Consolidation is done on a hall-wide basis. If there is an "odd person out" situation where one person is left without a roommate, there is no single room rate charged. If, at any time, a resident in a double room, without a roommate, refuses a roommate that is assigned or refuses to consolidate when an opening occurs, that resident will be charged at the single-room rate from the time she/he became the sole resident of that room.

Right to Privacy

Your room is your home at Henderson. You have the right to privacy in your own room. However, in order to handle emergency situations, to make routine maintenance inspections, to maintain minimum health and safety standards, or to enforce regulations, the university reserves the right to enter students’ rooms (see the University Student Guide, Housing Contract, or the Residence Hall Lease). If your room is entered by a residence life staff member, a notice will be conspicuously placed in your room. The notice will be signed by the person who entered with an explanation why it was necessary to enter your room.

Check-Out Procedures

Here are the procedures to follow when moving out of your on campus room: Remove all personal belongings; put beds back together if they have been dismantled; place furniture properly; vacuum or sweep floor; remove all tape/adhesive or hooks, etc.; empty your trash; locate an RA to check you out; sign your room inventory-out sheet or waiver; turn in all keys. Fines are assessed for failure to follow proper procedure. Check instructions from individual halls or apartment complexes for details. All beds must be assembled so that they are on the lowest or middle height setting (beds are NOT to be left bunked).

Failure to check out properly may subject you to additional charges:

1. Failure to turn in room key/Lost room key $65 per key

2. Lock change $65

3. Failure to leave room clean $25

4. Public area or extra university furniture in room $50/piece & up

5. Improper check-out (additional) $25

6. Failure to put bed together properly. $50

Other charges that can be assessed are as follows:

1. Iron Marks $30

2. Paint Chip on wall $10 and up

3. Repaint door $50

4. Furniture missing (Plus additional cost of missing piece.) $100/piece

5. Repair window screen $20

6. Stain removal fee $20

7. Broken Towel Rack $20

8. Ripped or Torn mattress $30

9. Bent Blinds $10 & up

10. Broken Chair  (cost of chair)

11. Damaged or missing light fixtures $50

12. Phone jack or computer jack repair $30 each

13. Removal of mirror $30

14. Contact paper removal $50

15. Mattress: $100

16. Replacement/damage to wooden bed frames: $250

17: Broken window: $55

18. Replace window screen: $100

19. Damaged window blinds: $36.00 and up (depending on the size)

Charges not listed will be assessed as needed per maintenance

If you are not checked out of your room at the end of your lease period by the posted or communicated time the building closes, you will be charged $10 for each 15 minutes you are late checking-out. An additional improper check-out charge will also apply.

Storage

There are no storage spaces available for student belongings. Storage of personal belongings over the summer months is not available. This policy is to allow custodial and maintenance personnel access to all areas for thorough cleaning, repair of maintenance issues and pest control spraying.

Abandoned Property

Abandoned property is defined as any items that are left when residents check out of their rooms. The property will be discarded immediately. An initial fee of $100 will be charged to the resident to remove belongings from the room. If the resident does not collect the property within one week of the resident’s check out date, the items will be discarded.

Alcoholic Beverages

In accordance with the Drug free school and workplace policy stated in the Henderson State University student guide, the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages or paraphernalia, including but not limited to empty cans or bottles on campus is strictly prohibited. Public intoxication or impairment that can be attributed to the use of alcohol is prohibited and could result in disciplinary action. Discovery of alcohol will require immediate confiscation.

Controlled Substances

Manufacturing, possessing, selling, transmitting, using or being party to any illegal drug, controlled substance, or drug paraphernalia is a violation of University policy as well as the state/federal law. Smell, haze in a room or area, and other evidence that strongly leads a reasonable person to believe that marijuana is being used is also in violation. The misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs is destructive to the welfare of students. The illegal possession, distribution, or use of drugs except as directed on over-the-counter drugs or as prescribed by a medical doctor, is prohibited. Sanctions could include, but are not limited to probation, suspension, or expulsion depending on the seriousness and frequency of violations.

Tobacco Use Policy

Tobacco use is prohibited in on campus housing facilities.

Keys & Lock-Outs

Residents are responsible for room keys and student ID cards. The keys/ID cards are not to be loaned out or given to anyone. It is unlawful for any student to duplicate a university key. Access to a resident’s room will not be granted unless the resident is present.

As a security measure, students’ locks are changed when a key is lost. A charge of $65 will be billed to the resident’s account for lock changes and new keys. After the lock is changed, new keys will be issued to the resident. All lost keys require a lock change.

Residents need to carry their keys and university ID card at all times. However, if the occasion arises that a student is locked out of his or her room, contact any RA in your hall or complex first. If they are unavailable, try your Hall Director, then call the Hall Director on Duty. The desk workers do not have keys to your room, nor can they unlock your door. They can, however assist you in finding a staff member to help you. The following fees will be assessed during a lock-out:

Residence Hall Lock-out charges:

First lock-out: $2.00
Second lock-out: $5.00
Additional lock-outs: $10.00

Apartment lock-out charges: 

Lock-outs occurring between 5:00pm and 11:59pm: $30.00
Lock-outs occurring between 12:00am and 8:00am: $60.00

Housing for Graduation

Graduating seniors and those participating in graduation will be provided overnight lodging if needed. It is your responsibility to make arrangements in advance with the hall director or Office of Residence Life. 

Vacation Periods

Housing is not provided during breaks. In case of extreme circumstances, students may be allowed to remain on campus during the Thanksgiving and Spring break periods; however, students should be aware that “work” is not considered a reason granted to remain on campus. If you feel that you have an extreme circumstance and would like to remain on campus during the Thanksgiving or Spring breaks, please contact your Hall Director. There will be a daily charge billed directly to your student account. Any student violating policies is subject to disciplinary action and may be asked to leave campus and not return until the residence halls open again. There will be no visitation during the break periods. (Student teachers, student athletes (in season), and international students are allowed to stay during break periods at no charge).

Residence Life Policies

The following general policies for all residence halls and apartment complexes have been compiled in accordance with university regulations, local, state and federal laws. Their purpose is to promote an atmosphere of health and safety and to encourage a state of well-being among residents. All regulations and guidelines as stated in the current Henderson State University Student Guide and Residence Life Handbook apply to the residence halls and apartment complexes. It is impossible to outline exact conduct in every situation and, for students of good judgment, it is unnecessary.

Residents are required to cooperate with staff and other residents at all times. Students will be expected to become familiar with and responsible for following all published procedures, policies, rules, and regulations, including those which are explained in this handbook. Residents will respect the rights of other residents, and each resident will be responsible and held accountable for his/her behavior and the behavior of their guests. 

Residents must comply with directions of university officials, which include residence life staff. Policies and procedures in all residence halls or apartment complexes will be consistently and strictly enforced by university officials at all times. All residents are urged to be considerate, to exercise common sense, and not to infringe on the rights of others in their actions and activities as a contribution to a harmonious living group. The hall director, working with the hall council, is authorized to administer and interpret these general policies.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will subject the residents to disciplinary action as stated in the university-prescribed Code of Conduct. Such actions may include dismissal from housing and/or separation from the university, etc.

Non-Discrimination

In assigning students to housing, the university does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious affiliation, national origin, etc.

Posting Flyers

All flyers, announcements, or other printed or written materials are subject to the approval of the Hall Director before posted in the residence halls, apartments, or clubhouses. Any resident found posting unapproved material will be subject to disciplinary action or restitution for damage to the surface. 

Furniture

No furniture, including but not limited to mattresses, chairs, couches and tables, may be removed from any room or lobby. Television cables or any electrical wiring may not be moved or altered in any way. Waterbeds are not permitted in residential life facilities. This includes manufactured and homemade models. Upon discovery of missing furniture residents will be required to return said furniture and will be assessed a $50 fine per piece of furniture.

Harassment

Harassment is defined as verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, veteran or disabled status or other characteristics as defined and protected by law in the location where a particular program is operating, that has the purpose or effect, from the point of view of a reasonable person, of objectively and substantially:

a. undermining and detracting from or interfering with an individual’s education or work performance or access to university resources; or

b. creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment.

Harassment may include repeated slurs, or taunts in the guise of jokes, or disparaging references to others, use of epithets, stereotypes, comments, gestures, threats, graffiti, display or circulation of written or visual materials, taunts or manner of speech, and negative reference to customs when such conduct is based on or motivated by one or more of the protected characteristics identified above, or other characteristics as defined and protected by applicable law.

Appliances

Residence hall rooms are arranged not only for your comfort, but also for compliance with fire regulations. The electrical system is not designed to carry heavy loads of electrical equipment (please, only one plug per receptacle). Students must only use UL approved extension cords or surge protectors.

Residents are not allowed to have any of the following appliances, including, but not limited to: halogen lamps, tanning beds, broilers, window air conditioning units, lava lamps, refrigerators larger than 6.0 cubic feet per room, George Forman Grill, griddles, sandwich makers, hot plates, pizza cookers, toasters, toaster ovens and any other items with exposed heating elements.

Please review the kitchen section for specific cooking policies pertaining to microwaves and other cooking appliances. Violations of these regulations will result in confiscation of items and possible disciplinary action.

Refrigerators

A student living in any residence hall may bring a small personal refrigerator. The maximum allowable size for any refrigerator unit is 4.0 cubic feet. Each student in a room may have a unit so long as the combined capacity of all units in the room is no more than 6.0 cubic feet. Acceptable sanitation standards must be maintained in all units. If these standards are not met the university reserves the right to require the resident to clean the refrigerator or to remove the refrigerator from the room. Over semester break, students will be required to remove all perishable items, unplug and defrost all refrigerators and prop open the refrigerator door. All refrigerators left plugged in during winter break will be unplugged by a residence life staff member. Any damage, as a result of the unplugging, will be the responsibility of the resident. 

Pets

For reasons of health and sanitation pets are not permitted in the residence halls or apartment complexes. Exceptions to this policy include fish and any documented service animals trained to assist the disabled. Due to the needs of the greater community Residence Life reserves the right to require the resident and their service pet to move to another on campus location. Aquariums must be well maintained. Each resident is allowed to have 1 aquarium that holds up to 10 gallons of water. Residents found in violation of this policy will be issued a $250 fine in addition to any professional cleaning costs incurred. Residents will also be required to remove the pet from the building. If the resident is unable to remove the pet in a timely manner the humane society will be contacted to come remove the pet.

Windows and Screens

Each room is provided with blinds to assure residents privacy. In order to assure that our campus has an aesthetic appearance, windows may not be covered with any sun blocking items such as insulation, foil, etc. No decorations, temporary or permanent may be viewed through your window if it is deemed inappropriate or a safety hazard. Holiday decorations are subject to the Hall Director’s approval.

Screens are never to be removed or tampered with. There is a minimum $100 fine for removing a screen from any window. In the interest of safety, no objects may be passed, thrown or hung out of or into windows. Students throwing anything from a window will be issued a minimum $100 fine and community service with the possibility of removal from university housing. Entering or exiting through windows is prohibited. Guests are to enter and exit through designated entrances only.

In the event that you violate any of the above policies or any policies included in the Housing Contract, you may be subject to disciplinary action from the university, including but not limited to sanctions and/or termination of your Housing Contract.

Decorations

Your room will serve as your home away from home. Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms and make them as comfortable and cozy as they would like. However, some restrictions do apply:

* If decorations are deemed as a fire, health and safety issue, or offensive, you will be asked to take down said decorations.

* All decorations displayed outside of the resident’s room/apartment are subject to the approval of the Hall Director.

* All holiday decorations must be removed from exterior areas before you leave for any break.

* Smoke detectors, pull stations, and light fixtures, including those in public areas and elevator buttons may not be covered at any time.

*You are responsible and will be charged for any decorations which stain, alter or otherwise damage the room. Appropriate items used for hanging decorations include 3M strips or hooks.

*Nails and other items that puncture the wall are strictly prohibited.

*Displaying alcohol containers of any kind is prohibited.

*Due to the fire hazard they create, no cut/live trees are allowed inside the residence halls or apartment complexes.

* The use of contact paper is prohibited.

If you have any questions about what is permitted please contact your Hall Director.

Sleep-Study Atmosphere Policy

As one of the basic purposes of the university is the dissemination and application of knowledge, one of the primary rights of the students in the residential areas is the right to read and study free from undue interference in one’s room. Thus, unreasonable noise and other distractions that inhibit the exercise of this right are strictly prohibited. Unreasonable noise can be defined as noise that can be heard more than two doors down from a resident’s room.

The following hours have been set as quiet hours for all residential areas/halls:

10:00pm - 10:00am Sun. – Thurs.

Midnight – 10:00am Fri. and Sat.

These hours are applicable to both inside and outside noise that could be considered disruptive to a sleep and/or study atmosphere. Those choosing to live or those who are assigned on a theme floor are required to abide by the rules set up by that community.

Floor/Building Meetings

During the semester the need may arise to gather all residents together to cover various topics. These meetings are very important. All residents will be held accountable for the information communicated during such meetings. If you miss a meeting, please contact your RA or Hall Director.

Restricted Days

During university restricted days and finals week a twenty-four hour quiet period will be strictly enforced. During these quiet hours no noise should be heard outside of the resident’s door. Hall Directors reserve the right to establish limited breaks during this time. Residents will be issued a $10 fine for each noise violation.