SJU Residential Life Policies and Procedures

SJU Residential Life Policies

Residential Life Procedures

Other Campus Policies

12 Credit-Hour Housing Policy

SJU undergraduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester to remain eligible for campus housing. Students must vacate their assigned residence within forty-eight (48) hours if any of the following occur:

  • they lose their status as an enrolled student
  • they fail to register for academic coursework
  • they fail to maintain the minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester

The Director of Residential Life and Housing, or a designee, approves exceptions to the policy.

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SJU Residency Requirement

As a Benedictine residential campus, Saint John's University promotes the development of the individual within the context of living and learning in a community. We accomplish this by having all students live in campus housing while attending St. John's. Saint John's students must live on campus, unless granted permission from Residential Life and Housing, to live at home (with parents) or off-campus locally.

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Break Policies

Circumstances sometimes require students to reside on campus before the academic year, over Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Breaks, or after residence halls close. Due to reduced staffing during these periods, only students who need to be on-campus are allowed to be present. Students must complete a request form in advance of their early, break, or extended stay. Requests are only for:

  • International/Out of State Students
  • On-Campus Student Employees
  • Student-Athletes
  • Students with Academic-Related Reasons

In all cases, students should make their requests in advance and note our policies and procedures below:

  • Arriving early, staying over break, or staying after classes have ended is a privilege. 
  • Students are required to follow all University, Residential Life & Housing, and J-Book policies during their time on-campus.
  • All CSB/SJU students who are guests may visit from 9 am - 10 pm daily during break periods.
  • Non-CSB/SJU students are not allowed as guests in residential areas during break periods.
  • Requests submitted after the deadline result in a $25 administrative fee to accommodate the request on short notice.
  • Students who request access to the residence halls without permission will have a $25 key-in fee assessed to their student account.
  • Staying in a residential area without permission results in a $25 charge per day, up to $100 per week.

Early Return Requests

Students may request to stay on-campus before the academic year. Students must complete a request form in advance of their early arrival. Requests are only for:

  • International/Out of State Students
  • On-Campus Student Employees
  • Student-Athletes
  • Students with Academic-Related Reasons

Break Stay Requests

Students can request to stay on campus during Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Breaks. Students must complete a request form in advance of their break stay. Requests are only for:

  • International/Out of State Students
  • On-Campus Student Employees
  • Student-Athletes
  • Students with Academic-Related Reasons

During breaks, note that:

  • Students' key card access to residential areas deactivates unless pre-approved via submission of a break request.
  • Students should go home or elsewhere over break periods unless approved to stay on campus.
  • Life Safety performs routine safety inspections of all on-campus residence hall rooms and apartments (specifically during winter break).

Extended Stay Requests

Students may request to stay on-campus after residence halls close at the end of the academic year. Students must complete a request form in advance of their extended stay. Requests are only for:

  • International/Out of State Students
  • On-Campus Student Employees
  • Student-Athletes
  • Students with Academic-Related Reasons

Regarding extended stays, note that:

  • Students' requests can extend no later than the Wednesday after the residence halls close for the academic year. Students who need to stay beyond this date must complete a summer housing application and should expect to pay a daily rate.
  • Student-athletes whose seasons extend beyond the end of the academic year do not need to apply for summer housing, nor are they charged additional fees.
  • Student-athletes may need to change residence halls to accommodate summer business operations.
  • Student-athletes should vacate campus within 24 hours of their final competition.

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Fire Safety

Reviewed and updated: August 2011

Exits must remain adequately accessible and usable by everyone at all times to ensure proper emergency evacuation from buildings. Any deviations from the following rules require clearance in advance with the fire chief. The fire chief makes inspections to ensure compliance. We enforce the following specific regulations:

  1. No one shall ever lock exits except in such a manner that one can open them from the inside by simply using the panic bar on the door. Doors without panic bars are not to be locked.
  2. Only use decorations such that they ensure that all exit signs are visible.
  3. In any arrangement of tables or chairs, maintain a minimum aisle clearance of 3' leading to all exits.
  4. No one may stand in aisle spaces either as a standing room observer or while waiting to be seated. Exit aisles must remain clear at all times.

The following guidelines aim to limit the possibility of serious fire:

  1. Open flames are not permitted, nor is possession of items capable of producing an open flame (candles, incense, etc.).
  2. Hanging decorations must be fireproof or made from self-extinguishing materials.
  3. Fire extinguishers and fire hoses provided in an area must remain visible.
  4. No live Christmas trees or branches are allowed in any student residence.
  5. No Halogen lamps or lava-style lamps are allowed in any student residence.

Parking Regulations concerning fire lanes:

  • All fire lanes must remain clear so fire-related or medical emergency vehicles can access any building.
  • As such, please note the following:
    • Using fire lanes requires specific permission from Life Safety Services.
    • Only students with documented physical problems, who receive permission from Life Safety services, may have short-term use of the fire lanes.
    • Parking in the fire lanes at SJU results in either a fine or having the vehicle towed off the campus property.
  • Please note:
  • Fire lane gates sometimes get opened; this does not mean that anyone may use the fire lane for personal vehicles or loading/unloading vehicles.
  • Parking in a fire lane with flashers on does not give anyone the right to park there.
  • If Life Safety gives no advance approval to park in a fire lane and issues a ticket, it cannot be appealed.

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Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations are allowed in the residence hallways in the dorms on campus. The requirements for decorations are as follows:

  1. No paper/flammable decorations are allowed in the hallways.
  2. No electrical cords of any kind can be run over/under the dorm or any other doors.
  3. Cords used for lights must be taped to walls and or floors - not hanging loose.
  4. Decorations cannot be on ceilings, across hallways, or on sprinklers or alarm systems.
  5. Decorations cannot impede egress or traffic flow in hallways or other areas.
  6. Decorations that violate the above rules are removed immediately and given to either the RA or FR on that floor.

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Barbeque Grills

  1. There can be no storage of barbecue grills or related equipment - including charcoal/lighter fluid/propane tanks - on decks/balconies, in dorms, or inside any buildings on campus. All such supplies need to be stored outside. We immediately confiscate any of these items found indoors.
  2. Students must contact the Fire Chief at the end of the year to coordinate a time to claim a confiscated grill.
  3. The fines are split between all the occupants of that building unless the responsible party comes forth and admits ownership to the Fire Chief in person.

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False Fire Alarms due to cooking

The fire department responds to numerous false fire alarms that are caused by cooking in residential areas. In attempts to reduce false alarms and the related costs to SJU, the fire department has developed the following policy.

  1. Each residence is allowed to have three cooking related-false alarms during the academic year.
  2. The 4th false alarm (and every subsequent false alarm) may result in a $50 fine to every resident of that particular building/floor.

If the students use the vent fans over the stoves, crack open their windows, and keep the burners and oven clean, the alarm is less likely to be set off by cooking. It is the responsibility of residents to keep their stoves and ovens clean.

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Electrical Cords/Wiring

  • Extension cords are only allowed in dorms if they have a built-in surge protector or fuse in them. Extension cords not meeting this requirement result in a $50 fine and cord confiscation. Students can pick up confiscated items at the end of the school year from the Fire Station.
  • Please note:
    • Use surge protectors instead of regular extension cords.
    • Do not plug one surge protector into another.
    • Do not use multiple electrical adapters unless they have surge protection built into them and a UL sticker on the device.
    • Reducer plugs are also not allowed since they eliminate the built-in ground.

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Safety Violations/Tampering with Safety Related Equipment

The SJU Fire Department wants the students of SJU to be as safe as possible at all times. Therefore, we are concerned with fire extinguishers found expelled without there being a fire. We are also concerned when fire alarms activate without due cause and when smoke detectors are disabled or get removed from the walls of the residence halls/buildings.

Therefore, the SJU Fire Department has assigned fines to those types of safety-policy-related violations.

  • Tampering with fire alarm systems:
    • a. Tampering with pull boxes/pulling fire alarms: $500 and potentially formal criminal charge.
    • b. Disconnecting/covering up smoke detectors or pulling batteries out of them:  $200 plus repair costs, if any
    • c. Tampering with fire department/standpipe connections: $200 plus repair costs, if any
    • d. Tampering with or damaging sprinkler heads/systems: $200 plus any cleaning and property damage costs
    • e. Any other mischievous actions dealing with fire systems: Various contingent upon the severity of the incident
  • Expelling of fire extinguishers: $200
  • Not leaving the building during a fire alarm: $150
  • Attempting to or setting a fire: referred to Stearns Co, Sheriff Dept. for formal charges. Examples: Couch Fires, Dumpster Fires, etc.
  • Possession or use of Candles or Incense: $50
  • Hallway Clearance: $100 per person on the affected floor 
  • The hallways in the residence halls must remain cleared to allow traffic to exit the building in case of a fire or any other emergency. Therefore, students moving into or out of residence halls must have their belongings removed from the hallways by the end of move-in day. If materials remain in the hallway we assess the entire floor community a fine until (a) the hallway is cleared or (b) the individual(s) who own the materials are identified.
  1. Fire Lane parking violations - During a non-emergency - $50 (CANNOT BE APPEALED)
  2. Fire Lane parking violations - During an emergency - $200 (CANNOT BE APPEALED)

Anyone with questions or concerns about the policies listed above should contact the SJU Fire Chief at (320) 363-2742.

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Room Change Policy (including switching roommates)

Living with a roommate can be both a challenge and an opportunity for growth and friendship. Students with roommate concerns can seek support from Resident Assistants and Faculty Residents. Our conflict resolution process emphasizes listening, communication, and respect.

Students who wish to move from their current room into another room should understand that such a move may not be possible due to limited space and resources. Roommates are not expected to become best friends but should work out conflicts through reasonable means. Any students with roommate complications are strongly encouraged to discuss the issues with their Faculty Resident (FR) or Resident Assistants (RAs) as soon as possible. Residential Life staff (RAs & FRs) have the training to mediate most roommate conflicts into a healthy & balanced resolution. Moving out of a room or switching roommates is considered a last resort.

If one roommate purposely creates a hostile living environment for the other roommate, we may evict the hostile-acting roommate from campus housing. Students evicted from campus housing may be forced to withdraw due to the residency requirement that requires all students to live on campus.

All first-year students should expect to have a roommate. First-year students are not allowed to live in double rooms as a single occupancy room, except in extreme or unavoidable situations. First-year students living in a single space during the Fall semester will be assigned a roommate for the Spring semester. Because of unknown emergencies that develop each semester, students cannot pay for the extra space in their double room to keep it as a single.

Students wishing to move into a new room due to roommate conflict(s) must complete the following steps:

  1. Talk with their current FR about the room and roommate situation to determine how to resolve it through mediation with Residential Life staff. All mediation options must be exhausted before moving on to step 2.
  2. After receiving consent from the current FR, talk with the Assistant Director of Housing about other existing housing options on campus. Please note that changes are not always possible due to limited space and resources. If an opportunity exists, proceed to step 3.
  3. Talk with the FR from the new potential community. That FR and the current FR must consent for the move to be approved. Residential Life & Housing does not override the decision of the FRs involved except in extreme circumstances. After the Residential Life & Housing office receives written consent from all FRs involved, proceed to Step 4.
  4. Meet with the Assistant Director of Housing to receive final approval of the move and complete all necessary administrative paperwork (room leases, room condition reports, etc.).
  5. Complete the room change within one (1) week of approval.

Any group of students wishing to trade or switch roommates with another group of students must complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure all parties involved are agreeable with the move. If any one person doesn't want to make the switch, the change is not allowed. Please note that any coercion or hostile acts toward any person(s) involved in the move to influence their decision violate University policy and could result in eviction from campus housing and expulsion from the University.
  2. If all students involved with the move are agreeable, they need to consult with their respective FRs. The Residential Life & Housing office must receive written consent from all FRs before final approval.
  3. Once approval from FRs is received, all students completing a move must meet with the Assistant Director of Housing for final approval and complete all necessary administrative paperwork (room leases, room condition reports, etc.).
  4. Students must complete room changes within one (1) week of approval.

Unapproved Room Switches

When unapproved room switches occur, students have assessed a $25 per day fee to their student account for each day of policy violation. We advise students to work with their Faculty Resident to make a room change.

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Room Consolidation Policy

Residential Life reserves the right to consolidate vacancies by requiring a student to move from a single-occupancy of a double room or multiple-occupancy residence to another double or multiple-occupancy residence. The resident may request permission to use a multiple-occupancy residence as a single room and pay for the cost of the unoccupied beds on a prorated basis for the remainder of a term as long as space is available. Room consolidations often occur before the 10th day of each academic term.

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Open House (Visitation) Policy

Covid-19 Informed Guest Policy

Written: January 2021

Hosting guests and social gatherings are important to the student experience, but also a big risk for the spread of COVID. Until normal operations resume, the following expectations are in place to limit the transmission of COVID:

  1. Card access to residential buildings is limited to residents of that building.
  2. Guests' access to residential buildings is restricted in that an SJU resident is allowed to have 1 guest (current CSB or SJU Student only) in their room. This is a 1:1 ratio with a maximum of 10 people in units with more than 5 residents. For example:
    • An SJU Student in a single room can have only 1 guest.
    • In rooms where two residents are assigned each person may have 1 guest, thus 4 total.
    • In rooms where three residents reside each resident may have only one guest, thus 6 total
    • In 4 person units, each resident is allowed to have one guest, thus a total of 8.
    • In 6-person apartments, the maximum amount of guests the unit may have is 10, only four residents can have guests.
    • Guest is defined as a currently enrolled CSB or SJU student.
  3. Party permits are currently suspended and are reviewed as public health guidance is updated.
  4. Guest are allowed in our Residence Halls until midnight.

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Residence Hall Guest Policy

Covid-19 Informed Guest Policy

Written: January 2021

Hosting guests and social gatherings are important to the student experience, but also a big risk for the spread of COVID. Until normal operations resume, the following expectations are in place to limit the transmission of COVID:

  1. Card access to residential buildings is restricted to residents of that building.
  2. Guests' access to residential buildings is restricted in that an SJU resident is allowed to have 1 guest (current CSB or SJU Student only) in their room. This is a 1:1 ratio with a maximum of 10 people in units with more than 5 residents. For example:
    • An SJU Student in a single room can have only 1 guest.
    • In rooms where two residents are assigned each person may have 1 guest, thus 4 total.
    • In rooms where three residents reside each resident may have only one guest, thus 6 total
    • In 4 person units, each resident is allowed to have one guest, thus a total of 8.
    • In 6-person apartments, the maximum amount of guests the unit may have is 10, only four residents can have guests.
    • Guest is defined as a currently enrolled CSB or SJU student.
  3. Party permits are currently suspended and will be reviewed as public health guidance is updated.
  4. Guest are allowed in our Residence Halls until midnight.

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Quiet / Study Hours

We value a community that balances individual and group needs. Courtesy, respect, and consideration are the normal expectations in the apartments, houses, and residence halls 24 hours every day. We designate the following quiet hours to support academic achievement and recognize personal and group needs:

  • Sunday-Thursday, 9 p.m. - 10 a.m.
  • Friday-Saturday, midnight - 10 a.m.

Students of any community may vote to lengthen these hours if desired.

In the best interest of us all, please be considerate of neighbors and respect quiet hours as stated. Courtesy hours are always in effect. Anyone being disturbed by someone else's noise at any time should go directly to them and request that they lower their noise level. If the problem does not resolve in this manner, contact the RA on duty.

The weekend before and throughout the Finals week, all SJU Residential communities observe a 24-7 Quiet/Study Hour policy to support academic achievement. There are also no parties or social gatherings allowed during this time.

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Pet Policy

No pets, except for fish, are allowed in any student residence on campus.

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Loft Building Policy

SJU students are no longer allowed to construct lofts in any SJU residential area. The only lofts allowed in the residence halls are the ones rented through Bedloft.com.

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Posting Policy for Residence Halls

 Any on-campus/off-campus organization, group, or individual(s) who wishes to post signs, posters, advertisements, or any items in the SJU Residence Halls must follow the following steps:

  1. All materials must be pre-approved by Residential Life and Housing located in Sexton Commons 210.
  2. Residential Life and Housing staff post the materials in the appropriate location(s) and remove them after the event or notice.
  3. We do not post materials on doors, walls, above urinals, or bathroom mirrors. Only bulletin boards.
  4. Materials found in locations other than the bulletin boards are removed and thrown away. Residential Life and Housing contacts the group responsible for the material(s). A first offense results in a warning. Additional offenses could result in the suspension of posting privileges in the residence halls.

Direct questions or concerns to the Residential Life and Housing Office at 320.363.3512 or [email protected].

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Residence Hall Security

All residential buildings on card access are secured 24 hours a day throughout the academic year and during breaks.

  • Residents of apartments that are not on card access are responsible for securing their apartments. 
  • St. Ben's students have card access to public spaces of residential buildings during open house hours. 
  • St. John's students have card access to all non-apartment, residential buildings 24 hours a day.

This policy is to ensure that only members of the SJU community enter residence halls. SJU student ID cards open the locks at any time when classes are in session.

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Telephones

Campus telephones are in the hallways and the entrances to most campus residence halls. These phones are for on-campus calls, local calls, toll-free calls, and emergency calls. Dial 91 to access an outside line.

Students who wish to have a campus telephone installed in their residence should contact the Voice Communications Office at 320-363-3482. They charge a fee for installation and a service fee per semester. Voice mail service is also available upon request.

When placing emergency calls to Life Safety Services from a campus phone, please dial 911. When placing emergency calls to Life Safety Services from an off-campus phone, such as a cell phone, please dial 320-363-2144. 911 calls from cell phones direct to Stearns county emergency services.

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Humidifier/Dehumidifier and Space Heater Policy

Space heaters in residence halls pose a significant fire safety risk. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers pose a significant health risk in that they can lead to bacteria and mold issues and can greatly upset the humidity balance in a building. For these reasons, residents may not bring space heaters or humidifiers/dehumidifiers into our residence halls.

If you believe your room is not properly controlled for temperature and humidity, please follow the protocol on the attached form to have your room assessed by Physical Plant staff. If they determine the situation cannot be corrected with adjustments to the current heat or humidity control systems, we may grant permission to have a space heater or humidifier/dehumidifier.

Instructions and conditions are listed within each form, along with submission directives. These request forms are located on the Physical Plant website.

Should you have any questions about this, contact Gary Jorgensen, Saint John's Building & Facility Manager, at ext. 3303.

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