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VIII. Residential Living

Bill of Rights

Each student living on campus has individual worth and will be treated with the utmost respect at all times. All students living on campus will be held accountable for the responsibilities that come with living in a residence hall. At a minimum, residents must adhere to the expectations and requirements outlined in the Student Handbook along with the additional requirements included in the housing and food service agreement. Each shall have the opportunity to engage in those physical, educational, and social pursuits that are necessary parts of his or her RBC life. Living in a residence hall is a privilege and not a right. As such, the privilege can be revoked at any time if a resident violates the Honor Code, the Code of Conduct, commits a criminal act, or violates any of the rules listed in this Student Handbook or the housing and food service agreement.

  1. Noise Policy: Each resident must be respectful regarding his/her noise level as it affects other residents. More than one complaint against a resident regarding noise levels may result in disciplinary action.
  1. Personal Property Policy: Residents sharing suites must be respectful of one another, including each individual’s personal property. Each resident must be considerate of each other’s living space including the actual physical living conditions of each room.
  1. Safety and Wellness: Each resident can voice complaints about residence life, which may include but is not limited to noise violations, personal property damage or theft, and safety and wellness policies. If a resident desires to file a complaint or feels unsafe, he or she should contact a Residence Life Coordinator (RLC), any staff member of the Office of Residence Life, (residencelife@rbc.edu), or Campus Police.

Residential Guidelines

Richard Bland College will do everything within its power to provide a safe environment for you and your belongings; however, your room is still your responsibility. Richard Bland College is not liable for loss, damage, or theft of your personal belongings. Please keep your door locked. The Office of Residence Life strongly recommends obtaining Renter’s or Homeowner’s Insurance to cover personal belongings. Living conditions (unclean, trashy) that could adversely affect residents’ health and safety are prohibited. Please be sure to review the housing and food service agreement. The most current, published housing and food service agreement along with the Student Handbook will govern your on-campus stay at RBC.

The Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary and the RBC President maintain authority to establish additional policies, rules, and regulations, which shall be applicable upon their effective date and operate continually unless otherwise stated. Further, RBC reserves the right to make reasonable modifications to this Student Handbook and the housing and food service agreement to ensure personal safety or protection of property, or for other reasonable purposes, provided reasonable advance notice is given. Residential students should review the housing and food service agreement terms and conditions in conjunction with the residential living portion of the Student Handbook.

Housing Criteria

On-campus housing priority is first given to currently housed, full-time students. Full-time students who live outside of a 30-mile radius from the college and who have at minimum a 3.0 cumulative GPA also receive priority. Students whose GPA falls below a 2.0 may be required to vacate the residence hall. Students on academic suspension are not authorized to live in the residence halls. Unauthorized persons are not allowed to reside in any suite or individual room. Violators will be fined and/or charged with trespassing.

Part-time Students

Housing preference is given to full-time students. Part-time students who request on-campus housing will be contacted in the event space becomes available. If full-time students drop below full-time status, they will be required to add the requisite number of courses to achieve full-time status in order to remain living in campus housing. Full-time status is 12 or more credit hours. Full-time students are permitted to request a one-time waiver of the full-time requirement if they need to drop below 12 credit hours without dropping below 9 credit hours during any given semester. Full-time students who drop below 9 credit hours will not be permitted to remain in campus housing. (The one-time waiver is only good for dropping below 12 credit hours without dropping below 9 credit hours, and can only be used once during a student’s stay at Richard Bland College.)

Mail Services

All residents living in the RBC residence halls will be assigned a mailbox. Students will be assigned new mailbox numbers at the start of each academic year. Room changes to another residence hall will result in a new mailbox. Incoming mail should be addressed as follows:

Students First and Last Name
11301 Johnson Road
Residence Hall Name, Box Number
South Prince George, VA 23805

Thomas Bland
11301 Johnson Road
Freedom Hall, Box 361
South Prince George, VA 23805

*Mail that lacks a complete address will be returned to sender.

Maintenance

All requests for work orders should be made directly to the Office of Residence Life (ORL) in Suite 104, Freedom Hall or via email at residencelife@rbc.edu. Repairs will be made as quickly possible. The student requesting the work order has an obligation to alert the ORL in the event repairs are not made in what the student considers a reasonable amount of time. Contact the ORL immediately for one of the following emergency maintenance issues:

  • sparking or smoking outlets or fixtures;
  • no lighting in room;
  • no water;
  • leaking sprinkler head;
  • inability to lock or gain access to your room;
  • loss of heat;
  • broken glass;
  • flooding;
  • buzzing smoke detector.

NOTE: the submission of a work order authorizes RBC personnel to enter your room. The cost of repairs as a result of damages will be passed along to the student(s) within the room and/or apartment or the student(s) found responsible for the damages.

Cleanliness

Residents are responsible for maintaining established standards of cleanliness and safety throughout the building. Residents are responsible for taking their personal trash from their room to the dumpster outside daily. Residents are also responsible for arranging a cleaning schedule for the common areas within their assigned suite.

  • The Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and Resident Assistants (RA) reserve the right to inspect suites and rooms a minimum of once per week for cleanliness.
  • Thorough inspections are conducted before your arrival and during every hall closing – you will be required to sign a room condition report acknowledging the condition of your room upon your arrival and departure.
  • It is your responsibility to notify the residence life personnel of any damages that may be present in your room upon your arrival.
  • Locks should not be placed on closets without permission from the RLC. Damage to your assigned space will be billed to your student account.
  • All wall hangings need to be secured with putty or masking tape only. No glue, tacks, double-sided tape, or nails are allowed. If walls are damaged, the cost of repairs and painting of the entire room will be charged to your student account.

Storage

Due to space limitations, there is no storage for personal belongings available on campus beyond the limited storage space in the assigned residential unit. Students are encouraged to plan in advance considering space limitations within the room.

Room Changes

There will be no room changes for the first thirty days after arrival. This enables the College to verify who has moved in, who has not arrived, and what spaces are available for reassignment. Signs will be posted to announce the start of the room change process. If a student moves without authorization, they are subject to removal from the residence halls and will be charged for an unauthorized move. In addition to room changes, the ORL conducts room consolidation in an effort to consolidate spaces. Students without a roommate will be moved into a consolidated room or apartment in an effort to achieve maximum occupancy. See the housing and food service agreement terms and conditions.

General Governing Policies for Residence Life

Violation of any of the rules below may result in disciplinary action, including possible interim suspension from housing or campus while awaiting a final decision from the Student Conduct Board and any subsequent appeals.

  1. All residence halls are smoke-free. Smoking includes, but is not limited to, hookahs, e-cigarettes, fog machines, and all other smoking devices. It also includes the smoking of any substance. Additionally, persons may not smoke within 25 feet of any exit door on RBC property.
  2. Violence in any form will not be tolerated. Violence includes verbal abuse and hurtful language directed toward the Department’s professional and student staff, and other resident and nonresident students.
  3. Keep the residence hall rooms and common areas clean. Charges will be levied to applicable residents to cover the cost of extra custodial services required to remove personal possessions, to clean up trash left in rooms or to clean rooms after vacating the premises for vacations, or at the close of the school year.
  4. Door-to-door soliciting and peddling are prohibited except with prior written permission from the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life. Soliciting from or delivery to a student’s room is not permitted.
  5. Solicitation in the lobby areas requires prior approval from the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life.
  6. Tampering with the fire alarm, fire extinguisher, fire exit doors or smoke detector is against state, federal, and local laws. Violators will be prosecuted criminally, and administrative sanctions will be initiated.
  7. Residents are not permitted in unauthorized areas including, but not limited to, attics, maintenance rooms, boiler rooms, roofs, ledges, and storage rooms/areas.
  8. Bicycles must be walked through the building and lobbies. They may not be parked in hallways, lounges, or stairwells. They may not be hung from ceilings or other RBC furnishings. Bicycles and/or equipment found in the hallways, stairwells, or lounges will be confiscated. Tire streaks, handle bar marks, mud, debris, or other signs left by a bicycle must be cleaned or they will result in cleaning or damage charges to the individual student, suite, hallway, or entire residence hall depending on the location of the damage. Owners who fail to take proper responsibility for their bicycles may be prohibited from bringing them into the building.
  9. Residents are encouraged to obtain renter’s insurance for personal property as Richard Bland College does not assume responsibility for any loss, theft, or damage to personal items.
  10. Residents must have received all immunizations required by the Virginia Board of Health, and provide proof thereof, before the first day of entry into his or her assigned residence hall. See Appendix 5 for required student immunizations.

Prohibited Items

  • Air conditioners
  • Aerosols
  • Alcohol and drugs/narcotics illegal in Virginia
  • Guns/other weapons
  • Shortwave radios
  • Construction barriers
  • Street Signs
  • Newspaper machines
  • Exterior antennas
  • Personal heaters
  • BB guns
  • Ammunition
  • Nerf/water guns
  • Pellet guns
  • Explosives
  • Firecrackers
  • Satellite Dishes
  • Bed risers/bricks
  • Bunsen burners (open flames)
  • Candles
  • Scented plug-ins w/socket attachments
  • Incense
  • Non-flame retardant curtains/draperies/wall hangings
  • Nails/tacks
  • Electric heaters
  • Electric blankets
  • Extension cords
  • Halogen lamps
  • Individually owned large appliances
  • Oil lanterns
  • Lighter fluid/flammable liquids
  • Lava lamps
  • Propane canisters/flammable gasses
  • Pressurized canisters Ceiling fans
  • Light dimmer switches
  • Personal door locks
  • Pets
  • Wall-mounted shelving, furniture, or fixtures
  • Waterbeds
  • Wall-mounted televisions
  • Wax pots
  • Electrical appliances without an automatic shut off
  • Live-cut Christmas trees

Suggested Items

  • Alarm clock
  • Formal/semi-formal attire
  • Area rug
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Umbrella
  • Broom, dustpan, cleaning supplies
  • Large trash bags
  • Linen (extra-long twin)
  • School supplies
  • Fan
  • Personal size portable safe
  • First aid kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Television no larger than 24″
  • Toiletries
  • Wastebasket
  • Winter coat
  • Headphones
  • Plants
  • Bicycle w/lock
  • Clothing dryer rack
  • Digital converter box (for TV older than 2014)
  • Envelopes and postage stamps

Permitted Items

  • Vacuum cleaner/electric sweeper
  • Hairdryers/curling irons
  • Blenders/crock pots/soup warmer/toaster
  • Goldfish
  • Multi-plug power strip w/circuit breaker/surge protector
  • Air purifiers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Bread machine
  • Coffee pot
  • Gaming systems
  • *If in doubt, contact the ORL.

Residence Hall Safety

Residence hall staff members will be available to open the doors due to access card system failure. It is essential that you actively participate in making your residence hall a safe and secure place for you and your fellow residents to live. Carry your room key and access card with you at all times.

Students are urged to be cognizant of their safety and security needs while on and off campus. An escort service is available by contacting RBC Police. Dial (804) 863-4085. Please note the following:

  1. Though RBC takes all reasonable precautions, our campus is a public area and therefore not immune to the dangers of modern society. Therefore, as RBC cannot absolutely guarantee the safety and security of the premises at all times, the College expects students to take reasonable precautions to protect themselves and their property.
  1. Computerized I.D. access is provided in the residence halls for the protection of the residents. While RBC is in session, the exterior doors to the residence halls will be controlled to restrict access to residents and their guests. Access to residences by non-residents may be restricted if RBC determines that this is necessary for safety and security reasons.
  1. Individual residents are the only persons authorized to use their specific ID card to access the residence halls. Allowing anyone else to use their ID card is expressly prohibited. Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary and/or criminal action.
  1. Residents may not engage in any activity which creates a safety risk or which jeopardizes the security of the premises. Students are prohibited from propping open exterior doors for any purpose.
  1. The roofs, attics, and mechanical equipment rooms of all College buildings are restricted areas and may not be accessed.
  1. Individuals observed in the hall who are not residents or guests must be reported immediately to an ORL staff member or RBC Campus Police.

Room Entry/Inspection

RBC will strive to respect the privacy of its residents. A goal of the Office of Residence Life is to preserve the health and safety of its residents while maintaining an environment that facilitates safety and scholarship. At times, RBC Staff will enter a student’s room or escort non-RBC personnel to an apartment/room for maintenance concerns. Reasonable efforts shall be made to notify residents in advance. ORL staff may enter a room without prior notification if evidence exists that a violation of the student code of conduct or other residential or RBC policy is occurring or has occurred, a medical problem exists, maintenance repairs are necessary or recommended, or to recover RBC-owned property.

ORL staff members are authorized to enter apartments and rooms at least once per week to perform maintenance inspections and wellness checks. Wellness checks are designed to ensure compliance with housing rules and to ensure the apartment/room is free of maintenance issues.

Search and Seizure: College Officials, which includes Office of Residence Life staff, may conduct a visual search of a room in the event there is reasonable cause to believe that a student has used his/her room/hall for purposes that violate College policies, or federal, state or local laws.

  • Administrative Searches: RBC administrator(s) designated by the President may authorize a visual search of a defined area to further the educational mission of the institution, which includes student and public safety and RBC policy enforcement. The Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life and Residence Life Coordinators (RLC) will be the principal parties responsible for these searches.       Evidence secured as a result of an administrative search may be used in an RBC disciplinary proceeding and, when authorized by law, in legal proceedings.

NOTE: Administrative searches do not require a search warrant. Administrative searches will be executed by written authorization from the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life. If campus police deem a search necessitates a search warrant, they will be the principal party conducting the search after the search warrant has been secured.

Removal from the Residence Hall

The College may terminate a student’s housing agreement and take possession of the room at any time for violation of any federal or state law or regulation or college policy or rule, or for health or administrative reasons. The student removed in this situation will not be permitted to return to his or her housing assignment or visit other residential facilities until approved by the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life.

In accordance with Virginia Landlord & Tenant laws, the Housing and Food Service Agreement is entered into by Richard Bland College and the student in full acknowledgment that public and private higher education housing institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia (such as Richard Bland College) with residential on-campus student housing assignments are not bound by the Virginia Landlord Tenant Laws. Among other things, Richard Bland College is not obligated to follow civil court proceedings related to removal of the student and the student’s property from the on-campus student housing assignment, but may automatically remove the student and the student’s property from on-campus housing if Richard Bland College determines that the housing and food service agreement or RBC housing rules have been violated, or the student otherwise does not qualify for student housing.

Abandoned Property: RBC will not be responsible for damage or loss of any personal property not removed within 48 hours after a student separates from RBC or after the residence halls officially close in the spring. A room cleaning charge will be assessed against any student who fails to remove his/her items within the 48-hour timeframe. RBC does not store abandoned property. Any property abandoned by a student will be owned by RBC after 48 hours, and disposed of as deemed appropriate by RBC.

Canceling Housing Agreement

Cancellation notifications must be submitted in writing to residencelife@rbc.edu or:

Richard Bland College of William & Mary
Office of Residence Life
11301 Johnson Road
South Prince George, VA 23805

The Housing & Food Service Agreement is binding; therefore, students who have not cancelled the Housing & Food Service Agreement in writing and the written cancellation has not been received by the Office of Residence Life 30 days prior to the start of each term will be bound by this Agreement.

Students who cancel their housing assignment after the cancel timeframe will be assessed charges, in accordance with the guidelines below, for the time the student is in possession of the room and forfeiture of their $150.00 housing deposit. Students are deemed to be in possession of a room when one or more of the following exist: (1) having a current housing assignment, (2) having possession of the key to the assigned room, (3) having personal belongings in the assigned room, or (4) having no completed exit form on file. Assessment charges begin on the first scheduled date of move in.

Students who submit a Room Cancellation and/or Withdrawal form must vacate the residence hall the day the form is submitted. Cancellations (which includes withdrawing from school) of the Housing and Food Service Agreement forfeits a student’s room damage deposit of $150.00.

ALL CANCELLATIONS WILL BE PROCESSED ACCORDING TO THE PROCEDURES OUTLINED BELOW: 

  • Students who officially withdraw or are released from the College or Housing (during any session) within the first 26 calendar days from move-in will be charged a prorated room and board fee for the number of days in the residence hall. They are NOT eligible for a refund of any deposits.
  • Students who officially withdraw or are released from the College or Housing (during any session) after the first 26 calendar days from move-in will be charged the ENTIRE Room Rate for the semester and a prorated Board (meals) Rate, based on the exit date.  They are NOT eligible for a refund of any deposits.
  • Students who are required by the College to depart the residence hall for reasons of misconduct will not receive a refund for unused room charges; however, the board (meals) will be prorated. They are NOT eligible for a refund of any deposits.
  • Students must complete an Entrance/Exit Form when checking into a Residence Hall and prior to departing the Residence Hall. The student is considered to maintain possession of the room until a completed exit form is properly received by The Office of Residence Life.
  • Students exiting the residence halls during a semester, but who plan to return the next semester, must submit a new Housing and Food Service Agreement for the upcoming semester.
  • Students who fail to properly turn in their key at the end of the Housing & Food Service Agreement period and/or prior to any departure will be charged the cost of changing the lock.
  • When a room is permanently vacated, the residents are responsible for returning the room and its contents to its original condition. Failure to do so will result in charges to the resident(s) of the room. Items left in the room after the Office of Residence Life has determined the room is vacant shall become the property of Richard Bland College. Room cleaning charges will be applied to those students’ accounts who vacate without properly returning their room/apartment to its original condition.

Noise

The residence halls exist to support and complement the academic mission of the College. Quiet Hours and Courtesy Hours provide standards of acceptable noise levels for residents to socialize, study, and sleep. For all residents, as members of a residential community, the comfort and convenience of neighbors must be a primary consideration. Noise shall include but not be limited to music, TV, voices, video games, and activities.

Twenty-four hour Courtesy Hours are in effect in the residence halls at all times. When asked to lower the noise levels by a staff member or fellow resident, residents are expected to modify their behavior regardless of the hour, day, or night.

Quiet Hours: are in effect 9:00 p.m. through 9:00 a.m. each day. Residents should keep their doors closed when playing music or creating noise that could disturb others. The standard for acceptable noise levels during quiet hours is that noise should not be heard outside of the room or through walls. The noise generated by vacuum cleaners necessitates that their use be prohibited during quiet hours.

During finals week, Quiet Hours are in effect twenty-four hours a day, beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the last scheduled exam. Failure to observe Quiet Hours or Courtesy Hours is considered conduct infringing on others and is a violation of residence hall policy.

Amplification: Placing stereo speakers or other sound amplification devices in windows, doorways, and common areas is prohibited unless for an approved event receiving prior written approval from the ORL. Volume should be maintained at a reasonable level so as not to disturb other residents or people outside the building. This includes musical instruments and amplifiers.

Visitation

Visitors must abide by the posted visitation policies. Visitors include persons who live in other residence halls, commuter students, or persons who have no affiliation to RBC. No more than two (2) guests per resident are authorized at any given time unless prior written approval is received from the ORL. All guests must surrender a photo ID and be properly signed in by the on-duty staff member (RA, RLC, and Security). Residents are responsible for policing the behaviors of their guests. Visitors can be asked to leave campus housing at any time for violation of hall rules and regulations. Residents and guests must follow the visitation policy and abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

Visitation Procedures:

  1. Visitors must present a valid ID to the on-duty staff member.
  2. The resident must be with their visitor when they arrive to be signed in.
  3. The on-duty staff member will sign the visitor into the visitation log book.
  4. At the conclusion of visitation, all visitors are required to vacate or be held in violation of the visitation policy.
  5. Visitation hours: Sunday-Thursday (10am-12am) & Friday-Saturday (10am-2am).

NOTE: Residents living in another residence hall are considered visitors and must follow the visitation process and rules.

NOTE: Visitation Hours are subject to change. See the visitation policy in ORL for the most recently approved visitation hours.

Overnight Guests

People not assigned to live in a specific apartment are considered guests and must abide by the guest policies. Overnight guests are allowed to stay overnight with prior consent of the resident’s roommate/suitemates, notification to the Residence Life Coordinator, completion of the RBC Residence Life Overnight Guest Visitation Form, and acceptance from the ORL. Residential students are permitted overnight guests during the weekday if the guest is a residential student. The deadline for such submissions is 2:00 p.m. of the requesting date. Non-residential students can only stay overnight on Friday and Saturday. All guests must present a picture ID to the hall staff before signing in as an official guest. Guests are allowed to stay no longer than three (3) consecutive days. No more than two guests per visit are authorized inside each room. Unsanctioned parties or gatherings are not authorized. Even with roommate and suitemate consent, residents may not host overnight guests for more than 10 consecutive weeks without special approval from the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life. Violators must be reported to the ORL staff. Residents are responsible for monitoring their guest’s behavior and assuring adherence to rules. Residents whose guest fails to abide by RBC or ORL rules and regulations will be subject to disciplinary action. Residents will be held financially responsible for damages caused by their guest(s). Students must abide by the posted visitation policies. All guests must surrender a photo ID and be properly signed in by the on-duty staff member. Guests can be asked to leave campus housing at any time for violations of hall rules and regulations. Residents must review and abide by the parking policy regarding visitor parking.

The overnight guest policy is in no way intended to provide the opportunity for, or encouragement of, cohabitation. Failure to gain each apartment mates written consent on the guest form and to properly register one’s guest(s) will result in disciplinary action. Due to Fire Safety Regulations, students with overnight guests on each floor will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis to prevent exceeding floor and or building occupancy levels.

Roommate Success Tips

COMMUNICATE
There is probably no other person in the world you will get to know as well as your roommate. Even if you bond instantly, there may be moments when your roommate’s little quirks get on your nerves. Letting things fester can turn an annoyance into misery. Communication – both talking and listening – will be the key to a great relationship.

PERSONAL BELONGINGS
Less is more. By the time you’ve managed to fit in two beds, a computer, and TV, how much room is left for clothes and a few books? There is no way you are going to duplicate all the comforts of home.

BORROWING
Rule #1: Don’t. Rule #2: If you absolutely must borrow something, always ask permission first. Return it in the promised timeframe and the condition it was in when borrowed. If you damage or lose something you borrow, you are responsible for replacing it. Can’t afford to replace it? See rule #1. Nothing causes more strife between roommates and friends than borrowing – money, food, clothes, CDs, sports equipment, etc.

NEATNESS
If the law of averages works, one of you will be neat and the other messy. Here is where you learn the great art of communication and compromise. Mom doesn’t live here, but you do. The neat one will have to learn to tolerate life’s imperfections. The messy one, well, it’s time to start picking up after yourself.

LIGHTS OUT
It’s inevitable, one of you will have an 8:00 a.m. class and the other will want to study until 2:00 a.m. Work out routines for late night studying (is there a lounge?), late night returns (tiptoe and use a flashlight), and early morning classes (tiptoe out and dress in the bathroom). Everyone needs a good night’s sleep.

QUIET TIME
All residence halls have quiet hours. Loud music or socializing in the hall will not be appreciated by your fellow corridor-mates and is a one-way ticket to unpopularity and possible suspension from campus housing. 

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES
When the course of rooming does not run smoothly, seek guidance from your Residence Assistant first, Residence Life Coordinator second, and finally the Associate Dean of Residential & Student Life. But remember, not liking your roommate does not grant you a room change – this is college, and you will meet people from many different backgrounds.



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