Respecting Community Rights
FMU’s policies and procedures for Housing and Residential Life are based the mutual respect of individual rights by all members of the residential community. Respecting these rights and making choices that help maintain a safe and secure environment allows all residents to pursue their academic goals and enjoy being a part of the campus community.
Beyond the basic tenet of respect for the rights of others, there are several sets of specific and policies that have been set forth for which all students are accountable. These include the University Housing and Residence Life Policies, the Code of Student Conduct, and the University Alcohol and Drug Policy. These policies can be found in the FMU Student Handbook online at www.fmarion.edu.
Violations & Discipline
When policy violations occur, individuals will be held accountable. In most instances, action begins with a report to a Resident Assistant (RAs). An RA will follow up, at his or her discretion, with a formal report to the Housing Office staff, which determines what actions should be taken. This may include referral to the Office of Student Affairs (see Code of Student Conduct for more). When an RA or other university official, confronts a possible violation of university policy, everyone involved is expected to comply with their requests. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.
Student Housing Violations
The Francis Marion University Offices of Housing and Residence Life will enforce all aspects of the FMU Student Code of Conduct. In addition, the following are violations of the Student Housing Code. Individuals who commit acts that violate these rules are subject to disciplinary sanctions listed in the FMU Student Handbook.
- Residents assigned to a specific area (apartment, suite, residence hall floor) will be held responsible for damages or violations that occur in communal areas (living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, lounges, computer rooms) unless a specified individual or individuals can be identified as responsible.
- Violation of the Guest Visitation policy (see “Visitors” below)
- Inappropriate trash disposal (see “Trash Disposal” below)
- Possession and/or use of prohibited appliances (see “Prohibited Appliances” below)
- Possession and/or use of prohibited items such as waterbeds, lofts, dart boards, public street signs, alcohol containers (in residence halls), space heaters, window air conditioners, exterior antennae or satellite dishes.
- Use of bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, skateboards, roller skates, or in-line skates in the residential buildings. Bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds are not allowed to be stored in the residential facilities.
- Damage to University or personal property or misbehavior/neglect which results in the need for unusual cleaning activities by the University.
- Rearrangement or acquisition for personal use of University common area furnishings.
- Delinquency in the payment of any financial obligation to include, but not limited to, utilities, telephone, fines, key charges, and other obligations.
- Possession of distilled spirits (hard liquor) is prohibited on campus. Alcoholic beverages (wine and beer only) may be possessed, by those allowed by law to do so, in the University apartments. The possession of alcohol or empty alcohol containers by other persons in other areas is prohibited (see “Alcohol and Other Drug Policy” below).
- Possession of pets in or around student housing facilities to include common areas such as the octagon and triangle is prohibited UNLESS (see “Pets” below in Housing and Residence Life sections of the FMU Student Handbook). There is a $50 per day fee if an unauthorized pet is found in a room.
- Creating or contributing to excessive noise in and around the residential facilities to include common areas such as the octagon and triangle (see “Noise” below and the Student Handbook).
- Circumvention of or tampering with any security system in the residential facilities including, but not limited to, lighting, security cameras, common area telephones, exit doors (propping open), allowing unauthorized persons to enter the building, etc.
- Subletting or allowing a person to reside in a residential facility other than those officially assigned to that space by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
- Circumvention, disregard, or failure to comply with policies and procedures of the Office of Housing and Residence Life including, but not limited to, Room Assignment, Room Change, Mail Delivery, Maintenance Services, Safety Inspections, Check In/Check Out Procedures, etc.
- Failure to follow established fire safety procedures and policies (see Fire Emergency Section under Campus Police).
- Possession or use of candles, incense, fireworks, or other incendiary devices in the residential facilities.
- Entering or exiting windows, throwing items from windows or balconies, throwing items onto roofs or ledges, or accessing roofs or ledges in any way.
- Conspiring with or enticing others to engage in policy violations.
- Creating conditions or being involved in behavior that endangers or potentially endangers the safety and well being of self or others.
Areas of Emphasis
Residents are expected to remove garbage and other trash from their rooms and apartments on a regular basis. For convenience, large trash dumpsters are located throughout the area. Trash should not be left on balconies, in hallways, or other areas of the residential facilities. Recycling receptacles have been placed throughout housing areas. A $25 trash fee will be charged if a resident leaves trash outside their apartment or hall room. The fee will be divided evenly between all residents that live in the apartment or residence hall at that time unless ownership can be determined.
Possession or use of any type of firearm, fireworks, or other weapons by anyone on University-owned or -controlled property is prohibited. Instruments used to simulate such weapons in acts that endanger or tend to endanger any person shall be considered a weapon. Involvement in this activity will result in removal from the residential facilities on a permanent basis and could result in other sanctions such as suspension or expulsion (see Code of Student Conduct section of the FMU Student Handbook). For more information regarding weapons on campus, please see Campus Police and the Student Rights and Responsibilities sections of the FMU Student Handbook.
For health and safety reasons, students and their guests are prohibited from possessing pets in and around the residence halls and student apartments. Students found with a pet or animal will be required to remove the pet immediately and will be subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, the student will be assessed for any pest control or cleaning costs.
Distribution of written materials and solicitation by students, University employees, nonaffiliated individuals, and nonaffiliated groups are prohibited in student housing. Canvassing, selling, offering for sale, soliciting, or promoting the sale of any goods or services is prohibited on University premises, including residence halls and apartments, except as allowed under University policy (see Solicitation Policy in Rights and Responsibilities section). However, an individual student has the right to invite anyone into his or her residence hall living quarters for the purposes of that student considering or purchasing the invitee’s goods or services. Students are not allowed to conduct commercial activities or business ventures from their rooms or apartments.
Written materials designed for commercial purposes may not be distributed on University premises, including residence halls and apartments. Before any material is posted, it must be approved through the Offices of Housing and Residence Life or Student Affairs (see Literature Distribution and Posting Policy).
Use of outdoor sporting equipment such as balls, Frisbees, golf clubs, bats, skateboards, lacrosse sticks, etc. inside of the residence halls and apartments is prohibited. Use of such equipment indoors poses a threat to the physical safety of residents and can result in damage to University or individual property or bodily harm as well as creating noise problems. Use of such equipment is restricted to appropriate locations outside of the residence halls and apartments.
Throwing objects from windows, balconies, etc., is a danger to students outside of the building and is therefore prohibited. Hanging outside or climbing from windows is also prohibited due to the danger involved. Screens must remain in windows at all times.
Each guest must possess a form of positive identification with proof of age. Guests must be 18 years old or older in order to visit the residence halls and student apartments. When visiting, the guest must be escorted by the host resident at all times. When accompanied by parents or responsible relatives, those under 18 may visit for a short period of time during established visitation hours. Guests should not be left in the building while the resident is not present. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests. Violations of this policy by residents will result in disciplinary actions, which could include loss of visitation privileges. Nonresidents who violate any part of this policy may be banned from the residential facilities or campus. Please note that due to liability reasons, babysitting is not allowed.
Overnight visits: Overnight stay is defined as a single guest, per resident, staying overnight between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m.
Overnight guests MUST be acceptable to all roommates, suite-mates, and/or apartment-mates – in other words, with anyone with whom a living space is shared.
Residents must establish visitation expectations in advance, in writing, through the Roommate Agreement Form (contact housing staff for form).
Overnight guests are required to register their vehicles and display a temporary parking permit as noted on the Overnight Guest Visitation form (contact housing for form). Please note that ALL residents of a room or an apartment must sign the Overnight Guest Visitation form.
A resident may have no more than six overnight-stay guests total, per semester, and no more than two consecutive overnight stays.
Same Gender Guest Visitation
Residential students may visit other residential students of the same gender at any time. Non-residential students must adhere to the same visitation hours that apply to opposite gender visitation unless they have registered as an overnight guest. Residents may have overnight guests of the same gender with written approval from the Resident Assistant or Housing and Residence Life Office staff. Overnight Guest Visitation Forms are available from the Housing and Residence Life Office during business hours or from a Resident Assistant when the office is closed. Overnight guests are required to register their vehicles and display a temporary parking permit as noted on the Overnight Guest Visitation Form. Please note that all residents of a room or apartment must sign the Overnight Guest Visitation Form.
Resident and Guest Parking. Residents must purchase and display the FMU decal (indicated by the letter “R”). Between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., parking is restricted to the appropriate decal for off-campus students.
Temporary permits (A section on the Guest Visitation Form) may be obtained for visitors from the Housing and Residence Life Office or your Resident Assistant if proper approval is obtained.
Parking for the Study Hall is available 24 hours daily. Parking during the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. for off-campus students, faculty, staff and visitors must be coordinated through Campus Police. For more information, refer to the Campus Police and Parking sections of the FMU Student Handbook.
All students have the right to live in an environment that is conducive to the educational nature of Francis Marion University. A key element in this regard, especially given the nature of high-density living on campus, is that students will not create excessive amounts of noise in the residential areas of campus. Noise of any type that is loud enough to potentially disturb others is unacceptable. Exceptions to this policy can be made by the office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Housing and Residence Life for pre-approved activities by recognized students or campus organizations.
While not all-inclusive, following is a list of examples of what might generate unacceptable levels of noise.
- Playing stereo loud enough to be heard outside of your room or apartment.
- Screaming, yelling, or making other verbal noise that can disturb others.
- Large groups of people gathered in public places near residence halls (e.g. octagon or triangle, etc.) or apartments (e.g. community center, picnic areas, etc.) talking loudly or playing music.
- Car stereos loud enough to be heard outside of the vehicle.
- Running, jumping, dancing, or other activity that can be heard in other parts of the building.
- Televisions, video games, or other devices loud enough to be heard outside of the room.
- Banging or knocking on doors in a manner that others may be disturbed.
“Courtesy Hours.” In all residence halls and apartments, “courtesy hours” are in effect with regard to noise every day, 24 hours a day. Residents must be aware of noise at all times and courteous regarding the noise level and how their noise may impact on others’ ability to study, sleep, read, visit, etc.
Refunds : The Housing and Dining Refund Policy is separate and apart from the Academic Refund Policy and follows different procedures than the Academic Refund Policy due to the unique business of providing food and housing services to students.
Students who withdraw from on-campus housing during the period between the authorized move-in date through 14 calendar days into the fall and spring semesters will receive a 90% refund of the housing fee, less the $173 Housing application/reservation fee. The 90% refund period begins on the authorized move-in date and continues through 14 calendar days into the fall and spring semester. During this period, students with a mandatory meal plan that withdraw from the residence halls or move from the residence halls to the apartments will receive a 90% refund of the meal plan assessment. All other students who wish to change or withdraw from a voluntary meal plan during this period may request a refund by completing and submitting the Dining Services Refund Request form (available at the Ervin Dining Hall). This policy does not apply to any declining balance accounts.
After the 90% refund period, there is no guaranteed refund of housing and meal plan fees. However, appeals will be considered for situations such as marriage, activation for military service, or uniquely extenuating circumstances that occur during the term of the contract. Appeals must be made within the academic semester that the appeal is based upon and should be submitted as soon as possible after the change of status occurs.
All appeals require completion of the Housing and/or Dining Refunds – Appeal Form, which must be submitted to the Director of Housing and/or the Director of Dining Services who will forward the request to the Housing and Dining Refund Committee. Students will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision. The Housing application/reservation fee of $173 will be deducted from all refunds with the exception of academic dismissal and military activation. The decision of the Housing and Dining Refund Committee is final.
Room Assignments & Housing Contracts
FMU is usually able to accommodate all students wishing to live on campus, but when housing is oversubscribed, either overall or for specific housing types or units, priority in assignment is given to students based on academic seniority: graduate students, seniors, juniors, and finally, sophomores. Freshmen are assigned to Residence Halls through a different process.
Resident students must be enrolled as full-time students at Francis Marion University (except during breaks between the Spring and Fall semesters or during their last semester prior to graduation). For undergraduate students this means 12 hours or more per semester. For graduate students the requirement is six hours. Part-time undergraduate students and graduate students with less than six hours may receive assignments on a space available basis.
Housing by Semester/Term. Students sign up for housing each semester and room assignments are made at that time based upon student requests and room availability. More information on sign-ups, including sign-up dates, is made available to students at the appropriate time each semester.
Mid-semester Change. Students who desire to change room assignments in the midst of an academic year must make a formal Room Assignment Change Request in the Housing and Residence Life Office. A form is available at the Housing Office. Any change of room assignment must be approved prior to a move taking place. Failure to obtain proper approval prior to moving will result in disciplinary action. Students who move without permission will also be returned to the original assignment.
The university may change a student’s room assignment if, in the determination of the university, the change is in the best interest of the student, the university, or the campus community. Instructions to change rooms at the completion of a semester are provided during the room sign up periods advertised through the Housing Office.
Contract and Term Periods. The Housing contract is a written agreement between a student and FMU concerning accommodations, services and responsibilities. Terms and conditions are specifically listed in the contract. Failure to abide by the contract could result in its immediate termination. Copies are available in the Housing and Residence Life Office.
The term periods of the Housing contract are: Fall, Spring, Late Spring, Summer I and/or Summer II. The contract extends from the first day of the term until the last day of the term. Campus facilities will be closed from the last day of exams in December until the day before registration for the Spring semester. Occupancy during this period may be approved for special circumstances. During the recess, the university secures the locks where occupancy has not been approved.
Upon acceptance of an on-campus assignment, students complete the Housing contract in agreement to abide by policies as stated by the university. Applicants under the age of 18 must have their contracts signed by a parent or guardian.
Clearance to remain in apartments and residence halls between terms and during official recesses must be obtained in advance from the director of Housing and Residence Life. Generally, athletes participating in activities while the university is closed will be granted approval.
Moving-In & Moving-Out
Housing fees must be paid in full prior to moving on campus. Payment deadlines are published in the university calendar. To check-in to a room for a new term period, students should:
- Report to the Housing and Residence Life Office to register, complete relevant forms and receive keys.
- Review, complete and return Room/Apartment Condition Report to the Housing and Residence Life Office within 24 hours after arrival.
The Room/Apartment Condition Report used at the time of check-in will be compared to the check-out forms to determine if any charges are to be assessed to you at the end of the semester or upon withdrawal from housing. Failure to return Room Condition Reports can result in serious consequences as they are the only records used in determining damages above normal wear and tear. RA’s in each housing area will be available to help students with the form.
Each resident is responsible for cleaning and clearing his/her room. Communal areas must be cleaned jointly by occupants. Roommates should communicate to determine each person’s responsibility prior to departure so that any cleaning and/or repair charges, if applicable, may be properly assessed. Additionally, residents should arrange to take care of any personal debts with roommates.
Students who withdraw from school or housing prior to the end of a semester should notify the Director of Housing and Residence Life, in writing.
To complete check out, students should:
- Thoroughly clean and clear individual rooms and your share of communal area.
- Make sure that all written cleaning agreements are turned in before a room is inspected. The agreement must be signed by all residents assigned to that apartment or residence hall.
- Return keys and other equipment obtained from the Housing and Residence life Office.
- Check out with a housing staff member before departing campus.
Room Inspection: Each room will be inspected when students turn in keys but students should note that this is not the final inspection. Housing staff will perform a final walk through after everyone has departed campus. Charges based on required maintenance or cleaning will be billed following the final inspection.
Loading and Unloading on Access Roads
- Park vehicle with two wheels on the same side on the grass to allow other vehicles to pass.
- Maximum parking is 20 minutes.
- Parking is prohibited on access roads from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Vehicles may not be parked on sidewalks or other grassy areas.
Standards of Conduct
Francis Marion University prohibits the conduct listed below. Persons committing such acts are subject to disciplinary action from the University.
- Academic cheating or plagiarism – Cheating is defined by its general usage. It includes, but is not limited to, wrongfully giving, taking or presenting any information or material by a student with the intent of aiding him/herself or any other person on any academic work which is considered in any way in the determination of the final grade. Plagiarism involves the use of the ideas or writings of another without acknowledgment of that use. For a more detailed description of these two forms of academic dishonesty, and how allegations of academic dishonesty are handled, refer to the Academic Dishonesty section in the FMU Student Handbook.
- The illegal manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of drugs or the use of drugs for which the holder has no legal prescription, or other drug-related conduct which is a violation of South Carolina law. Such conduct is a University violation regardless of where it occurs on or off-campus;
- The illegal manufacture, distribution, possession, or consumption, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages on University property or during University activities. For purposes of this policy, a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater is conclusive evidence that a student is under the influence of alcohol, but a student’s conduct, physical appearance, and other factors are also evidence (please refer to the University Alcohol Policy and Housing Violations for more details on alcohol issues);
- Sexual assault or inappropriate sexual conduct;
- Physical abuse or assault of any person, or other conduct which threatens the health or safety of any person, including self;
- Failure to comply with the directions of a University official acting in performance of his/her duty. This includes, but is not limited to, failure to report to a University office or official; after notice to do so, failure to appear for a judicial hearing or comply with a disciplinary penalty; failure to pay promptly, after notice, all University bills, fines, accounts and other financial obligations; failure to produce positive student identification upon request;
- Theft, wrongful appropriation, unauthorized possession, or damage to property of the University (including library materials) or of any organization affiliated with the University or of another member of the University community (i.e. faculty, staff, student, or campus visitor);
- Furnishing false or incomplete information to a University official to include, but not limited to, providing false, misleading or incomplete information during an investigation or hearing involving an alleged violation of University policy or local, state or federal law;
- Forgery, alteration, destruction, damage, or misuse of University documents, records or identification (e.g. FMU ID cards, library materials, etc.). FMU ID cards are the property of the University and are not transferable. Use by a person other than the authorized user is a violation of this policy, as is permitting or abetting such use;
- Any act of arson, falsely reporting a fire or other emergency (such as the presence of an explosive or incendiary device), knowingly setting off a fire alarm or emergency call box when the student knows that no fire or emergency exists; tampering with or removing from their proper location fire extinguishers, hoses or any other fire emergency equipment except when done with an actual need for such equipment;
- Possession, while on University-owned or -controlled property, or at University-sponsored or -supervised activities, of any weapons such as, but not limited to, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, handguns, and air guns, including explosives and incendiary devices, such as firecrackers or fireworks. Possession of pocket knives having no blade longer than two inches and possession of weapons or tools required by a student’s job or studies at the location in question is not a violation;
- Unauthorized use or entry into University facilities and/or unauthorized possession or use of keys to University facilities;
- Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other University activities, including public service functions, or any authorized activities on University premises;
- Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct on University-owned or -controlled property or at University-sponsored or -supervised functions;
- Violation of properly constituted rules and regulations governing the use of motor vehicles on University-owned or -controlled property;
- Violation, attempted violation, or the incitement of others to violate written University policies or regulations as herein stipulated or as promulgated and announced by University personnel;
- Violation, or attempted violation, of local, state or federal law, whether on or off campus, when it appears that the student has acted in a way which adversely affects, or seriously interferes with the University’s normal educational function, or which injures or endangers the welfare of any member of the University community;
- Unauthorized use or misuse of the University’s computing facilities, to include, but not be limited to, violation of the University policy on acceptable computer use in the FMU Student Handbook;
- Hazing, which is defined as: any intentional or reckless act, on or off university property, by one student, acting alone or with others, which is directed against any other student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student, or which induces or coerces a student to endanger his or her mental or physical health or safety, and includes treatment of a violent, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature;
- Harassment, stalking and/or unauthorized surveillance, which includes, but is not limited to, (a) unwanted and repeated contact (after notice to desist) with another individual or group through personal contact, contact by electronic or other media; (b) other behaviors which are perceived as threatening or intended to intimidate or induce fear; or (c) making unauthorized video or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and men’s or women’s restrooms, is prohibited. Also prohibited is the storing, sharing, and/or other distribution of such unauthorized images by any means. In some circumstances, such behaviors may also constitute violation of local, state, or federal laws;
Other conduct which a reasonable person having sufficient intelligence to acquire postsecondary education would understand is injurious to the University or the University community. This standard shall not be interpreted to infringe upon a student’s constitutional rights.