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Residential Living Policies

All students are held to the terms and conditions of the housing contract that they agree to when submitting a housing application. Students are encouraged to read the entire housing contract and keep a copy for their records. Housing contracts are available at the link below. https://www.gsw.edu/Assets/Campus%20Life/ResidentLife/2016-2017/2018-19%20Housing%20Terms%20%20Conditions.pdf

General Information

Abandoned Property

Items left by a resident at the end of their contract period or when they leave an assigned space will be considered abandoned by Residential Living staff. These items will be inventoried and stored for a period of 30 days, during which Residential Living staff will make attempts to contact the owner.  A charge for abandoned property will be added to the student’s account. If the property is not claimed and collected by the owner, Residential Living will disposed of the items or donate them to charity. Property left in hallways, stairwells, lounges, and other common areas will be considered abandoned.

Animals

Fish in a 10-gallon (or smaller) aquarium are the only animals that are permitted in the residence halls and apartments. If you decide to bring a fish tank, it is the resident’s responsibility to ensure they are cared for and their tank is clean and free from leaks. Unauthorized animals will result in student disciplinary action.

Behavioral Expectations

Due to the likelihood of property damage and the potential for personal injury, ball playing, Frisbees, Nerf guns, water fights (water balloons, water guns, and/or hoses), and “horseplay” are not permitted in the residence halls.

Bicycles, Scooters, Skateboards, Roller Skates/Blades, Hoverboards, etc.

Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, Segways, skates, and skateboards are not to be ridden or used inside of any residence hall. Residents are encouraged to store bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates/blades within their room/apartment, exterior bike rack, or area designated by the area supervisor. When secured outside, bicycles should only be secured to bike racks, and must not block stairs, hallways, or any other area which would prevent residents and/or guests from safely evacuating the building in the event of a fire or other emergency. The University can assume no responsibility for the security of bicycles. If kept in the room/apartment, any damage caused by storage of these items will be assessed to the resident.

Hoverboards, including self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters, and hands-free segways, are prohibited in the residence halls and on campus.

Items not listed here that are misused within the building may be confiscated at the discretion of Residential Living staff. Contact your Resident Assistant and/or area supervisor for more information.

Cable Television

Cable service is included in individual rooms and living rooms in the apartments. Residents are responsible for connecting the incoming cable to their electronic devices. To ensure all channels are received a channel scan should be completed on the television. To report problems with cable TV, put in a Maintenance Request on the Residential Living webpage.

Census Data Collection

The University reserves the right to share data concerning all campus residents with the U.S. Census Bureau whenever the university receives verified notification of requested information.

Check-In/Check-Out Procedures

Upon move in at the beginning of the contract term, residents will have their CanesCard programmed to their building and hallway and be issued a room key. Residents are required to complete a Room Condition Report and are strongly encouraged to comment on any major discrepancies between their perception of the condition of their rooms (and furnishings) and those noted on the form by a Residential Living staff member. Reporting any pre-existing damage is the only way to avoid being held financially accountable for damage found at the end of occupancy. Charges for residence hall room damages may not be appealed if residents do not submit Room Condition Reports at the beginning of occupancy.

Check out takes place each time you change rooms/apartments or when you move out of the hall. To check out, you must either schedule an appointment with your Resident Assistant or complete an Express Checkout Packet. Damages incurred between check in and check out may be assessed during check-out. Failure to follow established check-out procedures may result in an improper check-out charge.

Common Area Computers

The common area computers are for the use of the residents in the hall and have been set up to meet the general needs of the residents. To ensure continued access to the computers, students are to refrain from activities, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Do not save anything onto the computer hard drive. Residents should save their work on removable storage media.
  • Do not change the configuration of the computers. They have been set up for general computer activities: word processing, spreadsheets, email, etc.
  • Do not try to fix computer problems. If you are experiencing difficulty with a computer, contact Residential Living staff immediately; they will contact GSW IIT to begin the repair process.
  • Contact your roommate(s).
  • Contact the Resident Assistant on Duty by calling the posted Duty Phone number.
  • Contact the RA on their hall/floor.
  • Contact any available RA.
  • Contact the Residence Hall supervisor for that area.
  • Contact Residential Living Office (Mondays – Thursdays, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM; Fridays, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM) or Public Safety during all other   times and on holidays.
  • Have lived on campus four or more semesters (not including summer terms)
  • Will be at least 21 years old by August 31 of the fall term
  • Are married
  • Have a child or other legal dependent living with them
  • Will live with a parent or (former) legal guardian, if under the age of 21, at a physical address no more than 50 miles of the university
  • The unit and power cord must be U.L. approved.
  • Maximum size, 1500 watts.
  • The unit and power cord must be U.L. approved.
  • Maximum size, approximately 4.3 cubic feet.
  • Maximum of 2 running amps.
  • Air conditioners
  • Appliances with open flames
  • Ceiling fans not already installed
  • Electric blankets
  • Electric grills
  • Electric skillets
  • Extension cords without a surge protector
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Items with exposed heating elements
  • Lava lamps
  • Multiple extension cords plugged into each other
  • Space heaters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Toasters
  • Other appliances requiring 220 volts or more than 1500 watts, or appliances that pose an electrical-overload hazard
  • State Fire Code Regulations must be adhered to at all times
  • Use only small nails or tacks to hang pictures and other wall hangings (no glue, large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, duct tape, or double-sided tape)
  • Decals cannot be affixed to any university property
  • Wallpaper or adhesive-backed shelf paper may not be affixed to furnishings or walls
  • Carpet tape is not to be used
  • Furniture may not be removed from your room/apartment. Furniture cannot be left in hallways or common areas. You may be subject to a replacement cost and disciplinary action if you remove furniture. Storage is not available in the halls.
  • Painting rooms/apartments is strictly prohibited.
  • Large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, and double-sided tape on the walls, furniture or fixtures are prohibited. TVs may not be mounted to the wall. Use of small tacks is permitted.

Failure to follow these and other GSW Information and Instructional Technology policies will result in possible disciplinary action and/or removal of all common area computers within a residence hall. For more information on the GSW IIT Policies, see https://www.gsw.edu/resources/facultyandstaff/iit/index.

Computer and Network Usage

Wireless internet connectivity is available in residence halls.  Users connecting to ResNet will either be required to login or register their device. Video game systems, smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, Roku, Slingbox, and other internet capable entertainment devices should may be registered in ClearPass.

Residents are prohibited from connecting personal hubs, switches, routers, and/or wireless access points to the wired network connection in the residence halls. This is against the campus Computer and Network Usage Policy and may cause connectivity problems for you and your neighbors. Additionally, wireless printers and wireless digital media players (ChromeCast, Amazon Fire Stick, etc.) are not supported on the residence hall network. Other devices, such as game systems and smart TVs will not work over the wireless network and require a wired Ethernet connection.

E-mail Communication

E-mail is Georgia Southwestern State University’s official method of communication. Residential Living regularly communicates important information and updates to students via their GSW e-mail accounts. Residents should check their e-mail account regularly for important Residential Living information regarding room sign-ups, events and activities, check-out procedures, conduct notifications, and other announcements.

Gambling

Residents are required to follow local and state laws as they pertain to gambling. The playing of cards or any other game of skill or chance for money or other items is not permitted within the residence halls.

Guests

Guests are defined as persons who are not contractual occupants of the specific room/suite/apartment in question. Consideration for room/suitemates and other floor students dictates that guests do not infringe on the rights of contracted students. Guests must abide by all policies of the residence halls, and hosts are responsible for the conduct of their guests. The guest policy exists to protect the rights of the contracted student to privacy and the opportunity to sleep and study freely. Space for group studying and socializing is available in the hall common spaces.

Guests must enter and exit through residence hall lobby door(s). Guests are not permitted to move about nor occupy any area of a residence hall without the escort of a residential student. Guests are never permitted to remain in a resident’s (private) bedroom for any length of time during which the resident leaves the suite or apartment.

Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests until the guest(s) exits the residence hall.

A resident may host no more than two guests at any given time. The residents of a suite or an apartment may not host more than four guests at any given time.

Whenever a Desk Assistant is on duty, residents will be asked to sign in their guests and guests will be asked to present a photo ID to the Desk Assistant before leaving the residence hall lobby.

Guests are permitted to stay no more than two consecutive nights and/or or four nights within a calendar month.

Cohabitation is strictly prohibited and is defined as a visitor spending an excessive amount of time or storing an excessive amount of belongings in a room or apartment that they are not assigned to.

First-year residents may host guests between 10:00 AM -3:00 AM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and from 10:00 AM - 1:00 AM on all other days of the week. Upper-class residents do not have time restrictions on their guests.

Guest(s) under the age of 18 are not permitted to visit or remain in any area of a residence hall, including a resident’s room, between the hours of 11:00 PM - 10:00 AM without the express permission of the Residence Hall supervisor or the permission of the Assistant Director, Residential Living. Guests under the age of twelve are only permitted visit residents between 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Insurance

The University does not carry insurance to cover loss or damage to residents’ personal effects. Individuals desiring such protection must make arrangements for the necessary coverage through their parents' homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance. To ensure the safety of your belongings, remember to always lock your room/apartment door when you leave.

Keys, CanesCard, and LockOuts

CanesCards are programmed for entry to the exterior entrance doors to the designated building and hallway. The exterior building and hallway doors are locked 24 hours a day. Residents receive their room key from Residential Living staff. It is the residents’ responsibility to keep the key secure and return it to Residential Living staff upon vacating their room at the end of the contract period. Residents are responsible for carrying their CanesCard and room key at all times. For security reasons, residents are not to loan or duplicate their key or CanesCard. Residents are prohibited from their leaving keys in door locks or other areas where they may be accessible.

A resident who loses or damages his/her room key may be allowed to purchase a replacement key for $25. If a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member determines that a lock change is necessary, the resident shall be responsible required to pay the following to cover the cost of replacing the locks on all doors within the suite or apartment:

  • Double suites - $75
  • Private suites and two bedroom apartments - $125
  • Four bedroom apartments - $250

The Residential Living staff realizes that even with the best precautions, residents may still lock themselves out of their room. If this happens, the resident should follow the steps below in the order listed:

Requests for doors to be opened are restricted to the door of the room/apartment belonging to the resident who is making the request. Doors to other peoples' rooms/apartments will not be opened for any reason.

Lofted Bed Safety Rails

For safety reasons, residents who choose to utilize a loft bed provided by Georgia Southwestern State University are strongly encouraged to use the provided safety rail and keep beds away from exterior windows. Homemade bed lofts, purchased bed lofts or other bed modifications are not permitted.

Lost and Found

Residents should turn in all found items to their area office or Resident Assistant. Lost items will be held for 30 days. No claimed Items will be either turned over to Public Safety or donated. Items such as electronics or identification will be turned into Public Safety.

Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with reasonable directions and requests of a Residential Living or University staff member, or failure to heed an official summons of any university official acting in the performance of his or her duties could result in a disciplinary referral.

Occupancy

Residents may occupy their residential assignments only on the dates specified in the contract term. Students registered for an assignment prior to the beginning of a term will be responsible to pay the amount set for the entire term regardless of when they move in. A predetermined fee will be charged to a resident’s account should the student be approved to stay on campus for any length of time whose dates are not included in the contract term.

Occupancy of rooms is only allowed for the resident assigned to the room by the university. At no time is a resident permitted to sublet their assignments to others. Cohabitation is also expressly prohibited. In all residence halls, rooms shall be vacated by the date published by Residential Living.

The University reserves the right to: (1) authorize or deny room and roommate changes, (2) place additional students in a resident's assigned room,(3) consolidate vacancies, (4) re-designate building usage, or (5) relocate students for reasons including, but not limited to, renovation, maintenance, construction, roommate conflicts, and disciplinary sanctions. Rooms must be vacated no later than twenty-four (24) hours after the cancellation of a resident’s contract.

Occupying Empty Spaces

Residents may not use or occupy a vacant space in their room/apartment. Empty spaces should always be ready for an incoming student to occupy. Using an empty space could result in being charged for said space, as well as additional fees for cleaning and/or repairing damages.

Parking

Residents are required to register their vehicles, display a GSW parking permit on their vehicles, and follow all university parking regulations when on university property. To view a campus parking map, log in to your personal parking account, request a guest parking pass, and access university parking regulations, visit https://www.gsw.edu/campus-life/campusliving/publicsafety/parking.

Photo Disclosure Policy

Residential Living has the right to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, broadcast, distribute and create derivative works of university related photographs or videotaped images taken in public spaces of on-campus housing for use in connection with the activities of the university for promoting, publicizing or explaining the university and Residential Living. This includes, without limitation, the right to publish such images in the university’s student newspaper, on Residential Living social media, alumni publications, on the university’s website, and public relations/promotional materials, such as marketing and admissions publications. These images may appear in any of the wide variety of formats and media available now and in the future to the university and Residential Living, including, but not limited to print, broadcast, videotape, and electronic/online media. All photos are taken without compensation to the resident or claims for payment or royalties. All electronic or non-electronic negatives, videos, slides, photographs and prints are the property of and owned by the university. Any questions regarding this photo disclosure policy should be emailed to housing@gsw.edu.

Quiet Hours/Courtesy Hours

Quiet hours are maintained to help provide an atmosphere that is conducive to good scholarship and to promote an environment where individuals can learn and study. The enforcement of quiet hours is the responsibility of each resident. Any action that interferes with a student's right to study is a violation of this standard and may be subject to disciplinary action. Stereos, video games, televisions, and voices should be kept at a level that cannot be heard outside the bedroom, suite, and/or apartment.

Quiet hours are in effect daily from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. while courtesy hours are in effect at all times. You should expect to be able to study anytime. Please observe requests from your neighbor or roommate if they ask you not to disrupt their study time, regardless of the time of day.

During final exam periods at the end of each semester, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

Residency Requirement

All full-time students who have earned less than 60 credit hours are required to live on campus and to purchase a meal plan unless they:

Students who fall into the latter three categories are required to submit an exemption request form to the housing office. The university reserves the right to deny exemption requests when students are unable to furnish appropriate documentation which demonstrates their eligibility to be exempt from the residency requirement.

Room/Apartment Changes

Room/apartment changes may take place as space is available and after occupancy has stabilized, usually two weeks after the start of the semester. Residents should discuss room/apartment changes with your roommate. The resident seeking the room/apartment change should complete a Room Change Request to initiate the room change process. Residents can get this form from their Resident Assistant or area supervisor.

Residents will receive notification if the change is approved. Residents are not move until they are notified that the change is approved. If they move without prior approval from their area supervisor, they may be assessed a charge, required to return to your original location, and/or face disciplinary action.

Residents who are having issues or a conflict with their roommate(s) should work with their RA or area supervisor prior to beginning the room change process.

Room Entry

While university staff members will make every effort to respect the privacy of residential students, the university reserves the right of entry for posted inspections, verification of occupancy and repairs, or anytime a staff member has a plausible reason to believe that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or a Residential Living policy is taking place. The University also reserves the right to enter any room, suite, or apartment within its residence halls whenever a credible threat to a student’s health or property is suspected, or as otherwise necessary to preserve campus order and discipline.

Illegal materials or other items in plain view will be documented or removed if they are noticed in the course of a maintenance repair, inspection, or in response to a violation of university or departmental policy. The resident will receive written notification of this action if confiscation/documentation of property is required when the student is absent.

A resident’s room/apartment will not be entered without knocking. A sufficient time lapse will be allowed to provide the students ample opportunity to open the door. If no response is received, the room/apartment may be entered under the conditions listed above. Before entering a room/apartment with the use of a key, staff members will identify themselves.

Roommate Agreements

Roommate agreements are provided for each roommate grouping to work through and collaborate on what living together will look like for the year. Roommates are expected to complete an agreement each year. Roommates will establish a roommate agreement each time there is a new roommate in the room. This roommate agreement will be kept on file with the Resident Assistant of the hall.

Smoking/Tobacco Use

The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used Georgia Southwestern State University is expressly prohibited. “Tobacco Products” is defined as cigarettes; cigars; pipes; all forms of smokeless tobacco; clove cigarettes; and any other smoking devices that use tobacco, such as hookahs; or devices that simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes and vapor devices. Any individual found violating this policy may face disciplinary action and be charged to remove the odor or other damages caused.

Social Media Community Standards

Residential Life uses various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The department welcomes student participation through comments and posts as long as the content adheres to the GSW Student Code of Conduct and Residential Living Policies and Procedures. While the moderators of these sites will not necessarily remove “negative” comments, Residential Living reserves the right delete posts that include offensive language, “trolling,” “flaming,” adult content, inflammatory political or religious content, unrelated posts (nonsensical and extremely off-topic), spam, illegal content (relating to drug, illegal activities with intent to commit, copyright infringement or the spreading of malicious software), real-life personal information about self or others, and posts attempting to impersonate an individual or organization.

Student Employment

Residential Living is one of the largest employers of students on campus, including Resident Assistants, Desk Assistants, Student Assistants, and Conference Assistants (summer only). For more information about employment opportunities available, please visit the Residential Living webpage.

Facilities

Appliances and Electrical Fixtures

Because of health, safety and sanitation considerations, only certain appliances are authorized for use in the residence halls: small electrical appliances that have a completely enclosed heating element and are U.L. approved (i.e. rice steamers etc.) and small refrigerators that meet the residence hall specifications.

One microwave is allowed in each room of all residence halls and must meet the following requirements:

Refrigerators are allowed in your room if they meet the following requirements: 

During breaks, Residential Living suggests unplugging and defrosting refrigerators.

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

Basic Care

Residents are responsible for the care and upkeep of their room/apartment and suite bathroom. Large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, and double sided tape are never allowed on the walls. See the section entitled "Decorations” for more information.

All floor tile needs to be mopped on a routine basis. To clean, use a clean mop, warm water, and a mild detergent or ammonia. Never use a bleach product or a tile cleaner with a bleaching agent. In the apartments the carpet must be vacuumed on a routine basis. Most spills can be removed if taken care of immediately. When spills occur, blot with a paper towel or cloth immediately. Do not rub the spot into the carpet. Warm water, a damp sponge, and mild soap will remove the majority of spots.

The shower units are fiberglass and therefore scratch and stain easily. Care should be taken in cleaning the shower. Do not use abrasive cleaners or sponges. Showers must be cleaned on a routine basis to prevent stains. Any major damages should be reported immediately to your Resident Assistant or area supervisor.

Decorations and Room/Apartment Modifications

You are encouraged to decorate your room/apartment. However, as you decorate, please remember the following guidelines; and to avoid charges check with your Resident Assistant and/or area supervisor if you are unsure of the correctness of your decorations:

Georgia law prohibits the removal of traffic and/or street signs. Therefore, traffic or street signs regardless of how it has been obtained are not permitted in the residence halls. Pictures and other materials that may be considered objectionable should not be displayed in areas that may be visible from the hallway and/ or building. Alcoholic beverage signs or containers are not allowed as window displays.

Solicitation

For reasons of resident privacy, safety and security, solicitation of any type is prohibited. Report any solicitors to the staff of Public Safety immediately. Residents are prohibited from providing any services in exchange for monetary payment or other rewards from any area within the residence halls. This includes but is not limited to: babysitting, tutoring, tattooing, cosmetology, online business, and private music lessons.

Student organizations that wish to promote events within the residence halls may provide Residential Living with a maximum of 40 posters or fliers at least 10 days in advance of the event. Residential Living staff will distribute and post all materials. Residential Living staff will not distribute any external materials to all students or to every door.

Materials posted that do not adhere to this policy will be immediately removed and destroyed. Designated posting areas are available in each hall. Postings are not allowed in stairwells, entrances, exits, exterior walls, corridors, main entrance doors or fire doors.

Health and Safety Inspections

Several health and safety inspections will be conducted each semester by the Residential Living staff for safety, health, maintenance, cleanliness, and inventory purposes. Residents are responsible for maintaining their living areas in a clean and orderly condition. There should be a clear pathway throughout living facilities. Dishes should be cleaned after usage and any food should be stored properly. During health and safety inspections, unwashed or abandoned dishes, cooking utensils, or food may be discarded to prevent pests.

If the condition of a student’s room, including its furnishings, are found to be in an unacceptable condition during these inspections, the student will be notified of the problem(s) and given an opportunity to correct them. Residents who do not correct health and safety concerns addressed by Residential Living staff will be referred to the University student conduct process.

Kitchens

For health, sanitation, and safety reasons, the preparation of most foods is prohibited in student rooms. Each residence hall provides a full kitchen for students to use at any time. Each kitchen is equipped with a stove, oven and microwave. Each apartment in Southwestern Pines provides a full kitchen equipped with a stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave.

It is the responsibility of the resident to clean up after using the kitchen. Do not pour cooking grease down your kitchen sink. It is up to the residents to maintain the appearance and cleanliness of the kitchen and all appliances in it.

Storage or use of outdoor grills or the storage of materials for grilling (charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.) is not permitted in resident rooms/apartments.

Laundry Facilities

Each residence hall is equipped with laundry facilities for use by the residents. Residents are responsible for their own laundry items and for following the proper procedure for washing and drying. For safety reasons, always check and clean the lint filter on the dryer prior to each use. Use of the laundry facilities is restricted to residents only.

Residents are able to purchase new/replacement or reload laundry cards from the card machine located in each area. These machines take cash bills only in denominations up to $20. All machines are maintained by our outside contractor, CSC ServiceWorks. If a machine is not working properly, please report the problem by utilizing the CSC ServiceWorks Service App and information located on each machine.

Camps/Groups and those paying the daily rate will not receive a complementary laundry card but are able to purchase them from the laundry card machine.

Lounges/Common Areas

Public area furniture is provided for the use of all resident and may not be taken to individual resident’s rooms/apartments. In the event of damage in the hallways or common areas, students who occupy the hallway and/or building may be charged for repairs or replacement of damaged property when not attributed to a specific individual. Determination of room and common area damage, loss, or cleaning assessments shall be made by the University at its sole discretion. This includes all community kitchens, computer labs, multipurpose rooms, and lobby areas.

Maintenance

The University employs a maintenance and custodial staff to keep the building in good physical condition. The maintenance and custodial staff provide safety equipment inspections, general maintenance (painting, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, heat, and air conditioning), and custodial services. Custodians clean hallways and the common areas of the building on a regular basis. Residents are responsible for cleaning your own room/apartment and suite bathrooms. Requests for maintenance should be made online through the Residential Living webpage (https://www.gsw.edu/Campus-Life/CampusLiving/ResidenceLife/MaintenanceRequest). The maintenance staff will then make the necessary repairs.

Pest Control

All residence halls are treated regularly for pests. Residents are expected to assist in pest control efforts by keeping their apartment clean. Residents should submit a maintenance request to report pest control issues

Roofs, Windows, Ledges

Residents are not permitted on roof areas nor window ledges. The University is not responsible for injuries that result on a roof area or window ledge nor from falls which might occur from either.

Residents are not permitted to use a window to enter or exit any part of a residence hall nor to remove the screens from the exterior of residence hall windows. Removal of the screen may result in a re-installation charge to repair/replace damaged screens. Additional disciplinary action may also be taken.

Toilets

To prevent the possibility of overflow, feminine hygiene products, food and large quantities of toilet paper should not be flushed down the toilet. If there is a clog in the toilet, turn off the water at the stop valve and submit a work order.

Trash Disposal

Residents are to dispose of their personal trash in the dumpsters located in the parking lots outside of each residence halls. All trash should be bagged before disposal. Personal trash is not to be placed in public area receptacles inside of or at the entryways of the buildings. It is not the custodial staff's responsibility to remove personal trash. Residents who put their personal trash in these receptacles may be charged or face disciplinary action.

Safety and Security

Abuse, Harassment, and Physical Assault

Residential Living provides an educational environment where adults must learn to settle their concerns in a non-physical manner. Any resident involved in abuse or harassment, including physical assault, verbal abuse or threats against another person will be subject to disciplinary action by the department and/or be subject to criminal charges.

Alcohol

Residential Living’s alcohol policy is designed to ensure student safety and help maintain individual rights to privacy, sleep, and study within the residence halls. All residents and guests are required to comply with state and local statutes concerning the possession, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Residents who fail to comply with the Residential Living and/or university alcohol policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the department and/or the university.

In a resident room/apartment where all students are 21 or older, alcohol is permitted unless any guest under the age of 21 is present. When a person under the age of 21 is present, alcohol may not be consumed or visible.

In a resident room/apartment where any resident is 21 or older and the roommate, suitemate, or other apartment occupant is under the age of 21, alcohol can be possessed by the older resident in the room/apartment, but the older resident and/or their guests may not have any open alcoholic containers, nor consume alcohol when any person under the age of 21 (including the roommate) is present.

In a resident room/apartment where all residents are under the age of 21, no alcohol is permitted in the room/apartment under any circumstance.

Individuals under the age of 21 may never possess, consume, or be in the presence of alcohol while in the residence halls, regardless of the time, place, or occasion. Empty alcoholic beverage containers, even for decorative purposes, are prohibited in the rooms/apartments of residents under the age of 21. Empty containers of alcohol may be considered evidence of prior consumption. An empty container is defined as anything that originally contained alcohol in the past (ex. liquor bottle, beer can, etc.). If the item did not originally contain alcohol (i.e. collectible shot glass), it is permissible.

Residents who are 21 or older may possess or consume alcohol in their rooms/apartments, with the following restrictions:

  • Residents who are 21 or over may never consume alcohol in the presence of a person under the age of 21, regardless of the time, place or occasion. Residents may not provide alcohol to, or allow alcohol to be consumed by, individuals under the age of 21.
  • Resident’s room/apartment doors must remain closed while alcohol is visible or is being consumed in the room/apartment.
  • Residents may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages in hallways, lounges, courtyards, parking lots, stairways, or any other public areas within the residence halls. All alcohol that is transported through public areas must be unopened and packaged inconspicuously (e.g., carried in a bag or sack). 
  • Residents who are 21 or over and choose to consume alcohol must not exhibit loud, disruptive or indecent behavior, vandalize property, interfere with the cleanliness of the residence halls, or participate in drinking habits which are hazardous to the health or education of an individual or those around them.
  • Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times.
  • Resident may not possess excessive amounts of alcohol. What is considered excessive is at the discretion of Residential Living and/or University staff. Kegs, trash cans, or other large vessels containing alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the residence halls.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be sold or distributed in the residence halls.
  • Considering the needs and rights of all students, in balance with your own needs; your personal rights end where the rights of another student begin, and no student should infringe on the rights of another student
  • Open communication with all community members and housing staff
  • Getting involved in your community through planning of community activities, showing respect and care for facilities, and exhibiting care for the overall community
  • Promoting an environment where all individuals and community members feel safe and secure
  • Demonstrating dignity and respect for all individuals
  • Disregarding any of the above responsibilities, or failing to act when other individuals violate community responsibilities or policies is providing your implied consent for those activities

Compromising Security

Residents who choose to endanger other students by propping open exterior doors, giving their key and/or CanesCard to a nonresident, granting access to nonstudents or tampering and/or damaging exterior doors or locks may face disciplinary action and/or be subject to criminal charges.

Drugs

To promote a safe, healthy, and academically oriented community while upholding the law Residential Living staff work directly with Public Safety if there is the suspicion of any drug-related activities. Any violation of drug policy is not only a violation of Residential Living policy, but also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and state/federal law. Violations of the drug policy may result in suspension and/or expulsion. 

The possession and or use of illegal drugs is prohibited in the residence halls. The manufacture, sale, and distribution of illegal drugs is prohibited in the residence halls. Drug paraphernalia is prohibited in the residence halls. Drug paraphernalia includes but is not limited to all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the laws of the State of Georgia.

Exterior, Hall, and Emergency Doors

The propping of exterior and/or hall doors compromises the security of the building and safety of its residents, and is, therefore, prohibited without the express permission of a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member. Residents are prohibited from using Emergency doors to enter or exit a hall except in case of emergency. Using an emergency exit in a non-emergency situation may result in a $100 fine and disciplinary action.

Fire Safety

All residents and guests are to immediately vacate a residence hall building via designated emergency routes whenever a fire alarm sounds. Once outside, they should remain no less than 500 feet away and should avoid re-entry into the facility until given permission by a Public Safety or Residential Living staff member.

Tampering with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms when there is no emergency, is prohibited.

Because of the danger presented by open flames, candles and such items are not permitted in student rooms/apartments. The university reserves the right to confiscate candles or other questionable flammable materials. Continued use of candles may lead to disciplinary action. The burning of incense is not permitted. The odor may be disagreeable to other students and the live coal is a fire hazard. Any offensive odor that extends outside a room/apartment is prohibited.

Identification

All individuals inside or in close proximity to campus residence halls must remain prepared at all times to furnish proper identification if called upon to do so by a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member.

Individual Responsibility and Implied Consent

In the event of a policy violation occurring in a room/apartment, lounge, or other distinct physical space, all students in the space can be held responsible for the behavior or objects within that space. Students residing in, or choosing to place themselves in, the residence hall environment become part of a community and their actions have an impact on the surrounding community. Therefore, students may be held accountable for behavior or objects even if they are not participating in the situation.

Every residence hall student has responsibilities to the residence hall community. Your responsibilities include:

Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs

The misuse of prescription drugs poses significant health risks to individuals. All medication prescribed or purchased over the counter is designed for a specific purpose, and any misuse, illegal use, or sale of this type of medication is strictly prohibited.

The distribution of prescription drugs is defined as the sharing or sale of drugs that are specifically prescribed to one individual by a physician. Distribution of prescription drugs is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct as well as state/federal law.

Exchanging prescription drugs for goods, services or money is strictly prohibited in the residence halls. The sale of prescription drugs is also a violation of the University Code of Conduct and state/federal law.

Personal misuse is defined as the use of any prescription or OTC drug in any manner other than prescribed or the package directions indicate. This includes intentionally or unintentionally causing harm to self or others.

Severe Weather

In case of severe weather such as thunderstorms or tornadoes, you should immediately move to the interior of your building on lower floors. If evacuation is necessary, instructions will be issued through a university staff member and or ConnectEd. In all severe weather situations, be sure to stay in contact with and follow the instructions of housing staff members and Public Safety.

Vandalism

Willful destruction or defacing of university, private or public property is prohibited. Students found responsible for damage to property may receive judicial sanctions, as well as charges for replacement or repair of damaged property.

Video Surveillance

In a response to common area damages and vandalism issues, Residential Living and/or University officials may use camera and video surveillance in the public areas of the residence halls and apartment buildings to identify parties responsible.

Weapons

Weapons such as firearms, knives, bows and arrows, as well as any ammunition, are prohibited in the residence halls. Be aware that according to Georgia law it is a violation to possess a weapon while on campus, except for Public Safety Officers in compliance with Georgia House Bill 280.

Residence Hall Space

The residence halls are defined as all physical space within a residence hall, including public areas and student rooms/apartments, and reasonable exterior spaces designed for, or typically used by residence hall students. Students within the residence hall space are expected to abide by housing policies and standards of conduct. If a policy violation occurs within a residence hall space, students will be subject to disciplinary action.

Student Conduct Code

All students enrolled at Georgia Southwestern State University are held to the standards of conduct set forth in the Student Conduct Code. Residence hall students in violation of the Student Conduct Code, regardless of the location of violation, will be subject to disciplinary action through Residential Living or through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. A complete copy of the Student Conduct Code are available at https://www.gsw.edu/campus-life/resourcesinformation/studenthandbook/student-conduct-code.

Violation of Outside Law

Students may be held independently accountable to both civic authorities and to the university for acts which constitute violations of law and/or violations of university policies, regulations, or procedures. Violation of local, state and federal law, on or off campus, is prohibited. Violations will be adjudicated through the university student conduct system at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Engagement and Success or his/her designee.

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