Residence Life Policies
A.1. Abandoned Property
Due to limited space and liability issues, Residence Life is unable to accommodate storage of residents’ personal items or room furnishings at any time during the year. Residents may wish to explore professional off-campus storage services to accommodate any additional storage needs. Room furnishings are not permitted to be removed from student rooms.
Mount Mercy University is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property in the residence halls or public areas of communities. Items left in rooms/suites/bathrooms/community lounges will be stored for a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 30 days. If the owner is known, they will be contacted via email notifying them that they have 30 days to retrieve their property. If the owner does not return, Residence Life will determine if the items are in a condition to be donated to charity or discarded.
A.2. Access to Community Space
Residential spaces should feel like home allowing residents to enjoy a reasonable level of the privacy from solicitation and disturbance. Residents should also expect to enjoy the facilities without competing with outside groups for access. Therefore, there is limited space in each hall whereby a recognized student organization or Mount Mercy campus department may partner with a residence life staff member to provide an activity in the hall.
- All organizations who wish to reserve space for meetings and activities should contact the Residence Life department located in Student Services.
- Space around the residence halls is governed by Residence Life policies. Groups may reserve outside space but must first gain permission from Event Services.
- Information tables may be arranged on a limited basis. Any group or office that would like to set up an informational table in the lobby of a hall, must contact Event Services. No tables will be permitted during the opening and closing of the buildings or other high-traffic periods or times deemed inappropriate by the Assistant Director of Residence Life. Recruitment activities are limited to informational tables; members tabling may not approach students walking by but rather must allow students to approach the table freely.
A.3. Air Conditioning and Heat
Regina and McAuley do not have air conditioning, but each room is equipped with its own heating controls. The process of converting between cooling and heating in McAuley and Regina is fairly extensive and is a matter of timing. The type of heating/cooling system in these buildings requires 2-3 days for a changeover to be completed, which means drastic changes in outdoor temperatures cannot be addressed immediately. In the interim, students are encouraged to open/close windows, add/remove blankets, or see a member of Residence Life for additional suggestions.
Andreas and Lower Campus residences have both central air conditioning and heat. Each residence is equipped with its own temperature controls.
In any residence, students are not to obstruct or damage air or heating units or set anything near the wall mounted units as this may interfere with normal operation. Students are not allowed to bring additional air conditioning or heating devices without expressed permission of the Student Services. Air Conditioners require a medical note from the student's doctor citing why it is required.
Housing’s general practice for heating and cooling is to provide room temperatures between the range of 68 and 76 degrees. If your heating/AC unit does not seem to be providing this range, please visit Student Services to submit a work order.
A.4. Appliances and Furnishings
Every residence hall room comes furnished with bed, desk, mattress, closet, and dresser. Please note that Regina Hall rooms are not equipped with desk chairs.
Andreas and Lower Campus also have furnished living rooms with a table, chairs, sofa, and cushioned chair. Lower Campus and Hazel Houses also have kitchens equipped with a refrigerator and stove. Some Hazel Houses may also have dishwashers and/or disposals in the kitchen. MMU equipment and furniture may not be removed from its assigned location. This includes taking any MMU property outside.
The electrical system in the halls is not designed to carry heavy loads of electrical equipment. To prevent students from blowing circuits, students are expected to be responsible in their use of appliances/electronics which includes proper and judicious use of multi-outlet strips and surge protectors. All electrical equipment must be UL listed.
Compact refrigerators are permitted, but may not exceed 4 cubic feet in size. Only one compact refrigerator per bedroom is allowed. In McAuley, triples may have two refrigerators, as long as they are in separate rooms. In Andreas, Lower Campus, and Hazel Houses, refrigerators are provided in the kitchens/kitchenettes. Andreas residents may have one compact refrigerator per bedroom. No additional refrigerators are allowed in Lower Campus or Hazel Houses.
The resident shall not remove any MMU equipment or furniture of the room/apartment/suite or building from its assigned location. Waterbeds and other personal mattresses are not permitted. Lofts other than those issued by the University are prohibited.
All electrical appliances must be in good working condition.
A.4.iii. Prohibited Furniture, Items, and Appliances
In the interest of student safety and in order to prevent excess damage to our facilities, Residence Life prohibits a number of items, furniture, and appliances from the residence halls.
- Damaged appliances, e.g. frayed cords, bent plugs, broken safety handles, etc.
- Fire hazards: Anything with an open flame or that burns (candles, incense, stenson burners, etc.), fireworks, grills (electric or otherwise), toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, gasoline/kerosene/propane, blowtorches, any cooking appliance other than a microwave, space heaters, and any other fire hazard not specifically mentioned here.
- Smoke/fog machines and other devices not conducive to group living
- Microwaves over 800 watts
- Halogen lamps
- Coffee makers and clothes irons without an automatic shut off
- 3M Command strips and similar adhesives can only be used in Regina and McAuley.
- Weapons for more information, see the “Weapons Policy” section.
- Power tools
- Routers are permitted only in Hazel Houses.
- Personal upholstered furniture, including futons. Only futons with a detachable mattress and a bed bug cover are permitted.
- Pets other than freshwater fish. Aquariums over 20 gallons are not permitted. For information on residential accommodations for assistance animals, please see the Assistance/Service Animals section.
- Electric skateboards or hoverboards
- Electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, or other devices of this nature
- Waterbeds and/or personal mattresses
- Real Christmas trees/wreaths
- Window air conditioning units, unless as a documented accommodation for a medical need
- Drones or other devices that can fly and/or be used for recording
A.4.iv. Lounge or Community Furniture
The lounges/lobbies/community areas are meant for the general use and enjoyment of all the residents of that community. This furniture must remain in the lounge or community area.
A.5. Assistance/Service Animals
Residence Life offers accommodations for residents with assistance animals or services animals. For more information on the accommodation process, please contact the Disability Services Coordinator within the Academic Center for Excellence for assistance.
Assistant Animals may not be brought into MMU housing until the registration procedure has been completed and all necessary documentation has been provided. Once approved the handler is responsible for adhering to the following expectations and behaviors:
- Approved Areas: Approved Assistance Animals are allowed only in the Handler’s private room, suite, or apartment, and in the Handler’s assigned residence hall. Other residence halls and buildings are restricted. Handlers residing in Regina, McAuley, or Andreas must take their Approved Animal to and from the room through the nearest exit; University Center and Lundy should be avoided. Any time the Approved Animal is outside the Handler’s assigned residential space, the Approved Animal must be on a leash or harness. Animals that cannot be leashed or harnessed must be kept under the Handler’s control at all times.
- Regina Hall: MMU defines Regina Hall as the top five floors of the building. The residence hall ends at the security doors, meaning the first floor (campus bookstore, campus game room, etc.) and the basement (campus tunnel, Facilities offices, kitchen and lounge) are areas where Assistance Animals are not permitted. Regina second floor ends at the security door – the second floor balcony of the University Center is an area where Assistance Animals are not permitted.
- McAuley Hall: MMU defines McAuley as the top 5 floors of the building. The first floor (mailroom, ACE, events offices, etc.) and the terrace level (McAuley theater, the gallery, Betty Cherry, etc.) are areas where Assistance Animals are not permitted. McAuley second floor ends at the security door – the second floor balcony of the University Center is an area where Assistance Animals are not permitted.
- Andreas Hall: Andreas Hall ends at the security door in the Lundy/Andreas breezeway. Lundy is an area where Assistance Animals are not permitted.
- Behavior: The Handler is responsible for assuring that the Approved Animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for students who reside there. Assistance Animals must be obedient and manageable.
- Disruption: Approved Animals are not allowed to disrupt others, e.g. barking continuously, growling, etc., nor are they allowed to threaten or intimidate.
- Cost: The Handler is financially responsible for the actions of the approved animal including bodily injury or property damage. The Handler’s responsibility includes the cost of damages in their housing assignment, as outlined in the room and board contract and in the Good Book. The Handler is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair and/or move-out. ResLife will charge damages to the Handler’s student account.
- Change of Accommodation: The Handler must notify MMU Disability Services and ResLife if the Approved Animal is no longer needed as an Approved Animal or is no longer in residence. In order to replace an Approved Animal with a different one, or to return the Approved Animal after notifying MMU that it is no longer needed, the Handler must file a new request for accommodation and complete the residential registration process.
- Accommodation Renewal: In order to renew the residential accommodation, the Handler must provide annual documentation to Residence Life that the Approved Animal’s vaccinations and shots are current as required by law and that the Approved Animal is in good health. Documentation must come from a veterinarian and is due at least two weeks prior to the start of fall term. Approved Animals must also be kept on flea/tick preventative when living in the residence halls. If an accommodation begins in the spring, renewal will not be required until August of the following calendar year.
- Animal Waste: Animal waste, including cat litter box contents or similar waste containment systems, must be disposed of properly, e.g. in a sealed bag taken out to the residence hall dumpster. Feces may not be disposed of in common trash receptacles, in toilets or the MMU sewer system. Residents with cats must maintain and regularly clean litter boxes per the litter manufacturer’s instructions. Animal accidents in the residence halls and animal waste on campus property must be cleaned up immediately with the appropriate cleaning products.
- Cleanliness: Regular and routine cleaning of the residence hall room, suite, litter box, kennels, and cages is required. Animal odor emanating from the room and/or in the residence hall will not be tolerated.
- Health Inspections: Twice a semester, ResLife conducts Health & Safety Inspections in the residence halls. Handlers’ rooms will also be inspected for fleas and ticks. The Handler may be billed for any treatment beyond regular pest management. The Handler is encouraged to pursue preventative treatment for fleas.
- Pest Management: If the Handler suspects or determines that their Approved Animal has fleas or other pests, they must notify ResLife immediately.
- Staff Safety: Any time the Handler is not accompanied by the Approved Animal, the Approved Animal must be contained in a cage, kennel, or other appropriate enclosure in the Handler’s assigned bedroom. In housing assignments with common spaces, the Approved Animal may not be kept in any common space while the Handler is out.
- Overnight Care: An Approved Animal may not be left in the Handler’s room overnight if the Handler is not with them. Approved Animals also may not be left in the care of other residents. If the Handler intends to be out of their room overnight, they are responsible for making plans to accommodate their Approved Animal. If MMU determines an Approved Animal is in a room overnight without its Handler, that animal will be removed from MMU housing and boarded elsewhere at the Handler’s expense.
- Accommodations and MMU Policy: Except for those policies specifically relating to the residential accommodation for the Approved Animal, the Handler will be held to all policies outlined in the Good Book.
- Escape: The Handler will notify ResLife or Public Safety immediately if their Approved Animal escapes.
- Liability: The Handler is liable for any and all actions of their Approved Animal, e.g. bites, scratches, damage to the personal property of others, etc. MMU strongly encourages the Handler to purchase liability insurance for this reason, but does not require it.
- Health & Safety of the Animal: The Handler is responsible for the proper care for their Approved Animal. Reports of neglect or abuse will be investigated by ResLife and/or Public Safety, examples including but not limited to prolonged confinement in the animal’s kennel or failure to properly maintain a litter box.
- Contract Fulfillment: Should the Approved Animal be removed for any reason by the Handler or by MMU, the Handler is required to fulfill his/her housing obligation for the remainder of the housing contract.
- Assistance vs. Service: The Handler may not dress or accessorize their Assistance Animal in a way that may misidentify it as a Service Animal.
- Housing Changes: ResLife offers all residents the opportunity to switch housing assignments, if space is available. If the Handler switches rooms using this process, or if new roommates plan to move in with the Handler, ResLife will require signatures confirming that the Handler’s new roommates do not object to sharing their space with an Approved Animal.
The Handler will be responsible for any damages caused by their Approved Animal. Although normal wear is expected, excess damages resulting from the Approved Animal or its presence will be billed to the Handler’s student account at check-out.
MMU may exclude/remove an Approved Animal if any of the previously mentioned expectations and rules are not met or followed by the Handler.
Residence Life strongly suggests students use a strong krypton-type lock on their bikes. Bicycles may not be stored or parked inside, decks/landings, nor ridden in the residence halls for reasons of safety. Bicycles should only be locked on exterior bike racks.
A.7. Check-In & Check-Out Process
The check-in and check-out processes must go through the Residence Life department. Students needing to check-in or check-out of their room should contact a Resident Assistant or anyone in the Residence Life Department for further details.
Upon checking in to a new room, residents will be given a room condition report, keys, and a mailbox key. At the request of Residence Life, residents may also be required to meet with their RA to sign a Roommate/Suite mate Contract.
Residents needing to leave Mount Mercy must complete the check-out process within 24 hours of their notice of exit, last final exam, or by noon of the last day the halls are open. Any deadline extensions must be approved by the Assistant Director of Residence Life. Hall closing information will be provided via email, flyers and floor meetings. Any damage to the room/suite will be charged to the students account. Any failure to follow posted and written information about the checkout process may be assessed additional administrative charges. This includes check-outs during the middle of the year due to room changes, petitioning out of the housing agreement, removal from the halls, etc.
During any moving times, do not drive cars or trucks on grassy areas to load or unload belongings. Such action could cause damage to landscaping and will result in damage charges. Residence Life provides carts for students to use during check-in and out. Students will need to provide their ID in order to gain access to the carts.
A.8. Classroom Space in Regina Hall
A classroom is located in the lower level of Regina Hall. The classroom space is dedicated towards residential learning and formal class scheduling. Space can only be reserved through Event Services.
Residents are expected to maintain a level of cleanliness in their rooms/apartments/suites and in common areas compatible with reasonable health and safety standards.
A.9.i. The University expects that students will participate in the campus recycling program. Students are expected to bring their trash and recyclables to the designated areas for disposal. Students leaving trash in common areas will be in violation of this policy and subject to disciplinary action.
A.9.ii. Littering is prohibited. As a resident in this community, it is your responsibility to dispose of personal trash in dumpsters or recycling receptacles inside or outside on-campus facilities. For this reason, littering, leaving trash in common areas or locations not designated for waste disposal, is subject to conduct action and applicable removal/cleaning charges.
A.9.iii. With the exception of those living in Regina, students are responsible for bringing their own cleaning supplies. Students who live in Regina will have toilet paper and hand towels provided. Students living in buildings that are suite-styled or rooms with adjoining bathrooms are required to provide their own toilet paper, hand towels, and any other necessary paper products.
A.9.iv. Trash Disposal. Students must dispose of garbage in the appropriate bins and locations. Garbage is not to be left in hallways, on landings, in stairwells, in lounges, in elevators, in lobbies, by the doors, on the ground by dumpsters, or in the trash chute rooms. Room trash is not to be emptied into smaller trash cans that are placed around the buildings. A fee for removal will occur ($25.00 minimum per bag) if students are found disposing of their trash inappropriately. If no one student is identified for improper trash disposal, the entire floor will be fined. Increasing fines will occur for subsequent offenses.
A.10. Computer Labs
Twenty-four hour computer lab access is available in Regina and McAuley Hall for residential students.
Residence Life may confiscate and remove any items found that are in violation of Residence Life, The Good Book, or Student Code of Conduct policies or deemed unsafe or illegal by designated University Officials. Certain items are prohibited in the residential areas of the university because of health, fire, or safety reasons; city, state, or federal law; or University policy. When these identified items are discovered, they are subject to confiscation. Public Safety Officers and Residence Life staff have the authority to confiscate items.
In instances when Residence Life has confiscated an item, a notice will be sent to the email of the student in question and the residents of that room should expect to receive further notification. Students that receive these notices are encouraged to seek out their Area Coordinator to receive further information about their individual situation. Items prohibited by college policy for health, fire, or safety reasons, that are not illegally possessed, may be returned to the owner at the end of the term (or earlier by arrangement with the Area Coordinator for their respective area) provided that the item be removed from campus immediately and not returned to the premises.
A.11.i. Illegal items (such as controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, and weapons) are items that cannot be returned.
A.11.ii. Prohibited items as listed in A.4. A.13. and B.6 can be confiscated by and their return is at the discretion of the Assistant Director of Residence Life.
A.11.iii. University property as listed in A.4 that is moved from its original place or is used in a way that is against University policy will be returned to its assigned place. Any students found to be involved in the moving or in the misuse of University property will be subject to the conduct process.
Confiscated items not claimed by the owner by the end of the semester in which the item was seized will be considered abandoned. See A.1. Abandoned Property.
In order to be fair and equitable, it is important to assess the proper fees or room assignment based on the payments a student is making. Therefore, Residence Life has developed a consolidation process to reassign students based on occupancy after census day. Residence Life will assess the occupancy of each building, making note of rooms where residents are living alone in a double room. If the space needs to be reallocated, Residence Life may contact the resident(s) and inform them of the following options:
- The resident may be asked to find another roommate to move into the room by the deadline prescribed by Residence Life.
- The resident may be moved into another room where a space is available.
- The resident may be given the opportunity to “buy out” the room at a large single room rate for the rest of the semester based on availability, capacity, and the discretion of Residence Life staff.
- Students will be given 72 hours to complete a room change if warranted.
* Residents who do not presently have a roommate may get a roommate at any time and should not take possession of the other part of the room.
A.13. Getting a New Roommate
Due to graduation or other changing situations of students, space may become available in the Residence Life system in December. Students with a roommate that is not returning for the spring semester will be required to make the room presentable for a new roommate(s). This must be done prior to departure in December for Winter Break. Students may not take possession of the other half of the room. Clean the room and be sure that the other bed, dresser, closet, and so forth is ready for a new student to move in.
Public cooking facilities are available in Regina, McAuley, and Andreas Halls. These areas must be cleaned and maintained by the residents of the community.
A.13.i. Cleaning: Residents will face cleaning charges or a closing of the facilities if any unsanitary conditions exist or if the facility is abused. Students are permitted to use the kitchens but must provide their own cooking utensils.
A.13.ii. Presence: Students using public-area stoves must remain with cooking food for the safety of all.
A.13.iii. Damage: If any damage is done to the facilities or an inadvertent fire alarm during the course of cooking, the resident will be held responsible for any costs incurred for cleaning, damage, or false alarms.
A.13.iv. Utilization of prohibited appliances.
A.13.v. Grills: Prohibited everywhere except Lower Campus Apartments and Hazel Houses. When lit, a grill must be attended at all times. Grills are allowed on the patio but they must be small and meet City of Cedar Rapids specifications for apartment units. Under no circumstances are propane tanks permitted.
(BIT ABOUT NEW GRILLS FOR CAMPUS? WHAT ARE THE DETAILS FOR THAT?)
- Crock pots
- Hot air popcorn poppers
- Coffee makers (must have an automatic shut-off option)
- Open element cooking units
- Indoor electric grills
- Pizza Makers
- Cooking pots and greases
- (INSTANT POT?)
*Allowed in private, fully functional kitchens
Regina and McAuley Hall are equipped with elevators for residents’ convenience. Please be respectful of this equipment and the safety of others; do not jump up and down, shake, tamper, disable, or overload elevator cars; jumping or misusing the controls may cause malfunctions. Elevators are serviced regularly, but should an elevator get stuck between floors, remain calm and use the call button inside. A staff member will respond to assist with the appropriate evacuation. Do not try to evacuate an elevator on your own or try to pry open the door. Damages should be reported to the front desk immediately. In the case of a fire, do not use the elevator and evacuate the building using stairwells.
Residents who witness emergency situations are encouraged to contact Public Safety and/or 911 if appropriate. Residence Life will inform residents of situations that require broad notification by sending staff members to doors, placing messages on digital signage, or posting general hall announcements on bulletin boards. In any of these instances it is imperative that residents follow any instructions given. Messages are also distributed via RAVE, which is a phone and text-based system allowing the university to notify students, faculty and staff when an emergency is taking place on or near campus. The system is only be used in critical situations, including weather emergencies, with potential to affect health or safety.
A.1. Emergency Contacts
Residents provide emergency contact information in their housing application. There is also a section on the application that can be used to inform Residence Life staff of any health conditions that might require medical assistance. In extreme situations the University may decide to notify emergency contacts for residents, especially in those situations where it has been deemed that a student is in danger. (HOW DOES THIS GET DONE NOW? TAKE THIS OUT?)
A.18. Health & Safety Inspections
Housing staff will enter all rooms/suites each semester for health/fire safety and facility checks. Residence Life staff will give at least 48 hours’ notice of room entry for this purpose. Residence Life encourages residents to be home when staff checks the rooms, but it is not necessary. Violations could be but are not limited to:
A.18.i Tampered fire safety equipment (smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, fire extinguishers)
A.18.ii. Screens, window & door locks to ensure appropriate use and functionality
A.18.iii. Overall cleanliness including trash, mold, bugs, etc.
A.18.iv. Fire hazards including personal effects being placed against heaters & air conditioning units
A.18.v. Overloaded electrical outlets and power strips without an on/off switch
Residents will receive a notification directly after the inspection to inform them of the observed status of their room/suite. Rooms/suites deemed unacceptable or in violation of Residence Life policies/standards or of state/federal law, will be left a notice identifying the specific violation for the resident(s) to address. Residents of the room in question should expect a follow-up meeting with their RA or RD depending on the severity of the violation.
Due to the unique living environment of the Hazel Houses, Residence Life will conduct monthly health and safety inspections of each house. Staff will work with Hazel residents to schedule the monthly inspections in advance. Rooms/suites/apartments/houses deemed unacceptable or in violation of University policies/standards or of state/federal law will receive a notice identifying the specific violation for the resident(s) to address. Residents of the living area in question should expect a follow-up meeting with their RA or the AC depending on the severity of the violation.
A.19. Laundry Facilities
Laundry is offered for free to University residents. Each residential facility has washers and dryers for use by the residents of that facility only. Students are asked to be respectful of the units and timely with the picking up and completion of their laundry to avoid disrespect to the overall community.
Hazel House Residents: Because the Hazel houses have no laundry machines, Residence Life has designated McAuley and Andreas laundry facilities as available for Hazel residents.
Each resident is assigned an individually numbered mailbox with a key. Residents will be informed of their mailbox number during the room assignment process and will be given their key during check-in. Room inventory sheets must be appropriately filled out and turned in to receive your key. Packages can be retrieved at the mailroom located in Lundy.
A.21. Maintenance and Repairs
For non-emergency repairs or maintenance needs, residents should submit a work order. If you need help seek out your Resident Assistant. If there is emergency maintenance need during regular business hours, (burst pipe, overflowing toilet, broken window or door, etc.), please contact Public Safety immediately. If an emergency occurs please call the on-call phone numbers posted in the buildings or Public Safety. Violations of this could include but are not limited to:
A.21.i. Failure to report
A.21.ii. Damage beyond normal wear and tear. This will result in charges being assessed to the student(s) account(s)
A.22. Student Contact Information
Students are given the opportunity to confidentially designate emergency contact information at registration. This information is part of the University registration and is protected under FERPA. This information is accessible by Public Safety and Residence Life. Students are given the opportunity to designate a person to notify in a missing person investigation. This information will not be disclosed outside of a missing person investigation.This policy is discussed at beginning semester Housing meetings, included in the annual Campus Security Report, sent to students by University e-mail, and included on the Public Safety and Dean of Students websites.
A.23. Posting Policy
Personalizing the space in rooms is encouraged. However, Residence Life requires that this be done in a manner that does not cause damage, does not violate State law, University policy, or is deemed to be defamatory and/or degrading to members of the University community. Room décor must take into consideration all roommates’ tastes.
Approved posting methods
- Poster hanging products such as a product produced by 3-M called Command are only permitted in Regina and McAuley
- Pin nails only in Andreas, Lower Campus, and Hazel Houses.
Violations of the posting policy include but are not limited to:
A.23.i. Affixing decorations to ceilings
A. 23.ii. Attaching to or blocking any fire safety equipment including smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, and exit signs.
A.23.iii. Impeding access to hallways, doorways, stairs, corridors, or other equipment.
A.23.iv. Covering more than 10% of a room’s wall space by combustible decorative materials including but not limited to:
- polyester materials
A.23.v. Hanging rugs, bed sheets/spreads or tapestries
A.23.vi. Real Christmas trees or wreaths
A.23.vii. Postings on exterior of room doors (the side that faces hall corridors) have items/messages that could be construed as bigoted, demeaning, degrading, or victimizing in a discriminatory manner.
Other questions about what is permitted should be referred to your Resident Assistant or Area Coordinator
A.24. Roommate Conflict & Contracts
Residence Life recognizes that conflicts arise within any group living situation and encourages residents to try and work out these differences for themselves. Students experiencing conflict must work with their Resident Assistant (RA) and/or Area Coordinator (AC) to seek successful resolution. Violating items agreed upon by roommates/suitemates will result in a violation of the housing agreement and additional action may be required.
A.25. Room Change Requests
Residence Life has found that many roommate differences can be resolved through mediation, eliminating the need for a room change. Should mediation not resolve the roommate issues and if the resident’s account is current, space is available, and eligibility requirements are met, students may request a room change. Room changes will not be considered during the first two weeks OR the last two weeks of each academic semester in order to create hall rosters and complete administrative procedures; however, Residence Life will attempt to accommodate requests during other times. Students wanting to request a room change should set up a meeting with their Area Coordinator.
A.26. Room Entry
Residence Life respects students’ right to privacy. However, there are times during which Residence Life staff may enter a student’s room or suite without notification. These include:
A.26.i. When an immediate threat exists to the health, safety or property of students or occupants of the room
A.26.ii. To secure space during breaks and conduct routine safety inspections
A.26.iii. To make necessary or desirable repairs and perform routine or other maintenance
A.26.iv. For other purposes as deemed necessary or desirable by the University. Residence Life staff will knock and announce their presence prior to entering a student’s room. However, it is within the rights of Housing Staff to enter as deemed necessary.
A.28. Solicitation & Commercial Enterprises
Entry into Residence Life facilities for any solicitation and/or commercial enterprises will be considered trespassing and will result in removal of involved parties by Public Safety Officers. At a minimum, parties will be removed and maybe be excluded from campus and/or arrested. Any solicitors should be reported to a Residence Life staff member or Public Safety immediately. Students or student organizations wishing to raise donations for charity through social/community programs or other means may obtain permission from their Assistant Director of Residence Life.
A.28.i. Students are not permitted to operate or promote a business (including their own privately-owned enterprise) from their residence hall room, common spaces, or other Residence Life spaces.
A. 28.ii. Students may not use housing facilities to host parties for the purpose of promoting private businesses or engaging in sales of products.
A.28.iii. The University does not allow door-to-door solicitation of funds, products, services, or donations for charity in Residence Life facilities. This also includes companies/businesses attempting to give away free items/samples.
Windows/landings/breezeways are subject to all Residence Life community standards.
A.29.i. At no time should any article be thrown or dropped out of windows as this could result in serious injury.
A.29.ii. Students should also not throw things into windows from the ground as this could damage the facility and lead to injury.
A.29.iii. Residents should not place themselves in open windows, hang out of windows, or enter/exit the building via windows due to safety concerns.
A.29.iv. Removal of window screens from the windows is prohibited.
A.29.v. Windows should not be used to post materials.
A.29.vi. Storing/leaving trash or other flammable materials on the landing/deck/patio is prohibited.
B.1. Access To Residence halls
Each resident is assigned keys when checking into the room/apartment/suite and is responsible for their return upon termination of residence.Students who do not return their keys upon termination of their housing contract are subject to a fine determined by Residence Life.
Loss of keys will result in charges for replacement of keys and lock.
In the event a student locks themselves out of their residential room they can call the Department of Public Safety or Residence Life for assistance. The student is required to provide proof of residency with a photo id. The student will be charged for the lock out. The first lock out is fee. Second lock out is $5.00. Third and subsequent lockouts are $10.00.
Duplication or lending of keys or proximity cards is prohibited.
Mount Mercy allows students who are 21 years of age to drink alcohol in their Andreas, Lower Campus, or Hazel housing assignments, but their alcohol consumption is still governed by Mount Mercy policy as outlined in the Good Book.
According to the Iowa Code, persons who are 21 years of age may use and possess alcohol, but may not give alcoholic beverages or resell them to persons who are under age (21). Providing alcohol to students under the age of 18 is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor and providing alcohol to students between the ages of 18 – 21 will be considered as providing to students under the legal age, and will be charged as such.
Alcohol Usage on Campus
B.2.i. Underage Consumption/Possession: Students who are not 21 years of age are not allowed to consume or possess alcohol, including “low-alcohol” beer. Alcohol can be consumed only by students 21 year of age or older, under the conditions listed in the University alcohol policy printed in this policy. Underage students at Mount Mercy who possess or use alcohol are subject to disciplinary action by the institution and/or local law enforcement. Underage possession and use may result in civil or criminal penalties. Mount Mercy may report violations of these regulations to civil authorities. Parents or legal guardians may be notified concerning violations of underage possession, use, or provision to others of alcohol or any illegal substances, as provided for under the Campus Disclosure Act of 1998.
B.2.ii. Regina & McAuley: Regina and McAuley are dry halls. Regardless of age, no one may possess, consume, or transport alcohol in Regina and McAuley. This restriction includes both sealed and open containers.
B.2.iii. Container Size: Multi-liter containers are not allowed on Mount Mercy property. Examples of multi-liter containers include but are not limited to kegs, pony kegs, and boxed wine.
B.2.iv. Public Consumption/Open Containers: Possession of or consumption from open containers is prohibited in public areas. For the purposes of alcohol policy enforcement, a room/ apartment/suite may be considered a public area if the door entering the room/ apartment/ suite is open. Alcohol beverage containers may not be used for decorative purposes by underage students. Open containers are defined as any alcohol container on which the seal has been broken or which cannot be enclosed, e.g. cups. Once the seal has been broken, a container is considered open even if the cap/cork/etc. has been replaced.
B.2.v. Excessive Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption and/or the resulting irresponsible behavior are inconsistent with the goals and mission of Mount Mercy. Any/all individuals present during the following alcohol policy violations may be found guilty of a behavioral violation and subject to disciplinary action by Mount Mercy, regardless of age.
B.2.vi. Behavior that encourages excessive consumption: All drinking games (whether with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages) are prohibited in residential facilities.
B.2.vii. Alcohol Disposal: In the event that alcohol is consumed or possessed in violation of University policies, all alcohol containers will be emptied. The University may limit the number of persons in rooms, suites, or apartments for the purposes of safety and health of campus residents.
B.2.viii. Disruptive behavior: Students that are permitted to possess and consume alcohol on campus must do so in a respectful and responsible manner. Breaking any Student Code of Conduct policy while drinking alcohol will also result in a housing alcohol policy violation. As such, the privilege of possessing and consuming alcohol on campus may be revoked if this happens.
B.2.ix. Alcohol storage and consumption in Andreas, Lower Campus, and Hazel is restricted in certain cases.
- If any underage residents or guests are present, alcohol may not be visible or consumed.
- If any underage residents live in a suite/apartment/house, alcohol may not be consumed or stored in the common living areas at any time.
- If only one roommate in a room is of legal age, alcohol cannot be stored or consumed in the bedroom at any time.
- Occupants of a suite/apartment/house who are not of legal age may not enter any bedroom where alcohol is visible or being consumed.
- Alcohol containers are not allowed outside the resident areas, e.g. parking lots, hallways, or patios.
- Hazel Houses: Patios or decks enclosed by screens are considered non-resident areas. Alcohol consumption and storage are not allowed on Hazel House patios or decks.
- Storage of alcohol containers cannot be visible from outside of the suite/apartment/house.
Andreas, Lower Campus, and Hazel Houses:
In order to encourage a safe environment and mitigate risk, there may be no more than sixteen (16) people in an Andreas suite or nine (9) people in a Lower Campus apartment or Hazel House at any time.
Communities with All Residents Of Age: Alcohol may be possessed/consumed anywhere in the suite. While alcohol is being consumed, the number of alcohol containers (empty or not) may not exceed the number of people consuming alcohol. Empty containers must be properly disposed of prior to opening another container. When the alcohol is in the open and/or being consumed, everyone present must be of legal age. If a minor is present, everyone present at the time will be held to Mount Mercy alcohol policy. Alcohol consumption by residents (or guests) of age will be considered as a contributing factor if other violations are taking place.
Communities with Residents of Mixed Ages: If there are both of-age and underage people living in the same suite/apartment/house, roommates who are of legal drinking age may consume, possess, and store alcohol in their private bedroom only. While consuming alcohol, or while alcohol is visible, the bedroom door must remain shut. The number of open alcohol containers present (empty or not) may not exceed one container per individual of legal drinking age in the bedroom where alcohol is being consumed. Empty containers must be properly disposed of prior to opening another container.
Guests: Guests who are of legal age may be present when alcohol is beings consumed as long as the number of individuals in the suite, apartment, or house does not exceed the maximum limit (see 7.a. above).
Cohabitation is strictly prohibited and defined as the continued presence of someone staying in a room/suite that is not assigned to them, using the room as if it were their own, or staying beyond a reasonable visiting time. Only those students who are leased the room/apartment/suite/house may live there. Mount Mercy strictly prohibits co-habitation. Guests are allowed on a short term basis, limited to 72 hours per month. Roommate rights need to be considered at all times in respect to visitors/guests. Frequency of guests may be reviewed by Residence Life.
B.4. Door & Building Security Equipment
All residents are expected to aid in maintaining the safety and security of all housing communities.
B.4.i. Allowing unknown individuals into residential facilities, even if they look familiar is prohibited.
B.4.ii. All residents are provided an ID card which grants them access to the building to which they are assigned. Residents who lose their ID are responsible for having it replaced at the Information Desk in the University Center.
B.4.iii. Propping, unlocking, barring, or leaving open an exterior door for any amount of time is prohibited and jeopardizes the safety of the members of the community.
B.4.iv. Tampering, damaging, inhibiting the use of or improper use of building security equipment which includes: doors, door locking hardware, door exit hardware, electronic door monitoring equipment, proxy readers, swipe readers and cameras is a violation of Residence Life regulations.
B.5. Fire Alarms
In accordance with federal law, during the course of the academic year, a planned fire alarm will occur twice per semester in each building. Residents will not be notified as to when these will occur. These planned alarms are intended to familiarize all residents with the exits, sounds, lights, and procedures for evacuating a building. All students and guests are required by law and University policy to leave the facility and meet at the designated gathering location for the building in alarm when an alarm sounds. Students who fail to evacuate a building, or take an unreasonable length of time to exit the building will be subject to University disciplinary action. Regardless of cause, all alarms should be treated as if real. If assistance to evacuate is required, please contact the Assistant Director of Resident Life at the beginning of the year.
Fire safety plans will be reviewed by Residence Life Staff members and copies of plans will be posted in buildings.
If an alarm sounds, students should consider the following:
- Put on a coat and hard-soled shoes. Take keys, student id and a towel to prevent smoke inhalation.
- Close windows.
- Check the doorknob and door before exiting. If either is hot, do not open the door, but exit through a window instead (only if it can be done safely) or summon help.
- If the knob is cool, exit cautiously, and close and lock the door.
- Walk quickly to the closest exit in the area and stay 100 feet away from the building.
- Never use elevators during a fire or fire alarm.
- Do not re-enter the building until told it is safe by a hall staff member (even if the alarm has been silenced). Residence Life staff will assist in the basic evacuation of the facility and will help to coordinate re-entry into the building when appropriate authorities provide clearance. It is essential that residents take responsibility for their own evacuation.
Tampering, damaging, or inhibiting the use of fire safety equipment which includes: smoke/heat detectors, alarms, sprinklers, fire doors, pull stations and fire-extinguishers is a violation of state law as well as University regulations. Students may not block access to fire and safety equipment with personal belongings or furniture. Sanctions for violating any policy concerning fire alarms may include removal from Housing & Residence Life, suspension from the University, fines, and/or criminal prosecution.
B.6. Flammable Materials
Furniture, decorations and other items that increase the flammability of a room/apartment/suite may be prohibited at the discretion of the Assistant Director of Residence Life. Below is a list of items that are prohibited:
- Candles/Incense: Open flames, including candles and incense are prohibited in all campus housing areas. Candles which have never been lit may be used for decorative purposes; however, candles on which the wick has been burnt will be confiscated.
- Fireplaces: Hazel houses with a fireplace cannot be used. Smoking is not allowed in any residence life facility.
- Electronic cigarettes or vaporizers: Use or possession
- Explosives: Fireworks of every kind, including firecrackers and bottle rockets, are prohibited.
B.7. Guest & Visitation
Residential living spaces are rented to Mount Mercy students only. The University may limit the number of persons in rooms, suites or apartments for the purposes of safety and health of campus residents. In all living areas, residents assume responsibility for the behavior of their guests, including ensuring that behavior is consistent with university policies. A guest shall be defined as a person who is not assigned to a room, suite, apartment, or building they are visiting. The host is responsible for the behavior of all guests and may be held accountable for their behavior. Guests should in no way become a nuisance to the roommate(s) or the community. Residents may not host anyone who is known to be trespassed from Mount Mercy University facilities. Roommate(s) have the right to object to current or future visits and staff will mediate any concerns by the presence of guests.Violations of the guest and visitation policy could include but are not limited to:
B.7.1. All guests failing to comply with policies and other applicable university rules.
B.7.ii. Failing to have identification on them at all times and/or refuse to present it if asked by a Mount Mercy University staff member.
B.7.iii. Residents are required to register their guest(s) at all times; this is not limited to overnight guests. Guest(s) are required to provide photo identification. Guest(s) must be registered via our online guest registration form. This form can be accessed at Housing Guest Registration Link
B.7.iv. Guests must be escorted at all times by their host. They must be escorted in and out of the building and remain with the resident during their time in the building. A residents ID card is never to be given to a guest for any reason. Guests without an escort will be asked to leave the building. Never agree to escort someone you do not know personally.
B.7.v. Visitation hours: Regina and McAuley visitation hours are from 8:00 AM until 2:00 AM. No visitors of the opposite gender are allowed in Regina or McAuley rooms after 2:00 AM. Overnight guests of the same gender are allowed, but must be registered and carry a pass with them at all times. The Director of Residence Life is authorized to extend these hours upon individual request.
Overnight Guests: Overnight guests are allowed only with the approval of your roommate(s). Guests, as defined above, who stay in anytime between the hours of 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM, are considered “Overnight Guests.” No more than two persons may occupy the unit as overnight guests at any time. The total number of days a guest can stay is not to exceed three (3) days over the course of a single month. All guests staying must be registered with Residence Life 24 hours in advance of their arrival, by the host they are visiting.
B.8. Personal Property Disclaimer
The University assumes no liability for any loss or damage to the personal property of the resident and does not carry insurance on the personal property of the resident. Each resident should determine if their personal property is covered by parents' homeowner’s policies; if not, they should purchase whatever personal property insurance he or she desires.
Residents are allowed to have fresh water fish in their rooms. Tank size shall not exceed 20 gallons. No animals that breathe atmospheric air or live in salt water are permitted. Pets must receive roommate approval before being brought to campus housing. The only exception to this standard is an animal specially used for a medically documented purpose.
B.9.i. Possession of an unauthorized pet (anything besides fish) is prohibited and will result in conduct action up to and including removal from housing.
B.9.ii Roommates (non-pet owners) may also be held responsible for violating this policy. It is critical residents communicate with each other to ensure pets (aside from fish in a 20 gallon tank) are not present in on campus residential facilities.
Animal control may be contacted to confiscate any unsanctioned animal or pet if it is not removed within 24 hours (or as directed by a staff member).
B.10. Property Damage and Vandalism
Intentional, negligent, or attempted acts resulting in Mount Mercy University property damage or vandalism are prohibited. Mount Mercy University strives to keep all facilities and university property in excellent condition. Students help by holding accountable those residents and/or guests who choose to damage or remove community property. Students that know of any damage or theft should contact a Residence Life staff member or Public Safety Officer immediately. Damages that are not considered normal wear and tear, such as peeled paint from posters, broken or missing furniture, stained carpet, broken windows, etc., will be billed to students and, when necessary may be referred to Cedar Rapids Police Department for criminal charges. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Damage, vandalism, destruction, abuse, or fraudulent use of Mount Mercy University and private property.
- Damage, vandalism, destruction, abuse, or fraudulent use of Mount Mercy University services including computer and telephone services.
B.11. Quiet Hours & Noise
Residence Life seeks to provide an environment free from unreasonable levels of noise in which residents can pursue their educational goals, sleep, and study. It is essential that students monitor their own noise levels and consider the larger community when engaging in activities that create loud noise. Courtesy hours are in effect when quiet hours are not. During courtesy hours, residents are expected to maintain a level of quiet conducive to community living and respond courteously to other residents’ and staff requests for quiet. Even during courtesy hours noise should not be heard more than two (2) doors away. In addition, every resident will take part in a negotiation of additional quiet hours at the beginning of each semester for that floor/living area. Residents not agreeing with their floor may request alternative accommodations, as available, from Residence Life.
- Sunday - Thursday 10pm until 8am
- Friday & Saturday 12am until 9am
- All other hours are courtesy.
- Noise should be reduced to minimum and not heard outside the room or above or below resident rooms.
- Amplified music, noise out of a window or speakers directed outside of a room is not allowed unless part of an official Housing & Residence Life sponsored event. Contact the Resident Director for permission to use amplified music at a level beyond that which is proper for an individual room.
- Residents may play musical instruments during courtesy hours as long as it is not distracting. Practice rooms are located in the Morrison Center for Performing Arts for extended needs.
- Residents should be cooperative and respectful when any community member asks another member to lower their music, TV, voices, etc.
24 Hour Quiet Hours
During finals week, all of the halls/suites/houses will have expanded quiet hours to create an enhanced study atmosphere. Students should maintain an extraordinary level of quiet at all times during this time period and plan on taking any “loud activities” out of the residence halls. Students who do not comply may be required to leave the residence hall.
B.12. Smoking Policy
Beginning July 1, 2008, Mount Mercy began enforcing the State of Iowa’s Clean Air Act signed into legislation April 15, 2008. Smoking is prohibited on all Mount Mercy property including: buildings, parking lots, and vehicles owned or leased by Mount Mercy, regardless of location. This policy applies to all indoor and outdoor air space, including athletic facilities. The law also prohibits smoking in personal vehicles on Mount Mercy property. This makes smoking cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and vaporizers in any prohibited place a violation.
For more information, please visit www.iowasmokefreeair.gov.
B.13. Sports in Residential Spaces
Residents may not engage in any sports in the hallways, stairwells, lounges, rooms or any other interior public areas. This includes bouncing balls, throwing a Frisbee, nerf guns, water guns, water balloons, footballs, etc. In addition, residents may not ride bikes, wheeled vehicles (unless for medical purposes) or any types of skates or skateboards within housing facilities or on public benches, tables, stair railings and concrete walls.
B.14. Weapons Policy
In addition to items prohibited under Section 2: General Standards of Conduct of the Student Code of Conduct, any device/object used as a weapon are forbidden in Housing & Residence Life. This also includes, but is not limited to: pellet or BB guns, air soft guns, paintball guns, sling shots, arrows, axes, machetes, nun chucks, throwing stars, knives, brass knuckles, blow guns, daggers, cross bows, ornamental weaponry, hunting devices, stun guns, tasers, or any other device that could be used as a weapon. Weapons will be confiscated by a Residence Life staff or a Public Safety Officer and will be addressed through the conduct process.