Your Guide to Residential Living
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.
All residents are required to follow specific policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Be sure to review this information thoroughly as it pertains to the following important items:
- Alcohol and Drug Use
- Access Cards and Keys
- Ball Playing
- Bicycles, Motor Scooters, Motorcycles, Skateboards and Rollerblading
- Bunk/Loft Beds
- Noise Levels
- Pet Policy
- Posting Policy
- Restricted Areas
- Solicitation and Surveys
Additional Resources and Responsibilities
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.
In each residence hall, there are several life safety systems in place to make sure our students are as safe as they can be. Please Review the Fire Safety web page for detailed information on what is permitted in the halls as well as detailed evacuation plans in the event of a fire.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 22, 2023 [12 p.m.}
Guest registration for the fall 2023 semester will begin on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 8 a.m.
Guests must be signed into a building before 11:59 p.m. at the building’s front desk. Checking in later than 11:59 p.m. on that day will result in your guest not being permitted into the building
- 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. Further, a student may have a total of three (3) guests stay overnight for a total of three (3) days during the week.
- 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 2-8 a.m.
- 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.
- Residents will be held accountable via the conduct process if their guests violate policies. Guests will also be held accountable in accordance with University policies.
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, or work 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 ID.
For Apartment Communities
- While guests are not required to register, they are required to have valid identification at all times and must provide it upon request from a University representative.
- Each resident is permitted to have two (2) people (this can include non-students) assist them with moving into or out of their residential assignment(s). Guests present for moving assistance are permitted assist for a maximum of four (4) hours between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Non-student guests assisting with moves are not permitted in the residence halls after 10:00 p.m. and cannot stay overnight.
- During the academic year, if a resident needs assistance carrying large or heavy items to their rooms, a non-student may briefly assist them. The non-student must complete Hawk Check prior to arrival. In traditional halls, they must provide valid identification and be signed in. The non-student(s) providing assistance are only permitted in the residence halls between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and must vacate the premises within 15 minutes of arrival.
- 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: Returning students can expect to be living with the individual with whom you reserved housing during initial room selection 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.
If locked out of your room, contact the main desk of your building regarding specific lock-out procedures. Students will need to verify their identification in the case of a lock-out. If an individual has more than four lock-outs, a mandatory individual follow-up meeting with a Residence Life professional staff member will be scheduled. 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 Montclair State University Identification Card (ID card) will allow you access to your residence hall. Entry into all buildings will be denied without possession of your University ID Card. Your meal plan is also programmed into your University ID Card, as well as access to the library, recreation center, athletic events and student discounts.
The Montclair State ID Card Office, located in the lower level of the Student Center, issues all student University ID Cards. University ID-Cards are non-transferable and misuse/abuse can result in student conduct action. Resident students are responsible for their key card and University ID Card. Report lost keys and University ID Cards to your Community Director immediately. Should your room keys and/or University 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.
Documenting Room Conditions at Check In
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/suite/apartment. These forms are used to assess the condition of a student’s room/suite/apartment and its furnishings upon check-in and check-out.
Upon arrival, you will be asked to review your Room/Apartment Condition Report (RCR/ACR), sign and date it. Once you have signed the Room/Apartment Condition Report (RCR/ACR), you will be provided a copy of your report and 48 hours to compare your report to your room/suite/apartment.
When comparing your report to your room/suite/apartment, below are things commonly charged for damages that you should look for and document on your copy of your RCR/ACR if not recorded already:
- Any paint damage to walls and ceilings
- Paint chips
- Scuff marks
- Any items left on surfaces (walls, ceiling, furniture) by previous residents
- Command products
- Dry erase boards/white boards
- Mirrors (not provided in bathrooms/vanities)
- Nails, screws
- Issues with furniture and appliances
- Missing/broken items
- Heavily chipped/scratched surfaces
- Rips, stains on fabric
- Issues with room features
- Cracked/broken floor and bathroom tiles
- Missing/holes in window screens
- Broken/missing towel bars/hooks, toilet paper holders
- Damaged window treatments (bent slats/ends on blinds, broken pull strings, etc.)
- Missing/broken window handles
If you find damages or missing items not noted on the RCR/ACR, you must do the following:
- Take photographs with date/time stamps of any damages within your room at check in. Please keep these saved.
- Record any of your findings on the copy of the RCR/ACR you received at check in.
- Take a picture of the RCR/ACR with your notes on it and save it.
- Return your copy of the RCR/ACR with your notes on it to your residence hall’s front desk/office within 48 hours of your check in date. This will be kept on file in your residence hall’s office.
By signing your RCR/ACR, you are agreeing to the conditions recorded at check in and are subject to damage charges applied to your account at check out if any discrepancies and/or damages are assessed at check out. If you fail to document and/or submit any additional findings found not recorded on your RCR/ACR by completing the instructions above within your 48 hour window, you will be subject to damage charges assessed to your student account upon inspection at check out.
Should someone in your room/apartment vacate the space before the end of the semester/academic year, it is important that any damage done by that individual during their residency be apportioned to them and documented accordingly. If this occurs, please do the following within a timely manner, do not wait to report issues at the end of the year/semester.
- Take photographs with date/time stamps of the damage in question. Please keep these saved.
- Email your Community Director (CD) said pictures along with your roommate’s information. Save your email communication.
Defining and Assessing Damages
By definition and University billing codes, anything that is assessed to a student related to their time in the residence halls is considered a damage charge and is billed to a student’s account as such. While we may typically think the term damage is related to causing a physical issue, damage also encompasses charges such as replacing lost keys, late/improper check out fees, excessive cleaning charges, removing items hung on surfaces, etc.
It is the policy of the Office of Residence Life to assess charges to students for damages occurring in their rooms/suites/apartments. Individual damage charges are assessed to a student who is found to be directly responsible for damages occurring in their room/suite/apartment. In the event we cannot ascertain which student is responsible for the damages specifically in spaces which multiple students share; such a multiple-occupant bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, etc., the financial assessment will be apportioned equally among all students assigned to the room/suite/apartment.
It is important to establish standards and have open communication with your room/suite/apartment mates for all shared spaces and any damages occurred. Students should be aware of how their actions impact others and the importance of taking ownership of their own actions. Therefore, if someone causes damage in a shared space, it is important for said person to submit in writing via email to the Community Director (CD) stating such to avoid all occupants having to share the responsibility to split the charges.
Damage assessment will be conducted by the Community Director (CD) after a student checks out. Student staff members such as Resident Assistants (RAs) and Service Assistants (SAs) do not determine damage charges therefore any concerns related to damage charges should be directed to your Community Director (CD) in writing via email.
When checking out of the assigned space, the condition of the room/suite/apartment must be left in the same condition it was at the time the student moved in. Any discrepancies between the RCR/ACR and the condition of the room/suite/apartment upon check out will be evaluated by the Community Director (CD) and/or the Assistant Director for Residence – Facilities or their designee and the appropriate damage charges will be applied to the student’s account.
Avoiding Damage Charges
The easiest way to avoid damage charges is to know our policies and procedures, follow our recommended practices and to be proactive in documenting damages at check in. Below is helpful information for you to follow to help avoid damage charges.
Documenting Current Issues
- As stated, ensure any damages at check in are documenting on your RCR/ACR.
- Take photographs of your room/suite/apartment when you first check in to document the conditions you checked into. Save those photographs as they are helpful in case you need to appeal a damage charge.
- Have communication with your room/suite/apartment mates about taking ownership if they cause damages. Ownership requires the responsible student(s) taking ownership in writing via email. Remember – if no one takes responsibility in writing via email, all students sharing said space are responsible to share the damage cost.
- If you have questions or issues throughout the academic year, document communication in writing via email and save it.
Hanging Room Décor/Wall and Ceiling Recommendations
Students are not allowed to modify or alter rooms or apartments beyond what is provided in each space by the University. This includes but is not limited to painting, using wallpaper, decals or contact paper on walls and surfaces, installing or swapping out electrical, plumbing, window treatments and appliance fixtures, rebuilding or constructing any existing or new structure, adding or changing security and life safety devices, or removing or repairing essential features and furniture provided.
- Regardless if hung up using recommended methods by the Office of Residence Life, residents are responsible for any damages caused by hanging/removing any personal belongings, decorations, etc. in rooms. Please be mindful when decorating.
- Blue painters tape is strongly recommended to hang anything on surfaces such as walls, windows, ceilings and furniture.
- It is not recommended to hang anything on any surface using the following below. These items are proven to damage paint and surfaces in our halls which will result in damage charged assessed.
- Command products (hooks, strips, etc.)
- Scotch tape, double-sided tape
- Masking/duct tape
- Mounting squares
- Thumb tacks
- Nails, screws
- LED light strips
- Leaving items hung up on surfaces at check-out is considered a damage charge. Residents are required to remove all items from surfaces at check-out. Failure to remove any items left intact on surfaces will be charged for the cost of labor to remove said items along with the cost to repair any damage that occurred when removing said items.
- Use furniture for its designated purpose only.
- All furniture must remain in the room and assembled at all times. Removing furniture and/or disassembling it will result in charges assessed to replace said items and reassemble it.
- Avoid putting hot items on fabric surfaces such as ironing clothes on mattresses and couches.
- Avoid sitting on surfaces with sharp objects in your pockets to prevent scratches and holes.
Following Check Out Procedures
The Office of Residence Life provides explicit check out procedures and instructions for residents to follow during residence hall closings. Failure to follow these instructions and procedures will lead to damage charges assessed. Below are things you should do to avoid charges:
- Ensure keys are returned in-person at check out by the deadline provided.
- Check out by the deadline provided.
- Check out in-person and completing an Express Check Out Envelope.
- Clean your room/suite/apartment.
- Remove all personal items from your room/suite/apartment – this includes removing all items from walls, ceilings and surfaces.
- Ensure your room/suite/apartment is left in the same condition it was when moved into.
Damage Charges and Appeal Process
When a student is assessed a damage charge, it will then be entered onto their student account by their Community Director (CD). An automatic email from the Office of Residence Life will be sent to the student notifying them of the damage charge.
Any damage charge may be appealed in writing to the Assistant Director for Residence Life – Facilities or their designee in the Office of Residence Life, within fifteen (15) days of the billing date by completing the following survey.
Once an appeal is submitted, it will be reviewed and a decision will be rendered within thirty (30) days of the appeal submission date.
Community Damage Policy
In order to promote a positive residential community at Montclair State University, a Community Damage Policy has been implemented for all residence halls. The Community 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 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 within the halls.
When deliberate acts of vandalism occur, community damage charges are assessed to the individual(s) who is found to be directly responsible for damages. If the responsible person(s) has not been identified, 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.
Community 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.
Defining and Assessing Community Damages
“Community” or “common areas” refers to the University property outside your room/suite/apartment within your residence hall that all students within the community have access to. These community/common areas include lounges, laundry rooms, hallways, community bathrooms, lobbies, stairwells, grounds, etc. Community damage includes, but is not limited to, damage accrued in common area spaces that deals primarily with key features, repetitive vandalism and damage that which is beyond the scope of normal wear and tear. Such examples include:
- Windows and window treatments (blinds, draped, shades)
- Lounge furniture
- Walls, fixtures
- Media equipment (televisions, projectors)
- Recreational equipment (pool tables, ping pong tables, etc.)
- Appliances/community kitchen items
- Carpet/floor damage
- Vending machines
- Laundry equipment (breaking off machine doors, etc.)
- Need for excessive cleaning (not disposing of trash appropriately, etc.)
Acts of vandalism are strictly prohibited and is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the Office of Residence Life policy. 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 issue. 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 community damage occurs, the Community Director and the Assistant Director for Residence Life – Facilities will investigate to determine if the alleged damage appears to be deliberate, malicious, or accidental as a result of misconduct.
- The appropriate area residents will be notified by the Office of Residence Life via email. The notice serves to inform the entire hall, floor, respective section, suite, or room where the community 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. As a member of your community, you are to relay any information you may have about the damage that has occurred to your Community Director (CD).
- 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.
Appealing Community Damages Charges
When a community is assessed a damage charge, the cost will be divided among that that share the affected area and be entered onto each of those student’s account by the Office of Residence Life. An automatic email from the Office of Residence Life will be sent to the student notifying them of the damage charge.
Any damage charge may be appealed in writing to the Assistant Director for Residence Life – Facilities or their designee in the Office of Residence Life, within fifteen (15) days of the billing date by completing the following survey.
Quiet Hours – Sunday to Thursday: 10 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Quiet Hours – Friday and Saturday Evenings: 12 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Courtesy Hours: Extend 24 hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
University staff are permitted to enter your space to conduct room inspections whether or not you are present in the space. It is your responsibility to carry your key or ID at all times as University staff will lock all doors when inspections are complete.
- 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.
Students can receive mail in their buildings!
Proper Mailing Addresses
- Traditional Residence Halls: Blanton, Bohn, Freeman, Russ, Stone
- Francis A. Sinatra Hall
- The Heights
- The Village at Little Falls
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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 University 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.
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.
All residence halls have coinless laundry machines for the residents’ use only. These machines are accessible 24 hours a day.
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.
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.