OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE RESIDENCE HALL GUIDELINES 2022-2023 INTRODUCTION
Living on campus in a residence hall is one of the most influential parts of your Ozark experience. Leadership is provided to each residence hall by a staff that includes full-time residence directors (RDs) and student resident assistants (RAs). These staff members serve as role models and provide a sense of accountability to the lifestyle standards of OCC. They are responsible for maintaining an atmosphere that supports success and is conducive to spiritual, academic, and social growth. In addition to following the Ozark Student Covenant and the OCC Community Guidelines, students who live on campus are responsible to abide by the following Residence Hall Guidelines, which help create the desired atmosphere for student growth and success.
GENERAL GUIDELINES The residence halls are owned and operated by the college. Residence halls are typically double occupancy furnished rooms. Each building also has shared bathrooms, lobbies, and complimentary laundry facilities. Residence hall students must purchase a meal plan. Meal plan options are outlined under Student Life in the student portal at my.occ.edu. The following guidelines support the safety and security of residents, the maintenance of the buildings, and provide instruction for students in community living. PERSONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY Students are expected to assume responsibility for their own care. Missouri law and general health practices influence some of our guidelines for community health. Each student is required to complete the Immunization Form and provide verification of immunity from MMR as a prerequisite for living in the residence halls. These policies (applicable for residence hall students) and additional information can be found under Student Life while logged into the student portal at my.occ.edu. Look under the Health & Wellness page. STUDENT HOUSING OPTIONS An unmarried student enrolled in 8 or more credit hours of classes is required to live in a residence hall. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by Student Affairs in the following instances: ● ● ● ●
When a student will be living with his/her immediate family which provides a guardian relationship; When a student has completed 90 credit hours (senior status, excluding dual credit hours); When a student will be 23 years of age or older prior to the upcoming semester; When a student has already lived in a residence hall six semesters;
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When an engaged student plans to be married during an upcoming semester, a housing exception may be granted to secure the couple’s first residence. Only one exception per couple will be allowed. Couples marrying during the summer must be married by the second week of June to qualify for the exception.
Before seeking off-campus housing, residential students need to secure approval and proper documentation from Student Affairs. Any student moving out of a residence hall must also inform their RD. All off-campus students are expected to adhere to OCC behavioral policies, or they may forfeit the privilege of off-campus housing. Housing exceptions may not be granted to students on academic or disciplinary probation. Housing exceptions will not be granted solely for financial reasons. A student enrolled in 7 credit hours or less must live off campus unless he/she is enrolled in the OCC/MSSU dual degree program. Otherwise, in order to live in the residence halls, special approval from Student Affairs is required. Being housed in a residence hall is a privilege. A student is expected to adhere to OCC policies, treat college personnel respectfully, and make a positive contribution to residence hall life. In any case where these goals are not accomplished, a student may forfeit the privilege of residence hall housing. In such cases, the student will need to drop under an 8-hour class load if they do not meet any of the requirements to live off campus. RESIDENCE HALL OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS The college publishes the dates for the start of each term, including when the residence halls open. Students should plan accordingly. Students who must arrive early for the semester should receive permission in advance by contacting Student Affairs. There is a charge of $50 a day for early arrivals or late departures. Fall Semester – The residence halls open during fall Ozark Welcome on the dates posted on the college calendar. The residence halls close at 4 p.m. on the Thursday following final exams. Students who finish their exams before the halls close are expected to vacate the residence hall no later than 24 hours after their last scheduled final exam. Winter Session – The residence halls open at 2:00 p.m. on the Sunday a week prior to the beginning of the spring semester. Students attending Winter Session may remain in their rooms if they are continuing in the spring semester. Otherwise, the move-out date is 4:00 p.m. Saturday after Winter Session classes conclude. Spring Semester – The residence halls open during spring Ozark Welcome on the dates posted on the college calendar. All undergraduates should be completely moved out of the residence halls by 4:00 p.m. on the Saturday after final exams. Graduating seniors are given until 8:00 p.m. to be completely moved out. Failure to be moved out by these times will result in a $50 fine for each day or portion of it. Students not staying to attend graduation ceremonies are expected to vacate the residence hall no later than 24 hours after their last scheduled final exam. Scheduled Breaks – The residence halls are closed to students during Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, and Spring Break. Dates and times of hall closings are posted on the college calendar. Students who desire to remain locally will be responsible for finding alternative housing. Students should plan accordingly.
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SINGLE AND DOUBLE ROOM AVAILABILITY Current students may request to live in the hall and room of their choice. Hall and roommate preferences will be considered but cannot be guaranteed. Room changes may be requested through RDs during the first two weeks of classes. Following that time, room changes may be made through your RDs only after paying a $50 fee in the OCC Student Financial Services Office. All first-semester freshmen are assigned a roommate. Single rooms may be requested by second-semester freshmen and above for an additional fee and are subject to availability. A student requesting a single room or reserving a room without a roommate is required to sign an agreement accepting responsibility for a single room fee. Unassigned rooms are not available for student usage. If during the semester you desire authorization to move out of your residence hall, inform your RD and seek approval and proper documentation from Student Affairs. Before seeking off-campus housing (after being a dorm resident), you will need to inform your RD and seek approval and proper documentation from Student Affairs. WEEKLY ROOM CHECKS Students are responsible for cleaning their own rooms. Residence hall staff will announce a weekly room check to help maintain college building and furniture and encourage clean and courteous behavior. Students should take room trash to the dumpster, properly store food and beverages, and keep the room floor clear of personal belongings. In addition, lobbies, bathrooms, and hallways should be clear of personal belongings. Vacuum cleaners are provided for use in each residence hall. ROOM PRIVACY The college recognizes your rights as a student and your need for privacy. In many ways, your residence hall room is your temporary home. Therefore, college personnel will enter your room only when necessary for weekly room checks, fire safety inspections, repairs to the building or furniture, or to conduct a search (preferably in the presence of the occupant) when there is reason to believe that the standards of the college are being violated. All room searches must be approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Senior Director of Community Standards, or a designee. RESIDENCE HALL ACCESS Upon arrival on campus, students are issued a room key and identification (ID) card. These become each student’s responsibility. In addition to a room key, residence halls have ID card access to the building. Students are advised to lock their rooms for personal safety as well as the security of their belongings. Lost keys should be reported to the RD so that new keys can be issued for a $25 charge. Students are not permitted to duplicate keys. Tampering with any locking mechanism is considered vandalism, which will result in discipline. Room keys must be returned to the RD when leaving at the end of the year. Students leaving mid-semester should return their key to the RD. A fine of $50 will be assessed for failure to return a room key. For the safety and security of others with whom you live, exterior doors should not be propped open or left unlocked. EMERGENCY EXITS Entering or exiting through emergency exits, which are marked and often alarmed, will result in disciplinary action.
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REPAIRS AND DAMAGES Students should report the need for repairs directly to their RD. Students are responsible to pay for repairs or damages that are due to student behavior whether intentional or accidental. COMMON SPACE Each residence hall has laundry facilities, lobbies, hallways, and bathrooms that are shared with other students. Students are responsible to care appropriately for these spaces. ● Laundry — Complimentary washers and dryers are available in each hall. These are for use by the hall residents only. Any equipment failure should be reported to your RD immediately. Ironing is not permitted in residents’ rooms. Ironing boards are provided in each hall’s laundry room as ironing is not permitted in residents’ rooms. Students are responsible for providing their own automatic shut-off iron. Clothing left in the laundry room area and not accounted for will be removed by residence hall staff and taken to local donation centers. ● Lobbies — All lobby furniture should remain in the lobby. Each residence hall has a co-ed lobby open for co-ed visitors from noon until 15 minutes before curfew. All guests must leave the lobby at that time. Guests of the opposite gender may only visit the lobbies of the halls. During finals week, lobby hours may be adjusted. ● Hallways and Stairwells — Hallways and stairwells should be kept clear of personal belongings such as room trash, bikes, shoes, etc. Bikes may be stored under the stairways with RD approval. ● Bathrooms — Bathrooms are cleaned regularly by college housekeeping staff. Students are responsible to keep bathrooms free of personal belongings. Wastebaskets in the bathrooms are to be used for bathroom trash only. PERSONAL PROPERTY INSURANCE Please take proper precautions with your valuables. Lock your room when you leave it. Never enter another student’s room without permission. The college is not responsible for the loss or damage of personal property. Students are advised to obtain personal property insurance if it is not already covered by a parent’s homeowner insurance policy. Students should report any losses immediately to Student Affairs to ensure a proper record for the insurance company and to allow for a campus safety investigation. RESIDENCE HALL COMMUNITY FUND As a member of a residence hall, students will be asked to contribute to residence hall funds each academic year. This money is used to purchase hall t-shirts, and supplies for building community through hall social events. SIGN-OUT SYSTEM On-campus residents are required to spend the night in their residence hall on school nights (Sunday-Thursday). If you will be gone overnight on a school night, you will need authorization in advance from your RD. If you will be gone overnight on a weekend, you will need to “sign out” according to the system in place in your hall. The “sign-out” system provides for communication in the event of an emergency. Repeated failure to follow proper sign-out procedures will result in disciplinary action. STORAGE Some storage is available in the residence halls as a courtesy to you. Please take the following steps to make this service work effectively:
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Regular Storage — If you need storage, please fill out a “Request for Storage” form obtained from your RD. Students are responsible for providing their own storage containers. We recommend a 24”x24”x24” (i.e. Rubbermaid® tote). Summer Storage — If you need summer storage, please fill out a “Request for Summer Storage” form available from your RD. You must have a room reservation for the next fall semester to obtain summer storage. Please read the following stipulations regarding storage: ●
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All items need to be stored in totes and all totes need to be labeled with names. Unlabeled or abandoned items may be discarded as the residence halls close for the summer. Items are stored at the student’s own risk. OCC is not liable for theft, damage, or loss of any items. It is a good idea to make an inventory of your stored items for your own records. In the event of a loss, your renters or homeowners insurance may provide coverage. Any large item stored outside of a tote must be labeled and approved by your RD. No flammable or combustible materials may be stored. Any questions regarding storage may be addressed to your RD or Student Affairs.
SOLICITING/PRIVATE BUSINESS Salespersons and solicitors are not permitted to conduct business in the residence halls or anywhere on campus. This includes any kind of student-operated businesses, including babysitting/childcare, multi-level marketing, etc.
ROOM GUIDELINES All of our residence halls have shared rooms. As students live together and add personality to their residence hall room, they should use the list of guidelines below to help them make decisions consistent with the Ozark Covenant and college guidelines. COLLEGE-OWNED FURNITURE Each residence room is equipped with furniture designed to meet the basic needs of residence hall living. Rooms are furnished with single beds, closets, bookshelves, desks, wastebasket, and blinds. College-owned furniture must be used as the manufacturer intended and cannot be removed from the residence hall room. While some desk chairs are available in each dorm, most students prefer to supply their own chairs. ROOM DEPOSIT At the time of enrollment, a $75 fee is charged to each resident as a room deposit. Each room is checked for damages and for cleanliness at the time the student moves out. The room deposit will be returned to the student less the cost of repairs and cleaning necessary. Students are responsible to pay for repairs or damages that are due to student behavior whether intentional or accidental. It is possible to incur further charges if damages exceed the $75 room deposit fee. ROOM DECORATIONS While expressions of individuality are encouraged in room decorations, the college has established some guidelines relative to safety, care of property, privacy, and testimony. Decorations in your room should leave no doubt that you are a Christian student at a Christ-centered institution. This means that all decorations should be consistent to the Ozark Covenant. Therefore, room decorations should not include obscene or suggestive material or contain irreverent or sacrilegious slogans. Additional room decorations guidelines include:
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When hanging decor in your room, nothing (nails, prongs, etc.) may be driven into the walls or ceiling. White plastic-tac and/or Command® hooks may be used on the walls and must be removed and cleaned when you leave. No items are to be attached to the ceiling or any of the wood in your room (doors, closets, shelves, etc.). No contact paper may be used for decorating. Each room may use one string of decorative lights. These lights may not be attached to the ceiling and need to meet all residence hall safety standards. Doors are to remain on closets and no alterations are to be made to the room that involves removal of any bolts or hardware. All furnished equipment with the exception of the desk chair needs to remain in the room. Extra mattresses are to remain in vacant rooms for guests. No fabrication of shelving (large boards) is allowed over the door, across the windows or on the top of the bolsters. Out of concern for safety and liability, we do not allow any kind of lofting beds to be built or used in the dorms.
COMPUTERS AND INTERNET Students are encouraged to have personal computers in their rooms. The college has a required Internet service package that is both inexpensive and filtered. Although the campus has wireless capabilities, Ethernet connections are recommended in the student rooms. Please remember your environment and why you are here. No unwholesome use of computers or the internet will be tolerated. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to the OCC Internet Acceptable Use Policy. TVS, VIDEO AND VIDEO GAMING Televisions are permitted in the residence rooms, although cable or satellite connections are not provided or allowed. Antennas, or other items used to enhance TV reception, may not be placed on the exterior of the residence hall. Due to space limitations we suggest TVs be no larger than 42 inches. TVs are provided in each lobby for student use and guidelines are listed in the “Entertainment” section of this handbook. Students are to use discretion in choosing appropriate video games. Wholesome and disciplined use of media technology is imperative and a mark of Christian maturity. REFRIGERATORS A residence hall community refrigerator is located in the laundry facility. In addition, one small student-provided refrigerator per room is permitted in the residence halls. Student refrigerators must not exceed 4 cubic feet and rated to draw no more than 2 amps. A 3-pronged plug must be used without extension cords or plug adapters. All upkeep and maintenance of these refrigerators is the responsibility of the student. No food or drink is to be taken from the dining hall to stock in-room or residence hall refrigerators. PETS No pets of any kind are permitted in the residence halls, including aquarium animals. FIRE CODE AND REGULATIONS It is impossible to list all possible fire hazards and regulations. Students are expected to be alert and use good judgment when a potential hazard exists. Following are some general guidelines: ● Electrical appliances must be UL- or ETL-approved. ● Extension cords must be surge-protected. ● Tampering with existing electrical equipment, lighting, wiring, switches, etc. is prohibited.
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Candles, candle warmers, incense, fireworks, kerosene lamps, combustible fuel, paint, oil, etc. are prohibited in the residence halls. Violations are subject to disciplinary action and confiscation of the item. ● The use of cooking appliances in the residence halls is prohibited with the following exceptions: small coffee makers and electric kettles in the residents’ rooms. Hot pots, air fryers, and blenders may be used in the laundry rooms. Violations are subject to disciplinary action and confiscation of the item. Questions about approved appliances can be answered by your RD. ● Outdoor grills may only be used with RD approval. Additional fire code regulations are at occ.edu/security. ●
STUDENT EXPECTATIONS Residence hall students have additional guidelines that support the Ozark Covenant and Community Guidelines. These guidelines listed below intend to maintain a residence hall environment that is considerate of others, is conducive to study, assists in accountability, and encourages community. A student who impedes or disrupts the living and learning environment of another student may be required by Student Affairs to change rooms or residence halls or move off campus. CURFEW Students are required to return to their residence halls by 12 a.m. (midnight) on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; by 10 p.m. for dorm meetings/devotions on Thursday, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. There is no curfew for students who are 23 years of age or older or have completed 90 credit hours. ● Students should remain in their residence hall until 5 a.m. Exceptions can be granted by the RD. ● Students with unanticipated difficulties (e.g., car trouble or bad weather) who will not be able to return to campus by curfew should contact their RD. ● Students assisting those entering a residence hall after curfew will be subject to discipline. ● Off-campus students or other residence hall guests must vacate the residence hall and campus 15 minutes prior to curfew unless pre-approved by the RD. ● Occasionally, students may request an extension to curfew. Requests should be made to their RD at least 24 hours in advance. ● Any orders for food delivery (e.g., pizza) must be planned so that deliveries can be made prior to curfew. ● If your employer requires you to work past curfew, an employment pass form must be obtained from your RD and submitted to Student Affairs. ROOM GUESTS Our residence halls are single-gender residence halls. Each residence hall customarily hosts an Open House each semester when guests are welcome to tour the residence hall and visit student rooms. Hall and room visits are also permitted during scheduled hospitality nights. The following guidelines should be observed when hosting others in your room: ● All overnight guest arrangements must be pre-approved with your RD. ● Overnight guests must be at least age 12 and under the age of 25. Student Affairs approval must be obtained for guests staying more than three nights. ● A fee of $10 per night will need to be paid to the Student Financial Services Office prior to any overnight stay. Exceptions to this fee are immediate family and OCC alumni. ● Overnight guests are not permitted during the first week of school or during finals week. ● Babysitting in the residence halls is not permitted.
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The hosting student is responsible for the guest’s awareness and adherence of campus policies. No guests of the opposite gender will be allowed to stay in a dorm room. Only platonic, same-gender guests may stay in a residence hall overnight and must be in separate beds. If a student desires to spend the night in another residence hall, the RD in both halls must be notified before 10:00 p.m.
QUIET HOURS At all times, students should respect the rights and needs of their fellow students and maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to sleep and study. Students should be especially attentive to noise levels from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekends. During these hours: ● Noise should be confined to individual rooms and the main lobby. ● It should be quiet enough for students to sleep or study without interruption. PRANKS AND DISTURBANCES Pranks have the potential to damage college or personal property, harm our testimony, and hurt others. To prevent damage to property water fights or disturbances involving other damaging substances are not permitted in or around the residence halls or campus buildings. In addition, students should not interfere with or alter in any way another student’s room or its contents. Tampering with another’s personal possessions, including his or her vehicle is also inappropriate. Students involved in such pranks will be subject to discipline and be responsible for restitution for any damages that occur. FLOOR TRADITIONS Appropriate floor traditions must not include any elements of hazing or initiation. (See “Hazing and Initiation” policy in the OCC Community Guidelines.) Appropriate residence hall floor tradition activities must comply with ALL of the following: ● Completely voluntary. No coercion (requiring participation by pressure or threat—implied or stated). ● Not put any student at risk of physical, spiritual, or psychological harm. ● Not involve retaliation or harassment (verbal or physical) against any students not participating. ● Honoring and affirming of all students as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. ● Not single out any individuals or classes of individuals. Resident assistants may not approve floor tradition activities and must promptly report any violation of these guidelines to the residence director and Vice President of Student Affairs. MEDIA DISCERNMENT Entertainment plays a huge role in our culture and in the lives of most students. Our choices in entertainment have the potential to reflect and shape our character. We encourage students to think carefully about their entertainment choices both in terms of the content’s impact on themselves and others as well as stewardship of their time and money. Current media rating systems provide a helpful starting point for the discerning Christian, but should not be considered infallible guides. While there are many R-, TV-MA, M-, AND A-rated movies, TV shows, and video games that are clearly inappropriate, there are also many titles with less restrictive ratings (e.g., PG-13) that can be equally inappropriate. Some considerations for evaluating personal media choices are outlined below:
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Does the primary theme encourage or celebrate vices like sensuality, selfishness, or violence? Does the music, movie, or show help you to ask meaningful questions about life? Is sexual promiscuity promoted, encouraged, or used for the sake of humor? Does the message of this media show respect for humanity and human life or is violence used needlessly? Does it glorify the use of profane or demeaning language or include excessive crude or obscene language? Does it contain imagery that incites lustful or evil thoughts? Ultimately, what would Jesus think of your choices in the area of entertainment?
FIRE ALARMS, FIRE EQUIPMENT, AND EMERGENCY EVACUATIONS The activation of any fire alert device (e.g., horn and strobe lights) in any residence hall or building is the signal for controlled, rapid, evacuation of the building through the nearest safe exit. Failure to evacuate a residence hall or building within three minutes during an alarm or drill will result in disciplinary action. Refusal to leave after being directed to do so will result in additional discipline. ● Fire Alarms — Falsely setting off an alarm or falsely reporting a fire is a violation of state law. In addition, it endangers students and members of the community. Violations will result in a $200 fine by the college, discipline, and possible criminal prosecution. ● Fire Equipment — Intentional tampering with fire hoses, smoke detectors, extinguishers, sprinklers or pipes, and other protection equipment is against state law and will result in discipline, a fine of $100, and restitution. Unintentional damage to fire equipment that results from horseplay will result in a $50 fine and restitution. ● Safety/Security Equipment — Tampering with any safety/security equipment will result in a $50 fine, disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution.
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