541  Residential Life and Housing Rules

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Student Affairs

Responsible Office:  Housing and Residential Life
Responsible Officer: Director, Housing and Residential Life

I. Purpose

A residence hall is a densely populated community composed of students with many different interests, habits, and tastes. Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) is committed to the concept that on-campus residence facilities should provide an atmosphere conducive to both living and learning where, in a spirit of cooperation and consideration for others, students may live, study, and relax together. This policy provides rules to establish and maintain that atmosphere.

II. Definitions

A.  Guest. Any person invited by a student resident or the University to visit in a residence facility.

B.  License Agreement. The contract document setting forth the terms of occupancy of any student residence facility/unit as between the University and student residents that occupy any such facility/unit.

C.  Occupant. Spouses, children, immediate family members, and/or other persons residing with a student resident in a student residence facility/unit.  

D.  Prepayment Fee. A payment required by the University to secure accommodation within a residence facility prior to taking occupancy of a particular room, bed, or unit. The prepayment fee is applied toward housing costs except where forfeitures apply.

E.  Premises. Any residence hall, apartment, house, or other facility owned or operated by the University to provide housing accommodations for student residents.

F.  Semester Fee. The payment required to occupy a residence facility for a specified term.

G.  Student. For the purposes of this policy, student refers to the individual residing on premises who is a signatory to the student housing license agreement. The Student and/or occupants may also be referred to as resident(s).

III. Eligibility

Full-time students officially admitted and enrolled at the University for the Fall or Spring semester shall be eligible to reside in a student residence facility on premises during their period of enrollment. Part-time students shall be eligible to reside in student residence facilities on a space-available basis only. Students who drop below full-time enrollment during the academic year should not assume that they will be released from the obligations of their license agreement (Agreement).  Student residence facilities may be leased/licensed to other persons in connection with programs and activities on campus.

All students, with the exception of students who are prohibited by federal or state law from residing in student residence facilities for any reason, shall have an equal opportunity to reside in student residence facilities regardless of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, familial status, age or disability, provided that separate student residential facilities may be established on the basis of sex.

No person who is registered or required to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004, as amended, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-39-201, et. seq., shall be eligible to reside in any on-campus student residence facility including residence halls, apartments, and houses.

IV. Application Process

Application Process and Fees. Students must make application for permission to reside on campus by returning a completed application signed by student and, as applicable, student’s parent/guardian or student’s spouse. A completed application, including the required signatures, indicates acceptance of the terms and conditions contained in the agreement. 

At the time of application, student must also submit a prepayment fee. Semester fees are due and must be paid during the fee payment period at the beginning of the term. Fees are subject to change each year. See Housing Rates for Fall/Spring or Spring Only or contact Housing and Residential Life (Housing) at 615-898-2971 or by email at housing@mtsu.edu for additional information and current fee rates.   

The prepayment fee is refundable prior to first check-in date according to the schedule included in the Student Housing License Agreement section below. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Housing and Residential Life, MTSU Box 6, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 or by fax to 615-898-5459 or by email at www.mtsu.edu/housing.

Mandatory Board Plan for Freshmen. Students classified as freshmen not assigned as a family unit are required to purchase an approved board plan option.

Required Immunizations. All new incoming students who live on campus are required to provide proof of adequate immunization against Meningococcal disease after their 16th birthday and within the last five (5) years. Some exemptions exist for students who provide the appropriate medical or religious exemption form to Student Health Services. This requirement does not replace the Hepatitis B/Meningitis Waiver Form required by Student Health Services of all MTSU students living on or off campus. New incoming students living in on-campus housing will not have the option of refusing this immunization without providing Student Health Services with appropriately executed medical or religious exemptions. To ensure compliance, students are eligible for housing assignment contingent on proof of adequate immunization against Meningococcal disease. This means a housing application will be accepted but cannot be assigned until vaccination against the Meningococcal disease is confirmed by MTSU Student Health Services. For more information on all required immunizations, see Health Services website.    

V. Student Housing License Agreement

The agreement contains applicable provisions regarding prepayment, cancellations, and refunds. Students are responsible for compliance with each provision and term of the agreement and this policy. Prospective students should request a copy of the agreement from Housing and Residential Life.

The term of an agreement is for the full academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). The student who enrolls in the University for the Fall semester and who signs an agreement agrees to reside in on-campus housing for both the Fall semester and the Spring semester provided he/she enrolls in the University during both semesters. Agreements entered into any time after the first (1st) day of the Fall semester or Spring semester continue in effect until the close of the academic year under the same conditions.

Students must check out of their residence within twenty-four (24) hours if they withdraw from or fail to enroll in classes at the University.

The agreement or an attachment to it must document/identify spouses, children, dependents, and/or other persons residing with the student in the facility.

Assignment/Subletting. No student shall assign the lease/license of any student residence facility or sublet the facility and any attempted assignment shall be void without the written consent of the University.

Liability for Damage. Each student agrees to pay the University, immediately upon demand, for any and all damages to the premises, including but not limited to, damages to exterior or interior walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, locks, hardware, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, shrubbery, lawn, appliances, fixtures, or furnishings of the unit and its surrounding premises, if such damage is caused by an act or failure to act by the student or guests of the student.

Cancellation of the Agreement; Refunds. Student or University may cancel the agreement under the circumstances indicated below:

A.  Prior to the beginning of the Term.

1.  If student completes the application process and is assigned a living space but does not enroll in classes for Fall and/or Spring term and fails to properly check in prior to the first (1st) day of classes for any given term, University may cancel the agreement. Student will be considered a no-show subject to forfeiture of his/her prepayment amount. In cases between terms where student’s personal items have been stored as an accommodation during a non-contract period, student will be subject to forfeiture of his/her prepayment as well as storage fees and associated costs for removal of personal belongings.

2.  Prepayment fee refunds. The amount of any refund of the prepayment fee is made based on the cancellation postmark date, the date a confirmed cancellation email was sent, or the date of hand delivery of the written notice of cancellation. The schedule for refunds, including dates and amounts is specified in the sgreement form.

B.  During the Term of the Agreement. The sgreement may be cancelled consistent with the criteria identified below:

1.  If student officially withdraws from University and has complied with check-out procedures, University may cancel the agreement for the remaining portion of the term. If student enrolls for Spring term, the agreement will be reinstated and appropriate charges will be assessed to student’s account.

2.  If student does not plan to enroll for the Spring term and notifies University in writing, the agreement will terminate on the day of student’s last Fall term exam or graduation date, if student is among those scheduled, in advance, to graduate and not scheduled to return to the University in a student status. If student enrolls for Spring term, the agreement will be reinstated and appropriate charges will be assessed to student’s account.

3.  Prepayment fee refunds; Fall Residents Not Enrolling for the Spring Term. The prepayment fee may be refunded as specified below provided student has appropriate prepayment on file. The amount of any refund of the prepayment fee is made based on the cancellation postmark date, the date a confirmed cancellation email was sent, or the date of hand delivery of the written notice of cancellation. The schedule for refunds, including dates and amounts of such refund, is specified in the agreement form.

A full prepayment refund is available under the following conditions: 

a.  The student is prevented from attending the University because of a medical reason(s) confirmed in writing by a licensed physician and deemed acceptable at the discretion of the University and, due to withdrawal from the University, must cease to occupy assigned living space.

b.  Residence space is not available.

c.  The death of the student.

4.  Semester fee refunds. No refund will be made other than under the following conditions:

a  Refund of semester fees will be made on a prorated weekly calendar basis if student is forced to withdraw from the University for a medical reason(s) which must be confirmed in writing by a licensed physician and deemed acceptable at the discretion of University and, due to withdrawal from the University, must cease to occupy assigned living space.

b.  Refund of semester fees will be made on a prorated weekly calendar basis if student is requested to leave the premises for other than disciplinary reasons.

c.  No refund of fees for the academic year will be made if student is required to vacate assigned space for disciplinary reasons.

d.  A full refund of housing fees will be made in the event of student's death.

e.  Withdrawals for other reasons will be subject to University’s fee adjustment period as outlined in the registration guide.

5.  Students who participate in an off-campus academic experience may be eligible for release from the agreement provided the experience requires student’s regular and/or continued presence at a location significantly distant from the campus so as to constitute an undue hardship on student, to be determined at the discretion of University. If termination is granted, the agreement will terminate on the day of student’s last fall term exam or graduation date, if student is among those scheduled, in advance, to graduate. Students seeking this option must petition for such relief by submitting, prior to October 15, a License Agreement Cancellation Request form outlining the academic experience and are required to provide additional supportive documentation from the college and/or internship site or assignment.

6.  In the event that the assigned living space is destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable and University does not provide alternative premises, the agreement will be cancelled and housing fees will be refunded on a prorated basis.

VI. Housing Assignment

The University reserves the right to make all housing assignments and to make any assignment changes or transfers considered necessary. Assignments are made by date of application without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability, although separate student residence facilities or areas of student residence facilities may be established on the basis of sex.

Housing assignments are based on the date of application, payment of applicable fees, and submission of required immunization documentation. A specific building, type of room, and specific roommate cannot be guaranteed.

Special living-learning programs may include specific additional criteria for participation/assignment. 

In the event any occupant of a multiple occupancy student residence facility ceases to reside in the unit for any reason, the University shall have the right to reassign the remaining occupants to another student residence facility on campus.

Room Changes. Students may submit requests for room changes with Housing and Residential Life. Students moving out of or into a student residence facility without having written authorization from Housing will be in violation of the agreement. All changes are authorized on a space-available basis.

VII. Check-In and Check-Out  

Students may move into assigned living space by reporting to check-in locations during the dates and times specified in their agreements. Unless previous arrangements have been made, any student who fails to check in during the specified dates and times will forfeit his/her original room assignment. Students who fail to check into their buildings and who also fail to enroll in classes by the late registration deadline will forfeit their prepayments as specified in the Student Housing License Agreement section of this policy and in the agreement, and their agreements will be voided. An enrolled student who fails to check into the building but who has not been granted an approved agreement release will remain subject to the financial obligation incurred by signing the agreement.

Each student must check out in person with the area coordinator or designated representative at the end of each semester and turn in the room key. His/her room must be clean and all personal property must be stored or removed. Housing assumes no responsibility for property left in rooms after check-out and/or student residence facility closing. Where applicable, additional charges for cleaning the room or removing abandoned items may be assessed to the student’s account.

VIII. Responsibility for and Maintenance of Property

Responsibility for Personal Property. The University does not assume any legal obligation to pay for the loss or damage to personal property of residents occurring in its buildings or on its grounds. Students or their parents are encouraged to carry appropriate insurance to cover such losses.

Aid in Maintenance. Students shall assist and cooperate with the University in the care and maintenance of the premises and shall report promptly to their residence hall staff any breakage, damage, or need for repair of the Student’s room, facilities, or equipment therein. Students shall not adjust or tamper with any mechanical equipment.

Students are responsible for the care and preservation of their rooms and all University-owned equipment and room furnishings. All students will complete a room inventory when they establish occupancy.  Damages occurring during their period of occupancy beyond normal wear will be assessed to the individual(s) responsible as will unusual cleaning charges. Furnishings must not be removed from the room or public areas without the authorization of the area coordinator. Students shall make no alterations, changes, repairs, remodeling, or painting of the premises. Pictures and other materials may be posted on walls within student rooms using a non-defacing adhesive. No nails or screws may be driven into any wall. The student(s) responsible will bear the cost of repair or replacement for damaged or misplaced furnishings. Cost for damages or loss occurring in the public areas of a building will be shared equally by all students responsible for that area of the building when the damage or loss cannot be attributed to specific individuals. A minimum damage charge of one dollar ($1.00) per occurrence will be assessed to each student.

Each student agrees to pay the University, immediately upon demand, for any and all damages to the premises, including but not limited to damages to exterior or interior walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, locks, hardware, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, shrubbery, lawn, appliances, fixtures, and furnishings of the unit and its surrounding premises, if such damage is caused by an act or failure to act by the student or guests of the student.

Removal of Personal Property; Abandoned Property. Personal property of any kind that remains in a room either after a student: (1) withdraws from classes at the University, (2) has his/her agreement terminated, (3) is otherwise relocated (from building to building, from room to room, from side to side, or within the designated area assigned), (4) has checked out; or, (5) after the facilities have been closed, will be considered abandoned property. The University shall have the right to remove the student’s personal property and store the belongings. The University will then dispose of such items in accordance with Policy 685 Disposal of Surplus Personal Property. Any applicable cleaning, packing, or storage charges will be assessed to the student’s account.  Housing assumes no responsibility for abandoned property that is lost, stolen, or damaged during packing, storage, or disposal.

IX. Safety and Security

Residents must share responsibility for maintaining a safe and secure residential community. Residents should keep their doors and windows locked any time they are out of the room, even for short periods of time. Residents who do not keep their doors and windows locked any time they are out of the room, or who prop open wing or building doors may be subject to disciplinary action. All visitors to residence halls must enter/exit only from the main entrance/door of the building, unless special permission has been secured from the area coordinator. Residents leaving the building through locked security doors are responsible for ensuring that the doors close to the locked position.

During holiday periods, doors and windows should be securely locked, and window shades should be opened. Items of value should not be left in a room over a holiday period. Any theft or losses should be reported to the University Police. Housing is not responsible for loss, damage, or theft of personal property. Residents and/or their parents are strongly encouraged to carry appropriate insurance to cover the potential theft, loss, or damage of personal property.

Card Access Systems. All students are expected to carry and swipe their own student identification (ID) cards to enter residence hall buildings with an installed card access system.  Students who experience difficulty using their ID cards to gain entry to a building should contact the residence hall front desk. As a security precaution, students who lose their ID cards should report the loss to the residence hall front desk and the ID Office. Residents are not permitted to share or loan their ID cards with other persons.

Keys. Room or apartment keys are the property of the University, and a student may not have duplicate keys made. Students who misplace their keys and need access to their rooms should contact their residence hall front desk to be issued a temporary key. As a security precaution, students who lose their keys will have their locks changed and the core replaced and will be charged the appropriate fee. Residents are not permitted to share or loan their keys to other persons.

Fire safety. The sounding of false fire alarms and tampering with firefighting or safety equipment, including extinguishers, hoses, EXIT signs, and the alarm system is prohibited. Residents are responsible for safely evacuating the building immediately upon the sounding of the alarm or as otherwise directed by residence hall staff. Students failing to appropriately evacuate the building may be subject to disciplinary action.

Fire drills. Each residence hall will conduct a minimum of two (2) fire exit drills each semester.  One (1) will be announced and notice given to all building staff and residents. One (1) will be unannounced without notice to either the building staff or residents.

Disease. Students will report immediately to the University any infectious or contagious disease occurring within the residence halls or apartments. This is to insure the safety of all residents.

X. Entry and Searches

A student residence facility may be entered at all reasonable times to examine and inspect the facility for maintenance, health, safety, emergency purposes, or to render service and/or repairs to the facility. Students shall permit the duly authorized agent, employee, or representative of the University to enter without notice any part of the dwelling unit during reasonable hours for the purpose of inventory, maintenance inspections, improvements, or repair to any part of such dwelling unit.

Any student residence facility may be searched with the consent of the student or any other occupant of the facility.

All entries and searches, other than those described in sections immediately above, shall be conducted in accordance with federal and state laws.

Health and Safety Inspections; Maintenance Inspections. Health and safety inspections will be conducted in all student residence facilities on a monthly basis by Housing staff to determine compliance with safety, health, and maintenance standards. Notice will be given prior to these inspections. Maintenance inspections occur when a work order has been submitted or when Housing staff becomes aware of an issue and will be conducted by University personnel during reasonable hours. Residents who fail to comply with the safety, health, and maintenance standards may be subject to disciplinary action.  

XI. Visitation

Students and occupants shall be responsible for the compliance of their invited guests with this policy.  Violators are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.  

A.  Visitation hours will be noon until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and noon until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.  All visitors are required to check in at the front desk or other designated area and must be escorted at all times. Guests are not to wander in the residence halls nor are they permitted in opposite sex restrooms. If escorted at all times by the host, guests are permitted in any residence hall common area.

B.  Guests will be permitted in rooms only with the permission of the other occupants of the room. Interference with another occupant’s privacy, use, and enjoyment of the room will not be allowed.

C.  Visitation hours during summer sessions will be noon until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and noon until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

D.  It is the responsibility of all students to be aware of the visitation hours/policy for the hall they are visiting. Failure to comply with the visitation rules may result in disciplinary action.

E.  A register will be maintained at each residence hall front desk that has twenty-four (24) hour staff. Students having guests are responsible for seeing that their guests provide identification and sign the register when entering and leaving the hall as directed by residence hall staff.

F.  Each guest must be escorted by the student host from the lobby to the room he/she is visiting and from the room back to the lobby.

G.  Room checks may be made at any time during visitation by residence hall personnel. Violations of visitation guidelines will be reported to the appropriate area coordinator of the participating hall. Disposition of such cases will be treated in the same manner as other violations of University policy.

H.  There will be no more than a total of five (5) guests in a room at any given time except in cases where guests are members of the student’s immediate family.

I.  Students and guests must be properly attired in apparel suitable for class.

J.  Any student who violates visitation policies may lose subsequent visitation privileges, as well as incur other disciplinary action.

K.  Visitation regulations apply to all guests regardless of gender.

L.  Overnight guests of the same sex are permitted, if the following conditions are met:

1.  The guest is registered with the area coordinator prior to staying overnight.

2.  The student host informs the guest of residence hall regulations and accepts responsibility for the guest’s conduct.

3.  Permission for a guest to stay more than two (2) consecutive nights must be obtained from the Director, Housing & Residential Life and/or designee.

XII. Housing Disciplinary Offenses

Students, occupants, and guests are subject to, and shall comply with, the rules and policies of the Board, and all University rules and policies, as well as all federal and state laws. Violators are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.   

Housing & Residential Life has adopted the following non-exclusive list providing notice of offenses for which students may be subject to disciplinary action through the process set out in Section XIV.  Students may be subject to additional disciplinary charges and sanctions through the Office of Student Conduct.

A.  The use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the University campus and in all student residence facilities. Empty alcohol containers (including but not limited to bottles, cans, shot glasses, flasks, and kegs) may not be used for display purposes in any student residence facility.

B.  Bicycles and Motorcycles. Parking or storing bicycles, mopeds, or motorcycles is not permitted in hallways, stairways, outside walkways, fire escapes, or lobbies of student residence facilities. Bicycles may be kept inside the facility, in bicycle storage rooms or individual student rooms, providing they do not block entrances or exits. Bicycles may not be kept in public areas (i.e. hallways, lounges, stairwells, etc.).

C.  Business or Commercial Use. Student residence facilities may not be used for any business or commercial purpose. The facilities are to be used for residential purposes only. 

D.  Cable Theft. Cable theft is the receipt of cable services without the express authorization of a cable television operator. Theft includes splitting cable wires or attaching a black box that can alter the cable equipment owned by the operator.

E.  Computer and Network Acceptable Use. Policy 910 Information Technology Resources is intended to prevent abuses of equipment and services, and to ensure that the use of computers and networks honors the public trust and supports the University’s mission to educate students, conduct research, and provide public service. Using MTSU and state resources for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of copyright-protected information, music, video, and software is prohibited.

F.  Construction. No construction of any kind is allowed without prior written consent of the University.

G.  Data Service. All student residence facilities have direct data network access via Ethernet jack and wireless. All residents using the MTSU data network must adhere to all provisions of Policy 910 Information Technology Resources.

  1. Wireless routers are not permitted.
  2. Servers of any type are not allowed in student residence facilities. This includes but is not limited to Web, FTP, telnet, game, peer-to- peer, and file servers. Servers discovered in operation are subject to disconnection.
  3. Distributing copyrighted material without permission is not permitted and may result in suspension of network access as well as other sanctions.
  4. Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are centrally assigned and may not be changed. To receive this address and other necessary configuration information, the network card must be set to obtain address information automatically via Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Computers attempting to circumvent this registration and assignment process are subject to disconnection.

H.  Disturbances or Nuisances. No student resident shall permit or create a nuisance or disturb any other residents of the facility. Students shall not conduct or permit activities in their student residence facilities or in any manner create disturbances which would cause disruption to other residents.

I.  Drugs. The unlawful use and/or possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia is prohibited on the University campus and in all student residence facilities. Students found responsible for drug violations will be removed from the residence halls, apartments, and/or houses.  Housing and Residential Life has a zero tolerance policy meaning students found in violation of drug or drug-related policies will be removed from the residence halls and/or apartments and be responsible for paying out the academic year housing agreement in full.  Any reasonable suspicion of drug use or possession including odor of burnt or raw marijuana, physical characteristics of impairment, and/or possession of any paraphernalia that can be used for drug consumption will lead to an investigation and possible violation of this rule.

J.  Electrical Kitchen Appliances. Appliances with open heating elements may not be operated in student residence hall rooms.

K.  Failure to Comply with Sanctions. Failure to fully comply with disciplinary sanctions imposed subsequent to the process set forth in Section XIV.

L.  Failure to Cooperate with Institutional Officials. Any act of insubordination or failure to cooperate with University officials, including all levels of Housing staff acting in the performance of their duties, is grounds for the immediate termination of the Agreement.

M.  Fire Hazards. Students shall permit no combustible material to be kept on the premises and shall take every precaution to prevent fires. Fire escapes shall be kept clear of all items and shall be used in case of emergency only. Students will not store or lock anything on or immediately adjacent (within two [2] feet) to electrical meters or conduits from these meters leading into residence halls, apartments, and houses.

N.  Fire Safety. The sounding of false fire alarms and tampering with firefighting or safety equipment, including extinguishers, hoses, EXIT signs, and the alarm system is prohibited. Residents are responsible for safely evacuating the building immediately upon the sounding of the alarm or as otherwise directed by residence hall staff. Students failing to appropriately evacuate the building may be subject to disciplinary action.

O.  Firearms, Explosives, Fireworks, and Inflammables. The possession or use of firearms, slingshots, paint ball guns, super-soakers, explosives, fireworks, inflammable fluids, dangerous chemical mixtures, pellet guns, B.B. guns, propelled missiles, tasers, stun guns or ammunition (which includes but is not limited to bullets, paint balls, pellets, and B.B.s) is prohibited.

P.  Heating. Students shall not use any appliances for heating except those provided with prior written consent of the University.

Q.  Illegal activities. Illegal activities of any kind within student residence facilities are prohibited.

R.  Keys. Room or apartment keys are the property of the University, and a student may not have duplicate keys made. Students who misplace their keys and need access to their rooms should contact their residence hall front desk to be issued a temporary key. As a security precaution, students who lose their keys will have their locks changed and the core replaced and will be charged the appropriate fee. Residents are not permitted to share or loan their keys to other persons.

S.  Noise and Quiet Hours. The primary aim of Housing and Residential Life is to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the pursuit of residents’ academic goals and to provide an opportunity for uninterrupted study and rest. Courtesy hours are in effect twenty-four (24) hours a day. Unnecessary noise, from whatever the source, must be discontinued upon request. Quiet hours are in effect from 9:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. every day. Students who show a disregard for quiet hours may have their Agreement canceled and/or be restricted from living or visiting in the residence halls. Strict quiet hours will be in effect twenty-four (24) hours a day beginning one (1) day prior to the start of final exams and will continue through the end of the exam period.

T.  Pets. No pets of any kind are allowed in the residence halls or University apartments, with the exception of fish contained in one aquarium no larger than ten (10) gallons.  Residents must make appropriate arrangements for the care of fish during holiday or other break periods. Housing and Residential Life will not assume responsibility for feeding, cleaning, or otherwise maintaining aquariums. This does not exclude accommodations required pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended.

U.  Premises. Students shall maintain the premises, including their yards, in a neat and orderly condition. No refuse, loose paper, cans, bottles, etc., shall be permitted to accumulate outside or underneath dwelling units.

V.  Prohibited Items. The following is a non-exhaustive list of items which are prohibited in student residence facilities: water-filled furniture, personal air conditioners, ice boxes, unauthorized  refrigerators, pianos, exterior aerials or antennas, heavy electrical  appliances such as laundry and dishwashing machines,  personal stoves, extension cords, halogen lamps, candles, incense, firearms, explosives, fireworks, flammable fluids, slingshots, paint ball guns, super-soakers, dangerous chemical mixtures, pellet guns, B.B. guns, ammunition  (which includes but is not limited to bullets, paint balls, pellets, and B.B.s) propelled missiles, alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs or paraphernalia.

W.  Security Doors. At no time may security doors be propped open.

X.  Signs. Students shall display no signs, placards, or banners of any type in or about the premises without the prior approval of Housing staff.

Y.  Smoking. Pursuant to Policy 750 Tobacco-Free Campus, smoking (including vaporizers, hookahs, e-cigs, etc.) is prohibited on the University campus and within student residence facilities. Students wishing to use tobacco products must do so in the privacy of a personal vehicle. Tobacco products can only be stored in a private vehicle. 

Z.  Soliciting Sales. Soliciting, canvassing, or the use of student residence facilities as a location for selling is prohibited unless written permission is granted by the Dean of Students. Since solicitors or other salespersons are not allowed access to the premises except with permission from the University, students are requested to notify the front desk of violations of this rule. 

AA.  Violation of General Policies. Any violation of the general policies or procedures of the University as published in an official institutional publication, including the intentional failure to perform any required action or the intentional performance of any prohibited action.

BB.  Violation of State or Federal Laws. Any violation of state or federal laws or regulations proscribing conduct or establishing offenses, which laws and regulations are incorporated herein by reference.

CC.  Violation of the Terms of the Student Housing License Agreement. Violations of the terms of the agreement may result in disciplinary proceedings.

DD.  Windows, Screens, Roofs, and Ledges. Students shall not shake, clean, or hang any bedclothes, rugs, mops, dust cloths, etc., from windows. Students are not permitted to remove or tamper with the screens at any time. Roofs and ledges of residence halls and/or apartments are off limits.

XIII. Guidelines and Procedures for Housing Conduct Violations

Students who engage in prohibited conduct may be subject to the disciplinary processes of Housing and Residential Life, as well as other University disciplinary processes through the Office of Student Conduct. The following guidelines are provided to assist students in understanding and responding to the Housing and Residential Life judicial process, including its use of incident reports, conduct violation referrals, disciplinary conferences, and applicable forms. The imposition of sanctions for conduct violations resulting from incident reports filed with regard to housing infractions does not preclude additional hearing and sanctioning processes through the University disciplinary process. Individual circumstances can determine varying levels of response, and sanctions can take into account the specific facts of each situation. By signing the agreement, a student agrees to support and abide by the policies, rules, and disciplinary procedures governing a living and learning community.

Responsibility for Administration. Unless indicated otherwise, all initial violations of Housing rules will be adjudicated by the Area Coordinators in each of their respective areas. When necessary, cases will be referred to the Associate Director of Residential Education or designee, including cases involving multiple violations of Housing rules. The Associate Director will be responsible for adjudicating all cases referred to her/him and applying the appropriate sanctions.  Alternately or additionally, the Associate Director may elect to refer all cases which involve multiple violations of Policy 540 Student Disciplinary Rules, when inappropriate behavior persists, or when other circumstances warrant such action, to the Office of Student Conduct for disposition pursuant to the University disciplinary process.

Conduct Violation Referral. Cases are adjudicated from an incident report submitted to the Area Coordinator by a Housing staff member and/or resident of the hall. Cases may also be adjudicated from incident reports provided by the University Police.  

Disciplinary Conference.  A student alleged to have acted in violation of this policy will receive a written notice directing the student to appear for a disciplinary conference. The notice will be provided at least five (5) days prior to the date of the conference. In addition to providing the date, time, and location of the conference, the notice will inform the student of:

A.  The policy/rule violation(s) for which he/she is being charged.

B.  The opportunity to call witnesses or present other evidence on his/her behalf.

C.  The right to be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choice. The advisor is not allowed to participate in the conference and may only advise the Student.  The advisor cannot be a student who has been charged with a violation of the Housing and Residential Life Rules related to the same incident. 

D.  The right to a copy of the Incident Report, if any, on which the conference is being held.

At the conference, the student will be interviewed by the appropriate Housing official. During this interview, the student will be advised as to what Housing policies/rules have allegedly been violated and will be given an opportunity to explain his/her version of the act or incident, or to otherwise refute the allegations.

The Housing official will review the incident, taking into account the information provided by the student. A determination will be made as to whether policy/rule was violated or not, and the student will be advised as to whether or not sanctions are warranted. The standard of proof required for a finding of violation of the Housing and Residential Life Rules shall be the preponderance of the evidence.

At the conclusion of the disciplinary conference, or at a later point as deemed necessary, the student will be provided a disposition form indicating what violation(s) the student has been found responsible for and the sanction imposed. The decision of the Housing official is final.

Effect of Noncooperation. A student who fails to cooperate, ignores, or otherwise does not respond after receiving notice of the disciplinary conference may be subject to temporary measures such as having the locks changed on his/her residence or having his/her student ID card blocked. If the student continues to not respond, the Associate Director of Residential Education or designee will initiate action for possible cancellation of the agreement and removal of the student from Housing and Residential Life.

Failure to Comply with Sanctions. It is expected that all sanctions will be completed within the time frame given in writing to the student. Failure to comply with sanctions in a timely manner may result in a meeting with the Associate Director of Residential Education or designee. The Associate Director of Residential Education may give a written extension if such is deemed appropriate, or may initiate the disciplinary process to consider this violation.

XIV. Housing Disciplinary Sanctions

Upon a determination that a student has violated any of the Housing disciplinary offenses set forth in this policy or the general policies of the University, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, either singly or in combination. Following is a non-exclusive list of potential sanctions for violations of the housing disciplinary policy

A.  Restitution. Restitution may be required in situations which involve destruction, damage, or loss of property. When restitution is required, the student is obligated to compensate a party or parties for a loss suffered as a result of the violation(s). Any such payment in restitution shall be limited to actual cost of repair, replacement, or financial loss.

B.  Housing Probation. If a student is engaging in repeated or continuing prohibited conduct, the student may be placed on Housing probation. The student will be informed that during this time period any further violations may be cause for cancellation of the agreement.

C.  Residential Service. A student may be required to perform specified tasks or service to the residence hall community under the supervision of a University official.

D.  Community Impact Statement/Project. A student may be required to complete a written paper, project, or presentation which relates to the offense.

E.  Involuntary Reassignment. A student may be involuntarily moved to another residence hall if warranted by his/her behavior.

F. Cancellation of Agreement. A student’s agreement is canceled, and the student must vacate his/her place of residence within twenty-four (24) hours of notification or as directed by the appropriate Housing official. No refund of fees for the academic year will be made if the student is required to vacate assigned space for disciplinary reasons.

XV. Special Regulations Applicable to Womack Lane Apartments

Womack Lane Apartments are available for the use of full- time students with a spouse, and/or a dependent child or dependent children who will reside on campus with the full-time student. A student does not have to attend school during the Summer sessions, provided the student enrolls full-time the following semester. A one (1)-bedroom furnished apartment will be assigned to a family unit of three (3), and a two (2)-bedroom unfurnished apartment will be assigned to a family unit no larger than five (5).

Information Requested by the University. Students shall submit to the University, upon request, signed statements or other required documents setting forth the pertinent facts concerning their household composition and student status. The University may reexamine such information periodically for the purpose of determining the right of continued occupancy.

Supervision of Children. Parents, legal guardians, and babysitters are responsible for providing appropriate care and supervision for children in their care and are responsible for the conduct of such children while the children are on Womack Lane Apartments property and MTSU campus grounds. Children under twelve (12) years of age must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other adult while on the Womack Lane Apartments property, including the Womack Lane Apartments playground or in the Womack Lane Apartments Center.

XVI. Miscellaneous Regulations

A.  Transfer or Subletting Units. Students shall not transfer possession, lease, or sublet the premises nor give accommodations to roomers, boarders, or lodgers, and any attempted assignment or subleasing shall be void without the written consent of the University.

B.  Rubbish, Garbage, and Waste. Students shall deposit garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a manner prescribed by the University and laws and ordinances covering the use of the premises. At no time are personal garbage bags or cans permitted in hallways, breezeways, lobbies, etc. Examples of other personal items not permitted in residence hall and/or apartment common areas include but are not limited to boxes, furniture, and appliances.

C.  Liability for Loss or Damage.

1.  The University does not maintain insurance on any personal property of students, and all personal property of students on the premises shall be at the risk of the student. The University shall not be liable for any damages to, or theft of, personal property of students in student residence facilities.

2. The University shall not be liable for any damages or injuries to any student or the occupants of student residence facilities, or to guests or invitees of such students resulting from any act or failure to act by the student or any other occupant of the premises, or from any lack of repair of the facility or any accident occurring in or about the facility, except as authorized by and allowed pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 9-8-301, et. seq.

Each student who occupies any residence unit agrees to indemnify and hold the University harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, or causes of action whatsoever, asserted by any person arising out of or in any way connected with the use of the premises by the student.

D.  Residential Parking. Residence parking areas are reserved for residence hall and/or apartment residents. All on-campus residents with vehicles are required to purchase an appropriate parking decal from Parking and Transportation Services. Stickers for Womack Lane families are limited to two (2) per apartment. Unauthorized vehicles and/or abandoned or immobile vehicles will be cited and/or removed at the owner’s expense.

E.  Refrigerator Guidelines. Small refrigerators are permitted in residence hall rooms provided they are no larger than 3.2 cubic feet and do not exceed 2.5 amps.

F.  Storage. Storage of all household or personal property outside of dwelling units shall be in such manner as prescribed by the University. Students shall not store items in areas including but not limited to attics, breezeways, hallways, lobbies, or underneath dwelling units.

XVII. Missing Students

See Policy 720 Missing Residential Student Notification.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

References: Policies 540 Student Disciplinary Rules; 685 Disposal of Surplus Personal Property; 720 Missing Residential Student Notification; 750 Tobacco-Free Campus; 910 Information Technology Resources; Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004; T.C.A. §§ 9-8-301 et. seq.; Higher Education Act of 2008.