Updated Social Policies Regarding Covid19
Policies regarding gatherings, visitations, guests and parties have been updated to better maintain the health and safety of the campus community. These additional social restrictions and safety measures will be in effect until further notice and supersede all previously established policies regarding guests, visitation, parties and gatherings.
Occupancy and Guests inside residential units (and patios):
Traditional Halls – 1 guest per resident at a time.
Apartments/Townhouses – 1 guest per resident at a time.
Suites – maximum of 10 students (including residents) permitted at a time.
Visitation and Guests
After move-in day, non-student visitors are not permitted to enter the residence halls or residential units. Residents are restricted from providing access to their unit to anyone other than other residential students and community students or college officials commuting students (not community).
Card access to the building is restricted to allow only assigned residents access their building 24/7. Residents should meet their student visitors at the entry door of their building.
Students who host gatherings that do not comply with college policy or CDC guidelines, or create an environment where these policies can be violated may face removal from housing for the remainder of the semester.
Air-conditioned residences are:
- Caroline Hall
- Queen Anne
- Lewis Quadrangle
- Prince George Hall
- Waring Commons
- The Townhouses
The air conditioning in campus buildings is turned on in early May, when the outside temperature is consistently above 75 – 80 degrees.
The air conditioning is turned off on campus in late September or early October, when the outside temperature at night is consistently below 65 degrees and the daytime temperature is consistently below 80 degrees.
If a student living in a traditional hall (Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, or Queen Anne) needs air conditioning because of asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies that require prescription medication, the student may request to have a window air conditioning unit. Students requesting air conditioning in the traditional halls due to asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies must submit their request and appropriate medical documentation to the Health Center for review. Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis following consultation with the student’s health care provider.
There is a $100 fee for submitting a request after the deadline. There is no guarantee that an air conditioning unit will be provided for any requests received after August 1. If the request is approved by Health Services, the student will be permitted to have one provided by the College for an additional fee of $200 per year. Only students whose requests are approved are permitted to have an air conditioner. The Office of Residence Life will notify the student of the status of his or her request. The Maintenance staff will install the air conditioner for the student. In Queen Anne, Dorchester, and Calvert Halls installation will usually occur prior to the student’s arrival in August, to ensure that it is properly installed and will not fall out of the window. In Caroline and Prince George Halls, the units will be installed in September (please read the information below). The unit is to stay in the window for the entire year (Maintenance does not take it out for the winter and then reinstall it in the spring). Students should refrain from running the air conditioners during the winter months since this tends to cause the units to freeze up and break.
Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George and Queen Anne Halls Air Conditioning Guidelines
These buildings are equipped with central air conditioning systems. The building air conditioning systems cannot be operated at times when heating is needed, requiring the buildings to be either in cooling mode or heating mode. Therefore, the air conditioning in these buildings is turned on in early May, when the outside temperature is consistently above 75 – 80 degrees. The air conditioning is turned off in late September or early October, when the outside temperature at night is consistently below 65 degrees and the daytime temperature is consistently below 80 degrees.
Students living in Prince George and Caroline Halls with asthma or moderate or severe persistent allergies that require prescription medication may request to have the college install window air conditioners to provide cooling when the building air conditioning systems are off. (See the information above). Environmental and mechanical engineering consultants have recommended that window air conditioners operated at the same time as the building air conditioning systems can create conditions for mold growth due to excessive condensation created by over-cooling. Therefore, window air conditioners will be installed in late September just prior to our shift to heating (on or about October 1st). In addition to this process, all window air conditioners will be locked out when the college shifts to cooling on or about May 1st of each year. Students should refrain from running the air conditioners during the winter months since this tends to cause the units to freeze up and break.
Lewis Quad and Waring Commons Air Conditioning Guidelines
Lewis Quad and Waring Commons have climate control systems that maintain a temperature range of 68ºF to 75ºF throughout the year. Window AC units are not allowed in Lewis Quad or Waring Commons. The College will maintain a comfort range of between 68 to 75 degrees. Students with allergy problems would be better served by purchasing an air purifier with a HEPA filter for their room.
Townhouse Air Conditioning Guidelines
Students living in townhouses are responsible for controlling their own air conditioning use so the housemates need to discuss climate control issues among themselves. Window AC units are not allowed.
Students with Mild Persistent or Seasonal Allergies
Students with mild persistent or seasonal allergies will not automatically receive a window air conditioner, regardless of the building. Our window air conditioners do not contain air purifiers and therefore, bring outside air with the allergens into the rooms. Those students diagnosed with allergies are strongly encouraged to bring a personal, portable, air-purifying system that can also circulate the air within their room. Only specific particulate filtering devices such as HEPA filtration/HEPA air cleaners are approved for the residences. Some examples can be found on the website below.
Antennas, Electrical Wiring, Fire Safety, & Appliances
Residents are not permitted to install outdoor antennas or other devices on the exterior of any residence hall, suite, apartment, or townhouse or in adjacent trees or shrubbery. Under no circumstances may the electrical wiring in a room be altered. Installation or alteration of electrical equipment is prohibited. Fires in student rooms have resulted from electrical defects or careless use of electrical appliances.
The following are appliances which may be operated in student rooms:
- answering machine
- computer and printer
- curling iron
- electric blanket (with heat control)
- electric curlers
- hair dryer
- hot pot (must have closed heating element)
- lamp (except halogen*)
- popcorn popper
- refrigerator (less than 5 cubic feet capacity, only one per room)
- sewing machine
- stereo equipment
- VCR/DVD player
* Halogen lamps have been responsible for a number of housing fires across the country. Halogen bulbs burn three times as hot as incandescent bulbs. They are not permitted at SMCM.
Students living in the suites, apartments, or townhouses are permitted to have one microwave oven per suite, apartment, or townhouse unit. Students in traditional residence halls are not permitted to have a microwave in their rooms. One is provided in the common area kitchen.
Electrical appliances not included on this list are not allowed and may be confiscated and stored at the student’s expense. No appliances may have an exposed heating element. All appliances must be UL-approved. Candles and incense are not permitted due to the danger of open flame and unattended heat sources. Window air conditioners are permitted only for those students with approved medical reasons who have received written permission from the Health Center and the Associate Dean of Students.
Apartment & Townhouse Assignments
Bicycles, Mopeds, & Motorcycles
Security in the residence halls is monitored by both Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff. All residences are locked 24 hours a day. Each student has a cardkey (the student’s ID card) which unlocks his/her living area. To gain access to these residence halls, students must use their ID cards at the proximity readers located near the front door and one or two of the side doors. Students may get into their own building anytime using the cardkey system. Visiting students with a valid student ID can get into a building using the cardkey system until midnight. The front doors of Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, Queen Anne, and the side door of Calvert have a combination lock that can be used in the event of a power failure or a problem with the proximity readers. In those instances, residence life staff will provide the residents with the combination. It will be changed immediately after the proximity readers are enabled.
- Students living in the traditional residence halls are issued a key which opens their individual room door.
- Students living in Lewis Quad will be issued a key that operates the outside suite entry door as well as the student’s assigned bedroom.
- Students living in the Townhouses will be issued a key that operates the outside front and back entry doors.
- Students living in Waring Commons will be issued a key that operates the door to the student’s assigned apartment or suite and the student’s assigned bedroom door. The outside entry doors at Waring Commons can be accessed with the cardkey system or the key.
Public Safety officers and Residence Life staff ensure after-hours safety in these areas. Please immediately report lost keys to your RA or the Office of Residence Life in order to ensure the security of your living area. Students should immediately report any problems with combinations or the proximity readers by calling Public Safety or contacting a member of the Residence Life staff. Residents should not copy or give their key out to anyone. Students will be charged for lost keys. Residents are encouraged to lock their doors at all times.
It is your responsibility to keep your room, suite, apartment, or townhouse clean. Obtain any supplies that you will need to keep your home-away-from-home clean. The housekeeping staff is responsible for cleaning rooms prior to occupancy in August and for daily cleaning in the common areas of the traditional residence halls. Personal items should not be left in the common areas (bathrooms, corridors, common rooms, laundry rooms, recreation rooms) as this makes it much more difficult for the housekeeping staff to complete their work. On weekends, only a light touch-up is done in the buildings. RAs will take note of cleanliness issues while on their nightly rounds. RAs will notify at least one person in the hallway or suite of the following problems (this list is not exhaustive): excess pizza boxes, newspapers, magazines piling up, garbage not taken to the dumpster, dishes or personal belongings left in the bathroom sinks, on the countertops, or on the floor. The residents will need to correct the problem immediately.
Housekeeping staff will go into the suites (Lewis Quad and Waring Commons) twice a week to clean the common bathrooms as long as the bathroom area is accessible (personal items should not be left on the countertops, in the showers, on the floor, in the toilet stalls, etc.). Please note: residents are responsible for cleaning the private bathrooms in the LQ suites. In order to ensure that the housekeepers can adequately do their jobs, residents will be held accountable for cleanliness in their suites, particularly for cleaning the common living room area. Housekeeping staff will not clean this area. It is the responsibility of all members of each suite to ensure that the common areas in the suite (study room, bathroom, and stairwell, if appropriate) are clean, sanitary, and safe for the occupants. If a resident notices an unsafe condition, it should be reported to Maintenance or to an RA in a timely manner. Continuing problems with cleanliness issues in the suites may result in:
- Regular, unannounced inspections
- Students (not housekeepers) being held accountable for cleaning the common areas of the suites
- Billing suite residents for excessive trash removal
- Judicial action
- Housekeeping does not provide cleaning services in the Waring Commons apartments or the Townhouses. Residents are responsible for cleaning their units regularly.
Consolidation of Vacancies
Construction and Modification to Residences
Any structural modification, alteration, or addition to the interior or exterior of rooms or townhouses is strictly prohibited without written authorization from the Office of Residence Life and the director of Physical Plant. Residents are not permitted to extend or hang objects from the windows or doors. Residents are also prohibited from making any alteration to their room or townhouse that could result in a fire hazard, fire code violation, or other dangerous situation.
- When hanging pictures, we recommend that residents use the poster mounts or tacks, provided by the Office of Residence Life, on their walls.
- Repairs resulting from damages caused by using other devices will be charged to the residents in the room or unit.
- All residents should avoid using duct tape and double-sided foam tape to hang pictures on painted or wooden surfaces. The residue left when the tape is removed is impossible to eliminate and will add significant costs to damage billings.
- In order to avoid chipping the paint and causing other damages, use removable mounting tabs (for example, Magic Removable Mounts, available in the CampusStore) to put up posters, etc. on the walls.
Students may decorate their rooms and hallways for holidays.
- All decorations must be UL-approved and marked “flame resistant” or “flame retardant.”
- Live trees and greenery, and decorations containing crepe paper or pyroxylin plastics may not be used.
- Nothing should be attached to or touch the ceilings or floors, especially in the hallways (exception: decorations with a stand securely placed on the floor).
- Open flames are not permitted.
- Twinkle lights may be strung along the walls.
- One extension cord per outlet is permitted, with only one device plugged into the cord (that is, the cord is NOT there to provide additional outlets) and is only temporary, not stretched across doors, floors, under rugs, etc.
- Nothing should block a light fixture or smoke detector at any time.
- Students are not permitted to decorate exit doors, door handles, electrical equipment (including lights, panels, and switches), fire protection equipment (including alarms, extinguishers, lights, panels, or smoke detectors), stairs, stairwells, and windows.
- Due to fire safety regulations, students are not permitted to block light fixtures or smoke detectors with tapestries or other material. Because windows and doors must be accessible in the event of a fire, students may not hang material in a manner so as to block easy access to these egress points.
Extension Cords & Electrical Outlets
Seniors who are returning to SMCM in order to participate in Commencement exercises should contact the Office of Residence Life by May 1 to obtain College housing for Senior Week. The residence halls and suites close at 3:00 p.m. on Commencement Day, and the Townhouses and Apartments close at 5:00 p.m.
Guidelines for Continuous Housing
To prevent students from moving off-campus for one year and then moving back on-campus.
In recent years, a number of students have moved off-campus during the sophomore or junior year simply because they could not get assigned to a townhouse or single room. They live off-campus until they can obtain a townhouse or single room. Those students who live on-campus throughout their first three years should have priority for apartment or townhouse spaces or single rooms over students who live on-campus, then off-campus, then on-campus again.
Room selection for returning students (for the next academic year) takes place in March. Students currently living on-campus or who are participating in an approved College-sponsored, off-campus program (Study Abroad, NSE, distant internship) may select housing during this room-selection period.
All forms for housing (townhouse, special housing request, single room, room draw) will include a space for each applicant to indicate his/her current on-campus housing assignment. This information will be verified by the Office of Residence Life. Applications which include a commuting student may not participate in the room selection process.
- Newly admitted students have the next priority for housing. Their assignments are made in June.
- Commuting students may request to be wait-listed for spaces that become available during the summer, after new students have been housed.
- Commuting students may submit a special request to obtain housing with returning students for special, extenuating circumstances. Such requests must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life by February for the fall semester and October for the spring semester. A staff member will notify students of the decisions granting or denying the request in early March or November.
- Appeals of the decisions made by the Associate Director of Residence Life may be sent to the Associate Dean of Students within seven days of the notification of the decision. The Housing Contract Release/Extension Committee will review appeals and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean, who will notify the student of the results.
All decisions by the associate dean of students are final.
The College reserves the right to temporarily suspend this policy when warranted by housing demands.
Health & Safety Inspections
Residence Life staff will conduct health and safety inspections when we close for Thanksgiving Break (November), Winter Break (December), and Spring Break (March). We will focus on fire safety concerns, health & safety issues, and use these inspections in an effort to reduce end-of-the-year damage billing. If we catch potential problems earlier than May, that will help with the transition from academic year to summer-housing use, thus reducing the amount of time we spend on room inspections and damage billing.
Staff members will post notification flyers at least three days prior to each H&S inspection. Staff will write in the specific date and time of the inspection (residents do not need to be present). Staff will do a visual inspection of the room and will not open drawers or closets. Staff will be checking for:
- General cleanliness (especially in the apartment and townhouse kitchens and bathrooms)
- Disabled smoke detectors
- Overloaded electrical outlets
- Tapestries blocking lights, smoke detectors, doors, windows
- Excessive trash
- Evidence of pets, smoking, candles, incense
- Unauthorized appliances or lofts
- Obvious damage to College property
- Belongings improperly stored in HVAC closets (Townhouses only)
- Condition of the carpet (Townhouses only)
- Properly charged fire extinguishers (Apartments and Townhouses only)
RAs will note issues and concerns initially, share this information with residents, give the residents at least one week to correct the problems and then re-inspect. While residents may not make repairs to holes, etc., they must remove all other problems cited, such as tapestries, microwave, pets, etc. If the corrections are not completed, the RA will submit an incident report for follow-up.
Returning students complete the room and meal plan selection process in March for the following fall semester. New students are matched with roommates and assigned to housing in June for the fall semester, and late December/early January for the spring term. Returning students must submit a $200 housing deposit (electronically, or in-person at the Business Office) and a signed housing contract (electronically via the Portal) in order to be eligible for housing for the next academic year. Housing contracts are available online through the Portal system, in the Office of Residence Life, and from Residence Life staff members. Applications for suites, apartments, townhouses, and single rooms, as well as special housing request forms, are available online.
All contracts and applications for townhouses, apartments, single rooms, special housing requests, and suite applications must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life through Residence Symplicity.com.
Housing Contract Release Request
Students requesting to be released from the Housing Contract due to participation in a College-approved program (for example, internship site outside of St. Mary’s County, study abroad, NSE), or who are graduating, are automatically approved with no financial penalties. Housing deposits will be transferred to the semester in which the student returns to the College. Students who transfer or withdraw from the College are released from the Contract and must pay liquidated damages as noted below. A committee made up of faculty, staff, and a student representative will usually review requests from students who want to be released from the Housing Contract in order to live off campus, based on medical or financial need. Written requests to be released from the Housing Contract are due in the Office of Residence Life according to the following schedule:
For release for the spring semester:
- November 1: No financial penalties
- November 2 – December 1: Assessed 10% of semester housing cost
- December 1 – Start of spring semester classes: Assessed 20% of semester housing cost
- After classes have started: Assessed full-semester cost of the room
For release for the fall semester:
- May 1: No financial penalties
- May 2 – July 1: Assessed 10% of semester housing cost
- July 2 – Start of fall semester classes: Assessed 20% of semester housing cost
- After classes have started: Assessed full-semester cost of the room”
Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw after classes begin are subject to the standard refund policy (refer to the College Catalog for more information). Students who decide to move off-campus after classes begin are assessed the full-semester cost for their room.
Students must remember that it is the College’s goal to be at 100% occupancy. The College budget is built, in part, on having a certain number of students living on-campus throughout the academic year. The College has financial obligations that must be met (for example, payment to contractors, salaries, equipment purchases) and must therefore hold students liable for their financial responsibilities. At the same time, there are occasional extenuating circumstances, beyond a student’s control, that may have an impact on his/her ability to live on campus.
Housing Wait List
Lofts and Bunk Beds
Meal Plan Exceptions
Ninth Semester Housing Policy
To guarantee students on-campus housing for eight semesters.
In recent years, the number of bed spaces for new, incoming students has been reduced due to the increased number of ninth-semester (and more) students continuing to live on-campus. The residential experience is designed to move students developmentally to living more independent and responsible lifestyles. It is assumed that new, traditional-aged students would benefit more from living on-campus than older students. The apartments and townhouses were designed to be a transitional living unit, preparing students to move off-campus. They were not designed for the same students to live in for two or three years. By guaranteeing space for only eight semesters, more apartment and townhouse spaces are available to more students, thus opening up spaces in the residence halls for an increased number of younger students.
- Returning students are guaranteed on-campus housing, pending the submission of a housing deposit and Housing Contract by the published date in early March. All new students are guaranteed on-campus housing, pending the submission of the College deposit by May 1.
- For any returning student signing up for on-campus housing, the number of semesters he/she has lived on-campus will be verified by the Office of Residence Life.
- A student is guaranteed on-campus housing for a total of eight semesters, beginning with the first completed semester in which he/she is registered and enrolled as a full-time student.
- Students who transfer into the College or who enroll in College housing after their first semester as a student will have their housing residency pro-rated.
- Students wanting to live on-campus after the eighth semester will be eligible to get on the housing wait list for spaces that open up during the summer, after newly admitted students are housed.
- Students who plan to stay an extra (ninth) semester due to double majoring, student-teaching, etc., are not guaranteed on-campus housing for their ninth semester, and may not apply for housing in March. Students may submit a written request to be allowed to sign up for housing in March due to special, extenuating circumstances. The request should be submitted to the Office of Residence Life by February 15 for the fall semester, and October 31 for the spring term. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A staff member will notify the student of the decision that grants or denies the request. An appeal of the decision made by the Associate Director of Residence Life may be sent to the Associate Dean of Students. The Housing Contract Release/Extension Committee will review the appeal and make a recommendation to the associate dean, who will contact the students with the results.
- The decisions rendered by the associate dean are final.
The College reserves the right to temporarily suspend this policy when warranted by housing demands.
Open Housing Policy
Due to fire regulations, the number of people permitted in a room (including the suites in Lewis Quad and Waring Commons), apartment, or townhouse is limited as follows:
- Residence hall single: 3 guests plus 1 resident
- Residence hall double: 5 guests plus 2 residents
- Residence hall triple/quad: 7 guests plus 2 residents
- Six-person suite: 15 guests plus 6 residents
- Eight-person suite: 20 guest plus 8 residents
- 10-person suite: 20 guests plus 10 residents
- 14-person suite: 20 guests plus 14 residents
- Apartment/Townhouse: 30 guests plus 4 residents or 5 residents
A party is considered to be a gathering of 10 or more persons. Throughout the party, all guests with alcohol must be at least 21 years old and must remain behind closed doors (within the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse). Individuals are not permitted to drink in the stairwells or common areas of the suites in Lewis Quad or Waring Commons. The noise level should be kept to a minimum so as not to disturb neighboring rooms, suites, apartments, or townhouses. Unacceptable noise levels will be determined by Residence Life and Public Safety staff. All College rules, regulations, and policies must be upheld. The hosts (residents of the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse) will be held responsible for the behavior of their guests, invited or not invited, and any violations of policy. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the party. If problems develop with invited or uninvited guests, the hosts should contact a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member for assistance.
The following are reasons, either in combination or by themselves, for a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member to request that the residents of a room, suite, apartment, or townhouse disperse their guests and end a party:
- The number of guests is determined to be in violation of fire and safety code standards.
- It is determined that guests are being charged for attending the party or for the alcohol that is being provided.
- It is determined that there is a keg or multi-liter container in or around the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse.
- It is determined that there are underage guests who are consuming alcohol.
- Damage has been caused and can be attributed to guests at the party.
- The noise level is determined to be disruptive, either by complaints from neighboring rooms, suites,apartments, or townhouses, or by a Residence Life or Public Safety staff member.
It is expected that the hosts of a party will help facilitate its disbursement, with the assistance of Public Safety or Residence Life staff members. It is expected that all guests will leave in an orderly fashion.
In order to live in campus housing, students are required to be full-time, degree-seeking students in good standing. Students who drop below full-time credit (12 hours) must submit a written request to the Office of Residence Life College housing. Last-semester seniors who need fewer than 12 credits to graduate must also submit a written request. If permission is granted (based on the reason for the request and past behavior), the student will have to continue to pay the full-time tuition rate, remain registered for at least eight (8) credits, and maintain exemplary behavior or face the loss of housing privileges. Before dropping below 12 credits, students are strongly advised to discuss this matter with their parents to ensure that health, dental, and homeowner insurance policies will not be affected. Some insurance companies will provide coverage only if the student is registered as a full-time student. Please keep this information in mind and plan accordingly.
Personal Responsibility for Residence Hall Rooms and Other Spaces
In order to provide a safe and a healthy environment for members of the campus community to study, work and live, to comply with local animal ordinances, and to ensure public safety, it is the policy of the College to restrict animals from all campus buildings. One of the areas of concern for the College is the continuing presence of unauthorized pets on campus. Current College policy states that pets and other animals are not permitted in any College building because of health and safety concerns for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Animals as pets are not permitted in any campus building, including residence halls, classrooms, and public spaces. Animals in buildings may present health problems very different from those encountered in the home. The influence of these animals on the comfort and health of others should be a matter of concern to all in the campus community, and should be considered above the personal satisfaction of keeping a pet. Many persons are deathly afraid of pet animals, especially dogs, and when they enter a residence hall, office, lab, or classroom it should be their right not to have to encounter a dog or other pet in the foyer, lounge areas, or a corridor. Abandonment of pets, especially cats, continues to be a problem. This usually occurs just before long vacations or at the end of a semester.
Exemptions are granted for service animals which assist people with disabilities, are used in education or research projects, or for full-time, live-on professional staff who have been given written permission by the associate dean of students/director of Residence Life. Resident students are permitted to have non-meat-eating fish and non-venomous reptiles in closed aquariums in their assigned room. Animals that are temporarily on the grounds must be licensed and under the control of the owner (leashed) at all times. Pets should not be left in cars (due to the potential of problems from heat or cold), and are not permitted to be “tied up” outside of buildings. Pets found tied up or running loose on campus may be taken by Animal Control. Faculty, students, and staff must also ensure that their visitors abide by the College’s pet policy. It has become necessary to strictly enforce this policy for all students, faculty, and staff in order to be in compliance with state laws and regulations, and the College’s policy.
Therapy, Companion or Comfort Animals
These are animals that have been prescribed as treatment and, while they may be an integral part of therapy, they generally do not assist the individual in the activities of daily living. They may or may not be trained and certified. They are not considered to be service animals and do not have the rights of service animals. Students that wish to have a Therapy, Companion, or Comfort Animal in housing should contact the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life (or designee) prior to bringing the animal to campus. Policy information, procedures, and the request form can be found on the Residence Life web page (www.smcm.edu/residencelife). Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is concerned for the health, well-being, and comfort of all fans attending NCAA athletic events as well as all student athletes, coaches, and officials participating in NCAA athletic events. Pets and other animals are prohibited at St. Mary’s College of Maryland athletic events. Any person found with an animal or pet at a St. Mary’s College of Maryland NCAA athletic event will be asked to leave the premises. This excludes service animals, which are allowed per College policy, with proper documentation.
Minimum Expected Sanctions
- Students may not bring their pets to campus while attending classes, except as noted above.
- Pet owners may face a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, community service hours, and/or education project.
- Repeat offenders face disciplinary probation and residence hall facility restriction or suspension.
- The owner of the pet faces a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, community service hours, and/or education project.
Repeat offenders will face loss of housing, disciplinary probation, and/or suspension.
- Residents who permit unauthorized pets in their room, suite, townhouse, or apartment face community service hours after their first offense and repeat offenders face disciplinary probation.
Your cooperation in following this policy is appreciated and will help to create better working conditions for our employees and reduce concerns about personal safety and problems and inconveniences associated with allergies, fleas, odors, and damages.
The following items are prohibited in and around the residence halls, suites, apartments, and townhouses. This list is not all-inclusive. The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to prohibit items and practices which may not appear on the list but which are deemed hazardous or unsanitary.
- Firearms or weapons of any kind – including guns, BB guns, air guns, bows and arrows, and knives with a blade of 3″ or longer
- Explosives or fireworks of any kind
- Volatile liquids including, but not limited to, propane gas fuel, paint, paint thinner, and turpentine
- Non-UL-approved multi-outlet plugs
- Beer kegs and “party balls”
- Gasoline motors, including motorcycles and mopeds
- Open burning elements, including cigarettes, pipes, candles, and incense
- Waterbeds, hot tubs (including homemade), saunas
- Electric heaters
- Gas grills
- Air conditioner (without prior written permission from Health Services and Residence Life)
- Flammable or non-UL-approved decorations, including live Christmas trees
- Unsanitary items
- Dead animals
- Major weight-lifting equipment
- Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Objects placed on window ledges or dangerously hung from windows
- Appliances which exceed the rated outlet capacity of 110V, 15 amp, or are considered fire hazards including, but not limited to, the following: crock pots, hotplates, toaster ovens, electric frying pans, toasters, submergible heating coils, microwave ovens, and halogen lamps
Quiet Hours & Noise
Quiet hours are 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday and on weekends (Friday and Saturday), from 1:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. During these hours, noise must be kept to a minimum in and around the living areas (including DPC). However, courtesy hours are always in effect, and residents should respect the rights of others who wish to sleep or study. Stereo speakers may not be directed out the windows due to the possibility of disrupting classes. Amplified music is not permitted in the near vicinity of the residences (for example, on Townhouse Green, inside Lewis Quad, within the Waring Commons complex, or adjacent to a residence hall). Sound equipment that violates the quiet hours policy may be removed from the resident’s room. Residence hall wings may establish additional quiet hours by a two-thirds majority vote. Bands, amplifiers, and/or amplified music are not permitted in the traditional residence halls. These areas are not suited for this type of activity. Arrangements for more appropriate performance space can be discussed with the Music Department or the Office of Student Activities.
- Student bands are allowed to rehearse in the suites, apartments, and townhouses Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Due to the special nature of Calvert Hall (faculty and administrative staff offices, and residence hall spaces), students living there are required to keep noise to a minimum during working hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), as well as during regular quiet hours.
- In all residence units, quiet hours are in effect for 23 hours during final exams. The one-hour “study break” is 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. nightly.
Students with quiet-hour complaints should do the following:
- Work out the concern with those involved. Ask them to please keep the noise down and explain why it is important to you to have a quiet atmosphere.
- If that fails to solve the problem, talk to a resident assistant or the RHC. He/she will intervene to reduce the conflict and address the concern.
- If necessary, the staff member will file an Incident Report. Disciplinary action may follow.
Requests from Students Participating in Study Abroad, Distant Internships, National Student Exchange, or Returning From a Leave of Absence
Students who are not living on campus for the above reasons may request housing for the semester they return to SMCM. To apply for housing, students must submit their housing deposit and Housing Contract by the following dates:
Spring semester occupancy:
Fall semester occupancy:
Each student should contact the Office of Residence Life with the name of the person who will be selecting a room in his or her absence (a proxy) or let the office know of his or her housing preferences by the above dates. Housing preferences cannot be guaranteed; however, every effort will be made to honor requests submitted by the deadlines. Please note that housing is usually very limited; therefore, it is important that students returning to SMCM submit their deposits and contracts by the above deadline. Failure to do so forfeits any guarantee for housing. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the deposit and contract prior to leaving campus.
Room Inventory (Room Condition Reports and Townhouse Condition Reports)
Each residence hall room and townhouse is inspected by the Residence Life staff for major repairs prior to the opening of the halls in the fall term. Residents are expected to inspect their room/suite/apartment/townhouse for any and all damages and fill out a Room Condition Report (RCR) accordingly through The Residence Website. Failure to fill out an RCR will result in an administrative hold being placed on the resident’s account. Residents may not make any repairs to College property.
At check-out (after a room change or at the end of the year), the room will be inspected again by the Residence Life staff to determine the charges, if any, to be assessed to the residents for repair or replacement of items damaged or lost during their occupancy. Except for normal wear and tear, items noted at check-out that were not noted at check-in will be billed back to the assigned residents. When individuals responsible for damages cannot be identified, all the residents of the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse will be held liable.
Failure to complete a “Room Condition Report” or “Townhouse Condition Report” and the inspection process will result in a $50 fine. Personal belongings left in any room, suite, apartment, or townhouse after the space has been vacated will be discarded.
For students officially withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the College, a refund schedule for tuition, room, and board is available. Students who withdraw from housing but remain enrolled in the College are also eligible for refunds based on the College’s established refund schedule. Please refer to the College Catalog for more information.
There is no room refund for students who are removed from housing due to a housing contract violation or judicial sanction (housing revocation, suspension, or expulsion). The meal plan charges will be prorated on a weekly basis based on the official date of departure from housing or the effective date of the restriction, suspension, or expulsion as noted by the student conduct officer.
For more information, please review the housing contract and the College Catalog.
A limited number of single rooms are available in each residence hall. Singles are assigned first on a medical or psychological basis or ADA compliance, then by seniority based on earned credits.
- Medical reasons must be documented and approved by the Health Center.
- Psychological reasons must be documented and approved by the Counseling Center.
- The Associate Dean of Students, in conjunction with the director of Health Services, director of CAPS, or the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, reserves the right to judge whether a specific medical or psychological problem or ADA reason warrants a single room.
The Associate Dean of Students, in conjunction with the director of Health Services, director of Counseling Services, or the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, reserves the right to judge whether a specific medical or psychological problem or ADA reason warrants a single room.
The College has no storage space for personal belongings. No room furnishings can be placed in storage. All College furniture must remain in the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse. Be sure to lock your doors to guard against theft of personal property. Also, make sure you or your family has adequate insurance to cover loss or damage to personal property. Several self-storage facilities are available in Lexington Park. Each townhouse unit contains one storage closet. HVAC closets and attic crawl spaces must NOT be used for storage. In Waring Commons, hot water heater rooms, mechanical rooms, and attic spaces must NOT be used for storage.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland permits string lights under the following conditions:
- All lighting sets must bear UL listing tags
- Lighting sets are prohibited in corridors, around room doorways, and may not be hung from ceilings
- All lighting sets must be examined before use to detect frayed wiring and other issues that could create a fire hazard. Any defective sets must be discarded
- Lighting sets may be used on artificial trees or displayed around room windows
- Lighting sets must be turned off when the room/unit is unoccupied
- Lighting sets cannot be in contact with draperies or combustible decorations
All residence hall students should put their trash directly into the dumpsters, located near their residence hall as noted below:
- Calvert: East parking lot of Anne Arundel Hall
- Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George: Parking lot behind Caroline and Prince George
- Lewis Quadrangle: Entrance to the fire lane near suite 24
- Queen Anne: Queen Anne parking lot
- Townhouses: DPC parking lot, near Trueschler 6, near the entrance to Lot R
- Waring Commons: Centrally located between units 25 – 26
Lewis Quad and Waring Commons residents should not leave trash or personal items in the stairwells at any time due to fire codes. Due to our concern for the health and safety of our students, as well as for College property, students are not permitted to throw trash in the janitor closets.
Dumpsters will be located outside some of the buildings during check-in in August and during exam week in May to assist in trash removal. We ask that you assist the Office of Residence Life and the housekeeping staff in maintaining a clean and sanitary living environment. Students found discarding their trash improperly will be billed for trash removal. Students are encouraged to use the recycling bins located in the laundry rooms or at some of the dumpster pads.
Residents in the Townhouses and Waring Commons are responsible for trash disposal. Students may keep a trashcan and their recycling unit on their back patio (Townhouses) provided it is emptied on a regular basis. Waring Commons residents should not leave trash or personal items in the stairwell at any time due to fire codes.
The Maintenance Department will remove (at $40 per incident) any trash left in front of townhouses, disposed of improperly, or attractive to animals. Five dumpsters are located in the townhouse area, each surrounded by a wooden fence. Trash and recycling bins are centrally located for the residents of Waring Commons (between units 25 – 26). Students are to put their trash into one of the dumpsters. Residents, especially those in the Southern Crescent, should not use the garbage cans in the Schaefer Hall parking lot for trash disposal.
Remember, it is your community. Please keep it clean.
Trash must not be kept in the HVAC mechanical closet or the hot water heater closet.
In the Townhouses, the air intake for the heat and air conditioning is located in this closet, and, therefore, odors will be drawn throughout the entire unit.
Containers for recycling aluminum cans and glass are available at designated dumpster sites. Please recycle!
Vacation Periods & Residence Hall Closing Times
Students may not stay in any residence hall during the period of a vacation or break. Residents in the suites, apartments, or townhouses may remain in their units during Thanksgiving vacation and Spring Break with approval from the Office of Residence Life. Except in highly unusual circumstances, residents may not remain in campus housing during the December-January break. When necessary, residence hall students may stay in a suite, apartment, or townhouse unit, provided all residents of the unit are in agreement. If this option is chosen, students are responsible for identifying and making the appropriate arrangements. When you have identified a space, you will need to follow the posted closing procedures pertaining to remaining on campus during a break. Only those students who are approved through the Office of Residence Life to remain on campus during a break may do so. The registration and approval process during the past few years has decreased undesirable activity on campus, thus reducing incidents such as break-ins and theft. Residents should be aware that the Residence Life staff is not available during College breaks (Thanksgiving, December-January, and Spring), and the College assumes no responsibility. During the breaks, the dining hall will be closed. In case of emergencies, contact the Public Safety Office at ext. 4911.Specific information will be provided before each closing. Please be sure to read and follow the closing procedures. NOTE: When leaving during College breaks, townhouse residents should never turn the thermostat below 55° (lowering the temperature may cause the water pipes to freeze and burst).
SMCM has developed a visitation policy that provides for a degree of flexibility to accommodate varying lifestyles. Because some students prefer a restricted visitation policy and others desire a greater degree of choice in entertaining guests in their rooms, roommates must determine their own limitations. Our visitation policy is based on our confidence in the ability and inclination of SMCM students to make mature decisions about their social behavior. We also believe that no individual has the right to infringe upon another’s freedom, privacy, happiness, and safety, and that students are willing to accept both the rights and responsibilities of such a policy.
Open visitation hours are not to be construed as permission for students or guests to sleep overnight in another’s room or to conduct themselves in such a way as to invade a roommate’s privacy and full use of the room. Should such behavior come to the attention of Residence Life staff, disciplinary action may be taken.
Should visitation arrangements lead to problems between roommates, they should feel free, after trying to resolve the problem privately, to ask the Residence Life staff to assist. The staff in turn will participate in the resolution of the problem, which might include, among other things, a change in housing assignments.
Residents are responsible for escorting guests within the building. The College recommends that male guests use the bathrooms on a male wing and female guests use the bathrooms on a female wing. Some buildings have bathrooms located in the lobby for guest use.