Living on Campus Handbook

Residence Life

As members of the Oglethorpe campus community, residential students have a specific set of rights and responsibilities. Problems develop when one person fulfills his or her responsibilities and another does not. Residence Life policies and regulations are designed to give a clear understanding of what is expected of you as an Oglethorpe University resident. It is important to recognize that a large number of individuals live together in a residence hall. This density of people creates a special need for being aware of how one’s individual actions can have a direct effect on others and easily influence the environment of the entire hall. With these ideas in mind, the Office of Residence Life has established a number of guidelines intended to give students a standard by which to live and learn together.

As an important member of this residential community you have the responsibility to:

  1. Verbally express your views to the person(s) involved, should you feel your rights have been violated.
  2. Treat other residents with respect and consideration and grant them their individual rights.
  3. Understand all policies and regulations necessary for the hall and university community to function.
  4. Respond to all reasonable requests from fellow residents.
  5. Respond to and cooperate with all Oglethorpe University and Residence Life staff members at all times.
  6. Take responsibility for personal and community safety, i.e. do not misuse safety equipment, do not prop open security doors and do not lose, loan or forget room keys.
  7. Accept responsibility for your behavior and that of your guests at all times.
  8. Recognize that public areas and their furnishings belong to everyone and that abuse of those areas violates the rights of all community members.
  9. Report all maintenance issues to the appropriate person in a timely manner

Resident Assistants (RAs) are students that live and work in the residence halls. They are hired by the Office of Residence Life to help students who live in the residence halls and are the most visible members of the Residence Life staff. Since the RAs live directly in the building, they are attuned to residents’ particular needs and problems. RAs go through an extensive selection and training process and are, therefore, helpful in dealing with all types of problems and situations. RAs also plan programs and activities, hold hall meetings, enforce policies and refer maintenance\/housekeeping work orders to the physical plant.
Residence Life Coordinators (RLCs) are student affairs professionals who work and live on campus. They are trained and experienced in residence hall operations, supervise the RAs and provide guidance in RA programming. RLCs live in a campus apartment and oversee the activities of their assigned area of campus. They are the Office of Residence Life’s spokesperson in any situation that may arise in the residence halls and enforce university and residence hall policies. Feel free to speak with your RLC about problems, ideas and suggestions.
The Assistant Director of Residence Life (AD) is a full-time student affairs professional who works and lives on campus. The AD oversees housing operations, facilitates Residence Life staff recruitment and selection, supervises RAs, and otherwise supports the functioning of the Office of Residence Life. The AD, along with the RLCs, serves as the Office of Residence Life’s spokesperson in any situation that may arise in the residence halls and enforce university and residence hall policies.
The Director of Residence Life is responsible for the full administration, operation, planning, and strategic management of programs and services for Residence Life, Student Conduct, and Greek Affairs on Oglethorpe’s campus. To this end, the Director of Residence Life directly supervises professional staff, coordinates professional and student staff training, manages the departmental budgets, and serves as the chief conduct officer for the university.

Room Assignment Policies and Regulations

Please refer to section 12.2.11 in the Oglethorpe University Bulletin for policies regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Bicycles, skateboards, and scooters cannot be ridden inside the residence halls. Bicycles may not be parked in exit corridors, stairways, beside doors, on patio areas or hung from the ceiling. Gasoline-powered bikes (mopeds) and motorcycles are not permitted inside buildings. All bikes may be impounded if left in an inappropriate area. Staff will remove bikes remaining on campus after graduation and donate or discard them.
Students are not permitted to “chalk” (i.e. use sidewalk chalk) in or around any residential areas without prior, written approval from a professional staff member in Residence Life. Student organizations may chalk as a form of publicity for their events and are subject to all policies from Student Engagement & Leadership when doing so.
All residents are required to follow proper procedure for check-in\/check-out. Residence Life will communicate via email and the RA to inform all residents of proper procedure for check-in\/check-out.

Arrange a time for a check-out appointment with your RA well in advance of your planned departure date. Each resident is responsible for scheduling his or her appointment. All your belongings, including those on walls, in closets, in drawers, etc., must be removed before the appointment
Sweep out room and remove all trash. As a courtesy to other students, please do not leave trash in hallways or outside your door. If your room or suite is not cleaned, you will be charged accordingly for improper checkout.
Meet with your RA for a check-out appointment. The RA will inspect the room for damages, missing furniture and cleanliness.
Return your keys to your RA and sign your RIC after any damages have been noted.
Your RLC or other professional staff will determine final damage assessments.
Note: Moving without prior approval from a professional Residence Life staff member will result in a $50.00 fine.

Encouraging, condoning, or choosing to remain in the presence of policy violations places you in violation as complicit to the incident. Students are expected to remove themselves from situations and environments in which campus policies being violated or are expected to be violated. Students in such a situation are encouraged to contact university officials.
Residents may not cook in their rooms. Because of the fire hazard, sanitation problems and power consumption involved in food preparation, cooking is restricted to the kitchens provided in each area of campus. Coffee makers and small microwave ovens are the only appliances permitted in your room. No open coil-heating units like burners and toaster ovens are allowed because they are a fire hazard. Refrigerators are permitted as long as they are apartment-size (less than five cubic feet). Refrigerators larger than five cubic feet will blow a fuse.
If hallways, baths, lounges or other public areas in the residence halls receive undue abuse, we expect the assistance of the residents of that area to identify the responsible individual(s). When the individual(s) cannot be identified, all residents will be required to pay a prorated share of repairing such damages.

You are responsible for any damages that occur in your room during your occupancy. If damages are accidental, you must still pay repair costs. In the case where damages are the result of vandalism, the individual responsible must not only pay for repairs but may also face disciplinary action.
Students who maliciously damage their rooms and\/or common areas of the residence halls will be subject to restitution, disciplinary action and\/or fines and possible expulsion from the residence halls.

The Residence Life staff encourages you to make your room comfortable and representative of your personality. We ask that you please follow these guidelines as you plan your decorating style:

  • No nails, tape, white “plastic tack” or stick-ums, please. You may use the “easy release” mounting devices designed to be removed without causing wall damage.
  • Do not hang items from your ceiling or ceiling tiles.
  • Decorations of any kind (including posters, pictures, etc.) may not be attached to windows.
  • Lofts are not permitted.
  • Rooms may not be painted.
  • If you have any questions about what is allowable, please ask first to avoid any unnecessary damage charges.

A non-refundable room reservation\/damage deposit of $200 must be paid prior to reserving a room. This deposit may be applicable to residence hall damages. Students who currently live on campus will not have to pay an additional deposit to reserve a room. In this case, the deposit will be rolled over. If the student fails to turn in keys and sign the proper check out forms at the end of the occupancy period or if keys are lost during the contract period, a lock change fee may be charged against the damage deposit. The damage deposit is not applicable to room and board charges.
Students are obligated to live on campus throughout their contractual agreement, typically the entire academic year. Students may apply to break their contract prior to the end of the academic year as outlined in the Residence Hall Agreement. A breakage fee is charged for students who break the contract early. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors may only break the contract to commute from the home of a parent or guardian.

Extension cords are not allowed in the residence halls because they are a fire hazard. However, you can use a surge protector that is grounded, 15 amp, and UL certified.
Elevators are for the convenience of all residents. Tampering with, vandalizing, or otherwise abusing elevator use is against policy, including overloading or manually holding the doors open. Please use the “open door” button to open the door. Individuals who are found in violation of this policy may be subject to judicial review.

Hosts must escort all guests at all times while on campus. All residents have responsibility for informing guests of all Oglethorpe policies and procedures and specifically community living standards. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests. Students who do not live on campus are considered to be “guests” when visiting the residence halls and must be escorted by a host.
Evacuation routes are posted in each residence hall and it is each student’s responsibility to become familiar with such routes. All students must evacuate a building if an alarm is sounding. Do not re-enter the building until a staff member indicates it is safe to do so. Fire drills are conducted once per semester and failure to comply during a drill may result in disciplinary action and a fine. For the safety of all residents, candles and incense will not be allowed in the residence halls at any time. This includes decorative candles without a wick. Alternatives to candles and incense are diffusers, battery operated candles, and\/or plug-ins. Open fires are not permitted anywhere on campus. Do not tamper with, paint over, or otherwise cover smoke detectors or strobes on the wall. Any student who willfully compromises the safety of fellow students by tampering with fire safety equipment or sounding false alarms will be subject to fines up to $1000, suspension from the residence halls and\/or criminal prosecution.
No firearms or weapons (including air, pellet and paintball guns), ammunition, illegal knives, flammable liquids, fireworks or explosives of any kind shall be permitted in any building or any student’s vehicle on campus. Such items will be confiscated and the student will be subject to strict disciplinary action. Nerf and water guns are permitted. Possession or the discharging of fireworks on campus is in violation of the laws of Georgia and is prohibited. Students discharging fireworks or other types of explosives on campus are subject to expulsion from the residence halls.
The University agrees to provide each resident with a dresser, bed, mattress, desk and chair (either shared or personal contingent on building and\/or room configuration). All University-owned furniture must remain in the student’s room at all times. You may not remove, store or trade furnishings from your room. Each student is held accountable for the furniture in his or her room and will be assessed charges if an item is missing or damages. Furniture may not be lofted. Lounge furniture must remain where it was intended. Personal furniture remaining on campus after the residence halls close for the summer will be thrown away.
Grills are not permitted on campus, except for the grill provided by the university located on the upper residence quad.
Residents may have overnight visitors for a maximum of three consecutive nights with consent of the roommate. Prior notification and registration of that guest must be made with the RA. Registration of an overnight guest is necessary in the event of an emergency. We encourage you to be considerate of and to discuss any such plans with your roommate. Please remember, as a host or hostess, you are responsible for the behavior of your guests. Residents are allowed a maximum of two guests at any given time. Violations may result in sanctions and\/or fines.
Your RA will call meetings from time to time on your hall or in your building. These meetings are never lengthy and are only called when the RA has something important to share or certain issues to discuss. You are expected to make every effort to attend. If you are unable to be there, check with your RA to learn what you missed.
In order to keep the unit working, do not block the heating\/air-conditioning unit with furniture, beds or debris. Heating\/AC filters will be changed each semester; a fine will be assessed to occupants of rooms with blocked units as outlined above. Residents are not permitted to use window air-conditioning units or portable heaters in the residence halls.
All residents are expected to vacate the residence halls by the time posted by the Residence Life staff on the last day of classes before a scheduled break or at the completion of their final examinations. Special requests for delayed departure must be submitted to a professional Residence Life staff member two weeks prior to the upcoming break. Professional Residence Life staff may grant permission if the request is justified. Students granted special permission to remain in the halls over scheduled breaks will be charged $100 per day. Anyone who returns to the residence halls during the break, or who stays late without receiving prior permission may face the daily charge and additional sanctions, fines and further disciplinary action. The residence halls will reopen after scheduled vacation periods at 10:00 a.m. on the day before registration or when classes resume.
The housekeeping staff is responsible for cleaning all public areas. These areas include the lounges, common restrooms, halls and stairwells. Individual student bathrooms are cleaned only during select holiday breaks. Housekeeping requests should be sent via email through OASIS. Remember, housekeeping can only clean bathrooms that are free of undue clutter on the sinks and floor area.
All students must carry the PetrelPass student ID card with them at all times on campus. The ID card is required for after-hours entry to the dining hall, upperclassmen residence halls, and the main gate. Students are responsible for keeping the ID safe and should not lend the ID to anyone else. Replacement cards are obtained through Residence Life for $15.00
The university shall not be responsible for the theft, loss or damage to any student’s personal property. Students are encouraged to carry adequate personal property insurance. Your parent’s insurance may cover your belongings while you are away at school. It would be wise to check their policy.
All student rooms are wired for internet accessibility. Oglethorpe provides internet access and an email account for each student. For additional information on the network, visit IT Services. Check out the Office of Residence Life web page for information on what’s going on in the community. It is very important for students who use an alternate email address to forward all mail from their campus network account. Important information regarding university operation and communication, including closings or cancellations, is transmitted via the university network.
Report lost keys at once to a professional Residence Life staff member. For your security, it is necessary that we change locks and make a charge against your student account. The charge for a lost key is $140. Keys must be returned to the residence life office when you move off campus. Keys should only be returned to an authorized Residence Life staff member.
Washers and dryers are located on the first floor of Traer Hall and Alumni Hall, in the basement of Dempsey Hall and on each floor of Jobe-Hansen and Bowden-Magbee Halls.

See laundry machines in use or report malfunctioning machine. 

Students needing to be let into their rooms should contact the RA on duty. If that person is temporarily unavailable, they should look for another member of the Residence Life staff or call Campus Safety as a last resort. Students who have more than two lockouts per semester will be charged $10.00 per lockout.
Routine maintenance needs should be reported by sending a request online through OASIS. Please be specific in describing your problem and date the request; this will expedite repairs. All regular maintenance requests must be submitted in writing. Emergency concerns and after hours maintenance requests should be reported to the RA on duty, a professional Residence Life staff member or Campus Safety immediately.
It is against the law to make obscene or harassing phone calls. Conviction through the justice system is punishable by a fine and\/or prison. If you receive such calls:

  • Hang up immediately.
  • Do not give out any information (names, location, etc.).
  • If calls persist, call your RA or RLC, the Office of Residence Life, Campus Safety or the local police department.
  • Keep a record of calls (especially dates and times).
  • Attempt to determine a pattern.
Occupancy reports are completed periodically by the Office of Residence Life in order to maintain an accurate list of residents for reasons of safety, security, and record keeping. Students must cooperate with Residence Life staff who are completing occupancy reports. Failure to comply or providing inaccurate information may result in disciplinary action.
If you are having problems with insects of any kind in your room, please inform your RA or a professional Residence Life staff member so the appropriate measures may be taken to rid your quarters of such pests. The exterminator comes on campus periodically to take care of any problems. It is important for students to keep their rooms neat and free of debris and open food sources.
No pets are allowed in the residence halls due to health and sanitation regulations. This includes pet cages, wildlife, ant farms, termites, etc. Animals can cause different types of allergens to other students. There can also be a flea outbreak from some animals if not taken care of properly. Non-aggressive fish are an exception, and can be kept in a fish tank no larger than 10 gallons. Residents found to be keeping pets will have 24 hours to remove them from campus. Further disciplinary action and a $100 cleaning fee may also be imposed.
Courtesy quiet hours are in effect at all times in the residence halls. Mandatory quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. on the weekends. During final exam week, strict quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day. During quiet hours, noise should not be heard outside your door or one door down from you.
Housing is provided on a space-available basis to full-time day students enrolled in the traditional program only. Any traditional program student of a non-traditional age (over 22 years of age) may be subject to special approval when reserving a room. The availability of on-campus housing is not guaranteed. Each resident student is required to pay a nonrefundable deposit and sign a residence hall agreement before he or she may reserve a room. The agreement is binding for an entire academic year. Students thinking about moving off-campus should speak with a professional Residence Life staff member before making plans.
All students have a residency requirement. For traditional incoming students, this requirement is for the first three years of enrollment unless they are granted an exemption by Residence Life. Exemption criteria can be found on the Housing Options page. Starting with new students in Fall 2018, commuters will be enrolled in a mandatory meal plan each year.
All residence halls at Oglethorpe are coed, with each suite designated for a single gender. Some upperclassmen suites will be designated coed within the suite. Students entering Oglethorpe for the first time will be assigned to a residence hall by the Residence Life staff. Students may request a specific roommate prior to being assigned, however, all requests must be mutual and submitted in writing to the Office of Residence Life. Returning students will select his or her residence hall space in early April, according to procedures established by the Office of Residence Life.
All residence halls at Oglethorpe are coed, with each suite designated for a single gender. Some upperclassmen suites will be designated coed within the suite. Students entering Oglethorpe for the first time will be assigned to a residence hall by the Residence Life staff. Students may request a specific roommate prior to being assigned, however, all requests must be mutual and submitted in writing to the Office of Residence Life. Returning students will select his or her residence hall space in early April, according to procedures established by the Office of Residence Life.
Students wishing to change rooms must submit a Room Change Request form. Forms may be obtained and submitted in the Office of Residence Life. Students will then be contacted (usually within seven to ten business days) as to whether or not their request has been approved. Moving without prior approval of the Office of Residence Life will result in a minimum $100 fine. Room changes may only be made after the first two weeks of school through midterm during the first semester and during the first two weeks of school during the second semester. When the residence halls are filled to capacity, room change options diminish. Communication is the key to effective roommate relationships. Residents may not exchange keys without prior permission from the Office of Residence Life.
The university reserves the right to enter a student’s room for inspection or repair, disciplinary purposes or whenever there is a reasonable cause to suspect violations of university and Residence Life policies. University personnel will enter a student’s room if there is a strong suspicion of illegal drug activity.
Room inspections by the Residence Life staff may be held periodically to insure compliance with community living standards and\/or health and fire safety guidelines. Advance notice of these inspections will normally be given. Students whose rooms are deemed “unsanitary or a health hazard” will be given 24 hours to correct the situation or be subject to disciplinary action.
Entrance into vacant rooms can only be authorized by a professional Residence Life staff member. If a room is known to be vacant, students may request to occupy the room through the room change process. As stated in the room change policy, students who move into a room without prior approval of the Office of Residence Life will result in a minimum $100 fine.
In this community, as in any other, everyone has rights and responsibilities. Problems develop when one person fulfills his or her responsibilities and another does not. Please respect the following:

The right to read, to study and to sleep in the room with as little disturbance as possible within reason.
The right to have personal belongings that are used by no one else.
The right to live in a clean and orderly room.
The right to have guests, provided they respect the rights of the roommate.
The right to enter the room whenever one wants to, unless other provisions are made and agreed upon by both parties.
The right to be free of physical or emotional harassment.
The right to speak out openly.
The right to be treated with consideration and thoughtfulness.

These rights and responsibilities apply not only to roommates but also to suitemates and others living in the building or residence halls. If you do not act in accordance with the roommate bill of rights, you may be subject to disciplinary action including relocation or dismissal from the residence halls.

Always lock your door and take your key with you, even if you are leaving for just a short period of time. Do not lend your key to others. Do not keep large amounts of cash in your room. Protect the safety of your fellow residents by respecting all visitation policies. Keep outside doors locked even if it causes you an inconvenience. Propping outside doors for easier re-entry or giving out access codes to buildings compromises the safety of the entire building and is considered a very serious violation of policy. Door propping also includes taping or otherwise interfering with the locking mechanism of any door, so that it does not lock. The first offense of this policy will result in a disciplinary warning and $100 fine, second offense will result in a disciplinary warning and $200 fine, and the third offense will result in residential suspension.
There is a snack and soft drink machine located in close proximity to each residence hall area. Please report any problems with the machines to a professional Residence Life staff member. Note: Vandalism to vending machines may result in the loss of those machines for the remainder of the academic year.
No solicitation is permitted in the residence halls. Please report any solicitors to a member of the Residence Life staff or Campus Safety. Do not use red paper for advertisement because this is used for emergencies by Campus Safety. Do not put advertisements in the middle of windows because it is a safety hazard and it will be removed. All advertisement must be approved by Campus Life.
Due to the potential for damage to residence hall facilities and the risk of personal injury, sporting activities are not allowed in the residence hall areas unless approved by a professional Residence Life staff member.
The university does not have the space to provide any on-campus storage. For those who need storage there are numerous storage facilities in the Atlanta area. Personal property left or abandoned on campus after the residence halls close will be thrown away. Furthermore, storage companies may only leave storage sheds\/containers on campus in pre-approved areas for 48 hours.
In case of strong winds or in the possibility of a tornado, students are asked to open their windows and move to the interior walls of their building or to the lower floor interior walls if time permits. Should damage occur, a Residence Life staff member will be on hand for directions and to contact the proper authorities.
Requests for summer housing will be taken during the spring semester in April, after the room selection process is complete for the upcoming fall semester. Residence Life will announce dates, times and procedures.
The university does not assume responsibility for articles lost or stolen from rooms. Residents need to take precautions to insure, to the best of their ability, that theft does not occur. Remember to lock your door whenever you leave your room; do not loan or duplicate your keys; report lost room keys as soon as possible; take valuables home with you over breaks. Any theft or loss should be reported to your RA or a professional Residence Life staff member and Campus Safety upon discovering the loss.
Please keep our campus looking attractive by placing all trash in appropriate outside containers. Residents of Jobe-Hansen and Bowden-Magbee Halls should use the trash chutes. All trash placed in the chutes must be bagged. Large items that do not fit in the chute must be carried to the dumpster in the upper parking lot. Students discarding their trash outside their rooms or littering in the Quad may face the following sanctions: community service and fines of $50.00 per bag of trash. Students who continue to disregard this policy may lose their privilege to live on campus.
In accordance with an individual’s reasonable right of privacy, you may not videotape or photograph another student without their consent. This policy is upheld in both public and private spaces, including residence hall rooms.
Oglethorpe University permits visitation in the residence halls by members of the opposite sex 24 hours per day, seven days a week with the consent of the host or hostess and his or her roommates\/suitemates. Cohabitation between students and\/or non-students, regardless of gender, is not permitted. Cohabitation exists when a person who is not assigned to a particular residence hall room or suite uses that room or suite as if he or she were living there. Visitors may not stay more than 3 consecutive nights, or 12 nights in a semester. Any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action under the student code of conduct.
Do not prop doors or climb out of windows as an alternative to when you are locked out or visiting someone. It is a safety concern and you will be subject to disciplinary action. Do not remove tiles in the ceiling or the window screens. There will be a damage charge if these are removed\/damaged.