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 housing within forty-eight (48) hours if any of the following occur:

  • the student loses his status as an enrolled student
  • the student fails to register for academic course work
  • the student fails to maintain the minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester

Exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Director of Residential Life and Housing or designee.

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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 community. This is accomplished by having all students live in campus housing while attending St. John's. Saint John's students are required to 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

St. John's University's Department of Residential Life and Housing recognizes that over Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, or Easter Breaks, students may need to stay on campus. If a student does not submit a request, the Department of Residential Life and Housing expects that student to go home or elsewhere over the break period. There are circumstances that require a student to arrive prior to the academic year and temporarily stay on-campus after the residence halls close. With this in mind, requests are only considered for International/Out of State Students, On-Campus Student Employment, Student Athletes, & Students will Academic Related Reasons. Staffing is limited over the break periods and only students who need (aforementioned reasons) to be on-campus are allowed to be present. 

In all cases, students are expected to plan accordingly with respect to the information below and make their requests in advance. Students who submit requests after the deadline are charged a $25 administrative fee to accommodate the request on short notice. Arriving early, staying over break and 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. During these times, the guest policy is amended to be as follow:

  • All CSB/SJU students who are guests are allowed to visit from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily during all break periods. All non-CSB/SJU guests are not permitted during all break periods.

Students who request access to the residence halls without permission will have a $25 key-in fee assessed to their student account. Unapproved students will also be charged $25 per day up to $100 per week if they stay within the residence halls without approval.

Early Arrival Requests

Students may request to arrive early based on the criteria above. Students should plan to arrive no earlier than the Wednesday prior to the first day of classes in the academic year. Student athletes who are arriving early to participate athletics should not to expect to arrive any earlier than the date provided by the coach and requests of this nature are likely to be denied or perceived as a request of convenience as student athletes are already arriving significantly earlier than most other students. Early arrival requests that are made solely for the convenience of the student and are not related to needs of the university are typically denied. In the event that requests of convenience are approved, students should expect to pay $25/day and up to a $100/week. Requesting to move-in early because one's summer lease in St. Joseph ends prior to the start of the academic year is a request of convenience and students should expect to pay the aforementioned daily rate. The deadline to submit an early arrival request is August 17.

Extended Stay Requests

Students may request to stay on-campus after the Residence Halls close at the end of the academic year. Students requests can go not later than the Wednesday after the residence halls close for the academic year. Students who need to stay beyond the Wednesday after the residence halls close need to complete a summer housing application and should expect to pay a daily rate. Extended stay requests are only considered for the following reasons: International/Out of State Student, On-Campus Student Employment, Student Athletes, and other Academic Related reasons.

Student athletes whose seasons extend well beyond the end of the academic year will not need to apply for summer housing. Nor will these students be charged. Student athletes who need to stay beyond the close of the academic year may need to change residence halls to accommodate summer business operations and the student athlete should plan accordingly. Student athletes are expected to vacate campus within 24 hours of their last competition.

The Deadline for submitting an Extended Stay Request is May 1.

Break Stay Requests

Over Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Breaks students can request to stay over the break period. Specifically during Winter Break, Life Safety performs routine safety inspections of all the residence hall room and apartments on-campus. Break requests for these times are limited to the following reasons: International/Out of State Students, On-Campus Student Employment, Student Athletes, and other Academic Related reasons. Key card access is turned off during these break periods and students should not expect to gain access to the residence halls unless previously approved via the submission of a break request. The deadlines for submitting a Break Stay Request are as follows:

  • Thanksgiving Break - November 15
  • Winter Break - December 8
  • Spring Break - February 23

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Fire Safety

Reviewed and updated: August 2011

To insure proper building evacuation in an emergency, exits must remain usable by everyone at all times; and adequate access to the exits must be maintained. Any deviations from the following rules must be cleared in advance with the fire chief. Inspections will be made by the fire chief to assure compliance. The following specific regulations are enforced:

  1. Exits shall never be locked except in such a manner that they may be opened from the inside by simply using the panic bar on the door. Doors without panic bars are not to be locked.
  2. Decorations, etc, must be designed so as to ensure that all exit signs are clearly visible.
  3. In any arrangement of tables or chairs, a minimum aisle clearance of 3' must be maintained leading to all exits.
  4. No one may be allowed to stand in aisle spaces either as a standing room observer, or while waiting to be seated. Clear exit aisles must be maintained at all times.

The following guidelines are aimed at limiting the possibility of serious fire:

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


Parking Regulations in regard to fire lanes:

  1. All fire lanes must remain clear in case of a fire-related and/or medical emergency vehicles need to gain access to any building.
  2. As such, please note the following:
    a. You must have specific permission from Life Safety Services to use the fire lanes.
    b. Only students with documented physical problems, who receive permission from Life Safety services, may have short term use of the fire lanes.
    c. The penalties for parking in the fire lanes at SJU are either a fine or your vehicle may be towed off the campus property.

    Please Note:
    **  Fire lane gates do sometimes get opened; this does not mean that you may use the fire lane for personal vehicles or loading/unloading vehicles.
    **  Parking in a fire lane with your flashers on does not give you the right to park there.
    **  If injured and prior approval from an on-duty Life Safety Officer has not been obtained and a ticket has been received, that ticket cannot be appealed.


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 allowed in the hallways.
  2. No electrical cords of any kind can be run over/under 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 hung on ceilings, strung across hallways, or attached to sprinklers or alarm systems.
  5. Decorations cannot impede egress or traffic flow in hallways or other areas.
  6. Any decorations found to be in violation of the above rules will be removed at once and be given to either the RA or FR on that floor.


Barbeque Grills

It is the policy of SJU that there can be no storage of barbecue grills on decks/balconies or inside any buildings on campus. This includes the charcoal/lighter fluid/spare propane tanks that are accompanied with some of these grills. If these items are found inside buildings, they will be confiscated immediately.

  1. It will be the responsibility of the student to contact the Fire Chief at the end of the year to coordinate with him a time that the grill can be claimed.
  2. The fines will be split between all the occupants of that building unless the responsible party comes forth and admits ownership to the Fire Chief in person.
  3. There is also no storage of lighter fluid, charcoal or LP tanks in any dorms/rooms on campus, all of those supplies need to be stored outside the buildings and away from buildings.


False Fire Alarms due to Cooking

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

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

If the students use the vent fans over the stoves, crack open their windows (if there are any) 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.


Electrical Cords/Wiring

  1. 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 will result in a $50 fine being levied and the cord will be confiscated. They can be picked up at the end of the school year from the Fire Station.
  2. Also please note the following:
    a. Surge protectors should be used instead of regular extension cords.
    b. One surge protector may not be plugged into another.
    c. Multiple electrical adapters are not allowed unless they have surge protection built into them and have a UL sticker on the device.
    d. Reducer plugs are also not allowed since they eliminate the built in ground.


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 when fire extinguishers are found expelled without there being a fire. We are also concerned when fire alarms/pull boxes are activated without due cause and the 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.

  1. Tampering with fire alarm systems
    a. Tampering with pull boxes/pulling fire alarms... $500 and the student may face formal criminal charges
    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 continugent upon severity of incident
  2. Expelling of fire extinguishers...$200
  3. Not leaving the building during a fire alarm...$150
  4. Attempting to or setting a fire...referred to Stearns Co, Sheriff Dept. for formal charges. Examples: Couch Fires, Dumpster Fires, etc.
  5. Possession or use of Candles or Incense...$50
  6. Hallway Clearance...$100 per person on the affected floor: The hallways in the residence halls must be 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 then end of move in day. If materials remain in the hallway the entire floor community will be assessed a fine until (a) the hallway is cleared or (b) the individual(s) who own the materials are identified.
  7. Fire Lane parking violations - During a non-emergency - $50 (CANNOT BE APPEALED)
  8. Fire Lane parking violations - During an emergency - $200 (CANNOT BE APPEALED)

Contact Information: If anyone should have questions or concerns about the policies listed above, please contact the SJU Fire Chief, Steve Berhow, at (320) 363-2742.

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Room Change Policy (including switching roommates)

Students wishing to move from their current room into another room must first understand that due to limited space and resources, such moves may not be possible. Roommates are not expected to become "best-friends", but are expected to work out any differences through reasonable means. Any student having complications with their roommate is STRONGLY encouraged to discuss the issue with their Faculty Resident (FR) and/or Resident Assistants (RAs) as soon as possible! Residential Life staff (RAs & FRs) are trained on how to mediate most roommate conflicts into a healthy & balanced resolution. Moving out of a room or switching roommates is considered a last resort.

Please note, if it is determined that one roommate is purposely creating a hostile living environment for the other roommate, then the hostile roommate may be evicted from campus housing. If a student is evicted from campus housing, he may be forced to withdraw from the University. This is due to the residency requirement that requires all students to live on campus.

All first-year students are expected to have a roommate. First-year students are not allowed to live in double rooms as a single occupancy room, except in extreme and/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 emergency situations that develop each semester, students will not be allowed to pay for the extra space in their double room in order to keep the space as a single.

Sstudents 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/or roommate situation and determine whether or not the situation can be resolved through mediation with Residential Life staff. All mediation options must be exhausted prior to moving onto step 2.
  2. After receiving consent from your current FR, talk with the Assistant Directorof Housing about other housing options that may exist on campus. Please note that due to limited space and resources moves may not be possible.
  3. Explore other housing options. If an opportunity is discovered, proceed to step 4.
  4. Talk with the FR from the community you wish to move to. That FR and your current FR all must consent in order for the move to be approved. Residential Life & Housing will not override the decision of the FRs involved except in the most extreme circumstances. Once consent from all FRs involved has been received in writing to the Residential Life & Housing office, proceed to Step
  5. Meet with the Assistant Director of Housing to receive final approval of the move and to complete all necessary administrative paper work (room leases, room condition reports, etc.).
  6. All moves must be completed within one (1) week of approval.

Any groups 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 move will not be allowed. Please note that any coercion or hostile acts toward any person(s) involved in the move that influences their decision will be considered a violation of University policy and could result in eviction from campus housing and/or expulsion from the University.
  2. If all students involved with the move are agreeable, they need to consult with their respective FRs. Written approval from all FRs involved with the move must be received by the Residential Life & Housing prior to any 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 to complete all necessary administrative paper work (room leases, room condition reports, etc.).
  4. All approved moves must be completed within one (1) week of approval.

Unapproved Room Switches

When unapproved room switches occur, students are assessed a fee of $25 per day to their student account for each day that the student(s) are found in violation of this policy. It is strongly advised that you work with your Faculty Resident to make a room change.

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Room Consolidation Policy

Residential Life reserves the right to consolidate vacancies by requiring any 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 may take place prior to the 10th day of each academic term.

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Open House (Visitation) Policy

Guests of the opposite sex are only allowed in SJU residence halls during established open house hours. Any SJU student hosting a male guest over night must notify his Faculty Resident (FR). Each residence hall has the option of establishing its own open house hours on both campuses not to exceed:

  • Sunday - Thursday, 9 am - 12 midnight;
  • Friday and Saturday, 9 am - 2 am.

Guests of the opposite sex are not permitted to stay overnight in any student residence. While there are no set open house hours in the Flynntown Apartments, Metten, Placid/Maur, Seton, Virgil Michel, Vincent Court or campus houses, students are to be considerate of others in their hospitality to guests of the opposite sex, who are not permitted to stay overnight in any student residence. Guest visitation is limited during break periods. Unauthorized and/or distruptive social gatherings are not permitted in campus housing during break periods.

In the event that intercampus busses stop running due to inclement weather or other circumstance, preventing students from returning to their respective campuses, SJU students may sleep in the Mary Commons Lounge, and CSB students may sleep in the St. Thomas Hall basement.

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Residence Hall Guest Policy

Written: July 2009

SJU grants residents the privilege of hosting occasional overnight guests in the residence halls and apartments, however the rights of a student to live in reasonable privacy take priority over the privilege to host guests. A guest is defined as any person present in a residence hall room or apartment who is not the student assigned to that room. Thus, guests can include other SJU students.

The following occupancy limits apply to hosts and guests in SJU residential facilities:

  • Apartments: 25 people (exception: Virgil Michel maximum occupancy is 15)
  • Residence Hall Rooms: 8 people

Break Period Guest Policy

Guest visitation during all break periods is limited. CSB/SJU students are allowed visit from 9am - 10pm daily during each break period. All other guests are prohibited during each break period.

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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. To support academic achievement and recognize personal and group needs, there are specially designated quiet hours in effect as noted below:

  • 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. If you are being disturbed by someone else's noise at any time, it is expected that you will go directly to them and request that they lower their noise level. If the problem is not resolved in this manner, contact the RA on duty.

To support academic achievement, the weekend prior to and throughout the Finals week, all SJU Residential communities observe as 24-7 Quiet/Study Hour policy. 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 that will be allowed in the residence halls are the one's rented through

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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 are responsible for posting the materials in the appropriate location(s) and after the event or notice, removing them.
  3. Materials are not permitted to be posted on doors, walls, above urinals, bathroom mirrors...etc. Only bulletin boards!
  4. Materials that are found in locations other than the bulletin boards will be removed and thrown away. The group responsible for the material(s) will be contacted by Residential Life and Housing. The first offense results in a warning. Any offense beyond that could result in suspension of posting privileges in the residence halls.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Residential Life and Housing Office, 320.363.3512 or [email protected].

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Residence Hall Security

All residential buildings that are 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 own 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 primarily designed to make sure that only members of the SJU community enter residence halls. SJU student ID cards will open the locks at any time when classes are in session.

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Reviewed and updated: May 2009

Campus telephones are located in the hallways and in the entrances to most campus residence halls. These phones can be used for on-campus calls, local calls, toll-free calls, and emergency calls. You must dial 9 to access an outside line.

Students who wish to have a campus telephone installed in their residence should contact the Voice Communications Office at extension 3482. A fee for installation as well as a semester fee for service will be charged to the student's account. 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 your cell phone, please dial 320-363-2144. 911 calls from your cell phone will be directed 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 are not to 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 Physical Plant determines that your situation cannot be corrected with adjustments to the current heat or humidity control systems, permission to have a space heater or humidifier/dehumidifier may be granted.

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

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

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