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Housing Contract Terms

2023-2024 Academic Year Housing Contract

I. Introduction

You are subject to the conditions and terms noted within this Housing Contract and subject to all current rules, regulations, procedures and responsibilities stipulated within the Mount St Mary's University undergraduate and graduate catalogs, schedule of classes, Student Code of Conduct, and other relevant University documents. The residential facilities are provided as a service to students and are unique to the University community. Therefore, it is not a landlord/tenant relationship.

II. General Conditions

  1. This Housing Contract ("Contract") is between Mount St. Mary's University ("university") and the resident student (and parent or guardian if he/she is under 18 years of age) when this contract is completed and submitted. The contract is not transferable.
  2. Failure to comply with the terms of this contract will result in
    1. student conduct action and/or
    2. termination of the contract at the discretion of the Director of Residence Life (or designee)
    3. and/or a $500 charge.
  3. To be eligible for residence, the resident student must be admitted and enrolled as a full‑time (12 credits) degree seeking undergraduate at the University and have paid required University fees. However, dropping below the full‑time course requirement of 12 credits per academic semester during any contract period does not automatically release the resident student from the financial responsibility for the contract during that period, but may result in an ineligibility to reside on campus. In addition, the resident student must fulfill mandatory immunization requirements, as outlined by Health Services to live in the residential facilities (see Section IX).
  4. Mount St. Mary's University is committed to a stated policy of non-discrimination. The university provides room and board accommodations without regard to race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, sex, age, level of ability, or national origin. If the resident student has a disability and requires special accommodations, they are responsible for contacting the Office of Residence Life and the Office of Learning Services about their individual needs.E. Students must vacate their assigned residence in accordance with published check-out procedures. Failure to do so will result in an improper check-out charge. The Resident Student will be assessed charges for failure to turn in University-provided keys and for any cleaning or repair of damage required upon inspection of the residence.

III. Contract Period

This Contract is established upon electronic signature of the Resident Student through the Symplicity Residence system. This Contract is for the entire academic year, or if entered into after the beginning of the academic year, for the remainder of the academic year. The period of occupancy begins upon issuance of assigned residence keys and will end 24 hours after the Resident Student completes final exams, or after 6:00 PM on the last day of the Contract period, whichever is earlier, without written authorization from the Office of Residence Life. Room and board are only provided when the University is in session and the residence halls are open. Residence Halls are closed during breaks (according to the Mount St. Mary's University calendar). Resident Students must leave their assigned residence prior to the date and time established for hall closings and may not re-enter any closed campus residence halls during the break period with approval from the Office of Residence Life.

IV. Assignment of Space

This Contract is for any space in a residence hall or campus apartment, not a specific room or bed. The term “room” will be used to reference any student living space in a traditional residence hall, suite, apartment, or house at Mount St. Mary’s University. The Resident Student is required to pay the published rate for the space that is assigned. The University reserves the right to make changes in assignments when it deems necessary. Room changes begin two weeks following the last day of resident check-in each academic semester. If the Resident Student moves to a different room without prior approval of Residence Life, he/she will be assessed a $50 improper room change fee and expected to return to his/her original assignment. Student Conduct action may also occur. When commencing a Residence Life approved room switch, the student must complete all required steps in the allotted timeframe. Failure to complete the room change in the allotted time will result in a $50 per day fee until all steps are completed. The student is responsible for any additional costs as a result of the room change. A student may not inhibit the Residence Life approved room change process. The University reserves the right to require a Resident Student to move to different accommodations:

  1. to make the most effective use of its facilities (including consolidation of vacancies);
  2. when the appropriate Residence Life officials deem it advisable for the welfare and benefit of the Resident Student or other students;
  3. when repairs and maintenance are required to correct a condition dangerous to the health and/or safety of the Resident Student or the residents of the building;
  4. when renovations are required in order to meet the University's short or long term housing needs or
  5. when Residence Life determines that, to meet the University's short or long term housing needs, a reallocation of student housing is required. The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to occupy any or all vacant spaces within any assigned room.

V. Temporary Housing

If a Resident Student cannot immediately be assigned to a permanent space, a temporary assignment may be offered within the residential facilities. If the Resident Student accepts a temporary assignment, he/she must accept a permanent assignment provided by the Office of Residence Life when the space becomes available.

VI. Prohibited Items in Housing

The following items are prohibited while residing in the residence halls: Bean bag chairs, candles, electrical amplifiers,extension cords, halogen lamps, hot plates, pets of any kind (except small fish), road signs, space heaters, and any cooking appliances such as Air Fryers, foreman grills, and toasters/toaster ovens.

Residents of a room, suite, apartment, or house are responsible for all personal items that are housed in their residential space. Items found in student rooms will be confiscated, to be returned at the end of the semester/academic year, where they must be taken home at the student's departure. The responsible student(s) found in compliance for violating the housing agreement will be held responsible and subject to code of conduct sanctions.

VII. Housing Selection

By agreeing to this contract, the Resident Student is committing to being a participant in the Housing Selection process. Once an application for housing is accepted by the Office of Residence Life, the student may not change the initial group application. Roommate change requests will not be considered after the selection process has taken place. These requests will only be considered after the first two weeks of the next semester. If a Resident Student signs this contract, but does not participate in the selection process, a room will be chosen for him/her by the Office of Residence Life at the end of the selection process. The Resident Student is agreeing for the group leader of their housing selection group to select the room for each person in the group as applicable and understands that no changes will be permitted to the housing assignment including bedroom assignments until after the room freeze period ends. In addition, the Resident Student is confirming that any Accounting and Finance holds on their student account will be cleared by the stated deadline and understands that if said hold is not cleared by the deadline, the student will be removed from the housing selection process and will be assigned by the Office of Residence Life at a later date.

VIII. Guests

Student rooms are for use by Mount St. Mary's University students assigned to that residence and may not be used by other students or by those who are not current members of the University community without the prior approval of all of the assigned students residing in that room. No one may sleep in hall lounges at any time. Overnight visits should only occur on a limited and infrequent basis and not to exceed three consecutive nights and only with the consent of the others sharing the room or apartment. Guests may not stay in unoccupied beds without the consent of the students whose bed is to be used. Cohabitation, which is defined as overnight visits or residing with a sexual partner, is incompatible with the Catholic character of the University and is not permitted. Male students or guests should not be present anywhere on a female residence hall floor, room, suite, or apartment after 12 a.m. on evenings before classes and after 2 a.m. on other nights. Similarly, female students should not be present anywhere on a male residence hall floor, room, suite, or apartment after 12 a.m. on evenings before classes and after 2 a.m. on other nights. Residents of a room, suite, apartment, or house are responsible for all that occurs within that dwelling including any visitor misconduct. Whether a visitor is a student or non-student, the student host will be held responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Responsibility may be determined under these rules even if the host is not a participant in the activity or has left the visitor(s) alone. Student residents will be responsible for the payment of all charges related to the presence of guests in their residence hall rooms.

IX. Required Meningitis Vaccine for Students

Maryland state law requires that students residing in University housing must be vaccinated against meningitis. The Resident Student may elect to waive this requirement if: (1) the University provides him/her (or his/her parent / guardian, if under 18 years of age) detailed information on the risks associated with meningitis and the availability and effectiveness of any vaccine; and, (2) the Resident Student (and/or his/her parent / guardian, if under 18 years of age) sign a waiver stating that he/she (and/or his/her parent / guardian, if under 18 years of age) have received and reviewed information provided and have chosen that the Resident Student will not receive the meningitis vaccine as well as a place to waive the requirement. Proof of vaccination must be on file in the Health Services prior to check-in or moving into an on-campus housing assignment.

X. Cancellation / Termination and Refunds

A. Refunds

Termination of this Contract by the University as listed under Section E shall result in total forfeiture of room fees paid to date. Application for refund of room fees shall be made through the Accounting and Finance Office; however, such application shall not be processed until the Office of Residence Life has received written notification of termination of this Contract, the Resident Student has vacated his/her residence and a final check-out has been completed by the Residence Life Staff. Decisions on refunds are made on a case-by-case basis. If a Resident Student voluntarily withdraws from the University and has no indebtedness to the University, a portion of the room fee may be refunded as described below, depending on the date of the formal withdrawal (that date on which the withdrawal forms have been properly completed and returned to the Registrar's Office). Please note that the Resident Student must also notify the Office of Residence Life, in writing. The refund schedule of room fees is as follows:

  • Prior to first day of Classes: 100%
  • First week of Classes: 100%
  • Second week of Classes: 80%
  • Third Week of Classes: 60%
  • Fourth Week of Classes: 40%
  • Fifth Week of Classes 20%

After five weeks of classes, there will be no refund of room fees.Application for refund of room fees shall be made through the Accounting and Finance Office; however, such application shall not be processed until the Office of Residence Life has received written notification of termination of the contract, the Resident Student has vacated the residence, and a final check-out is complete. Please note that the room fee refunds and the schedule thereof, are unrelated to any fees associated with a Breech or Termination of Contract (see II, Part B and XI, Part C).

B. Contract Release after Opening

The Housing Contract is binding for the entire academic year (or if entered into after the start of the fall semester, for the remainder of the academic year). Releases will be approved only for the circumstances listed below:

  1. Graduation from Mount St. Mary's University.
  2. Withdrawal from Mount St. Mary's University for the entire Contract period, or the remainder thereof, for the Office of Residence Life approved circumstances.
  3. Any authorized University special program that makes it mandatory for a Resident Student to be away from the campus (e.g., student teaching, study abroad, internship, practicum, etc.) will automatically release the Resident Student for the time involved, provided that the Contract release is processed.
  4. Ineligibility to continue enrollment due to failure to meet academic requirements.
  5. Medical Leave

Numbers One (1) through Five (5) will result in a contract release when they can be appropriately documented.

C. Applying for Release From the Contract

In order to request a release from the Contract, the Resident Student must complete a Request for Release from Housing Contract form. Release from the Contract for any reason other than those described in XII, Part B will result in a $500 fee. If the Resident Student has occupied the assigned residence, he/she must follow proper check‑out procedures with the Residence Life Staff. Occupancy is defined as issuance of a key to the Resident Student for a specified residence and does not require actual physical presence by the Resident Student and his/her belongings. Failure to check-out properly will result in a $50 improper check‑out charge. If the housing bill is paid and the Resident Student is later released from the Contract, a prorated refund will be processed. If the Contract release is approved, the check‑out and removal of personal items must be completed within 24 hours of the Contract release. Until the Request for Release from Housing Contract form is received and approved by the Office of Residence Life, the student will still be responsible for all housing costs incurred.

D. Remedies

If the Resident Student materially breaches this Contract, the University may, at its election, terminate this Contract, retain all payments made hereunder, or in the alternative, it may elect any other remedy in law or in equity including but not limited to specific performance of this Contract and damages. The Resident Student agrees to pay all reasonable costs, attorney's fees and expenses that shall be made or incurred by the University in enforcing this Contract. Until all sums due and owing under this Contract are fully paid, the Resident Student may not register for future course work at the University or receive transcripts, diplomas, or degrees.

E. Contract Termination by Mount St. Mary's University

The University reserves the right to terminate this Contract for the following reasons:

  1. The University will terminate or temporarily suspend performance of any part of this Contract without notice in the event an urgent need would make continued operation of student housing infeasible. In the event the Resident Student’s assigned accommodations are destroyed or otherwise made unavailable and the University does not provide other accommodations, the Contract will terminate, his/her obligation will cease, and payments previously made for room fees will be refunded on a prorated basis.
  2. The University can terminate this Contract if the Resident Student has:
    1. breached this Contract; or
    2. violated State or Federal laws
    3. provisions of University insurance policies related to the residence halls.
  3. All payments must be received by the Mount St. Mary's University Accounting and Finance Office on or before the due date indicated on the billing statement in order for the Contract to remain binding. Payments or signed Contracts received late will not be accepted. If the Resident Student submits a late payment, he/she will be reassigned or the Contract will be canceled. If the Resident Student expects to receive financial aid funds after the payment due date, he/she must present verification from the Financial Aid Office regarding the amount of aid he/she will receive.
  4. If a Resident Student is suspended or restricted on an interim basis from the University and/or University facilities, he/she may be subject to termination of this Contract in accordance with applicable University rules and procedures.
  5. Resident Student drops below full-time student status (12 credits per academic semester).
  6. To preserve order, health, safety or discipline, in the discretion of the University. As well as circumstances in which the Resident Student's continued occupancy of the residence is deemed to pose a danger to the Resident Student or others.

XI. Non-Occupancy

If the Resident Student fails to check‑in to his/her assigned residence by midnight on the second day of classes of each academic semester, the Contract will be terminated unless prior arrangements for late arrival have been made with the Office of Residence Life.

XII. General Procedures and Policies

A. Policies and Regulations.

At all times, the Resident Student shall comply with all University policies and regulations, including those contained in the Residential Community Standards and Student Code of Conduct. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action including residence hall probation or suspension, loss of housing selection preference, removal from the residence halls, or suspension or expulsion from the University. The Resident Student acknowledges that his/her compliance with University policies and regulations is specifically required as a condition of this Contract.

B. Maintenance and Housekeeping

The Resident Student is expected to maintain his/her room or apartment in an orderly, safe and sanitary condition at all times. The Resident Student will not perform his/her own repairs in rooms or apartments, or on furnishings and equipment, nor alter furnishings or equipment from its intended use. Charges for repairs or damages, if appropriate, are determined by the Office of Residence Life and/or the Physical Plant and assessed to all students assigned to the room /apartment. Housekeeping is provided only in common areas, such as stairwells, hallways and laundry rooms. The Resident Student specifically agrees to be liable for damage or other losses incurred to the building, room, furniture and equipment which is not the result of ordinary wear and tear. Damage within the student rooms is the responsibility of the students assigned. Damages that occur to public areas (e.g. restrooms, lounges, hallways, etc.) that are not attributable or chargeable to a specific individual or group shall be equally shared by the residents of the living area where those damages occur. The Resident Student agrees to pay such damages to the University.

C. Room Entry and Inspection Conditions

Authorized University officials reserve the right to enter/inspect the Resident Student’s room or apartment:

  1. upon occupancy;
  2. prior to departure;
  3. to make repairs;
  4. when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a condition exists that endangers health;
  5. when there is reason to believe that safety and security is at risk; unauthorized equipment is present in a room;
  6. where unauthorized person(s) are living in the room;
  7. to make routine inspections for maintenance, health and safety, and to perform required services, as announced by the Office of Residence Life; or
  8. when there is reason to believe a specific violation of University or Residence Life policy is taking place. Authorized University officials reserve the right to conduct an administrative search of his/her space in the case of a health emergency, or when there is reason to believe that a specific violation of Residence Life or University policies is taking place that has the potential to have serious impact on the Resident Student’s health and/or safety and/or the University community.

XIII. Liability

Mount St. Mary's University will assume no responsibility for accident, personal injury, or illness sustained by the Resident Student, guests or visitors, nor for the damage, theft, or loss of personal property. The Resident Student releases Mount St. Mary's University, its officers, agents and employees from any liability on account of any accident, injury, illness, property damage, theft, or loss. If the Resident Student is not present during a break period, at his/her own risk, he/she may choose to leave personal property in the assigned residence. However, Mount St. Mary's University encourages Resident Students to remove valuable personal property. Mount St. Mary's University recommends that Resident Students contact an insurance carrier of their choice to insure protection against any harm, loss or damage.

Themed Housing Addendum

Resident Students who reside in the themed housing communities listed below agree to their respective terms and conditions.

Honors Housing Community

  • Support the members of the Honors Community in their pursuit of a liberal arts education
  • Work together to initiate programs and activities that expand on what is taught in academic courses
  • Actively support educational, social, and recreational programs sponsored by and for the Honors Community
  • Commit to working with the Resident Assistant (RA) and floor residents to provide quality programs and opportunities for the exchange of ideas and perspectives
  • Understand that programs and activities in the honors community could include, and are not limited to, discussions on healthy lifestyles, faculty visits, academic department events, study skills, critical thinking, values development, civic responsibility, ethics, and current events.