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Residence Life

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to "dorms?"
A dormitory is merely a place to sleep and store your belongings. In the past, dorm mothers or fathers supervised dorms. This concept of on-campus living ended in the ‘60s! A residence hall, on the other hand, is a home. It is a place to live and learn. It is an important part of college life that will enhance the classroom experience. After all, students spend a great deal more time in the residence halls than they do anywhere else on campus.

A residence hall is a complete environment where students can learn to interact with people, develop leadership skills, write papers, attend events and programs, make lifelong friends, and build long-lasting memories. Through educational programs and contact with faculty/staff members, residents can greatly enhance their learning experiences at Minot State University.

Are students required to live on-campus?
To promote student success, Minot State University requires undergraduate students who have earned fewer than 24 semester hours and are under 20 years of age prior to the first day of the current semester, to live on campus and purchase a meal plan. Our residence hall and dining programs will help students meet other students, grow as a person, enjoy residential life, and have the experience of a lifetime on campus.

If you have any questions about this policy, please call the Residence Life & Housing Office at 858-3363 or (800) 777-0750 ext. 3363.
Request for Exemption from the MSU First Year Student Housing Policy form [pdf]

What will living on campus be like?
Residential living is the experience you make it. Have fun, get involved, and respect those around you; you’ll make friends and memories that will last a lifetime!

Is there anything to do on campus?
Both the Residence Life & Housing office and the Student Center work hard to provide countless activities for residential students. Resident Assistants (RAs) and Residence Hall Association (RHA) plan over 75 in-hall programs a semester for on-campus students. The Beaver Dam is a popular place among students and there is always something happening from events put on by the Student Government Association (SGA), the Student Activities Committee (SAC), or any number of clubs and organizations.

Who cleans the rooms and buildings?
MSU is fortunate to have a wonderful custodial and maintenance staff who maintains the common areas and community bathrooms. The custodial staff does daily cleaning for normal usage. As a member of the residence hall community, all residents are responsible for "extra" clean up in common areas resulting from general sloppiness, vandalism, or pranks. If the staff cleans up "extra" messes, the individuals responsible will be billed. If they are not discovered, all residents will split the costs of clean-ups and repairs.

What is a common area?
A "common area" is any part of a residence that is accessible to all residents and guests, such as hallways, stairwells, lounges, lobbies, community bathrooms, study areas, laundry rooms, and outside anywhere on campus. Damages to common areas are treated as if it were your home; if the individual(s) responsible are not found, all of you share part of the expense for repairs. We strongly encourage everyone in residence life to be aware of vandals or strangers. Please report all incidents to a Residence Life Staff Member or to the Student Life Office.

What if I need repairs or maintenance in my room?
All maintenance requests should be made through your Resident Assistant (RA) or the Residence Life & Housing Office. Our Maintenance Department is very good about handling most requests within a week. If there is an emergency situation, contact an ON-DUTY RA, or the Residence Life & Housing Office (701)-858-3363.

What does co-ed mean?
By the term "co-ed," we mean that men and women will be living in the same building. In Lura Manor and Crane Hall, the floors are co-ed. Bathrooms, suites, and bedrooms remain single gender. All other buildings have one gender per floor.

What about security? What security measures are in place?
Our buildings are equipped with electronic access doors that are locked 24-hours a day, cameras and alarms systems to assist in providing a safer environment, and escort, visitation, and other policies to ensure the safety of residents. The Resident Assistant (RA) on-duty makes at least 4 building rounds a night of their building and campus security patrols from 11pm to 7am.

Do I need to bring a computer?
This is your decision to make. The University has several computer labs, both Macintosh and PC based, for student use. Every student room on campus has high-speed Internet access, both wirelessly and via an Ethernet cord. If you have a computer at home and want to bring it to college, and it is 'Ethernet-ready', you will have access to the Internet (access to commercial services like AOL is NOT included, nor is it necessary). If it is not Ethernet-ready, you can purchase an Ethernet cord at your local computer supply store.

NOTE: All students are issued a student e-mail account and are required to use it regularly.

Is there a place to cook?
Every building has at least one kitchen that students may use. Students kitchens are provided with microwaves & ovens to cook food but you are not permitted to bring one. The use of most cooking appliances within student rooms is prohibited so please be sure to check out approved items.

Will I be able to sleep in the residence halls?
Yes, you will be able to sleep in the residence halls. Although the adjustment to college living may be a bit disruptive at first. Please remember that you are moving from a home or apartment in which you live with your family to living on a floor with 13 to 50 other students, in a building with 40 to 200 students. This new experience will take time to adjust to.

Am I allowed to have guests in my room?
You may have overnight guests of the same gender with prior authorization from your roommate(s) and your building's Residence Hall Director (RHD). Guests must be registered with the Residence Hall Director and are allowed to stay up to two nights unless special arrangements are made.

Guests will not be allowed in a room unless all occupants in that room are in agreement. All guests are subject to University regulations and residence hall policies. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guest(s) and guests should be escorted at all times. If a student feels his or her roommate(s) are not abiding by this policy, it is his or her responsibility to notify a Residence Life staff member.

Can I bring a car to campus?
All students may have the privilege of using a motor vehicle (including motorcycles) on campus provided it is registered with Parking Services and parked in the appropriate lots.

Are there laundry facilities on campus?
Laundry facilities and change machines are located in each residence hall. Cost to wash/dry are included within Room and Board costs.

How do I insure my personal belongings?
Minot State is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property from any cause; therefore, we recommend that you check to see if your belongings are covered under your family's homeowner's insurance policy. If this is not the case, you may wish to buy renter's insurance, which is reasonably priced. Regardless of coverage, items such as your stereo, TV, camera, VCR, refrigerator, computer should be engraved for identification purposes.

Is soliciting allowed on campus?
Soliciting (by persons not affiliated with MSU) is not permitted in the residence halls. Students should ask salespersons to leave the building if they are approached. If they refuse, call the resident assistant, residence hall director or the Residence Life & Housing Office.

What furnishings are available in a residence hall room?
Each resident is provided with

  • desk and chair
  • bed and mattress
  • closet/wardrobe
  • mirror
  • telephone service available through special contract
  • active Ethernet connection and cable television service.

Furniture in most student rooms is moveable.

What items should I bring to campus?
We suggest that each student bring:

  • pillow, blanket, bedspread, sheets, and mattress pad
  • towels, laundry bag or basket
  • sturdy key ring
  • bath bucket (to carry personal items to the shower in traditional halls)
  • hangers, sewing kit, and first aid kit
  • hair dryer
  • flashlight
  • coat, jacket, and umbrella
  • non-halogen study lamp
  • stamps
  • alarm clock with batteries
  • items to decorate the room
  • touch-tone telephone

Residents wishing to bring draperies must assure they are fire retardant. We recommend that students bring a small dolly or luggage cart to speed the move-in process.

Student staying in the Suites may also need bathroom cleaning supplies.

What can’t I bring to campus?
The following are among the items prohibited:

  • weapons, firearms of any kind, and look-alike-weapons
  • halogen lamps, potpourri burners, candle warmers, candles, and incense
  • microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, hot pots, popcorn poppers, George Forman grill, hot plates
  • space heaters ceiling fans, air conditioners
  • any items or appliances the university deems potentially dangerous.
  • Pets of any kind, other than fish in a 10 gallon tank or smaller.

Can I personalize my room?
Personalizing your room is permitted. However, residents must not alter or damage the conditions or contents of the room. Tacks, nails, and duct tape should not be used on the doors or walls (blue painters tape may be used). Walls and fixtures within the room should not be painted and plant hangers are not permitted in the ceiling. Posters, pictures, etc. hung on the outside of the door must be in good taste and not offensive to other residents or guest. Lofting beds is not allowed. Waterbeds are not allowed in the residence halls. All carpeting in the room should be jute back and not attached to the floor with tape. .

Do I have to have a meal plan?
Residents are required to purchase one of three university meal plans. This insures access to high-quality, nutritious meals. Many students attending college for the first time are not experienced with time management. Having a meal plan relieves the student of the responsibility of shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after meals, allowing more time for academic pursuits. Furthermore, residence halls are not designed for students to prepare meals. Of concern are the potential for fire, activation of smoke alarms, clogging of drains, improper disposal of waste and garbage, electrical overloads, insects, and rodents.

A high-quality dining program requires a solid financial base in order to operate at a reasonable cost to students. Our residence hall students provide that base. If meal plans were optional for residence hall students, the cost would be significantly higher.

Students living in Campus Heights, Pioneer or University Heights Apartments are not required to have a meal plan.

What is the policy on noise?
Residents are responsible for maintaining reasonable conditions for study and sleep in our residence halls. Minimum courtesy and quiet hours have been established. A twenty-four-hour quiet period goes into effect prior to and during final exam periods. Courtesy hours, in effect twenty four hours a day, require students to be considerate of the needs of others at all times and to comply with requests for maintaining a reasonable level of quiet. Quiet hours cover specific evening hours and require that noise be reduced so that nothing can be heard from within rooms when doors are closed.

Students are expected to confront individuals who infringe upon their right to study or sleep. Resident Assistants are available to help maintain a reasonable level of quiet on the floor; however, they are not expected to be the sole policy enforcers on the floor. No staff member can be available twenty-four hours a day to address every situation that may arise. At the same time, students are encouraged to practice the skills they will need to be self-sufficient adults. When asked to settle a noise situation, a RA is likely to ask the resident if she/he has made any attempt to resolve the situation. If the resident has made an attempt and did not receive an adequate response, the RA will assist in intervention. If the resident has not made an attempt, the RA is likely to encourage her or him to discuss the matter with the student in question before seeking intervention.

Students who continually show disrespect for the rights of others and/or refuse to cooperate with requests to keep the noise level down are referred to the Residence Life Coordinator for disciplinary action. Repeated violations could lead to a student’s loss of eligibility for campus housing.

How can I become a RA or desk clerk?
Applications are available under the "Employment Opportunities" link on the Residence Life web page.

What happens when a student violates policy?
Students who violate policies can expect to experience the consequences of those decisions. For a lesser violation, a student will be required to meet with the Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) to discuss the situation and participate in an action plan. Action plans may include a formal written warning, a contract for behavior change, and/or an educational assignment designed to help the student gain new information and insight. Fines also accompany many policy violations. A complete list of policies are posted on every residence hall floor and can be found in the Residence Life Handbook that students receive when they check-in to the halls.

If the incident requires investigation, the student is a repeat violator, or the situation is particularly serious, a referral to the residence hall judicial system may be initiated. Campus Security is contacted for all alcohol related policy violations and all matters involving alleged criminal activity. Students accused of a policy violation have 4 days to appeal to the RLC. If an appeal is warranted, a hearing time is established when the Inter-Residence Hall Council (IRHC), a student based judicial board, will review information concerning the student’s behavior, including testimony from the accused student and any witnesses, then decide whether the student is in violation of any policy. If a violation(s) is determined, the board or RLC will decide on sanctions or consequences appropriate to the case.

How can I protect my property?
The best defense is to keep your room doors locked at all times and to take valuables home over break periods.

Can I get the same room next year?
Residence hall room re-contracting procedures allow a student to keep his/her same room from year to year unless his/her room is scheduled for renovation or is redefined as a specialty room or in some other special way. Students may also choose to live in a different room within their same residence hall or live in a different residence hall or apartment building.

What do I do if I have problems with my roommate?
The relationship between roommates often impacts one’s satisfaction with college life. Components of a positive relationship are the assertive expression of one’s needs, the recognition and respect for the unique needs and lifestyles of others, and the positive management of conflict. Students are expected to take primary responsibility for insuring the development and maintenance of a positive roommate relationship. Students are strongly encouraged to invest themselves fully in working together to resolve differences by speaking directly to roommates, sharing concerns, expressing feelings in an honest manner, and jointly resolving conflict. In some cases a roommate may be unresponsive or difficult to approach. In either situation, the student should seek help from his/her RA, Residence Hall Director or the RLC. Residence hall staff members can assist students in expressing themselves to their roommates or in negotiating a living agreement.

What staff is in the Residence Halls?
Each residence hall is managed by a part-time upperclassman student trained specifically in working with college students in a residential setting known as the Residence Hall Director (RHD). Residence hall floors are staffed by undergraduate Resident Assistants (RAs). RAs are responsible for working with students to create and maintain a floor community conducive to academic, social, and personal needs. RAs are expected to confront violations of university policy, act as role models, encourage residents to take responsibility for their own actions/choices, and encourage respect and appreciation for each other. Residence hall offices are staffed weekday evenings by student receptionists responsible for checking out recreational equipment, answering questions, and attending to administrative tasks assigned by the building director.

In addition, there are custodians, maintenance and other housing personnel who might be in the building.

Are there quite places to study?
Courtesy hours are in effect for all residence halls, seven days a week. Quiet hours are in effect in all residential buildings during evening hours. When quiet hours are not in effect, courtesy hours require that students be considerate of the needs of others and comply with requests for maintaining a reasonable level of quiet. These policies help make residence hall rooms suitable places to study. Other places for studying include residence hall student lounges located on the first floor of most buildings, designated study rooms on some floors, the library, and the Beaver Dam.

Can I stay in my room during vacation breaks for the college?
Housing may be available during some breaks, however you should contact the Residence Life & Housing Office in advance of needing a place to stay to find out the availability. No housing is guaranteed over break periods.

What if there is an emergency in my residence hall?
If you encounter an emergency, please call Public Safety immediately at 1-911. In cases of emergency, please respond to the requests by all MSU officials and student staff in your residence hall. MSU regards all fire alarms as a serious matter, even when during a drill. To ensure the safety of all members of the community, we ask that students adhere to all policies and procedures found in your Residence Hall Handbook to maintain a safe atmosphere. In the event of other campus emergencies, MSU will notify students through appropriate channels.