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Residence Life at Messiah College

Other Policies


  Apartment Patios Married Student Housing
  Bed Risers Meal Plans
  Break Housing Personalizing Rooms
  Check-out Pets
  Damage to Rooms & Public Areas Quiet Hours
  Electrical Equipment Room/Apartment Entry
  Furniture Stacking & Stadium Seating Room Changes
  Grills Room Occupancy
  Guests/Visitors Storage
  Insurance Student Search Policy
  Keys Suspension
  Liability in Residential Living Visitation
  Lock-outs Water Fights/Hallway Sports
  Lounges Window Screens





Patios must always be well-kept because they affect the appearance of the College grounds and public areas. Patio-appropriate items are limited to furniture designed for outdoor use. Because of the concern for appearances, picnic tables should not lean upright against walls. No furniture or any other items should be placed on the grass or anyplace where damage could be done to plants and trees. Lights or decorations may not be placed on trees, shrubs, or patios as they may interfere with work done by Building and Property Services. Bicycles may be stored neatly on that apartment’s patio. Motorcycles are not permitted to be parked on outdoor patios at any time.


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Bed risers are allowed to create additional under bed storage for residences. In order for bed risers to be used the following criteria must be followed. Bed risers must be made of high density polyethylene that holds 1,200 lbs. and the bed cannot be raised more than 6 inches. Bed risers may only be used on metal beds and may not be used when bunking beds. Bed risers made out of plastic, cinder block or PVC pipe are prohibited.


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Room fees do not include the break between semesters. Residence halls and

apartments are closed during these times. During winter and spring break closings,

students are required to be out by the designated date and time to avoid penalties.

Date and time will be announced within a reasonable time frame prior to the breaks.

The College reserves the right to use rooms and apartments during vacation periods if

prior notice is given to students. Residences close 24 hours after the last scheduled

exam at the end of each semester. The College does not guarantee break housing.


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Residents are responsible for checking out with a staff member. Failure to check out

properly, or failure to clean a room, may result in a fine, in addition to labor and

damage charges. Failure to vacate by designated times as established in closing

information, may result in a fine. The Residence Director (RD) will make the final

inspection of the room and determine final damage/ fine charges.


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Residence Life staff will inspect residences prior to, during, and prior to termination of

occupancy. Students will be assessed for any damage, missing items, or cleaning costs

to individual rooms and/or common areas (e.g., floor lounges, hallways, bathrooms, or

any other common areas) as determined by the RD. Common spaces are considered to

be the responsibility of the residents of that building, unit, or floor. If individuals

responsible for damage cannot be identified, the residents of the building, unit, or floor

will become collectively responsible for the cost of repair or replacement. In situations

where the damages are extreme, repetitive or the unit is severely disruptive, the

students may be subjected to the disciplinary process which may result in sanctions,

including housing relocation to other residence halls.


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The use of electrical appliances is limited for safety reasons. Only small appliances with

enclosed coils are permitted (i.e., corn poppers, coffee pots). Cooking of meals must be

confined to apartment residence kitchens. Kitchens in residence halls are not intended

to be used for regular meal preparations without prior approval of Residence Director

and in conjunction with an approved meal plan exemption. Student-owned refrigerators

are permitted if they are less than five cubic feet in capacity. The use of supplemental

heaters is prohibited in all residences. Any questions about the electrical capabilities of

satellite housing should be directed to Building and Property Services. Students who

damage the circuitry by over-loading it may be responsible for the cost to restore the



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Furniture that is not constructed for stacking may not be stacked. Metal beds may not be

stacked three high. Stadium seating of couches or other furniture is prohibited.


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Public grills are located throughout campus. Students are permitted to use the grills and

charcoal is available for purchase at the C-Store. For larger events, portable BBQ grills

are available and may be requested via Event Calendar forms (available from

Conference Services) and through Dining Services (Catering Request forms found on

the Dining Services website). Personal grills are not permitted to be used. Building and

Property Services will routinely clean the grills after use.


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Minor (i.e. children under age 18) Guests in College-Owned Student Housing

Baby-Sitting. No baby-sitting is permitted by students in residence halls, apartments,

or other College-owned student housing.

Unrelated Minors. A child who is unrelated to a student is allowed to visit a student’s

room or stay overnight in College-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following

conditions: the child (1) is 15 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host

student, (3) is the same gender as the host student, and (4) has provided a signed

parent/guardian liability release and medical permission form to the Residence Director

or Office of Residence Life.

Any visitor staying overnight must sleep in a student’s room, and not in a public lounge

or individual floor lounge.

A child who is unrelated to a student and is under the age of 15 years may visit

College-owned housing if he/she is invited to do so by a host student. The child may

not stay overnight, but may visit public lounges during the normal visitation hours for

the residence.

Campus Apartments/Special Interest/Off Campus Housing

Invited visitors may visit non-bedroom areas of campus apartments, special interest and

off campus houses daily from noon to midnight.

Family/Related Minors. A child who is related to a student may stay overnight in

College-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following conditions: the child (1) is

12 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host student, (3) is the same

gender as the host student, (4) is actually under the supervision of the student family

member, and (5) has provided a signed parent/guardian liability release and medical

permission form to the Residence Director or Office of Residence Life.

Little Sibs Weekend. Children under the age of 12 who are related to students may visit

College-owned housing if the child is the same gender as the host student and is under

the supervision of a parent or guardian. No child under the age of 12 may stay

overnight in college-owned housing.

Exceptions. This policy will not apply to summer conference groups, sports and other

camps, or the migrant education summer program and project forward leap (both of

which have their own supervisory staff).


Adult Guests in College-Owned Student Housing

Adult guests (i.e. age 18 or older) are welcome in College residences subject to the

following guidelines provided they are invited and accompanied by a Messiah College

student. Except as noted below, guests are permitted in individual living areas of the

opposite gender only during scheduled visitation hours.

Peers. Student-aged guests may stay overnight for up to three nights with the approval

of other residents of the room, apartment, or special interest house. Messiah College

students may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of other students of the same

gender for up to three successive nights with the permission of the other residents.

Parents/Family. Adult immediate family members who are visiting from off campus

may briefly visit the room or apartment of students during non-visitation hours. They

may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of students of the same gender for up

to three successive nights with the permission of the other residents.

Other Adult Guests. Any other adult guests may briefly visit the room or apartment of

students, but only during visitation hours. At any other time they are to meet

informally with students in public spaces or common areas (e.g. public residence hall


Any guest who fails to adhere to Messiah College rules is subject to removal from the

College premises. The College reserves the right to limit guest privileges and asks

visitors to limit the frequency and duration of campus appointments. Abuse of these

privileges may lead to restriction or withdrawal of the visitor’s right to access campus.


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The College accepts no liability for the theft, loss, or damage by fire or otherwise of

money, valuables, computers, or any personal property of the student either in the

student's residence hall space or in College storage areas. Students are urged to

purchase their own insurance to cover such losses. Since family Home Owner's

Insurance Policies sometimes provide coverage for the personal property of a family

member away at school, students are also encouraged to check with their family's

insurance agent regarding policy coverage.


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Keys must not be duplicated or given to unauthorized individuals. In the event a key is

lost, it is to be reported immediately to Dispatch. Replacement of lost, stolen, or

misplaced keys will be done at a cost of $50 per key. This charge will help offset the

cost of re-keying the room or apartment and issuing replacement keys for other



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The College does not assume responsibility for student-owned property in any location

at any time. Occupancy of a College-owned residence does not establish a landlordtenant

relationship between the student and Messiah College.


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Students are expected to carry their ID card and residence key with them at all times.

Students who get locked out of their residence should contact a Residence Life staff

member for assistance. A small fee may be assessed for those who forget their keys. If

Residence Life staff are unavailable, students should contact the Department of Safety

for assistance.


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Twenty-four hour common areas are provided for group interaction, study, and

socialization. It is expected that sleeping or inappropriate displays of affection not occur

in lounges. Common lounges should remain neat and clean.


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The College does not provide housing for married college students.


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All residents of traditional residence halls are required to purchase one of the traditional

meal plans based upon their class year. Residents of campus apartments are

encouraged but not required to purchase a College meal plan. Details may be found in

the Dining Services section of the handbook or at on the Dining Services webpage.


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Messiah College extends the privilege of personalizing individual rooms which enhance

an enjoyable living environment consistent with the philosophy of the College


1. Occupants are expected to keep their rooms clean.

2. Items not in keeping with the character of the College are not to be displayed in

student rooms or on College property. This includes wall coverings involving nudity

or morally objectionable or socially offensive material, stolen property, containers for

alcoholic beverages, and other alcohol- or drug-related paraphernalia (signs,


3. Nails, screws, tape, or other adhesives which cause damage or leave sticky

residue on the surface may not be used.

4. All personal furnishings brought into a room must comply with fire safety codes.

5. Residents are expected to accept the responsibility for the maintenance of their

rooms and for damages and replacement of missing items. Mounting items on walls

should be done with care.

6. Student rooms, lounges, and hallways are painted and updated according to the

maintenance schedule. Special requests for painting or alterations can be directed to

Building and Property Services. Students are not allowed to paint the student rooms.

Any improvement made to College-owned housing becomes the property of the


7. Students are not to tamper with electrical wiring, switches, outlets, or fixtures, or

to cover their room numbers.

8. Removal of College provided furniture from students’ rooms is prohibited.

Students will be charged for missing or damaged furniture.

9. Tampering with College property is prohibited. Screens are to remain in place and

fire equipment is to be used only for intended purposes. Removing furniture from

public areas is prohibited. In residence halls with false ceilings, tiles are not to be

removed for any reason, including the storage of belongings.

10. Waterbeds and excessively heavy items are not permitted in student rooms

unless they are needed for documented medical reasons.

11. The construction of “loft” beds by residents is prohibited.


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Animals may not be kept in College residences with the exception of small, noncarnivorous

fish in aquariums of 30 gallons or less.


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Messiah College is committed to providing an atmosphere within College residence halls

and campus apartments that supports the achievement of academic excellence. Quiet

hours have been established to provide residents with adequate opportunity to study,

reflect, and sleep—all of which are necessary for a successful academic environment.

Quiet hours are:

Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m.–10 a.m.

Friday and Saturday, midnight–10 a.m.

During quiet hours all students and other persons in and around residences are

expected to refrain from making or causing noise, or any other disruption, which

infringes upon the rights of residents to study, reflect, or sleep. For purposes of clarity,

any noise from student rooms or apartments which can be heard in adjoining rooms or

apartments will be considered a violation of the quiet hours policy. Likewise, any noise

in the hallway or outside a residence that disturbs someone in a residence will be

considered a violation of the policy. Quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day during

finals, beginning the evening of reading day.

Because of the diversity of schedules and lifestyles of students, individual needs

for study, reflection, or sleep do not always correspond with enforced quiet hours. In

the spirit of courtesy and in light of the academic nature of our institution, the need

and/or desire for a quiet atmosphere takes precedence over an atmosphere of noise.

The playing of musical instruments in residences must also be done within the bounds

of courtesy. Students are expected to communicate with one another about their needs

when quiet hours are not in effect.

In any situation involving differences of opinion regarding quiet and courtesy

hours, all parties involved are expected to demonstrate understanding and civility

toward one another and attempt to resolve conflicts among themselves prior to

involving the Residence Life staff.


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The College reserves the right to enter and inspect rooms and apartments for

maintenance needs and health or safety reasons. The College reserves the right to

enter rooms and apartments for the purpose of enforcing compliance with College

policies and/or state and federal laws and to investigate suspected violations thereof.


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Room changes within a residence may be made with the consent of the residence

director. If a room change is requested because of a roommate conflict, residents are

expected to first work toward reconciliation with the help of the Residence Life staff

before a move will be initiated. The College reserves the right to move students for

appropriate reasons. Once assignments have been made, students are expected to

reside in the room to which they have been assigned. Students may stay overnight in

the rooms or apartments of other students of the same gender for up to three

successive nights.


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The College reserves the right to assign additional residents to individual rooms in the

event of increased enrollment (e.g., supplemental housing). The College reserves the

right to make housing adjustments during the summer based on fluctuations in

enrollment. Students will be notified over the summer if impacted by such changes.


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In order to take advantage of the storage service, students must live at least 300

driving miles away from campus. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students assume full responsibility for items placed in any storage area. The College

will make every reasonable effort to protect student property; however, it is not in any

way liable for the loss, theft, or damage to any property while in storage. Messiah

College is also not responsible for damage or injury that may be caused by breakage,

leakage, or obstruction of pipes, electrical systems, or loss of computer programs

because of electrical surges, or by other latent building system defects not known to

Messiah College. There is no storage available in the satellite houses.

Empty boxes may not be stored during the summer. Furniture of any kind, carpet,

lumber, tires, flammable liquids, or room furnishings are not allowed to be

stored! Due to limited space available, a student should not expect to store more than

two to three medium-sized boxes.

Students must ensure that all items are properly secured—and that none of the items in

boxes, crates, trunks, etc., can shift and/or fall out of their containers. Items must be

packaged as if to be shipped or mailed. Belongings may get moved around somewhat

due to changes in the storage areas. Failure to comply with any of the above

stipulations may result in disposal and/or removal of items placed in any storage area.

Retrieving Your Items

You may retrieve your items at the beginning of each semester at posted times. Access

will not be given during the summer.

NOTE: Items that remain in storage for more than 30 days after permanently

leaving on-campus housing or student status (i.e. transfer, graduation, etc.)

will be disposed of after the College has once made a reasonable effort to

contact the responsible person.


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The College reserves the right to enter student rooms for maintenance reasons and to

enter rooms or apartments for the purpose of compliance with College rules and/or

state and federal laws.

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures governing searches to which

Messiah College students may be subject. A primary consideration is balancing a

student’s right to privacy with the College’s need to enforce applicable laws and rules.

Concern for the well-being and safety of individual students and the College community,

as well as reasonable protection of student privacy rights, should govern all decisions

regarding student searches.

II. Areas and Property Subject to Search

Any area or property located on Messiah College premises and under the control or

custody of a full-time or part-time student is subject to search. Included in this

definition are (1) College-owned buildings and residences, (2) student-owned,

operated, or controlled motor vehicles located on College premises, and (3) any

personal property located or contained in these structures or vehicles. Student housing

contracts issued by the Office of Residence Life and Housing reserve to the College the

right to enter and inspect residential space at any time for maintenance needs or for

reasons of health and safety. These contracts also permit the College to enter and

search any residence hall space in an emergency or if there is reasonable cause to

believe a violation of College policy, local, state or federal law is occurring.

III. Justification for Search

Any search conducted by Messiah College personnel must be based upon one or more

of the following grounds: emergency, health and safety considerations, or suspected

violation of College policy or local, state, or federal law. A search may be authorized

under the following conditions:

A. Voluntary Consent. In most circumstances, it is desirable to obtain the

prior voluntary consent of the person having control or custody of the area or property

to be searched. While the student housing contract reserves broad authority for a

search by College personnel, consent normally is to be sought prior to initiating a

search. Consent by one roommate to the search of jointly occupied residential space is

adequate even if other roommates are absent.

B. Reasonable Suspicion. It is the responsibility of the Department of Safety

to decide if there is a substantial likelihood that evidence of unauthorized activity will be

located in the place to be searched. This decision may be based on any credible

information developed during ongoing investigation, received through indirect means,

or reported by Residence Life personnel or other College students or employees. The

Department of Safety is to evaluate all information for reliability and relevancy prior to

requesting authorization to conduct a search.

C. Plain view. Evidence of a violation of either College policy, local, state, or

federal law, or which indicates health and safety concerns, may sometimes be observed

in plain view within a residential space or vehicle. Evidence which is seen in plain view

may be seized and will justify a search of the area in which the evidence is located.

D. Emergency. Immediate entry without student consent is appropriate in

emergency situations where pressing necessity or urgency require prompt action. In

such a situation, delay might jeopardize the health and safety of a person or result in

concealment, disposal or destruction of evidence or unauthorized activity. Emergency

conditions may justify a frisk or pat down search by a Department of Safety officer, as

described below:

1. A frisk or pat down of a person is a permissible search in specific

circumstances where an officer’s safety may be compromised. The search is limited to

weapons and is not a total body search of a person. It is a non-intrusive pat down of an

individual for the limited purpose of locating weapons on his/her person.

2. If it is reasonably believed that a person is carrying a weapon AND the

circumstances are such that the officer is in fear for his/her safety, the officer may

conduct a non-intrusive pat down search of the person involved. It is recommended

that the officer have another officer or a member from the Residence Life staff present

when conducting this search. However, if neither is immediately available and the

situation is such that it is of an emergency nature, the pat down may be conducted in

their absence. The officer then is responsible for completing a full report articulating the

exact circumstances surrounding the situation, including why he/she believed a brief

search was reasonable when weighed against the student’s privacy interests.

If it is reasonably believed that a student is concealing evidence of unauthorized or

illegal activity on his/her person, it is permissible for the officer to ask the student to

empty out his/her pockets and/or turn them inside out. If the student refuses, the

officer is authorized to contact the local police for their assistance with the incident. The

officer will complete a full report articulating the exact circumstances surrounding the


IV. Scope of Search

Any search conducted by Messiah College personnel shall be reasonable, and shall be

limited to items of evidence related to one or more of the grounds for which a search is

justified. A search shall be no more broad or intrusive than reasonably necessary to

locate the evidence sought.

V. Searches by Messiah College Personnel

A. No search, whether consensual or non-consensual, shall be undertaken without

the prior approval of the Student Affairs On-Consult Administrator unless emergency

conditions are present.

B. All searches shall be conducted by Department of Safety personnel.

Whenever possible, the Department of Safety officer shall be accompanied by a

Residence Director or Student Affairs On-Consult Administrator.

C. Whenever possible, a Department of Safety officer should not search the

residence of a student of the opposite sex unless accompanied by a Residence Director

or Department of Safety officer of the same sex as the student.

D. A written report describing justification, conduct and results of a search will

be provided to the Vice Provost/Dean of Students and Department of Safety director

within 24 hours of the search.

E. A search by Messiah College personnel which discloses any item reasonably

believed to constitute a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, regardless of

quantity or type, will result in an off-campus law enforcement agency being contacted.

Department of Safety personnel will secure the site and remain at the scene pending

arrival of a law enforcement officer, who will assume jurisdiction over the incident.

VI. Searches by Law Enforcement Agencies

A search may be made by a municipal or state police officer, sheriff, or federal law

enforcement officer only pursuant to warrant or under circumstances in which a search

without a warrant is legally permissible. No Messiah College personnel will assist in the

search but a Department of Safety officer will accompany the searching officer. The

Department of Safety officer is responsible to notify the Student Affairs On-Consult

Administrator as soon as possible that the search has occurred.

VII. Seizure of Property

Items which constitute evidence which is discovered in plain view or as a result of a

permissible search may be seized for use in College disciplinary proceedings and/or

local, state, or federal criminal proceedings. A receipt shall be given to the person from

whom the property was seized, or left on the premises in a conspicuous place.

VIII. Authority

The Department of Safety shall have final authority for the conduct of all student

searches other than those initiated or assumed by off-campus law enforcement


Revised March 2007

Policy Maintained by Office of Residence Life and Housing


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Students who are suspended due to academic performance or for disciplinary reasons

will have five days upon notice of suspension to remove all personal belongings from

any college housing. If extenuating circumstances exist that prohibit said removal, the

student must notify the residence director to seek an extension. Personal possessions

remaining in the residence after the designated time will be disposed of as appropriate

under the circumstances.


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The purpose of visitation guidelines is to maintain appropriate boundaries for students

and to provide space and time for adequate study and rest.

First Year Residences: In first year housing, public lounges (main lounges) are open

to visitors 24 hours a day. Individual floor lounges are subject to regular first year

visitation hours which are as follows:

Sunday noon -10 p.m.

Wednesday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

Friday 4 p.m.-1 a.m.

Saturday noon -1 a.m.

Traditional Residences: In traditional residence halls, public lounges (main lounges)

are open to visitors 24 hours a day. Individual floor lounges are subject to regular

visitation hours which are as follows:

Sunday noon -10 p.m.

Monday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

Wednesday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

Friday 4 p.m.-1 a.m.

Saturday noon - 1 a.m.

During visitation in residence halls, doors of student rooms must be kept open at least

24 inches, lights must be kept on, and behavior must be appropriate. All residence halls

have 24 hour-visitation in their main lounges for residents of the respective building. To

maintain privacy and safety, talking through room windows to members of the opposite

gender is not permitted during non-visitation hours. Visitation hours may be adjusted

for special weekends and events.

Campus Apartments/Special Interest/Off Campus Housing: Visitors of the

opposite gender are permitted in the non-bedroom areas of Fry, Mellinger, Smith, Kelly,

special interest and off campus houses.

Visitation hours are as follows:

Sunday -- Thursday noon – midnight.

Friday -- Saturday noon - 1 a.m.

Visitors of the opposite gender are not permitted in bedroom areas of the apartments,

special interest, and off campus housing at any time. For the purposes of this policy, a

room that was designed as a bedroom is considered a bedroom even if the furniture

has been rearranged to use the room for other purposes.


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Because of potential damage to people and property, water fights and throwing balls or

other objects in or near residences is prohibited. Throwing water (or any other material)

at anyone who is not voluntarily participating in an outdoor activity is also prohibited.


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Window screens must be secured at all times. You may be charged for the replacement

of damaged, removed or missing window screens from your room.


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