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Living on Campus Guide

GSW residency requirement is all full-time, first-year and second-year students are required to live on campus and to purchase a meal plan unless they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Student will be 21 years of age prior to August 31.
  • Student is married.
  • Student has a child who lives with them.
  • Student will be living with their parents and commuting from within a 50-mile radius of the University.

Residential Living Policies

The mission of the Office of Residence Living is to integrate living and learning, while supporting the educational goals of our students and the university. We are committed to promoting PRIDE among the residence life staff and residents by:

  • Providing safe, attractive, well-maintained living facilities that are responsive to the needs of the students
  • Recognizing and respecting individual rights and differences and the value of diversity in the residential community
  • Implementing policies and procedures that encourage residents to make responsible choices
  • Developing an investment in the retention and personal success of each residential student both socially and academically
  • Empowering residents to shape their community and gain leadership experience by providing quality programs and services and continuing to improve these offerings by conducting ongoing evaluations and assessments

 

Section 1: Abandoned and Missing Property

A. Items left by a resident at the end of their contract period or when they leave an assigned space will be considered abandoned. 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.
B. A $100 charge for abandoned property will be added to the student’s account.
C. If the property is not claimed and collected by the owner, items may be disposed of immediately and re-usable items may be donated to charitable organizations at the discretion of Residential Living staff members.
D. Property left in hallways, stairwells, lounges, and other common areas will also be considered abandoned.
E. Lost and Found
a. Residents should turn in all found items to the front desk of their building, the housing office in the Student Success Center, or their Residential Leader.
b. Lost items will be held for 30 days.
c. Unclaimed items will be either turned over to Public Safety or donated. Items such as electronics or identification will be turned into Public Safety.

 

Section 2: Alcohol, Controlled Substances, and Smoking

The possession, sale, manufacturing, distribution, or consumption of alcohol by or to persons under the age of 21 is prohibited and illegal under state and federal laws. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and any legal ramifications.

A. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed by residents and guests of legal drinking age (21 years of age or older) in his/her own apartment with the door closed.
B. 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 not be in plain sight.
C. Residents under the age of 21 found in possession of alcoholic beverages or in the presence of alcoholic beverages, even if they are empty, will be subject to disciplinary
action, which may include disposing of alcohol and/or alcohol containers under the supervision of housing staff.
D. Common source containers such as kegs, punch bowls, funnels, trash cans, or any other large volume containers are not allowed in the residence halls and apartments.
E. The possession, use, manufacturing, and/or distribution of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia in prohibited in the residence halls.
F. All medication prescribed or purchased over the counter is designated for a specific purpose, and any misuse, illegal use, or sale of this type of medication is prohibited.
G. Tobacco use is not permitted in the residence halls. “Tobacco Products” are defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes, other smoke devices that use tobacco such as hookahs, and devices that simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes and vapor devices. Any individual found using these products in the residence halls may face disciplinary action and be charged to remove the odor or other damages caused.

 

Section 3: Building Access

Residents are given two access items for entering the residence hall: the CanesCard and their room key.

A. Residents are responsible for carrying their CanesCard and room key at all times.
B. Residents and guests are expected to present their CanesCard or picture ID if a ResLife staff member asks.
C. Residents are never permitted to let anyone else, regardless of their residency status: use, share, borrow, or trade access items under any circumstance.
D. Residents are not permitted to prop open main entrance doors or hallway doors. Residents must use their CanesCard to enter doorways with scanners.
E. Residents are not permitted to change the locks to their room or apartment.
F. Residents are not permitted to make copies of their room key.
G. If a resident is locked out of their room, he/she should follow this procedure:
a. Contact roommate to see if he/she is available to grant access to the building or room.
b. If roommate is unavailable, the resident will call one of the following phone numbers according to the time of day:
i. Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM: 229-931-2375.
ii. All other times, call the RL duty phone:
1. Oaks 1: 229-942-5421
2. Oaks 2: 229-942-7232
3. Magnolia: 229-942-7052
4. Pines: 229-942-9839
c. The RL will then record the lockout appropriately. The first 3 recorded lockouts are free. Each subsequent lockout will result in a $10 fine placed on the student’s account.
H. A resident who loses or damages his/her room key may be allowed to purchase a replacement for $125.

 

Section 4: Cleanliness

A. Each resident is responsible for the condition of their bedroom, suite, or apartment.

B. If damage occurs in the residence hall or apartment, the Residential Living staff with assess charges to the individual or group directly responsible for the damage. To avoid charges for damage for which you are not responsible, be aware of what is going on where you live and report damage immediately to the Residential Living staff.

C. Residents are responsible for managing the cleanliness of their apartment, which includes regularly vacuuming the carpet, mopping the floor tiles, and cleaning their shower.

 

Section 5: Contract Cancellation

A. Residents requesting to cancel their housing contract are to submit a Non-Returning and Cancellation Form located on Canes Connect. Refer to section 13 to ensure compliance prior to requesting a contract cancellation.

 

Section 6: Deliveries

A. Residence Life staff members cannot hold packages, deliveries, or items for residents. Residents can receive mail and packages at the Post Office located in the Marshall Student Center.

B. Perishable deliveries must be picked up by the resident in the parking lot or exterior of the residence hall. Delivery drivers are not permitted to enter the residence hall or deliver directly to student rooms. Perishable delivery services include, but are not limited to, Uber Eats, Doordash, GrubHub, pizza deliveries, grocery delivery services like Instacart, and flower deliveries. Residence Life is not responsible for communicating with food delivery workers attempting to drop off items to residents.

 

Section 7: Disorderly Conduct and Non-Compliance

Behavior that interferes with the normal functioning of a residence hall or unnecessarily impedes on the rights of students and/or staff is prohibited.

1. Disorderly conduct includes but is not limited to: behavior where the safety of students or property is compromised, hall sports, water fights, pranks, running in the hall, student demonstrations or displays that create a disruptive environment, or lewd or indecent behavior.

2. Failure to comply with reasonable directions and requests of a ResLife staff member or failure can result in a disciplinary referral.

3. Failure to heed an official summons of any university official acting in the performance of his or her duties can result in a disciplinary referral.

4. Failure to identify oneself to these persons could result in a disciplinary referral.

 

Section 8: Fire Safety and Weather Emergencies

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

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

C. Residents may not hang items from fire sprinklers or other related fire equipment.

D. Residents should not prop open or exit from emergency exit doors at the end of each hallway of the residence hall or apartments unless the fire alarm is sounding, there is an active emergency or threat to life, or unless directed to do so by a ResLife Staff member.

E. In case of severe weather such as thunderstorms or tornadoes, students will be instructed to move to the interior of the building and 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 ResLife staff members and Public Safety.

 

Section 9: Guest Policy

A guest is defined as any individual who has not executed a contract for the residential space they are visiting. Guests must abide by all policies of the residence halls, and hosts are responsible for the conduct of their guests.

A. Upon arriving in the residence hall, all guests should be checked in by a ResLife staff member. Guests will be required to present a photo ID to the ResLife staff member. Valid forms of photo ID must be currently issued and include GSW ID cards, state driver’s license, passport, or any other government issued ID cards.

a. Digital pictures and copies will not be accepted. IDs must be in physical form.

B. Guests must be escorted by their host at all times while in the residence hall, including common areas and private rooms.

C. A resident may host up to 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.

D. Guests are permitted to stay no more than two consecutive nights and four nights in total in a calendar month.

E. Cohabitation is prohibited in the residence halls. Cohabitation is defined as a person who has not been assigned to a bedroom by a ResLife staff member spending an excessive amount of time in that bedroom, or storing an excessive amount of belongings in a bedroom.

F. Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted to visit or remain in any areas of a residence hall including a resident’s room, between the hours of 11:00 PM – 10:00 AM without the permission of a Residential Living Coordinator or Assistant Director of Residential Living. Guests under the age of 12 are only permitted to visit residents between 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM and must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Exceptions to this policy may be granted in special circumstances by a Residence Life professional staff member.

 

Section 10: Pets Policy

Pets and other animals are not permitted in the residence hall without written permission of a Residential Living Coordinator or Director of Residential and Campus Life.

A. Fish in a 10-gallon aquarium or smaller are permitted in the residence halls and apartments. It is the resident’s responsibility to ensure they are cared for and their tank is clean and free from leaks.

B. Service and therapy animals are permitted after registering with the Office of Access and Accommodations. Residents must notify Residence Life staff or animal prior to bringing an animal into facilities and have received accommodation confirmation from the Office of Access and Accommodations.

C. Pet food must be in sealed containers for prevention of pests.

D. Approved animals must be properly cared for, i.e. fed, watered, and to excrete (urinate and defecate) outdoors.

E. Animal care is the sole responsibility of the owner.

F. Dogs are to be leashed and cats should be in closed carriers while in indoor public spaces.

G. Pet owners are to properly discard animal defecate.

H. Owner is responsible for ensuring animal does not disturb other residents.

I. Animal damage to room will result in cleaning and repair charges.

 

Section 11: Photo Disclosure Policy

A. 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

promotion, 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 way 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.

 

Section 12: Prohibited Items and Activities

Electronics:

A. Wireless printers and wireless digital media players such as ChromeCast and Amazon Fire Stick are not supported by the residence hall network.
B. Residents are not to connect personal hubs, switches, routers, and/or wireless access points to the wired connection in the residence halls.

Transportation:

A. Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, segways, skates, and skateboards cannot be ridden or used within the hall, but students are encouraged to store these items in their room/apartment, exterior bike rack, or other area designated by ResLife staff members.
B. Hoverboards, including self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters, and hands-free segways are not permitted in residential facilities.

The following list of items are not allowed in the residence halls.

A. Flammable items, such as candles, incense, live coals, etc. are prohibited in the residence halls.
B. Certain cooking equipment, such as electric grills, electric skillets, hot plates, toaster ovens, toasters, and any appliances with an open flame
C. Air conditioners
D. Waterbeds or personal mattresses
E. Electric blankets
F. Extension cords without a surge protector
G. Halogen lamps and lava lamps
H. Appliances requiring 220 volts or more than 1500 watts, or appliances that pose an electrical-overload hazard
I. Outside antennas and satellite dishes
J. Outdoor grills or the storage of materials for grilling, such as charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.
K. Weapons such as firearms, knives larger than two inches, clubs, explosives, fireworks, bows and arrows, as well as any ammunition, are prohibited in the residence halls.

The following list of actions are not permitted in the residence halls.

A. Gambling is prohibited by Georgia State Law, and is therefore not permitted anywhere in the residence halls. Gambling is defined as any game or wager where money exchanges hands, be it before, during, or after the actual game/water takes place.
B. 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.
C. Use of window to enter or exit any part of a residence hall.
D. Removal of screens from the exterior of residence hall windows.
E. Homemade bed lofts, purchased bed lofts, or other bed modifications.

 

Section 13: Quiet/Courtesy Hours

A. Quiet hours are in effect daily in all residence halls and apartments from 11:00 PM – 9:00 AM.

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

C. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. At any time, a resident may ask other residents to lower their volume, and those residents should comply with that request.

D. Music players, video games, televisions, and voices should be kept at a level that cannot be heard outside the bedroom, suite, and/or apartment. This includes rooms, hallways, and stairwells.

E. The enforcement of quiet hours is the responsibility of each resident in the community. Any action that interferes with a student’s right to study is a violation of this standard and may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Section 14: Residency Requirement

A. GSW students are required to live on-campus for four semesters (fall/spring) for first-time and transfer students under 30 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.

B. Exceptions to this policy are granted by completing a Residency Exemption Form on CanesConnect. Grounds for exemption can include:

1. Being 21 years of age prior to the start of the academic year.

2. Being married (must provide a copy of your marriage license).

3. Having a child who lives with the student (must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate).

4. Be living with a legal guardian at an address no more than 50 miles from the University.

5. The student’s degree program is completely online.

 

Section 15: Parking

A. Residents are required to register their vehicles, display a GSW parking permit on their vehicles, and follow all university parking regulation while on university property.

B. Residents can register their vehicles at the Office of Public Safety.

C. Residents should not park their cars in fire lanes or in staff parking spots.

D. Residents should not vandalize or damage vehicles in the parking lot.

 

Section 16: Room Change Procedure

A. Residents who are having issues or a conflict with their roommate should work with their RL or Residential Living Coordinator. The process is as follows:

1. The resident should first attempt to talk to their roommate about the issue and resolve it on their own first. The RL can provide tips to navigate this conversation if needed.

2. Students should then contact their RL to have a roommate mediation. In this process, the RL sits down with the students to talk through the issues of the apartment with the roommate agreement.

3. If the roommate mediation is still unsuccessful, the students will meet with the RLC of their building. The RLC will then determine if a room change is appropriate.

B. Room changes are not permitted during the first two weeks of the semester.

C. The residents seeking the room change should complete a Room Change Request through Canes Connect to initiate the room change process.

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

 

Section 17: Room Entry

A. The University reserves the right to enter a room at any time to ensure compliance with safety and health regulations, to provide pest control, to conduct routine maintenance checks, to complete cleaning or maintenance, to maintain a secure and quiet environment, or conduct an inventory of university property.

B. A room may also be entered by Residential Living staff if danger to life, health, or property, or if illegal activity and/or violation of University rules and regulations are suspected.

C. Student rooms and apartments may be searched for legal cause by civil authorities in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

D. At least once per semester, Residential Living staff will conduct health and safety inspections for safety, health, maintenance, cleanliness, and inventory purposes. Residential Living staff will post a notice at least 24 hours in advance of entry of student spaces. If conditions are found to be unacceptable during the inspections, residents will be notified and given the opportunity to correct the problems. Residents who do not correct health and safety concerns addressed by the Residence Life staff will be referred to the University student conduct process.

E. 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 of departmental policy will be confiscated. The resident will receive written notification of this action if confiscation/documentation of property is required when the student is absent.

 

Section 18: Roommate Agreements

A. All residents are required to complete a roommate agreement within their first month of living on campus. Once signed, the roommate agreement will become a binding contract between the residents.

1. Roommates will establish a roommate agreement each time there is a new roommate in the room.

2. This roommate agreement will be kept on file with the RL of the hall.

3. Failure to comply with the written roommate agreement may result in judicial action.

 

Section 19: Room Setup Decorations

A. Furniture cannot be removed or relocated from lounges or common areas.

B. Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms in a manner that prevents damage beyond normal wear and tear and that ensures fire safety. Any damage to the ceilings, walls, doors, or fixtures as a result of nails, screws, mounts, adhesives, tape, or stickers will result in a repair fee assessment to the student.

C. Adhesives or stickers on doors or glass are not permitted.

D. Premises or equipment may not be altered, repaired, remodeled, painted, and/or affixed including but not limited to installing ceiling fans, light fixtures, or similar equipment.

E. Entries and exit paths of the bedroom, unit, breezeway, or stairwell should be open.

F. Traffic or street signs, regardless of how it has been obtained, are not permitted in the residence halls.

G. Alcoholic beverage signs or containers are not allowed to be displayed in residence hall rooms and must be disposed after consuming.

H. Vandalizing or damaging residential facilities including, but not limited to misuse of individual or common area furnishing, removal of signs, putting large holes in walls/doors, and excessive messes is prohibited.

 

Section 20: Shared Spaces

A. Computer Labs

1. Common area computers are for the use of the residents in the hall.

2. Residents should not save anything onto the computer hard drive and should instead use removable storage media.

3. Residents should not change the configuration of the computers.

4. Residents should not attempt to fix computer problems and should instead contact IIT at techsupp@gsw.edu or contact your Residential Leader.

5. Residents are also expected to follow all Instructional Technology policies when using the computer lab computers.

B. Kitchens

1. Oaks and Magnolia

i. Both Oaks and Magnolia have shared community kitchens within the communities. Each kitchen is equipped with a stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator.

ii. It is the responsibility of the residents to clean up after using the kitchen.

iii. Do not pour kitchen grease down the kitchen sink.

iv. No food or dishes should be left on countertops and sinks.

v. Residents will be held responsible for damages and excessive cleaning as a result of misuse of the kitchens.

2. Pines

i. It is the responsibility of the residents in the apartment to keep the kitchen area clean.

ii. Do not pour kitchen grease down the kitchen sink.

iii. Residents will be held responsible for damages and excessive cleaning as a result of misuse of the kitchen.

C. Laundry Facilities

1. Each residence hall is equipped with laundry facilities for use by the residents in the building only. Guests are not permitted to use the laundry facilities.

2. Residents are responsible for their own laundry items and for following the proper procedure for washing and drying.

3. Always check and clean the lint filter on the dyer prior to and following each use.

4. Residents are responsible for paying for their laundry. Residents can purchase a new card and reload an existing card in the first floor laundry room of each building.

5. It is the responsibility of the resident to submit maintenance requests for broken laundry machines. Residents can submit maintenance requests with CSC ServiceWorks with the information posted in each laundry room.

D. Lounges and Common Areas

1. Each residence hall and apartment building have common areas and lounges for students to socialize and study in.

2. These spaces are for all students, and thus no resident should be denied entry into one of these spaces by another resident.

3. Public area furniture is provided for the use of all residents and may not be moved from those spaces.

 

Section 21: Solicitation

As a protection to residents, Residential Living does not permit salespersons, peddlers, or agents in the residences. Please notify a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member immediately should you encounter any individual soliciting in the building. Solicitation in the residence hall also includes the unapproved distribution of flyers in the building.

A. Residents are prohibited from providing any services in exchange for monetary payment or other rewards from any area within the residence halls.

B. Students 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, main entrance doors, or fire doors.

 

Section 22: Trash Disposal

A. Residents are to dispose of their personal trash in the dumpsters located in the parking lots of each residence hall.

B. It is not the responsibility of custodial staff to remove personal trash. Trash should never be left in common areas of the residence hall, in trash receptacles within the building, near the entrances/exits of the building, or in the parking lot.

C. All trash should be bagged before disposal.

 

Section 23: United States Census Surveys

A. Residents in University Housing may be selected by the U.S. Census to participate in a variety of surveys, such as the American Community Living Survey, Current Population Survey, National Crime Victimization Survey, and others. If selected to participate, residents will be provided with a letter outlining the details of the specific survey. This letter is often delivered directly by a U.S. Census worker prior to conducting the survey. Some of these surveys are mandatory – required by law to be completed – while others are voluntary. Residents are encouraged to comply with all U.S. Census requests as required by law.

Contact

Office of Residence Life

Student Success Center
Third Floor

229-931-2375
housing@gsw.edu