Living Guide – Residence Life - Montclair State University
Rocky hanging out in his nest in a dorm room with some students.

Living Guide

Your Guide to Residential Living

The purpose of this webpage is to provide a general guide to living in the residential communities at Montclair State University and is intended to be a resource for every resident student. Students are expected to adhere to University policies and regulations and subsequent conduct procedures. Such information is provided in the Student Code of Conduct Handbook which can be found on the Code of Conduct webpage.

The basic philosophy of the policies in the residence communities at Montclair State University is one of education. Accordingly, the focus is directed toward the growth and development of the individual student by encouraging self-discipline and by fostering a respect for the rights and privileges of others. The goal of any policy from the Office of Residence Life is to allow our residents to mature, while protecting the rights of all students within the residence communities.

Montclair State University reserves the right to update and/or change policies throughout the year. Any questions concerning policies and procedures should be directed to your Community Director or the Residence Life staff in the central office in Bohn Hall on the 4th floor.

What is a Residential Community and Its Responsibilities?

By definition, a residential community means living in close proximity and interacting on a regular basis with a diverse group of resident students who share a common purpose. Students work together to define expectations for all members in the group and assume responsibility for meeting these expectations.

As part of a residential community, students must be respectful and considerate of other persons and take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the group and their living environment. As such, if you see or know of a situation which could endanger lives or negatively impact the community, it is your responsibility to report it to a Residence Life staff member or University Police.

The Residence Life staff is committed to helping you make the most of your college living experience. You are likely to have the most contact with your Resident Assistant (RA). The Resident Assistants assigned to the residence halls and apartment communities are peer leaders selected by the Office of Residence Life for their ability to connect with students and offer assistance in coping with various concerns. They are trained extensively in areas such as helping skills, conflict resolution, crisis intervention and activity planning.

Planning activities that contribute to the community in caring, meaningful ways, assisting our residents in their academic success and personal growth, are some examples of how our Resident Assistants contribute to developing a sense of community. Together with your RA, you can help build an open and supportive community to call home.

For your convenience, we’ve included a downloadable PDF version of this Living Guide in addition to this website.

Helpful Hints and Information

Roommates/Suitemates

Living Peacefully – “Getting Along”
For some, you may have had a room all to yourself for as long as you can remember. For others who are accustomed to sharing, it is still an adjustment adapting to different personalities and lifestyles that may differ from yours. It may be a challenge to live cooperatively with roommates and suitemates in an area that may be smaller than your room at home. However, view it as a part of your MSU experience, an opportunity to learn about others, while sharing your background and interests. You may just find it well worth the effort.

Talking to someone unfamiliar may be difficult at times, however, communication is the key to any healthy relationship. Be a good listener and open to compromise while asserting your own ideas and rights, and you’ll probably discover that you have more in common than you thought.

Some helpful tips:

  • Be willing to communicate right from the start. If you have taken the opportunity to speak to your roommate(s) before you arrive on campus, you have the advantage of having exchanged information about what to bring. Is it necessary for both of you to have a TV? Can you share the cost of a refrigerator, etc.? You may also have shared ideas about decorating the room, style, etc. This early communication might alleviate some initial problems with room arrangements. Don’t judge your roommate based on online communities and communications.
  • If you haven’t already touched base with your roommate(s) prior to arriving on campus, it is a good idea to discuss ideas on possible room set-up before actually arranging the room.
  • Knowing that there is limited space and you may not be able to fit all the items you brought with you, be willing to compromise. Sharing is important, so be sure to have clear expectations of each other as to what items you do and do not feel comfortable sharing.
  • In addition to discussing some of those living space concerns right from the start, it helps to share some basic information about your backgrounds, where you are from, your family, hobbies, academic interests, etc.
  • Be proactive and honest about your feelings, while at the same time being considerate and respectful. Let your roommate(s)/suitemates know what really annoys you or makes you angry. Discuss how you feel about overnight guests, alcohol, phone use, housekeeping, whether you are a morning or night person, and other aspects of your personal habits.
  • When sharing your feelings and concerns, use I statements. For example, instead of saying, “You make me very angry,” try saying “I am very angry.” Making definitive statements allows you to own your feelings, and your roommate is less apt to be defensive.
  • When sharing your feelings or having a disagreement it is best to share those face-to-face and not through notes, text messages or on social media.

It is not necessary for roommates to be the best of friends to be compatible. Dealing with differences, whether cultural, spiritual or lifestyle may be a challenge, but with a positive, open attitude, it can be a wonderful learning experience. You will more than likely find that you and your roommate(s) have quite a bit in common once you move past any differences on the surface. If not, you will still have learned something valuable about how to live with someone very different from you — a skill that will serve you well in many other situations in life.

Roommate Bill of Rights

As a roommate, you have the right to…

  1. Study and sleep free from undue interference (noise, stereo, guests, etc.) in your room.
  2. Expect roommates will respect each other’s personal belongings.
  3. A clean environment in which to live.
  4. Free access to your room and its facilities without pressure from your roommate(s) to stay away frequently.
  5. Personal privacy.
  6. Have guests, with the understanding they will be respectful of your roommate(s), suitemates or apartment mates and other residents of the floor or apartment, and they will strictly adhere to the guest policy.
  7. Be free of fear and intimidation—physical and/or emotional.
  8. Expect reasonable cooperation in the use of room-shared appliances and a commitment to agreed-upon payment procedures for those appliances.
  9. Be free of peer pressure or ridicule regarding your personal lifestyle choices.

Dealing with Challenges That Arise

Remain objective and respectful

  1. Talk to your roommate(s) about the problem(s). Don’t gossip to others and don’t hold it in.
  2. Be specific about your feelings, e.g.  “I get angry when you do ‘y’ and ‘z,’” rather than, “You’re a jerk.” The second comment is not productive in solving the problem because it’s too personal and not specific enough.
  3. Listen to your roommate’s perspective the same way you would want them to listen to yours.
  4. Avoid communicating through online communities and referring to posts regarding roommate concerns and/or behaviors. Remember, face-to-face communication is the key to communicating successfully.
  5. Be willing to compromise whenever possible.

Consult an objective outsider if you are unable to resolve issues yourselves

  1. Your RA can help mediate the situation.
  2. A mutual friend or another person who is impartial such as your Community Director, may also be of assistance.
  3. Reach out to the Mediation Resource Center (MRC), located in the Bohn Hall 4th Floor Office for assistance. They can also be reached at mrc@mail.montclair.edu.
  4. Complete a roommate contract to help guide decisions about living together.

Be sure you confirm the points upon which you have agreed

  1. Unchecked assumptions can also be damaging.
  2. Put your agreement in writing, e.g. “Bill will use headphones for his TV after 11 p.m.”, and “Sam will not turn on his radio in the morning before 8 a.m.” or, “Mary will have her friend stay on weekends only.”
  3. Be realistic about agreements you make with your roommate(s).

An official room change would be the last resort

  • Remember, a new roommate can be the source of many new problems.
Getting Involved: Leadership Opportunities

Residence Hall Association

The Residence Hall Association is comprised of (and looking for) fun, bright, and energetic students. This group’s purpose is to create a vibrant residential community, promote student involvement, and enhance student leadership. Working in conjunction with the Office of Residence Life, RHA strives to be a voice for the residents and promote campus pride. From their annual carnival, ResFEST, to Residents’ Weekend, this group is designed for residents who want to maximize their college experience. Interested students should speak with their Resident Assistant (RA) or Community Director (CD) about how to become involved.

Hall Council

A subgroup of RHA, each residential community also has a hall council. The hall councils allow the residents of specific buildings to enhance the overall living experience in their area through exciting events and programs. To join hall council, contact your RA or CD.

Other Leadership Opportunities: Office of Residence Life

Service Assistants
These positions offer the advantages of:

  • Working where you live
  • Competitive pay
  • Resume building
  • Opportunity to make new friends
  • Excellent networking opportunities

There are service desks located in the lobby of each of the traditional residence halls which are staffed by Service Assistants, 24 hours per day. They monitor students’ and visitors’ entry into the building. The apartment communities also have Service Assistants. Hawk Crossings SAs cover the office from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and The Village SAs cover the office from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. All applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above and be in good standing with the Office of Residence Life & Services. Interested in applying? Simply stop by the hall desk or apartment complex office in which you are interested in working and ask for an application.

Your Residential Staff

Community Director

Your Community Director (CD) is the person responsible for the overall management of your building/apartment complex. Your Community Director is a full-time Master’s level professional staff member who supervises and works closely with the Resident Assistants (RA) in your residential building to promote a safe, healthy and attractive living environment. Your CD has an office and apartment in your residence hall or apartment complex and makes every effort to get to know you and assist you in your educational and personal growth.

Assistant Community Director

Assistant Community Director assists the Community Director with the overall management of certain functions of the building/apartment complex. They are full-time graduate students, working on their Master’s Degree, gaining professional experience in their career choice.

Resident Assistants

Resident Assistants are undergraduate paraprofessionals, assigned to wings or floors of the residence halls to provide peer counseling, administrative assistance, program development, mediation, and limit setting. They are the resident student’s first contact for problems and questions.

Resident Assistant Coordinators

The Resident Assistant Coordinator (RAC) is an undergraduate student staff member responsible for ensuring that a Resident Assistant staff member is committed to creating an enthusiastic, inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all residents and guests in their assigned community and are located in specific residence halls only.

Service Assistant Coordinators

The Service Assistant Coordinator (SAC) is an undergraduate student staff member responsible for ensuring that a Service Assistant staff member is committed to creating an enthusiastic, inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all residents and guests of the assigned community.

Service Assistants

Residence hall desks are staffed by students who work as Service Assistants 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The Hawk Crossings and the Village Service Assistants work from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Residential Tutor

In partnership with the Academic Success Center (ASC), Residence Life offers quality tutorial services to all students of the University. Students are encouraged to take advantage of ASC tutoring, which fosters active learning, reasoning, and critical thinking. Tutoring is available in all of the residence halls.

Central Office Staff

The Residence Life central office is located on the fourth floor of Bohn Hall and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm during the academic year. At this location, you will find the offices of the Executive Director of Residence Life; Associate Director; 2 of the Assistant Directors for Residence Life; Housing Services Coordinator; and Housing Assignments Coordinator, as well as their support staff. They are available to assist you when you have an administrative problem or concern that cannot be resolved by your Resident Assistant or Community Director.

If you would like to speak with the Assistant Director that oversees your neighborhood, listed below are
their locations:

  • Traditional campus neighborhood is made up of Blanton, Bohn, Freeman, Russ Halls and Stone Halls – The Assistant Director is located in Bohn Hall main office
  • The Heights Neighborhood is made up of Machuga and Dinallo Heights- The Assistant Director is in the Dinallo Heights office
  • The Clove Road Neighborhood consists of Hawk Crossing, Frank Sinatra Hall and The Village at Little Falls
    – The Assistant Director is located in the Village office in Abbott and Costello.
Your Residential Communities

Bohn Hall

Bohn Hall is home to first-year students only. These first-year students will have the opportunity to share their first year of college with their peers in a highly involved living environment. Residents of Bohn will be provided opportunities to make new connections and will learn the skills needed to communicate, develop interpersonal relationships, and live cooperatively with other first-year students. Bohn Hall is the tallest of the residential buildings at MSU. The residents enjoy a scenic view of the New York City skyline to the east, the Blanton-Bohn Quad and the foothills of the Watchung Ridges to the west. Most of the sixteen floors are separated into three wings: A, B and C. Each wing houses approximately twenty residents and a Resident Assistant lives in each wing. The main desk area is staffed by Service Assistants.

Blanton Hall

Blanton Hall, built in the early 1980’s and renovated in Summer 2012, is designed to promote a comfortable living environment. This five-story building with central air conditioning is comprised of, suites with adjoining rooms connected by a bathroom. Each residential floor consists of four wings: 1, 2, 3 and 4. Four Resident Assistants supervise each floor. A Resident Assistant lives on each wing. The front desk area is staffed by Service Assistants. The University Health Center is located on the first floor on the north side of the building.

Freeman Hall
Situated on the southeast corner of the campus near the main entrance, just across from the John J. Cali School of Music, Freeman Hall accommodates students in a suite-style arrangement with two rooms connected by a bathroom. Freeman houses the Arts Interdisciplinary Living community (AILC). This learning community is comprised of students majoring in art and design, music, theatre, dance, broadcasting and/or communication studies. Freeman has a dining hall for the convenience of the residents in that area of the campus.

Hawk Crossings
The Hawk Crossings complex consists of three apartment buildings: Falco, the building housing the 100’s, Accipiter the 200’s, and Buteo the 300’s. The complex provides an apartment living environment for students with 30 or more credits and is open throughout the academic year. Each apartment has a living room/dining area, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. As garden apartments, the Hawk Crossings community provides residents with both the freedom and responsibility of non-traditional campus life. Knowing this, members of the Hawk Crossings community are advised to be aware of personal safety and individual responsibilities which include locking doors, keeping the stairwell entrance shut, and not allowing strangers into the housing facilities. University Police provide community rounds and a strong presence during late-night hours.

Stone Hall

Stone Hall was built in 1955. In 2007, a vacated annexed child care center space was converted to additional beds. In 2015 Stone Hall was fully renovated, as it transitioned from an office building back to a residence hall. Stone Hall and Annex is a co-ed, 146-bed traditional residence hall with student rooms along a double-loaded corridor and centralized bathroom facilities. A large percentage of new students and the small size of the building have resulted in great student spirit over the years. Stone Hall has a 24- hour quiet area wing.

Russ Hall

Russ Hall was originally built in 1915, later converted to an administrative building, and renovated back to a residence hall in the mid-1990’s. Russ Hall is a 97-bed, co-ed by suite residence hall located at the south end of campus adjacent to Freeman Hall. Russ Hall residents enjoy amenities such as central air conditioning, a recreation room and a full kitchen located on the first floor. It also shares a dining hall with the residents from Freeman Hall.

The Village at Little Falls

The Village community is an apartment complex situated on the northwest corner of the campus. The complex consists of four residential buildings and an office building that also contains a police substation. Each apartment opens into an enclosed hallway and is designed to accommodate four residents, primarily in single rooms, however, can also accommodate students in double rooms. Within each apartment, residents will enjoy such amenities as a dishwasher, air-conditioning, cable and high-speed internet access. Laundry facilities are located on each floor. For fun, the residents are able to take advantage of the half basketball court and outdoor pool. The year-round facility houses upper-class students with 50+ credits, international, and graduate students. It is also home to the Global Living community. The Village also offers housing and conference services during the summer months.

Francis A. Sinatra Hall

Sinatra Hall opened in August 2010. One of the key goals of this residence hall is to create a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere that meets the needs of the modern higher education student. The upper floors of the six-story building each house between 45-50 students (with 24 or more credits) in six to eight bed suites. There is a lounge that promotes social activity among residents.

The Heights: Dinallo and Machuga

The Heights opened in the fall of 2011. This is the first public-private partnership to be initiated under the 2009 NJ Economic Stimulus Act. It is located at the north end of campus. The buildings are suite-style, with living opportunities in single or double occupancy rooms. The suites have occupancy of two people. The buildings house returning students, transfer students, and first-year students.

Responsibilities/Policies/Procedures

Housing Assignments

New Students

We attempt to meet the majority of new students’ housing preferences, such as requested roommate(s) and building of choice. Given limited space, we work diligently to accommodate as many requests as possible.

Returning Students

If you are a returning student you may expect to be living with the individual with whom you reserved housing during room selection last spring or with another returning student who was assigned to your room. If your room was not completely filled during room selection, you will have a new student(s) assigned to the vacancy. The new student may be either a first-year student or transfer. First-year students are not assigned to the apartment communities.

Room Changes

No room changes are permitted until after the first two weeks of each semester. A room change survey will be offered and information about the process will be posted and sent via email after opening. After the room change survey, room changes will be coordinated through your Community Director, who will provide instructions and forms to be completed. Unauthorized room changes are considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Special Housing Accommodation Requests

Students requesting special accommodations for health reasons must submit the Request for Medical Accommodation Form to the Disability Resource Center. The department has specific dates that this paperwork must be submitted. We will do our best to meet your accommodation requests. Please contact our office or the Disability Resource Center if you have questions about a request.

Housing Cancellations

The Residence License and Dining Services Agreement covers the entire academic year and cannot be transferred to any other academic year. No refunds will be issued or a cancellation of housing permitted unless: 1) the student is a first year freshman, transfer or returning student and he/she notifies the University in writing that they wish to cancel this License within five days following the date notice is sent by the University of student’s room assignment; or 2) the student submits a request in writing to the University to be released from this License and the University determines, in its sole discretion, that circumstances exist to justify granting it, hereinafter, “Release.” For example, the University may grant a Release if, prior to the expiration of this License, a student withdraws from the University, transfers to another institution, studies abroad or takes a medical leave of absence, and the University is able to enter into a License with another student for the released student’s bed.

The Residence License and Dining Agreement is in effect for the entire academic year. No refunds or room charges will be made unless the student applies for, and the University grants a Release.

Residents who do not enroll for an academic term and complete the Leave of Absence or Withdrawal process, graduate, or are accepted and enroll in study abroad, forfeit their room assignment and remain liable for payments due under this Residence License unless a Release is granted by the University.

What You Will Find in Your Building/Room

Building Services

Each residence hall has a housekeeping staff that works to provide you with a clean and pleasant living environment. Students are encouraged to support the housekeeping staff in their efforts by being considerate and conscientious when disposing of trash and by leaving all public areas in clean condition. Public areas include lounges, kitchens, hallways, floor bathrooms, stairways and lobbies which are
cleaned daily.

The housekeeping staff is not responsible for cleaning your room/apartment or cleaning up excessive messes. Housekeeping staff members are there to help, but cooperation is expected from each resident in keeping the living area as clean as possible.

Service Desk Areas

Each of the traditional residences has a desk area located in the lobby, staffed on a 24-hour basis by Service Assistants (SAs). They are responsible for monitoring who enters and exits the building. Students will not be allowed to pass the desk area unless their MSU ID is validated via the access reader. Remember, the Residence Life Service Assistant staff is in place to make your residence hall a safer and
more secure place in which to live. You are expected to follow desk procedures.

The Hawk Crossings and The Village Service Assistants work from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. The Hawk Crossings office is located on the second floor in the Accipiter building. The Village Office is located on the second floor in the Abbott and Costello Center.

The Service Assistant staff is also responsible for the distribution of student mail, processing maintenance request forms, recreational equipment, enforcement of the guest policy, and making building-wide announcements.

Cable TV/Internet Access

In each residence hall room there is TV cable hook-up. All of the residential buildings are wireless. Therefore, students should understand that they will need to have a wireless card in their personal computer to be able to connect to the university network.

We offer residential students over 100 channels in crystal-clear High Definition. Students can take their television experience anywhere on campus. With Stream2, TV can be seen on devices such as IPhones, IPads, laptops, Android phones and more.

Furnishings
Each room contains basic amenities such as: beds, dressers or wardrobe closets, desks, chairs and blinds. Residents are encouraged to decorate and bring personal items from home to give the room or apartment its own special character. Other personal items such as TV sets, stereos, etc., are at the discretion of each roommate. Please note that no additional furniture is permitted, i.e. futons, chairs, mattresses, bed frames, desks, couches, etc. Residents will be charged if any unauthorized personal furniture is left in their rooms to be removed. No drapes/tapestries or blinds are allowed to be installed by the residents.

Students are not permitted to assemble or disassemble furniture (i.e. beds) at any time.

Laundry Facilities

All residence halls have coinless laundry machines for the residents’ use only. These machines are accessible 24 hours a day.

Lounge Areas

Lounge areas in the residence halls are to be used by residents and their guests only. Policies and procedures regarding use of the lounge areas are developed by the Community Director of each residence building.

Lounge furniture is supplied for the convenience of the residents and must remain within the confines of each specific lounge.

No one is permitted to sleep overnight in a lounge.

University Central Mail Service

Located in the Maintenance Building across from the Red Hawk Deck, the University’s Central Mail Service acts as the University’s liaison to the US Postal Service, guides you through the regulations, and coordinates the University’s daily mail delivery.

A campus mail service representative delivers mail once per day, Monday through Friday, to traditional residence halls, Francis Sinatra Hall, The Village and The Heights. Mail is then placed in students’ mailboxes. There is no mail delivery on weekends.

Mail addressed to the Hawk Crossings Apartments is handled by the U.S. Postal Service and delivered by the Little Falls Post Office Monday through Friday.

The campus Central Mail Services is also responsible for the delivery of Fed-Ex packages. If you have any questions concerning Fed-Ex Services, please contact Central Mail Services at 973-655-6834.

All other couriers are handled by Central Receiving, also located in the Maintenance Building. If you have any questions concerning UPS and DHL Services, please contact Central Receiving Services at 973-655-4359.

Proper Mailing Addresses

  • Traditional Residence Halls (Blanton, Bohn, Freeman, Russ, Stone)
  • Francis A. Sinatra Hall
  • The Heights
  • The Village at Little Falls

Mail should be addressed as follows:

Student Name
Name of Building & Room and/or Apartment No.
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043

Hawk Crossings Apartments, mail should be addressed as follows:

Student Name
Hawk Crossings & Apartment No.
65 Clove Road, Apartment Number
Little Falls, NJ 07424

Change of Address Forms

In order for mail to be redirected to your home after you check out of your building, students must complete a forwarding address card at the University’s Central Mail Services Office.

Vending Machines

As a convenience, snack and beverage vending machines are located near the lobby of each residence hall. In The Village, vending machines are located in vending rooms on the first floor, in the laundry room of each building. For information or to request a refund for money lost, please contact the C-Store in the Student Center, 973-655-5383.

Building/Room General Information and Policies

Building Access

Residents are only permitted to enter and exit via the main doors of the building and must use ID cards to gain access to the building in which they are assigned. Residents will need to be signed into other buildings as guests. Entering or exiting via emergency exits or tampering with doors to gain access will result in a referral to student conduct and responsible parties will be billed for any damage caused to doors due to misuse.

Access Cards and Keys

Upon check-in, students will be issued a key or ID that locks and unlocks each room. STUDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO DUPLICATE UNIVERSITY KEYS. It is your responsibility to carry your key or ID at all times. If locked out of your room, contact the main desk of your building regarding specific lock-out procedures. There is a lock-out charge for residents to gain access to their room. The first lockout charge is $25.00, second lock-out charge is $50.00 and the third lock-out charge is $100.00. These charges will be billed to the student’s account. Students who have excessive lock-outs will be referred through our student conduct process.

Additional locks/chains may not be used on room doors. Residence Life staff is required to check rooms during fire alarms and health/safety inspections. If you install a lock and/or chain on your door you will be impeding access and endangering yourself. Installing locks or chains is considered a Code of Conduct violation.

Your validated MSU Identification Card (ID card) will allow you access to your residence hall. Entry into all buildings will be denied without possession of your MSU ID Card. Your meal plan is also programmed into your MSU ID Card, as well as access to the library, recreation center, athletic events and student discounts.

The MSU ID Card Office, located in the lower level of the Student Center, issues all student MSU ID Cards. MSU ID-Cards are non-transferable and misuse/abuse can result in student conduct action. Resident students are responsible for their key card and MSU ID Card. Report lost keys and MSU ID Cards to your Community Director immediately. Should your room keys and/or MSU ID card be lost, stolen or damaged, a replacement fee will be assessed to you.

LENDING YOUR KEY CARD OR ID CARD TO ANYONE IS CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT.

Building Meetings

Your building staff will hold periodic meetings in order to provide information to the residents as well as to receive feedback. Problems and solutions can be explored at those times.

Building Space Reservations

All residence hall spaces such as main lounges and floor lounges are designated for use by Residence Life staff members and the Residence Hall Association for resident programming throughout the academic year.

Sororities, fraternities and other student-run organizations are not permitted to utilize residence hall spaces for meetings or gatherings. If you are interested in reserving another space/location on campus for a meeting or activity, please use our 25Live online system.

Lost and Found
If you find an item missing or lost, contact the desk/office in your building or apartment complex, the Office of Residence Life or University Police. You are encouraged to complete an incident report, as well as file an official report with the University Police should this occur. Staff members working the main desks are instructed to turn in lost items to the Office of Residence Life or University Police. The University cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen items. Please remember to always lock your door when you leave your room.

Property Loss/Damage
The University is not responsible for theft, damage, or other loss of money, valuables, or personal property of its residents. Students are strongly advised to carry personal property insurance, either through parents’ homeowner’s policy or another personal policy.

Room Safety, Health and Maintenance Inspections

Although residents have the right to personal privacy, authorized representatives of the University have the right to enter any space, at any time in order to inspect facilities for fire safety, health, maintenance, and/or for damages to the space or its equipment.

Room inspections will be conducted on a monthly basis by Residence Life staff and University Fire Safety staff. To avoid disciplinary action, do not have in your possession any prohibited items listed both in this handbook and your Residence License and Dining Services Agreement. The Residence License and Dining Services Agreement is on our website. Additional health, safety and security information can be found in this handbook under “Other Policies and Procedures.”

Trash Disposal

For your convenience, large trash receptacles are provided in trash rooms and/or laundry rooms in each residence hall. Trash cans, for smaller litter, are also provided on the grounds surrounding the residence halls and apartments. Do not place trash outside your room or apartment door. Abuse of this policy will lead to disciplinary action through our conduct process and/or community damage bills.

Utilities

The campus has established procedures for redress for student residents in the event of loss of services such as, but not limited to, heat, light and hot water in residence halls for extended periods that are within the control of the campus.

A. The procedures include provision for housing students elsewhere if the conditions that caused loss of heat, light or sanitary conditions or creates other unsafe conditions cannot be rectified within a reasonable period. There will be no adjustment in rates (increase or refund) during the relocation period.

B. If housing the students elsewhere on campus is not possible, then the campus shall house the students in alternate housing off campus at no additional cost to the students. There will be no refund of on-campus housing fees during this period as housing is being provided as per the license agreement.

Building/Room/Apartment Maintenance and Damage Responsibilities

Repairs in Your Room/Apartment

The staff members of the University Facilities Department are responsible for correcting and preventing mechanical/electrical problems in all areas. If repairs are required in your room/apartment, a work order should be completed by following the directions on our website.

Emergencies that occur after hours on business days, as well as Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, should be promptly reported to the Resident Assistant on duty in your building. The RA will have access to maintenance personnel.

Responsibility for Room/Apartment Condition

One of the first duties of the Resident Assistants (RAs) when they return in the fall is to complete a Room/Apartment Condition Report (RCR/ACR) for your room/apartment. These forms are used to assess the condition of a student’s room/apartment and its furnishings upon check-in and check-out. Upon arrival, you will be asked to review the Room/Apartment Condition and Inventory Report, sign and date it. Once you have signed the Room/Apartment Condition Report (RCR/ACR), you have accepted all of the stated information. The purpose of the RCR/ACR is to avoid having damage charges assessed to you upon check-out, when a staff member will once again inspect the condition of your room/apartment and take inventory of the furnishings.

Any damages that occur during the time of occupancy will be noted on the RCR/ACR. A copy will be given to you and your roommates, and you will be billed accordingly. You must make a thorough inspection of your living quarters when you check in. If you find damages or missing items not noted on the RCR/ACR, email your Community Director with changes and save the sent email for your records. The Community Director will update the form to reflect the condition of the space at check-in.

Should someone in your room/apartment vacate the premises before the end of the semester, it is important that any damage done by that individual during his/her residency be apportioned to him/her. It is also important that this information be noted on your RCR/ACR when the vacancy occurs to denote room/apartment conditions at that point in time.

Damage Assessment

It is the policy of the Office of Residence Life to assess charges to students for damages occurring in their rooms/suites/apartments and common areas in and outside the residential facilities. Individual charges are assessed to a student who is found to be directly responsible for damages occurring in his/her room, the room of a fellow student or any common area. In the event we cannot ascertain which resident is responsible for the damages, the financial assessment will be apportioned equally among all residents of the room/suite/apartment, floor or wing. Damages to any other part of the building caused by persons unknown to Residence Life staff may be charged to all residents of the building/floor/wing. If you know the individual(s) responsible for damages, it is your responsibility to report the information to your Community Director in order for the responsible person(s) to be billed.

Damage assessment will be conducted by the Community Director after you check out. If there has been any damage to your room, an explanation in writing must be attached to your Room/Apartment Condition Report and brought to the attention of the CD prior to check out. If you are not responsible for the damage and someone else should be billed, it is important that this person also sign the note of
explanation.

You will also be billed for furniture that is missing from your room or apartment. At check-out time, if the furniture in your room is missing or is not the same as the furniture at check-in, a charge will be assessed for the missing pieces. Therefore, do not remove or switch the furniture without clearance from the Community Director. If a switch has been authorized, make sure this change is noted on the appropriate Room/Apartment Condition Report.

When checking out of their assigned spaces at the end of the fall or spring semester, the condition of the room, suite or apartment must be left in the same condition it was at the time the student moved in. All residents must use the Express Check-Out envelope to place keys and/or prox cards in and deposit the sealed envelope into the designated drop box. Any discrepancies between the Room Condition Reports with and the condition of the room upon check out will be evaluated by the Community Director and/or the Assistant Director of Facilities or their designee and the appropriate damage charges will be applied to the student’s account. Any damage billing may be appealed in writing to the Assistant Director for Facilities in the Office of Residence Life, within fifteen (15) days of the billing date by completing the following survey.

Avoiding Damages

Do not use chairs as footstools; do not keep sharp objects in your pockets where they may tear furniture; do not place hot items from an oven on the chairs, desks, etc. Remember: treat furniture with care and it will hold up without suffering damage beyond normal wear and tear. Keep mattress and bedroom furniture away from the heater to avoid scorching.

To avoid wall damage do not use double-sided tape, Scotch tape, heavy-duty masking tape, or any substance that may peel or stain the paint. Do not use tacks and nails as they leave holes and may take chunks of plaster from the wall. If cork strips or picture moldings are provided in your room, please use them.

Vandalism

Your residence hall is your home for the time period you will live on campus. If you see someone break or damage any part of your building, please report it to your Resident Assistant or Community Director. Remember, all residents will be charged for any damages that occur unless those responsible for the damage(s) are identified. Residents found to have committed acts of vandalism will be charged for the repair and/or replacement of the item(s) damaged and will face conduct sanctions which may result in dismissal from housing.

Common Area Damage Policy
In order to promote a positive residential community at Montclair State University, a Common Area Damage Policy has been implemented for all residential facilities. The Common Area Damage Policy helps to ensure that the residential community in which you live will remain a well-kept, pleasant environment for everyone to enjoy.

Your residence hall/apartment is your home. Its comfort, attractiveness and state of upkeep reflect upon those who reside within the university community. Normal wear and tear is expected and the cost of replacement and repair is anticipated when residence hall fees are determined. However, the effort to keep costs as low as possible is severely hampered by deliberate damage done to the facility

What is Common Area Damage?

“Common Area” refers to the University property outside your room or apartment i.e. lounges, hallways, community bathrooms, lobbies, stairwells, grounds, etc. Common area damage includes, but is not limited to the following items: windows, lounge furniture, walls, fixtures, media equipment, recreational equipment, appliances, drapes, carpet, vending machines, graffiti and/or need for excessive cleaning. Assessment of damage deals primarily with major items, repetitive vandalism, and that which is beyond the scope of normal wear and tear.

Acts of vandalism are strictly forbidden. Every effort is made to identify and charge the individual(s) responsible. However, at times, damage occurs which cannot be attributed to a specific individual or group. The University, therefore, has implemented a policy to deal with this problem. When deliberate, malicious or accidental (as a result of misconduct) damage occurs and the responsible person(s) does not come forward, the following guidelines for administering the charges will be implemented.

When Vandals Strike

When Common Area Damage occurs, the appropriate area residents will be notified by their Resident Assistant or by posted announcements or via email. As a member of your community, you are to relay any information you may have about the damage that has occurred.

We encourage students that if they SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Text key word “E-TIPS” then a space then your message to 67283.

If the responsible person(s) has not been identified within three business days of the date of the damage notification, the cost to repair such damage will be divided among those that share the affected area — whether it is a floor, a section, or the entire building

Why Do We Bill For Common Area Damage?

Common Area Damage billing can be frustrating for those who are not responsible for the damage. However, the foundation of residential living is comprised of strongly held concepts of community responsibility. With the support of the Residence Life staff, responsibility is delegated to residents to maintain the quality of living within their individual hall/community. Without this joint effort, success in maintaining an environment conducive to our students’ academic pursuits would not be possible.

Appealing Common Area Damages

Residents that are assessed a damage charge will have the opportunity to appeal the decision in writing within fifteen (15) days from the date of notification of charges. The appeal should be directed to the Assistant Director for Facilities via this online survey.

How Will This System Run?

When damage in a common area has occurred, the Community Director along with University Facilities Management and Engineering staff will investigate to determine if the alleged damage appears to be deliberate, malicious, or accidental as a result of misconduct.

The Assistant Director will send all notifications via the MSU e-mail system. This is the University’s official form of communication. You will not receive paper copies of notices. These notifications will keep the community aware of common area damage and potential fees.

The notice serves to inform the entire hall, floor, respective section, suite, or room where the Common Area Damage has occurred and deemed beyond the scope of normal wear and tear. This notice will identify the damage, where it was found, who may be charged and the total cost. If the person(s) are not identified within three business days, billing the appropriate section will commence.

Appeals

Residents will have an opportunity to appeal charges billed for damages by submitting a written appeal to the Assistant Director for Facilities Management in the Office of Residence Life within fifteen (15) days via this online survey

Other Policies and Procedures

Alcohol/Illegal Substances
State and Federal Laws prohibit the possession, sale or use of marijuana and any other illegal substances or paraphernalia in all residential facilities. Students found to be using, selling or in possession of illegal narcotics/substances will risk having their housing contract terminated and may face expulsion from the University.

Alcohol Policy for the Residence Halls and Hawk Crossings:

The University promotes an alcohol-free residence hall community as part of a strong academic environment. Because the majority of our residents are underage, and due to the challenges of alcohol abuse, alcohol is prohibited in the Traditional Residence Halls and Hawk Crossings. Possession of alcohol, or empty alcohol cans, bottles, etc., constitutes a violation and may result in strict disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the residence community. You may be asked to reveal the contents of bags, boxes, etc., if reasonable suspicion of possible alcohol possession exists.

Intoxicated off-campus guests will be referred to University Police. University Police will call a friend or relative of the guest(s) to pick them up and provide a place for the guest(s) to stay while waiting to be transported off the campus. Remember, all residents are responsible for guests’ behavior whether invited or uninvited. Violators may be prohibited from entering the residence halls.

Alcohol Policy for the Village

In keeping with the University’s policy regarding substance use and in keeping with the University’s philosophy regarding abuse, the Office of Residence Life has limited the use of alcohol at The Village.

Village residents of legal drinking age may possess and consume alcohol inside their apartments. Violation of the policies listed herein may result in dismissal from housing or reassignment to a traditional residence hall.

Alcohol may only be consumed by persons of legal drinking age in the State of New Jersey, which is 21 years of age.

No kegs or multi-quart containers of any size are permitted in or around The Village at any time.

No alcohol deliveries are permitted to the apartments.

No alcohol is permitted outside the buildings, in hallways, stairwells, or common lounges.

Empty alcohol bottles are not permitted.

See Student Code of Conduct for more information.

Ball Playing

Ball playing is not permitted in the residence halls. To respect the rights of others, ball playing, i.e., baseball, football, Frisbee, soccer, etc, is prohibited on or near all walkways and, specifically, the Blanton-Bohn and The Village quad area. Students are encouraged to use the university playing fields for these activities.

Bicycles, Motor Scooters, Motorcycles, Skateboards and Rollerblading

For safety reasons, bicycles, motor scooters and/or motorcycles may not be stored or parked inside or in front of any of the housing facilities. Skateboarding is prohibited in all residence hall areas, specifically, the Blanton-Bohn quad area. Rollerblading is not permitted in the residence halls.

Billing

Charges are processed through The Student Account’s Office to your account. Payments may be made by mail or in person to Montclair State University, Student Account’s Office, College Hall 216, Montclair, NJ 07043. Please be advised that failure to pay charges billed to your account in a timely fashion may result in additional fees for late payment, inability to register for classes, and grades or transcripts to be withheld.

Bunk/Loft Beds

For safety reasons, only beds designated by the Office of Residence Life may be bunked. Beds must be bunked by an approved representative of the University after authorization from the Community Director. A written waiver of liability must be signed by the residents.

Plastic bed risers sold in retail stores are not permitted in the residence halls. Cinder blocks, bricks or any other type of elevation device for beds or furniture are also prohibited.

Fire Safety

  • Weapons, ammunition, fireworks, explosives and any combustible materials are strictly prohibited in or near the residence halls/apartments in light of their potential danger to others and our facilities. Prohibited materials include (but are not limited to) firecrackers, M-80s, bottle rockets, ammunition, gasoline, kerosene, propane, paint thinner and similar items.
  • Candles and incense are not permitted in any residential facility.
  • Halogen, torchiere, lava, multi-arm, and octopus lamps are not permitted in any residential
    facility due to fire hazards.
  • No fabric wall hangings are permitted (tapestries, flags, curtains, etc.).
  • Holiday Decorations:
    Only artificial trees, wreaths, branches, etc., are permitted in the residence halls or apartments by order of the State Fire Marshall. Decorations must be nontoxic, fire retardant, and must not interfere with means of egress, use of fire safety equipment or safety signs, and may not cover more than 30% of any wall space. Holiday lights are permitted in resident rooms. However, separate strands cannot be “daisy chained” together. All holiday lights must be UL listed/approved.
    All decorations must be removed before you leave for holiday vacation. Items that are displayed so that they can be seen in a community area may be immediately removed at the discretion of the community director.

Appliances/Electrical Devices

In the Residence Halls:

  • While using appliances in the kitchens of the residence halls (stoves, microwaves, etc.), residents are required to remain with their food at all times. All cooking must be done in designated kitchens.
  • Fire and safety regulations strictly prohibit the use of the following in the residence halls: toaster ovens, hot plates, open coil hot pots, grills (including George Foreman grills), coffee makers (auto-off are ok), deep fat fryers, gasoline stoves, popcorn poppers, potpourri pots, clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and air conditioners.
  • A microwave oven is permitted in residents’ rooms provided they produce no more than 700 watts of power. Only one microwave oven per room is permitted.
  • A refrigerator is permissible provided it does not draw more than 1.5 amps and does not exceed 3.5 cubic feet. Only one refrigerator per room is permitted.

In the Apartment Communities

  • Apartments are equipped with full kitchens. One George Foreman Grill and one toaster oven per apartment are permitted.
  • Larger microwave ovens are permitted, but must not exceed 1000 watts of power. Only one microwave per apartment is permitted.
  • No personal refrigerators are allowed in the apartment unless approved by the Disability Resource Center.

In All Residential Communities

  • Only one appliance may be used per outlet in accordance with standard safety procedures.
  • Electrical instruments should not exceed the appropriate outlet capacity of 110 volts.
  • Use of electrical devices such as radios, stereos, computers, etc., are permitted only if such devices are plugged into electrical outlets within the room/apartment and do not exceed the average limits of the circuits within the room/apartment.
  • Any electrical equipment brought into the room/apartment by the resident must bear the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) seal of approval and must be used for the purpose for which it was designed.
  • High wattage electronic equipment is prohibited. Items are included but not limited to: amplifiers, subwoofers, speakers, etc.

Fire Alarms – When a Fire Alarm Sounds:

  • Wake roommate/suitemates/apartment-mates.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, if possible.
  • Bring your room key and MSU ID-Card with you. (We recommend that you always keep your MSU ID-Card and keys easily accessible to avoid delays during evacuation)
  • Close Windows.
  • Turn out the lights.
  • If there is smoke, stay in your room and place a damp towel at the bottom of the door and call UPD.
  • Do not open your door and until you have checked for smoke seeping around it and felt the door for heat. IF HOT, DO NOT OPEN.
  • Hang a sheet out window if trapped in room. Use a whistle or any other means to signal for outside help. Remain down on the floor and stay calm until help arrives.

Fire Evacuation – General Procedures

  • When the alarm sounds, everyone must evacuate the building immediately. Exit the building in a rapid yet controlled manner, using the fire exit stairwells located at the end of each hallway. Avoid the main entrance area of all buildings. Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm will be subject to university conduct action.
  • When evacuating the building, residents may not congregate in the stairwells by the fire exit doors or under the building walkways regardless of the weather. Residents may utilize other residential facilities waiting areas as needed. Follow staff instructions for directions to waiting areas.

Do Not Use Elevators

  • Remain outside at a safe distance in the designated gathering spots of no less than 100 feet.
  • Residence Life staff will direct you until uniformed police officers or staff members permit re-entry.
  • Remain clear of service roads so emergency vehicles may pass.
  • Since fire alarms may occur at any time, day or night, seven days a week-please become familiar with a primary and secondary escape route. These routes should be a natural response in a residence hall fire alarm situation.

Note for Hawk Crossing:

Immediately upon hearing the fire alarm, exit the complex using the main stairwells. In the event that the stairwells are impassable, please shelter in place. First floor occupants should utilize the apartment windows. After exiting the building continue walking across the parking lot to the grass area. *Do not stand on the sidewalk.*

Guest Policy

A guest is defined as anyone who is not assigned a residential space in the building in which you live. This includes, but is not limited to, residents from other buildings, commuter students, family and friends.

  • Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Residents must accompany their guests at all times.
  • Residents will be held responsible for the behavior and actions of their guests, whether they were invited or uninvited.
  • Residents need the explicit permission of all of their roommates/apartment mates in order to have a guest(s) stay overnight.
  • Each resident is permitted to have up to two (2) guests at any one time.
  • Each resident is permitted to have up to three (3) guests stay overnight for a total of three (3) days in a seven (7) day period.
  • No guest may stay overnight for more than 3 nights during a seven (7) day period
  • An overnight visit is defined as a guest being present in a residential facility for more than two (2) hours between 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • A maximum of 12 individuals (including residents of the apartment) are permitted in any apartment.
  • No guests are permitted during study days and final exams.
  • Students that check in during the training period in August/September (mid-August until the check-in for the fall semester) are not permitted to host guests.
  • Guest policies may change/be restricted at any time without prior notice.

For the traditional residence halls:

  • Residents must sign-in their guests at the front desk, anytime during the day or night.
  • All guest(s) must show proper identification in order to obtain a guest pass. Acceptable forms of identification are: A valid driver’s license, military, work, or college ID with photo
  • Only at the discretion of the Community Director, shall a guest pass be issued should the guest not have a valid photo I.D
  • Guest(s) must carry pass at all times.
  • Residents face disciplinary as well as financial penalties for lost guest passes.
  • A maximum number of three individuals are permitted in any single room, six individuals are permitted in any double room, and nine individuals are permitted in any triple room, including residents.

Health, Safety and Security

  • All residents are expected to maintain their designated living space in accordance with the community living standards outlined by the Residence Life staff at the beginning of each semester, as well as the standards noted in this document. If any resident is found to be in violation of these living standards, he/she shall be required to restore the assigned space to these standards. Failure to meet this standard may result in a termination of this agreement.
  • Removal of window screens is prohibited. Failure to follow this directive will result in judicial action.
  • Throwing objects from windows, balconies or roofs will result in severe penalties including possible dismissal from the University and financial responsibility for any damage incurred.
  • Violation of any health, safety and security procedure and/or jeopardizing the safety of others may result in termination of the License Agreement and/or other disciplinary sanctions deemed appropriate.

Medical Conditions

Students with medical conditions should be registered with the Disability Resource Center and/or those who are taking medications, which have the potential to present an emergency situation, are encouraged to notify their respective Community Director and the Office of Residence Life. Knowledge of such information will enable the staff to respond appropriately in the event of a medical emergency.

Noise Levels in Your Community

You are responsible for the noise coming from your room/apartment. Consideration for, and patience with, your fellow residents is essential. Do not yell or play loud music out of your room or window. If you are asked to lower the volume of noise coming from your room/apartment, you are expected to do so. Failure to comply may result in conduct action. If you are being bothered by noise, your first action
should be to ask the noisemaker to stop. If this fails, you should contact your Resident Assistant or Community Director.

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours in all residence halls are as follows:

  • 10 p.m. – 10 a.m., Sunday through Thursday
  • 12 a.m. – 12 noon, Friday and Saturday

During quiet hours, music, noise, etc. should not be heard outside your room or apartment. This policy also applies to public areas such as lounges, building lobbies, the Blanton-Bohn quad, etc.

Please note that 24-hour quiet hours are in effect during all reading days and final exam periods. Violation of this policy will result in your immediate dismissal from your residence community.

Pets

Residents are permitted to have a fish (containing fish) tank under a gallon in their living space. Service/support animals are permitted within the residence halls only with prior written approval from the Disability Resource Center. All students requesting these animals must provide appropriate documentation to the Disability Resource Center for review.

Postings/Signs

  • All posters, flyers, etc., require approval of your Community Director before posting or they will be removed and discarded. Please remember that posters, flyers, etc. can only be posted in authorized locations and must be removed the day after the event.
  • Decorations of any kind are not permitted on any surface that faces out toward a common area. These surfaces include, but are not limited to: doors, windows, screens, blinds, common areas, and curtains.
  • Signs which promote the consumption of alcohol, the use of controlled dangerous substances, or anything viewed as obscene or inappropriate may not be displayed in any area that can be viewed by the public (e.g. windows, student room windows, doors, common areas, etc.).
  • Signs meant to protect and/or inform the public are not to be removed from the location where they are posted.

Restricted Areas

All roofs, balconies, window ledges, and mechanical rooms are off- limits. Any unauthorized entry into an off-limits area is not only a liability to the University but also jeopardizes the safety of individuals. Violators will be subject to conduct action.

Smoking

Smoking of any kind, including electronic cigarettes, is strictly prohibited inside any of the residential facilities. Smoking in external areas is only permitted in designed smoking areas.

Solicitation and Surveys

Solicitations and surveys are not permitted without written approval from the Office of Residence Life. This helps to protect the privacy and security of residents.

Window Screens

The window screens in your apartment or residence hall room should be kept in place at all times. If your screen/window is broken, inform a Residence Life staff member as soon as possible. Removal of window screens will result in conduct action.